Posts tagged: blue

Lovely larimar

Larimar is a beautiful blue semi-precious stone mined in the Dominican Republic.  The blue colors are like ocean colors in the Caribbean and the stone is popular on many islands in the area.  On a trip to the Virgin Islands I picked up a specimen of larimar cut like a small marble and a card indicating what stones came from each part of the world.

Here I tried mixing various blues and stirring the colors with a metal rod to create a marbled effect.  These beads do not have the usual clear coat of glass called encasing, so the color is right at the surface of the bead.  It was an interesting challenge to try to match the color.  First I made a core bead and then layered more colors on the surface and stirred those together by hand, being careful to just heat the outside of the bead and not get the entire bead molten.

Stir it up!  Click on the photo for an enlarged view.

larimar marble and beads

September ending

Summer has continued through September in Seattle with hardly any rain, which we badly need.  The warm weather allows me to continue beading.  The shorter days mean that if it gets dark while I am at the torch, an assortment of insects such as those giant crane flies might get in and buzz around me.  If they are drawn to the flame they are toast.

red white and blue


Here are a couple new rows of handmade beads:  The ever popular red and black, colors that are just made for each other.  Of course they have tiny hints of gold.  Click on the photo for a closer view.

The dark blue beads were made on 9-11, the 11th anniversary of the attacks on our country.  They have a black core, layered with translucent red which is nearly invisible against the black.  Above that float specks of blue and periwinkle, with hints of white or white specks of sand and clear encasing.  They are a subtle red, white and blue but the colors themselves can represent mourning, fire, police, firemen, lost souls.  With hints of green and purple the sorrow is the color of a bruise.


A mourning cloak butterfly stopped by, a rich deep brown with yellow accents.

mourning cloak


Mr Mo stopped to check out another project in the works.

what's that Mo?


Ocean’s calling

beading in progress

Enjoying blue beads again, I am working on a new wrap in aqua colors.  Here are pictured some seed beads in tubes and the tray, the tiny needle used for the peyote stitch fringe, and two handmade beads on a stainless steel rod.

The royal blue wrap was made earlier and I have the basic strand assembled for the aqua blue necklace.  It has three handmade Aura Sun Arts beads in the seafoam blues that remind me of tropical oceans.

seafoam blues with a bit of fringe

Here it is with the ruffled fringe of smaller seed beads added on.  I may add some fringe to the right side of the strand just to see how that looks.

I have not been to the beach in a long time, but I take a look at Hempstead Beach on Long Island New York, by webcam when I want to pretend.

Click on either photo for a closer view.

It’s a wrap!

This week’s necklace is a wrap around style that can be worn in a variety of lengths.  Crisp blues and white seed beads in a free form scalloped edge complement the three larger handmade Aura Sun Arts beads.

blue and white wrap style necklace

The entire strand is 19 inches, but it is shown here as a 16 inch choker.  The lobster claw clasp in the front makes it easy to hook over the main strand where you like.  I will be making some variations on this theme in other colors, and it will be fun to come up with matching earrings.

Click on the image for a closer view.  The ruffle is best appreciated in person; the tiny seed beads woven in a peyote stitch create a flexible fabric.  This style necklace will be in the $175.00 range.

Blue with hints of spring green

Seafoam blues with hints of green

The Vernal Equinox arrives, and today’s creation features three Aura Sun Arts beads strung with a range of blues and hints of green.

The handmade beads feature my favorite blue and gold glimmers, and tiny air bubbles encased in clear glass.  I add the air bubbles by making a mesh of glass strings and encasing over that.  Many glass artists view air bubbles as mistakes, but I find them to be really fun.  When you spin the bead the bubbles look like tiny planets in orbit.

Click on the photo for a closer look.  This one is 24 inches and needs no clasp.  It has already gone to a good home, but a similar creation might cost $95.00.

Fire bead in a woven choker

fire bead in peyote stitch woven choker

Finally finished another woven seed bead choker this week.

I call this series Fire beads because of how great they look in full sunlight – like they are on fire!  Translucent ambers and blues with glimmers of gold and lots of encased air bubbles make this handmade Aura Sun Arts bead special.

The focal bead colors are repeated in the seed beads along the necklace, in shades of amber and brown, with flecks of gold and a scattering of blues.  The bead weaving technique, using upholstery thread and a tiny needle, is called the peyote stitch.  With it you can create patterns or completely freeform pieces, it is much like knitting.

Browns and blues just naturally complement each other, it’s a good team.  Here is another shot to show the detail on the end clasp.  Some of the beads were just 1mm in size, it made this one more challenging.  It is 15.5 inches long.  $250.00.  Click on each photo for an enlarged view.

fire bead with bubbles

Black with moonstone

black, gold and blue focal bead with moonstone accents

This week’s handmade Aura Sun Arts creation features a focal bead with a black core, drifts of metallic gold and bluestone, and captive air bubbles encased in clear glass.

The lentil shaped moonstone accent beads along the necklace have their own mysterious hints of blue and gray.  So sophisticated!

It measures 18 inches; the balance of smaller seed beads are in colors of matte and oil blacks and gold.

Click to see it close-up for true appreciation.

To learn more about the optical properties of moonstone, you will find the Wiki entry on adularescence is most enlightening.

Spiral peyote choker

Spiral peyote choker

Today’s necklace features an Aura Sun Arts lampworked bead with blues and traces of gold.

The necklace is 16.5 inches long, and is strung on stainless steel beading wire, with a tube of spiral peyote stitch seed beads embellishing each side.  The seed bead work is done with a tiny needle and upholstery thread.  Click on the image for a larger view.

Weaving the beads and thread is somewhat like making running bond brickwork.  You will have a string of beads with alternating beads standing taller, and you add the next bead between two tall neighbors.  I have used seed beads of three different sizes here, which makes the pattern more free form.

The Wikipedia article on brickwork has some interesting terminology for bricks, like soldier, sailor, shiner and stretcher; all names for how the bricks are placed in the wall.

The bead weaving is a slow process which makes this style more expensive, resulting in a price range of $90.00 to $120.00 for this one or similar necklaces.

String ’em up

After a summer of bead making, when the cooler weather arrives, it is time to string up your creations into wearable jewelry.  There are so many ways to do this, but the very simplest is to wear a bead on a ribbon or leather cord.  Another easy way is with flexible beading wire and crimping tools.  With a crushable tube of silver (a crimp bead) you can secure the wire to the end clasps to finish your strand.

Finished strand of beads with loose seed beads

Here I have a blue green center bead I made with some companion beads – seed beads and some slightly larger beads for more color and contrast.

A variation on this would be to have three or more strands of smaller beads holding that larger center bead, the multi-strand necklace.  Next time I will have a knit tube of seed beads forming the necklace to show off, stay tuned.

the mo report

Hello Mo fans!

bandit bob in hiding

We have a guest report this week from Bandit Bob!  He is a very handsome kitty that lives in Bend, OR.  With his deep blue eyes and fancy markings, he is one special boy.

Yes, it was a road trip weekend, going to visit other cool cats.

Bandit Bob lives in a house with a pretty garden, and like all cats, he knows where he looks good and chooses to hang out there.  So the blue birdbath that matches his eyes is one of his favorite stations.

bandit bob at the birdbath