Moon over Oyster Bay

This brooch reminds me of oysters on the half shell.  Or perhaps the clumps of bivalves one sees when diving in a bay.  Then there’s that full moon, so perhaps it’s really one of those magical, metaphysical dreams that opens doors to the new and fantastic.

This is also a collaboration with the wonderful silk artist, L. Noel. I picked up some silk ribbon, which she very graciously agreed to dye.  She uses French silk dyes, so the colors are vibrant and intense.

The full moon cabochon is an antique, made during the US occupation of Japan after World War II.  The whole pin is edged with gold 15° seed beads.  There’s also some square gold beads; moonlight reflected on the bay.


Golden Ore

Not exactly flashy, not exactly demure.  Somewhere in the middle, wouldn’t you say?

I think the golden magatamas would glint in the beam of a miner’s lantern, showing the way to riches buried deep under the earth.

Thankfully, this bracelet is right here in the open, no digging necessary.

Stitching this makes one pay attention.  Those magatamas are very directional.  Thankfully the center druks and the joining 8°s are not.

Everything is held together with a nice strong clasp.  Click!

Taking Flight

The acid green beads on this necklace remind of beetle wings, the shiny green ones flittering and skittering about on a hot summer’s night.  Though it is now neither hot, nor summer, that’s what it brings to mind.

I’m not much of one for jumping on the bandwagon of all the new beady shapes that have come to market.  So many of them seem single purpose to me.  Or perhaps that’s just a lack of vision on my part.  Either way, this piece was the result of noodling around with some oddly shaped beads, and seeing what I could add to them.  There are some teensy acid green crystals there, if you look closely, as well as the usual seed beads and crystals.

It works, though I think it hums rather than sings.  Maybe that’s a good thing…

Twinkle, Twinkle

I’ve been working on this piece for a while.  It’s 11° Delicas, which take more time.  Now I’m stuck.  I like where the design has gone so far, from a flat zigzag to a lovely flower once some of the corners were joined.  Now I’m stuck.  Next?

Originally I had thought a brooch, but it’s too large (hence the ruler in the photo for scale).  The rivoli makes it more of a statement piece.  It’s too delicate to hang from a necklace as a focal.

I’m not one for making the types of huge neck pieces that the beading competitions seem to like.  As the song says, “Where Do I Go from Here?”

If women wore hats, I think it would look great on a fancy chapeau, maybe with some silk flowers and point d’esprit lace.  But really, when was the last time you wore a hat?  A Real Hat?

Think.  Think.  Think.


This bracelet was an experiment in free-form weaving.  Not free form as in absent warp and weft, but free form as in design.  I had no plan when I started, other than it should be dark and goth-like.

It was intended as a gift for someone, but alas, I have not yet perfected sizing my loom pieces, and it fell short of her wrist.  Pooh!

That said, I remain pleased with it.  The clasp is pleasantly hefty and solid, the woven band is nicely tactile.  With the sizing exception, it turned out well.

The black background highlights the Mardi Gras colored design, with it’s peaks and ogees.

Forget Me Not

This bracelet reminds me of the small forget-me-not flowers I used to see as a child.  They were always one of the first harbingers of Spring, popping up to remind one there was sunshine and warmth and longer days ahead.

The green base is bead woven on a loom.  I liken it to the stems and leaves of the flowers.  It was then enhanced with matte periwinkle circles, each one dotted with a yellow center.  A tiny blue picot surrounds the edge, and protects the warp and weft from wear.  (Try saying that three times fast!)

Shhh!  Don’t tell, but this is a birthday present for a dear friend who is an awesome gardener.  I hope she likes it.

When Beads Go Bad

img_4374Yup, there they were hanging out on the street corner.  Smoking unfiltered cigarettes.  Being obnoxious and unkind to passers by.  Acting like they owned the world and could do whatever they liked.  Rude and uncivilized, these beads were.

So,w hat happened?  Was it poor parenting on my part?  Did they not like their comfy spot in the bin with the other reds and pinks?  Nope.  Not at all.

I left the beads, and the necklace made with them sitting in the sun on the beading table.  For a couple months.  Thinking not much about it.  Until I went to use them in another project.  Just a few dashes of hot pink would set things off.  Only to find that as I started stitching quite a number of them needed to be culled.  Their color was off.  Way off!

It turned out these were an early purchase, probably when Miyuki first came out with galvanized colors.  The older beads were not color fast.  They had sat merrily in the strong Nevada sun, bleaching themselves from pink to magenta to rust.  Bad beads!  Bad!

Research revealed that newer beads no long suffer this tragic fate.  I ordered a new batch.  BUT, just to be sure, they sat in the window for a solid month.  I wasn’t taking any chances.

Then I cut Tuxedo Waves apart, and re-did it with beads that would last.

And those bad beads?  They’re back in their flip-top waiting for another project.  Something will come along where fading beads will be called for?  Maybe a design based on a horror story?