Tag Archive | Green

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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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.

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.

Up the Beading Road

My beading fascination and business took another exciting turn this past couple of weeks. I am now learning new skills and techniques with beading with threads.

My first project was a simple back-and-forth sewing technique. I used fishing line, cat’s eye beads, and faceted Czech glass beads. I finished it off with a simple silver toggle clasp.

The project went well, and I was finished in an evening.   I wore the bracelet for a few days and decided that fishing line made the bracelet a little too stiff for my liking. I wound up making a similar bracelet for a friend, but this time I used Fireline thread. What a difference! The bracelet was more flexible, lighter, and felt alive. Now I will take apart my bracelet and redo it with Fireline thread.

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This past weekend, I attended a regular beading class. The project for that morning was the Darby Bracelet (pattern created by Deborah Roberti). It featured a ladder stitch, which I wanted to learn.

After having a slow start to the first portion of the pattern and two tear-outs, I was getting the hang of it. I broke a needle in class, and that does happen from time to time.  I took my unfinished bracelet home, and I was finished that evening. I finished the bracelet at home, and by the time I was more than halfway done, I gained confidence and speed with each stitch. It got to a point where I didn’t have to rely one hundred per cent on reading the pattern. In fact, I only heavily referred to it when I added the clasp.

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It turned out well, though I made it about one section too much for my wrist. It won’t fall off, but it could be a little bit smaller. My next Darby Bracelet will take care of that.

I find that threading beads is a nice change from wire beading. I plan on creating a few new pieces for my Etsy shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique. I believe this new beading technique will be a nice addition to what I offer for my customers.

My finished bracelet.

My finished bracelet.

Happy Beading,

Susan Marie Molloy

Safety First

Last week at our monthly Beading Society’s meeting, we learned how to create pieces with seed beads and thread. Our project was the Sparkly Wheel, and both Gene and I did pretty good. We didn’t completely finish them off, and that’s good because I plan on using both pieces to make an ornament. I’ll write a future piece on that.

Gene's and My Sparkly Wheel Project with Czech Glass Seed Beads and Glass Beads

Gene’s and My Sparkly Wheel Project with Czech Glass Seed Beads and Glass Beads

Today I’m stressing the importance of care and safety when beading. This morning during the pouring rain here in Florida’s panhandle, I decided to try my hand at beading a bracelet with tiny cat’s eye beads and seed beads. All was going well until I pushed the needle hard through a tight bead hole and some of the needle’s plating slid and embedded itself in my index finger. In fact, it left two separate pieces right under the skin.

I spent about six minutes sterilizing a thin cross stitch needle, dripping hydrogen peroxide over my wounded fingertip, and picking out the fragments. Every bit of the foreign matter came out, and my finger is healing well.

This is moments before the beading needle's plating found its way into my finger.

This is moments before the beading needle’s plating found its way into my finger.

The needle itself didn’t appear broken, so I am thinking that some of the metal plating is what slid into my finger. I am not pleased with the quality of this Chinese made product, and I will be searching for a better quality, large eyed threading needle.

Using a thimble would have been better in accomplishing the task of pushing the needle through, and now I have one of my old silver thimbles sitting in my studio ready for future projects.

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This is my finished ©Grapes Suzette bracelet.

In the end, my bracelet project turned out pretty and better than I expected, since this was my first try with a large project. I plan on creating more of this same style bracelet in different colors and beads, and I will offer them for sale in my Etsy shop when they are ready.

Remember: Safety is important – always!

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