Friday, March 2, 2018

Bead Box Creations 2

I'm like to have a project with me wherever I may roam. And, I've recently found it helpful to go ahead and prep for designs while I'm feeling creative and inspired rather than forcing designs when I'm not. Recognizing this tendency led me to create my "Bead Box". It's really just a basic, plastic craft tackle box. But, into each of the compartments, I place the ingredients for a design to be made while I'm away from the house or even when I'm feeling less inspired at home. Just over a month ago, I re-stocked the bead box. And, I just recently finished all the designs in it. Since I shared the contents, I thought you might want to take a look at how I transformed each stack of ingredients. 

 Mixed-amber Chinese crystals (from, a bullet casing, and leather cord became this beautiful tassel necklace. The hardest part of this design was figuring out how to get the kinks out of the leather. I ended up sprinkling a little water on the leather (after cutting it into the lengths I wanted), smoothing it out, and wrapping it in paper towels to dry (with a little weight {a book} to keep it straight.)

I added a large brass bead and brass chain to the ingredients in this mix of marble beads and ceramic elements from Spirited Earth. I'm still a little amazed at how much the feather/leaf piece matches the stone beads. 

I received the elongated polymer clay teardrops in a mixed bag of goodies from Tree Wings Studio and have hung on to them for ages. I've also had the patina-colored long bead caps for a while too. Why I never made the connection before to join the two, I'll never know. But, it finally happened. The teal Czech glass beads were the icing on the cake as they went perfectly with them and helped add a little sparkle to the earrings. 

 It doesn't get more basic and beautiful than this. The 15 brass connector came from a local scrapbook store. I thought it would be best to keep it simple with the blue-black Chinese crystal beads (from so that it could be worn stacked or alone. This beauty is already in the Etsy shop as 15 and Blue Bracelet.

I altered a bunch of Vintaj blanks some months back by embossing and coloring them with Vintaj Patinas. These little birds were in that mix. I paired them simply with salvaged off-white beads and cobalt seed beads. 

Noticing that a bead from Gaea and a found grommet had some of the same colors, I paired these two with green-dyed fire agate and salvaged glass beads. It's hard to see the detail in the picture above, but holes were added to the grommet for hanging. I also used Vintaj Patinas to a bead cap to match the other two before creating a brass chain tassel to hang from the bottom of the whole thing. 

I believe the blue glass leaves were salvaged from thrifted jewelry. Since they were made to stand out, I simply stacked odd-shaped brass beads and jade beads above them.

The light blue glass beads were in a mix from last year's Swap-n-Hop partner while the silver tone tie-shaped charms and the icy blue beads were salvaged from old jewelry. To these, I added a textured silver tone spacer.

You just can't beat a skeleton key on a long beaded chain. It's simple and classic.

Apparently, I have something for pairing amazonite and mother of pearl buttons as there's already a pair of amazonite and button earrings in the Etsy shop. Ha! These are completely different though with a larger button and teardop stones. 

I did a whole story thing on my Instagram about altering the blank, white scrapbook element by adding the butterfly. I had some hiccups while doing it. There were hiccups in making this bracelet too. I wanted it colorful, but more random, but the length kept being off. I'm not sure what I had envisioned, but this works fine. 

This is one of my top two favorite items from the bead box. I had previously made the pendant using a thrifted keyhole and piece of reclaimed tin. It's not a very large piece, but I wanted to make sure it gets noticed, so I left the necklace fairly short. The chain is simply made from blue beads (not sure of the material - glass probably) and brass beads.

This is my other favorite. Again, I made the pendant by altering something. This time, I added a salvaged rhinestone piece to a key. Several clear Chinese crystals ( make up the front of the chain while basic silver-tone chain finishes off the long necklace.

These tiny gold pinecones didn't need much. I let them each hang from an amber Chinese crystal ( sandwiched between gold-tone bead caps. 

I really like these! The violet-colored floral connectors were salvaged from old earrings. They are in between more Chinese crystals ( with brass bead caps. 

Several years ago I made a bunch of these text washers (sealed in resin), and there are still a few lingering around.  Like the earrings above, I just smooshed them in between Chinese crystals. These are accented with black tagua nut beads. 

The stars for these started as silver charms from old earrings. Vintaj Patinas changed that! They hang together below a stack of Chinese crystals, copper spacers, and turquoise discs. 

I was hoping to have the bead box refilled before I shared these creations so you could see what I'd be working on next. However, I got frustrated with my attempts to be inspired when I wasn't really feeling it - hence the need for the box. I'm hoping the beautiful (though pollen-saturated) weather we're having will inspire me to get it restocked and ready. 

Do you have any tricks to getting inspired when you're just not feeling it?
Of course, I could just wait for my muse to return, that seemed to work for the above pieces!


  1. Great pieces and so many wonderful ones/

    1. Thanks so much Kathy! It was nice having the designs already thought out and ready to go for when I was ready to create!

  2. Wow, I must have missed your original bead box post. What a great idea. I am drooling over the elongated patina bead caps. But everything here is fantastic. Personally - when I'm uninspired, I usually just force myself to make a pair of earrings in a familiar pattern, but in a new color-way!

  3. OMG, you were uninspired when you made all these? I imagine how wonderful your creations would turn our if you were actually inspired. The first two necklaces are pure poetry. I love how elegant they look. Your earrings have a variety of textures that I have trouble putting together particularly in earrings. Fabulous job!!

  4. Lots of great pieces from the box! I especially love the rhinestone altered key and the 15 and blue bracelet.

    1. Ann, Thank you so much! I totally dig this solution for ensuring I always have a project to work on (as long as I've stocked the box!) I'm so pleased that you like a few of the designs. It means so much to me when other amazing artists find something they like in my designs!


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