Friday, September 28, 2012

A Great Site for Bead Lovers

I found a fantastic free site on the Internet a while ago.
It is Bead Swap - USA Home of the Traveling Bead Box, started by the kind and generous Nicole Weltch.

Any one who loves beads, components, creating, and loves to share with others can have a ball after signing up for it. There are swaps of ALL kinds opened to members. None are required. You can pick and choose what most interests you. In some swaps, a traveling box just makes it way down the list of people wanting to be in on it (I am currently moderating the Polymer Clay Box for Bead Makers). In others you are partnered up, within the common theme, and swap according to the rules for the swap. There are other areas on the site as well, for introducing yourself, your latest creations, your website or studio on the Internet, and a live chat room. SO MUCH FUN - SO MUCH TO DO!

The most recent swap I participated in was the 2nd Hand Swap. The premise was to go to a thrift store in your area, and purchase jewelry items costing no more than $3, then send them off to your partner to be remade, and returned to you. OH BOY, GOODIES IN THE MAIL.

Here are the items I purchased at the Salvation Army Family Store:
Butterfly Pin and Multi-strand Bracelet
This is what my partner, Nancy Rocknich, did with them:
 She added the butterfly pin to her amazing seed bead creation in the form of a flower, so it would "look as if it were flitting around in a flower garden." Then she added this pair of earrings to match the necklace.

 These are the items Nancy sent for me to use for my creations:
I have had very little experience working with pins. So they presented me with quite a challenge in the beginning. The first one I tackled was the large silver one. I knew I wanted to fill it in with my polymer, so I made a large spiral cabochon, and buffed it to a high shine. To me it looked like a volcano erupting, so I titled it "Lava Flow". I then used black crystal dangles, from Lea Avroch, to "add to the flow".
 Next came the gold leaf ring. Again, I wanted to fill in the center, but it also seemed to call for a resin topping. So I attached a backing of faux Mother of Pearl, that was in my stash, placed a random selection of gold and clear rhinestones, and brown half shell beads to it. After adding the resin, I couldn't believe it dissolved the tops of the rhinestones, leaving the flat base. Thus my "Pizza Pin" was created.
Finally it was time for the pearl pin. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but not sure it would work out. I dove in and snipped off one half of the pin component on the back, and used the other half as a self bail to attach an eye pin to it. Then came alternating short sections of an oval link chain and sets of pearls and iridescent crystals. From a pin came a necklace I love. IT WORKED!
Thanks for listening to my adventure into this, oh so much fun swap, and if you want to join in the future fun, consider going to the link at the top of this post and joining us all on the next one!


  1. Love love love the pins. Great job

  2. Marlene,

    I'm so glad I saw this reveal! Wow, what a cool bead exchange. Your partners seed bead jewelry is lovely, and the three pieces you made are beautiful! The polymer with crystal dangles from Lea Avroch is awesome -- love "Lava Flow" ! And I had no idea resin could dissolve rhinestones, oh my! Your "Pizza pin" is cool anyway! lol.. And I also love your pearl necklace - gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  3. How cool is it when something goes wrong, but it makes something so right LOL. If you had known those rhinestones would dissolve in resin, you would never have ended up with the neat pizza look. It's especially fun to experiment when we use inexpensive items, and sometimes the upside is quite remarkable!

  4. Hi Marlene,
    Great designs for your partner and from you. I love the pieces that you made with the pins.

  5. I'm sorry I missed this swap. I love pins so I especially liked seeing what you did with those. Your lava is awesome and I like the pearl and crystal necklace.

  6. Way To Go, Marlene! I like the Pizza Pin the best, even more so because it was unintended. All of the "final" products are pretty. Nancy's Butterfly In A Garden is fanciful and well done; I just love it.


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