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Monday, June 25, 2012

Popcorn Cabochon Necklace

My new necklace with popcorn cabochons and Kabela Designs filligree.

     My friend Michael Harrington of Beads that Bounce gave me one of his new popcorn cabochons to play with and, of course, I had to make a necklace to wear to Bead and Button.
     These beads came about thanks to a male shopper at one of the bead shows who was admiring Michael's cold inclusion beads.  Michael explained that because no heat was involved in the process, he could include anything he wanted.  The shopper said "Oh yeah?  Can you include popcorn?"  Thus started Michael's experiements and resulting new beads.

My first effort: a beaded bezel

I first tried a beaded bezel but it seemed to look too busy.  Then I thought about the beautiful filigree pieces from Kabela Design and went shopping at their booth at the Innovative Beads Expo in between my bead crochet classes.

First wrapping effort.

Beth and I played around with a few things; surprisingly the new sliver-plated components looked best.  The first was a lovely component that we tried wrapping around the cabochon. 

Here is the back of the component.

 It was nice but then I stumbled onto the component below.

The winner.

I decided to just glue the cabochon to the filigree with good, old E6000 for a clean look.  I wove some fine-gauge, craft wire across the hole to give the glue more surface to grab onto.

Back of glued cabochon with woven wire support.

I glued a piece of ultrasuede over the wire support to make things look nicer.  I played with a number of necklace treatments but they looked too fussy.  So a nice silver chain, some cute Czech, pressed glass beads, a little wire work and I had a new necklace and earrings to wear.

Friday, June 22, 2012


I was too busy to take many photos at Bead and Button but here are a few shots of my adventure.

Here's my favorite security guard at the Frontier Airlines Conference Center.  He is actually a polyester resin sculpture by Marc Swan.

Now on to real people.  My first class was Metal Made Easy, taught by Gwen Youngblood, on Tuesday night.  This was my first sheet metal class in a very long time and Gwen and her husband Hull made this a fabulous learning experience.  We did everything: cut out metal shapes, textured the shape, added decoration with rivets, added jump rings, added dangles, and put a patina on the surface with liver of sulpher. 

Gwen (middle) chatting with two fellow students.

Two sample pendants

One of Gwen's necklaces with copper and silver pendant.

My pendant

My Wednesday class was the Kalahari Oasis lariat with Carol Cypher.  I had so much fun with Carol's felt class last year that I decided to learn the African Helix from her this year.  Carol is a patient and generous teacher and we all had a goodtime. 

My finished Kalahari Oasis necklace.

My next class was Wire Nautilus Pendant with Barb Switzer on Thursday morning.  Here I learned to spiral the heavier wire into a nautilus shape, wrap a thinner wire around the spiral, and weave in beads and crystals.  Unfortunately, I had to leave class early for a meeting so I had no time to stick around after class and take photos.

My Nautilus Pendant
Friday's class was a Zipper Teeth and Beads Freeform Cuff class with Jeanne Barta Craine.  Here we learned how to prepare zippers to sew onto a base and sew beads on to fill in the spaces.  I already knew bead embroidery but was excited to learn her zipper technique.

My zipper and bead cuff in progress.

On Saturday, I did something entirely new: Lanterns: Twined Wire Earrings class with Marilyn Moore.  This class taught us to twine ( a basket-making techinque) with fine wire.  Marily also showed us her technique for blending colors of wire.  I was worried that this class was going to be really difficult but the twining is actually pretty simple;  on top of that  Marilyn is a cheerful and patient teacher who encouraged us as we all mastered the technique.
Twined Wire Earrings: Front of earring on left, back on right. 

Of course I had to go shopping--or at least visiting all of my friends who were vendors at the show.  Here is what I bought:

My first stop was Beyond Beadery, where I loaded up on seed beads and Swarovski crystal. 

Barb Switzer lent me her Lindstrom tools in class and I was hooked so I bought the flush cutters and the round-nose pliers from Beaducation.  I also bought on of the new Wubber square pliers.  As a bonus, we got the baby Wubber pliers in our Bead and Button goodie bag.

I stopped at Parawire to buy some wire for a new class that I will be teaching in a studio in Manhattan.

Everyone flocked to the York Beads booth for their first appearance at Bead and Button.  I bought some spikes, duo beads, and two interesting-shaped, Czech beads.

I found these lovely tulip-shaped end caps at Elka Designs. 

That temptress Sabine Lippert alerted me to the wonderful lampwork beads of Steven Wheeler of Zion Waters Glass.  Steven incorporates high-end crystals and minerals into his art glass and then uses copper electro-forming to cover parts of the bead.  My bead incorporates fossilized ammonite and the copper layer has a patina on it.

I did a lot more looking but you can't buy everything that you like.  Now I am off to play with my new beads.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Whew, I finally have some time to sit down and write a few posts. I will start with the easy one: a few photos that I took at Bead and Button of the lovely beadwork pieces in the Bead Dreams 2012 exhibit. I only had time to take a few photos but here are some of the works that caught my eye.

Svetiana Chebotayeva
Linda Landy
Diane Hyde
Heidi Kummli
Miranda Groenendaal

Anneta Valious

Sherry Hutchinson Serafini

Emi Tsuneoka

Emi Yamada

Megumi Kobuki

Tatiana Van Iten
Kathy King 

Mieko Ogura

Melissa Ingram

Irina Rudneva

Ann Braginsky
Hatsumi Oshitani

Svetiana Chebotayeva

Pamm Horbit (left) and Nancy Rocknich

Beki Haley has also put up some photos from Bead Dreams 2012 on her blog so you can click on over to Beki's Beading Blog to see more eye candy.   Enjoy!