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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.

A Beaded Garden

Last year, I purchased a tutorial by Marcia Balonis of Baubles by Balonis called “Garden of  Flowers Bracelet.” It wasn’t until I spent this summer visiting public gardens and tending to mine that I had the inspiration to try my hand at Marcia’s tutorial. Yes, I was in a flower garden mood.

This tutorial calls for various flower beads sewn in such a way to conjure colorful sprawling flower beds. After reading through the tutorial (always a plus before you start any project!), I had my version outlined in my head. I was ready, and all that I needed to do was grab my vintage sugar bowl filled with loose orphan beads:

Sugar Bowl

I used all glass beads: flower cups, leaves, dragon scales, drops, seeds, Delicas, two-hole cabochons, buttons, and spiky buttons, just to name a few. I added a red lady bug bead nestled in the flower bed, for a surprise. She’s not flying anywhere because I ran my needle three times through her for security. The hole was fairly large, so I added a small black seed bead on either end to finish it off cleanly.

For the beaded toggle clasp, I used a scarab – whimsy!

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Throughout the project, I was careful to make sure that no thread was showing as I sewed. Visible threads annoy me; I prefer a clean, polished look on my creations. Because of this, my process was slow, yet well worth the time.

This “Garden Bracelet” has a nice weight to it; it feels substantial. It also wears nicely on the wrist and sparkles in the sunlight.

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You can purchase Marcia’s tutorial through her Etsy shop, Baubles by Balonis (click HERE). Her tutorials are well-written and easy to follow, and priced just right.  (By the way, she is a fabulous teacher, too, as my husband took a class from her earlier this year at the Emerald Coast Bead Retreat.)

My beads are from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery and from my private collection.

Visiting public gardens and tending to my own verdant gardens are just some of my most pleasurable pastimes. The vivid and pastel hues offset by variants of green foliage are delightful and relaxing. My version of a beaded flower garden ensures that a fanciful garden is carried by me, never to wilt and to always bring a smile.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppies Boutique, and all works within.

Kon Tiki Earrings

In 1947, Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl organized an expedition via raft to sail across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia. He posited the idea that pre-Columbian South American peoples could have settled in the Polynesia islands. The raft was named for the Inca sun god “Viracochoa”, and “Kon-Tiki” was an old name for the god.

My friend, Deborah Wear-Finkle, designed a pair of beaded earrings that evoke olden days of the Incas and Polynesia, and she rightly named them “Kon Tiki.” They do have a South Sea isle look about them. I imagine a time long ago, and a Polynesian tribal princess wearing them for a casual cookout with the gang on a beach:

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These are easy earrings to construct. I made my version with silver and grey seed beads, pink crescent beads, black O-beads, black dime beads (in the picture, they’re the smaller beads towards the bottom), and large beads topside (I used black wood beads from Africa on mine).

You can get the tutorial for Deborah’s “Kon Tiki Earrings” at her Esty shop, Shosin Arts. Click on this link: Kon Tiki Earrings.

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©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, 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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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.

Designer Showcase: Deb Roberti

My version of Deb Roberti's "Maya Band" bracelet.

My version of Deb Roberti’s “Maya Band” bracelet.

One of the beading designers whose tutorials I enjoy is Deb Roberti from Around the Beading Table.

What I like is her uncomplicated page layouts, clear directions, and detailed drawings of each step. You don’t have any questions where you are or where you are going in completing your piece.

One of my all-time favorite patterns of hers is “Maya Band” bracelet. I made a few, and they proved to be a popular gift, too. With each bracelet, I added 4mm crystal rose montees in the center of each “flower.” Not only does it add a touch of sparkle, it will hide that a-little-too-much-space-in-the-center-of-each-flower problem, if your beading goes that way.

You can find her tutorials at Around the Beading Table. Her prices are reasonable, and from time to time, she will offer free ones, too.

I recommend you add her designs to your beading table.

I obtain my beads for this and many other Deb Roberti tutorials from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery.

©2016 Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.