Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hastings Art in the Park this Sunday!

Looking for some fun this Sunday, August 3rd?  Stop by Libs Park in Hastings from 10 am to 5 pm for Art in the Park!  Lots of shade, free admission, and a wide variety of art vendors!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Heart of the Adventurer

This is my latest creation!  The Heart of the Explorer combines a handmade raku pottery heart cabochon (created by MAKUstudio or her Etsy store), a vintage button with a compass rose on it, Tim Holtz game spinner hands embellishments,  hand dyed Lucite flowers from Vintage Meadow Artworks, screw-in metal spike embellishments and California Gold Rush (color) seed beads in sizes 11, 15, and teardrops from Bead & Glass Boutique, vintage Swarovski crystals (reclaimed from a necklace purchased at an antique show), and a variety of Czech glass beads (pyramids, peanuts, half Tila, O beads, matte fire polish, and other seed beads) from Julie's Xpressions in Hastings, Nebraska.  Talk about exploration!  Look at all the styles of beads from all over the United States!  Too bad I haven't actually traveled to all the places I buy beads from!

My "philosphy" for bead embroidery:  Start with the focal and go for it!  I rarely start a piece with a design in mind!  This piece actually is one of the few that I have made that has NO Swarovski crystal cupchain!  (Gasp, how did I let that happen!)  Mostly, that happened because I had nothing that worked with the other colors of the piece.  Note to self, buy more cupchain to match everything!  Instead, I used some beautiful smoked topaz AB finish vintage Swarovski crystals reclaimed from an antique necklace I purchased and cut apart.  I know, that seems like sacrilege.  But, rather than that necklace lying unworn, it now has a new life!  Plus I reclaimed almost three vials of crystals to be used in many pieces! 

Other embellishments, the vintage button, Chris & Mina found for me on a visit to an antique store in Lincoln, while I was in a beading class.  The Tim Holtz game spinner hands can be used in SO many different ways!  I love when one craft medium can be merged with another!  You just never know what will add interest to a design.  The screw-in spikes were an item I had never used, but were very intriguing!  They come in different antique finishes, I used two antique brass and one antique copper on the upper left hand edge of the heart.  These were actually added to balance the design with the bead pyramids on the other side of the heart.
When I added the spikes, I wondered how to edge them.  I used size 15 seed beads to encircle them.  When I had completed those three, I liked the lacy look the rounded bead work added to the piece, so I continued it by adding the vintage crystals and the Lucite flowers.  At this point, I figured I had better stop before I added too much and complicated but didn't enhance the piece.  So the finishing edge was done with size 8 seeds topped with size 15 seeds and the tear drop beads.  It is brick stitch with the 15s and drops added as embellishment. 

The next challenge came when Chris tried to help me figure out how the piece should hang.  My first idea was to leave the shank on the button and attach the necklace with a lobster to each side of the piece.  This idea didn't work because of the weight of the piece.  So I did a square stitch bail and attached it when I was edging the piece.  The necklace design is of my own creating.  I used half Tila, O beads, and peanut bead and used the double needle weaving technique to put it together.  I used the ENTIRE tube of O beads, right down to the very last bead in the very last stitch!  Even though I am not a snake fan, the weave pattern and matte finish on the beads, gives the chain a snake skin look.  Hope you love it as much as I do!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Creative Spark E-Magazine Reveal & Blog Hop

Creative Spark Hot Summer Days, Cool Summer Nights REVEAL!
I am fortunate to be part of the ZnetShows Creative Spark E-Magazine Design team.  The latest issue for summer can be seen HERE.  We were presented the challenge of using the beautiful pieces of sea glass in a bounty of shapes from the ZnetShows vast product line.  Our theme for this magazine issue was Hot Summer Days, Cool Summer Nights and we were asked to create two pieces for day wear (casual and fun) and two for evening wear (more dressy).

This was the bead design package I received.  Aren't they lovely!  I was thrilled with the variety of shapes and colors.  
My designs can be found on page 84-87 and I have several quotes throughout the pages as well.
My Daytime Designs:
Gypsy Wanderer
I think of all the pieces I designed this one was my favorite.  I have recently been designing Bohemian-style jewelry and the funky shaped links and pendant spoke to me for this style of design.  I began by creating the multiple strand necklace using various size 6, 8, and 11 seed beads in a variety of colors, but they all have the picasso finish.  I added several handmade lampwork glass spacers, made by my talented hubby, Chris.  I wanted to keep the design simple, so I stuck just with the glass spacers and seed beads for the strands.  I used two beautiful antique brass tulip bead cones to bring the strands together, and topped them with two more spacers before adding a simple lobster clasp also in antique brass.  I like the large size and the bit of design on the sides of the clasp.  I worked the pendants/links in as I strung the strand using large brass jump rings so they nestled right between the glass spacers.  To finish the focal, I added some large ring chain just to connect them together.  Of course, a necklace needs matching earrings, which were created with a couple more glass spacers, Swarovski crystals, and sea glass rondelles from my bead mix.

Next up, Citrus Summer.
This piece is a mixture of the sea glass, Czech glass, Chinese crystals, tagua nut two holed spacers, size 11 seed beads, and rulla two holed seed beads.  I incorporated two diamond shaped sea glass pendants into one by flipping them so that one piece had the hole at the top and one had the hole at the bottom, and they were stacked together.  I wired them with 22 gauge silver Parawire and added a matte finish Czech glass teardrop bead for a bit of movement.  You can see the detail better in this photo.  I also created matching earrings for this set.

Purple Linen
This fun piece, created using the purple barrel sea glass beads from by bead mix.  I wanted to make a charm bracelet, but wanted to do it in a different style.  Wandering back to the Bohemian design, I tied the beads on to the chain using waxed Irish linen cord in two colors that coordinated with the bead I chose.  I added Chinese crystal rounds and tiny 2mm rondelles.  Again, I made matching earrings (do you sense a theme here?!!).  I really love the movement of this design, though it was quite difficult to get a picture of it.

Day at the Beach
This fun set is almost entirely sea glass.  The dangles are two different shapes in white and aqua.  I used ball end headpins on the white dangles, and regular headpins with a small crystal on the ends to prevent the beads from sliding off.  On each side I added simple dangles using Chinese crystals.  The pair of earrings are a definite favorite, as they are just fun!  I used the sand dollar links from my bead mix (original idea was a charm bracelet with them, but couldn't get the design idea to work) and a cute little crab charm dangle.  Strangely enough, after creating this design, I saw one in the same style in a department store!  Who knew I was so on target with my designs!

My Nighttime Designs:
Vintage Seaside Glamour
For this design, I started with silver floating ring charm chain.  To the chain I added the freeform sea glass rings and sea glass rondelles (wired vertically so they lie flat) and a variety of Swarovski pearls and crystals.  The pendant is a vintage Swarovski from a design prize package I received a couple years ago.  The earrings use the same rondelles (strung as beads this time) with more vintage Swarovski crystals from my prize package.  This set would be lovely with a dressy, light linen dress for dinner on the beach!

My Final Design (I saved the best for last)~
This piece was just fun to make.  I used a bunch of sea glass in this one.  You will find rondelles, long drops, and curved bottle neck dangles.  I added a bit of Czech glass and Chinese crystals.  The bottle neck pieces were a bit of a challenge due to the fact that my jump rings were all the wrong sizes to make them into dangles.  So I improvised.  I did a bit of wire wrapping on all of them and the long teardrops as well.  I left the wire as a design element and I was able to add them as dangles with wire wrapping.  I used a 22 or 24 gauge wire on them.  The earrings had to use the fun, funky bottle pieces and again I used a Czech glass teardrop in a lime matte finish.  I love this piece, it has movement, makes a bit of noise, and is funky!  I see this with a long but simple black dress, which could be casual for daytime, but dressed up for evening with this set!

Well now that you have seen all my designs, be sure to hop over and visit the other Creative Spark Designers!  Extra special thanks to Hope Smitherman for all of her hard work in putting all of us together in ONE magazine!

Blog Hop Artist List:
StephanieHaussler  YOU ARE HERE

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