Monday, February 28, 2011

I had a productive bead week!

Hi, everyone!  Hope you had a nice weekend.  I know I sure did.  I was busy busy busy with beady things, which makes me a happy lil girl.  I've got two things to show you today, and I love them both.  My March BJP project is 2nd, so stay tuned for that, k? 

The first one is, well, definitely green. lol  I like green, but this is really green.  I still think it's pretty though.  I think the bracelet turned out awesome, and I can't wait to do it in other colors.  Next up will be a deep luscious purple with gold bracelet and I'd like to do a necklace/choker to match.  I DID IT!!!  I finally got up the nerve to try RAW.  I had a few false starts, but I think I managed pretty well in the end.  I see people do RAW jewelry that is really embellished and fancied up and I just love them.  Hopefully one day I can do that, too.  For today it's just a simple embellishment.

Like I said, I can't wait to try this one in other colors.  I really love how it turned out.

Next up is my March BJP Project.  I have actually been working on this for about 2 months.  For the month of March I decided to learn the Cellini Spiral.  I chose the blues because that color really represents me.  When I first started I didn't buy anything special.  I dove into my stash and chose beads that have spoken to me in the past, and I decided to put a bunch of them together.  It's a "Lisa Whirlpool".  hahaha  Over the past two months of working on and then staring at my 7" of labor intensive Cellini Spiral, I had different things cross  my mind on how I was going to finish it.  First I was going to do the whole necklace in the spiral, but then I thought that would be overkill.  Then I thought about using a cab from my very good friend Beth over at Bellesanbeaus as a focal for the center.  I had intended to do that all the way up until this evening as a matter of fact.  I even did a trade with her to get the cab for it. 

When I realized that an entire Cellini necklace would be too much, I looked high and low for just the right beads to finish it off with.  Sure, crystals would be pretty and Swarovski pearls would have been divine.  You know what though?  I'm really happy with the mixture of Druks I got to mimic the colors in the spiral in different sizes to represent the ups and downs of it.  I guess that's really the way things are going right now...up and down...but in the end those ebbs and flows really make up a beautiful life.  So it made me stop and reflect on mine.  Working with beads is such wonderful therapy for me!!!

I decided, too, that if I put the spiral right in front it wouldn't be as interesting as if it were a little off kilter. After all, I am a little off kilter. :) And I thought that the clasp is far too beautiful to hide in the back of someone's neck.  Don't you think?  So I put it all a little skewed to the side, and it was then when I saw it that I knew it was done.  This necklace was complete and needed nothing else to speak its statement.  Here is my work for the Bead Journal Project for March:

As you can see, I also made a little bracelet using the Druks in the same pattern as the necklace.  I'm thrilled with the work I did for this month, and I can't wait to start on next month.  Don't know what I will do yet, but the idea will come.  Probably at 3:00 a.m. and wake me out of a dead sleep. lol

I will be posting both of these in one or the other of my shops in the next day or so.  Indigo's Beads on Etsy and Shophandmade.

Oh my gosh!!!  I almost forgot!!!!  I made a sale through my Shop Handmade store over the weekend!!!  How awesome is that???  I don't know if she wants me to publish her name or not, so I will just say a great big "Thank you!"  because she knows who she is.

Here's the pic of the one I sold:

I hope you love it when it comes in the mail!

And, I've still got that fantabulous cab coming from Beth, so watch for it to make its appearance soon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Giving a Bad Review

For those of you who have been with me, I'm sure you have read that I put up instructional videos for bead embroidery on a website called Videojug.  They have been up for a few months and I think have been pretty popular.  I actually get a lot of the hundreds...each month.  (To me, that's a lot.)

It all started when I got an email from them about how much they loved my blog and my beadwork.  They said they would really like me to contribute articles and videos to their website and earn money in the process.  I wasn't sure at first and really tried to check them out as best I could.  I read other user reviews, looked at many pages others had done, etc. etc.  They said you could easily make more money on their site than on similar sites.  I'm all for making money...gotta pad that bead fund, you know?  So I finally decided I would give it a try and signed up.  I enlisted the help of my daughter to be the videographer and spent quite a lot of time writing and taping for the site.

Guess what.  Never made a penny.  I couldn't understand how I could never make any money when they said it was so easy and I got so many views to my pages.  I know my pages were pretty good because at one point they ran a contest to see who could post the most judge-approved pages and 11 of my 13 pages had been given the thumbs up.  One thing I couldn't understand about that site on the contest either was that here the name of the site is VIDEOjug and touts instructional and informational pages and the grand prize winner of the contest with the most pages did not have one single video nor were they instructional.  One page, for example, was a 3 paragraph essay about how ad execs never get a lunch.  WHAT???

Anyways, back to making not a penny.  Turns out you have to have ONE THOUSAND views a month to make a few cents.  And even if you got 999, come the first of the month you were back down to ZERO.  I have to tell you that I felt I was incredibly misled, and I feel that my knowledge bank was raided.  You know what?  I would give anyone help who asked me for not a single penny with a happy heart.  But it makes me angry when I feel that I'm taken advantage of.

I'm not one for writing bad reviews, but I have to tell you that I will never go back to this site, and I have taken all my pages down.  And I have "unliked" them on Facebook.  So there.  *sticking out tongue*

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making a Trade and Some Other Things

Warning...long post ahead!!! :)  It has been a busy beading week for me.  Yea!  Beads, oh glorious beads.  :)  I can't say they were anything too complicated or extravagant, but you know what?  I like them anyways!

First up though I recently went into a trade with my very dear friend Beth over at Bellesanbeaus.  She does the most amazing face cabs, and I'm getting another one.  woohoo for me!  I'm working on a project that I want to use one of her amazing faces for as the focal point.  Being a little tight on funds I asked her if she would be willing to do a trade.  A pretty for a pretty.  She was game so I started wracking my brain on what I was going to make for her.  Her favorite colors are the same as mine...blues and purples...and luckily that's what I have the most of in my stash.  I picked out some of my most coveted beads that I haven't used before and set about making her a bracelet.  Had a few false starts, but what I decided on first was a Russian Spiral.  I just couldn't get the beautiful shades captured in a pic the way I wanted to, but you can get the idea.  I used my favorite bugle beads with varied shades of blue and purple along with some seed beads I found last year.  Until now they have been unopened.  Have you ever looked for a true purple purple shade of seed bead?  It's really hard to find the perfect purple!  When I saw these I knew I had to have them, and they were perfect for Beth's bracelet.  Here's some pics of the Russian Spiral:
I love the way it twists around.  Reminds me of DNA.  I was nervous that maybe she wouldn't like this one, and I really wanted to make sure she was happy so I made her a 2nd one.  This one uses a 4mm (I think) round that was actually called Indigo.  Hey!  They named it after me!  :)  Ok, maybe it was the other way around, but these are another of my coveted beads.  They are a super dark blue, not black.  I also used a triangle seed bead and a sparkly blue for the picot tips to finish out this netting bracelet.  Here are some pics:
Her package came in the mail today and she told me emphatically that she loves loves loves BOTH of them, so I am oh so very happy!  She also told me that my cab is looking pretty marvelous, and I am waiting on pins and needles to get it.  I will show it to you all as soon as it comes in.  She does the most amazing work!

A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law was telling me that I need to get some stuff together for her to take to work to sell there.  She works at a high school, and the teachers just love things like what I make she says.  I have my two higher end sets (the crystal and the dragonfly sets), and I also wanted to give some lower priced things too.  Again, I just used this and that from my stash and set about to see what I could put together with what I already have.  I was pretty pleased with what I came up with.  The first one I think is super pretty.  It's all purples with gold.  Can't go wrong with that, right?  It's made on memory wire, and I just love the way it wraps around.  Here are some pics:
I also did another one like this but using some wood beads that I had no idea when or if I would ever use them.  Surprise!  They worked out great with the combination of natural stones and Czech glass in earthy colors.

Then I did some even simpler ones, but they are using some really great things so I like them.  The next one is made using Stretch Magic, one of my new favorite stringing materials (now that I know how to keep the knots secure).  It's all about lusterous beads.
And then there's this next one.  I picked up this really unusual 3 sided piece of shell quite some time ago.  It's really interesting and has great shades of pinks and browns running through it.
And finally I did one that is using very simple blue beads.  It's dainty, but very sturdy.

Sometime in the next few days I am getting an order in from, so I'll be showing some more things soon.  I posted these new things in two places.  One is in my Etsy shop here and the other is in my Shop Hand Made shop here if you would like to go take a look.

I probably won't be writing more posts for a few days, so I hope you all have a great weekend!  Bead happy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Purple On My Mind

Here's my newest bracelet I created today.  I really love it...there are so many great beads mixed in this one including Swarovski rondelle crystals, Swarovski pearls, freshwater pearls, amethyst and my most favorite rich, luscious purple cat's eyes.  I've posted it to my Etsy shop if you'd like to take a look at it there too.  Just click here to visit.

Do you like?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The bead gods must not have been smiling on me today.  I thought they were.  Actually, my day in bead terms went really well.  My DH let me spend a little bit of money today on beads, which is totally awesome of him considering he's been unemployed for so long and money is tight.  My disability income just pays the rent and his unemployment each week basically covers food and gas.  Other than that we're eating up our little savings.  So to get a few dollars to shop with was a happy, fun thing.

I went to my favorite little bead shop near me, and I was soooooooo disappointed.  I usually go there when I'm looking for seed beads.  They've got a really good little seed bead collection, so i can usually find what I'm looking for at a pretty good price.  But today was not for seed beads.  The store was soooo hot, and I don't know about you, but I can't shop when I'm hot.  I get super cranky.  I did find a few things though.  I treated myself to two actual bead mats.  I've never had those before!  I've always used a cloth placemat or a twin sheet folded and folded to about placemat size.  Actually, that works out really well.  It's thick so it's a nice little cushion for my arms on the edge of the table.  Anyways, I got two of those, which I thought was pretty cool.  I found a set of bead caps in the size I needed, which I was having a hard time finding.  The selection wasn't very good, and they were scattered about.  I looked high and low and didn't give up easily.  Paid off for me because I did find them.  Then I got two sets of sterling silver ear wires.  I'm not really a fan of lampwork beads, but I found the perfect ones to finish off the project I'm working on.  Until I realized they were $1.62 EACH!!!  I don't know, but for me that is quite expensive when you're looking at needing about 30 beads.  So I left there and I spent a whopping $6.92!  lol  I was pretty disappointed in my non-haul so what did I do?

I went home and started shopping on my favorite internet bead!  I got a nice little buzz looking through all the pages, putting in search words to see what I could find in "14mm blue" and other things.  I was shopping away and looked at the clock...OOPS!!!  I almost forgot to pick up my daughter from school.  Yikes!!!  The hazards of shopping and getting lost in beads!  I did get there in time, so all was well.  Came home and finished my shopping and spent all the money DH gave me, and I was more than pleased.  Now the hard part...waiting for the mailman to deliver my goodies!

So it was a good day, right?  Yes, it was, until I came home tonight to an email from Artbeads for an exclusive discount for me and my blog readers.  I already placed my order today, so now I can't take advantage of it since I'm sure I won't get any more money before the end of the month.  Sad, isn't it?  For me, yes it is.  But for you....YOU still get to get in on the action!!!!  Lucky dogs.  From now until the end of the month, copy the code ZZ-DESIGNER-0211 and put it in the coupon box when you check out.  It's good for 15% off your entire order!!!!

I'm about tapped out for the night and need to head off to beddy-bye.  I hope you all take advantage of the coupon and get lots of wonderful, luscious, delicious things to make more beauties with!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Has anyone of my beading friends out there ever tried selling their wares on Ebay?  If so, can you tell me about your experience?  Someone suggested I try this route, but I'm just not sure if it is a good idea or not.  For my readers out there who like to buy beady things, have you ever shopped for anything on Ebay?  If you have, can you tell me about what you were looking for and what was the trigger that made you decide to bid/buy?

I've been increasingly frustrated with trying to sell my jewelry and things as I've had very little success.  I think my things are pretty, and I'm told from people who see my stuff in person that my things are very well made and beautiful, but it's just not coming across in the selling venues.  I'm usually not overly pushy to people on Facebook or on my blog, but I'm really reaching out to you for some help and guidance, as I am trying to break into the selling world and am doing a pretty poor job of it. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe I should press my shops a little.  My things can be seen on Etsy, Shophandmade and I have peyote and loom patterns on The Bead Coop.  You can also friend me on Facebook at the link on the right bar.

Thanks so much for any and all help!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What a lucky girl I am!!!

Do you all know Cyndi from Beading Arts?  Well, she has a great blog full of fun, interesting and inspirational things that you should definitely check out!  As I got familiar with Cyndi's blog I used her category list on the right bar if you scroll down and clicked on topics such as beadweaving or bead embroidery.  I like the fact that she often includes the exact materials she used and often the instructions on how to make what she did.  What a great thing to have! 

So one day about two weeks ago Cyndi was having a giveaway of a book that I thought looked like it would be really fun, so I left a comment and crossed my fingers.  I had really forgotten about the giveaway (I never win so I lose track of deadlines and win days) when I got an email.  I WON!!!  Wow!  This was the first time I had ever won a blog giveaway, and I was truly so excited!

What is my prize?  It is a great little book called "Making Elegant Jewelry for Special Occasions" from the publisher of BeadStyle magazine. 

My copy came in the mail today, and I was excited to get into the book right away.  It has beautiful projects with sections on Crystals, Pearls and Wire.  Wouldn't you know it?  Those are my 3 favorite things!!!  If you've been following my blog you know I've been learning about wire, I almost always use crystals, and pearls top the list of my favorite things next to crystals.  Lucky me!  The directions are easy to follow, which is good for me because I have a hard time following printed patterns for beadweaving, so this is much easier.  I don't know that I will follow the designs exactly, but what awesome inspiration!

Thank you Cyndi for giving such a wonderful gift!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Same set, different pic

I really didn't mess up the bottom loop of my necklace.  I retook the photos and decided to post them so that everyone could see it is super pretty all the way around.  Thank you again to for having such a great theme...Winter Enchantment.  To read full details and all the info on the products I used, please read the previous post.  Thank you!

I posted this to my Etsy site.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February BJP and Winter Enchantment Artbeads Project!

It's time!  I've been telling you that I've got some pretty things to show you.  I got them done today...both sets...and I can't wait for you to see what I've learned!  I've got two sets to show, one for the BJP for February, and one for my Winter Enchantment themed project, so stay tuned in for all the pics.  Here we go!

First up, I'm going to tell you about my BJP project for February.  If you read my post on last month, you'll remember that my goal this year is to learn at least 1 new beadweaving stitch per month and make a jewelry set using that stitch.  Last month I learned wire crochet.  This month it is the flat spiral.  I just adore this stitch!  I can tell that it will be one that I use quite often in the future.  I watched a video many times to get the idea of what I was going to be doing.  The video suggested 6mm bicones for the center and 4mm bicones for the edges, along with 11/0 seed beads.  I found a mix of seed beads I like called "Witche's Brew".  It's pretty and not at all witchy.  The seed beads are considered 11's, but they are smaller than Tohos or Miyukis and they are not real regular.  That meant that I had to adjust the number of seed beads I used in my set as compared to what the video said to do.  Then, I didn't want to do just bicones.  I found at that same store by me some strands of what I think is Hematite.  The beads are 6-sided, so they have a very interesting cut to them.  Although they are 6mm, they are actually a tad bigger than bicones, so again I had to adjust.  But, no problem!  I just played for a little while until I got it right.

I actually had some problems with this when I first started.  Ok...a LOT of problems. lol.  The first two times I started the side loops weren't laying correctly.  It took the third try to get the hang of it.  The first bracelet I made was entirely too huge, so I took the completed bracelet apart and started over.  Then on the necklace when i was just knotting off the final end on one of the sides, the string got all wonky and the whole thing was ruined because I couldn't get out that half-hitch knot.  I had to take it all apart as well and start THAT one completely over.  As you can imagine, I gots TONS of practice with this stitch! :)

Sometime last summer I was at a store and found a dragonfly pendant that I really loved, but I had no idea what I was going to do with.  Isn't it amazing how the perfect thing just jumps out of your stash to complete a project?  I love dragonflies.  For some reason they cause me to stop and reflect when I see one buzzing around.  It's amazing to me that here in the desert where there's no water for miles I'll just suddenly see a dragonfly.  It's seems so special that this dragonfly showed up just for me to see its beauty that I just stop and admire it.  It's almost as if they try to whisper something to me with their wings fluttering in the air.

This set I call Dragonfly at Midnight.  Things have been a little dark these days for me...personal problems that I'm sure you would have no interest in.  But what this set says to me that even in the darkness their is a glimmer of beauty and magic.  Here are some pics of what I have created for the February BJP...

Dragonfly at Midnight

I was so very excited when I finished up this set!  I think it's probably my favorite things I've ever made.  They look so gorgeous on.  The Hematite is heavy, so it's got a great feel to it...slinky but not flimsy.  As soon as I finished this up and took a step back and looked at what I did, my mood lifted and really made my day.


On to round 2!!!  I was super excited today when I finished my Winter Enchantment project for  You all know how much I love Artbeads, so any time I get new orders from them is a good day for me.

I realize that much of the country is bound tight in the grasp of terrible storms, and most of you are probably sick of snow and ice.  But for me in the desert, thinking of a winter wonderland makes me happy.  When I got the email saying what the theme was, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I used the same flat spiral stitch, but I used my favorite seed beads...Tohos.  In this project I used 11/0 Silver-Lined Crystal, and boy do they sparkle!  To compliment the side loops I used Swarovski 4mm bicones.  I searched and searched until I found the perfect focal point...a Swarovski  30mm Cosmic Ring, also in crystal.  I have always wanted to use the cosmic rings, but didn't know what to do with them.  This was the perfect necklace!  And I tell you, I was certainly not disappointed when I opened it!  It's thick and weighty, just feels good.  And the glimmer of it is gorgeous!  I have to say, though, that I'm super afraid of dropping my necklace with my clumsy hands I have and cracking that thing right apart.  I don't know how easily they would break, but I definitely don't want to find out!!!

Now, I thought about using Swarovski pearls, but I have to admit that I just couldn't afford them this go-around.  After searching for something else I came across Druk 6mm beads in Crystal Luster.  They really worked out well!  For the clasp I thought the logical thing to do would be to go with a silver one.  But something just kept nagging at me and told me to go with gold.  I just think it adds a little extra pop right there at the end.  Some people may differ with me, but I think the TierraCast Antique Gold Leaf Clasp set really did the trick.  I also used simple gold-filled ear wires for the earrings.

When Michelle put on the set I just grinned from ear to ear!  It looked so pretty on her.  I think this set is so versatile...with a little black dress for a night out on the town, dressing up a casual outfit for some real bling, and I think it would be beautiful as a wedding set.  Artbeads never lets me down.  Here are some pics for you to see.  I can't think of a name for it.  Was thinking of "Crystal Shimmer", but that sounds kind of boring.  Michelle and her sister Malissa thought the name should have something "sparkly" in it.  Do you have any ideas?
oh, bummer.  i just realized my bottom loop was pushed to the side.  guess i need to retake that shot!

Do you see how the sun just really gleams off the beads?  I love that!  I hope you all have liked what I had to show you today!  I am going to put these sets in my Etsy shop and see how that goes.  Hoping to fund some more beads.  :)

Do you like the jewelry sets I've been working on?  I hope it was worth the wait!

FTC Disclosure: has supplied me with the beads highlighted above.  No compensation has been made for my true and honest opinions of their products.