Tag Archive | Art

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.

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.

A Magnificent Summer

It’s a magnificent summer.

I’m enjoying it all: Soaking in the sun, reading, researching, writing, penning letters to friends and family, cooking many new foreign dishes, travelling, bowling (yes, I bowl!), golfing, hosting parties, embroidering, organizing my home, teaching classes, and creating art in general.

Nature is an ever-giving medium to serenity and creativity. When walking in and breathing in the beauty of endless blue skies, tumultuous black storm clouds, a tiny bumblebee on a Shasta daisy, the dripping Spanish moss on old live oaks, or dusky green grasshoppers on a city sidewalk, no wonder my creativity expands and gets new life.

When I return to writing my blogs later in August, I will share with you my fresh creations, new tutorials, and updates on classes I taught this summer.

In the meantime, I hope your summer is full of beauty, relaxation, and creativity.

One of my works in progress.

One of my works in progress.

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

Pièce de L’élégance

Here at my studio, this seems to be the season for patrons and customers commissioning me to create pieces for them. I’m creating bracelets and wall art, and all this is keeping me busy every day.

One commissioned work in particular stands out for this week.  I was asked by one of my longtime customers and art aficionada to create a purse charm based on a metal bookmark I recently designed. Looking through my supplies, I carefully handpicked Swarovski crystals, Czech glass beads, and a two-tone hand carved Czech glass melon bead. I arranged them in groups for their most aesthetic appearance, and hand wrapped them in delightful clusters with gold plated wire.

Beginning to gather pieces for the charm.

Beginning to gather pieces for the charm.

To make the chain, I fashioned my oval-shaped jump rings as the base for this piece. Then I added each cluster of beads to it, starting at the end with the largest, a cube-shaped peachy hued Swarovski crystal, end capped with crystal Swarovski caps and marguerite flower beads.

I continued adding each cluster to the chain, connecting them with smaller oval jump rings. At the opposite end, I attached a small lobster clasp and tiny wrapped bead cluster.

The finished charm on my vintage straw purse.

The finished charm on my vintage straw purse.

The purse charm in its final incarnation is pretty! It sparkles and shines, and adds just the right amount of interest and effervescence to make this a conversation starter. The lady who commissioned this purse charm recently bought a new purse, and this charm is just the ticket to add that pièce de l’élégance and je ne sais quoi to her ensemble.

The charm on my vintage gold mesh evening purse.

The charm on my vintage gold mesh evening purse.

Most of all, I hope the charm brings joy and that little something to my customer/patron.

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

Keeping It Simple and Festive

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

In this week’s class, I taught the art of crocheting around a ring. This was a simple technique of single and half double crocheting around a bone ring and adding beads to a crocheted “drop-ribbon” that comes off the ruffled ring. I designed this pattern to help teach this “crocheting in rounds” technique and how to incorporate beads in crocheting. For myself, I made a lot of these, and I use them as “markers” on my clothes hangers, just to dress up an otherwise boring closet. Besides, it’s a good way to use up some leftover crochet thread and miscellaneous beads you don’t know what else to do with.

We had a lot of fun, and because I supplied the beads and bone rings gratis, my students only had to bring their crochet thread and a crochet hook – and their appetites. We had homemade hors d’oeuvre that I made and fresh brewed tea to make this afternoon class more festive.

In setting up and organizing my classes, I look for projects that appeal to a wide range of artists, beaders, and crafters. I look for – and I design my own – projects that will be, in the end, useful as a day-to-day item, or pretty things, such as home décor or jewelry. I tend to not focus solely on jewelry, because that gets “boring” as my students mentioned to me. I agree. After all, there is much more to creating than bracelets and earrings.

This weekend I am looking forward to teaching another class, this time, it’s wire working of a different sort. The class is full, but I’ll offer it again in the future.

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