Friday, May 31, 2013

Farfalle bangles

Yesterday morning I was waiting for a small pack of beads to arrive from the Czech Republic (which arrived THIS morning) and instead I found an amazing surprise from Preciosa Ornela: 2 packs of Farfalle beads in neon color!
It took me 2 minutes to know what I wanted to make with them and to actually make it:

All you need is some memory wire and silver charms. Some of them come from different countries (like the hidden cow-bell from Austria and a silver camel from Tunisia) or just remind me of them.
The picture doesn't do justice to these amazing colors and the texture of these gorgeous beads!

Meanwhile other purchased goodies arrived

and I am too anxious for the run to play with them now!
Seed beads are from Preciosa Ornela and it's the first time I use them, I already love the finish they have - so silky. Maybe tomorrow I'll have some rest for my legs and bead a little.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

EBW Spring Swap 2013

This year I partecipated again in the Spring Swap organized by the Etsy Beadweavers Team.
The person I made a little gift for was different from the one I received it from, so you interact with 2 people from the team. You never know when the package is going to arrive because you don't know when it's sent, so it's a big surprise!
This time I made a bracelet for Andrea Ortiz of Blue Star Arts.


I read from the questionnaire we all had to fill in that she practises yoga and likes blue and green.
So I wanted to make something with an Om. I was inspired by my Japanese tradition bracelet and was thinking of following the same pattern, but just one strand of beaded beads. That didn't look nice though.
I started making these tubular thingies not knowing exactly how to use them. I was inspired by Csilla Csirmaz bracelet but didn't want anything that crowded.
I decided knotting with waxed thread was the solution; of course my size 15 seed beads didn't think so. It was impossible to make it through the CRAW tube of the Om piece.

Final option was metal. You know how much I'm clamsy with it. I had some silver chain which made me think about the final solution....

Much better than waxed thread.
I used a magnetic toggle so it's more practical and easy to remove when she goes to her yoga lessons!


On to my benefactor who is Cajsa Lisa Anderson of ajBead.
She made a gorgeous pendant inspired by her father's japanese garden (I knotted a simple grey cord to wear it)

She visited it this winter and decided to capture that moment when snow covers everything, but still you know flowers will come back very soon. You can see the inspiration here.
I was really touched by her story and look at how amazing her father's pieces of art are!
I love both the pendant and the source of inspiration. Looks like destiny that I wrote I'm crazy about Japan and her father had this special hobby. Thank you so much for sharing this with me!

Hope you enjoyed both stories, please hop to the Etsy Beadweavers Team blog to see what the other members made for their partners!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Earrings arrived - from earring swap 2013

This morning I am struggling to find a friend of mine a nice birthday present.
I am thinking that despite spending time together, even shopping together, I don't really know what her tastes are.
So it's even stranger when you receive a present from someone you only know by e-mails and blog posts, and it fits you so perfectly as if you picked that present yourself.

Remember I was waiting for my Earring Swap partner Ginger's earrings to arrive...well, I just found them in my mail!

Amazing card also!
She said they were "me" and I have to confirm that.
I wear a lot of grey and black and even though I am trying to color up my wardrobe, my fav necklaces are still black and grey. Plus, my hair is a mixture of brown and orange right now, so they pop up nicely.

The thing I would like to convey is how light they are and how beautiful both texture and finish look. I am no clay expert, but this is quite astonishing.

Sorry, blurry. I'll take bette pic later with make up on!
I have put eyes on her tutorial to make these gorgeous components, but I guess my boyfriend would kick me out if I buy new materials (beads can be hidden among beads, you know) so I need to wait to try and make these beauties myself.
You'll find it here together with other impressive tut and beautiful components. Her holo effect pieces are so beautiful, I guess you won't have to buy rivolis anymore!

Thank you so much Ginger for making these special earrings for me! I love them and won't get them off my ears for quite a long time!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

7th Bead Soup Blog Party® contest

I am truly honored (and pretty confused since it's 2 am here) to announce that my Red Lady necklace is one of the winners of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party contest!!!

The fact that I was chosen by Nina Design together with another amazing artist as Malin de Koning, who I absolutely adore, is already a big prize for me.

Please take a moment to look at ALL the winners here, there are 46 of them and all are astonishing creations!

I would like to thank someone before I pass out asleep:

-first of all Lori McDaniel Anderson, the mind and body behind the Bead Soup Blog Party - because it takes a whole lot of energy and physical strength to do all that's required for such a big event with more than 500 partecipants, and she made all of this despite a lot of problems. She's a warrior and we all appreciated her big efforts to make this party such an amazing experience for all of us.

-Nina Design, one of the jurors who chose my piece, a huge honor I wasn't expecting at all!

-my partner Dorota, who sent me that amazing cabochon which led me to bead embroidery in the first place, and a lot of other goodies that stimulated my creativity. Knowing you was a big pleasure dear Dorota, you are such a nice, creative and generous person!

-last but not least, my wonderful boyfriend.
He often makes fun of me saying "I'm going to throw away all your beads!" but actually always pushes me to explore my creativity and bears the presence of all these tiny little things everywhere. I've become much more tidier with time and we don't find beads in our meals or bed anymore, but still he hears me swearing whenever I accidentally pour beads on the floor, and he still loves me.

Thanks for visiting everybody and for taking the time to write kind, thoughtful comments!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Jewelry basics

These are the basic pieces of jewelry that a woman needs IMHO.
Every piece is just an example of its category and not THE piece.Jewelry basics

1) A white pearl necklace
2) Stud or colored stone earrings
3) A bib necklace
4) An important ring with some big, colored stone
5) Chandelier earrings
6) Hoop earrings
7) A brooch
8) A long necklace with a pendant
9) A cuff
10) Colored friendship bracelet
11) Stackable bangles

I will write a post for each of these categories in order to show all the endless possibilities that each and every one offers.
A pearl necklace doesn't have to be plain and boring, a cuff isn't necessarily bold and chunky, friendship bracelets can actually be really elegant...and so on.

Every piece can be realized in a variety of media and techniques, from chain maille to wire wrapping, from beadweaving to simple stringing, from metal etching to some good ol' glue.

What do you think? Would you add anything? Is there something you consider indispensable that I didn't cover?
I'll explain my choices starting from next post!

The perfect wardrobe

30 is an age that defines many things. It's when the "I got nothing to wear" statement finally starts to clash with a wardrobe full of c**p (a.k.a. a lot of clothes you never wear because you don't feel comfortable in them or you don't like them anymore).

If you are a little hoarder like me you know that it's useless to force yourself to throw away stuff trying to make order in your closet  if you don't make some order in your mind first. Everything will still look wearable for some undefined occasion you will never actually have. Or, you will buy some more useless stuff after cleaning and will have to start again next season.

Source: Pinterest
You need to understand what you really like to wear and mix it with what you NEED to wear in your everyday life. What do you feel comfortable with, and does it enhance your qualities or does it hide it? Is it easily mixable with the rest of your clothes? Are you actually going to wear it at work - or at all if you work from home?

Same goes with jewelry. There are some classic pieces you NEED to have. Like, a pearl necklace is for some people the equivalent of a little black dress - and they complement each other pretty well.

Which are your basic jewelry pieces?

I don't like white, classic pearls. For me the most classic piece that matches everything, that I wear when I want to be elegant but not too much, is a long, grey beadweaved necklace. Classic earrings for me means silver hoops, but if I want to be elegant I wear chandeliers.

I'm curious to see what other beaders think and maybe try to organize a Beadalong to build together the perfect jewelry display.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Purple claws

As I was saying, I just bought a new tutorial and I made the first component for the necklace:

I love the menacing look of it, enhanced by the use of metallic Rizo beads instead of drops. Isn't it cute? A little purple claw!
Sometimes when I want to be sure about the result, I use a photo editing software to see how the complete necklace will be.
I'm planning to put some Pandora beads in between the claws, so it will look something like this:

I can't wait to wear it!!!

Beader's block

First of all, I would like to thank everybody for the kind comments left on the Earring swap post.
Thanks for visiting people! 
I enjoyed the blog hop a lot and am daily checking for the missing posts. I'm still waiting for my earrings to arrive, which is still quite normal, and it's ok 'cause I know a lot of other people are in the same situation.

While waiting I haven't accomplished much. It's been quite after the "storm" of the BSBP and maybe all that excitment has put me in this bad mood and sort of beader's block now that I don't have a deadline.

To overcome this kind of blocks there are many things you can do that I have just tried:

-take part in a swap: whether it is a swap of a bead soup or of a finished item, people can have the strangest tastes and that might ignite something into your brain. The ubiquitous "get out of your comfort zone"

-visit an exhibition of any kind. I love lady portraits of the late 1800, they always have gorgeous clothes and jewelry, elegant but not too much.

-watch a new movie. Gatsby has been the only inspiring thing this month!

-go window shopping. Try not to spend everything you have, even only collecting catalogues is ok LOL. Also visit a hardware store, many components can be used to make unique jewelry with a ridiculous expense.

-buy a new book or tutorial that you've had in your favorites for a long time. I just bought Heather Collin's Cactus drops tutorial. Looks amazing.

-Also, websites like Polyvore might get you in the right mood to try some new color combo. Try to make your own set or look at what other people made. It's also a good way to stay updated with what's going on in the fashion world.

-Go through your own clothes, especially when it's time to switch wardrobe from winter to spring/summer. How many things didn't you use, maybe because you didn't know how to accessorize them?!
Try to dye something you are tempted to through away in a new color (if it's in good conditions) or make some alterations. And then, again, accessorize it! Here are some examples and DYI.

-Same goes with shoes!!!

Now guess what I'm going to do?
Tea, beads, new tutorial.
Let the juices flow again!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Earring swap 2013

Despite some people trying to ruin it, some beaders who partecipated in the BSBP also took part in a really nice earring swap, hosted by Jessica Murray.

Swaps are a beautiful chance to know crafty people, interesting not only because they share at least one passion with you (a general love for handmade jewelry), but also because they use different media, have a totally different life on the opposite side of the world and, last but not least, because they're nice people!

Alas I still haven't received my earrings because, you know, Italy has the slowest postal service ever when it comes to incoming mail, but I can show you what I made for my partner, the amazing Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree.

I know, nothing new, but the more I was reading Ginger's e-mails describing her life, and the more I was looking at her gorgeous rustic components, the more these earrings seemed to be perfect for her.
She told me they are.
She loves blue and is a bit of a boho lady, and I loved that she recycled all these blue glass bottles to make an amazing tree in her garden. It's such a nice story.
So I thought some recycled can tabs with a little blue were just perfect :D

If I'll receive some surprise in the mail tomorrow, I'll update this post; otherwise I hope you'll be kind enough to stop by lately again and take a look at the other partecipants here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ready to party with Gatsby?

I'm certainly glad to see you again, Leo.
It's been a long time.
I still remember watching Titanic at the cinema with my 3 best friends, the "WOW" at the close up of his eyes while sketching Rose, the tears of despair in the end.
And what about Romeo+Juliet?!! Oh my. The butterflies in my stomach every time I watch that movie.

The great Gatsby is another of those butterfly-making-movies. The suspance before the two ex-lovers meet again after so many years, the impossible love, the tragedy. I can't wait for tonight to see it on that huge screen.

My intention was to embroidery a cloche to put on for the big event and get dressed up with some friends, but unfortunately they're all working and the weather is horrible today, and I'm too eager (and selfish) to wait for them to see the movie.
I thought I needed at least a small accessory to get in the mood.

Pattern by Eva Kovacs (bracelet) and Kerrie Slade (flower), both free.
Now off to the cinema!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First mini-marathon

I just signed up for my first mini-marathon ever!

Well, really mini since it's "only" 10k, but it's a lot for me - especially 'cause I haven't been running since october. And back then I used to make 9k in 1 hour.
I really need to get back on track.
It'll be fun to run across the city without traffic or noise, and I hope I won't stumble upon any tram-rail (in the pic above) as usual!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

2 euros, 5 minutes knotted ombre bracelet

I just started making some summer bracelets, but due to my recent (post BSBP) laziness, I decided to start from the easiest.
Simple knotting, 5 minutes max time (unless you realize you strung the wrong bead, or you cut your thread too short) and only 2 euros.
Wanna see the result?

Not bad, uh?!
I got these wood beads at Tiger for 1 euro. I'll let you know if they'll color my wrist with sweating, but they look just fine for now.
Waxed cotton thread bought for 1,20 euro and still have plenty of both materials.

Just cut 3 pieces of waxed thread (I used about 80 cm each) and fold them in half, make a knot forming a loop for your button.

Make another knot leaving 2 cm space, then string 3 beads (2 threads into each bead), make another knot leaving enough space for the beads to seat at different heights.

Repeat this step for each color - if you have smaller beads you might want to leave a bigger space for them to move, or just use more colors.
String the bead you wil use as button on as many threads you can, make a knot and cut the others.

You have one inexpensive yet fashionable ombre bracelet!

The wrist list

Every year I'm curios to see which kind of bracelets will win the "people's choice award".
Last year macramè won, together with knotted rosaries in neon colors.
What will this summer bring on your wrists?
 You can already see spikes and studs everywhere and this is only going to get worse LOL especially on wrap leather bracelets and watches.

Source: Pinterest

Skulls are also everywhere lately: small and metallic or big in neon colors

Source: Pinterest

as well as tassels.
Last but not least, this summer you'll see a lot of chunky stones paired with silk ribbons

Source: Pinterest

and, of course, slave bracelets brought back to the top by Gatsby movie.
So, what's on YOUR wrist list?
To get some DYI ideas try looking here and start stacking bracelets on your wrist!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hungarian Folk Art for the May EBW challenge

This month another amazing theme has been chosen  for the Etsy Beadweavers Team challenge:

"Growing up in a Hungarian home, my Mother and Grandmother were so very talented in all the arts. Embroidery was one art they excelled in; doilies, napkins, tablecloths, etc. This theme is special to me and brings back wonderful memories. The beautiful rich colors and designs are a delight to the eye. Create your own art from the inspirational designs [form an image search], or any reference for Hungarian Folk Art of your choosing."

If you're not familiar with Hungarian folk art, you can take a peek at this board I had made as inspiration right for this challenge. I am making one each month and I'm so pissed I couldn't take part in this month's.
I have been out of town twice and then had some issues that made it impossible to make something on time. I had a beautiful idea so I plan to make it anyway later, in the meanwhile I have voted for my favorite and you can too until may 16th!