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Thursday, October 31, 2013


Charlie and the Pumpkins wish you a Happy Halloween.  May you get more candy than you can carry.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Pine Cones Big and Small

Just in time for your fall decorating projects, I have finished the bead crochet pine cone tutorial that people have been asking for.  This 11-page, illustrated tutorial will show you how to turn Miyuki long Magatama beads and nylon thread into pine cones in 4 sizes using the bead single crochet stitch. 
The illustrated tutorial is now available in my Etsy store Reckless Beading. I hope you have as much fun with the pattern as I did.

For those who would like to make pine cones but don't do bead crochet, Barbara Grainger has a Magatama pine cone pattern that uses brick stitch for sale here as Pinecone Delight.  Barbara was actually the inspiration for my bead crochet pattern because she made her pine cone and challenged me to come up with a bead crochet pine cone.  Her pattern makes a pine cone about the size of my smallest pine cone.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


My latest Crystal Clay experiment

Egged on by my friend Stephanie Dixon, aka The Dixon Chick, I got out my Crystal Clay and played around last night.  I found this metal star pendant at Michaels yesterday and knew exactly what I wanted to try.
I was inspired by a Crystal Clay and filagree project designed by Katerina Ileiva in a great book entitled Foxy Epoxy.
So last night, I mixed together the two parts of black Crystal Clay, rolled it out to a circle a little bigger than the star pendant, smushed the metal pendant into the clay, cut away the extra clay, embedded lochrosen and chatons in the middle of the stars, and dusted mica powder across the surface.
Mica powder

Unfortunately, I grabbed the Interference Green instead of just a plain sparkle so my stars now have a green cast-but that's life.  Luckily, I was able to take a cotton swab moistened with water and remove most of the mica powder from the black clay.  Water is also useful in smoothing out the surface of the clay.
This project also gave me a chance to use my new Crystal Katana, a tool designed by Kellie Defries (otherwise know as Crystal Ninja) to pick up and embed crystals and other components into the Crystal Clay.  I blessed Kellie for this tool as I placed the crystals because it works soooooo much better than the little wood stick with wax.  The black portion of the Crystal Katana is a wax that grabs onto the crystals and the small, metal end is great for pushing the crystals into the clay. 
 For those who haven't ventured beyond glass beads, Crystal Clay is an two-part epoxy clay that can be formed into various shapes and embedded with Swarovski crystals and other fun things.  Once the 2 parts are mixed together, you have about 90 minutes to play before the clay is too hard to manipulate. 
A package of Crystal Clay

Contents of a Crystal Clay package

A package of Crystal Clay contains a pair of gloves, the two parts of the clay (labeled A and B), and a wood stick tipped with wax to pick up the crystals and beads to be embedded.

My first efforts

My first efforts with crystal clay were promising but not ready for prime time.  DH said that they look like some kind of little sea creatures.  Luckily, the process gets easier with practice.

Wire lace and Crystal Clay flower class project

I then took a class at Bead and Button with Linda Hartung of Alacarte Clasps that involved making a flower with petals of her wire lace and a center of Crystal Clay embedded with Swarovski crystals.

So I am hooked and ready to play with more Crystal Clay when I have the chance.