Un Finished Object Blog Hop #2

By | May 1, 2017

Hello Everyone!    This has been a doozy of a month.   I completed my piece for the TOHO Beads Challenge. (It’s pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself, but I can’t show it off until next month.)   I taught 2 big classes, and I participated in the Stutz Artists Association Annual Open House, which is my biggest show of the year.   In between all that I somehow managed to make 6 new necklaces, 40 pairs of earrings, and I knit a shawl out of sock weight yarn! (The shawl still needs to be blocked, but I’ll post a picture soon.)   This didn’t leave much time for the old UFO drawer.    But still progress was made.

I’m pretty sure this is what the inside of my brain looks like at the moment…


Two of the six necklaces that I made were technically UFOs.   Last fall I made several sets of beaded beads from a Diane Fitzgerald class last summer.  I had intended to turn them into necklaces for last fall’s shows, but they got put into a box and forgotten.   I pulled them out a few weeks ago, and realized why they had been relegated to the box.   They are long, so they don’t drape as nicely as I had hoped.  But I am pleased with how they turned out. The set pictured here is strung with vintage lucite beads and some mahogany obsidian.   I still have two sets to string.  I might experiment with hanging the other ones vertically.

Diane-Beaded-Bead-Necklace-Close-up Diane-Beaded-Bead-Necklace-aqua-brown

I also made some progress on a freeform peyote bracelet that has been sitting in the drawer for years.  It’s not finished yet, but it’s closer than it was.  I pulled it out yesterday, thinking it just needed a clasp, but really, it needs a little something else, and I didn’t have quite the right button.  Maybe this one will be finished next time.

Here is the before:


And here is what it looks like now:

Freeform-Citrus-BraceletIt’s getting better but not quite there yet.  I think it needs more embellishment, but I’m not sure what.

Yesterday I was a total zombie after the whole crazy month and having spent the last two days working the show, so I needed something low key to work on.  I pulled out a half finished crocheted rope that I started several years ago.   I thoughtfully left the pattern with the piece, but it took a few minutes to sort out exactly what I was doing.   I cut the finished portion of the rope from the spool, and strung 4 36 row repeats of the pattern, which should give me the same length on the other side.    I decided I would make the rope in two pieces, and add a focal bead in the center.  This seems like it gives me more design options.   I tried to start crocheting it last night, but I think I have the wrong sized hook.   Lately I have been crocheting with smaller cord, so I switched to a smaller hook, and that wasn’t working.  Need to dig out the other hook which is probably buried in the ufo drawer somewhere.   I’m hoping I will be able to find a cool focal bead at the Bead and Button Show in June.

Crochet-rope-in-progress crochet-pattern

For the next deadline, I hope to tackle one of my big UFOs.   May is traditionally UFO month in my studio. I like to finish up a few projects before I head to Bead and Button and come home with more unfinished projects…

I hope the rest of you have had more success with your UFOs.  I look forward to cruising through the list to see what everyone has been working on.


Karen Williams, Baublicious

Francie Broadie,  FAB

Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations

Therese, Therese’s Treasures

Kim Dworak, CianciBlue

Liz Hart, Treetop Life

Liz En, Bead Contagion

Amy Severino, Amy Beads

Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers

Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope

Christi Carter, Sweetpea Path

Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry

Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It’s Full of Books

Adventures in Buttons

By | March 16, 2017

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Indiana Button Society’s annual Button Show with my friend, Carol.  Having been to many bead shows that incorporated some button dealers, I thought I knew what I was getting into, but the whole button show experience was totally new.

We paid our admission and were given adorable nametags embellished with cute buttons.  And then we entered into a hotel ballroom full of people with boxes upon boxes of buttons, all neatly labeled and carded. It was a tiny bit overwhelming.  I generally do not have the patience to sort through lots of boxes while shopping.


But all of the vendors had their cards arranged by subject and type of button.  It made it all fairly easy to browse.   Since I hadn’t come to the show with any specific button needs.  I did some casual flip throughs of the boxes, and mostly stuck to the inexpensive grab bags of buttons.  I found a few treasures there.

At the back of the room was a display of button cards that were being judged on their merits.  I snapped a few quick pics of an embellished button card that caught my eye.  It reminded me of the fun embellished button swap that I did with Diane Fitzgerald, Stepheny Hornblow, and their beady ladies.  I also did a fun button swap with my Siever’s bead girls. That reminds me that I still need to do something with all those buttons…

Embellished-Button-Card-Full Embellished-Button-Card-Close-Up

Another fun treasure was this cute little display of tiny plate beads.  They made me long for my ever so brief doll house days.


A few more passes around the room yielded several treasures.   I found several inexpensive grab bags of buttons which will hopefully be turned into jewelry in the near future.   And I found two spectacular cicada buttons that had to come home with me. metal-ball-buttons French-Tights-ButtonsThe small ball shaped buttons would make great centers for beaded flowers.  And those little metal florals will be fun to play with.  I also found some fun vintage glass buttons set in metal, and a bag full of tiny red glass shank buttons. Vintage-glass-buttons-in-settings Vintage-Red-Glass-ButtonsAnd you can never go wrong with mother of pearl.   I can’t believe this bag of carved buttons was only $10.  Most of them are larger than a quarter. Carved-Pearl-buttons Pearl-Shank-Buttons And finally the treasures of the day, the cicadas. Cicaida-Button Pink-Glitter-Beetle-ButtonI know nothing about either button, except that they are both glass.   The top one looks a bit Japanese to me.  The bottom one was just screaming my name.  Hot pink glitter and bugs all in one?   It had to be mine.

I also bought a few blank button cards to jazz up my studio.  I certainly have enough buttons at home to fill up a few just for fun.   This is what most of the buttons were displayed on.  Some were grids, some were random arrangements.  They are all sturdy mat board.  And most of the buttons were wired on with bits of telephone wire.  The lady who sold me the button cards threw in a free jar of wire bits.  Button-Card-Radial Button-Card-Concentric

The vendors were all nice and helpful when asked questions.  There were even refreshments on hand.   All in all it was a great way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.   Next year, I will go with a better plan, and hope to come home with some real treasures.

Un-Finished Objects Blog Hop or UFOs as we like to call them…

By | March 11, 2017

A while back, the lovely Karen Williams invited me to a “support group” for all those un-finished objects that all beaders have.   I hopped right on board.  I have an entire set of drawers full of UFOs!  One of the perils of being a full time beader and designer.   Inspired by the rest of the group, I resolved to tackle the drawers.  I went through each drawer and catalogued what was there and what needed to happen for it to get finished.  I also pulled out the things that I knew I would never finish, and I pulled out the things that were kits that hadn’t been started. I had 4 drawers of projects to cull.

UFO-Drawers UFO-drawer-notes

UFO-Drawer-Interior  What I learned was that pretty much everything there was there for a reason.   A problem was encountered: maybe lack of supplies, maybe technical difficulties, perhaps even insufficient skill level at the time of the project. Some of the reasons were small.  Those are the projects that get pulled out when it’s show time and I need some quick inventory.  I think I found at least 7 bracelets that just needed clasps!

I managed to finish a few quick fixes.  I have three major UFOs that I would really like to finish this years, but an unexpected vacation and a secret bead project have kept me from tackling those just yet.   For the reveal, I decided to go with a project that has been languishing for at least 5 years.   In addition to the pile of nearly finished bracelets, I found 6 crocheted ropes just waiting to be finished.

Crochet-Rope-Disassembled-1 Crochet-Rope-Disassembled-2   This pair of ropes was completed shortly after I learned to do bead crochet at least 5 years ago, maybe longer.   I had made several bangles with a similar color scheme.  I think I originally planned to make more bangles, but I got inspired to hunt for lampwork beads to match.   I found these beads at the Bead and Button Show several years ago.   They were carefully wrapped in tissue in the same bag as the rope.   Now they have been joined together.  I added a few onyx spacers to tie the lampwork in with the ropes. The clasp is sterling silver with a black stone of some sort in the center.   I am quite pleased with the outcome.  It inspired me to dig out the other ropes, but alas, I do not have the requisite focal beads to pull the others together just yet.  I guess I know what I’ll be shopping for in June.

Crochet-Rope-Primary-Finished Crochet-Rope-Primary-2

I also found this cute little dagger bracelet.   It’s so wiggly, I can’t stop playing with it!  I added the perfect purple slide clasp, and reinforced the whole dang thing since it seemed like that would be a good idea.  I think this one will be worn a lot.Dagger-Slinky-Bracelet-2 Dagger-Slinky-Bracelet-Close-up

It has been fun seeing what everyone else in the group has been working on. I look forward to seeing which projects they chose to finish for the blog hop.   Pop on by everyone else’s blog to see what they have been working on.

Karen Williams, Baublicious
Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Therese, Therese’s Treasures
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Liz E, Bead Contagion
Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It’s Full of Books
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cathi Salzarulo Kent, The Cat’s Meow
Liz Hart, Treetop Life


Bead It Forward 2016

By | January 21, 2016

Every January, the Indiana Bead Society spends the monthly meeting working on squares for the Bead It Forward project.  Beaders all over the world make little 1.5″ by 1.5″ beaded squares which are then assembled into quilts and other items, then auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer research.   It’s a great way to use your beading superpowers for good.

This year’s theme is Space. There are lots of great patterns available on the Bead It Forward site.  And Amy, the woman in charge, has even provided a page of little blank peyote graphs that are all the perfect size for the project.  That was all the invitation I needed. I couldn’t believe that none of the great sci-fi genres were being represented.  So I dusted off my favorite colored pencils and got to work.   I came up with 6 patterns.  If you make one, send me a picture, I would love to see how these work up.   So far I have only had a chance to start beading one of them.   I will post more pictures as I make progress.   But for now, here are the patterns.   Make a few and send them in to Amy at Bead it Forward.  The squares are due by March 1, 2016.  The guidelines and application form can be found here.

These are all single drop peyote patterns, you can either start from the bottom left or the top right corner.   I think these would all make fun pendants too.  Just add a few more solid rows at the top, fold over and zip into a bail.   I might have to make myself a Gorn necklace…

Classic Trek Square Gorn Square Lego Spaceman Square Retro Rocket Square Robot 1 Square Robot 2 Square

Ornament Swap Blog Hop!

By | December 20, 2015

Christmas-Tree-2015In November I received an e-mail from the lovely Karen Williams of Baubilicious looking for people to participate in a handmade ornament swap.    It sounded like too much fun to pass up, so I signed up.  Karen paired me up with Lori.  We swapped a few e-mails back and forth discussing our styles and color preferences, then we both got to work.

I actually ended up making two ornaments because I was having so much fun. The first one took almost no time at all because I dug through my beaded bead box and found a bead in the perfect colors.   I had been making earrings, so I had lots of little odds and ends of beads laying about.   I coiled up the bottom of a piece of wire and loaded it up with beads.    Ornament-Swap-Dangle-1 After that one I was still itching to bead, so I busted out the Superduos.   I started in the center and just kept adding beads until I liked it.   I might need to make one of these for myself.   Ornament-Swap-Super-Duo-1 As you can see from the photos, in addition to the ornaments I whipped up a few embellished hangers.

When Lori’s package arrived, I was super excited.   I opened it right away and forgot to take a picture of the lovely packaging.   Oops.

I was amused to find that we were both thinking along the exact same lines.   The ornament Lori made for me was quite similar in style to the one I made for her.    Ornament-Swap-Lori-1 Ornament-Swap-Lori-2I love the colors and the long drop style.    It is perfect for my hodge podge tree of special ornaments.    In addition to the perfect ornament, Lori also sent me some lovely Canadian treats.  I’m looking forward to digging into those soon.   I just wish it would get back to appropriate December temperatures rather than this 70 degree business.    Ornament-Swap-SwagI’m so glad I decided to participate in this little swap.   It was a wonderful way to spread some good cheer in this crazy world.   Please stop by and check out everyone’s blog to see what the other beaders have made.


Karen Williams and Carrie Johnson

JJ Jacobs and Tanya Goodwin

Francie Broadie and Lori Finney

Liz Hart and Becky Clay


I will leave you with this photo of my lovely assistant modelling another ornament I made recently.   Happy Holidays everyone! Arya-with-Hat


Whee! A tutorial.

By | July 26, 2014

In celebration of nearly finishing my Bead and Button Show applications to teach next year, I am posting my first tutorial.

These Super Speedy Starburst Earrings are really fun.  You can whip out a pair in about a half an hour.  Perfect for gifts, or if you don’t have the right earrings for your new outfit. Florette-EarringsSuper Speedy Starburst Earrings

Supplies: 14 Super Duos or Twins

2 4mm Fire Polish Beads

1g size 15 Seed Beads

Nymo D or 6lb Fireline

Size 12 needle

2 Earwires


  1. Wax a 1.5 yard length of thread. Bring the needle to the center of the thread. Tie the two tails together in an overhand knot. Trim the tails close to the knot and melt the thread with the lighter.
  2. Pick up 7 Super Duos. Bring the beads close to the knot, split the two threads apart and bring the needle between them. Make a U-turn, then pass back through the last Super Duo Strung.
  3. Bring the needle through the outside hole of the Super Duo. Pick up 3 size 15 beads and pass through the next Super Duo on the ring continuing to use the outside holes. Continue adding beads in this manner until you have 15’s in between each Super Duo.
  4. Bring the needle out of the first 15 in one of the sets of 3. Pick up 3 15’s and pass through the third 15 in that same set.   This will create a picot. Pass the needle through the Super Duo and the first 15 in the next set.
  5. Continue adding picots until you have completed the circle.
  6. Bring the needle up through the last picot so that it is exiting the center bead of the picot. Pick up 1 Fire Polish, 8 size 15’s. Pass back through the Fire Polish, and through the center picot bead from the opposite side. Reinforce this loop one more time.
  7. Tie a few half hitches, then add the ear wire to the loop.   Make one more.

Francie Broadie

Send me pictures if you make a pair.  I would love to see your color combos.    Enjoy!


Hello Again

By | July 2, 2014

Is anyone still there besides spammers selling knock off purses and sunglasses?     Just in case, I thought I would fill you in on the latest bead news.

I just returned from a trip to Cleveland to shoot an episode of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.     It was a great experience.   Everyone on the staff was kind and helpful. The taping part went well.  I am looking forward to seeing how it turned out.   New episodes will begin in January.  I’m going to guess that my episode won’t air until sometime in February, given where it falls in the series.   I will be sure to keep you posted.

Next up, I will be teaching at Bead Fest in Philadelphia in August.   The show runs from August 20-24, 2014.    Here is a link to all of my classes.  I am offering 5 different classes. They are all great for the intermediate beader who wants to add to their repetoire.  Slip and Slide duoThe Slip and Slide Bracelet is a great update on an old fashioned camp craft.

naughts and crosses flatThe Naughts and Crosses Bracelet is a sleek and sparkly number.  It’s  good introduction to playing with two holed beads.  Luminous Luna Earring1These Luminous Luna Earrings are show stoppers!  And the best part is that each of the components can be used separately if the whole combo is just too much for you.  Three pairs of earrings in one!Basic Beaded Cab duo Learn the basics of beading around a cabochon, and some simple bead embroidery.   It’s a skill that all beaders should have.    broadie,f_linking rings bracelet1And since it was so popular last year, I’m bringing back my Linking Rings bracelet.    Three different kinds of herringbone links and a cute little peyote toggle.  It’s a lot of visual bang for your buck.

I hope that you will be able to join me for one or more of these classes.   It’s a fun show, with lots of other great classes too.   Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.    There will be multiple color choices for each of the kits.   Plus I will have some other fun kits for sale as well.




Busy Bee

By | September 20, 2013

Many beady things have happened since I have last posted… Bead and Button, Sievers, teaching at Bead Fest, and a workshop with Kim Stathis.    Many crazy non beady things have happened too.  Needless to say, it’s been a very busy summer.

Technically the Bead and Button Show happened before my last post, but let’s start there.    I signed up for 4 classes, but one was cancelled.  All of my classes were great this year.   I took a class on punching aluminum cans, a class with the lovely Cindy Holsclaw from Bead Origami, and a class from Heather Kingsley Heath.  My apologies to the aluminum lady, whose name I can’t remember at the moment.

Let’s start with the aluminum.   We punched and layered soda cans and came up with these.    I really like the way they turned out.   The large flower will be a pin or pendant, and the smaller flowers will be earrings.   I haven’t figured out what to do with the bird tags.  I was going to make earrings, but they are way too big.  The small flowers are about the size of quarters.    The big one is about 2 inches across.  I can definitely see making more of these in my future.   But I really didn’t need a reason to walk down the scrapbooking aisle at Michaels…

On to the beadweaving, Cindy’s class was next.   I have finished the necklace, and worn it several times, but so far I have not managed to get a picture, so you will have to enjoy this in progress shot from class.The construction of these beads was genius.  I got one of each done in class.   And that is one of Cindy’s teeny tiny origami cranes.   I’ll try to post a picture of the finished necklace next week.

Next up was Heather’s Acantha Necklace.   I love this piece.   It, too, is finished, and again, I have no photo, so here are two in progress shots from the hotel room, so please excuse the crappy lighting.

This piece is a lariat style necklace.  The two spike drops go on the bottom of the silversilk cord.    Again, this was a very clever construction.    My brain does not think dimensionally very well.   It always amazes me when people construct things like these.

I will leave you with a few photos of my shopping haul.   Things were a bit subdued this year due to a minor glitch in the plan, but fear not, I made up for it in Philly.

This is the whole shebang.  And next is a close up of just the lucite bits. I love those crazy spiky drops.   I don’t know what I am going to do with them, but I had to have them.

I will save my other beady adventures for another post next week.   In the mean time, I’m firing up the kiln, getting ready for fall shows and special orders.



Fish Are Friends Blog Hop Reveal

By | July 13, 2013

Hello Everyone,

Please excuse my long absence.  Life got a little nutty there for a while.   It’s still a little nutty, but mostly manageable.    In the mean time, I have been busy behind the scenes beading away.

I was thrilled to be picked for Karen Williams Fancy Fish Design Team.  I got to test out her fabulous Fancy Fish pattern.  It is chock full of great pictures and instructions, as well as lots of info on right angle weave and details like how thread color can alter bead color, something that people don’t necessarily consider.    So, on to the pictures, my first fish sort of dictated the direction I ended up going.A long time ago, I helped paint a mural with these wonderful purple/pink and orange fish and I have been enamored with them ever since.     It was a bit of a challenge to find the core beads around here, so I went with what I had in my stash.   Since my core bead was a bit stubbier than the bead requested in the pattern, I found that the side fins in size 11 beads were a bit overwhelming, so I used a little artistic license and switched to 15’s.

Fish number two is totally unrelated to fish number 1.    My dad needed a birthday present and they were heading off to the boat for a few weeks, so it was high time the boat got a new mascot.    I hear that this little guy is now hanging over the chart table.  I did have fun playing with stripes on this one.  I found some larger, pointier beads for the base on this one.   I had to add a few extra rows before decreasing, but that was about it.

For the next fish I used another of the long pointy beads for the base.    I ended up going with the fancier tail on this one.    It’s very full.  And I also made the fancier side fins.   I also had to add extra rows on this one.

My final fish was another with the stubby core bead.  I went with a smaller tail.   I had a few shaping issues with this guy, due to my core bead, not the instructions.  So I ended up tweaking the shaping on this one which gave me a more bulbous fish.   Next up was figuring out what to do with them.

I bought the orange and hot pink faceted beads last winter thinking of summer.   I didn’t have a plan for them at the time.   Who knew they were just waiting for this moment.    They matched the fish perfectly.    I made some free form netting leafy pieces, and added some leafy fringe.  Finally I attached the fish and voila, a fun summery necklace.

The close up is a bit wonky.   The light was failing, and my basement is still a disaster area, so the light box was unavailable.   Here’s a final pic with a flash, which I don’t normally like, but this one made the beads glow.

If you want your own Fancy Fish Tutorial, go here to buy it.   It’s well worth the money.

And now, go check out what everyone else did with the tutorial.   I can’t wait to see.

Without further ado – here’s the Official Fish Friends list:

 Francie Broadie – FAB Custom Jewelry
 Shirley Moore – Beads and Bread
Bobbie Rafferty – Beadsong Jewelry
Tanya Goodwin – A Work in Progress
Cynthia Machata – Antiquity Travelers
Kathy Jo – KJ’s Beadacious Beads
Therese Frank – Therese’s Treasures
Nancy Sopp – AlaskanNancy 
Alison Oman
Dolores Dwight 
Amy Severino – Amybeads
Eleanor Pigman – Eleanor Pigman
Hostess: Karen Williams – Baublicious

Upcoming Classes

By | May 28, 2013

I will be teaching two classes in Frankfort, IN at the Frankfort Library on June 15.   The Tila Circle Cuff will be the morning class.  Class starts at 10.     The class fee is $20 per student and the kit fee is $15.   There will be multiple color choices available. This class is suitable for an intermediate beader.

The afternoon class will start at 1:30.   We will be making the Shimmering Silver Bracelet.   This one uses multiple forms of peyote stitch and some fiddly assembly.   This class is also suitable for intermediate beaders. The class fee is $20 per student and the kit fee is $40.  This kit includes several sterling silver parts and permanent galvanized seed beads.   This kit will only be available in silver.

To sign up, either let me know you are coming, or contact Flo Caddell at the library. Here’s the phone number:765-654-8746

And as a reminder, I will be teaching in Philadelphia at Bead Fest in August.    I’m teaching three classes there.   And there is still room in each of my classes. Here’s a link to the post on the classes I am teaching.

I am also teaching for a private event on the 14th.   If you are interested in private lessons for a group or a special event, let me know and I would be happy to come up with a project for you.