December as always, has been a whirlwind of activity for me. From past experience I start all my holiday jewelry gift making in July if possible...YES is the only way to get everything done. This December it is still a bit hectic, but this year I am breezing along because I got all my shopping done (most of it) bye the end of November...Yipppeee!!!! This bracelet takes quite a bit of patience to make, a lot of time and effort as well, but I love it. Doesn't it look vintage and expensive? Anything worth having is worth spending the time doing. I think so, and have been making them since I took a class at bead artistry this past fall. It combines stringing, weaving with fireline and softflex!

This month I've been making lots of wreaths, and more wreaths. I took a class from Suzette LaMar on the Victorian Wreath bracelet. I love making these little things and the finished bracelet is really pretty. Using just 3 or 4 colors and changing the placement of the colors gives each wreath a whole new look. I have a very old pattern I designed for a small wreath years ago. My pattern doubles as a snowflake too, so it is very versatile. I decided to make a necklace with a large focal point with more teeny wreaths hanging from it...will post the photos soon.
I have an obsession with medallions and now lately have been into the geometric shapes. I have learned how to make lots of triangles, and square shapes of toggles and am really having lots of fun with them. I bought a kit at a recent bead show, and changed it up a bit to make my own version of some medallions. I'll post that picture soon. I think it came out pretty nice. Instead of using swarovski drops which are hard to come by locally, I used leaves and the results are very different and more like me. The circles and circles in the bracelet above are from a current article in Beadwork magazine. It took a long while to complete because it is comprised of many components such as the ropes, toggle ends, and end caps. It is worth the effort in my opinion. It has so many color possibilites and ways to change it up. JULY-2007
While cyber-scanning beadwork articles, I found a picture of a cute bracelet that I wanted to re-create in my own colors and styles. I didn't want to buy the pattern, so I worked it up the way I thought it was made and this is what I came up with. I really like the flowing little daisies on here, and decided to make another one in sunflower colors for my sister. She loves sunflowers! What do you think? I really love combining beadwork and chain too, I have a couple other beadwork items that combine chain with simple stitches and it just seems to add a little more substance and interest to projects. JUNE-2007
I have seriously got to back into the swing of things, and now is the time to work on 4th of July stuff!!! Be sure and check out the free pattern for the little tube red/white/blue beads. You can make bracelets, earrings, necklaces, or anything fun with them. Last night I finally got into a beading project...!!! I'm working on red, white and blue 4th of July earrings. NEW PATTERN They look like the buntings you put on your porches. (I know that sounds bizarre!) I will post the pattern (for free!! and just for my students) on the Bead Play site. I think they came out very cute. Made with delicas they have a more uniform appearance and are smaller than if using size 11's. Will post the photo tonight!

MARCH - 2007
My latest designing has me working on little shamrock bracelets. I began making little shamrocks first with simple beadwork techniques, and then I moved on to using crystals to shape my shamrocks. I wove them together with small versions and large versions to give it a little more interest. I wanted something to celebrate my Irish/Swedish heritage and am always working on some type of project which is Irish, when St Patricks day is on the 'horizon'. Using 6mm size crystals for the shamrocks and 4mm size for the smaller between ones, all across, for the base of the bracelet. Will Post picture later on "Bead Play".

Some new things I have been playing with are this heart bracelet designed by Yvonne Rivera which is in her bracelet book. It is very easy and just requires you to know one stitch. I also made up a new bracelet pattern design with crystals for a "Valentine Look" . Components are fun!!! I really wanted this to have a valentine look so I used siam and fuschia swarovski crystals. This was a fun bracelet to make.

February - 2007
Ok, so these are the "bracelets from hell" as the designer claims. That is such an awful way to refer to such a pretty bracelet. They take time, effort and I think are well worth the wait to get them done, hence the given name "bracelets from hell". What do you think? Granted they take lots of focus and concentration to get them done, but they are one of my favorite designs to make now. I finally found the pattern for it in one of the magazines from over 4 years ago. Love it Love it Love it!
_ January - 2007
I am soooo ready to do something new, and since it's a new year and I have been missing doing all my collage and fabric work. I decided to try making fabric beads, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Once I made up the beads this is what they began as...(the little tufts of wool) and then the finished little felt bead balls ready for me to embellish with more beads and crystals. I was amazed at just how easy these were to make. It took a little sudsy and slippery practice, but I finally got the idea down. Once I have them all 'jeweled' up I will post more pics.
Well here is my first batch. The very first ones I did were more freeform until my 'methodical' way of doing things kind of kicked in and the next few had more of a pattern. They were fun to make. I made up some more tonight in olive and rasberry colors. I will post more pictures when I have these joined together with lampwork and decorative beads and string them on cords.
One of my finished products using three shades of purple, rasberry and olive colors of wool. Vicki Cederquist lampwork bead is also on there with some dichroic beads I picked up at Bead Artistry, Fresno.

_ Copyright 2006 Gypsy-Hands

Teeny Beaded Poinsettias
Ok, now I am addicted to these little things. I learned how to do these way back when in Albuquerque many moons ago, and had forgotten I had this pattern. I kind of tweaked them a little to fit my personal taste and have been making them for friends. They are peyote stitch, but I also am doing some with ndebele stitch too. I really love poinsettias! This time of year they have so many colors too...I'm looking for just that right color of coral bead to make another version since I have made up reds and whites.
_ NOVEMBER - 2006
Eye Candy! Yummy!
Small medallions of holiday candies
I'm busy taking photos of some of the new stuff I'm working on..I'll post them asap. My current inspirations are christmas candy...I have made lots of little 'chotchkies' to build into a bracelet. Above is just a small sampling. I will post the finished product later on. Keep checking back. As usual I am the queen of components and that's what I've been working on these days again.


Monets home at the Garden at Giverny
Here I will post my beadwork interpertation, "work in progress", of a cuff bracelet using all the beautiful floral and pastel colors found in the garden at Giverny in France. After visiting the garden this past Spring, I really wanted to make something to remind me of how beautiful it was. Watch this spot, as I bead and take you on the same journey.



July - 2007
It seems like all the classes I take from Suzette are seasonal Christmas ones. I took the Santa Peyote one from her and she was nice enough to break down the colors one by one and separate them with a space between lines for easier reading and following along. This helps because it is much like a crosstitch pattern. I cannot be interrupted while working on this type of project, but a magnetic board with magnetic place keepers helps immensely to keep track of where you are if you do have to stop. Will post the picture tonight....
September - 2007
Love love love this bracelet. The sample was done in erinite green and topaz which was gorgeous enough, but I decided to do my bracelet with vitrail 8mm cubes, jonquil satin 6mm, and assorted lime, silver shadow and lt. topaz accent crystals. It really looks like a piece for royalty to wear out for the evening. It takes a while to make. Mine took approx 3 1/2 hours with diligence and constant weaving. Weaving this bracelet requires constant reinforcement to make the cubes stand upright and strong within their spaces. It takes a lot of thread and should be worked with the smallest needle and thread size. The teacher who was supposed to teach the class had an emergency and so Stephanie taught it 'off the cuff'. This is a very special piece that is significant in weight because of the 8mm swarovski cubes and over 24 6mm crystals on it. Will post picture soon!!! It was pretty easy to make combining stringing, and weaving.
_ Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!!
December - 2006
I took this tree bracelet class from Suzette LaMar and loved it. As you can see I decided to do another version in size 11's and 15's The photo is a pastel rendition just for effect, but this technique is going to give me lots of ideas for future projects. Thank you Suzette for a great class!
October- 2006
Lovve Looove this class! It was definitely challenging. You have to follow a pattern much like counted cross stitch in order to get this snowflake pattern. I took this class from Suzette once again. She brought come cute little snowflake buttons to use on our clasp side. This bracelet is best when made using delica beads. They join like little zippers, and on your wrist and they flow so nice and light. I used the etched/cut white delicas and alternated with another shiny white for the snowflakes, and for my background I used a combination of two different metallic blues and just randomly used them throughout the bracelet. Takes hours and hours to make, but the finished product is worth the wait. Love it. Thank you Suzette!

May - 2006
A Japanese braiding technique! Using a Kumihimo loom.
What a great class!!! I took a KUMIHIMO Class at Bead Artistry the Saturday before Memorial Day and really enjoyed it. I paid $40 for this class. Lots of fun and quick! I think I should have used weights or something as I did it, because my first necklace came out a bit loose on the finished end. That is a bit tricky when you take off beads and try to tie the ends together, all the while making sure it is tight. But all in all I did like the class. The instructor "Pam" was from out of town so I soaked up what I could while she was here. I took my whole necklace apart and am re-making it again. (I always seem to do that 'cause my first pieces are never up to my expectations in workmanship). I had brought fiber with me, but didn't think I could use it, until after I had made my necklace and the teacher "pam" said yes you could weave it into it. That's my project this use all my cool yarns and fibers within the new necklace and bracelet pieces.
Here is a link with photos of a loom and weaver in the process of doing the circular version
I was intrigued with the way this bracelets base curled around, which is why I wanted to take this class. It has lots of fringe, my favorite technique to do and it works up really pretty quick if you like fringe. The base ended up being just a simple ladder/square stitch type thing, so I enjoyed the class. I had never met "Debbie" the teacher so made a new friend. She is a very patient teacher with new jewelry designers.
I took this bracelet class at Bead Artistry. Stephanie, the owner taught all 10 or more of us this day and it was a fun class! I is made with crystals and faux pearls. Lot's of bling!



We're back from Vegas...Woooowow. We had a fun time! I had not been there in a long time, although Doug had been there a few times the last couple years. It has changed for the better! In between all the shows, and things we did, I took time out to visit a bead store, where I got FANTASTIC DEALS on crystals. 144 pieces of 4mm for 6.99!!!! 6mm at 72 pieces for 9.99 were amazing deals! I was in heaven! The two store owners were so nice, and they gave me a free strand of pearls as well, since this was my first visit into their store! On top of my great deals on crystals, the delicas were only 2.99 for 10 grams !!! I don't think I have ever seen those prices before. They were basic colors yes, but colors I use regularly, so I had to pick up some tubes of those. In addition to those great prices, they offer quantity dollar discounts!!! Amazing!!!

Bead Artistry Trunk Show

Just a note about the trunk show on Saturday. I spent way too much money!! I did plan for it however, because I love Unicorne beads lampwork designs. I got there early, and found quite a few people there hovered around the tables already. I wanted to make sure I got there for 'first picks' of the best they had. I picked up those cuter than cute sea horses. The swirls of colors they use are just so pretty! I also liked their new little triangle 3-d beads. They had an assortment of the famous little goddesses, which I purchased, and lots and lots of sets of great colors of beads. I'm glad they don't have a store here, because I would definitely go broke. I did hear someone comment "I am not paying $20 for two beads!" I guess it depends on how you look at it. Those two beads were large pendant style beads, and as a designer, $10 for a really unique pendant or bracelet center is a bargain if you plan to resell a design. I guess it is all in how you plan to use them. The seahorses were $8 each, I believe, and where in a department store can you find such a unique item hanging on a pretty chain or strand of beadwork for that price? Just an observation which always leads me back to people wanting so much for so little. I am really so so tired of people wanting something for nothing. I am a devoted artists rights activist. Artists spend so much of their precious time, designing, learning their craft (which costs money), hours of painstaking trial, error, and money, only to hear someone say something like that. It irks me.



Maybe these aren't new, but I haven't seen them. I found some really cool bobby pins with a metal attachment that can be used to glue on your own embellishment!!! Way Cool. Jewelart sells these and Merlin had a cute little crystal flower he had made glued to it. I am the queen of components, so this was perfect for all my little doo-dads to make into hair accessories. Check them out!


_ I am way into medallions these days. It seems everything I make is medallion themed. I see them in my dreams and I have come up with three or four new designs of my own. I guess I like them because they are so versatile, compact, easy to take with me when I bead and storage is a breeze. I am the component queen. Love making lots of components and then I gather all my little bead gems and sew them all together to make one larger piece. Components are quick and I can make them while I sit in front of the tv, sitting outside in the breeze or wherever I choose. I will post some of my most recent ones as I finish them.

All items on this site copyright 2006 J. Carlson


Whoo Hoo!

October 6, 2006
Here is my display case of beadwork with my ribbon
Whoooo Hoooo! I had decided to put in simply a display case at the Fair this year of my beadwork. With some prodding by family, they convinced me to enter a beadwork case as a judged entry at the fair. Well...I have been working on a "body of beadwork" for a year now, and I put some of my favorite pieces into the display case. I really was hopeful, but not thinking I would win anything since it is my first ever entry and judging is rather strict. Judging was yesterday and any names, or identifying companies etc...cannot be in the case while there is judging going on, so I planned to bring my business card and business flyer today and also check to see if I got a ribbon. Well.........NO....NO ribbon in my case, so I was disappointed. Not for long because Violet the 'keeper of the ribbons' told me that I had indeed won a first place blue ribbon award, she hadn't put it in my case yet. I'm a happy camper today. They judge on a point system based on quality, workmanship, showmanship, neatness and a variety of other things, and even if there is only one beadwork entry in a class, you have to have the right number of points to win first second or third place, sooooo guess what? I managed to win it. Whoooo Hooooo!


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