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Mélange Bracelet

Well, the time sure flew by since the last time I wrote an article, and a lot has happened since then, too.

These past two months found me helping out as a buyer for our online bead shop, creating custom items (like bookmarks, ornaments, jewelry, and accessories), revamping my cookbook library, and cleaning and organizing my studio. I’m sure I had some relaxation time in there somewhere!

The other day, as I was going through boxes of beads and art supplies, I rediscovered bags of gemstones and glass chips. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them or what I had in mind when I acquired them, but Fate helped. As I was combining bags of the same item into boxes, a few accidently fell together and Voila! – a new custom combination was born.

With my last goldstone box clasp, I created a simply sophisticated three-strand bracelet with a little AccuFlex and the mélange of obsidian, peridot, tourmaline, yellow turquoise, goldstone, and marble stones. The final product surprised me. It’s pretty!

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img_20161120_173334If you would like to create your own Melange Bracelet, I am offering kits in my shop and the beads only, if preferred. To learn more, please click this LINK FOR KIT and the LINK FOR THE GEMSTONE BEADS ONLY. The goldstone box clasp is not available, so I included a three strand tube clasp in this kit in its place.

I like happy surprises. Happy Beading!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within

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Desert Song

DesertSongWrapBraceletBySusanMarieMolloyPhoto3The new Diamonduo beads arrived in my studio a couple weeks ago, and this past week found me doing more design work.

The Diamonduos are approximately 6mm x 8mm and come in a large amount of colors. For my new design, I chose the coral color.

A few mint-colored beads in my supply room caught my eye, and I coordinated the duet of coral and mint with antique gold. Laying all the beads together on the studio worktable, the first thoughts of a soft desert song floating on a breeze came to mind – thus, this piece’s title, “Desert Song Wrap Bracelet.”

As I worked the beads, this project seemed to be (subconsciously) inspired by the many creations of Deborah Roberti of Around the Beading Table. She creates down-to-earth tutorials that can turn any creative artist’s head. You can see her work and shop her tutorials by clicking HERE.

As with my “Queen Twosret” wrap bracelet, “Desert Song” has a beaded peyote stitch toggle clasp. The look is clean, yet elegant.  Depending upon the piece, I would rather have a beaded clasp than a metal one.  Again, it depends on the piece.

The tutorial is now available in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique. Click HERE to read more about it, purchase it, or request one made just for you by me.

In the meantime, listen for that soft desert song wafting in the warm desert breeze.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Peeking into Queen Twosret’s Jewel Box

QueenTwosretWrapBraceletTutorialI admit it: I am a fanatic for anything ancient Egyptian, and have been as far back as I can remember.

This week, I obtained some of the new 6mm pyramid beads. They are half the size of the similarly-shaped studs, and much more versatile for my type of creations. This summer I’ve been designing many new projects, and wrap bracelets are just one type.

I took the pyramid beads and combined them with other specialty beads in roughly the same sized category, added seed beads, and I came up with an easy to make wrap bracelet. I enjoy making my own beaded clasps, too, which is what I did for this project.

I used beads in traditional ancient Egyptian colors, and the piece feels like the Pharaohs had an extraordinary influence on this! The blue is like the prized lapis lazuli they used in their jewelry; the precious gold they prized for its flash; the reds of ochre and jasper; the black of the Nile’s rich silt; and the stripes on their headdresses when I created the clasp.

I named this piece “Queen Twosret’s Wrap” after the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Seti II’s wife. Two colors of seed beads are used to give a striped appearance between the larger beads. It adds a little something special, don’t you think?

The tutorial is available now in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique (click HERE to purchase).

Beads are from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery (click HERE for fabulous, high quality beads at affordable prices) .

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Ocean Waves Cellini Spiral Bangle

"Ocean Waves Cellini Bangle" (c)Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy's Boutique

“Ocean Waves Cellini Bangle” (c)Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Last winter, I took a class at the Emerald Coast Bead Retreat in Fort Walton Beach, Florida to learn how to make the Cellini spiral stitch. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite beading stitches.

The Cellini spiral is basically tubular peyote stitch with beads gone wild – a varying amount of different sized and shaped beads make up the unique pattern to create a spectacular piece that gets conversations started.

With this particular project, I went with colors that mimic the warm and undulating ocean waves we see here in Florida, particularly the Gulf of Mexico’s coastline in the panhandle. My colors as like the aquas and blues of the waters, the barely perceptible purple that reveals deep waters, and the golden sunshine that sparkles on the water. The undulating shape of this bangle mimics the ever-moving waves.

I had a lot of fun creating this piece, and it wears beautifully. It may look heavy, but it’s very light and comfortable on the wrist.

It’s one of the classes I will be teaching this summer – I like teaching to help keep the art of beading alive.

I am offering the tutorial and a kit through my Etsy shop, too.  Follow this link HERE.

Maybe a pair of matching earrings would be nice . . . the wheels are turning in my head!

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Checkerboard

Black and White Check2The past weekend found me finishing some beading projects I started last fall. Between a beading cruise we went on in October, to getting custom Christmas ornament covers made, I put some projects aside and . . . well, forgot about them until this weekend.

As I was straightening up and cleaning my studio, I found the half-finished projects sitting patiently in a plastic box. The checkerboard-style cuff bracelet was my first to finish.

As you can see, when finishing off the ends, I prefer using wire/thread guards before attaching the clasp. They help to strengthen the clasp to the piece and prevent the Fireline® thread from fraying. For this bracelet, I used a tube/sliding clasp in silver plate. All beads used in this piece are high quality Czech glass.

Nice, isn’t it?

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This pattern is from Virginia Jensen’s book, “Stitching with Two-Hole Shaped Beads,” published by Kalmbah Books (2015). The name of the bracelet is “Herringbone Cuff with Squares and Rullas.”  (Found on Amazon.)

I’m keeping this one for myself. The checkerboard look is nice for summer, as well as year-round.

As always, custom orders are always welcomed!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.
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The Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet as Art

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Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet by Shoshin Arts

A couple of weeks ago, I finished a single peyote stitch bracelet, and immediately knew that since I enjoyed making it so much, this was going to be my “Summer of Peyote Stitching.”  Well, it appears so.

My friend, Deborah Wear-Finkle is a talented artist, an intelligent woman, and a lot of fun to be around.  She expanded her creativity recently by opening her own Etsy shop, Shoshin Arts, and offering some of her original peyote patterns, among other delightful items.  Her Japanese brushwork-inspired bracelet, “Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet,” was my second peyote stitch work I tackled this past week.

(As an aside, I like things Japanese:  I enjoy reading about their history, politics, culture, and art, and savoring the cuisine.  One of my cousins spent her childhood living in Japan, and in college one of my Bachelor of Arts degrees focused heavily on the Japanese political system, art, and history.  So, this bracelet was one of those excited “I want it!” things.)

Deborah’s pattern calls for 8O round seed beads, but I took my version in a different direction by using 11O Delicas (cylinder beads) instead.  I liked how theses beads make the plum branch very delicate-looking, and the overall look is smooth.  Seriously, I am delighted at how delicate the branch looks, with that almost-paint-brushed-look about it.  Yes, to me it looks like Sumi-e, or Oriental brush painting.

Additionally, it made for a much smaller (4” x 5/8”) piece, and stiffer, too.  I was pleased with my result, although since the piece was about half the length it should be for a bracelet, I was going to stitch more rows to add to the length.  Then I thought I’d add tassels and make it a bookmark.  Then my husband, Gene, suggested I add a beaded loop to one end and hang it as wall art.

Brilliant!

I did that.  I added a row of peyote stitches for the loop, and hung it.  It’s a simple, delicate, and an interesting piece of wall art that reminds me of my friend each time I see it on my foyer wall. 

Here it is on my foyer wall. The wall color maybe isnt' the best against the piece.

Here it is on my foyer wall. The wall color maybe isn’t’ the best against the piece.

You can purchase Deborah Wear-Finkle’s Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet tutorial/pattern at Shoshin Arts through Etsy.

I like it!

I like it!

© Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Our Ordering Process and Seizing the Silver Lining

From time to time, we – Gene and I – special order beads for our customers who shop at our bead store, Poppy and Gene’s Beadery. A couple of months ago, we special ordered beads for a customer who wanted to create Tamara Scott’s “Sandbox” bracelet. The customer gave us the numbers of the Miyuki Delicas, and we went ahead and ordered them. Part of our special ordering process is that both Gene and I double-check and triple-check the numbers and/or colors and sizes of what our customers want. And, of course, in this case as always, we did just that.

The beads came, the customer took them, and by the same evening, the customer had a couple of different excuses why she didn’t want them. One of the excuses was claiming we didn’t order the right beads. We checked, and yes, we did, according to her written instructions and the numbers on the pattern. However, for whatever real reason, she returned the beads, and I took that opportunity to create my version of the “Sandbox” bracelet with the very same beads.

This piece is such an eye-catcher, that I already have orders for several bracelets for my friends, in these colors. Looks like I’ll be in the “sandbox” for awhile!

“Sandbox” is a flat peyote (gourd) stitch using even-count. It worked up quickly. It’s an elegant piece that really can be worn day or night, dressed up or down. I particularly like the snaps used to close the bracelet. They give it a seamless, professional looks. What really makes the piece a knockout are the patina charms placed in each box, or “sandbox” if you will.

You can find this pattern on Tamara Scott’s website, Tamara Scott Designs. She also sells the charms via her Etsy store, Tamara Scott Designs.

Always see the silver lining in every experience. I do, and that makes for a lot of positive dynamics and beauty in life.

Tamara Scott's "Sandbox," without and with the patina charms. Yes, the charms really make this a knockout bracelet!

Tamara Scott’s “Sandbox,” without and with the patina charms. Yes, the charms really make this a knockout bracelet!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.