The Search for the Source

This is so very helpful – if we all did this Pinterest would be an even more useful place! Thank you Westcott jewellery.

Wescott Jewelry

Despite the fantasy novel title, this post is about something pragmatic and useful – finding and crediting original designers of jewelry on the internet!

We’ve all experienced the annoyance of finding a picture of a beautiful piece of jewelry and having no idea where it comes from.  This is frustrating both for the beader looking to buy a pattern and for the designer whose work is floating around the internet without credit. Luckily, there is an easy way to solve this!

I have noticed that Pinterest in particular tends to have a lot of dead pins (pictures without sources or designer credit), so I’m going to use Pinterest in my example. This method will work just as well for any situation where you need to find the original source of a photo, though.

So, let’s say you are scrolling around Pinterest and you see a bracelet that you just love.

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Curizo

I love Sabine Lippert‘s work – the techniques she uses are incredibly clever but often simple to bead, and the results are wonderfully exuberant, beadtastic pieces.  When she created her Rizo beads a while back I bought a copy of her Curizo design so that I could use them in the way she’d intended, and I fell in love with it.  So much that I made another, and then when I needed to put something together in a hurry  for a wedding this weekend, another.  They’re quick to bead – 3-4 hours for me, and use my current bead binge favourite chatons.  And I love them, and other people love them (although the smallest boy sadly loves them so much that he bust the chain on the white one last week).

Recipe

Turquoise – Opaque turquoise rizos, opaque olive 3mm fire polished, crystal AB Swarovski chatons and 3mm bicones, silver duracoat miyuki seeds.

White – Opaque matte white rizos, opaque lime 3mm fire polished, sunflower Swarovski chatons and 3mm bicones, silver duracoat miyuki seeds.

Grey and Opal – Brown Iris Matte rizos, silver 3mm fire polished, white opal Swarovski chatons, white opal czech small teardrop beads.

Tips

I don’t have many tips for this one, it’s really very lovely to bead and works perfectly.  I quite like to thread the chain or cord through the whole finished piece (as I did with the white and lime version), although that then leaves you with quite a short piece.  For the grey and opal version and the original turquoise I’ve added a loop – the former needs to go with a specific dress with quite a low neckline, so long was the only option.

If you’d like some matching earrings like my turquoise ones, simply complete the flower shape and capture the chaton, then add a loop to hang.

Variations

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For the final version, in the step where you would add fire polished beads and crystals I simply used fire polished, and then in the final joins I put Czech drops where the fire polished would have been.  I did this because I didn’t have any 3mm bicones in the right colour (and have bought far too many beads lately so didn’t want to buy any more).  On reflection the drops don’t really go with the rizos I used, and the cube shape is more visible (the others look more like a ball which is easier to wear), so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this variation.

And next…..

Some lovely Heliotrope chatons have just arrived from the States, and I’ve got some fab neon Rizos (Robin’s Beads), and neon fire polished beads (More Beads 4 U – Etsy) – quite a flambouyant Curizo this time.

Finished in the nick of time.

Why is it that I work so much better under pressure?  Or is it that I just think I do because I am a hideous procrastinator and it makes a good excuse?  Either way I have had nearly a year to get my four pieces done for this years Stitch ‘n’ Craft Four Seasons challenge, but with a week to go I was still faffing around with the construction of Autumn.  Pretty fundamental stuff…..

Anyway, I gave up at about 10.30 on Friday night, and in the cold light of day (OK the very warm and humid light of yesterday) I’m reasonably content with the pieces as a whole and my final work on Autumn is just fine.  I can’t show you any of them properly as that would spoil things, but there is a taster above.  All peyote pretty much (have reverted to my beadweaving roots), and only one piece using delicas (so running away from my roots there).  I labeled them up last night while dear husband was at a glamorous party, so tomorrow morning I need to scribble a quick note about presentation (‘please put necklace on bust, looks a bit odd otherwise, don’t really mind about the rest’), and then pack them up ready for posting.   And then I am free – at least for a couple of days and then back to prepping for the Folksy featured shop and coping with the school holidays.

So for this year at least I can bid a fond farewell to the four pieces that took over my beading life – adieu to ‘Crystal Garland’; ‘Tumbling Leaves’; ‘A ********* for Oscar ‘ (sorry, can’t give you the full name because it spoils it); and ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’.   Bye Bye.

PS I rather suspect dearest husband would rather I didn’t enter next year – something to do with stress, obsession – not sure?  He may be right because it does rather completely take over, but I’m reserving judgement until I know what next year’s challenge is……….sorry darling, and happy 7th wedding anniversary my sweet.  XXX

Trepidation……

The lovely people at Folksy mailed me today to let me know that they’d featured one of the pieces from my Folksy Shop on their Facebook page, and that it had generated lots of interest.  It was the lovely Jean Power designed collar I laboured over for so long last year, and is a very stunning piece and much deserving of all the attention (although the credit really needs to go to Jean for the design).  I’ve only sold one piece since I put the shop together 3 years ago, but their single photo post generated over 600 views for the item which needless to say is a very very significant uplift.  No buyers, but I’ve never been convinced I want to sell it anyway……….

Even more scarily they have asked me to be a featured shop later next month.  This is very exciting, but also pretty terrifying.  I’m going to have to knuckle down to get the shop ready to make the most of this opportunity, which means getting as many completed items listed as possible, ordering more packaging, and sorting through all those nearly finished pieces to see what might work.  Plus I need to put together stuff for the feature itself, and actually think about why I bead in the first place……scary.  

But first I must must get that Stitch N Craft challenge piece finished and post the whole set off as the deadline is starting to loom and having worked so hard I can’t bear to miss out on entering.  If number 2 child could finish cutting his third and most painful tooth I would be really grateful.

 

Birthday beaded bead update

Well my quick and easy necklace didn’t turn out to be quite so quick in the end. I pressed out the pleats in the shibori ribbon a bit as planned, but it still didn’t look right just simply knotted and draped. So I decided to add a clasp, which meant end caps as well:

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The ring is an adaptation of Sabine Lippert’s Bling Ring, and the end caps and toggle bar I made up myself using embellished RAW. I’ve left one end unfinished for now so that Mummy can choose the final length herself. It’s all packed up in a nice box with the beads I’ll need to complete it plus needle and thread in a little bag, so I can get it finished when she is ready to decide.

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She seems to like it, and also enjoyed her traditional annual birthday day out with the family at Kew Gardens, and then tea, cake, and finally fizz chez nous. The new Barefoot Walk at Kew was particularly fun, especially when number one son got stuck in calf deep mud – such a lovely experience that I couldn’t be cross when he then fell over.

Size matters

I found some wonderfully wierd rondelles in my local bead shop.  They’re rondelles, but have a strange matt rubbery coating, rather like ‘soft touch’.  The colours are very vivid, and they make a lovely change from conventional crystals.  I’m using them for a bangle I’ve made before – Jean Power’s Affinity Bangle, but having made a couple of samples I can’t quite decide which size of seed beads to use.  She suggests 11s and 8s, so I started with those in a matte black using the fuschia rondelles.  But they seem a bit small, so I’ve also tried 8s and 6s in copper with the lime rondelles.  But they seem too big.  It could well be that  the colours and finishes are affecting the appearance – the matte black beads shrinking away and the coppers shining and seeming larger than life, but the trouble with beading is that it takes so long to complete a piece that you don’t want to spend time until you’re happy.  Dearest husband thinks stick with the black, which is good as I have the beads already (always helps), but the 8s and 6s will make a gloriously chunky piece (very Suzanne Golden).  Ah well, I need to knuckle down and get on with ‘Spring’ so I shall put them aside for now and get on.

Beginning………

I’m normally quite a together, decisive kind of person, but there is something about beading which makes me dither.  Sometimes I spend longer looking through my stash (or thinking about buying yet more beads) than I do on a finished piece, so this blog is an attempt to get over that.  I’m going to try to dive into my work, to document my ideas and decisions, and just damm well get on with it.

This will undoubtedly be thwarted pretty much immediately by a number of things.  The first – two small boys.  One aged 4 years (hereafter known as boy number 1) and one aged 6 months (boy number 2).  Boy number 2 is the reason I’m on maternity leave for a while longer, boy number 1 is the reason I won’t get anything done ever again.  He currently has chicken pox, which on the positive side has given me the time to get this blog going (as we should actually be abroad on holiday at the moment, not sitting on the sofa trying not to scratch).  The second is a fear of waste – I can’t bear to use beads or spend time on something which won’t be perfect.  There is always a ‘what if’ – what if I used that colour I don’t have so need to buy so must wait for it to arrive, what if I use an inelegant thread path, what if I can’t repeat things, what if it all unravels and falls apart aargh.   So I will have to grit my teeth and get over it.  Or maybe just re-organise my stash again, that always makes me feel better.

However, I should admit now that things haven’t started well – it took me a month to choose a blog name.  It was only when I realised that I was dithering that inspiration struck and the name was born.