Spring Bead Challenge Reveal

OK, now I can show you my entries to Crystal’s Bead Challenge. No more sneak peeks. I entered two designs. A copper butterfly necklace set and a blue beaded necklace.

Crystal posted the results today on her blog, Beadhappilyeverafter. There’s some real talent out there. Such pretty jewelry!!

My inspiration came from beads and bead caps I found at Crystal’s Etsy Shop. (You can see what inspired each entrant here in this photo I borrowed from her blog. 😀 )

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First, let me tell you about my butterfly set.

I gathered what I thought I would use to create my necklace. A bit of this and a bit of that. After experimenting for a couple of hours, trying different colors of beads, I ended up not using all that you see here in the photo.

From this.

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To this.

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Supplies used in addition to Crystal’s bead caps:

  • antique copper butterflies
  • banded agate round beads
  • antique copper star spacers
  • antique copper curved tubes
  • antique copper hammered clasps
  • copper ribbed rondelles (for bracelet)
  • seed beads, size 6/0 (for bracelet)
  • stringing wire

My second entry, a blue necklace, was last minute. I hadn’t planned to make it. But since my beading tools were already out on my craft table, I said, what the heck, “Let’s make something else.” I had been wanting to make something with these two-holed blue beads, just hadn’t decided what. After sorting through my supplies and putting “anything with blue” in a bowl, I got started.

From this…

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To this.

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Supplies used in addition to Crystal’s 2-holed blue beads:

  • an assortment of blue beads
  • seed beads, size 8/0 and 11/0
  • toggle clasp with Swarovski sapphire crystals
  • stringing wire

I really enjoyed participating in this challenge. My creative juices were overflowing. I was relaxed and let my fingers do what my mind saw.

Oh, BTW, guess whose name was picked by Random Generator for 1st Prize? ME!!!
Look at all these beady goodies I won.

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Aren’t they beautiful? Beady Eyecandy!! Can’t wait to get them. I already have ideas. Thanks so much, Crystal.

Also, thank you for hosting your 3rd Bead Challenge. All of the designs are really pretty. I am looking forward to your next challenge.

Go here to see all Bead Challenge entries and the prize winners.


Here is the link to Crystal’s Etsy Shop. She has wonderful products. Check it out!!


Pillowcases and Another Sneak Peek

How’s your weekend going?

Mine has been busy, busy, busy. In addition to the usual stuff (cleaning, watching TV, family stuff, etc), I managed to find time to do a second entry for Crystal’s bead challenge at Beadhappilyeverafter. http://beadhappilyeverafter.com/blog/?p=18920

Here’s the Sneak Peek…

I can tell you that it is a necklace. Light blue is a color I usually bypass. But I like it. Will try to use it more in the future.

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Now that my challenge entries have been submitted, it is back to sewing.

For the next day or two I will work on these.

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Pillowcases. I will tell you more about them later. Who they are for and why I am making them. I think those fabrics will make up cute.

What crafting are you doing? Have a great weekend (what’s left of it). 😀

Taking A Timeout For Beads… And A Sneak Peek…

You should see my craft room. It looks like a tornado ran through it and left me trying to figure out where everything goes. It’s a mess!! But it is a wonderful mess.

I took a timeout from sewing/quilting to create my beaded entry for Crystal’s bead challenge over at Beadhappilyeverafter. http://beadhappilyeverafter.com/blog/?p=18920
This is her 3rd challenge. They are fun to enter and you can win great prizes. I won’t show you the finished item… yet. Crystal gets first look. All entries must be submitted by 9pm Saturday, May 12. But I will come back to do a show and tell after she posts the challenge results on her blog.   

Here is a Sneak Peek of my entry.

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I haven’t decided on a title yet. I thought of a few.

  • Madame Butterfly (but with a happy ending)
  • Winging-It
  • Spring Bling
  • Spread Your Wings
  • Beads and Butterflies
  • Come Fly With Me

I have to admit it was nice spending some quiet time just sitting for a couple days working with my beads. It will be hard to store them away until the next time. 😦

OK… now back to sewing/quilting. A new handbag and zippered bag coming up soon. 😀

My Week With Seed Beads

Inspired by this wrap bangle bracelet I made for the Bead Soup Blog Hop, I spent a full week working with my seed bead stash.

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Yep, I actually did not pick up my rotary cutter for a whole seven days. Just sat and sat and beaded.

First I made this bracelet.

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And then this one.

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I had Brides and the “I Do” Season on my mind when I created this one. Even dragged out my button stash.

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Next, I circled back to the bracelet that started it all. I added a second peyote bail to it. Loving it even more now.

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I think I was probably into Day 3 when I created this red, white and blue one. Still not ready to go back to sewing/quilting.

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And more…..

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BTW, you won’t believe the number of empty bead vials I ended up with. There were even more but I tossed a few.

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I made little containers of “bead soup” by combining my 11/0 seed beads by colorways. Whatever I thought would look good together got emptied into the bowl. What a great way to use up leftovers from other projects!!

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After making this green, gray and black bracelet, I had an idea for a necklace.

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But I couldn’t decide on how to end it. What type clasp to use. I chewed on several ideas and one day when running errands, I remembered these barrel tube clasps I bought a few years ago but never tried.

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Bingo!! It worked. I am just thrilled to pieces how this came out. No matter that this necklace and bracelet took 24 hours to make. I love it!!

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As it turned out, My Week With Seed Beads ended with that necklace. I had a crochet order (which you saw) that I needed to work on. So sadly, I pushed my beads aside. Now, observe how I said that. “Pushed” aside. Not PUT AWAY.

If in a week I don’t have a desire to bead something, then I will dust cover my bead supplies until the next time. Hopefully it won’t be for too long. Need to show all of my crafts some love from time to time. 😀

After all, these pearls and jade beads are waiting to be made into a necklace.

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My favorite. Yellow.

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Hubby’s favorite. Bronze.

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I had fun designing and creating them.

These wrap bangle bracelets and wrap necklace are This Year’s Dozen originals.

Please respect Copyright Laws. Do not distribute, copy or post on the Internet without written permission. Thanks.

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Crystal’s Bead Challenge Reveal: My Kissing Hearts Necklace

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I am so glad I gave myself plenty of time to experiment with these pretty red hearts and white tubes. Got them at Crystal’s bead shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadhappilyeverafter. The plan was to spend about two days making a bracelet. The design which was in my head was a charm bracelet with dangling hearts.

But after starting, a different idea popped up.

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And another.

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And another.

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Even necklace ideas floated passed my eyes.

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If the hearts could talk, I bet they would have said, “enough already!! Pick ONE design and stick to it!!” LOL!! Thank goodness stringing wire is cheap.

This is what I ended up submitting. Kissing Hearts. It makes my heart go all skippy just looking at it. I love it!!

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I had fun working on Crystal’s challenge. Go check out the other entries from all of the participants. Very pretty. Looking at them gave me a couple of ideas. I love looking at handcrafted jewelry.


Thanks, Crystal, for hosting your 2nd bead challenge. Can’t wait for the next one.

LOVE Is In The Air

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What to do? What to make?

Hmmm. Hearts and Tubes. From Crystal’s shop. BeadHappilyEverAfter. So pretty.

But what to turn them into? As usual, I am late to the party. Only six days until I have to submit a photo of my creation. Now I have to get busy. Oh, I have been thinking about designs. For several weeks. But now, thinking time is over. Fingers must move and get to creating.

I will probably make a bracelet. Sure. That’s what I will make.

Yep. The hearts and tubes will be a bracelet!!

More details and photos in a few days.

Hop on over to Crystal’s site to see what her challenge is all about.




SMILE: Bead Soup Beads Sent and Received

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Oh Wow!! Did I tell you how excited I am about participating in the 5th Bead Soup Blog Party? I was thrilled to find out my name had been picked by the Random Generator. This would be my first time entering and my fingers and toes had been crossed for several days. So when Lori Anderson, the host, e-mailed that I had been selected, my creative brain went on crack overload.

I had an idea on what to send my Bead Soup Partner but still slowly went through my jewelry stash anyway. I had a fun few days putting it all together going… ahhh, hmmm, what if, maybe. I couldn’t show you until now. Had to wait for her to receive my goodies. They were delivered today.

This is what I sent. I am calling my assortment of beads SMILE. Because it makes me smile.

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There’s Jasper, Agate, ceramic and glass beads. As well as Antique Copper. Hope she likes. Can’t wait to see what she creates.


This is what my Bead Soup Partner sent me. Just gorgeous!!

There’s Picture Jasper, Fire Agate, Porcelain/Ceramic, Sari Silk and the prettiest clasp I have ever seen.

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So many ideas. One minute necklaces are prancing before my eyes. And then a playful cuff bracelet keeps making an appearance. I am sketching ideas as fast as they pop up. Hopefully one idea jumps front and center in the next week. I am anxious to get started. I will let the beautiful Melinda Orr clasp guide me.

My Bead Soup Partner is Lisa at Pine Ridge Treasures. Go. Check. Her. Out. She does beautiful work. She makes a great partner. Love her color palette. Right up my alley!!

Bookmark my blog or better yet go over to my right Sidebar and sign up to receive my blog via e-mail. You don’t want to miss the reveal of both. What I made. And what she made. Can’t wait. So excited!!

Go here for more details and to see the list of participants.


Here’s My Take on Working With Tila Beads

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Sigh. Sigh. Sigh….

I do that a lot when I am designing jewelry. I don’t plan to. It just happens. Every time I have to UNTHREAD and RETHREAD my needle.  It’s my least favorite part when designing and creating something from scratch. No pattern. Just working from a vision in my head.

And designing this Tila bead bracelet was no different. Lots of sighs.

But, finally, it is done.

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You can add it to my December completed list.  And it came out about 99% as I envisioned.  I did consider several other buttons and different types of closures but kept going back to this olive button. I even thought of exchanging it for a slightly larger size. Glad I didn’t. This one is just the right size.

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At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like working with Tila beads. Since I had already labeled them as “problem” beads based on what I had read on the net. Supposedly, they needed to be handled with kid gloves. Be careful unwrapping them. Be careful handling them. And so on and so on. Diva beads.

BUT…. turned out that wasn’t the case at all. I enjoyed working with them.

Here is my REVIEW of Tila Beads.

  • 2 hole design makes alignment easy
  • large holes allow for multiple passes with ease
  • use fine or extra fine beading needle for best results
  • no breakage, cracking or chipping
  • can even pull thread tight without worry
  • horizontal, vertical or diagonal possibilites
  • picks up lint and anything else airborne

That last one was about the only dislike I found. I frequently had to go wash my hands. I couldn’t believe what the beads picked up as I worked with them. Dust, lint, fingerprints. I felt like hosing them down every 30 minutes.  😀

I highly recommend them if they are on your To Buy List. Yes. Do. Go. Buy. Some. You won’t be disappointed.


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There are free designs for Tila jewelry on the net. Here are the ones I know about. If you know of any others, let us know.




This is a This Year’s Dozen original design. Please do not copy, distribute or post elsewhere without my permission. Thanks.

Still Hot Where You Are?

Autumn is only a few miles away. It will be here before you know it. Until then, think dark colors to cool you off.

Here’s my latest. Using black, bronze, carnelian and topaz. With a hint of summer. Ivory, black and white.

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There’s a bit of everything in this set.

  • gemstones: carnelian (red agate), banded agate
  • wood
  • glass: rondelles, faceted, round
  • seed beads 8/0
  • pony beads
  • leatherlook black beads
  • metal accent beads

Different beading techniques: Stringing, memory wire, beadwork (peyote tubes)

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Some beads are probably older than you. Have had the ivory wood beads since my early macrame days back in the 80’s. Leftover from making Christmas wreaths. The round black faceted glass beads are from my “just learning to bead” stage from four years ago. The newest beads are the topaz glass rondelles.

Can you believe, with all the beads I have accumulated, I can still pick up each one and remember where it was purchased. And most times, I can pinpoint the timeframe when bought.

I can tell you where each item in this set came from. Munro Crafts, JoAnn’s, Michaels, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Etsy (destash). Probably the same places you shop.

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Have you started your fall projects yet?