Sunday, January 29, 2012


As a thank you swap with my painter-artist friend, Cindy, I made her a bracelet.

Well, I liked it so much I had to make myself a similar one.  I have this aversion to making identical pieces (where's the fun in that??!  oh - maybe that's why I can't make earrings......hmmmmm), so I used the same beads but arranged them (ok, fine - the beads arranged themselves, as usual- so I won't take the credit) in a slightly different manner:

Lynn's bracelet on bottom - Cindy's on top
Cindy's "cupcake" medallion
Lynn's "cupcake"
I don't know where or how I came up with studding the Swarovski crystals in this random pattern, but I LOVE it.  I used a mix of clear, jet, and smoke in various sizes with a bit of silver seeds sprinkled in.

Cindy's bling
I made the bling section on my cuff even larger and outlined the edge with the crystals too.  The play of light is spectacular when the cuff is worn.   Talk about BLING!
Lynn's Bling
Left Cuff - Lynn       Right Cuff - Cindy

I was pleasantly surprised at the ribbon pattern that emerged to separate the bling section.  I just alternated a small bugle, teardrop,small bugle and then three small bugles on the next row then outlined the strips with seed beads. 

When you see Cindy's cuff on, it looks like studded leather thanks to the use of the matte black beads.   Mine, not so much, but I do like the way the pattern that surrounds the center cupcake on mine looks like two sideways crowns.  Not that I think I'm the queen of anything, but it reminds me of the crown of my mantra "Keep Calm and Carry On".  Pretty neat.  

I didn't even see the crowns until I looked at my cuff from a distance.  Once again - the beads have a voice and I'm just their conduit.

~ Bling  Bead Happy and Often! ~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do Bee do Bee do

Say What?

Now that my first BJP of 2012 was completed, I needed to get my Bee together so a random "Kind" flower had some meaning to it.

I must have been delirious when I started, because I reverted back to my 'old' way of doing things.  Using posterboard and pellon rather than a piece of Nicole's beadbacking.  After sketching out my bee and finishing the one wing, I realized I needed to color the black sections or the white pellon was going to show too much. 

I alternated between a rope stitch for the yellow stripes and a baby stack of size 8 and size 11 on the black.  Using a matte/opaque bead along with a 'bling' finish bead helped with the texture too.

His head is all stacks so he is a bit furry, just like a real bee.  I used sequins for his eyes.  The left eye outline was a bit off kilter, but I did take it out and redo it after this pic was taken. 
After he was trimmed up, I was going to give his wings some drama by adding these vintage drop beads, but I didn't really like the way it looked.  The simple two-bead edge in clear and silver lined was enough. 

I figured my garden should have a dragonfly or two, so I used some dragonfly fabric I had in my stash for the backing.

I have a feeling there might be a butterfly and a bird joining the garden before the year's end......oh, maybe a ladybug too! (no flies though.  I don't like flies)

See his eye is all fixed now :)

 Much better

BE Kind ......everyday.  

~ Bead Happy and Often ~

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's A Girl Thing

Having no brothers or nephews, it was only fate that my niece Ashlee's first baby would be :
Addison :)
A Girl!
Whoop Whoop! 
Girl's Rock.

I must have been channeling the girl vibe on a recent trip to some estate sales.  Normally I pick up fun little bowls or a tiny dish or two and of course, old glass jewelry.  Not this time.  These little cuties are the only things that came home with me:
 How sweet is this teensy tiny doll??

Her hands and feet are metal (lead?) and her arms and legs are all wrapped with a million threads.   But it's that sweet face of hers that I just adore. 

And she even stands on her own! 
Love her.

Here is her big sis, just as fabulous....

Look at these woven shoes - amazing.

And check out the tag I found on her skirt. 

I swear there are a few teensy tiny cross-stitch stiches on there.

Her plaid  head scarf is expertly wrapped and tied in the back

And ,yes, I did peak under her scarf. 
She has no hair - heck, she doesn't even have a full face, but she is still beautiful.

They sit on the shelf and watch over me as I bead at my (teensy tiny) beading corner. 

Bead Happy and Often!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sometimes Change is Good

Way long ago, I was fortunate enough to have my friends over at provide me with complimentary Swarovski elements, from which I made:

Well, truth be told, I never wore the set.

It hung there unworn, looking pretty.    What's the point of being pretty if its unworn, right? 

So I took out my snippers and cut the necklace apart. 
Gasp!  Now what??!  NO turning back now.....

How about a cuff bracelet?
Before mounting

Love that shine - nothing beats faceted Swarovski for light play

Just over 2 inches wide - this is one bold cuff
Yes, definitely more my style!

~Bead Happy and Often! ~

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BJP 2012 - January BE Kind

In an attempt to slightly challenge myself during this year's BJP, I decided to play around with embroidery.  I say slightly, because (honestly) I've got so many stupid personal challenges pressing me down these days, I'm looking for the BJP to once again transport me to my happy place while I stitch away the hours and escape the turmoil in my heart.

 Pretty bad huh?  I did go to the library and got two great embroidery books, so here's hoping February is a little more polished.  And if not, well......there's always March.....or April......or, well here's hoping by December the embroidery doesn't look like a 5 year old did it!

 Using (of course) Nicole's super-duper-how-did-I-ever-bead-without-it Bead Backing, I drew a flower.

Since January's birthstone is Garnet, I choose a color story of the same (thanks for that stellar idea Tracey!)

And then placed my 'character of the month' in the center of the flower and surrounded it with peyote.

And my first BJP 2012 was born:

 I selected this tea pot fabric for the back, as a nod to my sister Laurel, who's birthday is this month.  Not only is she mega-KIND, she's also a tea drinker.

The flower looks so cute on my vintage sled outside my door. 
Too bad I can't trust the weather to continue being......KIND (ha ha ha ha), so I can leave it out there.   It is January after all and this crazy winter of sun and 45 degree weather can't last much longer, can it??

~ Bead Happy and Often ~

Friday, January 6, 2012

BJP 2012

I've just spent the past bit of time going through the 2012 Bead Journal Project Blog.  One Word:  WOW 

My jaw hurts from hitting the keyboard everytime I land in a fellow beader's blog and see the most amazing art pieces. 

I am so excited to bead my way through 2012.  Beading has brought me so much peace over the years.  There is just something so meditative (and addictive) to it. 

I learned so much about myself this past year being involved in the Bead Journal Project as I beaded my way through memories of places I had been.   And now every time I look at my fridge and see those magnets hanging there, I smile.  What a great ride my life has been so far.  And yeah, things have pretty much sucked in the past few years, but when I look back at my whole life - I can't complain.  The good times definitely have outweighed the bad. 

So now, on to the 2012 BJP.     I've decided to concentrate on BE-ing. 

Say what?

Let me explain.  Years ago, I came across a little sticker that said Be What You Are.   I've had it hanging on my fridge ever since. And I started to think.  What am I, exactly?  or better yet, what do I WANT to be?  I want to Be. . .

. . . grateful
. . . happy
. . . kind
. . . giving
. . . the best I can be
. . . compassionate
. . . responsible
. . . sweet
. . . strong
. . . aware
. . . forgiving
. . . love

So my BJP will be 12 funky flowers.  Each one representing what I strive to "Be"   I want to play around with thread embroidery, so the center of each flower will have the focus word and some sort of stitching. 

I'm going to make them  magnets (again).  I have a steel door in my place and they are going to look really great on it.  Plus it will be a reminder to me as I head out the door,  to just ~ Be ~ 

 Of course, what flower garden would be complete with a Bee? 

So, I am also going to make a bee magnet and her wings will have the letter "B" on one and "E" on the other.  She will be my official BE Bee. 

I have my January flower complete and have started on the Bee.  I'll post pics tomorrow.  I always bead in the early morning (before dawn) and am home after dark, so I haven't had the chance to take their pictures in natural light.   Photo shoot tomorrow!  Oh.....that reminds me - I've got Project Runway Allstars waiting for me on my DVR.....

Bead Happy and Often !

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December BJP 2011 - Ohio

You know that saying,

Save the Best for Last

Well, DeFIniTEly NOT what will be running through your head when you see my December BJP. 

Its downright dreadful.  Though when I look at it I will see the year my mom dressed my sisters, herself and my dad (poor dad) in blue and white striped rugby shirts during our vacation to King's Island amusement park, which is in Cincinnati.  I loved that park!  My favorite ride was the Steeple Chase.  A sort of fast moving merry go round.  So fun! 

And when I look at it I will be once again dumbstruck at how I choose (unwittingly) to use a basketweave stitch without even realizing the huge symbolism.  You see, for years I had an addiction.   To Longaberger Baskets, which are made in Dresden, Ohio.  Yes, I admit to blowing my entire grocery budget for a basket.  Don't get me wrong, no one ever went hungry on account of this basket buying frenzy.  Besides, the girls were young and happy with pancakes or french toast or pasta and sauce . . .. well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it, anyway. 

I will hopefully forget that I started over way too many times.  What could possibly be so challenging about a simple blue and white basket weave??!  Well, for starters, choosing the wrong beads and not paying attention to the way the shading was affecting the effect! 

After 3 or 4 false starts and a whole mountain of snipped off thread and a pricked to death base (Thank Goodness I was using Nicole's super-duper-awesome-how-could-I-ever-bead-without-it BeadBacking.  That stuff ROCKS!), and I was ready to toss Ohio out the window.

But I wasn't going to let Ohio get the better of me!  So on I went - first encircling the quarter

Then making the stripes wider

and, well, although far from perfect, the BJP 2011 is a wrap.

I loved participating in this bead journal journey and am already well on my way into my January 2012 piece. 

I am so grateful for the support and friendships (both old and new) that have gotten me through 2011.  It certainly hasn't been my favorite year.  Thank you thank you thank you to all of you who take the time to send me a note and encourage me to keep beading and offer me words of wisdom when I need them most.  I really mean it when I say that I keep you all close at heart-forever.

~Bead Happy and Often~