Thursday, December 30, 2010

Margie and Me - Year End Throwdown

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  This has been a year that I am glad to say good bye to.  There were many joys this past year but there were also a lot of difficulties.  I am praying that this coming year will be a good one.  Hopefully the country in general will start to pull itself out of the slump that we've been in for a few years now.  For a change, I feel that we may be finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I hope so.  As one who is and was affected by the downturn in employment in my family, I am praying for a more stable 2011.  Anyway onto some beady fun!

This challenge was a challenge for me in a way that I didn't expect.  The color wasn't the problem.  (I chose Winged Lions of the Ishtar Gate - #46)  I had made some great components (the beaded rivolis and the circle) but I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with them.  First it was one style of bracelet.  Then that didn't work so I tried something different as a bracelet.  Then the components were sitting on my table in such a way that I wondered about adding a drop to them.  So I ordered one and a bunch of other related beads.  When they came, I started playing again.  This worked, this didn't.  Finally I had the "bottom" portion of the necklace with the components.  It took me a week to figure out what type of "chain" to suspend it from.  I love the end result but it felt like pulling teeth to be able to put it together.  I am going to make a second one in the upcoming weeks to refine the design. (I am looking for a name for this necklace, please feel free to leave me a comment with suggestions!!  Thanks.)
As I have said before (and will probably say yet again), I love this challenge.  I hope all who read my blog will join in.  It is always good to stretch yourself and try colors that are out of your comfort area.  The challenge is about color, not design.  So don't be afraid to try your favorite pattern in a new colorway.

Be sure to check out La Bella Joya to see all the wonderful entries in this challenge contest that Marcie has sponsored.  It will be hard for me to pick one to vote for!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great end of the year and I wish you the most happiest of New Years!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  I appreciate all those who visit my blog so very much.  Your kind words and encouragement mean a lot to me.  I look forward to the upcoming year and pray that it will be one that is full of joyful memories, laughter and the things that really matter. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Last Margie and Me Challenge of the year

Well!!  As if it weren't already a fun challenge, Marcie Abney just had to go and throw down the gauntlet and make it even more of a fun challenge.

Marcie has made the latest Margie and Me challenge a "Throw Down", her words not mine.  What a challenge she has thrown out.  There are multiple color palettes to choose from and PRIZES thrown in.  It should be lots of fun to see which color palette everyone chooses and how they use it.  I can't wait to see all the entries.

I hope that you will come and play along.  You have all month (till December 28th) to get your entry ready.  Be sure to check out Marcie's blog for the color palettes.

This is just one of the fun color palettes to choose from.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Radiance Necklace

It is such a lovely and busy time of year.  My older son's birthday is tucked in between Thanksgiving and Christmas and keeps us rolling from one celebration to the next.  We got our Christmas tree this past weekend and our house looks so festive and warm!  I enjoy the warm glow that lights on the tree give a room.
I have been making some longer necklaces lately.  I wear a lot of turtlenecks in the winter and long necklaces are just perfect to dress them up!  I love how this necklace uses 12 mm Rivolis to create such a sparkly impact.   This pendant features a cluster of layered rivolis.  It has a light airy chain that accents the pendant.  The first one that I made was the blue one.  Then I made it again with these lovely gray seeds and black diamond rivolis!  The seeds are a metallic matte bead!!  I can guarantee that you will see this color again.  It goes well with so many things!

Hope you are enjoying the Christmas holiday season!  Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Margie and Me Challenge

I wish I would have had more time to play with this color challenge but with Thanksgiving thrown in the middle I didn't get to play as much as I would have liked!!  My niece has a large hole bead bracelet that she adores.  I wanted to try to make some beaded beads that would work on that style of bracelet or on a necklace (which is what mine are shown on).  You should see the pile of rejects that are on my bead table from my various attempts.  Maybe I will get brave and show them to you one day.  I ended up with three different styles of beads.  I decided to use the color challenge to experiment with them a bit.  These are my challenge beads! I have them suspended on an 18" black silk corded necklace.

Of course, I had a hard time stopping making them because they are so fun to make.  I decided to make a set using Christmas colors for a more whimsical everyday Christmas necklace.  I can tell this one will get lots of wear this Christmas season.  I have gotten many compliments on it already!!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit the Marcie's blog for a list of links to other's who have participated in the Margie and Me challenge!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  It seems like the past week and a half for me have gone by so quickly.  Our refrigerator started to act up the Monday before Thanksgiving.  It isn't quite fixed yet but the part should be in soon and the repairman at least got it working again temporarily!  Hopefully the part will be in soon and we can put this behind!  Lucky for me we had planned to go to my parents for Thanksgiving so the fridge wasn't full!  We had such a nice time with all my siblings and their families.  It is not often that our schedules all work out that we can be home at the same time.  I really treasure those times!

I have a bunch of things that I will be sharing with you this week.  I am so excited about this set!  This is going to be my "holiday" set this year (well my fancy set, I also have a more whimsical one to show as well later this week).  I made a second set of the Shaitana series jewelry.  We have a December wedding to go to and I wanted something fancy to wear to it.  The pictures do not do justice to how lovely and sparkly these are.  I love the gold pearls and the Golden shadow crystals that just make these glow!!  You can find the whole Shaitana series here.  The earrings, which are my favorite of the group by just a smidgen (you can find just the earrings pattern here), work up very quickly and are so very versatile.  I think that I have at least 4 pair of them in different colors.

Be sure to check back this week as I have some other projects to share.  The Maggie and Me color challenge reveal is on Thursday and Marcie has a list of links on her blog to check out as the day goes by.

What have you been up to?  Have you been busy making any gifts for Christmas this year?  I would love to see and hear what you have been up to.

Bead Happy!  ~Nancy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lili Bracelet... now available in the lulu store.  You can read more about this special bracelet here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh no I am so addicted to these!!! HELP!

I started to make my teacher gifts for my son's teachers.  I have a real problem though!  These Diamond Net beaded beads (from Bead Infinitum by Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour) are so addicting to make.  I get one finished and then I say, well how about these colors and then those colors!  ARGH!! HELP!  They are just so pretty.  I have a feeling that there will be a pair of these in my ears soon as earrings! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Margie and Me Challenge

I love the colors of this challenge!!  Be sure to go to Marcie Abney's blog to check out all the color samples she pulled for this challenge!


PS  Be sure to congratulate her on her latest bracelet in the current issue of  BEADWORK magazine.  It is perfect for winter, reminds me of snowflakes!!  WOOO-HOOO MARCIE!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Margie and Me Challenge

Three Drop Earrings
Design by Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour
I struggled a bit with this challenge.  The color combinations that I pulled together looked great when sitting in their tubes and strands on my table but when put together ended up softer than I anticipated.  As I mentioned earlier this week, I am part of the Bead Infintium's Design Team and thought that their pieces would be great to use in this challenge.  I love the green and red combination in unakite and made these lovely Three Drop Earrings with it.  I like them and the picture doesn't do them justice but I didn't feel that it met the color challenge even though it incorporates colors in the painting.

Next I made the Seven Sisters beaded bead, again design by Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour.  This one was more on with the painting I felt.  I love how this one looks like a flower with the placement of the green at the edges.  I am going to suspend this from a chain to wear.

Seven Sisters beaded bead
Design by Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour
Last but certainly not least is my favorite of the three that I made.  Please feel free to click on the picture to see the detail in this Night Sky Bracelet, design by Gwen Fisher.  I love airy-ness of this bracelet.  The pattern also comes with directions to make this pattern into two different pendants that are stunning.  While this is my favorite, again I don't exactly feel that it met the color challenge of the photo, it ended up much softer than I expected. 

Night Sky Bracelet
Design by Gwen Fisher
Not too bad overall I guess.  When all is said and done though, I enjoy this challenge!!  Hopefully the next round I will feel more in tuned with!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diamond Net Bookmark

In case you haven't noticed my fancy new icon in the side bar, I was selected to be part of Bead Infintum's Design team!  Who is Bead Infinitum you might ask?  They are the talented team of Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour who make wonderful beaded beads and other great designs!  When I started beading, I came across their website in my search for patterns to teach myself beading.  Their patterns really intrigued me with the intricate designs.  I am very honored to be a part of this team and look forward to sharing with you what I will be making.  I have a couple of things made up to share on Saturday for the Margie and Me challenge but I wanted to share these bookmarks with you today.  Cindy Daniels, who is also a team member, made a wonderful bookmark, using the Time Machine bead, for her grandmother who turned 104.  I borrowed that idea as my DH's grandmother is turning 101 in a week and a half.  He is going to be visiting her soon and I thought this would make a great gift for her.  I used the Diamond Net beaded bead for mine.  I made a second one to give to his aunt, whom he will be staying with.  In these I used round lapis and unakite as the base beads.  The netting is done with 1.8 mm cubes & 11/0 seeds on the lapis and 10/0 triangle beads & 11/0 seeds on the unakite.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Margie and Me Challenge

Marcie has posted the new color challenge. Check it out here.  She chose The Adoration of the Magi by Lorenzo Monaco for this two week challenge.  She has a color swatch generated for the challenge in her post.  What rich colors are present in this painting, lovely and rich jewel tones.  I hope that you will play along!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Margie and Me Color Challenge - Softly I go

I loved the soft colors in the fresco for this challenge.  The whites and golds really  spoke to me and I used those and the base for my bracelet.  I added in splashes of pastels in and around the bracelet.  It is a really soft and pliable bracelet.  It is about 1" wide. 

I can't wait for the next one!!  Thanks Marcie for hosting this color challenge.

Be sure to check on Marcie's blog (click here) to see other entries in this color challenge.

Have a great weekend.  I am off to watch my son's soccer championship games today!!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Persian Lullaby Bracelet

I was anxiously stalking the UPS man at the beginning of this week because I had ordered some luscious beads to make another Persian Lullaby bracelet with.  I wanted to play with using two colors of 3 mm fire polish in the bracelet.  I am so loving how rich looking this bracelet is!  For those that are interested, the pattern is available here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Your turn now

Marcie has posted her next challege.  Click here to check it out.  I hope that you will come and join the fun!!!  I love the soft colors of this one!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lili bracelet

I have a dear friend who has gone through some very difficult times in her life.  She amazes me with her resilence and her faith. In the face of adversity and circumstances that to me would be overwhelming, she is able to still have such a joy in her heart.  Everytime I see her, she makes me feel special.  Just being around her, you can't help but smile.

I named this bracelet after her.  The dark band reminds me of the challenges that she has faced and overcome.  The brillant rivolis remind me of her joy and faith that have sustained her and which she radiates to others.
I also made this bracelet using just one color seed beads.  This one is just bright and fun!

Thanks for stopping by!
Just a quick follow up, I did take my finished pieces back to the bead store.  My friend shook her head again and said that she shouldn't have doubted me!  She thought the piece turned out beautifully.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Margie and Me challenge

I like to be challenged every now and again, especially when it comes to beads.  It helps me to try things that I would not normally try, whether it is colors or beading materials or a new stitch.  I was really excited to read about Marcie Abney's color challenge using Margie Deeb's colorings.

I went to my LBS to find the right beads.  I knew what I wanted to do (I just hoped that it worked out the way I envisioned it).  I was so happy that they had just the beads that I was looking for.  The shop owner, who is also a dear friend, kind of just shook her head when she saw my beads laid out on the counter and said she just couldn't see how they were going to work together.  What do you think??  Does it work?  I even made a pair of earrings to go with it.

I can't wait to bop around and see what other's have done with this challenge!

Have a great beady weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It is a lovely time of year

I love this time of year...the multi-colored leaves, the brisk cool air of evening following a warm afternoon, the smell of wood stoves burning, fall sports.  It is a busy, happy time of year.  Even as I enjoy these beautiful fall days, I am also reminded of the upcoming winter months when I will be indoors and can do the things that I enjoy there also... baking, beading, snuggling up with a good book in front of the fire.  There are things that I enjoy about each season.  I hope that you are having a wonderful fall!

I hope that you are busy working on an entry for the Margie and Me challenge that Marcie Abney is having.  That is my project for today.  I have my idea ready to go but I need to sit down and pull beads and make it happen.  I can't wait to see what everyone else does!!

I noticed that I left the tutorial for Midnight Muse off the sale list.  I will leave this tutorial on sale through Sunday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Check out this awesome birthday celebration giveaway!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Did you notice.....

We had a beautiful fall weekend here in Northeast PA.  The weather was just right for watching soccer on Saturday.  The boys did a great job playing for their teams.  I love that our local soccer club gets the teams World Cup style shirts and each team is a "country".  My older son plays on Germany.  He usually plays goalie and forward or wherever the coach needs him.  He is a versatile player in that aspect.
My younger son plays for Japan.  He was in at goalie for half the game and then as forward.  Again he is versatile and can play wherever the coach needs him to.  His team is currently undefeated.  It will be an exciting playoff season this year.
I love fall soccer.  It is so exciting to watch my boys play.  This is one proud mama!!

I also just wanted to point out that I added a section to the right for some free patterns.  I will add to this area periodically but wanted you to notice the ones posted there.  One of my favorites of the three posted is Deborah's Flourish.  I have been making jewelry for my nieces for their birthdays for a few years now.  The youngest of my sister's children last year informed me that she was old enough to have a necklace!  I think that she was three.  So I wanted to make her something special.  I made this spiral and added pearls to it.  She was in heaven to finally have her own necklace!!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Exciting News

I have long been a fan of Lanai Kinsky and her beadwork.  She is such a talented bead artist. Her Spring Rose pattern is one that I have drooled over forever!!

She is featured in the latest issue of BEADWORK magazine (Oct/Nov 2010) with a beautiful bracelet and earring set that is just wonderful.

She has her own website in which she offers her patterns and kits for her designs.  She has most graciously offered to include my beadwork patterns on her site!  I am so excited.  I hope you will go and check out her wonderful site!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Glimmering Necklace

Just a quick post to share with you another necklace.  I have been wanting to make a beaded link chain and have been playing with options.  This chain is made with a continuous weave, meaning the links are not separate but connected even though they appear as individual links.  

I made this a long necklace, it is 26" in length, to wear with high neck tops.  The pendant is just a little bit of beaded flash.  I encircled a rivoli with lots of 11/0s, 15/0s and 3 mm crystals and then suspended it from the beaded chain with another link.  i have a bracelet in the works that includes rivolis within the chain.

It was a fun project to work on!  I hope you enjoyed seeing it!

Have a great day.  ~Nancy

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Creative Musings

Marcie Abney wrote a great post on Creative Musings (click here). It got me to thinking. I think so many of us have been there, in many different craft areas. We see something and say "oh I could do that" without really acknowledging the creator.

I remember going to a craft show years ago with two friends. We noticed these really cute candy trains made out of wrapped candy (Lifesavers, Nerds, etc.) At the time I was teaching 3rd Grade Sunday School and thought they would make a cute little Christmas gift for my students. My one friend whispered not too softly “Oh you can make that yourself” to which my other friend said “Yes but you should buy one if you are going to copy the idea” or something to that effect. Now I realize that the person who made it may or may not have been the originator of the idea but the concept has stuck with me. We need to give credit where credit is due. By purchasing one of the candy trains, I would have acknowledged the person who made it, instead of diminishing them by saying that I could do it without their help (by having the item). I am not saying this very well, sorry.

I think that it is important to acknowledge where we get our ideas from, even when we are taking inspiration from another source. Sometimes I will see another’s work and it will inspire me not to copy their work but to play with a new stitch or explore an old one in a new way. I like to acknowledge where the inspiration comes from!!  For example, when watching the movie "Indiscreet" with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman,  I was inspired by the necklace that Ingrid Bergman wore in one of the scenes to create the "Maricot" necklace.  It is a simple but elegant necklace that reflects the much more stunning necklace in the movie.

Marcie also talks about how she found her own style and originality. This is really important because it is hard to create something that is not inherent in who you are. I try to break out and use new colors but they usually don't inspire me because it isn’t who I am and I get bored and walk away, often not even finishing the project. It is so important to be who you are and make that special and unique to you. That is really what will draw people to your work because your passion will be reflected in your work!

I hope that you take the time to read her post. It has given me lots of food for thought for how I do things and why I do things.
Have a great day. Happy Beading,


Sunday, September 12, 2010


I know it is only the beginning of September but my mind is already working on my Christmas list and what I would like to make for family, friends, teachers, etc. I was going through some of my patterns and pulled out a few past and recent designs that work up quickly to share with you if you are looking for some ideas. (If you are interested, I included a link to the pattern by clicking on the name of the pattern below.)

First is Thryza's Charm.  It is a neat right angle weave project that goes together in an evenings work.  It has a unique bangle shape to it and is lots of fun!!

Verity is another fun right angle weave project that is very elegant with its netweave overlay!!   There is even an option that incorporates a dangle with.

Elspeth bracelet and earrings work up quickly and adapt well to many colorways.  Both work up in an evening.

The Shaitana earrings are one of my favorite. It is a very elegant and adaptable pattern.  It is a great pattern for learning how to bead around a rivoli.  Again these work up in an evening and make a beautiful gift.

A few years ago I  made a series of peyote bead bracelets.  One of my favorites was this Back to School Wishes bracelet.  With A, B, C peyote beads and delightful ceramic pencils and apples it is the perfect teacher gift!!  For a limited time I am going to have the pattern for this bracelet, the Christmas Wishes bracelet and the Valentine's Wishes bracelet available as individual patterns.  Of course the best deal is to get all 12 Wishes bracelets available in one file.

Among my favorite bracelet projects this year was the Canterbury bracelet.  I have to say that it is an addicting pattern to make.  It works up in an evening and has so many possibilities.  These are two of my favorites of the colorways that I have made!!

And last but not least is this bracelet made with far-falle beads or peanut beads as they are also known.  Far-falle beads are fun to work with and give an added dimension to your beadwork.  I am going to be picking up some more soon to play with so I am sure that they will make another appearance here soon.  This was my first project with far-falle beads.  It is a lovely bracelet called "Far-falling bracelet".  I know hardly original but fun!  This was another bracelet that I was addicted to making.  What I like about wearing this bracelet is the substantial feel it has due to the dimension of the far-falle beads.

Well I hope that I have gotten your minds thinking about what lovely things you can create for your gift-giving or at the very least enjoyed another peek and these projects.  I will be sure to share with you which I choose to share with my friends and family this year!!

Have a great day!!  Happy Beading.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Crystal Rhasody

Over the summer I stopped in at The Bead Hive in Coopersburg.  This is the former location of My Father's Beads.  I am going to be teaching there and I wanted to refresh my memory on directions to the place before my first class in September.

While there and perusing all the lovely beads that they have, I came across some 1.8 mm cube beads.  It is a bead that I haven't worked with and thought there was a lot of potential there.  This project is the first one that I finished.  Crystal Rhapsody has a raised edge on both sides that forms the perfect channel for the 6 mm crystals that float down the center.  Of course I rarely make just one of anything anymore so I sat down last week to play with another set of the cubes that I bought.  This time I used a darker blue bead and alternated the fire polish crystals in the center of the bracelet.  (It's all Cindy Wimmer's fault that now I am playing with black and gray beads!! I am sure there is a beaded necklace and bracelet coming in those colors! hehe)
As I finished it up it just seemed to need something!
So I tightened the center by pulling the sides in with seeds and adding a sweet little edging along the sides.  It worked out perfect!  Both bracelets have a very substantial weighty feel to them when worn.

I mentioned that I am going to be teaching at The Bead Hive in Coopersburg.  I am rather excited about it.  I am going to be teaching a combination of old and new patterns there.  I am starting off in September with one of my favorites that I designed when I was first venturing into design.  It is called Sage Gold.  I have made this in several colorways and it is a great beginners project.  If you happen to be in the area, I hope that you will join us!!  I will be teaching this project on Saturday September 25th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

School is back in session and we are in full swing with soccer season.  I will leave you with a couple of pics of my boys getting into the swing of things!  Needless to say I am proud of them both!

Have a great day!!  ~Nancy