Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pretty Palettes July Reveal: Starry, starry night

Hi everyone!

This month on the Pretty Palettes challenge our inspiration is a starry night.  Here's the beautiful photo of the night sky that Erin Prais-Hintz chose for the challenge.
[Picture credit :: Ryan Hutton :: Unsplash]
[Picture credit :: Ryan Hutton :: Unsplash]

I'm back from camping for a few days up on the Oregon Coast.  I was hoping for starry nights there, but it was mostly foggy.  One of my favorite things is viewing the night sky when out camping.  The stars are larger, clearer and, seemingly, closer.  And, coming up is one of my favorite times of the year - the Perseid meteor shower.  Every year, when the kids were younger, we would grab a blanket and lay out on the lawn and watch the meteors whiz by. 

Erin chose these beads from Michaels' Bead Gallery line:
july2016_beadspalette copy

Beads, L to R:

For my necklace, I picked up the blue iris glass on chain, some larger rondelles in the same color, the hematite stars and some purplish blue druzy sliders.

Here are the earrings:
Starry Night Earrings

Another shot of the earrings:
Starry Night Earrings

Here's the first necklace I made incorporating some druzy sliders that I found at Michaels. 

But, this necklace has no stars though the beaded chain does twinkle nicely as do the druzies.  So, I decided to try another design using a slice of blue agate I've had forever.
Starry Night Necklace
This has a bit of sparkle above a dark sky with the stars swinging on the agate.  I used some blue leather cord that ties to slip over the head.

I can't count the number of times I took these apart and put them back together, but sometimes designing is like that - at least for me!  I really like the beaded chain; it would make a wonderful bracelet, so I may have to get more of that!

Head over to the Halcraft blog to see all the other beautiful creations inspired by the night sky!

Thanks for the inspiration, Erin!   I'm ready for some star gazing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Glass Art Angel

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Today I am creating with etchall® dip 'n etch, and I'm creating one of my favorite things - an angel.

One of the things I follow on pinterest is garden art, and there are lots of fabulous creations with upcycled glass.  I love working with different shapes and sizes to create art with it.  Here are a couple of things I've done recently: an etched snowman and a tealight holder

First, I headed to my local thrift shops for glass pieces that I can upcycle.  They are usually very inexpensive, which is a plus.  Or, you may have some around the house.

Here's what I found for my angel:
This is a vase and a small appetizer plate.  I thought the plate was perfect for angel wings.  I found a small round candle holder for the head.

Then, I proceeded to etch the pieces.  It's so easy with etchall® dip 'n etch.  Find a plastic container that fits your glass (this is the hardest part!).  Then, follow the instructions to etch the glass for about 15 minutes.  Rinse, dry and you are ready to go!

Here's the candle holder etching away:
After etching the other pieces and washing and drying them, I glued the pieces together with epoxy.  When using epoxy glue, be sure to have adequate ventilation.
Etched Angel
I painted the angel body and wings with an alcohol ink wash.  The wings have a soft yellow tint that doesn't show in this photo.  Alcohol inks worked very well with my tealight garden art.  It held up well outside keeping the original color.  And, I like the soft glow of this paint method. After painting, I glued on some soft green glass pieces for the hair.  Now, it's ready for the garden.  The angel also looks great on the window sill catching the morning light!

Glass Art Angel
I'm already thinking of more garden art ideas to create!  Maybe a bird feeder or some interesting glass flowers!  Etchall® dip 'n etch adds a nice soft luminescent look that I haven't seen on most of the garden art on pinterest. 

Ready to add it to your supplies?  Head here:  etchall®  and see all of the great products available.  Use my code TERRYR for a 10% discount!

Happy Creating!

Friday, July 15, 2016

We're All Ears :: Hot Air Balloons

Hi everyone,

Today I'm playing along with the We're All Ears challenge for July on the Earrings Everyday blog.  The inspiration this month is hot air balloons.  We regularly see balloons overhead here, and they are always fun to watch.

I've had these hollow copper filigree balls in my stash for awhile.  I thought the style and size were perfect for this challenge.  They are not bright and colorful, but the intricate pattern reminds me of the original hot air balloons.

Filigree Hot Air Balloon Earrings

I was thinking of adding rigging to the balloons, but that didn't fly!  So, to the filigree ball, I added a filigree bead cap and some spacers all in antiqued copper and strung them on copper head pins.

To see the other wonderful designs inspired by hot air balloons, go here.  Thanks for the fun inspiration, Erin!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review: Bead Weaving Made Easy

Hi all,

Today I'm reviewing a book I received from Leisure Arts:  Bead Weaving Made Easy.  These projects are made using square stitch and peyote stitch. Now, if you've seen my work, most of it is made using stringing, wire work and mixed media usually with larger beads, so this was quite a change for me.  It was truly a challenge!  But, I've long wanted to overcome my fear of these teeny beads, so I bravely charged onward!

To begin, I needed to learn peyote stitch.  I started out following the instructions with 11/0 beads.  After struggling, I decided to use some larger beads until I got the hang of the stitch.  I recommend this if you have never worked with the stitch or size 11/0 beads.  I switched to 6/0 beads, which are larger, and was able to get into the rhythm of the peyote stitch.  Here's my first attempt below:

So, switching back to the smaller beads, I followed the instructions to construct a bead for the Tower Pendant featured in the book.  This project looked like a good place to start - small in size and I liked the look of it combined with the other beads.
Tower Pendant from Bead Weaving Made Easy

Since the instructions said 12 rows, that is what I did.  So far, so good.  Here's my work. 

I connected the ends into a tube and noticed that my bead was squishy and wanted to go flat - not like the bead in the photo. Hmmm...I looked at the photo and counted the rows.  Six rows!  No wonder I had a floppy bead.  So, there is a small mistake in the written instructions. 

But, I was too proud of my first real attempt at making a beaded bead to let it go to waste!  So, when making the pendant, I inserted a small round bead into the center of the tube to give it some sturdiness and it worked fine.

Here's my pendant:
My Tower Pendant

There are a few things I learned while stitching this project that might be of help to you:

Getting started with the base row is the hardest part.  Once you have the first two rows, it's an easy stitch.

Keep your thread tight and keep working with the piece to tighten it if it loosens up.  Tighten your work after each row to keep the beads in line.

To keep the work tight, hold it in your non-dominant hand while stitching.

If you use larger beads, you need heavier thread.

Not content with my first attempt, I decided to make two more beads (the right size this time!) and use them for a pair of earrings.  Here are my beads.  They are only about 1/2" long.
I combined these with faceted blue glass, crazy lace rondelles, turquoise howlite rondelles and indicolite crystals to create long dangles:

Now, that I've got the hang of peyote stitch, I'm excited about learning more and trying more of the projects from this book, Bead Weaving Made Easy.  And, even with just this one bead design, there are so many ways to use it.  I'm happy to finally have this stitch in my beading repertoire!
Happy Beading!

PS  I received a copy of this book free from Leisure Arts as part of their blogger review program.  All opinions are my own.