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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!

img_20161120_173858

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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Moonglow in the Palm of Your Hand

chakra-2aA couple weeks ago, as I was researching for some new projects, I stumbled upon the prettiest cabochons I ever saw:  LunaSoft.

These cabochons have such a beautifully soft and glowing presence about them, they mesmerized me.  When they arrived in my bead shop, one or more of each available color, it was “ooooo” and “ahhhh” non-stop.   It’s one thing to see them in a photograph, and quite another to see them live.

The colors are rich.  The glow is soft.  The backs are metal coated.  The faces feel like they are lightly coated with rubber, or something like it.  The biggest question I had was, “How are they to work with?”

“Wow!” is my answer.

I choose to design a peyote bezel for a pendant using Japanese seed beads and SuperDuo beads, worked around a copper-hued LunaSoft cabochon.  Working the bezel around the cabochon proved to be remarkably pleasant.  I would even go so far to say that the coating seemed to hold the bezel well while stitching.   The way the cabochon seemed to change its glow was amusing.  Depending on how the light hit it, it looked solid, it seemed to glow, or it flashed a rich coppery hue with depth.  I have several more tutorials in the works using LunaSoft cabochons.

Other LunaSoft colors range from reds, to blues, to greens, to oranges, to white and black, and more. At the moment, we have several colors of the round 23mm ones in our bead shop.  I plan to order more in different sizes and shapes to stock in October.  In the meantime, see what’s available now:  CLICK HERE to see more.

If you like something a little different and something fun to work with, I recommend the LunaSoft cabochons, hands down.

If you’d like to learn more about my tutorial, CLICK HERE.

Add some moon glow to your repertoire!

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

The Designing Process

il_570xn-1050051277_g9yxThings are still hopping in our bead shop, and while we’re busy with that, I thought I’d share another of my original designs with you.

When I’m not teaching art, or working on my books (yes, I’m a published author, too), or travelling, or being involved with the day-to-day routine of life, I find inspiration to create from the world that surrounds me. Last year, I designed an easy beaded Christmas ornament cover that proves to be a huge hit with my customers time and again.

Just like with anything else, designing a project is easy, and it’s not. The Beading Muse was kind to me with my Noelle Christmas Ornament Cover project. One evening, I was organizing my Czech glass beads and came across some pretty pink ones I forgot I had. I paired them with some green ones, and liking the combination, it was natural for me to accent them with some silver lined seed beads and a few larger black beads. They looked good on the beading mat and would look even better as an ornament cover.

The color combination may seem unlikely Christmas colors, but my thinking is that if you like it, it works. For example, I’ve seen Christmas trees decorated with all purple – ornaments and lights – and though that’s not my preference, it works for others. Anything goes.

So, I settled into my studio, dug out a clear, round ornament, a needle, scissors, and Fireline ® and got to work. After a few tries and a few restarts, I was on a roll to creating this ornament cover. The picture of how it should look was in my mind; I didn’t even sketch it out first, as I usually do, for each method is different in creating something.

This particular project turned out well, in spite of all the backtracking and a few restarts. The trickiest part was actually taking clear photographs of the steps, then adding diagrams to each to show what needs to be done to create a pretty finished piece. Lighting was key to producing clear images, of course.

As I mentioned earlier, this became my most popular ornament cover tutorial to date. It takes little time to make and can be made in your color combination. Several of my students and customers shared pictures of their finished ones, which I will share here at a later date. Their color combinations are creative and pretty!

If you’d like to learn more about my tutorial, CLICK HERE.

Happy Beading!

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

Ruffled Wreaths

RuffledEarrings3aThough it’s still the sweltering dogs days of August, my thoughts have been floating over green pine needles and fresh red cranberries like white snowflakes on a calm winter morning.  I like the combination of pine needles, fresh cranberries, and soft flurries; they evoke winter warmth and hospitality to me.   Besides, thoughts of cooler weather do help during this summer heat.

Some leftover lava red rizo and minty green SuperDuo beads were sitting on my studio worktable in a jumbled pile.  I had some creamy white rulla beads, too, so I added them to the pile.  Beautiful!  The colors melded and played off each other so well, that a new tutorial was in the works.

Developing this new tutorial took a few attempts.  However, how I envisioned the final product was different as to how it came out – ruffled, rather than flat.

It wasn’t a mistake – it was meant to be!  The beads seem to burst like little fireworks, or the hodge-podge orderliness of a cluster of snowflakes.  They are like ruffled wreaths.

My new tutorial is now available in my Etsy shop, Miss Poppy’s  Boutique; cliek HERE for more information.

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

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.

Nefertari’s Delight

NefertariNecklaceTutorialThose who know me well know that I am an enthusiast of the Ancient World – its political history, culture, art, and subsequent influence on the modern world.

In art and décor, I decorated my bath with an Ancient Egyptian theme: framed vintage post cards of King Tutankhamen’s treasures and furniture, miniature pyramids and a scribe statuette, walls painted with a faux stone look, et cetera. It’s also safe to say that if you put a Babylonian sphinx or Egyptian lapis lazuli ring or Roman gold sandwich glass in my path, I want it. Take me back, Baby. Wayyyy back—

On this theme, I created a jewelry piece that Nefertari would love to wear. Nefertari was one of the principal wives of Egypt’s pharaoh Ramesses the Great (also known as Ozymandias, as in Percy Blythe Shelley’s poem of the same name). Nefertari could read and write; she was highly educated. Thinking of her, I designed a beaded necklace I would imagine she would enjoy.

For my Nefertari’s Delight necklace, I started with a vintage 1920s glass cabochon. It’s roughly the size of a poker chip and embossed with an image of a lady in a pharaoh’s headdress. I bezeled the cabochon with glass seed beads and added a beaded bail to it. This was, actually, the most complex and time-consuming part of this piece. The result is appealing.Green Cab

Then came designing the beaded rope. The cabochon focal deserved more than a basic metal chain – in fact, a beaded rope in complementary hues would be the only way to fit the bill. Plus, the rope had to be fancy, but not take away from the focal. As you can see, I incorporated several different styles of beadwork with glass and jasper beads. It is simple, yet ornamental enough for a pharaoh’s wife.

I am happy with the way the entire piece turned out. I wrote a tutorial for it, which can be found in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique (click HERE).  Please note that this is an advanced tutorial and gives specific directions only for making the beaded beads.  The bezel and focal rope holding the cabochon is a given that the beader already knows, or has the resources to research their construction.

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

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