Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fa la la la LPA...

It has been a Lisa Peters Art kind of season in my house of late. I worked on a couple of pins/pendants to help with a fundraiser benefiting shelter animals (see post "For the love of animals") in November.

After those were completed and sent off, I worked up a couple of pieces to send back to Lisa - a ring using one of her wonderful little flower cabs and a poodle brooch/pendant.

The tiny flower cab has a hole in the middle, I started this one by anchoring the cab to a small piece of Nicole's Bead Backing with a 6mm Swarovski margarita crystal bead and a 15/0 seed bead.

I use a small about of E6000 to secure the edges of the cab to the bead backing material and added size 3mm Swarovski bicones in between each of the flower petals

Green seed beads were added around the outside of the cab and crystals

I used gray Ultrasuede to back the piece, first cutting a small hole it in it to fit the pad on the ring blank through. I add a tiny dab of E6000 to the pad of the ring blank and attach it to the back of the beaded flower cab, then let dry. The ring blank is adjustable, so it can fit a wide range of sizes.

Once dry, I whip stitched the Ultrasuede to the bead backing on the cab using blue charlottes.

And there you have it... a pretty little ring - perfect for every day or a special occasion!

How about a little poodle cab pin/pendant with a heart??? Double win! Some time ago, Lisa sent me two of these cute little poodles, (click on any of the images to see a larger, more detailed view). I glued it down to bead backing and started by adding vintage sequins around the outside. The sequins are anchored by dark red seed beads, then outlined by those same pretty red beads.

The poodle is edged with cream colored seed beads with a dangle of red seed beads, a couple of cream colored seed beads, a red garnet heart, then finished with a beautiful heart bead by Lisa Peters.

It is backed with tan Ultrasuede and has a brass pinback with bail so it can be worn at a pendant or a pin/brooch.

Lastly, Amy at Bead & Glass Boutique had a Facebook contest using LPA components. Each participant was sent a kit. We were instructed to used most of the kit and any thing from our own stash we wanted to add. I received a beautiful cab with a faint leaf pattern on it.

In addition to the cab, there were these beautiful tubular beads in a turquoise color and square glass beads in a reddish color. To the kit I added turquoise/raku colored seed beads and vintage dark gold seed beads salvaged from an old beaded cap found in an antique store.

Also added - size 8/0 gold seed beads, size 15/0 gold seeds beads used in the bezel and in the edging and 6mm topaz Swarovski margarita beads used in the dangle. There are 5 size 3mm Swarovski bicones in the bezel for a little extra sparkle (two in the top corner and three in the bottom). The edge is something new to me. It is called Side Petal Edge and found in Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Cloud Eakin - a fabulous book by the way and one I highly recommend you add to your collection if you enjoy bead embroidery.

Tan Ultrasuede is used as the backing with a pin back including bail for use as a pendant.

Not sure yet what all the new year will bring me in the way of beading inspiration, but I'm hopeful it will be a creative year filled with lots of projects!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A choker and a ring...

My older grand daughter recently requested a choker, she dug through my stash of small cabs and found just what she wanted, then requested beads in blue, silver and black.

The cab is one I was lucky enough to snag after my visit with the Beads of Courage boxes.

The choker is about 1 1/2 wide at it's widest point and 13 inches long.

There are glass seed beads in several sizes, Swarovski margarita crystals in black and vintage sequins.

It is backed with blue Ultrasuede and the clasp is a vintage Swarovski sew on.

I have wanted to try my hand at making a ring for some time now and recently I was gifted with this small raku cab by Marianne Kasparian aka MAKUstudio.

It is surrounded by glass pearls

It was mounted on an adjustable ring blank

And backed with black Ultrasuede

It was donated to a Northern Indiana business for a fund raising auction.

Photos are clickable for a larger view

Friday, November 18, 2011

For the love of animals...

If you know me, you know I am passionate about animals. I am a firm believer in rescuing animals from shelters as opposed to buying from breeders. If you do a little research, you will see there are pure bred animals available at most, if not all shelters (Humane Society estimates 25% of animals taken in are pure breeds). Shelters, Animal Care and Control, Rescues - they are all maxed out. Resources are scarce and budget cuts continue. If you can - do something today to help homeless animals. Shelters always need volunteers and various supplies and food, there will probably have a wish list on their website.

I'm also a firm believer in spaying and neutering pets as well as TNR (Trap Neuter Return) for feral and stray cats.

I think you would be too if you understood how many animals are put to death in this country and the manner in which it is done. It is estimated that 3 to 12 million pets per year are killed (depending on the source of the information). In THIS country, the United States - shameful, pitiful, and in my opinion - embarrassing. The animals are "humanely euthanized" which is rarely humane. They are often dragged to the death room to be injected and in many states are even gassed in groups - still - in this day and age.

I do what I can to help. Besides all my pets being rescues from shelters, I try to support rescue organizations and those that support rescues. One of those if Pennies-4-Paws, a non-profit fund raising for many organizations in need. If you use Facebook, they have a page there as well.

Please... please if you have pets, make sure they are spayed/neutered - for anyone that cannot afford it, there are many organizations in the U.S. that are low cost. Many areas even have programs in place that assist low income families. There is no reason or excuse to have pets that are not spayed/neutered.

The ornaments and pins you see here have all be donated to Pennies-4-Paws for their fund raising efforts to help our furry friends in need. Here are a couple of other favorites of mine: Shadow Cats Rescue; Best Friends Animal Society; No Kill Advocacy Center; The Grace Foundation of Northern California. All have Facebook pages if you are so inclined.

First up is a bone ornament. The "bone" is ceramic and was created by Fire and Fused. I glued it to yellow colored bead backing by Nicole and added glass beads in yellow/gold and purples.

I added a Czech glass heart bead at the top of the ornament and backed it with mustard colored Ultrasuede

It measures just over 3 inches wide.

Next is this brown bone is embellished with a combination of blue and brown beads as well as vintage sequins.

It is backed with chocolate brown Ultrasuede

A heart... for cats - this ceramic heart was also created by Fired and Fused

The heart measures a little big larger, 3 1/2 inches across and a bit weighty with all those glass beads

Czech and Japanese glass beads have been added as well as these glass cat face beads and a metal bead of a cat with one paw up.

Larger metal round beads were added to the fringe with carved garnet heart beads

Then backed with red Ultrasuede.

It was hard to part with the raku cat by Lisa Peters, but I have had it for a couple of years and I think it will server a better purpose in raising funds for cats that need help rather than sitting in a box here just because I like it.

It is embellished with sequins, a Swarovski crystal and glass seed beads.

It has a beautiful ceramic heart charm (also created by Lisa Peters) hanging from it.

I made this one into a brooch/pin. I thought it would look great worn by a cat rescuer.

Last in the group is this cute poodle pin.

It is embellished with vintage sequins and various glass seed beads.

This heart charm is one of my favorites by Lisa. The colors are amazing!

This one is backed with dark gray Ultrasuede

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman