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: