Embellishing the 15th Runway

I'm caught up on all the episodes to date, so here they are.

From Episode 4, the winner of the design challenge was Rik Villa - this was the "Heidi's Sweatshop/Create Your Own Textile" combo challenge. I made a two-sided pendant with Japanese seed beads in a harlequin pattern, accented with orange/red glass crow beads

From Episode 5, the dreaded "team challenge." This wasn't too bad - there were multiple looks to draw inspiration from. I had to dig for it, but I finally found mine in the embellishment that was slapped onto that *shudder* coat. I was happy for Dexter Simmons to get the win that week as the leader of the team. Good for him.

And now here we are, all caught up with Episode 6, the cocktail dress competition. I really liked Laurence's design the best, but OH WELL. The winner, Jenni Riccetti, used the Absolut vodka copper pineapple as her inspiration, so I did the same. I used copper lined Czech seed beads, accenting the pendant with glass crow beads and copper metal rounds.

Now it's back to my regularly scheduled beadwork - I'm taking a short break from barrettes and exploring the wonders of herringbone stitch. I saw a wonderful hand crocheted autumn blanket in fabulous muted tones, and I thought - I can re-interpret that into some nice cuff bracelets. I bet.

So more later!


Staying Busy

I finished my fourth piece for Embellishing the Runway, and the fifth challenge is on the drawing board - I'm shockingly behind this week - because in the meantime I've been making some other things.

First off, I'm obsessed with those delica beads I got a few weeks ago. I've been making barrettes.

I created this pattern, Rebecca's Ribbons, as a gift for my daughter-in-law, and just loved it so much, I had to make more and more and more. And there are more on the worktable. 
Here's some close-ups:

The design is based on a traditional quilt pattern.

I'm also working on a bead crochet lanyard for a friend - she requested an ombre effect, which I have done before - I just forgot how long it takes to plot one out and then string it. Two days. Fortunately, the crochet itself just whips right along, so here's that work in progress, just past the half-way mark.

So that's what I've been up to.

And I really am working on that fifth design for Embellishing the Runway. See?

So obviously, more later!


Time Again: Embellishing the Runway

Project Runway is once again serving as inspiration for our small but mighty band of intrepid artisans over on Facebook:

Embellishing the Runway

And aside from making a super-long bead crochet rope for myself,

and making Chinese lantern beads for the Jade Dog,

(I stole this pic from the Jade Dog, since hers came out better than mine)

I've been making pendants in response to the current "Embellishing the Runway" design challenge. So far there have been three episodes/challenges, and here are my results.

From Episode One: 

This was the "unconventional" challenge. The winner was Erin Robertson.

A closer look.
In this challenge, I took elements from Erin's design - the color, the fringe, the ball candies, and came up with this pendant using a beaded bamboo tile, Japanese glass seed beads, and a beaded fringe bead. I hung it on a copper chain.

From Episode Two:

This was the 'design for actual people' challenge. The winner was Laurence Basse.

A closer look.
Again, I went with elements from the original design - the color and the suede band, but looked to the accessories for more detail, using Japanese glass seed beads, antiqued copper metal beads, and vintage black sequins. I hung it on a black ball chain.

From Episode Three:

This was the technology challenge - all the outfits had to 'transform' under black light. Erin Robertson was the winner again. I 'shopped in a detail pic to get a better look at the embellishment.

A closer look.
I used the embellishments Erin created for the dress as my inspiration, specifically the color palette, fringe elements, and the big blue dot (from her 'nipple covers'). I used Japanese glass seed beads, a black glass crow bead, a silver colored ball bead, and a few tiny freshwater pearls.  It's hung it on multiple strands of black/white ombre rayon ribbon.

My time is currently consumed with these gorgeous picasso and delicious semi-glazed seed beads from the Jade Dog - sketching like a mad thing and generally having fun with different pattern concepts.

With more episodes of the Runway ahead, and all these perfect-for-fall colors of beads on hand, there will definitely be more later.


Obsessive? Compulsive?

I might just be. I get a concept in my head and I just work it and work it until I've either exhausted the beads necessary, or myself. And with this bangle idea, I haven't even come close on either score.

With the black & white cuff, I used three different sizes of drops and magatamas, giving it a playful texture.

I can't decide what this reminds me of more strongly - bubbles or dew drops on the lawn: 

Right now I'm working on one that's a mix of drops and spikes.

More later!


Listing the Pendants

After much hemming, hawing, redesigning and re-designating, I got myself in gear and listed the pendants I've shared here over the past few weeks.  You can find them in my Etsy shop's Necklaces section HERE.

This is what you'll find:
Click to embiggen!

I have a tenuous schedule for listing some other stuff I've been working on lately, but the making of stuff is more enticing. I'm determined to find that balance between the crafting and the business of crafting. It's a struggle for sure.

More later!


Too Many Ideas

Seriously, it never fails. I no sooner settle in with an interesting design - in this case an embellished net bracelet with a lemon chrysoprase focal bead and garnet chip accents - than I get a flood of ideas and just sketching them out won't do. I just have to see if they'll work out.

This was the state of things on August 4th -

This is when I got sidetracked with a bit of wire work, which resulted in this:

By Friday things had just gotten out of hand - I had at least 6 more projects in various stages of work spread all over the worktable:

And the most recent result is this: 

I love this. Seriously. I'm going to set all the other projects aside and really explore this one.

This is my favorite kind of bracelet - a big, fat, wide statement bangle. I recently unearthed a small stash of magatamas and drops, which were acquired so long ago I can't remember what I wanted them for. They are PERFECT for this. I was inspired by something I came across on Pinterest - the ceramic work of Japanese artisan, Takuro Kuwata - specifically his "drip" series of vessels, and this vessel in particular:

Ain't it cool? Welp, these beads ain't gonna weave themselves -

More later!


On the Fringe

I love making fringe beads and fringe bracelets. Mostly I love gathering all the elements, finding just the right blend to tell the color story of your vision. My recent obsession with the Miyuki yellow matte Picasso finish beads has led me down multiple paths, and I don't feel like I'm done yet.

The most recent result is this fringe bracelet. I'm not usually one for the bling, but there was just something so right about the beads I selected - tiny, pale green faceted Czech glass, amber bicones, yellow aventurine stars, all set off with ceylon seed beads and a unique CopprClay toggle clasp from Jade Dog Beads :

Just before I started this, I made a pair of right-angle weave bangles with brass and the Picasso beads, also from Jade Dog Beads:

Before I made these, I wanted to practice my pearl-knotting technique, so I made a wrap bracelet, using Czech pressed glass shapes and bead cord, with a replica vintage button:

And this all kicked off with a simple strung bracelet. I went nuts for the color story. This one was made using Czech pressed glass shapes, travertine size 3s and pale gold Darice glass pearls:

Let's bring out the models, and let them showcase my latest:

Here's a better look:

I don't feel quite done with this colorway yet. I'm not sure what's next, but I know there will be more later.

ETA: I almost forgot! August 17th is my 10 year anniversary of selling on Etsy - so I've got a coupon offer in my shop - 10% off anything and everything! Help me celebrate!! MJMullinsBeadwork on Etsy!