Face Masks - with removable nose wire

Face masks - with removable nose wire

To prevent spread of Covid-19

I made about 15-20 face masks for family and friends. Below is the pleated style, using quilters cotton on front and cotton t-shirt fabric on the back. Most of the quilt fabric has been in my stash for a few (or more) years. 
This is not a complete tutorial. I have gathered many ideas from various internet sources. The nose wire helps get a better fit around your nose.
Make a 45 degree cut to establish true bias
Cut a  2-inch strip of fabric at least 6 inches long
To create a casing, cut a piece of fabric on the bias that measures 6" X 2", turn under the short sides and machine stitch a hem. Fold fabric lengthwise, WRONG sides together, and stitch a 1/4" to 3/8" seam. Enclose this strip of fabric inside before sewing mask right sides together, leaving a 3-inch opening for turning. Also remember to include your elastic or ties of choice. Turn your mask right sides out, press, and add three pleats (several you tube tutorials are available).  Press again, & top stitch around the edges to reinforce ties/elastic, to close the turn and hold down the casing.
Insertion of a  bias fabric casing for nose wire

This mask will have 7" elastic on each side for ears
Using a 7-inch piece of wire, fold wire ends in twice to prevent poking your face. You can substitute pipe cleaners or doubled twist ties for the jewelry wire.  

Cut a  7-inch piece of 16-18 gauge aluminum jewelry wire

These masks are to prevent YOU from transmitting the disease if you are an asymptomatic carrier. The CDC is recommending everyone to wear a cloth face mask or face covering to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Wear your mask in good health.

Spring Blooms

One of my favorite activities is taking photos to mark the change in seasons.

 I often zoom in on flowers to fill the frame. Here are some of my favorites.

Early dwarf iris

Spring Wildflowers
During this Covid-19 pandemic, I'm thankful for walks in the garden and sunny days. 
I hope these flowers will brighten your day on a cloudy April morning.

Replacing Clasps on Bracelets

When you learn to open and close jump rings properly, you have the skills to replace a broken clasp on your bracelet.

You just need a few things:
  • Jump rings in the metal type and color of the broken jewelry.
  • Two pair of Chain Nose pliers.
  • Replacement clasp.

Both of these items can be found at your local big box craft store. Better yet, shop at your local bead store (LBS).

When shopping for jump rings, things to pay attention to:
Metal content - if you or your recipient have metal allergies, look for nickel free components
Check the silver content. Uncoated silver or silver-plate will often darken (tarnish) with time.
Rhodium plated findings will retain that bright white silver shine. Don't mix the two, unless you like the mixed-metal look.

When shopping for Chain Nose pliers, purchase the best quality you can afford, with a smooth, no-teeth surface.
If you use the pliers from the hardware store, you run the risk of marring your metal and loose the shine or even scrape off the plating.

Here are two successful bracelet repairs:
Joanie's Bracelet - repaired

Teal Leather bracelet - repaired

Neither of these bracelets was made by me, but with some basic jewelry skills, they were repaired and the owners can now wear them again. Find a beginners class at a reputable bead store or continuing education center.

Necklace and Earrings: Black, White and Yellow set

Coordinating Jewelry for an outfit

For a recent commission, I was asked to create a necklace and earrings inspired by a dress, to be worn for a friend's wedding in October.

Inspiration for Jewelry

The dress is as pictured, and I wanted to find "just that special bead" to compliment the pattern on the dress. I was fortunate that our Bead Guild's twice yearly bead show was happening in early October. I found the focal bead, accent beads and spacers at Small and Beautiful Beads, one of my favorite vendors. There's always a crowd at her booth, which is full of lovely colored beads as well as finished jewelry to inspire.

The recipient received many compliments on her jewelry and enjoyed the beautiful wedding last month. Congratulations to Bride and Groom!

Little Lizard Earrings

Lizard Earrings

On our trip last summer to Arizona, we traveled north from Phoenix, and stopped at a park along the highway. I'm always carrying my camera and looking for the little details. I caught sight of a little lizard sheltering in the shade. It took a few tries, and I got a nice picture of this cutie! This little lizard had found some meager shade under a fence rail. He looked like napping and keeping cool was his first priority. 

Lizard seen at a park on the highway north of Phoenix, Az. ~110 deg. F.

 I was quick enough to photograph a few more lizards during the week:
Lizard with lichen, Arizona
Colorful collared lizard on a nature trail, Arizona

Inspired by the wildlife, I created some lizard earrings. The brass lizards and the lever back ear wires are from B'Sue Boutiques, and the Fire Agate beads are from Michaels. The bead caps are by Vintaj. I'm keeping these for my personal collection!

Lizard Earrings with Fire Agate by Jewelry Treasures by Louise

Starting Small

After a hiatus, I'm back to creating.

I've been a caregiver for a little while. After Mom's illness and her passing, I tried to cope by keeping busy. I'm taking some time to regroup.

Now I'm starting to create, making earrings; because I need to start somewhere.

Earrings June 2017

Teardrop lightweight earrings

Right: Snowflake Obsidian and silver plate hearts; Left: Teal cathedral beads and tiny compasses on silver plate mounts.

I'm cleaning, sorting and organizing, too. This vintage quilt is a keeper, freshly washed:
Crown of Thorns, vintage quilt in my collection.
Thanks for stopping by my blog; hopefully I'll be blogging more regularly! :)

Driving towards Sedona

A once-in-a-lifetime trip:

My Hubby and I took a wonderful trip to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary, and I had the opportunity to photograph beautiful scenic landscapes, much different than my usual macro photograpy of beads, jewelry and flowers. I used my same familiar camera, to make life simple! Now to experiment with my basic photo-editing software.
The beautiful views will be design and color inspiration for future creative projects, both jewelry and wall quilts.  I may have some prints made to hang on the wall, too.

First view of the Red Rocks of Sedona Arizona
Original Photograph - Cannon Power Shot A640

Photo Shop Elements editing tools applied

Photoshop Elements (for Windows) allows for simple photo editing: "fixing". With the tools, you can crop, sharpen, improve contrast and 'color correct'.  Indeed the sky is more turquoise, and this probably shows the actual colors more accurately. For some reason, I prefer the dark red on the stones that my camera "saw".  I tend to use the 'sharpen photo' tool and the improve contrast tools most often. I rarely use the auto-fix tool to let the program fix it to some pre-set standards. More editing tools are available to those more familiar with the actual Photoshop full program. That's for future experimentation. I am using Photoshop Elements 9, I think the most recent is PSE 14.

Quilt for new Grand Niece

Finished just in time! 

I finished stitching on the binding for this quilt during the car ride to the baby shower! Machine quilting was done by a very nice local lady in an interlocking hearts pattern.

Can you tell a baby girl is expected!

Farm Market Goodies

Thankful for: Family and friends, fall colors, farmer's markets and beads! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop Reveal is a work in progress -

First, thanks to Linda Anderson for hosting this #BeadPeepsSwapNHop. Great job done by Linda, and thanks for the angels who worked behind the scenes to help her. 
Life happens! My family needs me! It's been a busy few weeks. We've had a few trips to urgent care and one to the ER. Beading helps relive the stress! Thus the reveal is of works in progress. (Please visit again for future updates!)
I recieved a wonderful group of beads from Heather Richter of Desert Jewelry Designs. She sent me some fun and challenging beads and findings. I started out trying some wire wrapping, and stringing. I made a charmy, wirey bracelet that I'm pretty happy with:
I love the soft greens and tan, contrasts of stone, glass and pearl.

I embellished one of the brass leaves with beads: to be attached to a chain...

This will be part of a focal pendant. I have more leaves to play with, and more ideas.

 I strung some of the colorful freshwater pearls together. It needs finishing and perhaps a pendant focal.

The colors of these pearls are much more intense in person. And the seed beads sparkle

The Artisan focals were a challenge, I wanted to do a peyote bezel around each cab. With my time at a minimum, I decided to attach the dragon eye cabs to filigrees and linked them together! This will be a cool focal when it's all assembled.
Not sure if the green pearl will stay.
Heather's handcrafted Moon face cab is accented with silver Perfect Pearls. It will be placed in a peyote bezel with some silver Delicas, as suggested by Heather. It is attached to a piece of cotton fabric backed by Pellon. (I discovered too late that Lacy's stiff stuff is not available in stores in my immediate area!)
The Delicas look grey, but have a silver luster.
I hope this will take shape as well as it is imagined in my head! I'd love to have feedback on these designs if you have thoughts. I hope to do this challenge justice!
To see the rest of the participants, click on the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop tab for the links.

Swap 'N Hop beads have arrived!

My package from my swap partner Heather arrived yesterday, and I dropped everything to open up those beads!
The beads are awesome and will challenge me. Heather sent some favorites, like some gorgeous turquoise!  There are pieces that will challenge my skills; three really cool cabochons, calling for peyote bezels and bead embroidery. There are some beautiful spring green beads, both glass and serpentine-new jade, and some bright tropical shell beads. Not to mention strands of pearls and natural pearls in a rainbow of colors. These are the makings for several pieces, I will have fun and hope to do them justice.

Since now, Heather has recieved her swap beads from me, I will also share a pic of what I sent her:

There are two focals, a  porcelain one from Linda Landig on Etsy, and a Dog's Tooth Amethyst cab, with some 6 mm amethyst beads. Super Duo's in a lavendar luster, and two types of stripey seed beads.
Fibers from my quilt fabric stash; a strip of purple ombre batik and some purple ditsy fabric in a torn strip as well as a charm square. Kitty cats, too!
Dragonfly charms, and purple Czech glass leaves.

Winner...of a Journal

I just won a blog giveaway of a Journal and Freezer Paper!

Now if you are a beader and not a quilter, that second item will not make much sense! But freezer paper is a handy tool for creating applique and stenciling, and perhaps other things you do to make marks on cloth. Printing or dyeing your own cloth is a wonderful way to make your quilts ART and beyond what you can purchase. I have some wonderful marbled and dyed fabric in my stash... but that is another story for another post.
If you can, check out the blog of Julie B Booth, http://www.threadbornblog before February 14th. She's the author of a new book entitled: Fabric Printing at Home.!!! This book will have you pulling the whole produce drawer from the fridge and starting to print on fabric.
Be sure to follow the links on the book tour for about 15 chances to win this book. You'll be inspired and intrigued. I know I want to find out what else I can do with my freezer paper! 

On the Bead Table...

"Welcome to my Blog" to new visitors.

Here is my introduction for the purposes of joining the Swap 'N' Hop.

I started by stringing beads after several of my store-bought costume jewelry pieces broke.  I looked at the methods of construction and the stringing materials. I was already a quilter, and had tried many other crafts, so stringing beads was the next step. Here are some early pieces, still some of my favorites:

The style of jewelry I make has changed over the years, from stringing to more mixed media, as I became a Michaels Jewelry instructor and started following blogs of jewelry makers such as Lorelei Eurto. I soon became aware of artisan beads and have started to incorporate more hand crafted beads and to move beyond store-bought findings to working with wire to create my own eyepins and connectors. Technique-wise, I joined a bead guild a couple of years ago, which has expanded my interests, so I am trying out bead-weaving and bead embroidery as well. I have tended to use seed beads primarily as spacers.

My attraction to semi-precious beads comes from my training in Chemistry and my interest in minerals. I also like the natural look of stones and fossils. I now have a collection of glass beads, tending more towards the Picasso Czech beads. I’m not much of a fan of bling, but I do appreciate a nice Swarovski crystal now and then, as an accent. I avoid most acrylic beads, although I have used a few for their color.

The bead colors I tend to buy are fall tones plus warm tones such as turquoise. I have yellow and orange in my stash but don’t reach for them often. I don't wear pink, so it's not often a first choice. I’m pretty open to new items that I have not used before. (I have a collection of gears marketed to jewelry making, but have not used many.) That sums up my jewelry resume!
I signed up for the Bead Journal Project, in which we commit to doing a journal-type bead project (doesn't have to be bead embroidery, but that was the original concept) each month for the year, with an option to do every other month for a total of six projects. I got started on a January/February piece this week.

Christmas Gifts:
The year closed with a few last-minute jewelry gifts to finish up. I took an in-progress photo and then finished this necklace just as we were going out the door. Thus no final photo. The gifted proudly wore it the next day, and has recieved many compliments, so success!
Carnelian chips and silver plated wire, gift in-progress

New Year, New Opportunities:
With the holidays past, and decorations put away, there's time for organization, and reflection and planning. Some informal resolutions in the back of my mind. On my list of new techniques to try are metal working, particularly stamping and dapping, and cold connections such as riveting.
I'm trying out a few new designs, experimenting with "jewelry assemblage arrangements".
Work in-progress, study for an assemblage necklace
Thanks for stopping by! Now I am off to photograph some jewelry for posting on my Etsy site. Keep warm and safe this January!

Pretty Palettes for October: Reveal

October's Halcraft Pretty Palettes inspiration was full of color.

I joined in the monthly challenge issued by Erin Prais-Hintz on the Halcraft Blog. I was attracted to the paintings by Erin Fitzhugh Gregory, as our palette inspiration to use Halcraft's Bead Gallery beads from Michaels. 

I had some of the beads pictured, & similar beads from Bead Gallery in my stash. I also pulled out a porcelain pendant that I had picked up a year ago. I love finding beads in my stash that I purchased "just in case".
Edit: This fun pendant is designed by Jennifer Heynen and was purchased at Michaels. (Thanks Erin for info.)
 The bright colors called for a color-blocked arrangement, and I started with the earrings,  stringing dog-bone coral beads with turquoise (howlite) rondelles, adding a dark blue ceramic round on a headpin dangle.
Earrings: Coral, turquoise, and dark blue ceramic

Pretty Palettes October Color-block Necklace
Detail: Birdhouse Focal
 The earrings inspired a blue dangle for the pendant, and the beads reflected the colors of the focal. Love how it worked out! To view the designs made by other participants, follow this link to the Halcraft Blog: Halcraft.com Pretty Palettes October Reveal

Do-Over Reveal

My necklace from Jeannie K. Dukic was a chain of beautiful semi-precious jade and faceted czech glass crystals.
A long wire wrapped chain by Jeannie Dukic, jade and Czech crystals
Coordinating Bracelet

Earrings to match

I had a moment of hesitation as I cut into the beautiful chain of wire wrapped jade and crystals. The delicacy of the chain was not to be matched...at least by me. But I had a vision, so I went ahead. At first I planned to remove the crystals and go all "natural", I wanted to add a complementary color and some variety of shapes to the chain. The lovely chain became a lariat, as I decided to keep the ring part of the toggle, and I spliced in wire wrapped sections of red agate and sections of rust-tone Czech disc beads with the crystals. The crystals became a contrasting texture to the stones and disc beads. The decision on the focal came later, after auditioning a number of artisan beads I recently ordered.
Auditioning some porcelain focals - by Round Rabbit

 I ended up choosing the pale green porcelain disc from a set I purchased from Round Rabbit - Nancy Adams. The disc is embellished with jump rings and Vintaj Arte Metal leaves which I patina'ed using Vintaj and Martha Stewart patinas. In the final focal, I realized it resembles a Dream Catcher made of porcelain. My original vision was to take a spring-feeling necklace and transform it to an early Autumn piece. So this design is named Autumn Dreams.
Autumn Dreams Lariat

Focal pendant
The focal is embellished with patina'ed metal leaves, a jade nugget, some jade beads from the bracelet, some 3mm red agate, and fancy jump rings. It is attached with red agate strung on beading wire. A short section of strung beads passes through the loop of the toggle clasp and connects to the chain.
Autumn Dreams Lariat
I had lots of fun realizing my vision for this necklace, and also made coordinating earrings. I have a plan for a bracelet, but that will have to wait a few weeks...
Complementary colors really Pop!

Please visit Jeannie's blog to see her
Jeannie K Dukic - Do-over-challenge-reveal
and here are the rest of the participants:

Penny Houghton
Donetta Farrington
Louise Glazier (You're Here!)
Molly Alexander
Veralynne Malone
Becky Pancake
Shai Williams
Renetha Stanziano
Rebecca Ednie
Beti Horvath