August Component of the Month – Caroline Dewison!

AAAANNNDDD another month has gone by, and this time it was Caroline Dewison’s turn to provide the component for the Art Elements Design Challenge!  She sent these!

Beautiful celestial beads!  As usual, I did not take a photo of my set, but hey, you’ll see them below!  So drumroll….. here’s what I made!

I did another spiral stitch necklace, with Star Sapphire size 8 and 11 beads, and some gold plated hex beads (all found at Bead Fest because I remembered to bring the set Caroline sent me so I could match beads!!!!) Proud of me! The hex beads mimic the starts on the ceramic round perfectly!

I used a ball-and-socket clasp, I really like these when I make a spiral rope necklace, easy to apply and easy to use!

I’m not an “all matchy matchy” person but we did have these great round beads, and since I didn’t use them in the necklace, I decided to make a simple pair of earrings with them!  I like them, I like simple jewelry so there you have it!

Please visit everyone else’s blogs to see what they made! Thank you Caroline, for some great beads! I enjoyed this challenge!

Art Elements Team

Exploring Spiral Stitch and What’s New, a repost from AJE

I thought I’d share this post with you here on my personal blog, in case you didn’t get to see it on the AJE blog.

It’s just been too cold to make beads in my basement, so I have been
concentrating on making beaded ropes with spiral stitch.  In addition,
I’ve been exploring texture within the spiral stitch rope and using
different clasps.  I thought I’d show you some of my experimentation

The very first spiral stitch rope I worked on is in the larger photo – I
used an awesome cab by Diana Ptaszynski, and the colors I used were
perfect!  I then made spiral stitch ropes to go with my own ammonite
cab, my own lampwork heart bead, and ceramic pendants by Diana and
Lesley Watt. I love how they all turned out. They were all made using
only size 11 beads in two colors, with the exception of the one I made
with my lampwork heart – I used one single color on that rope, and
although it’s hard to see, the beads have a really great rainbow effect.

In this photo above, you can see what pattern you get when you use only
size 11 seed beads.  This is pretty basic, easy to stitch up, and fun to
do.  You can get a lot done in a short period of time!

I decided I wanted some more texture in my spiral ropes, so for the next
two pendants (from White Clover Kiln) I used size 11s as the base row,
and used a pattern of a 15, a 15, an 8, a 15 and a 15 for the spiral
row.  I also used buttons for the closures this time, instead of toggle
clasps. The first button was a sort of flower pewter design that matched
the pendant, and the second button was an antiqued copper button that
matches the color in the pendant perfectly!

 In the photo above, you can see the texture that the different size beads lend to the design.

These two photos are closeups of the pattern of beads and the texture. 
You can achieve awesome looks with this pattern – imagine how many
combinations of bead colors you could use!

I think right now, this is my favorite pattern for spiral stitch!

Finally, I used a base row of 8s and a spiral row of 4 11s in this
example that was my CoM for February from Melissa Meman.  I love the
colors I used, and I love the angelite I used to accent Melissa’s
wonderful copper clay pendant.  However, the stitch of using 8s and 11s
is too loose for me; I maybe have a control issue, because I just can’t
stand the looseness of this pattern.

The spiral row just doesn’t lay nicely on the 8s based on the pattern of
three size 8 seed beads and four size 11 seed beads.  This pattern was
learned from Jill Wiseman’s Beaded Ropes book – I think it would be
better if I hadn’t followed the directions exactly and instead of going
through three size 8 beads whenever I was stitching a new row, I should
have gone through 4 size 8 beads.  I think that would have made the
stitch tighter.  I’ll try that if I ever do another rope in this pattern
of beads.

Finally, I made some clasps and bead caps the other day, so I thought
I’d show you a photo of them!  I was pretty happy with the way they
turned out! These are the bead caps – I made them out of the cutout
section of the clasps!  I textured them, punched the holes, dapped them,
antiqued with liver of sulpher, and then tumbled for a couple of hours.
I love the heft and richness!  I will be making more for sale in my
etsy store.

I was clasp deficient, so I made some copper clasps.  I punched them out
with my pepe disc cutter, punched the middles out, textured, dapped,
antiqued and tumbled.  The toggle bars are made from FREE 12 gauge
electrical wire I got from Jason from a job we were doing – I formed
them, hammered the ends, antiqued and tumbled these as well.  I love how
the hammered ends look.  Two sizes will also be available in my etsy
shop too!

And finally, my next project – this clasp held an envelope together on a
card Jason got me for Valentine’s Day!  It’s all the more special
because we were in Sint Maarten when he gave it to me (Dutch side).

And here’s the necklace I made with it! I used some of my favorite
beads, turquoise teardrops, turquoise tubes and freshwater pearls,
separated by silver beads.  I used two figure 8 connectors to connect it
to the heart. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out! 

Thanks for stopping by today and seeing what I’ve been up to since I
haven’t been making glass beads.  Are you learning anything new?

Susan Kennedy
SueBeads Etsy Store
SueBeads Web Site
SueBeads Blog

December CoM with Diana Ptaszynski

The December Component of the Month challenge was provided by Diana Ptaszynski – snowflake pendants, how appropriate.  Although here in Pittsburgh, I think we had .10 inches of snow in December…so much for a horrible winter!  I chose this white pendant, and as usual, didn’t photograph it before I started working on it.  In my defense, I knew right away what I wanted to do, so…

 I made a spiral rope with two colors of white seed beads!  I was so excited to do this.  I had a false start, in that I wanted to do it with size 8’s and 15’s, but it just wasn’t really working, plus I was trying to do Russian Spiral, which is beyond me at this point.  So I made a simple spiral with size 11 seed beads and I’m still happy!

 I used this toggle clasp that I just purchased from Lesley Watt, and it went perfectly!

 Here’s a closeup of the spiral rope and the two colors of beads. 

I hope you enjoyed the CoM reveal this month!  Check out what everyone else made!

Monthly Winners

AJE Blog Team