Friday, 28 May 2010

7th Goal Completed

Here's what I did with my hex beads. I decided to use them on their own, using up ¾ of the tube to weave a band in herringbone stitch and then attached it to an aluminium cuff covered in Ultrasuede. This solves both issues that I was worried about...because the cuff is stiff, the beadwork won't be moving around so there's less stress on the thread and hopefully no breakage. And adding it to the top of the cuff means that only the soft Ultrasuede touches the skin. I'm really happy with how it turned out, even though it was really hard to photograph!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

7th Goal (Liz)

Browsing through my box of blues I found this tube of twisted hex beads, which I've had for what seems like forever! They're the most gorgeous shade of blue with flashes of colour (Miyuki metallic blue iris shade 452 in case anyone is interested) and I've taken them out of my stash loads of times, wondering how I could put them to use.

But like bugle beads I'm a bit nervous about using them, worried that the edges will slice through the thread and also that the finished piece will be too scratchy as they're not the smoothest of beads. Today I've had an idea that hopefully will solve both of these dilemmas. In fact I couldn't wait to start and I'm already half way through!

Monday, 24 May 2010

5th May Goal Complete - Sarah

I have quite a stash of delica beads that I haven't used in some time and some of them haven't even been opened. Well, we can't have that now can we? Making my Blue Jeans Butterfly for my Folksy summer swap partner reminded me how fabulous they are to work with, so I'm now on a mission to make 5 more beaded pendants with delica's by the end of this month. Yes, that's a lot but I figure I might as well aim high!

While routing through my 3 takeaway containers of delica's (they aren't all completely full, honest, I sort by colour. Of course we aren't mentioning the ones packed away upstairs, out of sight and all that), I came across this pretty mix that I bought in a frenzy when I realised that Hobbycraft in my town sold them. I wanted to take some photo's for the post below and thought these would make a pretty butterfly.
I am doing a craft fair on Saturday and wanted some more butterflies to take with me, I'd like a little grouping of them on my display. So here she is, I think she's pretty but needs some brighter friends to sit alongside her on my table. Watch this space....

An Attempt to Explain How I Construct a Butterfly.

Clair asked how I construct my butterfly pendant, so I thought I would put together a quick and dirty explanation. I have got a lot on and don't really have time for anything more detailed at the moment.

First of all you will need 4 equally sized brick stitch diamonds, here's a link to a tutorial if you want one,

Then lay them out in pairs with 1 edge of each diamond flush against the other.

Thread a needle through one of the tails and go down through the 1st edge bead of diamond 1, then up through the 1st edge bead of diamond 2 and back down the 1st edge bead of diamond 1, continue like this until you have the 2 edges sewn together.

Repeat for the other pair of diamonds. Then lay 2 of the bottom edges of each pair together and attach as above. Clear as mud? Hope these pics help!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

What's That Coming Over The Hill? Is It A Monster?

Here is the necklace that I made for Lisa's birthday, am I a good friend or what, lol.
This necklace was on the cover of Bead Magazine Issue 18, so I have made use of one of my mags, as well as using up 15gms triangles, 15gms of 6's and some accent beads, I had to buy new beads for the rest of it as I didn't have large enough quantities required.
When Lisa first said she liked this necklace, I was a little apprehensive as it looks like a total monster but actually was not quite as much work as I thought it would be, although I did schedule it over a couple of weeks. It took me 4/5 evenings to make the dutch spiral strap, an evening each for the rings and an hour for the fringe. I enjoyed making it and may well make one for myself as it really is impressive in person. It was worth the effort as Lisa really likes it.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

6th Goal Completed! (Liz)

I struggled all week to find ideas to use these lampwork beads. My brain was constantly thinking jewellery and although I had a few ideas rolling around in my head, none of them worked out. Then yesterday I was reading and inspiration struck - book thongs! Just because you have a set of beads, there's no reason why you can't divide them up to make several things, at least that way they're being used and enjoyed and not languishing in a box for years on end. I'm really pleased with these...

Book thongs are one of my favourite things to make. I cut lengths of faux suede thonging and use fold over cord ends to attach the beads. These are a great way to use up those odd beads in your stash. Two leftover beads would naturally be made into a pair of earrings but not everyone wears them. Make them into a bookmark and you have a wonderful gift! Great for making men's gifts too if you avoid girly colours ;)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Birthday Gifts Part 1.

I'll have to do this in two parts as my camera ran out of battery before I could download the monster of a necklace that I made for my friend Lisa. These are the pieces that I made for her sister Claire, Claire wanted earrings or rings, so I raided my stash and made her a few pretties. I will only post the things made from stash here the others will be on April Is Forever.

I bought these gorgeous turquoise ceramic flowers at the Chepstow Bead Fair in January but have been a bit stuck on how to use them, a simple circle of seed beads made with Beadalon and a crimp bead were the perfect solution.

Claire wears a lot of green, so I paired 4mm peridot and 3mm olive swarovski's and made this pretty raw/peyote ring and made a matching pair of earrings, again using a simple bead wire circle with a wire wrapped dangle.

I'm glad to say that she liked all of them!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Taking A Tip from Kitty - 2nd May Project Photo's.

Like Kitty I do have small amounts of larger beads in my stash. I rarely use anything over 6mm in my work and very often only use seed beads, so I thought I would take a tip from Kitty and get some new findings to try and use up some of the stash. The gun metal findings look really pretty with these colours. The pink drops are my favourite.

1st May Goal Picture & The Promise of Things to Come - Sarah

You'll note that I titled this post the 1st picture of May and not just the 1st completed goal. That's because I have been feverishly beading birthday presents and swap gifts which are all super-secret and it's been really hard to note post here and show you what I've made and used from my stash!

This is my most recent stash busting project, I have a hoard of delica beads that I have not used for ages and I thought it was about time that I did, they are far too beautiful to languish in my bead box, only o be taken out to be admired on occasion. I have been on a nature kick lately and started making tiny butterfly pendants in 1 colour of size 11's but thought how pretty several shades would be. I also had a few problems with the holes of the 11's filling with thread, so the delica's are perfect for this project. So here I have a beautiful pendant which I have called Blue Jeans Butterfly to remind me that Summer is just around the corner.

The birthday gifts are being delivered tomorrow, so I can update you on them then.

6th Goal (Liz)

My goal for this week is to create something with this gorgeous set of lampwork beads. Made by Julie Fountain at Lush Lampwork, they were my prize for winning the Artist of the Month challenge on the UK Beaders forum almost two years ago. I've taken them out of my lampwork box many times, wondering what I could make that would do them justice. This week I'm determined to find some inspiration!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Blue Bead Challenge

So, I've been thinking about how to start tackling my bead stash. I'm a seed bead lover at heart, so in some ways, although I have a large selection of beads to choose from whenever I want to start a new project, my stash doesn't take up a huge amount of room in the house. And, so, I never feel guilty about buying more beads and stashing them away until I have time to sit down and create. bead box is starting to get a little full and before I know it I won't be able to fit the lid on. I had best start teackling my bead stash!

Yesterday, I decided that I'd like a summer necklace that will work well with my summer 'uniforms' of navy, linen trousers and a white shirt, or jeans, tank top and jacket.

Blue Challenge

I had a good old rummage in my bead box and came up with two tubes of seed beads in aqua/teal and fourteen teal glass beads left over from my Wire Wrapped Daisy Bracelet Tutorial.

I'll be back at the end of the month to show you what I've made. The challenge is on!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Get Well Soon, Bobbi!

Our team member Bobbi (The Bead Goes On) is currently in hospital. I know you'll join with me in wishing her a speedy recovery so that she can come home soon.

Take care Bobbi, we miss you and hope you will be back to Blogland soon!

Please head over to Bobbi's blog and leave her a get well message or e-mail so that she knows we are all thinking of her and send our thoughts and good wishes!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Let Me Ask You A Question...

Having begged to contribute to Tackle That Bead Stash after the lovely Sarah featured my Bead & Button Bracelet Tutorial, I thought that I should probably pop by and introduce myself to all of our wonderful followers.

Beading was actually one of the first crafts that I fell in love with but, although I've technically been beading and making jewellery for several years, I still think of myself as a beginner. I must confess that I still haven't learnt Peyote Stitch. (Shock!)

Unfortunately, I've fallen in love with so many other crafts - and there's only so much time in the day to dedicate to beading. But, as I've become more patient with my crafts and no longer expect finished projects to appear in one sitting, I'm keen to return to my first crafty love.

Iridescence Netted Necklace

I'm hoping that the beginner level projects and tutorials I'm planning won't put off any seasoned beaders and jewellery makers who happen to read our lovely blog and that maybe, just maybe you'll all leave me a comment telling me what kind of tutorials you'd be most interested in seeing. It will help me, as the newest newbie, immensely.

In the meantime, you can find me (and some of my previous jewellery tutorials) over on my own blog Obstinate Pursuit. Just don't expect me to stick to the subject!

5th Goal Completed! (Liz)

Isn't it funny how you start off with an idea and then go and do something completely and utterly different?! I was going to string the beads very simply with some cherry red seed beads in between them and weave a large flower from seed beads as a focal to sit in the middle. Look what happened...

I was worried that the beading wire I have might not take the weight of the beads so decided it would be better to link them with wire instead. Choosing antique gold, I was getting the headpins and jump rings out of the drawer when I spotted my little stash of butterflies, so out went the flower idea! Then I found some filigree beads that I bought and have never used, and as you can see it started turning into an eclectic vintage style necklace.

The other metal beads and the chain were from a necklace that was 50p in Evans a couple of years ago (I bought one to wear and another three to use as 'parts'!) and then I added some small darker red aventurine, green aventurine and a few Chinese jade beads. And of course I couldn't resist a little beadweaving, making a few beaded beads in gold and olive green. The only thing missing is a clasp as it seems my antique gold clasps have gone awol! Although its not what I'd planned to make, I'm really happy with how 'Penelope' has turned out :)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bustin' my bead stash, two beads at a time

So, this is my first post on the blog, and I'm afraid it's not going to be as dramatic as some of the other posts, on account of the number of beads I've managed to use for my recent projects. You see, although I do own some seed beads, I tend to hoard larger beads, and these tend to come in pairs. I am obsessed with making earrings for some reason, so to make even a small dent in my bead stash is going to take some work. But we've all got to start somewhere, so here goes.

These first two pairs of earrings were made from beads which were already in earrings - I bought some fab but inexpensive gunmetal and antique brass findings, which I am using to give a new lease of life to some neglected beads in my stash.

The remaining earrings were made from beads in my stash which I didn't think really suited silver findings.

I love these beads, they remind me partly of plum tomatoes, and partly of lipstick - the little dents in the beads are intentional, I didn't prod them to see if they really were toms, honest:

I don't usually like pink, especially such a pale pink, but I think it works well with the dark chain:

These unusual beads have a two-tone effect - when the light hits them, they become a vivid orange colour:

And finally, my favourite colour. I love turquoise and these beads were nestling in a bag of blues, waiting for a bit of antique brass to make them 'pop':

I think that's enough beady waffle for my first post. I'm off to drool over all the gorgeous seed bead creations on the blog now.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

5th Goal (Liz)

I was putting some things away yesterday when I came across a box, tucked away in the corner of a cupboard. A little cardboard box that was stuck down with tape and felt suspiciously heavy for it's size. I had absolutely no idea what was inside so feeling a bit confused, but also a little bit excited, I carefully opened it...

...and look at the hoard I found! Sesame jasper, citrine, blue lace agate, peridot, sodalite, little agate pendants, sets of fans, and loads more that I don't know the name of. I had bought them in a Beads Direct sale some time ago and they were a fabulous bargain, but how tragic to put them away and then completely forget about them.

My goal for this week is to use some of these gorgeous peachy/orangey beads from my little treasure trove, which I think might be red aventurine. I don't normally use this colour so it'll be interesting to see what I can do with them.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Welcome to Clair!

I am really pleased to announce that we have another new member to OTTBS, the 2nd this week! Welcome to Clair from the Obstinate Pursuit blog who is the designer of the beautiful bead and button bracelet that I linked to yesterday. We are really glad to have you here and can't wait to see your stashbusting projects.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Leftovers Project Link - Got Buttons?

Need to use them up? If so head over to the Obstinate Pursuit blog via the link below and check out Clair's tutorial for this beautiful bead and button bracelet. As an added bonus you could use any leftover beads, chain and headpins from previous projects for this one, what could be better? I love Clair's Waste Not Wednesday concept and will be keeping a close eye on what she comes up with!

Welcome to Kitty Ballistic!

Yay! We have a new team member here at Operation Tackle That Bead Stash! Welcome to Kitty Ballistic (such a fab name). Can't wait to see your stashbusting projects! You can find a link to Kitty's personal blog on the right.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Welcome to our new followers!

It's great to have you here.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Leftovers Project Link

Here is a cute project idea from Martha Stewart to make simple ornaments from leftover beads. If like me you have loads of odd beads leftover from other projects, take a look,

3rd & 4th April Goals.

I know I haven't posted much this month as I have had a lot on but it has been a good month for stashbusting the seed beads, I used up about 100 grams! Woohoo! Still can't fit everything in my craft boxes though. Here are 2 corkscrew spiral necklaces that I made with 2 tubes of size 8 beads for each. I used up all the beads in the tubes for both, I love it when that happens!