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Barbara’s Blog – BBD Art Jewelry

Once Again…

Santa read my list, checked it twice, and brought me wonderful things! The biggest and most wanted item on my list was a Sizzix Big Shot Pro Cutting/Embossing machine and he surprised me with one…I’m loving using it already!  In the past two or so years I’ve dabbled with paper art and found that working with paper definitely brings out the “kid” in me! Starting with the standard size Big Shot machine that allows 6” wide pieces to be cut, I soon outgrew it’s limitations and graduated to the Big Shot Plus that has the ability to handle an 8.5” cutting width, but with the Pro model, I can cut paper, cloth, leather and many other thin materials at a width of 12”.  I’m now able to make large envelopes and folios that I can use to house beading kits and I can cut out thin pieces of polymer clay for use in jewelry making! Best of all, the dies that I’ve been using with the Standard and Plus models can be used in the Pro as well.  I’ll still use the two smaller Sizzix Big Shot models, but I’m really quite thrilled that Santa brought me the Pro!

A Holiday Sale!

If you’ve been eyeing tutorials that are listed in my Etsy shop, now is a great time to take another look.  I seldom do sales, but on the spur of the moment I’ve decided to run a Holiday Sale of 10% off all PDF digital tutorials starting today and running through January 5, 2019 (fine print: the sale does not include a discount on previous purchases). Digital PDFs offer a variety of perks…not only can they be printed, but on a tablet or desktop, a digital tutorial can be viewed in true, vivid colors and the photos can be enlarged to show each stitch and every fine detail of a project!  So, Happy Holidays!  What better time than the lull between Xmas and the New Year to play with beads and start a new project!  


They Are Listed!!!

If you’ve been anxiously waiting, I can now tell you that the “Geometric Oval Component” Drop Earrings beading kitand tutorialare now listed in my Etsy shop!  I love both colourways equally.  The Subtle Tones colourway (shown at the left in the photo) lends an elegant, sophisticated look while the Vivid Brights colourway is a raucous fun-loving walk on the wild side!  Measuring 2.5″ (60mm) in length, the earrings are comfortably light in weight. Each oval dangles from a Swarovski 47ss crystal rivoli and sterling silver ear wires.  The tutorial covers both colourways. I just love these!

Another Sneak Peek…


The tutorial is written and I’m testing it by making a second pair of earrings. To contrast the vivid brights colourway of the first pair of earrings, I’m working with a subtle colourway of opaque purple, silver-lined lime yellow, teal, wine, and orange and brilliant tangerine Swarovski crystal rivolis! The tutorial and kits will be available in my Etsy shop soon. I’ll let you know when they are listed!

A New Earring Design!

I don’t know about you, but at this time of the year I really don’t have time to devote to projects that require weeks to complete, especially if some of the projects are destined to become gifts. I’ve been a huge proponent of beaded earrings not only because I love wearing them, but also because they work up so quickly! I view each as a maquette to test design ideas and they are the perfect vehicle for exploring a variety of color combinations. Unlike a complicated design that can take weeks or even months to finish, l can easily move onto another project or explore different designs if I’m not pleased with the outcome. If you like making and wearing earrings as much as I do, you may be interested in the colorful “Geometric Oval Link Drop Earrings” I’ve just finished. Here’s one of the earrings…the other earring is worked in the same colourway, but the colors are rearranged, which makes the pair far more interesting than if they were identical.  I’m presently working on the directions and should have the tutorial and kits listed in my Etsy shop before the end of the week. Stay tuned!

Just out of the tumbler!

Because I’m incapable of doing nothing and was unable to bead while my left hand recovered from surgery, I took time to play with Bronze Metal Clay.  Rolling narrow strips of clay out with my right hand, I decided to create tiny components that could be used in various beading and mixed-media projects. The rings can be linked together with beaded strips or attached to earwires from which beaded strands can dangle. The tiny pointed end ovals, flower shapes, and textured squares can be used to embellish bead embroidered projects. And I made a few charms just for fun!  You’ll find my Bronze Metal Clay collections in my Etsy shop

Just in Time!

The Holidays are drawing near and if you’re in need of a quick project or a gift for friends who love to bead, I have just the thing! Tucked inside one of my handmade envelopes are six colors of Japanese 15/0 seed beads and a cute little stainless steel spoon that is so perfect for gathering up errant beads! A tutorial with three patterned design color charts, step-by-step instructions, and photos for creating fast, easy to make Tube beads that can slip right onto the top of the spoon’s stem accompany this kit. The spoon measure just 4.5″ in length and is shown next to a standard tube of Delica beads for reference in the fourth photo. Tube beads are so versatile and can be used as spacer beads in bracelets, necklaces, and brooches as well! This is a great gift for beaders and bead aficionados alike! The project is suitable for those with of all levels of beading experience.You can find the beading kit and tutorial in my Etsy shop.  

Good Medicine!

I’ve recently started designing a new beading project, but it has been very slow-going for me while my left hand is on the mend and stiffness in my right hand is hindering my activity as well (glovelettes are a god-send for achy joints!).   On the bright side, I received good news last week from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads…my “Geometric Staggered Warped Square Bracelet” won a Gold Medal Award in the 2018 Seed Bead Jewelry Contest.  Accompanied by a merchandise gift certificate, it is just what I needed to put a smile on my face!  Timing of its arrival could not have been better.  After all, shopping for jewelry-making goodies is the perfect activity while I rest my hand! Incidentally, you can find the tutorial and beading kit for this design in my Etsy shop!

Good News!

My carpal tunnel stitches come out next Thursday and I’ve been given the green light to start beading again, albeit in moderation…fifteen minutes at a time with a rest period of an hour in between.  No marathon beading for quite a while, but I’m thrilled to be able to pick up needle and thread again! I’ve decided that tube beads are the perfect project for the time being as they work up quickly and can be used in numerous projects. And they are the perfect vehicle for testing various pattern designs! I intend to chart these designs as I go along…I think a fun tutorial will be the end result.  Stay tuned!

A Bit of Freedom…


Hurrah!  My cast has been removed!  For the past week I have literally been unable to do anything with my left hand. Although I enjoyed the respite for a while, the novelty of having free time to read, sleep, and watch DVDs was wearing thin for someone who constantly works with her hands! Stitches will be removed in a week or so. This splint is now my 24/7 companion for the next three weeks until I see the hand surgeon and get the okay for resumption of daily activity in my studio. I’m glad the splint is black…beige splints aren’t my thing. Besides black goes with my wardrobe, which is predominantly black and when I look down at my hand it’s not a stretch to think of Karl Lagerfeld’s fingerless glove-clad hands!

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