I STARTED Early--Took my Dog--And visited the Sea--
The Mermaids in the Basement Came out to look at me
--Emily Dickinson

Monday, April 30, 2012

Last day - flowers and leaves

I made a big, Christi Friesen-inspired piece a while back for my landlord's wife (it's in the August archives, if you want to take a look).  I made a lilac leaf cane and used it for the clasp.  Of course, that left me with a boatload of leaf cane left.  I ran across it today and decided to make a bunch of leaf beads:

I'm going to figure out a way to integrate them into a necklace with some lilac-type beads.  I'll keep you posted...

Yesterday's bead...

I fell asleep again.  *sigh*  Anyway, here's what I would have posted:

I picked up this stamp a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd try a simple mokume flower.  I don't do techniques like this very often, but I quite like how it turned out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Not your traditional bead...

I suppose this isn't really a bead, but it has a hole in it and I'm going to make a ring with it, so that's what I'm going with...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Oh grrrr!

Those flower and leaf beads I've made over the last few days?  I put them in to bake tonight.  When the timer went off, I opened the oven door to let them cool down so I could handle them.  I meandered out to the kitchen about an hour later...the oven was still on.  *sigh*  Most of them look okay from the top, but the bottoms of every single one are scorched.  Oy!  Not a happy camper.  There were several that I really liked--I hope I can remake them.

Anyway, here's today's flower bead--a little flower bud that turned out better than I hoped:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Does this cane look familiar?

Heh.  I have quite a bit of this cane lying around.  So you'll be seeing a fair amount of it, I'm afraid.  I used it to make a flower to go along with the ones I made over the last few days. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I wanted to make some leaves that would go with the flowers I made yesterday.  Here's my attempt:

The one kind of looks like a jalapeno, doesn't it?  I was trying to keep the teardrop shape to be consistent with the flowers.  I hope they will look more leaf-like when I put them together with the flowers.  Here's a pic:

I've got to make a few more flowers and leaves before I can put it together like I have in mind.  I hope it works....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Before the end of the month is now...

So I decided to revisit the white flower now instead of later.  I wound up making it smaller and splitting it into two flowers:

I like them a bit better, but I like the other ones I did best....

Well, *that* didn't work out...

Sorry for the mini-hiatus...off-line life sometimes gets in the way.  Anyway, I went to Michaels this weekend to get some findings to complete the flower bead I was working on last week.  Unfortunately, when I got them home, they didn't fit quite right.  I haven't had a chance to get back there to try again.  I haven't forgotten, though.

In the meantime, I came up with these:

I like them, but the white one turned out far too big.  I'm trying to figure out how to salvage it.  The other two are just the way I want them.  I'll revisit the white one before the end of the month....

Friday, April 20, 2012

I got home late tonight...

...so I only managed to make some components for my next bead:

...I'll put them together tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Something New...

I think I've mentioned before how much I love to manipulate cane slices.  This is a slight variation on something I've done tons of times before, but it's a totally different look.  Hmm...I have no idea how I'm going to drill it:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Using small paper punches...

I, uh, have quite a few paper punches:

I saw something months ago where someone used the punches on polymer clay--unbaked polymer clay.  I finally tried it--and it works great!  I roll the clay through a rather thin setting on my pasta machine (number 4--number 1 is thickest, number 7 is thinnest).  Here's a couple of punches I used:

Just slide the clay in the slot and punch it out:

Sometimes you have to punch it a couple of times and give it a little shake to release the punch.  Here's the wee little flower:

If you look at the second punch, you'll notice it has a lot of narrow little petals.  If you just try to punch out a polymer clay piece, it's not going to work (trust me--I've learned through frustrating experience).  It won't pop out and you'll have to dig the stupid thing out in pieces with a needle.  Oy!  So I finally figured out a way around that little problem...parchment paper!  Put a piece of parchment paper on top of the polymer sheet and put it in the punch, like so:

Make sure the parchment paper is on top--otherwise you'll still have the sticking problem.  It's really nice, the piece just pops right out.  Once you've punched it out, just peel off the paper and it works!

I also used a couple of small cutters to make flower centers and leaves and came up with these beads:

I really like this type of bead.  I expect I'll make a few more before the month is out....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More bell flowers...

I made some more (smaller) bell flowers...and another bead...to go along with what I made yesterday.  I have a plan...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bell flower

I've noticed I tend toward whimsey (well, except when I don't).  I like the colorful polka dots on these bell-type beads.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tulip Festival - part 3, Iris

Iris fields are usually the last to bloom during the tulip festival.  They're purple, though--which makes them my favorite.  Here's the bead I came up with:

And here are the beads all together (still can't decide on the tulips)....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tulip Festival - part two, Tulips

You can't believe how many colors there are for tulips!  Normally, I'd say the purple or burgundy ones are my favorite, but I really, really like the red ones with the black and gold bottoms.  I'm really happy with the way the cane turned out.  Then I was faced with a dilemma...do I make the flower blossom from the top or the side?  Decisions, decisions.  So I did made one of each.  What do you think? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tulip Festival - part one, daffodils

It's Spring.  Time for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  The flowers are slow to come out this year--it was a long, wet, gloomy winter and the tulips won't be out for another week or so.  Luckily, they also have daffodils and they've been out since the beginning of April.  I made a daffodil bead today:

The last flowers to show up are the irises.  That's why the festival can go all month long--about the time some of the flowers are done, new ones crop up for their time in the limelight.  I plan on making a tulip bead tomorrow, and an iris bead the day after that.

I like the way this one turned out, so I'm hopeful for the next two....

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I love this marbling technique.  It's easy and it always surprises me when it works.  I made a couple of beads for pendants and for earrings:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The endlessly adaptable moebius bead...

I adapted my moebius snowflake ornament to make this large focal flower bead:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Flower and leaves...

I don't mind fiddling around with flowers, but canes are my first love.  So here's a little cane flower and a couple of leaves:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Using cane slices...

I've been making this type of bead for quite a while.  I've been fascinated with manipulating square cane slices ever since Mike Buesseler came up with the moebius bead, and after some time of experimenting, I came up with this:

I usually pierce it through the middle, but I've recently been poking it through the side:

It makes a big difference in stringing the bead.  I'll have to rustle up a couple of examples to show you.  Maybe this weekend....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a happy and blessed Easter.  I was trying to come up with something to go with my outfit that I was wearing to church for Easter.  I only wear a dress to church on Easter and Christmas--the rest of the time I tend to dress more comfortable in jeans (we have a fairly relaxed church).  I used some of the beads I made last week (and made a few more) and came up with this necklace:

It matched my outfit perfectly and I love the way it looks!  And, bonus--other people liked it, too!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More Easter beads?

I didn't think the beads I had yesterday were enough to create a bracelet, so I made some supplementary beads today.  Now I think I have too many.  I'm going to try to put them together tomorrow, so we'll see....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Beads for a bracelet...

These are kind of Easter-y, I think.  I want to make a bracelet out of them, but haven't decided quite how to drill them.  One hole, two?  I'll have to give it some thought.  I like them, though.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grateful for a long commute?

My work commute is anywhere from one hour two one and half hours one way.  Normally, this is pretty frustrating (okay--all the time it's frustrating), but there are times that it allows me to turn off my brain and let my creativity out.  On the way home last night, I thought of this set of beads and I had a chance to make them tonight:

I used some of the flower cane from yesterday and added a leaf cane.  I'm planning on turning these into a finished piece of jewelry this weekend.  We'll see....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I picked up some lovely enamel beads several years back.  They were the inspiration for this flower bead.  I started with a smashed ikat flower petal cane and applied the petals to a ball of clay.  It makes a rather large bead, but I have an idea for it, so I'm happy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I made a few more beads to go along with the focal from yesterday...

I'm not sure if I'm going to quit with these now, or make a few more.  I guess you'll have to come back to find out....

Monday, April 2, 2012

April bead theme...

Ta da!

Flowers and leaves!

Sorry for being awol yesterday.  I decided to take April Fools' Day off.