Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mistakes Were Made- Again!

You would think that once was enough, but I made the same mistake again.  I made both earrings face the same way.
Based on Bottled Bead tutorial by Nicole Hanna
It took me two weeks to finish the second earring; other things just kept getting in the way.  I was pretty near bending the last wire when it struck me that I had both earrings facing the same way.  The problem is that when I follow the tutorial for the second earring I do not stop to think that it should be facing in the opposite direction.  Have you ever done this?  Tutorials and wire weaving are certainly out of my comfort zone.

Earrings based on a tutorial by Nicole Hanna
Maybe I should make a second pair facing the opposite way and in that way obtain a two perfectly good sets of earrings? 

Despite all that these did turn out lovely.  I still swear by Nicole Hanna's tutorials.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Practice Makes a Good Gift

I continue to practice my wireweaving.  I made these earrings for my mother.

from Cupcake Earring tutorial by Nicole Hanna

I apologize for the picture quality- Android phones are not the best way to populate a beading blog.  Nonetheless, I thought it would be a good opportunity to post something.

I am really enjoying learning this new skill.  I like the results. 

It is keeping me busy while I ponder my next bead woven piece.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

First things first...

Bead Hoarders jasper necklace with hand made clasp and pearl and beaded bead strap
As you can see from the caption, the focal is Jasper.  I bought this at a bead show where I swore I did not need a thing and was not going to buy anything.  Yeah, that did not quite work as planned.

Glass copper colored edge beads
I love this jasper, it has wine, olive sometimes bordering on mustard, and cream colors. What is not to love?  It is a great size, approximately 40 mm x 30 mm. 

The two sides have different colored edging:

Copper Edging

The other side is edged in olive:

Glass olive colored edge beads

Due to poor planning on my part I did not capture enough photos during the daylight hours.  Unavailable is a clear view of the brass cut beads embellishing the edge of the focal.

What I did capture was a picture of the hand made clasp on the bust.
Hand made clasp, based on tutorial by Nicole Hanna

Bead hoarders special
If you have visited me before you will know that my first love is seed beads.  You will also know that I am just learning how to weave wire and my go-to source for tutorials is Nicole Hanna.  I really am just learning.  I have made a couple of pairs of earrings and done a little bit of design exploration.  It is easier than it appears.  I want to design my own clasps and this is a start.

One last picture before you make your way to the other participants of the necklace on a bust.  Again, poor planning, I took the photos in the late afternoon on a day off, and this was the best I had.

Finally, thank you to Lori Anderson for hosting this blog hop and providing the opportunity to share and the push to create.  Thank you for visiting.  The other participants are linked below.

Lori Anderson  (Hostess)

Audrey Belanger
Jenny Kyrlach
Kathy Lindemer
Lori Schneider
Dee Elgie
Dolores Raml
Rebecca Ednie Http://
Lili Krist
Marybeth Rich
Hannah Rosner
Nicole Prince
Deana Hager
Jackie Ryan
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Mowse Doyle
Evelyn Shelby
Lisa Johnson
Terri Gauthier
Patti Pruhs
Shai Williams
Andrea Glick
K Hutchinson
Marci Brooks
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Jasvanti Patel
Laurie Vyselaar
Lisa Knappenberger
Mary Lindell
Niky Sayers
Sandra McGriff
Patricia Handschuh
Erin Prais-Hintz
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Kathleen Breeding
Monique Urquhart
Jackie Locantore
Sheryl Stephens
Becky Pancake
Mona Arnott
Michelle Escano
Denise McCabe
Carolyn Lawson
Sheila Prose
Kim Dworak
Iveth Caruso
Deborah Apodaca
Elizabeth Bunn
Janine Lucas
Kari Asbury
Inge von Roos
Divya N
Debbie Rasmussen
KJ  (You Are Here)
Klaudete Koon
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp
Ginger Bishop
Kelly Schermerhorn
Mischelle Andrade 
Sue Kelly
Rachel Mallis!Blog/c1jlz
Susan McClelland
Mary K McGraw
Tania Spivey
Stephanie Perry
Mitzie Crider
Nicole Rennell
Nicole Valentine
Karen Mitchell
Tammy Adams
Patty Miller
Blanca Medina
Stephanie Haussler
Roxanne Mendoza
Claire Fabian
Bridget Torres
Donetta Farrington
Lee Koopman
Deb Fortin
Susan Walls
Cece Cormier
Heather Otto
Lizzie Clarke
Elizabeth Hodges
Fay Wolfenden
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Nan Smith
Jayne Capps
Robin Kae Reed                             
Melissa Trudinger                         

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Learning Curves

It has been a while.  I moved south 550 miles,  I bought a condo that I am planning on retiring in.  I kept my same job but at a new office; then my office moved.  I work enough over-time each and every week that when my neighbors see me they ask me if I have been given time off. I received a promotion on Friday, and will begin training for my new job immediately after the holidays; thank goodness for that thoughtful scheduling.

Adapted from Nicole Hanna's Darling Dangles
I am almost unpacked.  I have studio space and my beads are unpacked, but I still have organizing to do.

All that being said, I have been in love with beads for way to many years to give it up.  I am easing myself back into creating but you will forgive me if my plate remains a bit full for the next half year.

When last I posted I was making an attempt to learn wire weaving with the help of Nicole Hanna tutorials.  I cannot say enough good things about Nicole's tutorials.  The price point is good.  The instructions clear.  And, based on the few pieces I have done I think that wire weaving is a skill that I can acquire with a bit more practice.  My skills do not do justice to Nicole's work.

One of the other skills I need to work on is photography.  I think I just live a tilted life.

 It took me quite a while to make these, but I imagine that I could get much quicker over time.   I will find out, I am planning on making a second pair.  

Darling Dangles Earrings view II

Darling Dangles view III

One final picture. 

If this is something you would like to learn I do encourage you to visit Niccole's site and give it a try. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's A Clasp

It's A Clasp

I feel like I cheated.  This is not what I envisioned. However, it works.

Okay, so why do I feel like I cheated? Because I bought some tutorials from Nicole Hanna.  This clasp is a very slight adaptation from her Hang My Heart Earrings.  

Here is a bad picture of my first attempt at her tutorial next to half of the finished clasp:
Side by side results

Alternate hooks

I used larger wires and added a few more weaves to compensate for the larger wires.  I also only used the central element of her earring design.

I fabricated three different hooks for the clasp.  I am not going to keep the hook in the picture at the top of this blog; I think it is too weak.  Instead I will use the hook with the flower embellishment pictured to the right.

I like the hook with the weaving but it is far from smooth when actually trying to hook the clasp.

I have been considering constructing my own findings for years.  I was pushed into doing more than mere contemplation by Cindy Wimmer's The Missing Link book and the lack of a multi-strand clasp for the necklace I am making.

I think I made a mistake when my first attempt at making a wire woven clasp was for a multi-strand necklace.  A simple single strand clasp or a toggle and bar clasp would have been a better choice at this stage.  Nonetheless, I am happy with the results.  Here is the serviceable but not quite so pretty back:
The multi-strand back

One more picture for the blog with a ruler to give you an idea of the size.

Some final thoughts:
  • I want more practice- especially with those curls. 
  • I want to do more design, but that requires better skills and more practice.  
  • Tool marks are like thread, they really show up in pictures more so than to the unaided eye.
  • I want to keep doing this.   
Oh, and all errors are my own and not a reflection of the fabulous work and tutorials of Nicole Hanna.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Still Experimenting

At least snow days are good for experimenting on creating multi-strand clasps.

Here is my best try:

Almost There
I think this will eventually work.  However, it is just a part of what I envision the clasp to be. 

Although photos show every little imperfection, I need more practice to get the weaving more even.  I also  need more practice at weaving into the loops. I suspect I might need to go to a three or four base wire weave.  In other words I still have a lot of experiments ahead but I do feel like I am making progress. 

Let me show you another test piece:

Multiple Experiments
There were lots of experiments going on here. 

From the right to left  let me walk you through the process.

The loops on the right were made after the weave was started.  Not a bad option, and maybe it is my just my skill set, but the I could not keep the base aligned. 

As you can see, the loops in the middle are jump rings.  This was a good idea but I could not get the jump rings evenly sited on the base wire.  You can see the one on the right sits lower than the one on the left.

The non-loop on the left was another good idea but it just seemed unworkable when I tried it.  It could be that it was at the end of a day of experiments and I was tired. 

All these thoughts are good.  I need more practice wire weaving. I also need to figure out further embellishments to draw the eye away from what is inherently uneven when adding loops. 

What I have not mentioned so far is this does not include the hook and eye part of the clasp.  This part of the experiment is just to add the strands to the clasp.  I think I had better start practicing the three base wire weave and perhaps a four wire base, I might just need all those wires to pull this off.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Have I ever mentioned that I think clasps play an important role in finishing your jewelry?  That a clasp can make or break a piece?  That a clasp should reflect your piece in weight, content, and style? 

I think I have failed to mention that I never have enough clasps in my stash.  I particularly do not have enough multi-strand clasps.  I do not have a single multi-strand clasp in anything other than sterling.  With all of my beads I still need more clasps.

So, I began experimenting. 

I am working on a multi-strand necklace using these links from "The Missing Link:" 

I am experimenting with making my own clasps.  Promise not to laugh?  Here is my first attempt:

Okay, not bad for someone who does not weave wire.  The thought was good, the execution needs a bit more practice.

So, my second attempt:

This one I did not even try to finish.  It was not working. The 16 gauge wire for the base was okay, but the connector loops were not the right choice.

The third attempt was better yet:

Adding the connectors as jump rings was the right solution.  Making the jump rings (furthest left) in 16 gauge was the wrong choice- 20 gauge was a better balance. 

My conclusion, the theory is good, the design is going in the right direction.  Execution needs a lot more practice. 

Practice does pay off.  Take a look at the first two links I did and the final links:

There is improvement.

I am going to keep experimenting.  I am going to think some more about design.  I will also see what I have in my stash to put together the necklace without making a clasp.  I am thinking I can use the spacer bars i bought at Beadfest to reduce the strands and use a single strand clasp.  It just might work.

Just in case your interested, the other parts of the necklace include these beads:

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.