Sunday, December 13, 2009

Byzantine Mirror

Guys, I hate flying. The concept of clear-air turbulence drives me nuts! That's AIR for heaven's sake, why should it be as bumpy as an old country road? Something does not add here, in my mind.

Yes, mind. Mind is a crazy thing (well, at least mine is). So, I really need to work hard to take it from disaster-thoughts and plant sometwhat more useful instead of those. What can be better than beading (especially, combined with a shot of single malt times two)? Last month I had to fly twice, and I was working on the central part of this necklace. This is why it got so big - I had to pass total of 4 hours (landings and take-offs not included). It, actually, has helped my anxiety! And resulted in a necklace, which is good too ;)

After giving it a good look, it reminded me of antique brass mirrors, hence the name.

Connecting the massive central part to the rope was a bit of a challenge. Finally, I came up with a solution that you can see here:

But then there was quite a conflict between the weight of the pendant and a webb-like connection, which I was not really feeling like re-making (yeah, lazy!). So, I figured that the fringe would ballance that up. And knowing myself it was highly improbable that it was going to be an ordinary fringe.

So, a huge pendant born in scare for flying, turned out as a odd necklace. ;)
You never know...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Vanilla Ice-cream

Being a Superior Scribbler is not all that simple - feel the pressure to scribble! ;)

Here is my latest creation - Vanilla Ice-cream. I have been running around with this idea for a very long time.

Firstly, my husband bought me several great agate slices in his last trip to USA. They are quite specific stones due to their shape, and I was not realy sure what was the best way to deal with them. I was convinced that it was going to be a freeform piece. Then I saw a very interesting freeform necklace by Nataliya Pechenkina from It gave me some good ideas, but I really did my best not to repeat anything and to create a really unique design.

Secondly, I really wanted to incorporate Swarovski beads in a freeform design based on pre-mixed seed beads. has kindly helped me in realisation of this idea, they carry a good selection of various seed beads, including a broad range of mixes.
Sometimes I enjoy mixing beads by myself, but sometimes it is great to have a pre-mixed "starter" to make your creativity spin. In this necklace, Au Natural, Good Earth, Moonstone and Golden Grain mixes were combined with several other Miyuki and Toho seed beads. I find multi-shape mixes perfect for making freeform.

And, finally, I just wanted to bead a white necklace for a very long time. That's the complete story of the Vanilla Ice-cream.

Disclosure: I have recieved the Swarovski chrystalls and some of the seed beads free of charge, in return for writing a honest review about the supplied products. has not compensated me in any way for writing this review.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wow, I'm a Superior Scribbler!

It is all Kerrie Slade's fault, folks! ;)
She has nominated Marsha of Haute Ice Beadworks for the Superior Scribbler award, and Marsha has kindly passed it over to me. Oah well! I do humbly accept. ;)

Do not consider myself one of the top scribblers, though. Ok, I love scribbling, but never have time to do it. Perhaps, it is for the best of mankind anyhow.

Now I have to pick five worthy recipients. Well, after some thinking, they are:

Sig "Beadedbear" - Beadedbears Nonsence and Complete Waste of Time (Man, she knows how to scribble! Love that blog!)
Smadar Grossman - Smadar's Treasure
Zoya Gutina - Gem and Beaded Jewelry
Patricia Vener - Vener Art Beadblog
Cindy Caraway -Artful living on the bluff

Being a Superior Scribbler is really a bit like being a member of Etsy Beadweavers - tonns of honor and quite a bit of work. ;) Here are the rules:

* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 bloggy friends.

* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & name of the blog from whom he/she has received the award.

* Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog and link to this post which explains the award.

*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List - that way, we'll be able to keep up to date on everyone who receives the award.

* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I am washing my hands. Now it is your turn!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last month we had two winners, which gave us two themes: Piece and Winter Olympics.
Everybody is welcome to cast their vote at our blog. The poll is up between 9th and 15th of December!

You know the drill!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The science of beading ;)

Last months were quite hectic. I've made lots of beaded things, but never had a chance to blog about them. But this is a special one.

It is made for a Master student we had in our lab. Ok, here it comes - she's one of the best students I've ever had over the years. As a token of appreciation for a great job that she did with us, a colleague of mine and myself have decided to make her a present - this necklace.

Even specialists in the field will not know what it represents. And I will not give a latin name of the fungus (because this blog post would otherwise come up in all Google-searches, so un-scientific!) ;) Let's just say that the bug that we are working on is a mold, originaly found on prunes and it loves lots of sugar.

Here are some real life scientific pictures of some of its parts (published online with kind permission of the person who took them: Jan Dijksterhujs of CBS, The Netherlands). Now you know what is that white pearly stuff that is growing out of the "prune" cab ;)

The bug is a pain in the head to grow - it thrives in media with LOTS of sugar. And to get it a good medium for growth, one needs to melt all that sugar. And you can guess what happens if the temperature is too high, or if you melt it for too long? Yes, it caramelizes! And you (read: your student) has to start all over again... That's the meaning of those colors in the necklace.

That's the science, kids! ;) Am I a geek? YES, and proud to be one!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Miyuki + Swarovski + Zirconia = True?

Sometimes in our lives, we get offers we simply cannot refuse. One of this cases is when a company asks to use their products and write a review. That is exactly what I am going to do today - to give you my honest opinion about Artbead's Cubic Zirconia and some of seed beads that I've never tested before.

I draw a design, and than started beading. It did not go as smoothly as I wanted. It took me quite a while to figure out what was the best way to make those "wings", and finally I settled with an UltraSuede.

For quite a long time I was willing to test two sorts of Miyuki Delicas: satin egg-nog (DB 0674) and 22K gold with iris effect (DB 0501). Those gold ones are incredible - I love the shine, the color, the sparkle. The satin ones have lovely finish and are contributing to an outstanding visual effect. I liked them in the finished piece, however, I am a bit concerned about their sharp edges - especially compared to Miyuki buggles, which are quite smooth. Had to sew through them several times more, than I usually do with any other kind of seed beads.

And than I got a crazy idea "to marry" Swarovski and zirconia ;) I think, the experiment was a success - they look quite well together. Swarovski bicones have a bit of cold feel about them, whereas zirconia feel a bit warmer and more naturally looking (in a very strange, sub-conscious sort of way). Love those, would definitely use more of those in my jewelry.

Ok, if I have to criticize something - why on earth was this color called "orange" by the manufacturer? ;) They look more like raspberry liquor to me! Color is very close to Swarovski's padparadscha - for comparison look at the picture above: 1st and last beads are 4 mm round cubic zirconia orange, next to them are two 4 mm bicones of padparadscha. I've got the central 6 mm crystals as a gift from my brother, and thus not sure about the name of color.

Anyhow, if you have a minute, please check out the Artbeads homepage for more of these sparkling beauties! I'd also like to share a discount code with all my blog readers, it gives you 10% discount at checkout (SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0424).

I called this piece "Angela", it will shortly come up in my Etsy store.

Disclosure: cubic zirconia (CZ-ORG-TD36, CZ-ORG-TD9 and CZ-ORG4), as well as Miyuki Delica beads (DB0501 and DB0674) were kindly provided free-of-charge by, within the frames of blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More bead embroidery

Today is not as gray as yesterday, and I've finally managed to take some pictures.

This gorgeous fossile ammonite is from Morocco, bought from StarDust in Stockholm. Pendant is a custom order for a friend of my mother in law. It had to be very simple.

I've bought these blue cabs in Sala, a small gem-shop near the local silvermine. If I am not totally wrong, it is a dross - mass of impurities that appear when melting metall ore. I loved the idea of using it in jewelry! The cuff is called Polar Ice, you can guess why ;)

Finally - a pendant with carnelian, Autumn. And again, Czech seed beads in all their glory!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I'm actually doing lots of beading, but the Swedish autumn does not want to provide me with good light to take any pictures. Therefore I'd just share some text with you this time :o).

Guys, please check out this fabulous video, courtesy of Christina of GoodQuillHunting:
It is featuring most of the EBW team's work. Great selection, wonderful music, and such and eye-candy! Enjoy!

My promo-input was not as spectacular as Christina's, but I've managed to publish another article in Zoya Gutina's newsletter at, this time featuring EBW team.
Here you will find the English version:
and this is the link to the Russian one:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

K for "Control" ;o)

Couple of months ago I went gem-shopping in Stockholm. At Kristallrummet in the Old City, I've noticed gorgeous kyanite healing chrystals. This stone is one of my absolute favorites, I'm just dragged to it (pretty much as to labradorites & spectrolites).

Those chrystalls reminded me of Superman cave, how sci-fi nerdish is that? ;) Boy, I was giggling when the EBW September challenge theme was announced.

Although kyanite reminded me of those good chrystals in the cave, its name rimes really well with kryptonite (which everybody knows was quite bad for the poor Superdude). Than my husband gave me an idea - my necklace was going to deal with superhero infestation problem :o)

You can read the complete story here.

Materials: 11/0 Permanent Finish and nickel plated Tohos and Swarosvki bicones 3 and 4 mm; 3D RAW all the way. Do not know what is going on with me - I'm getting addicted to Toho and Swarovski lately. Odd.

And here are all the fantastic entries for the EBW challenge this month.

Please visit our blog and vote for your favorites from 9th to 15th of October! Thank you in advance :)
My favorites are numbers 3, 5 and 14, but I have not made up my mind yet. Which one are you going to vote for?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Custom order - the last day.

I'm done! :)

It was a fun project. With all latest bead embroidery items (I'll blog about those soon), as well as the embroidery course, I have forgotten how much fun it is to make freeform! It was a very refreshing experience.

Latest addition - right side:

Customer had some points about the color scheme, and I have made some changes.
1. Added some green and yellow beads to the red part, to soften the redness.

2. Added some extra of that gorgeous Jablonex LA Orange mix of orange, yellow an amber around the donut connector and next to the bronze "belt".

That's my clasp solution:

"Clasp on":
"Clasp off":
Pfew! :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Days 5 and 6

I've been quite busy with my "ordinary" job last couple of days, thus there is not too much progress on the custom item.

Basically, I'm working with the right side, thickening it up.

And now I'm off for the ball at Uppsala castle ;) Sometimes being in Academia pays off!

Hugs :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 4

The left side is taking its shape. Thinking of The Perfect Clasp...

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Days 2 and 3

Was teaching bead embroidery class yesterday - capturing Swarovski rivoli. And today I'm down with a cold. Hope just it's not that bloody swine flu.

Anyhow, the custom order... Turns out that the customer is not into fluffiness and fringe, but into thickness and chunkiness. Back to the drawing board then :)

So long!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 1

Beads are behaving well. Oah, well, they are behaving as usually - in the most unpredictable manner imaginable.

Customer got inspired by Dini's fabulous Forest Walk. Here is my interpretation of it.

Central part:

Right side:

There is no use to take pictures of the the left side under artificial light, it all comes up as a big orange blob :(. I'll make a day-light picture of it as soon as Swedish autumn would allow me.

That's the result so far:

Have no idea how it will look by tomorrow ;) Oah yes - I'm teaching another bead embroidery class tomorrow, which means very little progress on this necklace. Pity, but such's life.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Custom order

I've got a custom order via Etsy. Necklace. Feeform. Rich autumn colors. Its' gonna be fun!

These are going to be the main colors:

I'll add more of that gorgeous Toho Rich mix from - the ones that you can see on that "old" bracelet of mine (that I still love dearly and wear quite often). And some corals and Latvian amber.

And than I went beadshoping ;)

Lampworks, crow-beads, Czech pressed glass...

That's the ingredients. Will see where they will take me ;)