Beading and more – August at Bluewater

Much of my last post was on using the Challenge fabric from our Cactus Gardens Quilt Challenge.  You may have seen the photos of the shirt (post below this one).  This month, I used some of the fabric that was left over to sew a tote for my Bead Buddy Save n Go Jr.  This has become my favorite and most used beading tool.  I have the original larger size as well, but find myself reaching for the smaller.

However, when taking it with me, I’d always have to find a zip lock bag large enough for the beads, beading thread, etc.  Then, I’d discover I needed my pliers or some other tool I’d left behind.  My answer was to design a tote bag for the Bead Buddy. The black fabric is a brushed denim-feel fabric.   I placed a reinforced zippered pocket on each side for the beads and tools.  The inside is lined, and the handles are one strap encircling the bottom for strength as well.


I’m pleased with the results.

There was also a little time for beading.  I made these for fellow volunteers.

IMG_2751  IMG_2426

The Bluewater Storm idea came as a result of Volunteer, Kathy.  Each time she draws gate duty, an unexpected thunderstorm seems to pop up.  I decided to see if I could design lightning coming from a cloud.  The others are for Hazel, also a fellow volunteer.  We have been exploring beading ideas together this summer.

I finished two bracelets I had started some time ago.  This one is a Ndebele weave, using size 15 cylinder beads.


This bracelet uses some black beads for the center that I found at a yard sale.  I love the look of these beads in the center.  They are rectangular in shape with 1 hole running the length of the center.  I’d like to find more, but am not sure what type bead they are (tube was unmarked).


These earrings were a result of playing with design.  They are size 15 beads as well, stitched with a thin Nymo.  I love their “drapy” feel.


Our next Challenge on Seed Beads and More, chosen this time by the members, is Beaded Beads.  This pendant was made by a pattern by Natalie S. Perlen.  With her permission, I republished her pattern as a pdf file.  It is available through the Challenge Link Page.  If you have not joined Seed Beads and More, and love to bead, please join… our group is all about sharing and we’d love to have you.

Beaded Bead1-001

I also made these to use as earrings.


Art Deco Bitty Bead (1)This pattern was made available by Carolyn DeGroff for the Challenge, Art Deco Beads.  I’ll make another and create earrings from these as well

And that’s it for my August handwork.  Another month gone by… doesn’t time fly??

July’s Beading at Bluewater Lake

2013-07-06 - NM, Bluewater Lake State Park -008We have agreed to volunteer at Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico for the summer.

We’re loving the weather, hiking areas and solitude of our “off time”.  We hike for an hour or more each morning, then enjoy the mountain coolness by sitting outside until lunch (we’re at 7400 ft elevation).  It’s a perfect time to bead.

I’ve been working on various projects this month.

I made two pairs of earrings for a friend (and her friend) in Texas.

Earrings, Red for Texas

I also made the Cowboy boot earrings in Red, White and Blue for our Granddaughter, Lissa, who is graduating from Army Basic Training at Fort Jackson this week!!  Go, Lissa!

Cowboy Boot earrings for Alyssa

Then there were these items:

Misc beaded items  

The bracelet in the center was so much fun to make, I made another using delicas and 13 hex cuts, pictured below.  The earrings are made with size 15 hex beads.


But my biggest project has been the “Quilter’s Challenge Project” from our park, Cactus Gardens (our winter home).  Before leaving for the summer last spring, our leader issued a challenge:  Take one yard of this fabric,


and use it as an integral part of a sewing project.  It’s beautiful fabric, but a little hard to decide how to use it effectively.  My husband said, it would be really nice on a western shirt, and the idea began to take shape in my mind.

I purchased a brown shirt, the shade of the background in the fabric.

IMG_2074Then I ripped the seams where I would insert the fabric yoke, along the collar, down the front about 8”, the shoulder seams, and the top edge of the sleeve seams.

Using the opened portions of the shirt, I cut the challenge fabric in the shape of a western yoke, for both the front and back of the shirt.  I then resewed all the seams.  While working on the project, and going through my bead stash at the same time, I came upon a beaded butterfly I had made years ago that really seemed to match the fabric, and decided to incorporate it in the design.  That led to adding a beaded fringe, and then I decided to embellish the buttons.  Here is the finished result.

Challenge Shirt 1

I placed the butterfly on one side of the collar .

Challenge Shirt 2

This is the fringe and button embellishment.

Challenge Shirt 4

I completed the shirt by adding plackets so the sleeves could be worn at three quarter length.

   Challenge Shirt 3

I have enough fabric left for a second project.

Cowboy Earrings and such

We have spent the month of June with family in Indiana.  Chelsey, one of our granddaughters is a horse handler and trainer.  I made these items for her.

2013-06-19 - Cowboy boot pendant 2013-06-19 Cowboy Boot earrings cowboy boots

I have also admired the Russian Leaves technique for years, and decided to stitch a pair of earrings for myself.  I love the way they turned out!

autumn leaves earrings

Continuing with Bead Embroidery and exploring Daisy Chain

We are spending May and June traveling this year.  If you’d like to follow our travels, visit  Traveling Square Dancers.

I didn’t have much time to spend on beading in May, but I did continue working on the Bead Embroidery and on my newest Loom project.

2013-05-16 - Start of Bead Embroidery

The loom project is this hummingbird that will become a mini wallhanging.  I had enough Delica beads for the looming, but not enough to complete with the fringe I want.

2013-05-12 - Loomed Hummingbird-0012013-05-12 - Loomed Hummingbird  

I issued the Challenge, Daisy Stitch, for the Facebook group, Seed Beads and More.  For my submission, I made an Embellished Daisy Stitch Bracelet from Ruby’s pattern, Embellished Daisies.  I later designed some simple earrings to go with the bracelet.

daisy stitch earrings

April – A busy crafting month

In early April, I announced  Loom Beading would be the next  Challenge for the group.  Lately, I’ve seen several articles on “no-warp end” looming and “paper clip” looms.  I have a no warp ends loom that my husband helped me build several years ago, but it is limiting in size, and hard to warp.   This is our first loom:

2013-03-23  Building Beading Loom -028

We decided this month to try to construct another loom using an inexpensive picture frame and paper clips.  If you would like to see the file on the construction of this loom, click here.

Here is a photo of the finished loom, which works really well:

2013-03-23  Building Beading Loom -024

For the challenge, I designed bracelet panels to match the Celtic Wave earrings I made last month (see previous post).  Here, two of the panels are still on the loom.

2013-03-23  Building Beading Loom -025

I made 5 such panels and joined them with bead strands.

2013-04-018 2013-04-020

Good friends of ours, Rudy and Frayne, got married this month.  I stitched a bead embroidery card for them.  This is the front panel for the card.

2013-04-18 - wedding card for rudy

I also made a wedding bracelet for Frayne, using a flat spiral technique:

2013-04-08 -bracelet for frayne -002

I made these netted earrings for myself from a pattern I found online,

2013-04-21 - pink earrings

and these silver Christmas trees at the request of a friend.

 2013-04-29c Earrings for Donna

The latest Beadalong from Seedbeadsters is Bead Embroidery.  I intend to make a tote bag with Native American style bead embroidery.  We will be traveling during May and June, so it will be a while before it’s finished.

2013-04-29 - Start of Tote Bag Bead Embroidery -002

Even Count Flat Peyote and Beading around Cabochons

The next Challenge for the Facebook Seed Beads and More was Even Count Flat Peyote.

I submitted a photo of the first beading project I made years ago, a choker with a v-accent. 

Even Count Floral Necklace

I also made another pair of earrings as Bitty Beads (see previous post), except this time, I designed them as even count flat peyote, rather than odd count.

Celtic Wave by Anita Adamson

Seedbeadster’s new Beadalong  is to bead around a Cabochon.  I had one I had finished some years ago.

We found this stone in the Pony Mountains near Deming, NM.  At that time, the local Senior Center had a Lapidary shop.  The volunteers there showed us how to sliced the stone, cut it to shape, and polish it.  This is my finished pendant, front and back.

Cabochons (4)Cabochons (3)

The second stone, a lace agate, was found at a yard sale.  It was glued to an unattractive backing which I tried to remove, leaving a rough back.  I’ve had it for quite a while, and decided now was the time to create a pendant with it.  I used size 15 beads for the back, and enjoyed watching the swirl pattern develop.

Cabochons (1) Cabochons (5) Cabochons (6)  

Also, this month, I finished the Butterfly Vine Bracelet from a free Bead and Button pattern.

2013-03-17 Butterfly Bracelet Detail 2013-03-17 Butterfly Bracelet

Brick Stitch and Bitty Beads

As more have continued to join our Facebook group, Seed Beads and More, I have realized that many members are either beginning beaders or individuals who want to learn to bead.

Therefore, I have changed the focus of our challenges to the basics of beading.  The current challenge is to learn and create using the Brick Stitch, one of the easiest and most used of the beading techniques.

I posted some photos of earrings I have made in the past

2013-02-22 - Earrings I have made in past

and of some Pow Wow dancer pendants, all made with brick stitch.

PowWow Dancers 


The Seedbeadster Yahoo group Beadalong this month is Bitty Beads created with Odd Count Peyote Stitch, so for our Facebook Brick Stitch Challenge,  I chose to make a peyote starter strip, ironically made with the brick stitch.

my peyote starter strip for web

Having a starter strip makes the first few rows of peyote stitch much easier.

We’ve had great participation in the challenge with impressive projects submitted.

brick Stitch profile

If you have not joined the group and would like to do so, click here 

I really enjoyed the Bitty Bead Beadalong.  The starter strip made it much easier than past peyote projects.  I made two beads in the size suggested in the challenge patterns for earrings.

Bitty Beads Earring Construction

I then made smaller beads half the length for a bracelet, and called my set “Southwest Diamonds”.

Bitty Beads - Southwest Diamonds