Secret Bead-Along with Jean Powers – Summer 2016

Hello!

So, a few posts back, I mentioned that I was participating in this summer’s Secret Bead-along, hosted by Jean Powers. You maaay have noticed that the bead along was almost a full month ago and I am SO sorry for keeping you all waiting. Without any more delay, here is my finished result! DSC01813

So, I did do a teensy bit of tweaking. Jean did provide a beaded rope that I decided not to do and I did leave out one or two beaded beads that I just didn’t like. I will elaborate!

The first task was to make fifteen peyote tubes, which we then turned into beaded beads. Here are all 15 beaded beads on the Harry Potter wand my best friend made me!

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The beads were divided up into five days worth, doing three a day. The first day’s beads were made of all seed beads. Day two was MiniDuos and day three was Czech beads. Day four was Brick beads and the day five was crystals.

Two of the beads with MiniDuos did not work for me. Jean mentioned in the pattern that some of the beads may come out wonky because of different brands and finishes, but honestly, they were just NOT fitting together. Even the pictures in the pattern that Jean used to illustrate the steps had lots of thread showing and ill-fitting beads, so in the end, I decided to cut them apart and leave them out of the final necklace.

The other decision I made was not to make the beaded rope. I started to stitch the rope up and I must admit, I found the directions to be VERY difficult to follow – there were not enough photos and the written description was very confusing. When I finally got the rope going, I liked the look of the filled netting, but there was too much visible thread for my taste. So, I decided to try a different rope.

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The other reason I wanted to try something different for the rope was because my piece was turning out to be very monochromatic. I stuck to colors I was comfortable with, since I didn’t know what the finished project was going to be when I picked them out, but the piece was coming out a little too clay colored.

I decided to use ribbon to bring some color into my finished necklace. I used sari silk in black, dark rose, and a desaturated green to string my beaded beads and then used some pewter end caps to finish it off.

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Overall, I am really happy with my finished piece! There are four or five of the beaded bead designs that I absolutely love and plan on using again in future projects. I haven’t decided if I’ll participate in next years Secret Bead-along, but I am considering this year’s to be a success!DSC01816

 

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New Design – The Compass Star Pendant with Crescents and Twists!

Hello, again, my dears!

I have been a busy bee this past month and have another design ready to show you!

I’m calling these little babies my Compass Star pendants, because the eight-points reminded me of old compass roses, which apparently used to be called Compass Stars.

These pendants are definitely a creative reach for me. I don’t do pendants very often, but I’ve really been enjoying the stark flower shape and simple construction. It uses Czech Twist beads for the petals, a shining rivoli for the center, curving Crescents, Druk beads, and 11/0’s to build the bezel. I’ve made a few samples so far, and I have been having a blast!

DSC01783This first once is full of rosy goodness. The petals on this one are matte, so the Crescents and Rivoli reeeeally pop!

Czech Twists:White Matte Trav Red
Crescents: Saturated Metallic Copper Pink
Rivoli: Mahogany
Druk: Rose Topaz Luster
11/0’s: Ruby Gold Luster

 

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This one is something I would definitely wear. White matte with khaki and olive are delightful, clean colors that I love to wear.

Czech Twists:White Matte
Crescents: Matte Metallic Khaki
Rivoli: Olivine
Druk: Rose Topaz Luster
11/0’s: Matte Khaki Iris

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These blues might be my favorite though. The Crystal AB is so reflective and shiny!

Czech Twists:White Travertine Blue
Crescents: Metallic Suede Dark Green
Rivoli: Crystal AB
Druk: Crystal Green Luster
11/0’s: Silver Lined Emerald AB

I cannot wait to play around with this pattern some more. Once you get the design down, it only takes about an hour to make one, so I bet I’ll be using this design a lot for gifts this year!

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Now, I just need to decide which colors to do next!

 

 

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New Design – The Odessa Cuff with DiamonDuos!

Hello, dear friends! I am so excited to share my newest pattern with you!

Behold! My Odessa Bracelet Cuff!

 

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Click me for pattern link!

I am so excited about this cuff! First off, I have been absolutely in love with these DiamonDuo beads lately. When we got them in at work, I’m pretty sure I spent at least ten minutes just staring at them instead of actually weighing and packaging them like I was supposed to.

I wanted to make a bracelet to really showcase their unique shape and gorgeous color finishes, so I built a base of Tilas and Half-Tilas and used some netting to create this structured cuff! It reminded me of some photos i had seen recently of an Ukrainian opera house – so I named it my Odessa cuff!

Every time I post a new bracelet design, I get a few people that purchase the pattern and then want to know what exact color I used, so I decided to start writing out my color choices for each sample bracelet that I’ve made so far.

DSC01717 So, this bracelet is the first one that I shared on Facebook and it got a lot of attention. (It’s my favorite so far!)
DiamonDuos: Chalk Lumi Green (CW65431)
Tilas: Matte Copper (2005)
Half Tilas: Matte Metallic Blue Gray (2001)
Main 11/0’s: Matte Metallic Silver Gray (2002)
Accent 11/0’s: Unknown (Sorry, guys!)
15/0’s: Sparkle Beige Lined Crystal (1521)

This one was my original prototype. DSC01674
Lots of silvers and grays – very sleek.

DiamonDuos: Concrete Gray (29566)
Tilas: Galvanized Gray Luster (1865)
Half Tilas: Matte Metallic Blue Gray (2001)
Main 11/0’s: Gunmetal (451)
Accent 11/0’s: Union Beads Silver (131-27000)
15/0’s: Steel (190)

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This one was an attempt to break into warmer colors. LOVE those deep blue/green Tilas.

DiamonDuos: Matte Gold (MGD)
Tilas: Matte Metallic Blue Green Iris (2064)
Half Tilas: Dark Bronze (457)
Main 11/0’s: Metallic Blue Iris (452)
Accent 11/0’s: Matte Opaque Lt Cream (2021)
15/0’s: Matte Opaque Lt Cream (2021)

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This pretty clasp by Elegant Elements inspired me to splurge on gold plated Half-Tilas.

DiamonDuos: Matte Black (FJ)
Tilas: Matte Turquoise AB (412fr)
Half Tilas: 24kt Gold Plated (191)
Main 11/0’s: Silver Lined Blue Zircon (1425)
Accent 11/0’s: Black (401)
15/0’s: Galvanized Gold (1052)

 
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After so much color, though, I wanted to retreat to my dark earthtones.

DiamonDuos: Jet Picasso (J434)
Tilas: Matte Bronze (2006)
Half Tilas: Black (401)
Main 11/0’s: Smoky Black Picasso (4511)
Accent 11/0’s: Matte Metallic Silver (2091)
15/0’s: Matte Light Olive (2033)

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And finally, I decided to try some modern fall tones in mustard and cobalt.

DiamonDuos: Chocolate Bronze (14415)
Tilas: Matte Mustard (2312)
Half Tilas: Dark Bronze (457)
Main 11/0’s: Picasso Opaque Cobalt (4518)
Accent 11/0’s: Galvanized Gold (1052)
15/0’s: Galvanized Gold (1052)

Phew! I do have a few more combinations set aside to try out, but I am super stoked by what I have tried out so far. Do you have a favorite? Any color combinations you want to try out? Let me know in the comments!

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Until next time, my dears!

 

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2016 Secret Bead-Along with Jean Powers!

Hello, everybody!

I am planning on participating in this year’s Secret Bead-Along, hosted by Jean Powers. Last summer, some of my friends told me about this really cool project they were all doing, where they received instructions for a secret beading project, and worked up a complicated beaded piece, without ever knowing what they were making. I was intrigued, but when they revealed that the prep work involved peyote bezeling a bunch of rivolis, I bailed. Bezeling is not my forte.

But this year, one of my friends showed me the materials list for this year’s secret project and there were no Rivolis involved, so I decided to gather up my courage and go for it!  This year’s project calls for seed beads in 15/0’s, 11/0’s, and 8/0’s, MiniDuos, Czechmate Brick Beads, 4mm Fire-polished Czech beads, and 3mm Swarovski Bicones.

These are the colors I picked. Lots of grays, dark silvers, and mottled pink/greens.

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Keep in mind that I had NO clue what the project was going to be when I picked these out. That was the fun part!

You can purchase the secret pattern from Jean Power’s here. Hint: You can get it at half-price if you join her newsletter! Then, you can purchase your materials and begin your prep work. This time, it involves tubular peyote, which is right up my alley!

It includes all the instructions, so you an begin beading whenever you want (I’m actually already on Day 3!), but you can’t share your work or what the secret project is, until the end of the project in early August.

I am so excited to share this project with you guys when the week of reveals finally arrives.

Stay tuned!

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Sale Extension!

Hey, everybody!

So, bad news – Etsy has been having a really hard time processing payments this week. They keep promising us sellers that they almost have everything sorted out, but people are still experiencing long delays before being able to access their patterns.

To compensate, I have decided to extend my sale until July 10th! It’s no fun to have Etsy struggling right in the middle of the sale, but at least this way people will have more time to shop!

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So… Yep! Get shopping and enjoy the discount!

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Happy Birthday to Me! (And also that other thing, I guess…)

Hello, my darlings! Guess what!

It’s my BIRTHDAY today!

Yes, my birthday is on July 4th and yes, I thought the fireworks were for me until I was about four years old. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out that I had to share my birthday with the entire freaking country.

But, hey. I vote that this day should be all about me and, since I am the birthday girl, I want to share my celebration with all my beady friends! Since I am turning 24 years old today, I am having a huge 24% off sale!

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Be sure to check out my Etsy shop and see if anything tickles your fancy! Then be sure to use the code “HappyBDay” during checkout to get 24% off your entire purchase.  I made the sale last a few days, so feel free to tell your beady friends and relatives.

And be sure to enjoy MY BIRTHDAY today! (And also that other holiday thing, I guess… )

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New Design – Daybreak Bracelet with MiniDuos

Hello, my dears! I have an origin story for you.

So, I woke up a few weeks ago on a Wednesday morning, about 20 minutes after my 6am alarm went off for work. I felt aaaawful. Nauseated and headache-y, all that fun stuff. My stomach tends to get nauseated when I’m stressed or have been burning the candle at both ends for too long, so this wasn’t alarming. Just really inconvenient.

I went ahead and showered and made myself some coffee, hoping that I could perk myself a bit before work. Unfortunately, after drinking my coffee and getting cleaned up, I was still feeling light-headed and a Dizzy Sam really shouldn’t be attempting the 30min commute to work, so I had to call in sick.

So, there I was. It was, like, seven o’clock in the freaking morning and I was sick and exhausted, BUT already caffeinated, so I couldn’t possibly go back to sleep.

I took shelter in my bead room.

Apparently, my muse works best when exhausted and queasy at the crack of freaking dawn, because this happened.

Like, seriously?!? Apparently, early morning sunlight and the quiet of my bead room are serious creative fodder. So, I decided to name this new design the Daybreak bracelet.

It’s my very first pattern to utilize MiniDuos, which is exciting. AND it only takes, like 10-15 SuperDuos, so it’s great for finishing off the almost empty tubes.

I also don’t have a lot of patterns that call for 6mm beads, so I have had a blast going through my collection of Czech druks and Swarovski pearls. The pink one below uses Swarovski pearls in the newest pearl color – Pearlescent White.

And you can use semi-precious stones, like Pyrite (Fool’s Gold)…

Or turquoise! (Yeah, this bracelet was WAY out of my comfort zone, but it was fun!)

I am really excited about this dainty, art-nouveau bracelet. I’ve started sleeping more and taking care of myself better, so the sicky feeling is gone, but I am definitely going to experiment with designing early in the morning. I’ll report back with my findings!

 

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Starfish Color Palette Challenge!

I LOVE reading beading blogs and Sherri Stokey’s blog, KnotJustMacrame is one of my favorites. She’s also writing for LoveMyArtJewelry and has issued the readers a challenge!

The challenge is to find inspiration from this color palette and go nuts!

Now, I am usually more into earth tones and metallic colors, but this turquoise and sand combo really spoke to me. I started by working up an Oculus pendant with these glass cabs. My Oculus design uses two cabs glued back-to-back, so this pendant is reversible with browns on one side and ocean blue on the other.

After that, I went crazy with as many coordinating crystals, glass beads, and metal bits that I could find in my stash. The result is a super long, reversible necklace that is a tidal wave of sparkly ocean treasure!

After that I thought I was done, but my muse was apparently still feeling the sun and surf. I swung over to the seafoam and cream section of the palette and made this Demoiselle bracelet.

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And then I dove into the sand with this Diadem bracelet. It’s almost entirely neutrals in cream and bronze, but I added little pops of Pacific Opal Swarovski crystals to add some life and sparkle.

As you can see, I REALLY enjoyed participating in this challenge and experimenting with this color palette. It’s a great group of colors and I felt inspired to try something new, without feeling like I’d abandoned my personal style. Thanks for a great challenge, Sherri!

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06/17/16 Edit : Sherri has revealed all the submissions for the challenge over at Love My Art Jewelry. Go see what everyone else made!

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Union Beads!

Hello, my darlings!

So, who else is over the moon with joy about Union beads? I swear, I have about lost my mind with excitement. You guys may remember my blog post I am a Miyuki Snob that a wrote last year about my love of Miyuki brand seed beads? Well, that has definitely not changed. I still exclusively use Miyuki seed beads because of their uniformity within a tube of seed beads and because of their consistent sizing across all their bead finishes.

The only downfall for me has been that the Czech companies have so many pretty colors and finishes that they make all those wonderful two-hole beads in and there aren’t always great Miyuki seed bead options to match.

Well, prepare for a grand surprise, because in turns out that Japanese and Czech bead manufacturers make GREAT bedfellows and now we have Union Bead Blends!

Basically, what this means is that Miyuki is making their wonderful seed beads and then sending them to the Czech Republic to have matching finishes put on them so that the seed beads MATCH the two-hole and specialty beads that we all love!

For example, we now have Crystal Capri Gold 11/0’s to match all the O-beads, SuperDuos, Silky beads, MiniDuos etc that have already been made in that color!

Union Seed Beads 24GM Size 11/0 Blends Crystal Capri Gold - Click Image to CloseCzech Glass Mushroom Beads 9x8mm (30) Crystal Gold Capri - Click Image to CloseCzech Glass 2-hole Silky Beads 6mm (40) Crystal Capri Gold - Click Image to CloseCzech MiniDuo Two-hole Beads 4x2mm Crystal Capri Gold 8g - Click Image to Close

I know a few of my beader friends in particular who are going to be thrilled to see Chalk Lava Red available as a Miyuki seed bead!

Union Seed Beads 24GM Size 11/0 Blends Lava Red - Click Image to Close Kheops Puca Beads 2-hole 6mm - Red Metallic Mat - Click Image to Close

Czech SuperDuo Two-hole Beads 5.5x2.5mm Chalk Lava Red 22g - Click Image to Close Czech O-Beads 3.8 mm x 1 mm Lava Red 8.1g - Click Image to Close

My FAVORITE Union bead blend so far, though, has GOT to be the Full Labrador 11/0‘s. I have wanted to be able to match that true bright silver of the Czech beads for awhile now and nothing has quite fit. Miyuki’s galvanized beads were just too yellow and even their Durocoat line didn’t have a bright enough silver in it. Now my problem is solved!

Union Seed Beads 24GM Size 11/0 Blends Crystal Labrador Full - Click Image to Close Czech Glass 2-hole Silky Beads 6mm (40) Full Labrador (silver) - Click Image to Close

Czech O-Beads 3.8 mm x 1 mm Crystal Labrador Full 8.1g - Click Image to Close    Czech Glass Honeycomb Beads 2-Hole 6mm 30 Pcs Full Labrador - Click Image to Close Czech Dragon Scale Beads 1.5x5mm 9.5g - Crystal Full Labrador - Click Image to Close  Czech SuperDuo Two-hole Beads 5.5x2.5mm Full Labrador 24g - Click Image to Close

I mean, look how gorgeous this silver looks in a finished piece. I used them in my most recent Backsplash Bracelet.

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*dramatically wipes away a tear* I’m so happy. Spring16 copy

All the links I provided go to Beads Direct USA, because A) that’s where I work and B) not many other retailers seem to have Union Beads yet. Even we only have limited quantities. But I am so excited for these new beads and can’t wait until more finishes are available.

What about you guys? Have any thoughts about this astonishing collaboration between Japanese excellence and Czech beauty?

PS: My big spring sale ends on June 1st! If you’re interested on discounted patterns and finished jewelry, check out my Etsy shop!

 

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Bead Packs with Claire – Tango Passion

Hello, my darlings!

So, I have teamed up with Claire Lee, who runs the SupplyEmporium, where she sells beads and all sorts of beady resources. Most recently, she decided to offer a bead pack for my Backsplash Bracelet pattern.

Bead Pack for "Tango Passion" Bracelet From Samantha Wescott - Tutorial Available Separately - Colorway by Claire

Click photo for link!

It’s not a kit, exactly, because Claire is not selling my pattern. All patterns still need to be purchased at my etsy shop. But! Claire has already arranged and package enough beads to make a 7 1/2 inch bracelet AND earrings in her lovely purple colorway.

I think her colors are super cute and am looking forward to future collaborations and colorway adventures with Claire!

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