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).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Turquoise Overdose!

I finally finished a whole set of turquoise button-type stuff. Here it is:

The Bracelet (sold--but I'm making another one)  
(Little verdigris copper heart by Missficklemedia)

The necklace:

The Necklace (I just said that, didn't I?)
And the earrings:

I've just started another similar bracelet (custom order) that will be BIGGER and BETTER!! Because bigger is always better. And my collection of button/disc/ruffled disc beads is burgeoning. Like muffin tops at an IHOP. So look out!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tree of Life

I put this little bracelet together yesterday with one of my new ceramic buttons from Beadfreaky. I just love the rich colors in the button! It's a great size for a focal, about 1 and 1/8". Copper seemed to be the thing, and I did my new technique with a repeating S-shape in copper wire underneath. I attached a few beige glass spacers and a couple roundels of brecciated jasper too. Silk string in cinnamon and deerskin lacing in buckskin finish up the bracelet, along with one of my toggle clasps.

Not having a lot of luck finding nice flat, disc beads so I think I'm going to have to go the button route a lot more. Woo hoo! I love me some buttons.

Oh wow, somebody just bought this. But you can see it in my sold items section in my Etsy shop!

These Buttons Are Really Pushing My Buttons

My "Buy Now" button!! I must have these.

Cindy Lougee has opened a new Etsy shop---CalDESIGNNaturals "Bits 'n Pieces", and is stocking it with the most fabulous bronze and silver buttons. They are scrumptious! I'm all about buttons these days, and when she told me she was planning to start making some buttons in bronze I thought HURRY!!!! Because I just realized I need them. Just now when you told me you were going to make them. I need them.

Check out the rich patina on these tasty little morsels!!

Round buttons--look at the color!!
Leaf buttons
Triangle buttons
And check out this already-sold (DANG) sweetness:

Flower buttons!--I'm loving these
Fine silver leaf buttons
Fine silver square buttons--are those not cool?
Aren't they gorgeous? Think of the design possibilities...Go to her Facebook fan page and beg her to make more!! I am.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


The globe-trotting, visionary directrice at Happy Mango Beads, Rudi Taylor, turned me onto their ancient Roman glass beads, and challenged me to dream up a design incorporating them. These glass disc beads are both beautiful and fascinating:

"This ancient Roman glass was found in the Nimroz province of Afghanistan and dates between 900 & 1200 years old, it was excavated 4-5 years ago. Glass has not been produced in this area for 900 years. The iridescence is caused by the centuries of decomposing and weathering of the hydrated silica (sand used in making the glass)."

Every one of the little pieces of artistic history in this piece is completely different--the hues vary from ephemeral celery to sea green to palest aqua; some are glassy clear like shallow coastal waters, and some are milky like frosted glass; some bear creamy accretions like sea spume and barnacles; some are chunky and rustic; some are delicate and wafer thin. Most are about the size of a penny or a nickel.

I wanted to make the most of the colors, textures and shapes of these glass wafers, and so decided to use them as you would a button, so that most of their surface would be showing. I fastened them onto a hand-forged base of sterling silver wire with ball headpins, reinforcing and embellishing them with other disc beads made of turquoise, bone, glass, and sterling silver. (You'll recall the necklace I did with brass, lampwork and wood discs recently--that was a bit of a prototype for this one):

  Roughly tumbled, watery aquamarines and bone beads in ivory seemed a natural compliment to these beads, as did deerskin lacing in a soft palomino color. Hammered, hand-formed beadcaps in nickel, and a pewter toggle clasp mirror the sterling silver wire.


If you're curious how this necklace was created, check out the tutorial, and see more of Happy Mango Beads ancient Roman treasures.