Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Fever

I'm in full beading mode.....doing Christmas ornaments when I should be working on things that I have started.  They need to get finished up before....I don't know...year's end!!

 Maybe those Elves, who work hard to create toys for Santa to deliver, will show up and complete these.....

I have a bracelet and two earring designs that I need to write instructions for.  The bracelet would match my Sunrise Pagoda Necklace....

Here are one set of earring designs.  I used peanuts and seed beads for the tops!

These earrings I made for me to wear for the holidays.  The one on the left was my first try...I made the second one and decided it was a keeper. And of course I love them and must write up instructions.....

This is a bottom portion of a new pendant design.  I stopped work on it when I started the top and rope section.  I didn't like what I came up with, so now I have to redo the top section and rope...Muse, where are you???

I designed this as a bracelet!  It is gorgeous, but doesn't work as a bracelet....I have to figure out what I am going to do with it....

 I love these stars...they are so easy to make and look so sparkley!  But I don't know what to make of them...

All I want for Christmas is a visit from those work crazed elves to finish up my work for me!!!!!
Oh well, I'm off to finish up another Christmas Ornament!!!
Happy beading!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Playing with Baubles

First I would like to say that I love the word, "baubles".  Baubles, baubles, baubles!!

I have been playing around with beads lately making these small pendant like things that I call baubles.  I am trying to figure out what to do with them.  I thought that they would make small pendants, but I'm not too keen on that idea.  Small Christmas ornaments?  Nah!  What I probably need to do is put several together to form a nice necklace or bracelet....I just can't figure out how right now!!!  Do any of you have any ideas?  Please let me know!  Also, how about tutorials for just baubles?  Would anyone be interested in those?  Again, please let me know your ideas!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Taking Photos of Jewelry

I am not a photographer!  With that said, I feel that I do take good photos of my jewelry and some of you out there in the internet world must agree somewhat.  I have had several people ask about my camera and how I photograph my jewelry.  I am writing this post to answer those questions.

The camera I use is an Olympus Stylus-90000.  It is at least 5 years old.  It is a point and shoot type camera, but with some changable functions.

I do use a light box that I purchased.  Here are some photos of it.  Keep in mind that I keep it in a storage closet!

Notice that in the photos there is a tripod for my camera.  I tend to shake and move the camera about when I take photos without my tripod!  I don't think that the brand of light box nor lights make that much of a difference.  I feel that one must use the settings on the camera to take better photos.

The settings I use on my camera are WB (white balance), macro, and +/-.  I set my WB to the sun symbol for bright light.  I use the macro "on" setting (flower symbol)...sometimes I even use the super macro setting.  These help, but I have found that the +/- (I think its called the aperature.) is the most imortant.  On my camera I can display a bar graph of the lighting and I know to keep the red next to the right side of the graph.  I take several photos at the +/- on 0.0 then move up to +0.3, +0.7, and/or +1.0.  I download the photos to my computer and choose the best looking one as the one I save.  If I happen to use a black background, I tend to move the +/- into the negative numbers and do the same thing.

I know that a lot of people use a photo editing program on the computer to enhance their photos.  I saved my Microsoft Office Picture Manager from 2003 and still use it if I need to crop or brighten.  I like that I can change the light, medium, and dark areas with this program.  Plus it is easy to use!

These are the things I do to take photos of my jewelry.  I hope it will help some others out there!  Remember I am not a photographer and all my learnings have occurred from trial and error!  And a lot of errors!!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Creating a New Design

For those of you who do not know me personally, you may find it hard to believe that I have a very hard time following other designers instructions!  No, it's not because their instructions are bad (usually they are better than mine)!  It's because I can't shut off my mind.  I am always thinking...Why do it this way?... What if I did it that way?  I usually screw up the beadwork!  In doing this, new designs are developed! (One must always have a positive side to any undesirable attribute!)

I came up with this X pattern when playing around with my beads and thought, "Aah-ha, this will be great!

So I put several Xs together and there it was...a beautiful bracelet!  However, when I put this bracelet on, it collapsed in upon itself.  So I moped around for a day and dreamed about how to "fix" it.  Hey sometimes it works!  Don't laugh!  It definitely worked this time.  With the addition of several 3 bead bridges stragetically placed between the motifs, no longer did the bracelet collapse!  So now I have a new design!

Look carefully between the center motif and the end motifs.  Notice there are no connecting bridge beads.  This bracelet collasped!

Compare this photo to the one above and notice the connecting bridge beads that keep this bracelet from collapsing!

But did I stop there....NO!  I had to see what would happen if I changed the direction of the Xs, and another design was developed!
Notice that now the connecting bridge beads are in a different place.  Yes, I had to add them here to keep this bracelet's structure!

I am in the process of writing an instruction packet for this new design.  I call it Morning Dew.  There are 3 bracelet possiblities and a pair of earrings included!  

One bracelet design not pictured is just a straight line of motifs connected together for those beaders who like a simple design!  Happy beading!!!
Norma Jean

Thursday, June 27, 2013

RIght Angle Weave

Just the other day I was teaching a bracelet class where the students had to make a second row of right angle weave.  The first row was fine and fast...everyone "got" it.  But that naughty second row just causes some people to want to scream.  I do understand the reason....  In RAW it takes two rounds to finish one complete stitch.  That figure 8 with the change in direction just trips people up.  So I put together a diagram and I have it here as a freebie!  Enjoy!  Happy beading!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Deciding what to Bead

After a weekend of yard work, I am itching to get back to my beading!!!  I have started several projects as usual and need to finish them!!!  I will need to make a decision about which one to work on!!!

I would love to work on these flowers but I need more daggers this color and I still haven't figured out where this is going.  I could have 3 flowers front and center on a necklace but that's been done so much!!  I would like to use the just ready to open flower but it seems a little big.  This will just have to right brain needs to relax and work out the details!!!

Below is the bottom part of a pendant where I tried doing something different....I added wire to it!  I need to design a substantional bail for this that echos the shape reversed.  I am almost out of the green seed beads and have ordered more, so I guess I can't work on this until they come in!

I think I'll work on this necklace!!  I love the crown on the Swarovski pear shaped crystal.  I want this to have a royal feel.  The neck rope is small...made with size 15 seed beads.  I plan on adding an embellishment on every other section!  Yes...I definitely think I'll work on this!!!

But then again....I have been playing around with some of the new 2 hole bead shapes.  I'm not satisfied with any of these as yet...but I could try exploring some more!!!

If you want to know what I did finally work on...check my Facebook posts....I'll definitely post a photo when I finish my work!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Exploring the Possibilities with Super Duos

I see all these wonderful designs using Super duos and Twins!  They are all over the internet and and fee based tutorials!  There are so many, but the thing I notice the most about them is that most designs are based on a flat plane, where the Super duo just adds length or width.  I even have one of these designs!

But what if we think of using Super duos to form another level to our work...yes actually making something 3D.  Here is a sample of this:

Imagine the possibilities...this could become a bangle or component for something else!  Try to use those specialty beads in new and different ways!!!  Be creative!!!  Make mistakes!!!  Create something new!!!