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May 23, 2012 / Bika

The Great Birthday Apocalypse

There’s a heavy streak of May birthdays in my immediate family. From late May to early June, five of us level up (nerd!) and when we all get together, the house is 63% Gemini.

This year is the first we’ll all be able to celebrate together. (Hooray!) Since I’m pretty confident she won’t see my blog before this weekend, here’s the birthday watch I made for Andrea. It was a royal pain in the ass to get right, but I think it turned out really well. What do you think?

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May 21, 2012 / Bika

Peyote sleeve rings

I’ve been working on a prototype adjustable ring made with a peyote tube on a copper wire base. Basically the peyote acts as a sleeve, covering the doubled wire ends. I’m still working out the design kinks, but so far I’m happy with the way things are shaping up. The beaded sleeve makes it extremely comfortable to wear, much more so than my wedding ring (sorry honey, it’s very pretty, but it doesn’t always fit properly). Solid rings don’t care if you’re bloaty or really cold, and I hate it when my rings are tight or so loose I’m afraid they’ll slip off.

When I 1) manage to get the sleeves properly fitted over the wires, 2) get the wire to look slightly more finished and polished, and 3) get a ring form for precision, I’ll probably make a few to sell in various colors, sizes, and patterns.

For now, I’ll just make a bunch for myself so I can wear pretty rings all the time.

May 20, 2012 / Bika

Success!

I spent many hours on Thursday failing to grasp the concept of tubular peyote stitch. It was Not Good and resulted in a number of failures, including this scraggy little turd of a bead:

This is pretty much what Giving Up looks like.

Fast forward to an hour ago. While watching this video from Beadaholique, something clicked in my head. I picked up an unfinished bit from Thursday and it all made sense. I knew what was happening, what I wanted to do, what I had to do to get there. I could do patterns, FFS. So I made this:

Take that, stupid tubular peyote stitch! I OWN YOU NOW.

PS. Aren’t you jealous of my bitchin’ sweet beading towel? Awww yeah.

May 18, 2012 / Bika

Another bead post, because I can

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Here’s some fancy blue mother of pearl beads on a lariat, with matching earrings. I may have to surrender them to mom, but if she doesn’t want them they’ll most likely go up for sale. I love the colors and textures together.

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And there’s a bunch of earrings I’ve made to test out new things. I love the long ones on, they’re quite pretty.

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So…many…beads… *twitch*

May 16, 2012 / Bika

New stuff!

I got a few new things to play with today, mainly a small lot of cell phone lanyards, wooden hair sticks, and mother of pearl. I threw together a quick sample of each to test.

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It’ll be fun to tinker with these. I’m thinking leaves, filigree and flowers on the sticks, and more little beaded charms for the lanyards.

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P.S. It’s stupid hard to photograph the back of your own head. This is the best I could do.

May 8, 2012 / Bika

Boxes and Beads

Many years ago I suffered from what is called a “Minor bead addiction,” which means I bought about a metric ton of beads and beading supplies with which I could turn said beads into jewelry, or, heaven forbid, ‘art’. This differs from a Major beading addiction in that I did not lose my house and/or loved one(s) during this time, and from Catastrophic in that I was never found mummified inside my bathtub under 180 pounds of assorted glass beads.

(Such a shiny death.)

Distancing myself from the world of beading, I took up video games. The influx of packages in the mail dwindled to a thin stream, then dried up. There were mountains of beads in my extra room, but even those I eventually packed up and shipped to my mother, nearly as far from me as they could be yet still within the continental United States. Life moved on.

On my return to the nest (here I note that, since moving back in with my parents had nothing to do with my years-ago bead addiction, it still falls squarely in the Minor category) all my lovely bead children greeted me with the same glittering verve and cheek as the day I left them. I would swear they were happy to see me. Their voices rang in my head when I slept (thin and sweet, if you wondered, like the wobbly crystal pitch of a wet finger drawn over the rim of a waterglass). I had missed them.

Now I make beaded jewelry to sell, which covers the costs of getting more supplies to continue crafting, selling, and packaging. Building a customer base is as slow as I remember, but my friends are good to me and occasionally invest in a shiny trinket or two.

Which brings me to my point (yes, I do have one, shut up). Yesterday I had enough money in my bead fund to put toward some shipping materials. (Until now I’ve used gift wrap and tissue paper to cushion my things, as though I might ward off damages with festive stripes and polka dots.) Imagine my glee when this arrived the very next day:

I stripped off the tape…

…some random paper…

…and found another box…

FULL OF BOXES.

I couldn’t resist opening one to see if it would contain yet another box, like one of those crazy nesting  matryoshka dolls. Sadly, it did not. Wait, maybe under the polyfill?

It was worth a try, anyway.

That was a really roundabout way to tell you about my new jewelry boxes, wasn’t it? Clearly I’m not writing enough or I wouldn’t have to let off so much verbal steam when I make a post. Sorry!

April 16, 2012 / Bika

And then I enrolled in college.

Community college. Summer quarter. I’m not positive yet, but I think I want to major in writing. Stop laughing! I’m serious.

As serious as I get, anyway.

Oregon is awesome. I’m stressed but happy; our house hasn’t sold so we’re going to start renting it out after all, my bestie is coming to visit next month, and I’m selling jewelry for grocery money. There, that’s the abridged version of what’s going on with me. Seeya soon. Probably.

I made this