Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jen Jen

Last month the worst thing that can happen to a parent happened to my friend Jackie.  Her 27 year old daughter died suddenly in her sleep.  My son is 27 years old and I can not even imagine what Jackie has gone through this last month since Jennifer, or Jen Jen as she was affectionately called, died.  I know her pain is greater than anything I could even possibly imagine.  A parent should never have to bury a child.

I wanted to provide comfort, but had no idea how, when I thought to do a memorial charm bracelet honoring Jen Jen's life and achievements.  This way Jackie can fondly remember her daughter and have a piece of Jen Jen with her at all times.  

I had absolutely no idea how I was going to accomplish this. So I thought about the things that Jen Jen did and took those thoughts to the nearest craft store to see what I could create.

I knew that Jen Jen loved silver, so I started with a silver chain bracelet and started adding charms and crystals along the way.

First I started with a toggle clasp.  The toggle end is an angel and the loop end has four hearts etched on it.

Jen Jen was very active in plays and chorus during high school.  She was also active in a local theater.  So this musical themed charm is a tribute to Jen Jen's musical and theatrical talents.

Jen Jen was a fire cracker baby, being born on the 4th of July.  These Swarovski crystal hearts are red in honor of Jen Jen's birthstone.  They are used to accent the other charms on this bracelet.

Jen Jen was an avid softball player and volunteer coach.  She loved the sport and to help others.

Here is Jen Jen's high school senior picture.  

This charm says it all......

J is for Jen Jen.

Jen Jen inspired others with her creativity, so this charm is a tribute to her inspiration.

After her passing, many, many people have related their own personal experiences and achievements due to Jen Jen's encouragement and dedication.  This bracelet can not truly reflect all of Jen Jen's great characteristics ~ I'd need a million charms ~ but I hope that it can provide some comfort to my friend and help her remember the good times with Jen Jen.

I normally sign all my blogs Happy Beading!  But this is not so happy beading :(


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Playing with Tilas

I must confess that when the new Tila beads finally arrived a few weeks ago, I stashed some aside for me to enjoy!  I really like the bronze TL457 and TL2006.  The contrast of the matte and shiny really intrigue me.  Tilas are new beads from Miyuki, they are 5mm x 5mm x 1.8mm and they have two parallel  holes.  These new unique features require more creativity from beaders when designing with them.

So I set to see what other Miyuki beads would work well with the Tilas.  I stuck with the 457 color and the 22L colors.

I wanted to make a simple bracelet out of the Tila beads, using the contrast between the finishes to create a pattern.  Weaving the Tilas together in this offset pattern, I needed some coordinating beads to fill in the ends left open.  I started with size 11/0 Delicas in the 22L color.  Four of the DB22L beads fits the space perfectly.  But I don't like now they come down on the right side....

Next I tried the 10TW457 beads.  And two of them fill the area, but I don't like the twisted appearance.

Next I tried the smallest Delicas DBS22L.  I like to color, but four beads don't quite fill the gap.

Next I tried the smallest of the square beads SBS457.  These 1.8mm beauties fit three in a row in the gap.  But again I don't like the way it comes down on the right.

So I finally went with the size 10/0 Delicas DBM22L.  It still pulls a bit, but I figure that it will work out best and now I need to decide on a pattern for the bracelet.....

I've chosen to weave the shinny beads through the matte ones in a zig zag pattern......

Here is a close up of the pattern.

I took quite a bit of time studying how I would clasp this bronze beauty.  I really like the color of the 22L Delicas and I really like the delicate nature of the size 15/0 beads, so I used DBS22L to add an extra row of beads to the end.  Then I ladder stitched the 15/0s.  I did a flat Peyote even count strip and zipped it together to create the toggle and attached it to the beads extending out in the ladder stitch.

Then I did a strip using 3 drop Peyote to create the loop end of the toggle.  Again I used the DBS22L beads to add this finishing touch.  

Here is the finished bracelet.  The bracelet is very slinky and moves so nicely.  I'm rather pleased with this piece and wear it often.  I can't wait to get back to playing with more Tilas and create something new....  Maybe I'll go with white this time.... or maybe the matte copper.... or maybe the matte green... it's a good thing there are only 30 colors ~ else I'd never decide on which one to use next!  LOL

Happy Beading!