8.18.2016

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!

8.15.2016

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!


8.13.2016

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!




8.04.2016

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!

7.30.2016

Oh, Hey.

I completely forgot to show off my most recent pendant. I finished this up almost a week ago, then between supplies inventory, new design work, catching a summer cold, and celebrating my birthday, it fell off my radar.

This one's a little different in design, but still the same general concept.


I used a small Red Creek jasper tile bead for the focus, broke away from monochromatic beadwork, and used a double bail for suspension. 

It was almost impossible to resist the urge to fly off in about twenty different directions as I was doing my supplies inventory - particularly when I was sorting out all of my glass bead shapes. I managed to fixate on two color combinations - the first one of which is all over my worktable at the moment. Composed primarily of the Miyuki Picasso, or travertine, matte finish yellow (#512) teamed with pale green, brass, and antique copper:


So obviously there will be much more, later, when I share what all of that makes as well as the second color story I've fallen in love with.


7.21.2016

Flying Low and Keeping Cool

It's going to take a little time to acclimate to living on a water planet again. After 20+ years in Southwest desert, being in green and growing country does take some getting used to. Humidity, for one thing, affects me differently now that I'm a silver-hair. Pacing myself, doing things earlier in the day, frequently missing the window of opportunity for yard work, it's all part of the re-learning curve.

So you'd think spending time in front of an air conditioner would be more conducive to beadwork, but I found myself doing more reading and falling asleep in the rocking chair in the middle of the day.

Beadwork has kinda been on hold for a while.  But I am back in the groove and working out a new schedule for improving my productivity. Still in search of that fabled "new normal."  I did manage to finish a second cuff using the 1.8mm cubes. Check it out.

 I decided to go with an infinity loop for my closures. Comfortable and easy to manipulate.

Here's the two wide ones together. 

I have a whole rack of bangles I made with these little cubes, but I'm thinking I might need to give them all that little pop of interest by giving them vintage or vintage repro button closures. Seeing as how I do have all these buttons . . .

Now that I'm thinking about *that*, it must be time to get back to the pendants.

Obviously it never ends.

More later.

7.12.2016

Button Button

A long time ago (40 years or so), in a galaxy far, far away (Northern California), I started collecting buttons. I didn't mean to. It just sort of happened. It took over my brain for a few years and then I just stopped. But since the box of buttons existed, it seemed to attract more buttons without my intervention - there exists a sort of gravitational factor where crafting supplies are involved. The box just kept getting more and more full.

I did a big button sort before I moved and donated a bunch of them, but I couldn't bear to part with a substantial selection. And I just love the ones I kept.  Like the ones I used on this cuff. Vintage art deco. Real vintage, not repro. I found them on an old blouse in a junk shop - the blouse reeked of moth balls and was at least 5 sizes too small for me, but I just wanted the buttons.


I'm still experimenting with different kinds of buttonholish loops for my closure, but this works well for me right now. I'm test-driving it today for wearability with an eye toward making a few more. I still have a few more pendants to pull together, but I felt like taking a short break from necklaces by returning to my first love - bracelets.

More later!