Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Feature: tuquoise/red

I've been rounding up a lot of turquoise and red items in my favorites lately so it's time for another turquoise and red feature.  I never get tired of this color combination.  Enjoy!

SueBeads - Beach Earring Pair - Handmade Lampwork Beads - SRA M67 by suebeads

Handmade Gemstone Necklace Turquoise Howlite and Cinnabar - Mermaid by linkeldesigns

Turquoise nugget wire wrapped and red coral by PristineJewels

I actually found this when I was searching for my argyle feature this month, but I decided that I had to save it for this feature.
Aqua and Red Polka Dot and Argyle 3 Pc Burp Cloth Set (BC2) Baby Shower Gift Set by callyfindlay

Flower Necklace, Turquoise Jewelry, Charm Necklace, Vintage Jewelry by zafirenia

Sew Beautiful Red and Turquoise Charm Bracelet by MistressJennie

Warm Winter Blanket - Turquoise and Red Aviary - 30 x 30 by pinkdixie

Thursday, September 29, 2011

reworking some more older designs, next challenge piece

I've reworked few more designs since my last reworked post.  Most items I'm making very similar new versions, but there are several that I'm just not interested in revisiting.  When I first started beadweaving, I made a few of these chunkier cube cuffs.

They were fun and great practice for peyote stitch, but they aren't a line I'm continuing so for the ones that sold off of Etsy, I'm reworking the cube color themes with some of my original designs.
That's the first one that I did.  It's available here.

Here are my bead selections for the second remake.

Here it is finished.
It's available here.

I've also been starting to think about my next challenge entry.  The November EBW Challenge theme is Twisted.  You can read more about it here.  I've actually let a little bit of time lapse in between challenge entries this time.  I've been pushing so hard with the challenges this year, and after creating the Picasso pattern, I needed a little break.  But I'll still be making a Twisted entry.  I'm very excited about this theme.  I've been wanting to try twisted tubular herringbone, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.

I'm planning to make an all blue base with lots of different shades and finishes and then embellish it with small glass beads.  We'll see how it goes!  It will be very different from my right angle weave cuffs that I've made for the last four challenges.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

button magnets in the works

I decided to follow up on my in the works post from last week and show you some of the progress that I've made with my button magnets.

This is my first new batch of magnets for the 2011 holiday shopping season.  Generally the larger magnets and the magnets with shaped buttons do well so I mostly focused on that.  This is the first time that I used sequins for the magnets.  I have a bunch of the stars left over from my Christmas tree project.

I got out a cookie sheet that I hadn't used for gluing so I could organize everything.  No, I don't use these cookie sheets in the kitchen.  I got a couple very cheap packs from Wal-Mart a couple years ago with the intention of using them for these types of projects.

Here's what I have left over from last year's shows.  As you can see, most of the simple and smaller buttons don't move as quickly.  Generally people pick up one or two of them to coordinate with some of their larger button picks.

I'm also trying some button pins for the first time this year.  I've been wanting to do this for a long time but just haven't because I've always focused on the magnets for shows.  I'm attempted to do both this year, though, as well as button tacks, which I have more about below.

 These are the last two batches that I did this past week.  I took both pictures before I'd started gluing. All of the narrow heart buttons with two small buttons stacked on top are going to be tacks, which is another project that I've wanted to do for a long time.  I'm planning to use a bulletin board to display some of my earrings at the fall shows this year and can put the tacks around the edges and sell them, too.

As always, if anyone is interested in anything that you see here, please let me know.  I'm not planning to list magnets, pins, or tacks on Etsy any time soon but they are always available.  Just contact me for pricing and close up shots of specific items.  Custom colors/styles are welcome.

I used this post for a link party over at Artful Rising.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

new goodies and contemplations for more

There has been so much going on lately that I haven't shared the donuts that I got from Deb at storybeader more than week ago.  After I'd mentioned that I was interested in getting some more donuts, Deb volunteered to send me her stash that she's not planning to use...for free.  Of course I had to accept.  There was some confusion in our EtsyBloggers thread about what kind of donuts we were talking about.  Nope, you can't eat these unfortunately, but that's about the only downside.
They've been hanging out on our coffee table since they arrived.  Jake loves to play with them while they're watching TV.  They will make beautiful projects, too.  Thanks again Deb!

As always, I'm trying to limit my purchases, especially when sales are slow.  But that doesn't mean that I'm not still doing a little browsing.  There are a couple things that I'm contemplating right now and would love your thoughts.  Click on the photos to check out the listings.

I've been thinking about getting some resin flower cabochons for my button magnets.  My more detailed buttons have always done well.  This includes anything with unusually shaped buttons, such as hearts and stars.  So I've been thinking about what else I can add that wouldn't be too expensive.  Cabochons may be a good option.

Of course I would have to go with mixes.  I have such a hard time selecting single colors for things like this.

Also, since this became available again, it has been tempting me.
It would be so perfect for cards to match my shop.

Nora also has a lot of neat leaf stamps in her shop that would coordinate well, too.

I haven't designed any thank you cards for my shop in quite a while.  I got some card making supplies last summer when I was on a card kick again so with a couple more stamps, I'd be more than set to take this up again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Picasso challenge piece and PDF pattern

The October EBW Challenge theme is Inspired by Picasso.  You can read more about it here.  I am familiar with Picasso's more famous works but had really not studied any of his other work before.  There is a lot of it so it was fun familiarizing myself with lots of Picasso paintings and sketches.  I'm sure that it's not a surprise that the first thing that I gravitated toward was color.  I wanted to pick a piece with a lot of color, which is how I ended up choosing Mediterranean Landscape for my inspiration.

I posted a shot of it earlier but here it is again.  I got this picture from

You can read about how I selected and mixed my colors here.  Overall, I'm really pleased with how that process went, especially considering that I only used colors that I had in stock.  I didn't purchase anything new for this project.  There are a couple tiny things that I could have tweaked, but I still think that the general color palette and nature of the piece is fairly reflective of the original artwork.

I've now used the same right angle weave base and second layer for four EBW challenges in a row.  I'll briefly recap here so you can see how changing the final third layer, width, and color combinations can make such a big difference.

Strawberry Fields Forever is exactly the same design but wider.  I'll be honest: I was planning to make my Picasso piece the same width but decided I couldn't quite pull it off with some of the bead quantities I had.  Four columns instead of six is just fine and also results in a less expensive piece so hopefully that will be more appealing to some people.

After some deliberation, I did decide to add house and sail boat charms to the clasp.  They are easily removable if potential buyers aren't interested in them.  I do think that they add something for the challenge, though.

I thought that keeping the correct color balance with so many colors would be tricky, but I think that the selecting and mixing process got me oriented before I even started working.  I really didn't have any problems with this and didn't even have to refer back to my mixing chart like I thought I would.

This piece is available in my Etsy shop here.

As this was a design that I have worked with a lot over the last few months, the trickiest part of the challenge is that I decided to write the pattern for this.  I'd be contemplating this idea after the success of Strawberry Fields.  Once I knew that I was going to use the design for Picasso, I knew that I had to ahead with it.  I believe in embracing the "challenge" idea with as many pieces as possible.  The pattern was a perfect way to do this.

It was also way past time for me to get another pattern in my shop.  Most of my patterns have done pretty well, but it's been nearly six months since I released my last one.  I have not had great sales for September.  I hope that a new pattern will increase sales again.  It's available here.

The pattern does work for all four of the challenge designs.  The first and second layers are exactly the same for all four pieces.  I explain the differences for the third layer in the pattern.  With the exception of Yellow Brick Road, all of the pieces have a freeform third layer so you really have the freedom to do it exactly as you like.  I just provide some suggestions to guide you on your way.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

treasury round up and a milestone

Please help me thank the curator who featured my work in her treasury this week by visiting her shop!

Larisa (mew1ab) included my Button Charm Bracelet - Turquoise and Red in her Turquoise and red treasury.  You know how much I love this color combination!  I'm actually planning another weekly feature with it for next week.  She has a great selection of items here.

I also curated my own treasury this week to go with my one of my newest hubs: Herringbone Pattern: Clothing, Accessories, Architecture, and Home Decor.   The treasury is called Herringbone Any Way You Like It.

Finally, I wanted to share that I hit a major milestone for my Etsy shop this week: 700 hearts!
I have to say that even though it's easier to use the new format, this screen shot doesn't look as cool as the old spiral one did.  I got my last 100 hearts in 4 months.  This time it took me just over 5 months.  I consider anything under 6 months a success so I'm still happy with my progress.  Hopefully some of these new shops are considering making purchases, too.  I really need at least one Etsy sale for September.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Link List

Welcome to this week's edition of my link list.  Enjoy!

Are you searching for craft fairs and festivals in your area?  Whether you are a vendor or a buyer, this is a great resource.  The site also lists music festivals.

Some of you may remember that I posted a link for submitting blog posts to Handmadeology recently.  You can also submit your treasuries.  This is particularly relevant if you create treasuries for upcoming seasons, holidays, and other timely trends.

I don't read the Etsy blog very often, especially these days.  How many more "quit your day job" posts can you read?  This is a great post, though.  It's really some different advice from Etsy, which is a nice change of pace.  If you do any kind of custom work, you will most likely gain something from this.

Normally I post tutorials or free patterns that are appealing for a wide variety of crafters.  I had to share this beading tutorial, though.  Victoriya walks you through creating the letters of the alphabet with beads.  The directions are a little confusing, but once you understand how to create different letter sections and start putting them together, you'll be on your way.

The sweet potato fries recipe the other week was a huge hit so I wanted to share this one as well.  Anyone who grows zucchini knows that there is a point in the summer when you suddenly have way more zucchini than you know what to do with.  This is a great new recipe to add to your collection.

Did you use one of the resources, tutorials, or recipes from my link list?  Leave me a link in the comments or send me an e-mail ( with your photos and stories.  I would love to post them here!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Feature: fall fashion

I enjoy the fall clothing collections a lot more than the summer collections.  Although I love bright color palettes, I enjoy the fall styles more.  This collection was so much fun to put together.  I would love to own any of the items in this feature.  Hopefully you'll get some inspiration for your own fall wardrobe, too.  Enjoy!

Crochet Boots with Mohair Trim by Beautiful Purpose

Does this background remind anyone else of The Sound of Music?  Also, this skirt is awesome with those boots.
Women's A Line Mini Skirt in Black and White Organic Cotton Hemp Print by SoulRole

French coat - Fall jacket in burnt pumpkin orange cotton twill, lined in turquoise dot Ready to Ship sizes 4, 6, 8 US by DeNovoStyle

Size 7.5 Rapunzel Ring in Crimson Garnet and Sterling Silver by onegarnetgirl

Hollyberry Red Hand Knit Scarf by ScarfKnitter

Thursday, September 22, 2011

an update on my little helper

I haven't posted any pictures of Angel in a while.  I thought that you'd enjoy a little break from our usual content with a couple pictures of her.

Angel is a great little lunch buddy while Jake is at work.

Sitting right next to someone who is eating is a good way to beg.  But it's also tough work.

Plus TV watching is pretty boring.  Yep, that's Pauly D from Jersey Shore on Conan, talking about the Pauly Halloween costume that's available this year.

Some of you will also appreciate the fact that Angel has now discovered the sunny spots on the first floor and regularly visits them.