Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sand dollar beads

Long walks on the beach at sunset are my idea of a vacation.  I'm trying to capture that feeling by making shell beads.  When I found out about Becky Mason and Diane Woodall's Focal Seashells and Small Seashell Collection Bead tutorials I had to buy them and try them out.  Here are some of my first attempts at sand dollar beads:

In their tutorial, Becky and Diane recommend using mandrels with bead release in the middle.  They suggest pouring bead release into a small container so that it mounds on the top, then rolling the middle of the mandrel.   I can't seem to use their method without slopping bead release all over my bench and wasting a lot when I pour it back into my container.  instead, I use a Nalgene bottle for my bead release.  By tilting the bottle, I can get bead release up to the middle of my mandrel.  I know this method is also wasteful;  after all you don't need all that release on the end of the mandrel, but it seems to work better for me.  Anyway, both methods will allow you to flip the mandrel and so that you are always adding dots and stringer from your "right" side.  Thanks, Becky and Diane, for sharing.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My take on Harvest Moon

I recently purchased a tutorial by Jacqueline Parkes describing how she makes one of her gorgeous organic beads, Harvest Moon.  After playing around with it, I discovered a video on Corinna Tattinger's website describing how to add to silver foil dot to a bead.  Wow!  What a combination.  Here are my beads:

Doesn't the silver foil moon just pop!  As usual look for jewelry made from these beads in my Etsy shop: