October 29, 2009

Claspgarten Clasp #3

This is a new bracelet, designed around another one of Claspgarten clasps. I love the Swarovski Black Diamond stones that are set in the clasp - they are beautiful and sparkling in a wide spectrum of colors when you move them in the light. Gorgeous color!

Two more clasps to go. I need more time for beading....too many projects and not enough time...

October 24, 2009

Different Approach in Designing

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a very nice lady from Claspgarten - a German company which manufactures high-quality clasps of many kinds. She asked me if I could design a few items and use their clasps in them.

Usually, when I bead a bracelet or a necklace, I first bead them and then I look for the clasp I think would complement and work best in the design. And if I then can't find the right clasp, I just beadweave one. I thought it would be interesting for me to try building a whole design around the clasp.

I realized that although the process is similar to building a design around a focal bead or a pendant, it's still a bit different because of the clasp's functionality.
In addition, I didn't get to choose the clasps and when I received them I realized that 4 0f 5 of them are not in the style I would normally pick, so it was a bit of a challenge and a good chance to see if I can come up with a nice idea for using them.

In this necklace, I decided that the clasp should also act as a bead and be placed on the front side of the necklace. I had to try several bead additions and arrangements in order to have the necklace's weight balanced, because the clasp itself (of high quality rhodium plated with Swarovski crystals) is quite heavy, and also to make sure that the whole arrangement allows the wearer to open and close the clasp easily.

The second item I've created using another one of the clasps she sent me, is this bracelet. I love using metal clasps for my bracelets and this beautiful rhodium plated clasp was no exception.

I still have 3 more clasps to go, so the fun continues...

October 14, 2009

Video Tutorials

Recently, a few beaders wrote to me, telling about their first steps in the beadweaving world. This reminded me of my own first steps, when as a self-taught beader, I used to spend long hours on trying to learn the basic techniques, until I had grasped them.  I think that workshops are the best way to learn beadweaving, but if one, for any reason, can't attend them, there are still ways to learn without having to follow illustrations - video tutorials on the internet.  (I never attended any workshop because I couldn't afford them, so I mostly learned from illustration). I found a whole section of them (as well as articles and SBS instructions) on Auntie's Beads site. I watched some of them and I think they are great. So if you are a beader and you can't use illustrations, you might find these very helpful...
While I was browsing Auntie's Beads site, I also found these Awareness pink beads. Aren't they beautiful?

Think Pink Bracelet

October 10, 2009

Super Power Hero Challenge

I managed to finish this Spider Woman necklace for the current EBW challenge, Super Power Hero, in no time!..
I came up with an initial idea when it was less than two days before the deadline and I was not sure I'll be able to create, photograph and post my entry on time.

But I was lucky, because when I opened the bag of black beads I wanted to use for this necklace, I discovered that there were two woven St. Petersburg straps in it.
I came to think that these black beads must be of super power kind - they weave themselves whenever you just think of them!.. ;D I just couldn't remember when and why I put them in there and what I intended to create with them in the first place.. I always try not to keep any unfinished works and my bead boxes are always tidy... Well, not always, it seems...
So of course I decided to use the straps for this necklace. All I had to add was a pendant and a clasp, and Voila! I had my entry finished... :)
I think I have to reconsider the rule of not keeping unfinished works (I take them apart and put all the materials back in place) - it could save the precious time put in creating them if they are used as part of another new design... Now let's just see if I can break my own rule.. ;)

Please check out all 15 entries to the Super Power challenge on the EBW blog. Voting has started today and will last until the 15th, so don't miss it!

October 01, 2009

Back on Track

I want to thank each and everyone of you, who have sent me messages and e-mails during my internet absence. I apologize if I won't be able to reply to each one of you personally, but I want you to know that I really appreciate you writing to me and your concern!
I had some family stuff to deal with, which had badly overtook my mind and took all energy out of me... I'm glad I decided to take some time off, because I now feel much better and ready to go back on track...

I haven't picked a needle and thread during all that time and I miss creating something! I think that an EBW challenge entry would be a nice 'restart' for my creativity and I hope I will be able to finish it before the deadline in four days!...
My previous challenge entry was this Indian Summer necklace.

And, I would like to ask if anyone of you who use Blogspot knows how to block spam comments? One of my blog posts is under such an attack - it looks like a robot spamming, using a different username each time - and I have no idea of what to do other than deleting the comment every time... any suggestions?