Sunday, March 29, 2015

More FreeStyle Beaded Brooches

I am continuing to explore all the possibilities there are with freestyle beading.
All of these begin with one small focal element that I wish to bead around.
They are the sweetest brooches now!
Minnie Mouse was a Japanese miniatures find.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tropical Punch Fashion Show Jewelery

Earlier this year Nancy Donaldson and myself spent several days creating three sets of jewelry for the Creativity on The Catwalk Show at the Craft Hobby & Stitch International in Birmingham-UK.

We were the first designers to work with a new collection created by Fernando DaSilva for John Bead, and it's Dazzle-it brand called Tropical Punch.

Some of the items we used ultimately didn't make it into the final selection of products (there are 150 in the collection) but we were thrilled to showcase all the possibilities.  

My favorite part of the process was that even though I had two sets and Nancy was meant to focus on the soutache set (which took much longer) we ended up working jointly throughout.  Nancy has a better of of attaching items with wire and I like to create cascading pieces.  Designing as a team was fantastic.
Nancy's soutache set is a showstopper.  

This floral theme is sure to brighten your day!  I can see Carmen Miranda wearing this!

I taught myself how to make these beaded flowers.  Several how-to posts will be featured on John Bead's sites.

Spring will be all about Tropical Punch!
You can see more on

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I Love Resin

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the
"For the love of Resin"
2015 Collaboration for!

All the posts are linked here if you would like to read about each of these submissions.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beaded Brooches

Last week I mentioned I have been having fun learning to assemble retro sty brooches.
Here are a few of my first projects.
My beading stash has grown a fair bit over the last five years.
I am using this exercise as an opportunity to use up unusual beads I picked up in my travels.

The best part about these brooches is that I can also use up leftover beads from current works.
Loving this style of hand sewing and jewelry assembly.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Accidental Beader - Tropical Punch Flowers

Many of you know that I work for John Bead, a very large bead and jewelry making components wholesaler.  Our company has over 60,000 items in the catalog and this selection continues to grow.
This gives me the opportunity to learn new techniques all the time.  Just before Christmas, in anticipation of the launch of a new product line called  Tropical Punch© our creative director Fernando DaSilva asked me if I could make some flower brooches using the beads and components he selected for his new line.  
"Tropical Punch© translates the trendy colors of Brazil, the sensuous style of Brazilian women and also its cool and joyful vibe."
This was my first effort.  I enjoy sewing by hand and figured out a fast way to sew everything into place with good beading thread.
Since I had a few more sample beads to play with I made a few more flowers with these brand new round and teardrop beads.  I absolutely love 50's jewelry and these colours and shapes made me so happy.  Those vintage 50's pieces are really expensive when you see them in I am making my own!
It didn't take long for me to start wondering what else I could add.
In fact, I am having trouble stopping.  I could bead flowers all day long.
Over the next few weeks I'll be able to share all the Tropical Punch ©
 pieces I have made along with some totally different new beaded brooches.

This is as close to Spring as I can get!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Fingerless Gloves From Wool Blanket

Locked in the cold as I am, I am still looking for ways to stay warm.
These new fingerless gloves were a fun project over the weekend as our weather forecasters predicted we will break all records for the most consecutive days of below freezing temperatures in my part of the world.

My gloves are upcycled from an old wool blanket I purchased antiquing in the summer.
Dragging this thick blanket home in the heat was not something I enjoyed, but I am really glad I did.
As soon as I saw the label I knew I would use it to make mittens.
I washed it in hot water twice and it is virtually felted.

I can cut my pattern and not worry about hemming.  
I really wanted to include some of the original ribbon edging 
so I made sure to cut in areas where the ribbon was nice.

I sewed these two gloves in moments.

I was already working on some beading in my lap tray and thought this filigree added something extra special to my mittens.

A few more beads and pearls and I can now wear these anywhere!