statement necklace

I got nothing for today, so I thought I’d just add in a collage of my most recent photo shoot with Danielle.

All of these pieces of jewelry are available on my Etsy.  Some might be on clearance!

Another challenge piece FINISHED!

Yesterday, I talked about my newest team, the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild.  They have regular themed challenges (which they call “Bead Fests”) and this most recent challenge was “Steampunk.”  The deadline isn’t until the 31st, but I have a lot to do this month, so wanted (and was inspired) to get it done early.
Steampunk is an interesting design melding of Victorian romanticism and modern technology.  Often, this style uses antique style keys, locks, hearts and cogs.  It melds them with ruffles, lace and silks.  There are a few really great books on the market just now that discuss Steampunk style; in fashion it is growing as a mainstream “look.”

You may want to take a look at Diane Hyde’s website “Beadpunk” for inspirational items.

Good examples of steampunk style are found in the movies Hellboy II, Sherlock Holmes, League of Extraordimary Gentlemen and Wild Wild West.

From Wikipedia:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternate history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman.

Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre.

You can read more about it here

The design started with a couple of pieces I purchased from Diane Hyde years ago at Bead & Button.  I’ve been hoarding them just waiting for the right piece to put them into.  You can actually purchase them on her website (link is above).

To this, I added a stamped art nouveau face cabochon I bought from her, but can’t find on her website.  I had three Chinese crystal HUGE (maybe 25mm) rivolis that I got from Charlene (the owner of Caravan Beads in Chicago), some elk hide, some fluffy fiber fringe and a spherical watch pendant.  I added in a bunch of Swarovski pearls, some pink quartz I got in a bead swap (check out the bead swaps at ) and started my bead embroidery work!

I always work from the center outward, so glued down the floral stampings and face cabochon first and captured them in the beadwork.  For this particular piece, I wanted to learn how to do some diagonal peyote stitch leaves and found the free instructions here!

I don’t think I actually purchased anything for this piece except for the copper tube clasps.  Everything was “in stash.”

You can view more about this piece on my Etsy.

Teams are a community feature on Etsy where you can connect with other members. With Teams, you can meet people with common interests, and collaborate. The Teams feature makes it easy for you to join an existing team or to create, maintain, and promote a new one. It’s also a way for shoppers to browse by theme or location and find shops that might interest them.  Teams sometimes do arts/crafts fairs in real life, promote each other’s shops and hold challenges or contests.

I am part of a number of teams on Etsy and I’ll speak about a few more of my teams tomorrow.  But today, I want to talk about one of the more active teams I’m part of.

From the team announcement; “The Etsy Beadweavers Team is made up of bead artists who aspire to successfully market their beadwoven creations on and elsewhere. As such the EBW Team has two areas of focus:1) Practical business help, including sales promotion by networking, marketing and creating awareness of beadweaving as an art. 2)Artistic inspiration, instruction and encouragement.. The Beadweavers’ creations are different from many of the traditional beaded items, in that they are woven from hundreds or thousands of tiny beads to create intricate designs and pictures. These weavings take the form of both art and jewelry. Each piece takes many hours to complete, with some larger pieces taking weeks or even months.”

Each month, the Etsy Beadweavers pose a challenge to their members.  Many of these pieces are some of the most creative beadweaving pieces I’ve seen.

Winter Sunrise (photo above) was created for the October Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, “Misty Winters Sunrise.” I went ahead and completely missed the mark on the muted/misty part of this, but perhaps my teammates will put up with me when they look at the last photo and see my inspiration. I get a little bit sidetracked by color sometimes. The photograph was taken by Robert Herst. See how everyone else fit the misty, muted part of this challenge by visiting our team blog, between today and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.

17.5″ necklace in 45mm (2″) focal bead, decorated with a black skeletal tree and a full rising sun on a graduated background. Focal is made of Italian glass and is semi-matte. Toggle clasp, Czech glass, Swarovski crystal and seed beads.  Cannot be lengthened or shortened, sorry.

My lampwork focal beads are annealed in a digitally controlled kiln for lasting durability and cleaned using a diamond Dremel bit.  Beads vary a little in size and shape since they are all individually made. Some parts are sculptural and therefore thicker or raised.

Incidentally, this technique is an embellished spiderweb necklace. I have a beginning level tutorial on how you can make your own here

Pictures were taken in a table top photo studio and the bead has been enlarged to show details. Colors may slightly vary on different monitors.

I was all heck-bent on trying to finish up my Kalmbach Bead Soup Party Piece today.

As a background, a while ago I posted about getting my wonderful selection of beads in the mail via Kalmbach Publishing Company.  They were donated from Eva Sherman at Grand River Beads.

The whole idea stemmed from Lori Anderson, who has hosted a “Bead Soup Blog Party” for a couple of years now.  You can read about the original idea here:  Anyhow, Lori has written a book based off her Blog Party called Bead Soup: 32 Projects Show What Happens When 26 Beaders Swap Their Stash.  You can get it on Amazon.  Its less than $14.00

This is my sixth installment on the series and I really just wanted to get the piece done and off to Kalmbach.  However, I think I’ll get another photoshoot before I do that.  You can see the finished piece below, but
I’m going to want a better shot before I put it up for sale and before I send it off to Kalmbach.

This piece ended up using one of my favorite color combos.  Purple and orange look like a fantastic sunset but I haven’t named it yet.  To finish it off, I had to complete the bead embroidery on the collar and then back it with ultrasuede and edge it.  I also had to add the front piece and fringe it (of course).  I know, this doesn’t have a lot of fringe on it for one of my pieces.  I might go back and add more.

 I have to tell you that while I was edging, I planned on adding the fringe at the same time but I was watching this silly show in which three guys compare three cars. I wouldn’t necessarily have stopped on the show except they were trying out these mini cars and it was ridiculous.  To make it even more ridiculous, they took then hunting out in the Louisiana Bayou with some folks who lived down there and… well, you can imagine how that all turned out.  I am embarrassed to admit that by the end of it my sides hurt because I was laughing so hard.

Its actually going to hang quite a bit lower on a person – below the neck, not around it.  I’ll have to get my lovely model Danielle involved so you can really see it.

I’m a little behind on posting treasuries this month!  Here are three:

Royalty by Monkenstein
Lavish designs, lush colors… extravagance!

If you’d like to see more by Monkestein, head here.


Here’s Rum & Raisins, featuring the same necklace by me and by gr8jewellery

You can see more by gr8jewellry at

Trinitydj has been featured in some of my other treasury eye candy spots.  Here she is with Hunted Treasure… and found plenty.  Again, with the same necklace!

That’s it for today!  Enjoy!

So…  I just found an online program called Pixlr and it might be my favorite thing this week.  I’m pretty sure my friend Val told me about it earlier, but my memory isn’t so great.  It allows for a lot of the same tools as Photoshop, plus they have this handy collage program.  The below collages took me something like 5 minutes each.
First, here’s a set of bead embroidered bracelets.  They are available for sale here:
And here’s a set of beaded collars.  The top right one was made for the Use The Muse Contest 3.  The top left won third place in the beads and jewelry category at the Vegas Glass Craft Expo 2011.  The bottom left won the Bead Embroidery Category for the use the Muse Contest 2.  All of them are available for sale on my website.
And finally, here’s a set of sold pieces of jewelry.  I can make them to order if there’s something below you’d like.  Since each is one of a kind, you’ll have to allow for variations, however.