February Pattern Review 2019

Hello, my beady friends!

So, just as a reminder, for one of my New Years Resolutions, I decided to review each of my patterns this year. I’m making new samples so that I can check that the instructions are still good and update the photos when necessary.

This month, I checked out another one my bracelet patterns – my Norelle bracelet!

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I’ve had this tiger’s eye clasp forEVER and I have been dying to use it. I had some 6mm tiger’s eye beads and paired them up with some matte gold druks to lighten up the weight.

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As far as the pattern goes, I gave the diagrams and descriptions a good once-over and I think it looks pretty good!

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After that one, I decided to do a pendant pattern to spice thing up! I made up my Compass Star pattern in this vintage-y combo of green and burnt orange.

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This pattern is really, really simple, but I love how the twist beads frame the rivoli crystals. And the back is pretty too! I used some recycled sari silk to string it.

After that, I checked out my Demoiselle bracelet. The pattern looked good, but I have had a LOT of requests for the specific colors that I used for the original samples. So, I didn’t re-write the pattern at all, but I did add the colors that I used to the end for the folks that want it. And I made a new sample bracelet!

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I’d seen that Linda Genaw of Crafty Inspirations by Linda had done a few versions of my Demoiselle pattern with 6mm Two-Hole Cabochon beads and I wanted to try it myself.

I really liked how it turned out! You can follow the instructions just as if you were using Honeycomb beads.

So, not too many revisions this month – but part of the reason I picked easy ones to remake and check out is because I have a new pattern coming out soon and I need to get writing! Stay tuned for that by next week!

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Of Bricks and Boxes

Hey, everyone!

So, I haven’t posted in a bit, but I have been SO busy.  First off – I had the chance to take another class! I almost never get to take classes (I think the last time was several years ago), so this was very exciting.

Wanda Pitzele recently moved to my town and has started teaching classes at Beaded Bliss. She’s offering a series of brick stitch classes that lead you from the fundamentals into reading charted brick stitch patterns and all sorts of fancy stuff. I’d done some brick stitch before (mostly edging on embroidery pieces), but I wasn’t super confident with my increases and decreases, so a refresher course for the fundamentals was exactly what I needed. Look what I’ve made so far!

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I used 1.8mm Miyuki cubes in three colors (401FR, 2008, and 2035) and made a bead soup out of them for the diamond units. The accent beads are Czech Hawaiian Flower beads in Jet Picasso. It’s not quite done yet, but I’ll have more photos when the necklace is finished.

Wanda was a fantastic instructor and I feel so inspired to try some new things after working with her. If you’re in the Cincinnati area, I believe she is offering this beginners class again in March, followed by a more complicated series on reading brick stitch charts. If you’re interested, definitely call Beaded Bliss to sign up – she’s a great teacher!

Besides that, I had an extra special project to work on – my first beaded box!
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I’ve made a beaded teapot before, but this was my first beaded box! My little sister’s 20th birthday was earlier this month and, since she doesn’t wear much jewelry, I thought this would be the perfect present!

You can get the pattern here. It’s actually supposed to have a beaded bow on the top, but I ran out of time to make it before my sister’s birthday party. So instead I beaded a little topper to act as the handle.

At first, I found the peyote charts to be super intimidating, since I had never worked off one before… But as long as I was paying attention, it turned out to make a lot of sense and I was super impressed with how the design worked up!

My sister seemed to like it, so I’m happy as can be! I think I might play around more with sculptural peyote in the future. The way these things build up is SO satisfying.

Do you guys have any recommendations for experiments I can play around with using brick stitch or 3-D peyote? I am in the mood to PLAY!

 

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January Pattern Review 2019!

Hello, my lovely friends!

So, one of my resolutions for this year that I’m most excited about is that I want to review my patterns this year. As of now, I have 36 patterns available, but since I’ve had to teach myself graphic design to write them, I worry that the quality of the patterns isn’t consistent enough. If a beader pops into my shop and just happens to grab one of my older patterns, I want to make sure the design is still something I can be proud of! So, by the end of this year, I want to have made at least one new sample of all my designs and check in on the pattern to make sure it doesn’t need an upgrade.

Plus, it’s just fun to make old designs!

I started out going a little easy on myself by getting my SuperDuo Rosette Bracelet out of the way. I recently re-wrote the pattern entirely, so I knew ahead of time that I wouldn’t need to clean it up.

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I went simple with the colors because I wanted to try out the new Rembrandt finish. It kinda reminds me of a less-subtle version of the Matte Nebula colors? This navy was just to die for.

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After that, I wanted to push myself a bit more, so I went waaaaaay back to a 2014 pattern of mine – the Rulla-Brick Road Bracelet! This one desperately needed new photos, so I ended up making THREE new samples.

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I didn’t actually change any of the steps in the pattern. I just gave it a new thumbnail on Etsy and updated the pattern with the new pic and the list of colors I used. It wasn’t too much work and I’m thinking the pattern might sell better now that it has a spruced up cover photo.

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I also noticed that back when I first wrote this pattern, I didn’t know about the size difference between Toho and Miyuki seed beads! Now that I know, I mentioned in the pattern that it would work best to use Miyuki’s with Rulla beads and Toho’s with Bricks in this specific bracelet.

After that, I wanted something BOLD and BRIGHT. So, I pulled out the Barcelona Bracelet.

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I’ve been on Instagram a lot lately and the beadwork on there has definitely inspired me a lot. I’ve seen so many intense color schemes and bright jewel tones that I really wanted to try something bold.

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I also had a really hard time photographing this one. The big pearls are a bit more green in person? I’m gonna try to keep editing them. But I’m really happy with how it turned out. The colors are simple, but so much brighter than I usually go for and I’m glad they worked!

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I didn’t find that the Barcelona bracelet pattern really needed updated, so I did leave it be. But I’m glad I got to experiment with going outside my color comfort-zone.

So, that’s three out of thirty-six patterns! I’ve got two more picked out for next month and I am ready to go!

I’ve also got a new one coming out in early March. Prepare yourselves!

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2019 New Years Resolutions

 

Happy New Years, everybody! I LOVE New Years. I have the kind of organized, box-ticking soul that really enjoys arbitrary dates of significance, so starting a fresh calendar always feels amazing to me. The year is clean and new and shiny and I am so excited!

The past few years, I’ve been making my resolutions public on this blog, which has been really fun. If you wanna check out my past years, you can find them here: 2016, 2017, 2018.


But for now – join me in shaming myself on last years resolutions!

  1. Read and Review 125 Books (44,000 pages) on Goodreads – A-

    So, I almost did this one. I read 136 books (which was only two books shy of my personal record!). I reviewed every single one on my Goodreads and I feel like my passion for reading was really re-kindled this year. I read more non-fiction and discovered some really great graphic novels in addition to my usual fantasy/fairytale fiction. I didn’t quite make the page count (41,000), but I’m not sure if I want to push myself that far on length, since I’ve been really enjoying graphic novels and they tend to be shorter. I am more than content with my progress.

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  2. Write 2 Quality Blog Posts Every Month – B

    So, I know the spirit of this resolution was to keep up my pace of two blogs a month without relying on short last minute sale announcements or wimpy blog posts to meet my goal. While there were a few months where I definitely slid under the wire, I feel pretty good about this year. I started my Clasp Wars series that I have felt really good about. I like doing those informational-style posts a lot. It makes me feel more like a community member than just a self-promoter, if that makes sense.

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    These are the ones I’ve done so far – I wanna finish this series in 2019, for sure

  3. Learn Two New Crafts or Beading Techniques – B+

    You know, I thought I had tanked this one, but I just ran a quick glance back over this year’s posts and I actually did do quite a bit of new-to-me stuff this year! I learned Peytwist and tried Freeform Peyote for the first time. I also finally figured out why I was ruining all my rivoli bezels and completed a bead embroidery piece for the first time in a few years!

    Now, did I already know how to do peyote and bead embroidery? Yes. But I took the time to expand my repertoire of techniques and get better at types of beading that might not necessarily translate into sell-able patterns. I increased my skills and I am happy with that!

  4. Do Business Paperwork Regularly, Instead of Procrastinating – D

    The only part of this that I did was that I was very good about keeping my receipts. I still have to log all of them and fill out all my spreadsheets and oh, boy, do I regret not following through on this one. I have so much tax work to do in this next month. Phew boy.

  5. Do an Overhaul of My Beading Room – Declutter and Organize! – F

    I legitimately FORGOT that I had made this goal and I didn’t do it at all. Usually, I’m a pretty organized person, but my bead room is shameful. Look upon my shame! I wanna do some stash-busting this year, so maaaaaybe that will help?

  6. Reach My Goal Weight (whatever that ends up being…) – B

    So, I started dieting in May of 2017 and I lost about 65 pounds in the next year after that. That left me around 135 and I knew I wanted to lose a little more, but I wasn’t sure how much and if I could do it without restricting my calories any further. I did manage to get down to 131 (my lowest), but I was pretty happy bouncing around 130-135 depending on my cycle and my week-to-week diet. I’m at the point where I’m trying to learn to maintain my new weight while being a little less strict on my calories. I want to eat better instinctively.


    But December was full of holidays and family meals, so I am currently at about 140ish. And I’m not crazy worried about it. I think I’m happy with where I am and am looking forward to finishing off the Christmas sweets and then having a damn salad. 🙂

    With that in mind – here are my 2019 goals!

2019 Goals

  1. Read and Review 125 Books on Goodreads

  2. Write Two Blog Posts a Month (and finish Clasp Wars series)

  3. Remake and Evaluate Each of my Original Patterns

  4. Actually Do Your Expense Reports EVERY Month

  5. Engage More in Beading-Related Social Media


 

I think a lot of these are pretty self-explanatory. I need to do better with my paperwork and I want to maintain my reading and blogging goals. One of the fun ones for this year is that I want to bead up every single one of my patterns this year (including any new ones that I make!) and evaluate them a bit. I think some of the old ones could use either some spruced up photos or maybe even a price drop on some of the simpler ones. My work and skill level has evolved and I want to check in on that!

Also, did you guys know that I started a Wescott Jewelry Instagram? I’ve been having SO MUCH fun posting on there – especially the Story feature. I feel like I can play around with more in-progress shots and little videos. It’s been crazy fun and I want that energy to spill over into my Facebook page and this blog. Keep the momentum going and engage with my beady internet friends even more in the coming year! 😀

Tell me about your resolutions! Do you make them? What do you want YOUR 2019 to look like? Let me know in the comments and let’s DO IT! ❤

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Last Big Projects of 2018

Evening, folks! I wanted to share the last few projects I’ve been working on this month that I’m pretty proud of. They’re both techniques that I’m not super comfortable, so it was a great set of challenges.

First off, I wanted to try Freeform Peyote for the first time and I made this bracelet.

Here’s the front and the back! It’s got a ton of different beads in it in tons of blue, grey, and tiny bit of green and silver. The center is a little round Druzy and there’s a small scattering of Czech crystals and bicones.

It definitely curves a bit when laid out flat, but sits just fine on the wrist. It isn’t super wide and I wanted to keep the colors pretty neutral since it was my first try. Here’s some close ups of the various sections!

I’m really happy with the curling SuperDuo bridges and the spots where I fit in some Right Angle Weave. And the Druzy is just so pretty. It was really, really hard to keep it random and organic, but I think I let myself enjoy the project without getting to control freak-out about it.

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It’s only sort of a new stitch for me – since I’m familiar with peyote stitch (and the right angle weave I snuck in there), but I had never tried freeform before. It was such a challenge, but so fun. And a GREAT way to use up stash leftovers.

After that, I made this elephant pin for my Mom’s Christmas present!

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I haven’t done any bead embroidery for a few years now, so this was a nervy project to start. But I took my time with in and even re-read my favorite Jamie Cloud Eakin book to refresh my memory on the stitches I used. Here’s the back-

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There’s a few stray cat hairs in there, but the edging is pretty neat!

It did end up kinda… huge. But I still like it and my mom seemed to appreciate it. ❤

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So that was my December! Stay tuned for my 2018 Resolution report and my Resolutions for next year. Until then, Happy Beading and Happy New Year from me and my elephant friend!

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Christmas Ornaments 2018!

Hey, everybody! Is anyone else absolutely drowning in holiday prep and activities? I’ve been at a slight loss lately because, even though I’ve been beading plenty, it’s all be been for gifts, so I can’t post photos anywhere!

But! We did already have one of my family events where we had a gift swap, so I CAN share these ornaments I made with you.

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So, you may remember the ornament challenge I participated in last year where I made three versions of the same ornament to try out different combinations of Christmas-adjacent colors. That was really fun and I do have a history of getting a little nutty with Christmas colors, but this time I wanted to focus more on shapes and less on the actual colors.

The leftmost ornament is one of my SuperDuo Star 2.0 Earrings. Earring patterns make fantastic ornaments, because you just get to follow the pattern exactly and then slap a ribbon or string on it instead of an ear wire. I used the same idea for the far right ornament – it’s just one of my Vistella Earrings! What I really like about this one is that, even though the actually earring pattern is a little big for some folk, it’s the perfect size for an ornament!

The center ornament isn’t one of my patterns – it’s actually just a Russian spiral! I used 4mm glass pearls and 11/0 seed beads with six different colors total. I’ve actually written up a free photo tutorial on how to wrangle a six-color Russian spiral before and you can find it here. The only difference with using 4mm pearls instead of 8/0’s is the number if 11/0’s you use between each pearl (three instead of two).

Anyway, that’s the only thing I’ve been working on this month that I can share yet!

I’m thinking about trying to squeeze in another Clasp Wars post before the end of the year. If you want to vote on which clasp to do next, check out my Facebook page and let me know!

 

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Art Elements Blog Hop – Stars!

Hey, everybody! So, at the beginning of the month I signed up to participate in the Art Elements blog’s monthly theme challenge – this round it was STARS.

What I didn’t realize then was that the reveal date was only a few days after my huge Black Friday sale and with all the hustle and shipping and social media posting…

I only got one pair of earrings done.

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The colors were inspired by a Christmas dress I saw online and desperately wanted to buy, but unfortunately my size is out of stock. 😦 It combined mint and bright coral as the Christmas red and green and I wanted to play around with that. I think it’s a fun combo!

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Check the links below to see what everyone else made. I’m sure they were more productive than me, haha.

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Black Friday Sale 2018 – It’s TIME!!!

It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeear!

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You guys, this is the biggest sale I’ve ever had! I really wanna clean out my shop and make room for some new designs and pieces.

Oh, and I forgot to mention in the pic – FREE shipping for the rest of 2018!

Everything in my shop is on sale, from 20% up to 40% and I’m so excited to see what else on Etsy is getting deep discounts. It’s gonna be a huge event, so get ready to get your shopping on!!!

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New Design! – Glamour Garland with SuperDuos and Seed Beads

Hey, my beady friends! I’ve got a new pattern to share with you.

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This is my Glamour Garland bracelet! It uses just SuperDuos and seed beads and makes a pretty little set of leaves in a loose chevron shape and I’m really, really excited about it.

All of the colors that I used in each of the three samples is included in the pattern, on the last page. I’m going to start putting the colors in every pattern, since I get so many requests for them. ❤ When I was figuring out the thread path, I stuck with this simple purple and silver combo.

But after that…

I discovered Christmas!!! So, it turns out that if you use red and green, the bracelet ends up looking like a garland of holly berries and leaves. I’m absolutely in love. I get so excited when a design can be seasonal or not, depending on color selection. The versatility is addictive!

Then last weekend, I taught a class at Beaded Bliss (my LBS) to proofread the pattern, and I decided to get a little more playful with my color options. This one is monochromatic as far as the seed beads go, but the SuperDuos alternate between seven different colors! I really like how it kinda highlights the chevron shape.

Just a heads up – because tension and snug-fitting seed beads give this pattern its tight leaf shapes, you need to use Miyuki brand seed beads. Toho beads are just a bit too big.

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So, what do you think? Christmas garland or leafy chevrons? Multi-colored or mono-chromatic? I’m excited to play around with it some more.

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20lb Fireline Update

Hey, guys! Just got a quick post today. Remember back in 2014 when I accidentally bought a huge spool of 20lb Fireline (haha, jk. Nobody read my blog back then!)

I had a bit of brainstorming and made a pretty cuff out of 4mm cubes in a simple peyote cuff. Then a few months later I did some herringbone with 8/0 hex beads.

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Aaaaaaand then I didn’t touch the giant spool of 20lb Fireline for four years. Oops.

But here I am again and I wanted to fill you in on a few more things that I’ve recently managed to use that super stiff thread to make.

First off! I have discovered that after making a bunch of beaded carrier beads, 20lb Fireline is a great way to string them into a necklace! It’s a thread, so I don’t have to worry about all that crimping nonsense, but it has virtually no slack and lends itself to the stiffer beaded needed to get that nice curve.

You guys already saw my Rainbow Ombre necklace…

But just recently I made a long-chain version with some Delica bead soup I whipped up!

The 20lb Fireline kept that curve nice and tight, which I appreciated.

A few months before that, I fell in love with this Czech glass button and decided to make a turquoise and gold version of my Stash Worm Bracelet to match. I needed to use normal 6lb thread for the embellishments, but for the square stitch base, I used this crazy thick thread and ended up needing to make fewer passes.

My next project is to take all the leftover DiscDuos and Honeycomb beads that have been left extra after my assorted Demoiselle bracelets. I’ve been saving them up and now I’m gonna string them on my monster Fireline with Toho Demi beads and drop beads to make a wrap bracelet. I haven’t finished it, but I’m excited to use up these extras and make something pretty!

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Slowly, but surely, I am finding ways to use up this crazy stiff, annoyingly thick, can-only-be-used-with-a-Big-Eye-Needle gosh-darned thread. Do you guys have any more ideas for me? Someday, I will defeat this spool!

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