It has been a long wait to learn who jumps the first hurdle to make the short list for the final judging. Everybody who entered waited for the 15 September 2010 which came and went without any notificiations ... hmmm. After a few days I phoned and was advised that it would be the 31st of October 2010 when the notificiations would go out. 31st October 2010 came and went then finally on 3 November the notifications arrived. 4 of my 9 entries have made it through to the short list. 3 in the Open Divison and 1 in the Creative Challenge Division. Yes this beading bunny is thrilled ... Good luck everybody.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tubastrea has been created using right angle weave, woven Swarovski crystal pearls in 'Coral' and various other sized Swarovski crystals in 'Jet'. The closure is a series of ribbons that have been embellished with beading. This piece has been created entirely from Swarovski elements, there are no seed beads in this construction.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Swarovski Bicone Cocktail Rings for the Creative Challenge Division
'I see you'
I wanted to submit a ring design for the Create-Your-Style Swarovski Creative Challenge. The challenge is to create a design using only Swarosvki bicones to a maximum of 200 bicones. Hmmm where to begin ..there in the bead stash were a few vintage 12mm Cardinal Swarovski bicones. By incorporating bicones of different sizes and colours I was able to not only create 'I see you' but also 'Goliath'. Both designs are yet to be submitted to the competition, but will be as soon as this blog update is done. Because of the bicones shape you really need to consider comfort for the wearer, so a bezel had to be created, again only bicones to be used .. no seed beads ugh. As a beadweaver first and foremost this is certainly a challenge for me. By weaving the various sized bicones together I was able to create an embellished bezel and right angle weave band. The sample's created are for display only and are created specifically for this contest. If I were to make them again I would use SoftTouch 'very fine' beading wire. This wire is my first choice as it is a brilliant product. The samples cocktail rings have been created with 6lb Fireline.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Pearl knotting with silk is by far the oldest method to string the pearls to form a necklace. With silk thread, you must knot the silk between each bead. The reason for these knots is that the silk thread is softer than the pearls, and will not damage the delicate necre. But the pearl beads will slowly but surely saw their way through the silk, causing the necklace to break. With the knotting, in the worst case, you will only lose one bead when the strand breaks. And it is for that reason that pearl necklaces be restrung every two years.
With the introduction of modern beading threads onto the market. Freshwater pearls can now be strung as necklaces or bracelets on beading thread. The beading thread must be flexible yet strong or it will suffer metal fatigue and break. The only brand that is recommended for stringing pearls is the Soft Flex Brand. The .019 size Soft Touch, which is a premium Soft Flex product. With freshwater pearl beads you will find that the .014 or even .010 size of Soft Touch will be required due to the small size of the holes drilled in freshwater pearl beads.
Now that there is a bead stringing product that will not break, this means that tying knots between each bead is now unnecessary. So when using Soft Flex, a knot is not necessary between each pearl bead. You merely string the beads, you can put a seed bead, crystal or other bead between them; the only consideration being that you need a good tension on your beading thread, this way there will be less movement between the components resulting in less wear on your pearls/components.
A relatively newcomer to the world of beading threads is WildFire. It is Beadalons' equivalent of BeadSmiths Fireline. However WildFire was created specifically for the bead weaving market; unlike Fireline that was taken from the fishing industry
I have not used WildFire to date, however from what I have learned from other beaders is that it is as good as Fireline, dare I say even better than Fireline? Unlike Fireline, WildFire when using black (yes they have a true black unlike Firelines' smoke). You do not end up with any residue on your fingers after beading with Wildfire.
WildFire is a great weight to work with, does not tangle, WildFire even feels softer yet still retains the non-stretch and water proofing qualities that Fireline boasts.
It has been tested against Fireline in how much effort it takes to get a crystal to saw through it, and the difference was indistinguishable.
It comes in black (a true black), a mossy green, and crystal.
Power Pro braided bead thread, this super strong, flexible, pre-waxed braided bead thread incorporates new age technology. Beadworkers and beadstringers will find that this new product feels and works better than the finest bead thread yet as strong as jewellery wire. Most beads will not cut this product. It knots easily and does not stretch. The 30lb test .011" diameter. Available in White. Even though this product calls itself 'pre-waxed' I always 're-wax' it.
Social Butterfly Jewellery
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The weight of your design components is the clue as to what you should be using. For instance if you are working with gemstone beads or lots of large crystal beads/pendants you will want something that can hold a heavy design. Even the crimps that you may use will need to be considered.
Soft Flex wire is a superior beading wire, it is supple and even thin enough (.010 Very Fine) that you can even knot it, it also comes in a great range of colours. Soft Flex is availble in 4 diameters. I was able to make this crystal ring using .010 wire as I was able to tie knots and the wire makes the ring wearable due to its durability.
SOFT FLEX WIRE DIAMETERS
.010 Very Fine - Great for using small crystals, or other sharp beads, knotting, crocheting, weaving, embellishing and stringing small beads even seed beads (use 1x1mm crimps).
.014 Fine - Great for using with small beads or fresh water pearls (use 2x2mm crimps)
.019 Medium - Ideal as an all purpose wire, you can use it with smaller bicone crystals or small to medium gemstone beads etc (us 2x2mm crimps).
.024 Heavy - Perfect for abrasive beads such as large crystals, lampwork beads and large gemstone beads (use 2x3mm crimps).
Soft Flex comes in a great range of colours golden bronze, black, bone, white and satin silver. There is also a Metallics range antique brass and copper and a Extreme Range 24k gold and 925 Silver and lastly the Premium Satin Silver.
I have used the Soft Flex Heavy 925 silver for a project for Australian Beading (see pic) it has not yet been published but is waiting to be assigned to an edition. This wire is like supple silver wire, it looks like you are working with sterling silver however it holds up to 40lbs, can be crimped and is perfect for working with crystals. As these crystals are clear it was great that the colour of the wire is like sterling silver. It also comes in 24k gold. Soft Flex wire products are perfect for any beading project, for me they are first choice as they do not fail, and the range suits any conceivable design concept.
To see Soft Flexs' range of coloured wires follow this link:
If you like working with precious metal or base metal wires, there size is referred to as gauge, which is the diameter of the wire ie14 - 16 gauge
Very thick wire, used as a frame or base for pieces that must hold their shapes such as cuff armateurs, frames or sculpture.
Thick wire used with beads with large holes, making clasps or in projects that require stiffness. Also used in chainmaking.
Good general purpose medium wire used for making findings such as headpins and small clasps.
A light medium wire used for wire wrapping semi-precious beads and making thicker earwires or thinner headpins.
Roxannes' Lace & Friends will be raffled through Donburn Primary School, which is in Melbourne, Victoria's Eastern suburbs. The school will facilitate the raffle and it will be drawn on the last day of Term 3 at the school assembly, 17th September 2010.
I will also be selling raffle tickets on behalf of the school, so if you would like a raffle ticket/s please contact me at my email address firstname.lastname@example.org Raffle tickets are $2 for 1 ticket or $5 for 6 tickets. A register of names & ticket stubb numbers of those who have bought tickets through me will be kept at the school. I want everybody to be assured that their tickets go into the draw. You can pay me via online direct debit, provide me with your mailing address and I will post you the ticket stubbs. I will also cover the cost of postage should the package need to be posted to you.
I do hope you can support this worthy cause, you get this lovely set of handmade bead woven 'Social Butterfly' jewellery and you are helping kids who until Nicky and Julia stepped in had no hope at all, and I mean this in the true literal sense of no hope.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This necklace has taken the last couple of days to create, not including design thought. It will be raffled at my sons primary school, all proceeds will go to HUGS a not-for-profit-charity sponsored by my friend HUGGER Nicky Haywood and HUGGER Julia Christie. This orphanage houses children who are not orphans in the true sense of the word but orphaned in that nobody wants them. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden in Cairo, children born out of wedlock are discarded like trash and end up in orphanges like the one Nicky supports. Nicky is a Westerner living in Cairo, she spends her days caring for her own family as well as caring, supporting and raising funds for a particular orphange. Click the link you will find some beautiful faces of children in the Mokutum orphanage. Be a HUGGER ..
Nicky says "the Mokutum Orphanage has received two new babies, a little boy and a little girl – unrelated, left individually in the middle of the night on the steps of two different police stations. We are so thankful that whoever left these babies had the sense to leave them where they would be found. These two babies are just wee newborns, left still with their umbilical cords on. The situation of orphaned and abandoned children here in Egypt is dire, but thanks to YOU HUG is able to do something about it".
Monday, July 19, 2010
Another interest of mine is collecting vintage or antique postcards, photos, magazines etc .. this sweet little lass is the latest addition to my collection it reads "May the Easter Sun Shine Brightly on you..!" It is from the 1800's, I collect images usually with butterflies featuring somewhere in the image.. hmm fancy that..
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I will be opening up shop on Ebay.com.au to onsell beads, findings and other lovely bits as I have more beads than I will ever use in a life time. I have some of the most beautiful beads you will ever find, these have been sourced globally. I am mad about vintage and antique beads so you will find some really wonderful types of beads, buttons and stampings.
Also SBJ will be opening up a shop on Madeit.com.au which is like an Australian equivalient of Etsy.com I hope to have this up and running by the end of August.
Lastly I will checking out Magnolia Square in August to see if this might be a way forward for SBJ. Magnolia Square is like a 'pop up' market which is held around Australia. Magnolia Square have lots of sellers with a focus on handmade.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
How can the playing field be viewed as a fair when the voters per each entry are an unknown quantity. For instance 'Butterfly' is sitting in first place of the Top Ten on the e-beads entry site with a 3.3 average. Yes this is a pretty necklace but by no means is it a first place entry, it is ordinary in every sense of the word. Yet it holds first place based on its count of votes and the quality of its votes, so I ask does the entrant have a vast network of supporters? I say yes. Butterfly captures absolutely none of the Boudoir Beautiful theme elements as stated in the contest pitch. Nor does 'Peacock Garden' with a vote count of 158 votes and a 2.7 average. Many hours and much skill have gone into the creation of this entry, but it is not following the theme.
The purse by Blair Scott has 251 votes and a 2.7 average, yes a great design but the central design does not even sit centrally on the purse? Avante Garde by Marta Brennan is a lovely design but again, by no means does it capture Boudoir Beautiful yet it has 1372 votes and a 2.9 average. Firecracker..? great design and colour choice but there is nothing Boudoir Beautiful about this design. Seriously am I the only one that is dissilluisoned by this contest .. I would love to hear your thoughts ..
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This competition is one that is some what different in that the entrant must promote their entry. Ten entries are selected based on their popularity which is determined by the votes and the vote average. No votes, no hope basically .. an odd way to run a competition and I am unsure if competitions have been run in this way before; and if so how successful? The judges then choose 7 entries who then go on to be a finalist. There are two other international websites for international non-speaking entrants entering this competition. If you like my entry and have 30 seconds to vote please visit the link .. may good karma follow you my friends.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This beaded pink silk breast cancer awareness ribbon was created to highlight the journey that each individual is forced to take once a breast cancer diagnosis has been received. My inspiration for this piece is my wonderful friend Jen, who had to take this journey last November, she has undergone multiple surgeries, painful treatments, sickness and terrible pain, test after test, hair loss and then adjusting to her physical self after all of these treatments. Treatments and surgeries that are still ongoing, but thank fully the cancer is gone but the havoc it slammed onto her has been just unimaginable.
.. 'orrible .. The beginning of the beaded applique.
The beaded applique in place on the ribbon. Hmmm this requires change ...
Yeah . that is a bit better ... Yes I am loving those silk flowers ...
Friday, April 30, 2010
(MasterClass pg. 68 to 71) this very beautiful bracelet was created using Delicas, a large 30mm Cosmic Ring in Golden Shadow, along with freshwater pearls, and a fabulous vintage abalone shell button. I cut this beautiful button from its original vintage button card, it is superb, they do not make them like this anymore that is for sure! Ladder stitch, herringbone and even count peyote are stitched to create this bracelet.
The vintage porcelain doll faces are showcased in the 'Treasure Chest' in this months magazine.
My jewellery is now on sale at Ruby Tuesday Handmade Jewellery shop in Warrandyte. This magnificent gallery style shop is filled with beautiful handmade jewellery goodies. Several qualified jewellers are on site. The address is 90 Melbourne Hill Road, Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia. If you are in the area, drop in for a look see, tis lovely inside!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So if you're a beader wanting something unusual to bead, come and have a look at my website www.sbj.com.au
Best wishes .. Mel
My cards are still on sale at Junk & Disorderly in Warrandyte and recently a baby boutique Little Posh Shop 28 the Mezz, 148 Scarborough Beach Road, Mt Hawthorn which is in Perth, Western Australia.
Herringbone and tubular herringbone stitch, with or without a foundation ladder row.
Odd Count Peyote
Even Count Peyote
Right Angle Weave
plus more ..... stringing, crimping, simple earrings.....etc
I am happy to share my knowledge and skills and look forward to any enquiries through my website http://www.sbj.com.au/
Bye for now Mel
Australian Beading Vol 3. No.6
June 2010 - Beading a Cabochon 101.
December 2010 - Beaded Foot Jewels.