After working so much with lapidary stones and earthen colors, I was ready for something different.  Bright.  Lively.

The tea dyed face of this brooch was the starting point.  I pulled out beads I’d been wanting to use, but hadn’t gotten around to – those shocking colors we all have in our stash that make us wonder “What the ???” was I thinking.

It reminds me of the costumes of the old Ballet Russes, from the 1920s.  Perhaps based on a drawing from Bakst.  Young.  Lively.  Ready for a grande jete across the stage.



This post is going to be full of eye candy, so if you’ve a mind to skip something so image rich, please do so now.

For some time the beading world has been taken with kaliedocycles.  I first came across them through the great photography and design descriptions over on Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Beady sculptures containing energy and a basis in science…where did this come from?

What is a kaliedocycle?  Good question.  What they remind me of are those folded paper puzzles we used to make in grade school, where each face had a name or number on it, and you’d generate sentences or find answer to questions or any number of things.  Anyone remember those?  I think they were called fortune tellers or chatterboxes.  So, a kaliedocycle is sort of like that, except with beads; tetrahedra that fold and bend.

The colored faces and engineering intrigued me.  So, of course, I had to try it.

This cycle was made with 10º delicas. The standard is to make them with 11s or 15s, but I wanted something a little larger.  I think it’s 9 beads on a side for each triangle, then they’re joined (the little white beads) and hinged.  The whole piece is about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

The fact that there are joins as well as hinges took my old brain a while to decipher.  Thankfully Kate McKinnon provided some wonderful videos on how it all works.

Now that it’s all done, I find I’m a bit disappointed.  While the whole structure moves, it feels floppy in the hand, not substantial as I thought it would.  Could be because I used larger beads, or because I made larger triangles, or both.

I have a mind to try again with smaller beads or smaller triangles, but that’s a project for the future.  For now, we stare at each other going “Hmmmmm.”


I decided to give myself a challenge on this brooch – that being to use something besides the standard seed and bugle beads.

To that end, once the face was bezeled, I dug through the bead bins and added some lovely red triangles.  These are the two-hole triangle beads, I think Czechmates, rather than the single hole triangles from Miyuki and Toho.  They give a nice aura around the face.

Then it was what to do with the rest.  She was looking a little too monochromatic, and a bit too amusing in a pierrot-esque way.   The twisted bugles and large mustard colored seeds solved that.

The back is finished like all my brooches – pin back and faux suede.


img_4334I recently helped out at the Artisan Store during an artist reception.  As a result, the featured artist, a potter, gifted me with one of her handmade ocarinas.  It’s it beautiful?

I was so completely surprised!  It called out to be more than just a whistle, so I dug out the beads and it became a necklace.  With beads already on the table, a bracelet followed suit.  I didn’t have anything in the white / silver vein.  Do now!

Surprising how many garments it goes with.

I was also surprised at how much fun it was to do some stringing.  It’s been a while since I’ve not had to think about needles, thread, patterns and tension.  Stringing is much more immediately rewarding.


IMG_4058I’d originally thought of calling this post Dr. Lizardo, but really?  These reptiles aren’t masculine at all.

BUT!  Leave a comment if you know what movie Dr. Lizardo is from.  Bonus points if you know the actor who played him.

And with that, not much else to say.  I think the blue bellied sap sampling lizard turned out particularly well.  The silver accents just pop!

Froggie is more demure.

Red Rover

IMG_4019I thought to try my hand at incorporating more chain into my work.  This necklace is one of the experiments.

The chain (circles and ovals) was purchased, then deconstructed (aka cut apart) and refashioned.

It was fun to play around.

I created peyote stitched tubes around the oval links.  Then had to decide whether to use the circle links.  Answer: Yes.  Everything was put together with red aluminum jump rings.  The very ends are hand-made chain.

I’m not sure which took more time – working with the pliers to fashion the chain, or stitching the peyote tubes.  Either way, it was fun!

And I have no idea why the name “Red Rover“.  That’s just what came to mind.

Railroad Spikes

IMG_3927I have no idea why, but this piece reminds me of working on the railroad.  There is nothing locomotive about it, it just does.

Large hammers pounding in spikes to hold track.  Sparks flying.  Chain tied to who-knows-what, hauling things to and fro.  Heck, I haven’t even watched “Hell on Wheels” so don’t even have images from that rattling around the back of my brain.

Anyway.  Railroad Spikes.

The spikes are a Jet / Vitrail colorway, and the color is not necessarily aligned with the bead hole.  Nor did I try to make a “right” side to the necklace.  I just picked up the beads onto the needle.  Happenstance is going on.

The crystals are a very pretty black diamond aurora borealis.  They are slightly smaller than the ones used in Coppernicus.

I didn’t have as many spikes either, so this necklace is a bit shorter.

Another successful foray into doing something completely different.