Sunday, February 23, 2014

Swarovski Splurge

I spent all of last evening assembling some Swarovski jewelry that I bought components for.  First I finished up this necklace, Gulf Stream, which I got from Artbeads.  This is a variation of another necklace that I recently made, Nouveau Navettes.  This version did away with the extra length of chain, and it is all Swarovski beads.  I do like it, but it is a lot heavier.
List of Components:
Swarovski 13304 Rhodium-Plated Navette Charm with Crystal (13304-RCRY7, qty 16)
Swarovski 5810 10mm Round Pearl Turquoise (5810-TRQ10, qty 16)
Swarovski 5000 8mm Faceted Round Sapphire (5000-SAP8, qty 16)
Swarovski 5028 6mm Crystal Globe Bead Peridot (5028-PER6, qty 16)
Antique Silver-Plated Brass Curb Chain (BTF-0204, qty 2)
3-Inch Head Pin, 20 Gauge (Sterling Silver) (SS-HP03, qty 16)
6x15mm Stainless Steel Oval Trigger Clasp (CLASP-0361, qty 1)
4.5mm Gunmetal-Plated 21 Gauge Open Jump Ring (BGM-OJR04-A, qty 4)

This necklace and earring set I got from Fusion Beads, another great place to shop.  It came from their inspiration page and you can order all of the components and download a pdf of the instructions from the project page.
Cinnamon Sparkle Necklace and Cinnamon Sparkle Earrings.

Materials for the Necklace:
28 - 4mm Crystal Copper Swarovski Crystal Round Beads (04RD0203)
10 - 6mm Crystal Copper Swarovski Crystal Round Beads (06RD0250)
1 - 18mm Crystal Copper Swarovski Crystal Rondelle Bead (SC3935)
20 - 8mm Maroon Swarovski Crystal Pearls (PL6535)
6 - 10mm Maroon Swarovski Crystal Pearls (PL6536)
2 - 12mm Maroon Swarovski Crystal Pearls (PL6537)
1 - 4x.5x12mm Gold-Filled LobsterClasp with Ring (GF2801)
1 - 6mm Gold-Filled Closed Jump Ring (GF2722)
2 - 2x2mm Gold-Filled Crimp Beads (GF2788)
2 - 3.4mm Gold-Filled Crimp Bead Covers (GF2101)
2 feet - Clear Soft Flex Beading Wire .014 Diameter (SM0310)

Materials for the Earrings:
4 - 2mm Crystal Copper Swarovski Crystal Round Beads (02RD0106)
4 - 4mm Crystal Copper Swarovski Crystal Round Beads (04RD0203)
4 - 8mm Maroon Swarovski Crystal Pearls (PL6536)
2 - 18mm Crystal Copper Swarovski Crystal Rondelle Beads (SC3935)
1 pair - 20mm Sterling Silver Ear Wire with Front Loops (SS2600)
2 - 22 Gauge Sterling Silver 2 Inch Head Pins (SS4011)
This bracelet features the new Swarovski color - Tangerine.  I like simple sparkly bangle bracelets.
Tangerine Dream Bracelet.

32 - 4mm Topaz Swarovski Elements Crystal Bicone Beads (04BI1137)
16 - 6mm Smoked Topaz Swarovski Elements Crystal Round Beads (06RD0132)
16 - 8mm Tangerine Swarovski Elements Crystal Round Beads (08RD0314)
1 - 11x16.5mm Gold Plated Base Metal 2 Strand Tube Bar Clasp (BM3068)
18 inches - Clear Soft Flex Wire .014 diameter (SM0310)
4 - 2x2mm Gold-Filled Crimp Beads (GF2788)
4 - 3.5mm Gold-Filled Crimp Bead Covers (GF2101)

Ice Box Tea Chest - Stocked!

And here it is all stocked, and ready to brew a cuppa - Stash Mango Passionfruit today.  And look, there is still room.  Well, actually that empty shelf is for my Sip 'n Stitch teas.  I ordered some air tight canisters for them.  I thought they would look nicer than the brown bags.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ice Box Tea Chest

I have an embarrassing amount of tea in my cupboards and clustered on my kitchen counter and of course I've signed up (again) for The Unique Sheep's Stitch 'n Sip Tea Club.  I do enjoy tea but I haven't had a good way of making myself a cup, but for Christmas I got a great little tea kettle (I saw the same one on Sherlock)
and lately I've gotten in to the habit of having a cup of tea when I get home from work.  Naturally I decided that I needed a better way to keep my tea stash, which led to the purchase in the first photo - a 1930's Ice Box.  Originally I was thinking a baker's rack or a hutch, and I did see a darling primitive hutch at the Antique Outlet that we went to, but the Ice Box was the first thing I saw when I walked in to the store, and after an hour of wandering, that is what I decided on.  It has all of it's original shelving.  The ice goes in the compartment on the left, and the pipe in the bottom left hand compartment drains the melted ice to the drip pan that goes underneath.
Of course Jasmine had to investigate

Twisted Rib Pullover - Body Done

Finished up this morning and now blocking before I pick up stitches for the collar.  I was thinking of making a second pullover, and even have the yarn, but I'm not so sure - those little strips of 3 stitches at the shoulders were a bit of a pain and don't really block well, they just curl up imitating i-cord.

Pattern:  Design 1835 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Twisted Rib Pullover - Body Almost Done

I have been focused on finishing my Twisted Rib Pullover.  Last weekend I restarted the body, knitting the ribbing in the yellow and began knitting the body by raveling the original work.  I made it almost to the underarm last weekend, knitting while reading the ninth Inspector Alleyn mystery (Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh).  Last weekend I also picked up a small spiral notebook to keep my pattern notes in.  I have been using those lined Post-It Pads, sticking the notes in magazines and pattern books, but they get creased and lose their stick and I really wanted something a bit more organized.
The notebook is 7 inches by 4 3/8 inches (17.7 cm by 11.1 cm), a really nice size and has 140 pages - lined.  I am always re-writing patterns, mostly changing them to knit them in the round.  I also have a larger notebook that I am using for the Tudor Roses adventure.
I bought this at Bead & Button several years ago when my sister and I went to the local office supply store for some booth supplies.  It has been sitting around waiting for a purpose ever since.  The patterns in Tudor Roses are fairly detailed, and so are my pattern notes, so I needed a larger format.  I have been re-writing the first pattern, and playing with gauge and once I get everything sorted I'll pick that project back up.

Pattern:  Design 1835 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm), US 4 (3.5 mm)

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Last week A Grain of Sand was advertising amber.  I missed out on the lovely pendants, but did buy a couple of strands when I ordered the extra strand of red pearls for my multi-strand pearl necklace.  I also bought a two strand clasp.  I just wanted something simple that would showcase the amber in a natural way.

1 strand Baltic Butterscotch Amber Nugget Beads
1 strand Green Caribbean Amber Stacked Beads
Soft Flex Extreme 925 Sterling Silver Metallic Flex Wire (0.019 inch diameter)

Pearls, pearls, pearls

I bought two strands of each color  when A Grain of Sand had pearls on sale last month just because I thought they were pretty.  When I saw the two colors together I knew that I wanted to make a multi-strand necklace with them so I ordered another strand of each color.  Last weekend I pulled the clasp out of my stash and discovered that it had seven attachment rings on each side, not six, so I ordered another strand of the red pearls.  Of course when you wear it, you would "style" it by twisting it around thusly:

4 strands red and 3 strands natural pink rice freshwater pearls
Soft Flex Extreme 925 Sterling Silver Metallic Flex Wire Fine (0.014 inch diameter)
Multi-strand silver clasp

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Twisted Rib Pullover - Second Sleeve Done (for the second time)

As usual, the second sleeve went pretty quickly.  I had two partial balls of the yellow yarn left over from the Goldenrod pullover, so I used one of them to re-knit the bottom band of the body, just to see how much yarn it used and try to gauge if I had enough to do both the bottom edge and the top band.  I think I do, so I've started frogging the body and re-knitting it.  When I re-knit the sleeves I made them a bit longer.  The original pattern had them ending just below the elbow, but I prefer a three-quarter length, if I'm going for less than a full length sleeve.

Pattern:  Design 1835 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm), US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Twisted Rib Pullover - One Sleeve Done (Again)

I had actually completed both sleeves, but when I tried one on (pulling it up my arm), the fit was tighter than I like - it fit very closely - so I decided to knit them again a little bit bigger, but I am also worried about running out of yarn so I knit the cuff in leftover yarn from the Goldenrod pullover.  I like the fit of this sleeve better, so I've raveled the other sleeve.  I need to get back to the body and make sure that I like the fit of that as well.  At this point I am not planning on re-knitting the body with a contrast ribbing, but I will probably do the collar out of the yellow.

Pattern:  Design 1835 from Moments No. 005
Yarn:  SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Fino
Needles:  US 3 (3.25 mm), US 4 (3.5 mm)

Mayan Garden Cape - Chart 10 Done

Lest anyone think that I have totally given up knitting for jewelry and beading, I have been knitting as well.  I actually knit Chart 10 last weekend, while watching the game, but only got around to photographing it this afternoon.  Things get interesting again with the next chart - more patterning and beads.

Pattern:  Mayan Garden by Kitman Figueroa, modified to be a cape
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Luxe in custom colorway Mayan Garden
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Polymer and Pearls - Last One

This is the last Polymer Clay bead in my bead stash.  I used Peacock Green and Pale Cranberry pearls, both from Artbeads.  Strung on Soft Flex Extreme Flex 925 Sterling Silver Metallic Flex Wire, Fine (0.014 in diameter).  Now that I have made necklaces with all of the Polymer Clay beads I will have to decide which beads to tackle next.

Vintage Italian Lucite Moonglow Beads

I don't usually go for large beads, let along "plastic" beads, but these Vintage Italian Lucite Moonglow beads from the famous Bead Horde at A Grain of Sand just spoke to me.  When they arrived I immediately started playing with them on one of my Bead Boards and was delighted when the design just fell into place.  I even happened to have the perfect clasp, also purchased from A Grain of Sand, in my stash.  I had to order more of the sapphire blue beads to finish this necklace, but then had leftovers that I needed to use up (I hate having left overs) so I strung another simple necklace and used one of the matching Lucite clasps that I had also bought.
Of course you can't really get the full effect unless you put them on, so here they are being modeled by my dress maker dummy.


I went on a bit of a bracelet kick this past week.  You know how it is, sometimes you see a design and it just grabs you.  A couple of weeks ago this bracelet design was featured on the Artbeads web site and I just had to make it.  This is the bracelet that got me to buy Swarovski crystals.  I have resisted the sparkle for years, even though the bling is plentiful at the Bead & Button show every year.  This is the Emerald City bracelet.  You can buy all of the materials right from the project page.  Pretty clever of Artbeads...

List of Components:
Swarovski 5625 10mm 2-hole Stairway Bead Dark Moss Green (5625-DMG10, qty 19)
Swarovski 5000 5mm Faceted Round Crystal (5000-crys5, qty 32)
Swarovski 5000 3mm Faceted Round Crystal (5000-crys3, qty 40)
Swarovski 5328 3mm XILION Bicone Dark Moss Green (5328-DMG3, qty 24)
Swarovski 5328 3mm XILION Bicone Crystal (5328-crys3, qty 24)
Swarovski 5000 10mm Faceted Round Crystal (5000-crys10, qty 2)

I liked the design so much I bought more beads to make another bracelet in Amethyst and Topaz.  I would have finished it this week as well, but one of the square beads was chipped.  I emailed Artbeads and they are sending along a replacement, with their profuse apologies.

While I was perusing their website I also picked up a couple of kits.

This is the Cape Cod in Bloom Bracelet.

And this is the Tanzanite Temptation Bracelet.

These kits included everything you needed except the beading wire for stringing, which I have.  They called out a different brand in the instructions, but I always use Soft Flex.  Both of the kit bracelets were strung on the Soft Flex Extreme Metallic Flex Wire Medium (0.019 in diameter), in the 925 Sterling Silver.

More Polymer Beads and Pearls

I put together some more necklaces with the Polymer Clay beads that I've had in my stash for quite a while.  I bought a number of these beads my first couple of years going to the Bead & Button show and they've been sitting in my stash ever since.  I've been trying to work through some of my bead stash lately and these are easy pieces to work up.  I had to order some more Soft Flex and clasps, and some more pearls and my orders came in last week.  For this one I used Glorious Green pearls from A Grain of Sand, accented with Blue Peacock pearls from Artbeads.

For this one I used Blue Peacock pearls from Artbeads and accented with leftover Glorious Green pearls from A Grain of Sand.

For this one I used Blue Peacock pearls accented with Purple Peacock pearls, both from Artbeads.

All of them are strung on Soft Flex Extreme Flex Metallic Flex Wire, Fine (0.014 in diameter).  I used the 925 Sterling Silver for the first one and the 24k Gold for the other two.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Japanese Flower

I bought this kit from Blue Buddha Boutique a couple of years ago at Bead & Button and it has been sitting in my bead stash every since.  I pulled it out over the Christmas holidays and had a slight heart stopping moment because the directions were not with the kit.  Fortunately I remembered that I had bought this kit the same year that I had taken a class and I knew where all the material was for the class (I haven't finished that project yet either).  Sure enough, the instructions were in the bag with the class materials.  I pulled the kit out last night and finished the project up this morning.  It was pretty easy and I quickly got the hang of hooking the rings.  The instructions were good - I'm a visual person so I like lots of pictures - and they had great tips to make the process easier, like laying out all of your rings before you start each flower.
I used the large Bead-On-It Board that I bought last year at Bead & Button as my work surface and it worked extremely well, plenty of space without being too big.
Project:  Japanese Flower by Rebeca Mojica
Aluminum Rings: D = 1/8", 20 gauge
Red Enameled Copper Rings:  D = 1/8", 20 gauge
Aluminum Rings:  D = 3/16", 18 gauge
Toggle Clasp

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunflower Bracelet II

And here is the other color way.  This bracelet worked up a lot faster than the first one seeing as how I pretty much had the design memorized by this point.  The only issue I have with this design is that it was a pain getting the chatons centered in the beaded bezels.  I think it is because you start with a round of size 11 beads and use the size 15 beads on the other rows to create the shape to hold the chaton and that round of size 11 beads creates a bump that keeps the chaton from really nesting in the bezel.  Beading around stones is something of a challenge.

I tried Tulip beading needles with this project.  I've had them in my needle stash for a few years and everyone has been raving about them at Bead & Button (we always sell out of them at the show) and I'm happy to say that all of the praise is not hyperbole.  They are easy to thread, have a nice stiffness (I tend to bend beading needles), and come in cute little tubes with the needle size marked, so there is no mystery when you are looking for a beading needle, as long as you remember to return them to their tube when you are done with them.

Design:  Sunflower Bracelet by Yasmin Sarfati (December 2013/January 2014 Beadwork Magazine)
2 g silver size 15 beads
5 g silver size 11 beads
8 g opaque blue luster 5x3 mm 2-hole sead beads
5 foil-back sapphire blue 8 mm crystal chatons
4 silver 6 mm jump rings
1 silver 14x15 mm filigree oval box clasp
silver size B nylon beading thread
Size 11 beading needle