Saturday, July 30, 2011

Awwww-inspired Seal Pup Earrings

Seal Pup Beaded Earrings
Awwww....When I see fuzzy, white seal pups on calendar pages, my heart just melts.  Seal pups are the most endearing babies on the universe and I would not be able to call my Etsy shop, Handmade + Cute, if I didn't list a seal pup at one time or another.

With this goal in mind, I created a simple pup pattern on a brick stitch chart and used size 11 Toho seed beads.  I chose three colors for this project - opaque lustered white for the face and body, opaque lustered baby pink for the cheeks and opaque jet black for the eyes and nose.  For this small, lightweight design, I used transparent quilting thread to weave the beads together.  The finished seal pup is attached is surgical steel, nickel free ear wires.

The finished work measures about 1.75 cm. in width and 1.5 cm. in height.  The entire length with the ear wire is about 3 cm.  

I haven't yet listed this in my shop but it should be up soon.  Please stop by and visit me.  

Thanks! 



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Netted Beadwork Book

I borrowed a very nice bead book from the public library called Netted Beadwork: A Beadwork How-To Book by Diane Fitzgerald.  I've never worked on netted beading projects before but I want to learn how to make those beautiful and intricate three-dimensional wrapped pieces.  Christmas is coming up and I think it will be nice to give lacey ornaments as handmade keepsake gifts.

I practiced making lace chains and also worked on flowers.  I do wish this book had more instructional photos so I could follow along visually.  I find that I enjoy netted beading and would love to keep this book as a reference but the library is all about "borrowing" so I went to Amazon.com.  Hooray, I found the book from an outside seller, unfortunately at a very hefty price of $120.97!  I'm not kidding! 

To perfect my netted beading technique, I'd like to find a good how-to book.  If you could recommend one, I'd be very grateful!



Monday, July 25, 2011

Exclusive Handmade Discounts

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices.
Handmade sellers now offer money saving discounts on their unique products by providing coupon codes and other incentives to buyers.  One site that caters to those who love to buy handmade is called Heartsy.  Heartsy features carefully selected items  that are made by very talented designers.  Buyers within the Heartsy community also have a voice and can help decide which artisan to highlight.

Today I purchased a voucher to receive $10.00 of a $24.00 purchase from SodaCanShop.  There are so many wonderful and amazing recycled jewelry, magnets and ornaments at the SodaCanShop, I know I will have such fun shopping!

I'm happy to extend you an invitation to join Heartsy today and view all the amazing discounted handmade goodies.  Come on by!


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Making of a Heart

A very nice customer has asked to me bead her some heart charms in red and pink.  I enjoy making hearts because hearts are sweet expressions of love yet they are relatively simple to make.  Here is how I make my hearts.

My supplies include:

1. My heart pattern.
2. FireLine thread, .006 (4lb. size B).
3. Size 11 Toho seed beads in silver lined ruby, silver lined pink plus a transparent crystal to form the "invisible" loop for hanging.
4. Size 12 bead needles.
5. A felt-like pad for holding my loose beads so the beads don't roll all over the place.



I also need:

5. My old lady reading glasses.
6. Nice Hawaiian sunshine for natural lighting.




The stitch I use to weave the beads together is the brick stitch technique and although I sometimes use quilting thread for stitching, I like FireLine because it is strong and does not stretch; therefore, my project keeps its shape.  FireLine is really a fishing line but it is a staple supply for many beaders.  I buy my FireLine from FusionBeads.com for its prices and free shipping to Hawaii (hooray!).

I'm lucky to live in Hawaii where there is an abundance of bright beautiful sunshine.  Natural lighting allows me to see the true color of the beads as well as my stitches.  Many times I have tried weaving throughout the night using a lamp or overhead lights only to toss my project away the next day because of mistakes.  I've learned my lesson!

Here are my finished beaded heart charms.


I have 2 more to go but the sun is setting so I'll continue tomorrow. 

Please visit me on Etsy at Handmade + Cute to see the rest of my beaded charms.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jalopy Soup

I'm at my mother-in-law's house.  I smell soup...chicken, ginger and asian-ish things. I see a pot on the stove.  I peek inside.  Yes, soup it is! Looks like shredded bits of roasted chicken, cabbage, carrots, onions, a big chunk of beat up ginger and soggy macaroni that is way past the al dente stage.  I taste.  As usual, despite the unappetizing appearance, the soup is delicious!

My mother-in-law is famous for her mish-mash soups.  She keeps all her leftover food in the freezer until it'soup ready.  Sometimes the food combinations are strange but with her secret whatever it is, she transforms last week's dinner into another delicious meal.

Me:  How did you make this?
MIL: I don't know.  Just leftovers.
Me:  What's in the soup base?
MIL:  No salt.
Me:  What did you add?
MIL:  I don't know. 

I may never duplicate my mother-in-law's soup and will never get her recipe, if there ever is one, but I've managed to create my own strange but true hodgepodge soup from spare parts.  I dare you to taste...My Jalopy Soup!




Jalopy Soup
  
 - 1 can tomato soup + 1 can water (more if you want it soupier)
- Leftover chili with beans (I love Zippy's but I've used canned also)
- Portuguese sausage from breakfast
- Frozen french fries (cut smaller to look like real potatoes)
- Your choice of vegetables (like corn kernels, tomatoes...)
- Cooked macaroni for the kids' sake
- Sometimes I sneak in a dallop of salsa but the kids don't like it

I toss everything into a pot and bring it to a boil then I simmer my concoction until the frozen fries/vegetables are tender.  We eat this over rice or with crackers.  My husband likes his medley more soupy while I like mines thicker.

I do not claim to be a cook in any shape or form but tee-hee-hee, I've fed this to real people and they still live.

Oh...and no salt.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fire Truck Charms

I have been working on these Fire Trucks and could not decide which one I wanted to list so I decided to list all three.

Here is my fleet of Fire Truck Seed Bead Charms. 


Come check these out at Handmade + Cute, Etsy

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Firefighter Helmet, Boots and a Fire Hydrant Charm

These firefighter designs have been made by special request but these handwoven beaded designs will live on and can be yours too.  All accessories may be special ordered if you do not see it in my shop at Handmade + Cute, Etsy.

This firefighter collection includes a helmet...




and a fire hydrant...



Fire Truck and Axe coming soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brick Stitch Design Book

Here's a fun book that I just purchased from Amazon.  It's called Beaded Images II: Intricate Beaded Jewelry Using Brick Stitch by Barbara Elbe.  The book has great *cute* beaded patterns and instructions to make animals, people and other creative images.

From Amazon...
Get ready to explore an exciting new frontier in bead design! Journey beyond geometric and pictorial patterns to a realm where beads can be sculptured into an unlimited variety of shapes. From birds in flight to rearing horses and clowns with curly, three-dimensional hair, the earrings in this book are truly amazing to behold. Barbara's use of smaller beads (Delica, Hex and 14/° seed beads) allows the creation of amazing design detail in earrings which are small, light in weight, and very original in appearance... read more...
The reviews are positive and I agree.  I'm happy to have made the purchase and very excited to try out some of the designs. Go check it out!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pug Charm


Those who know a pug, know that there is much in this little dog. A great friend and companion, carry this cute pug seed bead charm with you wherever you go.


Handmade with Japanese seed beads, this pug measures 2.5 cm. at its widest point and 2.75 cm. in height, without hardware. The charm is attached to a silver spring clasp and is accented with a tiny aluminum bell. The total length of the pug charm, with clasp, is approximately 4.75 cm.

I'm happy to say that this pug will be adopted soon but if you want to place an order for the next litter, visit me at Handmade + Cute, Etsy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cheerleader Charm


Rah-Rah-Shish-Boom-Bah!

Cheerleader Seed Bead charm - a perky and cute cheerleader with her festive pom-poms.


Handmade with Japanese seed beads in turquoise, brown, beige, silver-lined aquamarine and gray, The pom-pom is layered for a shiny 3D effect. The charm is attached to a silver spring clasp and accented with a little red bell.

Available at Handmade + Cute, Etsy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Santa Cell Phone Charm

Yeah, yeah...I know!  I, too, get a little bothered when I see Christmas decorations up in the shopping malls when we haven't celebrated Halloween yet. But I'm getting into to the spirit of Christmas in July and added a Santa Cell Phone Charm to my shop.


Bah Humbug to you too!


Pearly Dew Bracelet

See Pearly Dew Bracelet and 1000's of others - or share your own on Cut Out + Keep

A bracelet that I would love to make one day!