Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I made this to go with a New Year's Eve dress. The dress is almost the exact shade of the blue beads. I'm very pleased with how it came out and how it sits. I've had trouble in the past with netting type of necklaces not falling correctly when worn, but this worked out well. Earrings to match are on their way.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From Silver Class

I made this about a year ago as the first chain project for a silver class I was taking.
I gave it to my mother as a present and only just now got around to taking a picture of it. I spent hours redoing the chain parts which kept getting accidentally soldered together. I had to replace quite a few pieces before it actually moved freely and was fully soldered. The next chain I did was much easier though!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Use the Muse III

The winners and galleries for Use the Muse III are up. I'm really impressed with everyone's pieces.

Here are a couple of photos of my finished hair piece.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I made several presents for this year's Winter Gift Giving Holidays. Here's a small assortment - a couple of pairs of earrings and a simple vase. I'm really pleased with how the vase turned out and I'm working on some more ideas for other vase types.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The end of the year approaches and that inevitably brings a time to reflect on the past year. I will inevitably spend the next few weeks reading everyone else's end of year lists, but in keeping with Use the Muse's encouragement I'm offering my beading goals for the next year.

1. Experiment with headbands and more hair combs.
I had started some of these a few years ago and kept putting them down. Literally, in the case of the hair combs I made. I kept forgetting them places. While I may not be designed to wear them without losing them, I think they are pretty and fun and can be great accessories. I do however promise to not jump on the feathered headband bandwagon.

2. Home goods
I've started experimenting with some netted beadwork on vases as holiday presents and I'm liking the look.

3. Reorganize the bead collections
After putting everything away for a couple of months so the apartment could be exterminated it is in need of some reorganization. Plus I have a whole bunch of new things that need homes. There's also a bag of clasps that has gone missing that I would dearly love to find.

4. Beaded Cabochons
I've never tried to make these and I would like to maybe incorporate them into some designs.

5. Get the personal website up and fully functional.
It is so close. It's totally going to happen. Soon.

Thoughts on Beading in General

"How has expressing your creativity through beading enriched your life?"

This sounds like a question I'd be asked to answer on an application for design school as a jewelry designer, but it is an interesting thing to think about if difficult to pinpoint.

I learned to bead when I was very young from a friend of my father's and did it for a number of years and then stopped. After graduating from college I found myself in my first non-directly artistic job in the theater. I craved an artistic outlet so I started making beaded lampshades. It was a short lived return, but about three years later I decided to create some beaded Christmas ornaments as presents and rediscovered my love of beading. It was a stressful period in my life and I found that the concentration that beading took was one of the most soothing things I could do with my down time. Beading allowed me to create beautiful finished products in the short periods of free time I had.

Beading has continued to be a source of stress relief, and while I enjoy selling the occasional piece, that aspect has remained the most important to me. It continues to provide me with an artistic outlet that is entirely mine, based on the patterns and designs that are in my head. Unlike other aspects of my life, there is never a need for artistic compromise. I can choose to create anything so long as I have the patience for it. Allowing my artistic energy to funnel into my beadwork helps keep the rest of my life in balance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Use the Muse Thoughts

The big reveal for the third Use the Muse contest is happening tomorrow and Scarlett Lanson over at The Beader's Muse is doing a number of giveaways in preparation. I'm going to take the next couple of posts to answer them starting with what my favorite part in taking part in Use the Muse is.

For me, Use the Muse is first and foremost an opportunity to experiment with new things. Therefore one of the est things about the contest is the excitement I get when I see the box with the new kit and muse in the mail. It's a chance to work with beads, colors, and materials I might otherwise have ignored in the bead store. The challenge of creating something with new materials helps push me into new styles and techniques. In both the Use the Muse contests I have participated in the focal pieces has been something I never would have considered using. This has allowed me to expand on the types of pieces and styles I create and that is my favorite part of this type of contest.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Etsy Store

At long last I've finally uploaded some things to my Etsy store. Personal website is still to come, but getting there. It's just in time for the holidays too!
Visit my store at Secret Song Designs!

Currently featuring (among others) with more to come:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A day of beading

I worked on finishing up a bunch of pieces that have been hanging around today. Most of them are pieces I'm hoping to put up on Etsy in the next week or so. I spent a good portion of the day searching for clasps that apparently have gone permanently missing in the Great Bed Bug of Event of 2009, so some of the pieces will have to wait until my new order comes in.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New piece for me

I got these cool crescent moon interlocking beads a few months ago and finally used them to make something. I paired them with some greenish teal beads surrounded by seed beads and pale green beads. I'm still trying to come up with a good name for this style. In general I'm having trouble naming jewelry designs. As I'm getting ready to think about selling things more regularly, I figure I need to address that. I think I need to come up with a particular theme and go with that. Maybe Shakespearean? Or maybe something in Hebrew.
I think the camera set up for this one turned out pretty well though and that makes me happy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More about the muse

I've finished my muse project and am working on taking suitable pictures, but I'd like to post this detail hint. You can't see the actual muse piece, and I'll wait until the big reveal to show the whole thing, but I'm excited to have done something very different than I've done before and that my original vision worked out well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A couple more things from my personal stock

This was made to match a lavender skirt with a pale blue pattern.

This I made to wear for my birthday a year and a half ago. There's a hair comb that matches, and it must be a lucky one because its one of the few hair combs I've made that I haven't lost the first day I wore it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

For a friend

I made this for my friend Marci quite a while ago, finally snapped a picture of it on her while waiting for Shakespeare in the Park back in June...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some netting experimentation

I signed up for the third Beader's Muse competition and the kit is made up of gorgeous fall colors. I've added a couple of colors of seed beads and a beautiful rust colored bugle bead. While I can't reveal the muse yet, I've been inspired to try something new. I'm also experimenting with symmetrical and asymmetrical netting. I spent the past couple of days playing around with the beads to create some different netting patterns. I don't have access to the rest of my beads at the moment due to the great bed bug extermination (you can read about it on my all things domestic blog Duchy of Domesticity), but I'm having a good time with what is in the kit and my little additions. I'm still not quite sure what the end result is going to be but I offer these two bits of work in progress, complete with threads still attached:.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Birthday present!

My friend Katie had a birthday party Saturday night and I see friend's birthdays as a time to give pretty things as gifts. So in honor of Katie's birth I made the following:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Use the Muse

Back in June I ordered a kit for the second "Use the Muse" beading competition and the big reveal of the "muse" just happened over at The Beader's Muse. There are some amazing pieces in the galleries over there and I'm really glad I did this.

It was fun putting together something based around a large focal piece. That's not the way I usually design things I'm working on but I'm trying to get better at it. I'm pretty happy with how the piece I made turned out and if you've seen me lately it is very likely I've been wearing it.

It's entitled "Clouds of Blue" and is the first piece of jewelry I've made that I've ever had to name. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about that.

I experimented with making some of the seed bead circles I've used in the past three dimensional and I was really excited by how they came out. I think they'll work really well in earrings in the future.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Silver Project

At long last I finished what was supposed to be a simple chain project for my silver class. In fact the chain portion I finished very quickly. Unfortunately the bezel wire I had was too wide for the stones so it took a lot of work to sand them down.

The chain is made of 16g sterling silver round wire with the smaller links of 20g. The base of the crescent moon pieces are 22g sheet.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Some pieces from my personal stash

Just an assortment of personal stuff now that I have a new camera so I can share.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A couple of presents

My mother requested a couple of bat mitzvah presents and as always I'm happy to oblige.