A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Long Time No Bracelets

So I've been incubating these. I churned them out over last weekend--it was so fun! I dug into my lampwork stash, and finally used the copper buttons I made several months ago. This one below has recycled glass in sea green from Happy Mango Beads (I am almost out of these and they are out of stock. Somebody heeeelp meeeeeeee), rustic olive green Indonesian glass seed beads also from Happy Mango, gorgeous lampwork I received in a bead swap from the lovely Alice Peterson (I wish I knew who made them...Alice, can you remind me where they came from?) and genuine turquoise.
Olive Grove on the Aegean
This one is all plums and coffee browns. I started with my new stash of recycled glass beads from Happy Mango--round ones in plum and these nifty little cupped flower shapes in dark amber brown--and combined them with berry and lilac moukaite, Czech crackle glass, purple aventurine, and coffee-brown porcelain discs on nut brown Irish linen cording.
Plums in my Coffee
These lampwork beads caught my eye, I have a thing for vertical stripes on lampwork, and since I had lots of red, orange and white beads I decided to just go with that. (I got this lampwork at my one and only trip to Hobby Lobby, when I was in Billings one year for the holidays--which is about 8 hours away by car. It's a good thing, if there was one nearby I'd be broke.) The little discs are carnelian, the big oval and small faceted round are red agate, the faceted orange ovals are orange aventurine, and the white lozenges are snow quartz (LOVE these beads). The red seed beads are Indonesian glass from Happy Mango.
Chili Pepper
For this one I used some of my favorite lampwork in my stash, which I don't think I have ever successfully used (I used them in a pair of earrings once which were "meh", so I took them apart)--dark olive scrollwork over a toasted marshmallow ground from My Lampwork Garden (see, it took me so long to use them the shop closed, like a year ago.) I combined them with my new recycled glass from Happy Mango in plum and green (I LOVE LOVE LOVE these little tulip beads, I'd run away with them to Sandals if I could), more Czech crackle glass, and an oval of saguaro jasper.
Forest Flowers
This bracelet is practically orgiastic (I love that word) in its autumn color. I was possessed by some kind of autumnal spirit. It all started with the speckled lampwork from Bebes Glass Beads which has some kind of power over me. I combined the lampwork with recycled glass (of course) in green, one little sliver of amber, a Czech table cut glass pear (LOVE this bead), aragonite, and green opal (which in this case are actually golden.)
Orgy in Autumn
Oddly enough, I think this is my favorite bracelet from this lot. The inspiration was from the button, which had a super dark detail and interesting rosy/peachy colors--I put it under the iron (as I did with the others) after I LOS'd it to bring up the color. I used my new lava beads from Happy Mango (I'm in love with lava), a lovely stoneware bead from JJPotteryBeads, more of Kelley Wenzel's mauve and ivory "dragon eye" beads (love these, I still have some left-YAY!), moukaite, batik pattern bone beads, a little lampwork spacer in rosy peach from the lovely Michelle at The Spacer Bead Shop, and my last wood dragonfly bead (which I got at my only trip to Michael's, which is three hours away--also a good thing.)
And I just got started on my brass button stash with this one and then I ran out of steam. More old lampwork (from another shop that has closed, like a year ago) in delicious pale strawberry/apricot and toasted vanilla, combined with more moukaite, another of these fabulous stoneware beads, a couple more of Michelle's rosy peach spacers, and my own brass beadcaps and headpins.
So there you have it. I will undoubtedly be using up the rest of my brass buttons so there will be more of these. Now I have to go start working on some roman shades for the living room. And I'm totally making it up as I go along. I couldn't figure out a way to make them with duct tape so I have to sew. Sewing makes me cry.


  1. Gorgeous bracelets!!! I love how they are the same style but each has their own personality!
    Those lampwork beads are from Silvertwisted on ebay. I have lost track of her after so many left ebay. I'm going to have a look a the Happy Mango site, though I don't really need to spend more money. Thanks for sharing your lovely creations with us! Very inspiring!

  2. Your bead collection is awesome, Keirsten... don't you love it when these long-ago-bought-and-nearly-forgotten purchases poke their heads up for inspiration at just the right time? Love your designs!

  3. I always love your bracelets, but in this case, I'd head for the Orgy. If I'd made any of those etched buttons myself, I'd be using up my lampwork stash, too! (I do have three whole strands of those recycled glass beads if you're really desperate.....)

  4. Oh my....there is no way I could pick a favorite! All are gorgeous!

  5. I love the rustic look of these bracelets!

  6. Wow! What a pile of pretty! They are all stunning, I'm really digging the plummy ones...Dragonfly, Plums in my Coffee, and Sherbet.

  7. Hi Keirsten! I tracked down the woman who made those lampwork beads. She just emailed me and we talked about these very beads! lol I love these bracelets!
    This is her info:
    Handmade Lampwork Beads and Jewelry
    www.TeaguesBeads.etsy.com <
    Beads on Ebay! ID: SilverTwisted


  8. Beautiful bracelets Keirsten! Love them all!

  9. Your use of color and texture - flawless! And just for the record, sewing makes me cry, too.

  10. I love all of your bracelets! Your use of color, shapes and textures always excites me! You also make me want to learn to etch metal - but I'm scared of icky chemicals!! ;-)

    1. You know I was at first too, but I was surprised how easy the ferric chloride is to use. No fumes, no smell even. I've even gotten it on my skin and it was no big deal, just rinsed it off. (If you get it on a paper cut that's a different story--it's like lemon juice!) You just keep baking soda or ammonia (they're both alkaline) on hand for spills, and I just pour the stuff back in the bottle when I'm done--you can reuse it until it stops working and that apparently takes a long time because I'm still on my first bottle! The only thing kind of annoying about it is that it will stain--iron ("ferric") is that way. I would go for it! It's really no big deal. The biggest challenge is getting the resist onto the metal. I'm planning a post in the next month or two on using PressnPeel sheets with digital images.

  11. Everything is really amazaing!!!