Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party 1: First Reveal!

Hey all! So, today is the first reveal for the Bead Soup Blog Party v7.0! Woo!

You might remember that my partner is Roxanne from Strikes My Fancy. Unfortunately, she had some real life stuff come up and had to postpone her reveal. Don't worry, I will be sure to post when she does!

Here is a reminder of the awesome beads Roxanne sent me:

Soup from Roxanne

I was able to make two items from this wonderful soup (so far!). The first is a ring... yeah I know, with me it is always rings. But I love this one SOOOOOOOOOOOO much! I used some of the small gold faceted beads she sent, mixed with some of my own size 8 seed beads in black.



Such a fun funky look!


So the second piece I created is a necklace. And boy did I have trouble with it! From the beginning I knew exactly what I wanted to make... take the focal and make a lariat style necklace using macrame. However, the macrame did not like me. I could not for the life of me seem to keep my knots even... some were really really tight while others were way too loose... so adjustments were made... and made... and made... and finally about an hour ago I gave up and changed the design just so I could get it done. I attached the clasps I was sent with some simple knots. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the back... and at this point I am not going back down the stairs to take another picture so... I think what I will do is keep working on the necklace. Then once Roxanne is ready to post hers, I will post the reworked necklace! Yes, that is what I will do!

So, that is what I got done... not nearly enough. I still have plans for some earrings with the heart beads... and maybe another ring...

To visit the rest of the party, please visit the official site for the full list! Have a "Hoppy" Easter! (get it? We will all be hopping from blog to blog!)
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Friday, March 29, 2013

New Ring Pattern: He Loves Me

ring_he_loves_me Or maybe not... only the flowers know for sure. Not that we have seen any flowers around here, what with how it keeps snowing every other week and all... stupid spring.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

I finally created a logo!

So, you may notice that the blog (and the shop) look a little different today. I finally decided to just go ahead and make my own logo. I had wanted one for a while, and have a friend who is good with graphic design that I had asked to help me. But he never quite got around to it and I kept putting it off. So, today I took the bull by the horns and made one myself!

I used Gimp and a spirograph plugin to make the outline and then filled it in to get an ombre effect. Here it is without the color:

Once I actually sat down to do it, the whole process wasn't that bad. I started at a stock logo site, just looking through to get an idea of what logos I liked. I was looking at one that was a sort of circular tribal tatoo logo, when I suddenly thought of the old spirograph I used to play with as a kid. A quick google let me know that my favorite editing program could do that, and the rest was easy breezy!

So, please let me know what you think of the new logo, as I am dying for some feedback! Thanks!
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Weigh In: 308.6

Honesty sucks. I really would rather lie about today's weigh in, or even just not post it. But, the whole point of all this was to be accountable, to face up to my short falls, and not hide in a dark room eating ice cream. Honesty sucks.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Leather Jewelry Design Contest: Voting now open!

Voting is now open for the Nina Designs Leather Jewelry Design Contest on Facebook. My entry is a leather and chain cuff made from a recycled belt. I ran it through my embossing machine to get the gear design and then stained it slightly darker with a leather stain.


Please feel free to vote for the entry you like best. Thanks!
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Weigh In: 306.6

So, essentially no change. That is ok. I know that I went to a birthday party this weekend and had cake... and then leftover cake... and party food... so no change is actually good.

On the exercise front, I am up to seven minutes a night on the treadmill! It doesn't sound like much, but with the pain in my knees from RA (stupid doctor said it has been going on so long that he no longer things it is reactive arthritis but is instead the beginnings of rheumatoid arthritis. Blah...) I consider 7 minutes to be a big deal!

On the upcoming challenges front, only two more weeks till Easter. Must be strong and resist cheap after-holidays candy!
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Inspiration in the round

No pattern today, instead I bring you some of the inspiration pieces I have saved on Pinterest.

A spinner ring with a function! To roll or not to roll, that is the question... and if you roll the dice it will answer it!

A secret docoder ring! You know you want one... you are so totally humming the Mission: Impossible theme song right now!

I love this. I keep trying to work with these beads, but nothing I do turns out this pretty...

I love the whimsy of this. Love.

Source: viaSarah on Pinterest

This resin ring is so very cool... and imposing... and cool.

I love filigree... so delicate looking.

The use of string is so very unexpected, but so very well done!

If you would like to see more of the rings that inspire me, visit my new Pinterest board Ring Inspiration. Thanks!
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Day!

Pi Day is here again (links leads to my Pi ring)! Obligatory wiki link.

I like Pi Day cause a) math jokes are funny; and b) mmm... pie!. So, go forth and celebrate the constants in life!
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stuff to do, stuff to do...

So, looking for stuff to do? Try these things!

Beadwork Magazine is currently accepting submissions for a Fall 2013 special issue on quick and easy projects. Submissions open through 3/25/2013.

Vintaj Blog is currently having a give a way of some of the beads and findings used in their Morning Mists inspiration pieces. Enter on their blog through 3/15/2013.

The Seedbeadersters Yahoo Group March bead along is making a beaded bezel. Lots of support and instructions for those who have never done this before. You do have to join the group.

Fusion Beads is having a 30 Bead Challenge to help celebrate March Craft Month.

Nina Designs is having a contest through their Facebook page. Focus is on leather and entries are due by 3/18/2013.

You could also try doing some Spring Cleaning... but I don't really recommend it.

Personally, I am still working on my Bead Soup - reveal is at the end of the month! My niece wants the two of us to have a private bead soup swap in April. Working on my niece's birthday party this weekend. Plan to enter the Nina Designs contest with a recycled belt project I have been working on. Want to submit to Beadwork, but they don't take designs that have been posted online and since I post most of my ring designs here... well, I will see if I can come up with something new. All in all, looks like a busy Spring!
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Weigh in: 308.2

Blah, up again.

So some things went wrong this week - a couple of days of crappy eating.... really got to get the emotional eating in hand. But, some things did go right. I am trying to make walking on my treadmill a part of my daily routine, and I only missed 1 day this week! Now, I only walked for 2-3 minutes each day, but I walked! My goal this week is 5 minutes each day. Strangely, walking on the treadmill is not as hard on my knees as walking on the ground is. I think this is because the moving deck helps reduce the hit each time I put a foot down... if that makes sense. Anyway, the goal for right now is to make walking part of the routine, and then to slowly increase the amount. Wish me luck!
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Friday, March 8, 2013

Ring Pattern: Pinwheel Flower

ring_pinwheel_flower Today's ring pattern is a bright spring flower, cause I am soooooo tired of winter! This one may be a little more challenging than most of my patterns. You want to create the central band first in odd count peyote, and then come back in and add the outer sections on the flower in brick stitch. It is easiest to wait until after the flower is complete to zip the ring up.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions about this one!

UPDATE: here is another picture to help show what I mean by the "central band" that can be done in odd count peyote first. You can see where I have separated the edges of the flower from the band. Those would be the parts to add later in brick stitch. Hope that helps!

flower breakdown
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recycled Tile Cabochons

One of my favorite places to shop for supplies is my local Habitat for Humanity Resale Store (otherwise known as the Habitat ReStore). They sell used items that have been donated to them, mostly construction and remodeling leftovers. My local store gets stuff from the local college, so they tend to have some great furniture as well.

On a recent trip, I found a tennis ball container full of small white tiles. They were each about one inch square with curved corners. I loved them! And I picked up the whole container for $2.50! Once I got my find home, I decided to stamp them, in some cases color them, and then seal them. I can add a glue on bail and have an instant pendant, or I can do a beaded bezel, a wire wrapped setting, or they could even be used in bead embroidery! (though not by me, cause I suck at that) So, here are a few of the favorite ones I have done so far. All of these, and some others, are available in my Etsy shop for $5 a piece.






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Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Weigh In: 306.4

Down .2 lbs. This weekend, I did something I had been thinking about for the last three months or so. I got a tattoo. This is my second one. I got the first when I turned 30, as I felt this was a right of passage. It was a point of much change in my life, and was the first point at which I really felt like an adult.

In December, I turned 38. Doesn't seem like a milestone, and to most it probably wouldn't be. However, 38 is the age at which my mother died. She had lung cancer. So for me to turn 38, made me somewhat introspective. It doesn't help that I am facing some serious health issues right now - Rheumatoid Arthritis, ongoing asthma, obesity. So for me, this was... daunting. But I am not ready to give up.

So, this weekend I got a tattoo that will hopefully remind me not only that I need to live each day - and not just hide away - but that I need to live each day in such a way that I live to get more days. I just need to live.


I thought a lot about where to place this one - my other tat is at the small of my back, as that was the one piece of skin I was pretty sure wasn't gonna migrate over time, and IT WASN'T A THING YET! - but I wanted this one to be someplace I could easily see it. I considered a collar bone, but I wanted to be able to read it in a mirror and live backward is evil... so um, yeah, no. I really liked the idea of the wrist, as it is easy for me to see or touch and is fairly discrete, but I was leary of what message having "live" tattooed across a place famous for suicide attempts would give. I was talking about it with a friend, and they finally said "do you really care what other people think?" and I realized... I didn't. So, there it is, and I LOVE it. They were actually able to make it in my own handwriting.

Quote: Live long, and prosper. - Vulcan greeting - Star Trek
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Friday, March 1, 2013

New Ring Pattern: Zodiac - Pisces

ring_zodiac_pisces Month two in my year long series of Zodiac Rings! Yay Pisces! Pisces are said to be imaginative, kind, and idealistic. I find the whole thing fishy.... All joking aside, one of my favorite people in the world is a Pisces - my niece Miss M! She will be turning 9 in just over a week. She is growing up so fast!

Want to skip ahead to your (or your signifigant other's) sign? Well, you can! There is a PDF that includes all 12 designs and some tips on creation and care available in my main etsy shop for the low low LOW price of $5.00. Or, you can just wait a year and collect all 12 for free... you know, which ever.

Of note, the PDF for the Signs of the Zodiac rings does NOT include instructions on how to do peyote stitch. Tips only. So, if you don't know peyote stitch, follow the link at the top of the page to the How to Make Peyote Rings post.
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