Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beads from Nature: The Tagua Nut

 I just bought a large tagua nut bead to use as a necklace pendant. I really like this "sustainable" bead source idea and wanted to share.
The Tagua Nut

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Da Ring is Da Ting

Rings are fun. As I mentioned in the previous post, they are great for those of us who need instant gratification. All of these rings are now posted for sale in my Artfire Studio.

I found a pattern that I really wanted to try: Flirty Flower Rings. I think I found the pattern at, but I do know that the designer is Shanna Steele. Her ring looks like this:

I really liked the look of the ring and it looked easy to make, but I didn't like the 4 crystals on the outside of the six-petal flower. I ended up giving to a friend.

The day started as a designated "Grenada Collection" research day. I wondered if I could make the Flirty Flower using Grenada's national colours, red, green and yellow. Not a keeper, but one to keep in mind if I ever have a "Christmas Collection":

Now I wanted to try my version of this thing. I knew I could do better. So here is the FranMade Power Flower. (It didn't seem so "flirty" to me...) I like this look better, if I do say so myself.

I had some other crystals on hand so did some more experimenting and ended up with this:

It ended up with this really cool dome shape. A keeper!

Then I remembered that I needed to remake a ring that I had made in Grenada so that I would have a sample to display. I wanted to make a some jewelry as a "thank you" for one of my Grenada friends, Joan. (Jewelry makes great currency, especially in Grenada!) She doesn't wear a lot of jewelry, but admired one of my more simple crystal rings. Here is a version of what I made for her and is now christened "The Joan Ring":

We now have a good example of how obsessive this beading thing can be. I don't know why, but I just had to finish this next one that same day. Yes, my fifth ring of the day.

Whew. I have another ring to show off, but I definitely didn't work on it that day. This isn't a project that I can do in one sitting, but was very, very satisfying. I love doing the peyote stitch and just getting into the "zone". The square ring is a Swarovski crystal which they call "Bermuda Blue" in colour. The seed beads are made in Japan, but I think they had the same image in mind when they named them "Tropical Teal". I wish that we had a decent bead store in London because it's really hard to match colours from online images. The first teal colour that I tried just didn't work.

How else to end, but with a pun...

The Irish lass was disappointed with the engagement ring from her fiance because it was a sham rock.