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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sometimes, you just need something quick & easy....



As much as I love to do the complicated things, to push the limits, to be innovative and creative; there are times when I just need to do something simple. 

There are times when I just need to get in there, work on the project and complete it in a short period of time.  Sometimes I just need the feeling of accomplishment that a finished project brings.

Other times, I need a quick gift for a friend.  I love to make hand-made items to give to family and friends to celebrate special occasions, but I must admit that sometimes I am pressed for time and just need something that will work up quickly.

Oh, and did I mention that it is a bonus when the piece really looks good???  Here is an example of my latest quick & easy piece which I think has some great impact.

Wolf Tracks Earring

These earrings are done in a simple brick stitch design with a simple fringe pattern.  They work up very quickly and easily. 

But, I  must confess, these are a gift that I am giving to myself.  I can't bear to part with this pair.  I think it goes so well with my matching cuff, business card holder, and lighter cover, and bangle.  This one is going in my jewelry box.  But I will be posting the pattern soon. 

And if you are looking for some other "quick & easy" projects, may I suggest:






So, if you are looking for something quick & easy, or just need a quick gift for a friend, I hope you will check out these patterns and experience the satisfaction of a job well done that I am feeling right now.

Blessings,
Beth

Native-style beadweaving patterns available at:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You don't know how well you know something until...



This week I found out how well I know Even Count Tubular Peyote stitch.  I spent the better part of the week writing a step-by-step tutorial for this stitch and discovered some things about myself in the process.

No matter how well you think you know how to do something, I believe that you don't really know it well until you try to break it down to teach it to someone else.

When you try to put a process on paper, illustrate each step so that everyone can understand it, describe the process in words, photos and diagrams, then it becomes a part of you.

Sometimes it is amazing to me how hard it is to explain something that I have done so many times to someone who has never done it before.  Things that I can do without thinking I have to take apart mentally and try to display on a page.  In fact, I found myself having to do a project as I created the tutorial so that I was sure I did not miss a step.

It was a good experience for me.  A lot came out of it.  The obvious thing is the new "Even Count Tubular Peyote Stitch Tutorial" that I now have posted on the sites where I offer my patterns.  But during the process, I also learned how to compress photos with my publishing software, and which pdf publisher would give me the easiest pdf for other to download.

I also learned how to use some new "widgets" on http://www.beadpatternsboutique.com/ to give my fellow beaders some customized features when the choose my patterns. 

I also created a new pattern for a Beaded Hair Stick.  The complete pattern, including the instructions for making a point on the stick and adding the beads at the top, are included with the new tutorial. 

Oh, yes, and I even found some time for beading.  Check out the new pieces that I have been working on.



Wolf Tracks Card Holder                  Ring of Roses Bangle                     Queen of Hearts Bangle

These should all be ready to post in the next week or so.

So, all in all, I would say it has been a good week.  I learned a lot, beaded some, and just kept moving forward.  Afterall, isn't that what this journey we call "life" is really about?

Blessings,
Beth "Bouncing Wolf" Rudy

Native style beadweaving patterns available at:
 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bangles & Bracelets


May is
Bracelet Month
at Bouncing Wolf Creations

I have been hard a work creating a selection of beaded decorations for your wrist.  I love to make cuff-style bracelets.  In fact, the wider the better!  Isn't that strange, because I have very small wrists.  But rest assured, I have taken that into account with my creations.  I have asked fellow designers and fellow beaders for input on length for these cuffs.  Each one has instructions to help you adjust the size to fit your wrist or the wrist of the person that you might make one for.



As many of you know, my totem animal is the Wolf.  I have a strong attachment to wolves and dogs of almost any breed.  So making jewelry with any symbol that has to do with the beautiful, loyal animals is truely a "work of heart" for me.

My bangle bracelet series comes from my desire to do something different all the time.  I have a hard time doing things over and over again.  I like variety and change, so I decided to change my usual cuffs into a bangle.  I tried several different materials to stiffen the beadwork into the bangle shape.  I finally settled on a plastic tubing material.  My patterns give the complete instructions for choosing the material and finishing the bangles, so I won't bore you with it here.



But, I could not resist also creating a cuff/style bracelet from the same motif.  This pattern also includes the instructions for making the toggle bead and the loop.  It also has information to help you customize the size to fit your wrist.


Butterfly Bangle

This bangle is inspired by my beautiful daughter.  Her native name is "Barefoot Butterfly".  She is a fancy shawl dancer, and she hates to wear shoes, even in the snow.  She loves anything with butterflies, so she spurs me on to create anything with butterflies.  She helped me to test the size on the bangles, so I dedicate this piece to her.  This pattern should be up on Tuesday morning.


Bear's Paw Cuff

Bears can be found on almost every continent.  They are well respected everywhere, especially in North America where the native people they were once human.  The Great Mystery is also believed to live in the spirit of the bear.  (I should have this pattern ready by the end of the week)

Striped Bangle

For my next design, I decided to work in color that I LOVE.  Purple is my color!!  And yellow and green are the two colors that I like to put with my purples.  I hope you like this one as much as I do.  (This pattern should be ready to post by Tuesday 5/18)

I have serveral other ideas in the works, but no photos yet to share.  Keep your eyes open for "Rose Trellis Bangle" and "Hearts Afire Bangle" coming later this month.

Thanks for taking time to bounce by my little corner of the world.  And thanks for letting me share my new ideas with each of you.

Blessings,
Beth "Bouncing Wolf" Rudy

Native-style beadweaving patterns are availiable at:



Sunday, April 18, 2010

A New Angle on the Bangle

I know I have been a bit quite here for the past two weeks.  We have had some illness sweep through, and then came the recovery period, quickly followed by the "increased creativity period".  I must say, I don't look forward to illness or the recovery, but I do look forward to the increased creativity period.

It seems that whenever I get sick, my brain gets to hit it's re-set button.  It dumps a lot of useless stuff that is just taking up space and it has room for a lot of new ideas.

That brings me to the title of this post "A New Angle on the Bangle".  My recovering brain turned to creative thoughts of bracelets.  I wanted to do something that was not a cuff for a change, so I found a "New Bangle".

What do you think????
So far, I have two finished.  The blue one features my "Wolf Tracks" motif. 

And the pink one is inspired by my daughter.  Her native name is "Barefoot Butterfly."  I had the pleasure and honor of giving her that name.  She is a fancy shawl dancer and she hates to wear shoes, even in the snow.

I hope to come up with at least one more bangle motif idea.  I am thinking along the lines of roses or another flower.  I'll add photos of those when they are done.

May is going to be "Bangle/Bracelet Month" at Bouncing Wolf Creations.  Look for the patterns for these bangles and others coming the beginning of May.

Blessings,
Beth

Native-style beadweaving patterns available at

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Showers bring May Flowers....

But why should we wait?  After all, we are beaders!!  We can make our own flowers!!!

In celebration of the return of the robins, the blooming daffodils, and the buds on the trees, I have designed a set that I named:

Stained Glass Roses



I have already posted the pattern for a delicate, springy tea light cover that coordinates with the set. 


The one page-pattern uses delica beads and cotton quilting thread to create a springy wrap for your tea lights.  The pattern has a full-color graph style beading chart, a color key with suggested delica bead colors and bead counts and a color photo of the finished tea light.

                                                                                                  Stained Glass Roses Earrings




I am planning to post the earring pattern next -- on Wednesday, April 7, 2010.  The pattern will include the beading chart for the medallion and the tube bead, and complete directions for the fringe.  The finished earrings are approximately 3.5 inches long (not including the french wire).  And, yes, those are crystal bicones that you see in the fringe!!!




    
 

Stained Glass Roses Cuff/Bracelet

I am planning to post the Cuff/Bracelet pattern on Wednesday, April 14, 2010.  This pattern will have all of the ususal features and will also include directions for adding a decorative button toggle clasp and loop.





 Stained Glass Roses Barrette

The Barrette Pattern will complete the set and should be posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2010.  The pattern will include the chart for the body of the barrette and the tube bead, and complete instructions for the new fringe design.

So, as you begin to till the soil and get your gardens ready for spring, don't forget about your beading garden.  Flowers are already blooming in my world, how about in yours?

Blessings,
Beth

Native-style beadweaving patterns available at

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Every piece has a story....

Native Americans are storytellers.  They grow up hearing stories told over and over again.  Many of the stories are true, historical stories told to preserve the history and knowledge of the people.

Some of the stories are not true.  But they tell of an event from a non-scientific perspective which can bring us understanding and healing.

Everything has a story.  Rocks, trees, mountains, streams, animals and people all have a story to tell.

Even the jewelry that we make tells stories.  How the piece was made is one story.  The properties of the stones and metals that you choose to incorporate in the piece is another story.  Even the animal images and decorative designs that you use can communicate a message. 

We can connect with each other through the sharing of our stories.  I think the key for us as jewelry makers is to find the best way to share these stories with our customers.

When I create a piece of jewelry, I try to learn the properties of the stones that I am using.  I want to be sure that I use elements that are harmonious.  When I put the item on my sale table, I display it with a card like this:
Display card for "Iron Tiger"

and this:

Display card for "Purple Passion" necklace

These cards tell the stories of the stones that I have incorporated in two of my wire wrapped pieces.  (If you would like to see them, just click on the link below the photo).

When I design a beadweaving pattern, I also try to tell a story about the motifs that I choose.  I include some of the information on the pattern itself.  Some of the story also appears on the site where my pattern is displayed and still more of it will often appear here in my blog when I introduce a new piece. 

Several of my fellow beaders have told me that they enjoy learning the stories of my patterns.  If you enjoy the stories, I bet your customers would also enjoy hearing them.  So why not share them? 

Here are some ideas to help you share stories.
  1. Make cards to use on your display so the piece can tell the story if you are working with another customer.
  2. Make smaller cards to put in the package with the piece when you sell it.  Then the customer can take the story with them.
  3. Strike up a conversation with your customers when you see they are interested in a piece.  If you have something special to tell them about that piece, it might make it even more appealing to them.
I hope this information will encourage you to tell the stories of your jewelry to your customers.  Teach them and preserve the knowledge that we have as jewelry makers and human beings.

Blessings,
Beth


original Native-style beadweaving patterns are available at:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Native... in my heart!

I have been told that my family has Native American roots.  But I have yet to be able to prove it.  Although I have looked, the connection seems to ellude me.  But, my Native American friends, tell me that is not just about my bloodline, but also about what is in my heart.  And I can tell you, my heart is very native.

I live my life trying to make the smallest footprint possible.  Ask my family, nothing in my house goes to waste.  I save the smallest bits of fabric and leather.  Stray beads are collected and used in collage pieces, and leftovers... well, I am the queen of "Let's see what happens when we mix this with this."  Usually, we are not disappointed.

Well, in the Native community, everyone has a place and a purpose.  And my "family" has put my beadwork skills to work.  One of the projects that I am honored to do for my family members is a beaded feather quill.


I think I was asked to do my first one about two years ago.  It was an Eagle Feather that had been gifted as an anniversary gift.  The quill was very fragile and the couple wanted me to bead it to help protect it. 

I wanted to be sure that I did it "right" so I started by doing research about beaded quills.  I visited several native sites, and took my inspiration from their teachings.

I learned that the beadwork should reflect the individual.  So I set about designing a pattern that represented my friends.  I can't show photos of that feather here, because it would be disrespectful.  But I can tell you that it incorporated the 4-colors of the Lakota Tradition (for the man) and a blue sky (for the lady).

Since then, I have done several others for family members, and I have designed a few that I have published as patterns.  Here are three that I have available now.  (please note:  the feathers in these photos are all hand-painted reproduction feathers.)


                             The Four-color Zig Zag Feather quill features the four colors of the Lakota
                              Tradition (black, red, yellow and white) and a medium blue background color.



                                     In honor of our Vietnam Veterans, I designed this quill which
                                     features a design similar to their service ribbon and flag.
 Welcome Home!


And my newest quill pattern:


                                      Turtle medicine reminds us to slow down and take a
                                      look at the place where we find ourselves. 

These one-page patterns feature full color beading charts, color keys, suggested colors and bead counts, and instruction on preparing your feather for beading.  They are all available at www.beadpatternsboutique.com/catalogue.php and http://www.thebeadcoop.com/

I would love to have you bounce by and take a look.

Blessings,
Beth


Monday, March 8, 2010

Just one class...

That’s all it took for me to be hooked on yet another passion.  As if quilting, sewing, beading and baking were not enough for one person.  Now, I had found “WIRE WRAPPING” and I love it.

My teacher was a very patient lady and I was blessed to be the only one in the class.  She was conservation minded, just like me, so she did not mind that I felt compelled to save every last scrap of the sterling silver wire that I had to cut off.  She showed me a lot of pieces that she had done, then encouraged me to be creative.

Since then, I have gone on to wrap a lot more stones and create a lot more necklaces.  If you were to ask me “Which comes first? the Pendant or the Necklace design?”  I would tell you that 99.99% of the time it is the pendant that comes first.  I love to collect beautiful stone.  Some are semi-precious and some are not.  As I make the pendants and necklaces, I try to learn something about the stones and their meanings and properties.  I try to share that information when I share the pieces with others.

Here are a two of my latest pieces.  They are all for sale at www.beadpatternsboutique.com/catalogue.php in my Designer Jewelry category (Bouncing Wolf Creations)



I am attracted to Tiger’s Eye and when I saw this beautiful 1.75 inch Tiger Iron donut with all of it’s added pink and peach colors, I had to wrap it.  I used four strands of square sterling silver wire for the wrap and the bail accents.

Tiger's Eye is a symbol of Commitment, Strength, Creativity and Courage. It is said to help the wearer focus through pain and stress. It sharpens your perception, focus & clarity. It balances & brings prosperity.

The 19.75 inch necklace features 4mm Tiger Eye beads, Tiger Eye nuggets, base metal spacers, and 8/0 glass beads. The clasp is sterling silver. It is strung on 19 strand nylon coated stainless steel wire.  This is a one-of-a-kind piece.


Necklace and Earrings


Lapis Lazuli is a semi precious stone prized for its deep blue color. It is said to have the ability to increase the wearers psychic ability, virility and calm. It enhances creative self-expression, making it a great stone for teachers and speakers.

The pendant in this one-of-a-kind piece features a 1.5 inch Lapis donut wrapped in four strands of square sterling silver wire. The bail decorations include twisted wire rosettes, a sworovski crystal bicone and sterling silver beads.

The 20 inch necklace is strung on 19 strand nylon coated stainless steel wire and features 4mm and 8 mm Lapis beads, Czech glass beads, sterling silver spacers and a heart-shaped sterling silver toggle clasp.

The matching earrings are 2 inches long and feature 4mm Lapis beads, and Czech glass bead. The ear wire are sterling silver.

This is a one-of-a-kind set.

Hope you like what you see.  If you would like to see some more, check out my Designer Jewelry page at www.beadpatternsboutique.com/catalogue.php.  I offer free Priority Shipping to the US and Canada.  But, don’t be afraid to ask for international shipping.  We can work something out.

Thanks for looking and sharing with me.

Blessings,
Beth “Bouncing Wolf” Rudy
Original Native-style bead weaving patterns available at:
www.beadpatternsboutique.com/catalogue.php & http://www.thebeadcoop.com/

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And I don't even smoke....

Why would a person who does not smoke spend so much time creating beaded lighter covers?  Good question.  Here are my answers.
  • Lighters are a handy tool for everyone.  They are not just for smokers.
  • A lot of people around me smoke and ask me for a light
  • If my lighter is has a beaded cover, I know it is mine.  It's harder for someone else to pocket.
  • I can make an ugly lighter look a lot more attractive by beading the cover.
Lighters are not just for smokers.  They are a useful tool.  I use mine in my crafting.  They are great for fusing a rope or cord, and they can also melt the cut end of a piece of ribbon to keep it from fraying.  When we are camping, I use my lighter to light camp fires and citronella candles.  And around my house, I use my lighter to illuminate the candles that I have all over the house.  They are much easier to use than a pack of matches.  So I like to keep them all over the house.


When I am at pow-wow's in the spring, summer and fall, I am surrounded by people who smoke.  You would be surprised at how often I am asked for a "light".  When I share my plain lighter, I often don't get it back.  However, when I share a beaded lighter, I can very easily claim it as mine.  Although I must admit that sometimes it makes it harder to get back because of the bead work.


My beaded lighter covers also give me a great way to show-off and share my beading passion.  Lighter covers also help me to personalize and unify my accessories.  They make great gifts for the smokers and candle lovers in my life.  They are quick and easy to make and can be done in almost any style.

Lighter covers are not just for smokers.  They are a useful tool for anyone.  You don't have to carry a plain, ugly lighter.  Bead a beautiful, creative cover and you'll be proud to carry a lighter too!

The photos in the post include (top to bottom) "Wolf Tracks", "Turtle Tracks", "Bear's Paw" and "Owl".  I have several other designs in the works right now.  The list includes Horseshoe, Gecko and Feathers.  If you have any ideas that you would like to share, please e-mail me or leave me a comment.

Blessings,
Beth
Bouncing Wolf Creations

beading weaving patterns can be found at
www.beadpatternsboutique.com/catalogue.php &
http://www.thebeadcoop.com/

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

March is "The Month of the Turtle"

Turtles are a symbol of both a beginning and an ending. You see, in order for something new to have room to grow, something must come to an end.
I hope that the new that starts to grow-- soon-- is the flowers, and the grass, and the leaves on the trees. And that the thing that comes to an end is the SNOW. I live in the North East and we have had way too much.
But I guess I should not complain too much. Being snowed in has given me a lot of creative time. I have a lot of new ideas in progress.

The first set that I would like to share with you is my "Turtle Tracks" set.

I just posted the new Lighter cover for sale. Here is a photo.


I personally love the leafy green fringe on the bottom of the lighter. One beader commented that it made it a bit more "girly".

It is available right now at www.beadpatternsboutique.com/catalogue.php (in the lighter covers category) & at http://www.thebeadcoop.com/.

I love the motif so much that I have designed an entire set of jewelry to go with it. Here are two of the other pieces that are coming.

I hope to have the earrings posted on March 3.

The bracelet should be ready by March 10.

And the pendant/necklace (which I have not photographed yet) should be done by March 17.

I am also hoping to have a barrette to complete the set on March 24.


All of the patterns will feature complete instructions to finish the pieces. I hope you like them and that your Spring begins soon and Winter ends quickly.



Blessings,


Beth





Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Catching Up! Quilting & Sewing Projects

The busy-ness of the "holiday season" has come and gone. I am one to make a lot of the gifts that I give to family and friends. I love the idea of truely giving of myself. And during the time that I spend making the gift, I think a lot about the person who will receive it. I would much rather spend time working in my work room than shopping at the crowded malls.


The only problem is, that in order to surprise people with their gifts, I really can't post photos of the finished projects on my blog. You can see who that could be a problem.


I have been working on some Lakota-style Star Quilts for my husband to use when he does his Vision Quest. I am not sure when that will be, but I need to get a start. Here are some photos of those pieces.
This is the top for the quilt he will use when he goes up on the mountain. It is 82 inches square. I have it marked with a Lakota hand-style quilting design and basted. Now to start quilting. It will take about two months.





This piece is for a special young friend who is having her first baby soon. In my opinion, she is a tennis star, so I used Tennis Raquet fabric as the theme. Because we were not 100% sure if the baby will be a boy or girl, I chose to use primary colors. This one is ready to wrap.





As I said, the Valentine's Day Gifts have also been handed out, so I can also show you some of them. This was my 20-year-old son's gift. It is a quilted, embroidered notebook cover.


My husband love to be in Walt Disney World. We always buy the mugs at the resort where we stay and we refill them during our visit. But sometimes carrying them can be a pain. I found a pattern for a Mug Carrier right before Christmas, but did not have time to make it then. We hope to be heading down this spring, so I decided to do this one for him for Valentine's day. I used Mickey fabric, because Mickey is one of his favorite characters.




My daughter, the budding pastry chef, got a new purse. I found the cupcake fabric in a remnant bin several weeks ago and knew that it was ment for her. She loves pink and butterflies, so this was perfect!
Well, I guess that is enough of my quilting/sewing projects for now. Tomorrow, I will update you on my beading.
Till then, Bead Often and Bead Happy!!

Blessings,
Beth





















































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