Unusual Bead Production Spurt

I had a very rare (for me) spurt of bead production, getting ready for the Bead Bazaar, September 8-9.  I haven’t made enough of anything in the last few years to submit beads or pendants for the guild’s booth, and production doesn’t come easily to me.  This year I had a sizable store of ripple blade veneers from the prep I did for my demo at our retreat.  Although I really don’t love production work, I think it’s a good idea to do some occasionally.  Repeating the same basic steps many times over can really help to refine techniques, especially finishing.

Sorry about the less than stellar photos.  I only had time to take a couple of quick record shots with my iphone before I sent the beads off to my friend, Michelle, who generously organizes the details of the Bead Bazaar.  I did relearn a lot making these beads.  My finishing skills were quite rusty.  I hadn’t done much sanding and buffing in years and it was satisfying bringing up the shine on some of these beads.

My daughter took one look at my beads and asked me if I had gotten the ripple blade craze out of my system yet. lol

The answer to that is NO!, but I think I want to venture into combining the patterns with other patterns or textures.


Bead or Pendant

This weekend, while I was finishing up a few items for the upcoming Bead Bazaar, September 8-9, I started thinking about the difference between a bead and a pendant.  What makes a bead a “bead” and a pendant a “pendant’?  Most of the items I’ve submitted for sale at the Bead Bazaar are one sided, flat backed, but pierced through like a bead.

Merriam Webster defines a bead as ” a small piece of material pierced for threading on a string or wire” and a pendant as “something suspended: as an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free”.  So, the hole is the important thing that defines a bead.  So I guess a bead could also be a pendant, but a pendant might not also be a bead.



Where I am, where I’ve been

Nothing brings home the lack of blogging here more than the realization that my last post concerned the 2010 Clay ConneCTion Retreat.  (especially since we are about to host our 2012 retreat!)  Wow, I really fell off the blogging bandwagon.  I’ve written tons of blog posts in my head.  Does that count?

I have a whole new appreciation for the difference between intention and action.  In my time away from the blog, I have done little actual writing or creating art.  I’ve thought about it all a lot.  I’ve even sketched ideas from time to time.  I miss the habit of writing and creating, and of sharing my work here.

I’m hoping to get back into revive my creativity and my blogging along with it.  I’ve even got a couple of small tutorials to share.  And I’ve got tons of things I’d like to try to get out of my head and into the real world of polymer.  Techniques to learn and relearn.  Designs to explore.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  No promises though.

There are a lot of changes coming my way in the coming year.  My older daughter has graduated from college and will be living with us again for an undetermined time as she tries to figure out her next step.  My younger daughter will be a senior in high school with all the craziness of the college search process, as well as the many commitments of her busy life.  Plus, and this one is a biggie, we are going to be moving, building a new smaller home and selling our current home.

So, I’m guessing any blogging I will do here will be in fits and starts.  I’m definitely going to share my experience of designing and organizing another studio.  I will share more as I really get into the process.  Right now all I am doing is collecting inspirational images.

The last two years have included occasional jewelry making, primarily at retreats or classes.  Here are a few photos:

October 2010 – Seed Bead Mosaic Heart

Seed Bead Mosaic Heart by Libby Mills

April 2011 – made during a workshop with Cynthia Toops – Lime Square Mosaic Pendant

Lime Square Mosaic Pendant by Libby Mills

May 2011 – Multi-color Mosaic Pendant (mounted in a polymer bezel)

Multicolor Mosaic Pendant by Libby Mills

May 2011 – Green Fringe Pendant

Green Fringe Pendant by Libby Mills

January 2012 – made during a workshop with Robert Dancik – Pink Tinted Faux Bone Bracelet

Pink Faux Bone Bracelet by Libby Mills

May 2012 – Hollow Beads and Steel Wire Necklace

Hollow and Steel Wire Beads by Libby Mills



Last Minute Fun

Living up to my self proclaimed moniker “Last Minute Libby”, I have had a manic rush of studio activity.  E has a pair of friends coming home from college with her at the end of the week, so the house needs cleaning.  I’ve got tons to do in order to get ready to leave for a week.  The mind boggles thinking about how I’ll get it all done.  I haven’t begun organizing everything I need to take to Synergy2.

And all I want to do is play some more in the studio.  I’ve been having way too much fun playing with polymer clay and seed beads.

Swoop Pendant – polymer clay and seed bead mosaic.

Fringe Fun Pendant – polymer clay and bead embroidered fringe.  This pendant is hands down my favorite piece I have made in ages.  I just want to make more, more more.

Check the blog this week.  Cynthia Tinapple and I will be blogging daily from Synergy for Crafthaus.

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