Friday, April 23, 2010

The Beauty of Spring

In February contacted me for  the next installment of Blogging for Beads.  They had decided to go for the theme "The Beauty of Spring"  We could choose any types of beads to review with the object of making a piece or pieces with spring as our theme.  I tossed around lots of ideas and although I knew that I was going to have a super busy next month or two I decide to go for a more time consuming project.

While I was sketching out some ideas to figure out what I wanted to do Wayne thought since I had been putting butterflies and especially dragonflies in my work that I should include some bees in this piece.  I also wanted to use only the stuff that I got from except for the thread which I always have plenty of.

From the beads that I got with my previous shipment my review mentioned that I thought that the bead mixes from Toho would be so cool to do a freeform peyote necklace out of so I decided to do a vine necklace with flowers and some bees made out of glass beads.  Then came the challenge figuring out what beads would make my "vision" come to life.  How many packages of mixes, what kind of beads to use for the flowers and how to make the bees and what glass beads would work best to combine to make a bee. I must admit surfing through all of the glass beads going back and forth and looking at all of the cool beads was fun.

I ended up using a little wire to make the bees since this allowed me to give them shape but also to give them antenna.  The first bee (on the left) is made from a 9 x 6 mm Opaque Jet Black w/ Half Picasso Roundelle for the head, 4- 15 x 6 mm Jet/Picasso Daggers for the wings and a 11 x 9 mm Wasabi w/ Picasso Spots Oval for the body. This is my favorite of the bees and I love all of the beads that he uses although I really think the wings are just way too cool.  I also got these to use on my 2010 BJP pieces with my last selection and they show up in my January BJP block.

 The second bee has a 10 mm Wasabi with Picasso Spots Lentil, 4- 18 x 8 mm Topaz Duckbill beads and a Czech Glass Brown Mix w/ Blue Picasso Oval.  This one looks most like a bumble bee and is probably the most bee like.  I love the stripes on the body bead.  The shape of the duckbill beads is interesting and I think they could be fun to experiment with.

The last of the 3 bees uses a Czech Glass 8 mm Coin Green Stone, Czech Glass Amber with Gold Luster Small Spades for the wings and an 11 x 9 mm Matte Crystal w Picasso Oval.  I had gotten 4 beads of the wings of each of the bees but for this small guy I couldn't figure out how to make the four wings fit so he only got two wings.  I think the small spades would make great angel wings.

These are the beads that I got for the flowers.  I got Blue Silk/ Picasso and Blue/ Jet Silk flowers to use as well as 10 mm lentils in Blue Silk w/ Picasso and Red w/ Light Picasso to be the center of 5 more flowers that I was going to use a combination of brick stitch and netting to make the "petals" of.  For the petals of the flowers I got Toho bead mixes in Reds/Ambers and Blue Water.  I have some of the flower beads and lentils to use in my BJP pieces although some of the colors are different.  Both shapes would work well with lots of different types of projects and are available in lots of interesting colors.
And here you can see what that pile of lentils and mixes turned into with some stitching.  There weren't that many seed beads left and those got thrown into the mixes for the vines.  The great things was that these were fun and quick to make.  I think that some of them would make neat earrings.
Here is a photo of the Spring Apples mix of beads,  it was my favorite of the vine mixes and pouring out the 10 packages made just a yummy springy mix that was inspiring all on it's own.
To make my life a bit simpler while doing the free form peyote stitch I separated the Toho mixes in the  Spring Apples, Mint/Forest and Forest Green into the different sizes of beads. (Yes I am a bit obsessive at times.) You can see the piles of 8/0, 11/0, 15/0 and bugles in their tray and the very beginning of the lariat that I would be making.
These last 2 photos show the beginning stages of the lariat.  This was my first attempt at free-form peyote and although like any peyote project it took a fair amount of hours to do the piece I found it amazingly relaxing.  I think that part of that was that it was my only creative project for the month and because it was for me a fun project that I just made decisions as I went going "where to now" and knowing that there were no wrong answers.  I will post the finish project in a couple of days.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I receive the Glass Bead elements above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

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