Friday, 30 September 2011

Vacation in Malaysia!!!

Finally, I have finished weaving the Herringbone rope using the pockets of time  amongst the never ending chores.  Beading is my passion and I shall not let it die.

There is no photo of the rope as it is still half done as a necklace - I am still figuring out how to give a more refined endings.  In the mean time, I am also trying to design a bail to match the beaded rope and the metal pendant.  These two elements are of different texture thus how shall I coordinate the rope, the pendant and the bail?

I will have to shelve the project for a week as I am going for vacation in Malaysia with my DH, my two bothers and sisters-in-law.  Yeah!!!  

We are leaving tomorrow morning to Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Cameron Highlands and back to Singapore on 6/10/2011.  This not a sight seeing trip but a Makan (eating) trip - preparing to roll back like a ball!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Busy, busy, busy

That's right, that's the only word for me now - BUSY !!!

Planning for a 16 days holiday trip in the vast North America visiting 5 cities is not a joking matter:

From Singapore to Beijing to Vancouver(BC) to Seattle(WA) back to Vancouver(daughter's graduation) to Flagstaff(AZ) to Chicago to Yellowstone back to Vancouver to Beijing AND finally back to Singapore.  In addition, I also have to plan for the en route to Olympic National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Grand Canyon South Rim, Sedona etc.  Can you imaging the logistic involved?  It is choking me!  But, it is a happy problem.

I have no time for BEADING!!!!  Wait a minute, beading is not a chore.  It is supposed to be therapeutic!  So I picked up the needle and started stitching to calm myself down.  It helped, especially in the night before I sleep.  This is my work-in-progress:

Ha ha, the little worm like thing is my attempt to stitch a tubular Herringbone rope.  The work is so crude that I do not dare to show a close shot.  It is meant to be worn with the triangular pendent.  I think I have chosen the wrong color.  May be I should have used metallic grey/black color seed beads instead. time to go to the bead shop!!!

In my drowning situation, believe it or not, I still could sneak out to watch the Singapore F1 grand pix! The photos below were taken by me while I was there:

Not that I am a fan of F1.  I was asked to accompany HB to watch.  Honestly, I think time would be better spent going to the bead shop.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Pretty Lady? Look beyond....

How would you feel if people addressed you as 'pretty lady? (provided you are a female Smiley)  I bet you would be on cloud nine!   I surely did.  It happened last Saturday in a class '73 gathering and I was smiling from ear to ear! Smiley

However, the joy was short lived.  Deep in my heart, I regard the compliment a mockery, though I know it was not their intention.  The fact is, I had layers of make-up on my face to cover up my dark pigmentation.  I was wearing a wig to hide my thinning hair.  Beneath all these, I am just an ordinary looking person!  Sigh, my wish is to be reckoned as a 'good person' rather than a 'pretty lady'.  Hummm.....may be I have not done enough to gain such respect.  May be,  most people tends to look just at the surface of things and not beyond.  Well, hidden treasure could be overlooked with this ingrained inclination.  I can relate this to a beading related incident.   (Hey, I have to because this is a beading blog!)

A friend bought this pair of large earrings because she likes filigree design in general:

This is quite pretty.  She wanted me to modify them as they are too long for her short neck.  Just the triangular section alone is 8.5cm long!  

Here come the 'look beyond the surface' application: it need not be earrings!  Since the part she likes most is the big triangle, let's make it into a pendent!  

The result is : a pair of earrings and a matching pendent!

Don't frown, this is just a temporary design until a better matched bead is found.  The idea is there.  

As for the pendent, She wants to keep it simple by just stringing a black cord through:

Humm...ok, it looks fine.  But as a beader, I would like to have something with more substance yet still keep it simple.  Perhaps I will try weaving a cord with seed beads using either Herringbone stitch or Peyote stitch.  This is a good chance for me to learn these stitches.  Yeah! 

Ps. I get to keep the other triangle. Smiley

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Beaded Netting Necklace

Hummm...let me last posting was 9/9/2011.  That was six days ago!  Hey, not that I was being lazy or ran out of things to post (honestly, it was true to some extend, hehe!).  I was actually busy beading!!!  

I was not stringing or wire-working.  I was weaving - putting teeny tiny beads together with thread and needle!  The beads were so tiny that they have gained themselves a name called SEED Bead.  I had to put on my reading glasses and use a magnifying glass to work on these beads.  Can you imaging how my poor eyes had suffered?  However, it was all worthwhile:

This was a Bead-Along project organized by the Beading Daily website.  We were given a pattern (this time was beaded netting necklace) and all participants would use their own beads to come out with their own version.  The result is very fascinating.

As I was not sure if I could actually do it, I used whatever was available from my stash instead of buying new stuff.  I had no problem with the beads (I used Amozonite chips and clear quartz chips) but I did not have the correct tpe of thread.  I used my usual beading thread but the necklace turned up flat like a deflated balloon instead of a tube.  I worked into the wee hours for two nights trying ways and means to get the tubing result. My final trial, before giving up, was to use fishing line.  And it worked! yeah!

Wait, hang on there - the story has not ended yet! Fishing line is stiff thus there is no need to use needle. I was happy because as I was trying out with threads, half of the time was spent threading the needle. Arggg!  By using fishing line, the necklace is somewhat springy like a Slinky.  I can pull it like a accordion!

This is not funny at all.  After the necklace was hung on a stand for few days, it has lengthened and became a short necklace instead of a choker!  

I just have to console myself that choker is not for me as I have short neck.  Sigh!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Amethyst, my favorite

I was quite pleased with the blue necklace which was featured in the previous posting.  I have just got to continue making another piece before my 'creative' juice dried up.  So I took out my favorite stones (Amethyst), staring hard at them as though was waiting for their approvals to my intended design.  And....................................................................................................................... tada, a new necklace was born:

Well, it is nothing fantastic but the fun was in the designing process.  Firstly, I had this big metal leave which I needed to get rid of so I incorporated it in the design.  I did not want it to be the domineering focal object thus three dangling stones were added to dampen the starkness.

As the deep purple was a deep color, too much of it will be too heavy looking.  I chose the Clear Quartz to match with the Amethyst so as to lighten the look.  (Amethyst is also a kind of Quartz which is colored by impurities)  The little light purple faux Cat Eyes were added to complement the main stones.

Asymmetrical is always my preference in design so I applied it in the shorter chain.  The 'intended' look is shown in the second picture above.  However (haha, this word spells trouble!) the actual look when wearing is not like that:

Aaaaaw, this is awful!  The shorter chain falls outside of the longer one and it is of U shape instead of V shape.  Design disaster!!!  

Mayday! Mayday!  Someone Please come forward to rescue!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Blue, blue, my world is .....

I think blue is not common in the Jewelry world.  Off hand I can think of Blue Sapphire and Aquamarine. Nah, they are too pricy for me to toy with.  My daughter requested me to make one blue necklace for her and I just could not find any blue beads from my stash.  

I did my bead hunting in my recent trip to Tokyo and lo and behold, I managed to get some interesting blue beads and chips for her.  The place is called Asakusabashi where the whole district sells bead craft supplies - beader's paradise!  I also bought some metal element to match the beads.

(forgot to turn off the flash)

This is the second piece of long necklace that I have made.  I like asymmetrical style and I have no problem when applying that to earrings.  However, when using it on necklace, it is not as easy because you need to balance the weight on both sides.  Otherwise it will fall lopsided when hang on the neck.  Esthetically, it must look balance too.

Hmmm...don't ask me what bead these are.  The labels were in Japanese. Lol. (Edited: They are Amozonite chips and Blue Quartz)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

What's that bead?

I find myself asking this question more often nowadays - because I need that for my blog!  Sigh.  I regret didn't pay much attention to the names of the stones that I purchased.  I bought them because I like the look, the feel when touching them and of course the price if it was affordable.

Let's look at these:

They look interesting and I know they are some kind of shell.  They resemble Abalone Shell but an expert told me they are just 'plated' Mother-of-pearl.  That didn't upset me as I did not pay the price of Abalone Shell.  Whatever...I still like them and I have made a cool necklace with it:

This is truely my design - no copycat.  Sometimes, however, I do borrow other's idea and modify it - like this cute little necklace:

This was done upon my daughter's request.  The original one which she liked very much has been badly tarnished.  I modified the design by using different type of beads and connecters and voila! It is even nicer than the original one because of the beautiful butterfly crystals!  

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Square Jade Donut

When I was younger (not that I'm OLD!), I used to think that Jade is for senior person (I better avoid the 'O' word).  Wait a minute! I re-phrase: Jade tends to give the impression that the wearer belongs to an older age group. (Oops, can't avoid using the word.)

Anyway, I have changed this perspective ever since I saw these square Jade donuts:  

Immediately I took out my purse and bought them.

I have cracked my head for months thinking of ways to use them.  This was done in a rush because I needed a matching necklace for a wedding reception.  Sometimes stress will bring best results! LOL.  So far, this is the most satisfactory piece of work that I have done.

These are not of A grade quality which I cannot possibly afford.  However, they are good enough for beading hobbyists.  This pair of earrings below is another example of the non-A grade Jade:

These round Jade donuts are very traditional.  I teamed them with these interesting metal ball beads to give a contemporary look.  Even my thirty year old daughter wears it!  

Conclusion: Jade is not for seniors only.