Monday, December 19, 2011

The End of a big Nymo Spool

Last week, I did it.  I finished off my very first big spool of size D Nymo beading thread.  I purchased my first large spool in 2005.  I was beading more and more, constantly running out of the tiny spools so I decided to get the big spool.  3 ounces, approximately 1,584 yards.  If you like using nymo, I do encourage people to get the large spool because the thread is actually stronger than the small spools.  I only use black and white thread when I bead, but they have started making this size spool in more colors.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pendants, Accent Bangles & Impromptu Sale

This is the time of year when I'm a bit all over the place and I forget to get organized and blog, update my website, etc.
So here's what I've been up to:



Marla needed something to go along with the earrings she ordered from me a year or 2 ago that were for her daughter in law.  The earrings are the color of the copper beads in the pendant and Marla helped pick out the other leaves and colors.  It includes a brown freshwater pearl accent. (Excuse the strings, I'm having her approve it before I cut them all off!)

I do make gifts for some people over the holidays and I love how this pendant turned out.  It is for sale, but if it doesn't move before Christmas, I had it in mind for a gift.  I'm really enjoying beading white pieces lately.  I don't wear a lot of white because it's so hard to keep clean but white glass seed beads don't stain!

(Sorry it's blurry, this girl needs a camera with macro)

I had forgot about these little accent bangles utill Alicia brought them up to me at our office Holiday Happy Hour so I whipped up a few to show off.  They're $25 each or 3 for $60.  Contact me for colors!  I have like a gazillion colors of delicas.

Also I am having an impromptu sale over at the Speaker Law Firm which is my part time job.  My bosses often ask me about what I have for gifts so I figured it's easier to bring it all in at once and Liisa invited me to open our doors to the public.  So if you're interested, swing on by 230 North Sycamore Street, Lansing MI 48823.  It's an older blue/grey house on the corner of Sycamore and Ionia. There is 2 hour street parking.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Geometric Holiday Bangle

We have a few holiday events to attend and I usually get a fun new cocktail dress that goes into a rotation with all the others.  This year's is from Jeanologie in downtown East Lansing.  I have really been into red this fall, which is a color I normally loathe, but I'm completely smitten with it right now!  The dress has some interesting angles and a tiny bit of texture. It is a simple, fitted, strapless design and I wanted to make a bangle that would mimic the angles of the dress.

Below is the dress on my form in the basement (sorry for the unflattering picture):

I thought about putting some LEDs into this bracelet design, and I still might dabble with that and place an on-off switch on the interior of this bangle.  BUT.  I used a matte delica seed bead for this piece as the main black and they break very easily.  I wouldn't try to force these beads to take any more thread and especially conductive thread.  

Thanks Michelle! (at Jeanologie)

You can also purchase this piece from my Etsy shop HERE.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Old-ish Pattern, New Colors

I drafted out this bangle pattern after a trip to Washington DC a few years ago and then actually beaded it a year later.  It promptly sold and I never made another one, until now.  I fondly call it "Our Forefathers" because I was inspired by the tobacco leaf designs throughout the buildings on our tours.  I think it's a little hard to see in the final piece, but that was the shape I started with when doodling this out.

Anne Flora purchased the original in blue/greens and fuchsia/purples.  This new piece looks quite different from the original with it's red, orange and purple coloration that I have been using for the fall/winter.
I will have it a available for sale at the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild Sale this Saturday at Washtenaw Community College.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jess's Sugestion: Pink and Green Leopard Print

If you're around #LoveLansing, then you've probably noticed that we have a roller derby team, the Lansing Derby Vixens.  Jess is one of their team members and had thrown out the suggestion that I make a green and pink one.  Sometimes I get stumped on what I should be making, so someone else's suggestion sounds like fun.  Last week was one of those weeks.  So it turns out I can really do leopard print in any colors.

More colors and price is listed on my Etsy Shop Here.  If you're close by, contact me about colors in a pinch!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Post Halloween Post: Freddie Mercury Accessory

My flash of brilliance for my Halloween Costume this year came while watching old music videos being shown on network TV.  There was a slew of Queen videos and Queen is my all time favorite band.  I decided had to be Freddie for Halloween.  I started a google images search and they make a costume from the Wembley Stadium Concert, but that's not really what comes to mind for me when I think of Freddie.  Something in spandex or white pants and a sweet leather jacket were more what came to mind, with a sash and a wife beater.

He wore a lot of wrist bands, and since I wasn't going to be making much of my outfit, I decided to bead one with him in mind, not just copying one that he had (normally solid or stripes).  I decided to keep it simple but use red antique beads and make a lightening bolt down the center of it.

(Me and Zack at our party)

I finished it off with black leather lacing up the back of it instead of trying to integrate a clasp.  This helped with the theme of the outfit.  All in all, I think it was a success!

(The dancing photo was the only one someone got without my leather jacket on! Thanks Megan!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

eTextiles: Pac Man bangle

This started with Betsy prodding at me to do a Pac-Man designed bangle, but she wants the LED lights in it too.  I needed to try out using conductive thread in solid beads so I went with this design.
Pac-Man, being a simple pixel-based game is not hard to translate onto a bead graph.  I drafted two designs.  The first (which you see here) has Pac-Man and all four ghosts, with 4 LED lights.  The second design has only 2 of the ghosts and 6 LED lights in the design.  We shall see if I get to making the second design.
I wanted this piece to look streamline so I didn't want to mess with putting Sparkle or an on-off switch in it.  During a night of insomnia, I sketched out how to stitch this bracelet to utilize snaps as an on/off switch.  I also created a battery pocket in all black to insert behind the red ghost.
Part of the issue I ran into on the first battery pocket in the original eTextiles beaded bracelet was keeping the pressure from the conductive thread, to the battery.  So on this piece I ordered Wire Glue from and slowly built it up inside the battery pocket.  I also dabbed some onto the LEDs for a sturdier connection. I was fortunate that most of this design is black, as the wire glue is also black.  I'll have to keep this in mind with future projects. I'll talk about my experience with the wire glue in another post. 
Happily, the conductive thread seems to be working well inside of the seed beads, despite all of the thread that I already pack into the beads.  I only had one little incident of a bead breaking (this happens plenty, but it's more difficult to fix when it's with the conductive thread).
This was a fun piece to do.  I think I'll be offering Pac-Man in this design (with the 4 LEDs), and without the LED lights as a snap-on bracelet or a bangle (I made the design easy to adjust to each).  Probably by order-only. Keep an eye out for that on my website and Etsy shop!


Want more?  Here's the Pac-Man Bangle's YouTube Video!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Make and Take Ring Workshop

"Make and Take" Beaded Ring Workshop
with Jenny Schu.

Learn the very basics of the peyote stitch in this simple, sweet little ring workshop.

Only 2 hours long, $25.00

When: November 15, 2011 from 2:00pm-4:00pm
  November 15, 2011 from 6:00pm-8:00pm
  November 20, 2011 from 2:00pm-4:00pm

Where: Grove Gallery Co-op
    325A Grove St.
    East Lansing, MI 48823

How: Contact Jenny- for class availability.  You will then mail or drop off a $25.00 check to Grove Gallery (address above), check made out to Jenny Schu. with day of class writeen in the memo line.

Limit 6 per class.  Must register at least 1 week before the class you want to take or else it may be canceled.
The $25.00 covers everything. 2 hours of instruction (and print-outs), beads, needle and thread to make your ring at Grove Gallery.  You may purchase any of these materials to take with you at the end of the workshop.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here's for the Wolverines

I've never been much into "sports" per se, but the longer I live in a Big Ten college town and the amount of anti-Michigan stuff that was hanging around two weeks before U of M vs MSU, I had a little Wolverine spirit well up in me.

I painted my toes alternating Maize and Blue, and I started in on my first-ever team-based beaded piece. It doesn't have the block M on it or anything, but it's just a little comment that notes my pride of going to such a wonderful Art School. I'm sure my professor is cringing a little since we were instructed in the very beginning that this was art school, we weren't making team paraphernalia.

So, here's my little bead-mix for one of my basic bangle designs. I also feel ok about it because some of the color forecasting for this fall is putting these exact colors together in pieces. I have to say, I was sad that University of Michigan lost the football game.

(I'm still trying to figure out my tripod...excuse the blur.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Red Party Blend Mix Bangle Beaded Jewelry

I have been drooling over the delicious colors in the Fall 2011 Express Magazine that came to my home a few weeks ago.  I'm not usually into red at all.  But for some reason it's got me inspired at the moment.
You can see one of the dresses that I was particularly drawn to here.  So I pulled a bunch of oranges, reds, purples and fuchsias and decided to do a little mix to see how I liked it.

I think it looks like a mini party on my wrist, so I tried out making a ring to match (rings have been a project that has been on my to-do list) which adds a very tiny flash of color if you don't want to go too bold. Which I will get a photo of soon.

This mix was so exciting and different as far as my usual use of colors, I rolled with it and made a leaf pendant and bracelet in the same colorway.

All that's left is a sweet pair of the cluster earrings and my display over at Grove Gallery Co-op will be good to go for the fall!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Purple and Black Double Leaf Pendant with Cluster Earrings

I have been on a roll making pendants and earrings I suppose.  Larger projects are a bit intimidating since I have cut back on the amount of beading I am doing (I have a "mass" on the top of my hand that looks like a ganglion cyst but the doctor says he thinks it's in the tendon.  I'm calling it a "beading bump" since I'm guessing it might have something to do with that.)
So here's yet another variation of a pendant with only 2 leaves. And the pair of earrings to match.  I really like the thin dangle at the bottom of these earrings.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Things You Make Me See Despite the Weather; #1

In getting back to using one of my favorite weaving techniques, Theo Mooreman Inlay, I found inspiration in a hike that I did not want to go on.  The Olympic National park was beautiful, but I did not realize that there was potential for snow in May in the northwest.  I did two chilly hikes and saw much of the beauty that the Mountains of the Olympic peninsula held. 

I took a ton of photos of wonderful mosses close up and had the thought that I could use the layers in Theo Mooreman inlay.  The first image that I zoomed into and drew out, I love the design.  When I started to weave it in the Theo Mooreman technique, it was too dense.  I realized that I had drawn up a pattern for Tapestry, which I had been doing a a lot of.

So putting that cartoon draft aside, I continued zooming in to get a less dense but still interesting image and this is what I cam up with. 

I think I became attracted to the shape of this design because it reminded me a bit of my "Erte Inspiration" piece that I had done way back in 2005.  So I set to work weaving it and planned to have it done by the 2010 MLH Conference. 

It did hang at the Fiberart Exhibit at MLH, but the juror was pretty "meh" about it, and I actually am too.  So I no longer feel bad about not being too pleased with it and I plan on going back into it with more beads.

(This is the piece on the wall: meh.  Center: Fiberart by Marie Gile, Right: Tapestrey by Millie Danielson)

Something I have learned from this piece: Although bead embroidery is easy for me, I do not enjoy the sewing of beads as much as I enjoy the actual weaving of beads.  There are some things that I want to do with more bead embroidery though, so I'm still working to find a method of bead embroidery that works for me.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

3 Leaf Pendant Variation

I made a new pair of green cluster earring this week and I have been trying to pair things with earring and a bracelet or necklace to help with my color grouping a little.  So these earrings came first, but then I started in on a pendant that ended up surprising me.

Sometime last year Deb at our gallery asked me to design a leaf pendant for her.  She is really creative and explained to me exactly what she was thinking when she described a beaded leaf pendant with three leaves.  Hence, the "3 Leaf Pendant" was produced and they have been a very good seller for me. 

As I started in on another pendant, the leaves that I wanted to put together didn't look right hanging symmetrical.  So after some arranging I stitched them together askew and added some accent beads where I thought the gaps were.  I love this new design and hope that you do too!

The Earrings are for sale on my website here:
and the Pendant can be found for sale here:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another Wide Open Bangle

The idea for this particular bangle came from the Blue Wave Diode Bangle in where I used a beaded netting as a base to weave the conductive thread  and LED lights in and out of it.  This green piece began with that same thought process, but as it was coming together, I just didn't want to start putting more "stuff" into it.  It may be that I just wanted the piece done, or it was part of my cleanup of the aftermath of MLH.  I just plunked down with it, noticed the green leaf accent beads that were sitting out and thought "that'll work."

I like the way it turned out.  Sometimes I have a hard time simplifying my designs so I guess being drained this week was a good thing :)

The outside edges of this piece is a green with some rainbow shine which is also accented through the netting.  The main color in the netting is a grey/purple/rainbow tiny seed bead.  The leaf accents have a shiny gold flake on the back side of them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Michigan League of Handweavers Conference, 2011

This is the first year I have had the opportunity to stay for the weekend at the MLH Conference and take seminars.  

This year our guild (Greater Lansing Weavers Guild) was inn charge of setting up the Fiberart and Functional Exhibits.  We were given classrooms instead of actual gallery space but I think we got everything hung and laid out the best we could.  Here's some photos from the exhibits:

Fiberart Exhibit

Artist: Barbara Van Dyke

Artists pieces in this photo: Martha Town, Lestra Hazel, Marie Gile, Marilyn Pruka

"Congratulations and Thank you Mr. Finkle"-Martha Town

"Braided Bangle" -Jenny Schu (that's my Second Place award!)

Artist's Pieces in this photo: Pricilla Lynch, Jill Ault

Artists pieces in this photo: Priscilla Lynch, Joyce LaVasseur

Artists pieces in this photo: Loyce LaVasseur, Loretta Oliver

"Theme and Variations" by Bonnie Kay

Artists piece in this photo: Marilyn Pruka, Majorie Mink, Terry Tarnow, Joyce LaVasseur

"Project Runway Grocery Store Challenge: Ms Closure, Ms. Too Too and Candy Girl" Jennifer Gould

Artists pieces in this photo (that you can actually see): Mary Ippel, Joyce Lavasseur, Loretta Oliver

Artists Pieces in this photo: Marla Smith, Bonnie Kay, Mary Ippel

Artists pieces in this photo: Jenny Schu, Marie Gile, Millie Danielson

Artists pieces on the table on the left: Mary Ippel, Lauren Anderson

Functional Fiber Exhibit

The basic set up of the room

Artists pieces on the back blue board: Leslie Johnson, Catheine Roberts

"Symbols" by Bonnie Kay

"Lemon and Lime Kitchen Towel" by Ellen Wilson

Atists pieces shown here: Ken Allen, Nanck Peck

"Midnight Sky" Rya Rug by Catherine Roberts

Artists pieces shown here: Nacy Hedburg, Anne Flora, Andrea Anderson

Pillow: Priscilla Lynch

Artists pieces hown here: Priscilla Lynch, Marla Smith

All three of these are by Janet Peters

I'd like to apologize for the photography.  I remembered to take these photos last minute, with my phone.  I'll do better next time!  Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to all who won prizes!!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bead Shopping and Bead Books.

I get asked a lot what my sources are, where I purchase my beads, etc...  I needed to make a handout anyway for upcoming classes, but it should be general knowledge of my personal favorites.  So here they are:

Where I purchase my beads:

Fire Mountain Gems (online)

-This is my main source for my seed beads and supplies. If you sign up for an “account” with them then you can save your cart as long as you like. The price goes cheaper per-item that you purchase (15, 50, 200 quantities...) The cart is particularly awesome for when I notice I’m running low on a supply but don’t need it quickly.

Bead Boutique: Lansing, MI

-I go here in a pinch (it’s a mile down the street from me). Barbara is fantastic and very knowledgeable. She also will do really cheap one on one classes as long as you purchase the supplies from her.

Bead Gallery: Ann Arbor, MI

-I have been going here regularly since my college days. They don’t have the seed bead collection that Findings does but if you love gemstones and accent beads, and want to see them in person, go here. They are really specializing in gemstones and have quite the offering.

Findings: Ann Arbor, MI

-Seed beads seed beads seed beads! Go here if you’re looking for specific colors, you’ll be able to find it. They also have a much better selection of 15/0 seed beads than Fire Mountain Gems, so I sometimes have to take a bead trip here.


There are 2 books that I use on a regular basis. I use them for patterns and problem solving my designs.
1) Indian Beadweaving Patterns by Horace Goodhue

-I have owned this book since I was in the 4th grade. It was my original go-to book. You have to read the instructions, but they are very thorough. Horace Goodhue actually studied with Native American tribes and wrote this book.

2) The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells

-This author was suggested to me and you can find her books on Amazon way below suggested retail. I really like this book because of all of the options it has for beadweaving stitches.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Peachy Bangle and Necklace

I finished this bangle a month or two ago and then the necklace I started was left in the dust behind a trail of yarn and weaving on my loom.  I picked it back up and finished it last week though. 

This will probably be the end of "summer-y" pieces as I'm already looking to the Fall Fashions because they have wonderful purples coming in!  (Purple is my hands-down favorite color)

So enjoy this last little blip of my summer beadwork, watch for it over at Grove Gallery before I swap it out in the next few months! For my usual darker-color themed pieces.

Neon with Muted Greens and Tan Jewelry Multi Loop Checker Earrings and Bangle

Between perusing Pinterest for current color ideas and watching the movie  Poor Things  I had the urge to play more with the neon green-yell...