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Blackwood Cameo Necklace

July 2, 2011

Blackwood Cameo Necklace

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m addicted to Anne Rice. I’ve been reading her books voraciously, and just finished the final Vampire Chronicle. In the second to last book of the series, Blackwood Farm, fledgling vampire Tarquin Blackwood tells Lestat the story of his family’s gothic past and how he came to be a vampire. Throughout the story of Quinn and his family, cameos play a significant role. Anne’s descriptions of ornately carved shell cameos made me covetous — I wanted Aunt Queen’s antique collection and Lestat’s cameo buttoned frock coat. The cameo I’ve created here is only acrylic, but it’s certainly inspired by her storytelling.

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Ariel Bracelet

June 5, 2011

Ariel Bracelet

I was immediately drawn to the vintage acrylic cabs used in this bracelet. They are gold foiled on the round side, clear purple/indigo on the flat size. As a result, they are slightly unusual and the streaky effect of the acrylic gives the colour mystery and depth, as in a witch’s caldroun. I’ve paired the larger vintage cabs with blue goldstone capsule beads. Blue goldstone is a glittering glass, which is often mistaken for stone. There are rumours that blue goldstone was originally created by medieval alchemists, and it is still believed to carry magical properties today. The magical appearance these materials, contrasted with the playfulness of the lavender seed beads, inspired me to name this piece after Ariel, a mischievous fairy from the Tempest.

Peacock’s Tail Necklace

May 4, 2011

Peacock’s Tail Necklace

Back in 2007, my blog was hosted elsewhere and it was named “Peacock Dreams” – a reference to one of my favorite shows ever, the Mighty Boosh. Peacock Dreams is about being original, even if it’s not appreciated in your time — an idea that resonates with any self-proclaimed artist. You can watch the clip about Peacock Dreams on YouTube (just be warned, it’s a tiny bit cheeky).

This necklace really brought to mind a peacock feather. Many of the beads, as well as the clasp, used in this necklace were repurposed from a vintage necklace, which I found at a garage sale. I’m fairly sure that the centre beads are vintage Swarovski 5100s. The AB coating on these blue side drilled crystals is so amazing. I framed them with cubic or 3d right angle weave, and embellished with some Miyuki Magatamas and 15s I bought at a bead show — my first time using them and I am thrilled with the result.

Download a free sample beadweaving project!

April 21, 2011

After the success I’ve had with selling beadweaving tutorials — and the great feedback I’ve gotten from fellow beaders! — I’ve decided to make one of downloads my beading tutorials free to download.

 Please download the Ruffled Honeysuckle Brooch – PDF Tutorial on my tutorials page. Feel free to pass along the word! And, of course, happy beading!!

New tutorial for sale on Etsy!

April 17, 2011

I’m excited to announce that I’ve listed a new tutorial on my Etsy store, as well as for instant download on the tutorials page on this blog.

It’s my first tutoiral for a ring, and I think you’ll really enjoy wearing it and making it. It was actually the first ring I ever made — see the original post here.

Please check out the listing for the Green Fairy Beaded Cocktail Ring on Etsy to find out more or buy it.

Taylor Necklace

April 13, 2011

Taylor Necklace

I mentioned in my last post that I had figured out how to make chain links using herringbone stitch. Well, here it is! I’m always happy if I can salvage something I’ve made, and I think this is pretty successful. The focus of the necklace is the links, which join together a beaded bead, and three vintage square cabochons.

I purchased the cabochons at both at a local bead show. The owner of the both brough the contents of her bead store to sell – she is retired and the bead store gone, but she still has plenty of stock from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s that she still sells at bead shows. She was very nice, and I absolutely loved everything she was selling. I’d estimate from the style of these cabs (which are made of modled plastic and glitter of some kind) that they are circa the late 1960s or the 1970s.

Although I suspect Liz Taylor would have never worn plastic with her collection of diamonds available to her, I’ve decided to name this piece after her because I was working on it when she passed away. She’s an icon to any jewellery lover, and the colouration of this piece – gold and turquoise – brought to mind her film Cleopatra.

By the way, if you are independently wealthy, you can bid on Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels at the upcoming Christie’s auction.

And another by the way, I will be posting a new tutorial for sale later this week.

Mucha Dragonfly Necklace

March 20, 2011

Mucha Butterfly Necklace

It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to post. Lately, I haven’t had the time or energy to make anything. The main reason for this is being busy with work. Since I work at a computer all day, my arms and neck often ache —  beading just doesn’t help. My contract at work is ending,  so maybe I will bead more to get through my job search. I’m considering starting my own business though, so maybe I will be really busy!

I started this project months ago, on my Christmas vacation. My original idea was to make beaded chain links. It was a terribly slow process, and they competed too much with the pendant.  I finally gave up on that idea after putting the project away for three whole months. I’m not into gaudy baubles — I much prefer this simple strung necklace. You can see the basic look I was trying to achieve with the chains in the two bails on the pendant. I saved the chain links, however, so you can look forward to seeing a bracelet made with them later on. I like to salvage things, if I can.

The pendant is made from a reproduction Victorian glass button I bought at Vancouver’s Button Button. I used the same technique used for the La Ghirlandata Necklace to capture the button. The combination of muted pastels and amber, as well as the dragonfly motif, reminds me Art Nouveau. The bezel itself reminds me of  Alphonse Mucha because he was known for framing his bohemian beauties with elaborate halo backgrounds, as typified in his painting Dance from the Arts Series.