Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gemstone & Metal Blog Hop 2014 REVEAL

This Adventure has been quite a challenge for me.  I have always stuck with off loom bead weaving mainly with seed beads, delicas, crystals and pearls, but have been trying to 'bead outside the box' lately.  I decided to give this one a try as this was to be a challenge with Gemstones and metal.  I had no idea what I was going to get but was excited none the less.

When the package arrived I thought they were really pretty and had lots of gold flecks that really sparkled when the light hit it just right.  I learned that the beads were Goldstone.  Never had heard of them since I never really worked with gems before.

I started out by laying all the beads out on the beading table and moving them around over and over again...My husband thought I was practicing a magic trick ie, 'find-the-ball-under-the-cup'.  I tried several different 'stitching' ideas but they all seemed to take away from the beauty of the stone itself.  Nothing I did really appealed to me so I put them away for a few days

Next, I decided to do some research and find out more about the gemstones that I was expected to work with..."Goldstone".  That proved to be quite interesting.  Goldstone was originally made by French monks, therefore it was also known as 'Monkstone' or 'Monks Gold'.   They made it by putting copper flecks in with the man-made adventurine glass.  Adventurine glass got it's name because it means, 'by luck, chance or risk'.   The secret was lost for many years then was re-discovered once again.

It is believed that Goldstone pebbles were given to family members when they were going to be traveling away from their loved ones as it was supposed to provide protection and insure safe travels. It is also believed that it would attract abundance, harmonious relationships and creativity.

The copper in the goldstone is thought to increase energy and vitality to the wearer.  It is used by healers to promote lower back, urinary tract and reproductive health.  I found all this information to be very interesting although I think I will just wear the pieces I have created for fun...If it happens to bring me ' abundance', then I will take it, especially if it is abundance of happiness and health...(and maybe even and abundance of beads in which I can create more bling).

Now on to the bead work.  The first piece I decided to go 'big and bold' since the beads are chunky I didn't want to separate them, I wanted to use as many in once piece as I could so I decided to use a stringing technique after many attempts at off-loom weaving that did not do the gems justice.  I added  some lampwork beads that I purchased from The Bead Boutique of Kansas City.  I like the touch of blue in the lampwork.  I added a peace charm and heart charms to stand for the harmony and happiness that I spoke about earlier.  I added the swarovski crystals (8mm) just to help extend the length of the piece.  Of course I had to make a bracelet to match.

The 2nd set I made because I had a few pieces that I just hadn't used yet so I decided to add some pearls,  8/o gold seed beads, and the large heart toggle clasp from my personal stash.  I like the versatility of this piece as it can be worn just as a pearl necklace with the clasp in the back or in the front, the bracelet can be added to wear it like a lariat.  I will most likely wear it lariat style.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Gold stone and it's uses as much as I did.  Please take a look at my pieces and feel free to comment on them.  I love receiving feedback about my ramblings and my bead work.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learning to Sew!

I learned to sew at Grandma Pate's kitchen table when I was 18 years old.  I was in the marching band and concert choir in high school so I didn't get to take home economics.  I never had the desire to learn how to sew either until I got Corporate America and had to start dressing in something other than blue jeans, t-shirts, flannel shirts and boots.

My grandmother's sewing machine was an old Singer that was originally a treadle machine that she had converted to electric.  It didn't have any attachments or fancy stitching...just your basic straight stitch.  My first sewing attempt was a one piece Capri length, strapless jumper, with elastic around the top and the waist with very slim legs...At the time, it was very fashionable and I thought I looked great...I see pictures now, and I think, "OMGosh, I can't believe I went out in public wearing that".
Grandma was so patient to teach me.  She kept encouraging me even though I made mistakes, she would just hand me the seam ripper and say, "we can fix it".

At one time, I didn't own a set of nursing scrubs that weren't handmade by me.  Now I get lazy and either by them or get them handed down to me by my friend, Lisa.  When she gets new scrubs or gets tired of a set, she passes them on to me and that's okay by me as I don't mind hand-me-downs at all. It leaves me more time and money to bead instead of shopping or sewing to make more.

I went through a phase several years ago when both of my knees were in really bad shape.  I messed up my knees when I went through basic training for the United States Army at the age of 35. (That's a blog for another time).  I was forced to walk with 2 canes and it was painful at that, so I decided to quilt the days away since I was unable to work.  During a 7 month period, I made 18 quilt tops...some of them were samplers for the local quilt shop, some were made for the grandchildren and Sadly there are still a couple of them that I have yet to quilt.  (One day I will get back to them).

My sewing has dwindled to smaller scale projects now, Jewelry.  It is relaxing for me.  I am not a TV person.  I can't stay awake to watch TV, so I 'listen' while I bead.  Hubby teases me that he thinks my butt and my eyelids are attached.  He said that when my butt goes down in a chair, my eyelids do too, and that pretty much is the truth, I gotta be working on something with my hands or I just can't stay awake.

I started out taking classes and letting the teacher choose the colors for my projects, then I started stepping out and picking out my own beads and colors.  Sometimes, I don't always like the colors that I choose once I get them stitched together, but that is the great thing about bead weaving and stitching-the only waste you have if you don't like it, is your time and your thread.  Unlike fabric, if you don't like the finished product, it can be difficult to re purpose.

Over the last couple of years, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and started teaching beading, designing and writing my own patterns. I have participated in several Blog Hops and have met so many AWESOME and TALENTED designers and teachers.  I am excited about what the future has in store for me in beading and design.

Stay tuned as this Saturday July 19, 2014 I will reveal my designs for the Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop   hosted by Lisa Lodge of Pineridge Treasures.  Here is a sneak peek at the bead soup that was sent to me to work with.

Until We Bead Again, 

River Walk Bracelet designed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

River Walk Bracelet designed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel
Stitched by Me. Love the colors of this one.l