Jul 112016
 

The flat spiral is the first bracelet I learned how to make, thanks to a friend taking the time to teach me, and what started my jewelry making hobby. Over the years, I’ve posted many pictures of the flat spiral bracelets I’ve made, still my favorite design for a quick and easy gift, but I’ve never posted a tutorial.

Like I said in my last craft post, I’ve toyed with making my own tutorials, but there are already so many out there with better production quality than I could manage. Maybe if I come up with more of my own designs I’ll have something new to add. Until then, Beading4perfectionists has a great tutorial for the flat spiral.

I still have several flat spiral bracelets left if anyone is looking for a quick gift. If you’d like to buy one, use the contact page and let me know.

I have other designs as well. If you’re local, let me know if you’d like to drop by and take a look.

Jun 272016
 

I made a bookmark for my mother-in-law for Christmas, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I’m not sure why, but I forget to take pictures of over half the things I make for her. I made it from frosted clear seed beads with pink and purple silver-lined seed bead hearts. She’s commented several times on how much she likes it, so I decided to make one for myself.

The little slip of paper I have been using for a bookmark is so worn it feels like cloth, so I’ve been needing a new one. All my other bookmarks are in use holding my place in non-fiction books. I have a habit of putting bookmarks to hold places I might need to reread for research. Using sticky notes would make more sense, but I never seem to have any when I need them. Besides, making sense is banned in this household.

Beaded BookmarkI decided to use square stitch over peyote stitch because it bends nicely where it sticks out of the top of the book. I find making my own patterns easier with square stitch anyway.

I was going to make it about the size of a normal bookmark, but instead made it the width and length I would have made a bracelet. So, if I ever decide to, I can turn it into a bracelet by adding a clasp.

All the beads are Czech round seed beads that I had in abundance. The pattern is simple and I felt a little lazy not coming up with something more creative, but I can always make another one. I have a few patterns I’ve been dying to try, I just need to get the right colors.  

The great thing about this project, you can make it as wide and long as you like. You can have a skinny bookmark as long as a book, a super wide, chunky bookmark or any combination. My bookmark is 20 seed beads wide and about 62 rows long because that’s the size I made the last square stitch bracelet. 

I’ve included some YouTube videos on the square stitch and how to decrease. I’ve thought about making my own videos, but there are already so many great instructional videos, I don’t think I could add anything to what’s already available.

I’m too shy anyway. 😛

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or use the contact page to get in touch with me directly.

May 102016
 

I wanted to do something special for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day this year. She loves things that are handmade, so I’ve beaded and crocheted gifts for her in the past. This year, I decided to do something a little… less simple.

I poured through both patterns I had and patterns I’d collected online, but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I did find something I could modify to incorporate a focal piece I’d been saving specifically for her.

This Rojo Necklace from Beads Magic was the basis for my design. I didn’t change it much, but just enough that I could add the focal in the center.

The whitish and clearish looking beads are Malaysia Jade and the pink drop in the center is pink dyed howlite, I believe. The rest are Czech silver lined seed beads.

I’m not a fan of pink myself, but I was pleased with final product. I’m calling the modified necklace design Beth, after my mother-in-law.

If you’d like to duplicate this design, most of the pattern is the Rojo Necklace. If you need a hand with the modifications, comment on this post, use the contact page or drop me an email and I will do my best to help.

Nov 212014
 

I was looking for something different to do for my mother-in-law for Christmas 2013 and ran across this pattern. She loves butterflies, so I thought this would be perfect.

I found the pattern at Bead & Button for anyone interested in making this bracelet. I still have the purple one and hope to find it a home someday.

I had a hard time getting decent pictures. The beads are silver lined and my camera didn’t like the shine. Did the best I could. I’ve learned more photography tricks since I took these pictures, so hopefully I’ll get better pictures the next time I make this pattern.

Apr 222014
 

My mother gave me a pair of earrings to play around with while making jewelry. The posts were broken and while I thought about just fixing them, I decided to so something a little different instead. This seemed like the perfect time to play with creating a peyote bezel.

Using size 11 and 15 Delica’s (Japanese Seed Beads), I “framed” the earring with peyote stitch using this tutorial. Creating a Peyote Bezel

The earrings are snowflake obsidian with mother of pearl inlay so I paired them with snowflake obsidian and obsidian beads. I was originally going to use 3mm mother of pearl beads between the obsidian beads, but when they arrived, they were a darker color than the mother of pearl in the earring, so I used Czech pearl seed beads instead.

The simple string of beads seemed to look the best after trying many different stitches. Everything else seemed to overpower the bezel.

I gave the finished product back to my mother for Christmas of 2013 and I still have another one to play with. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with it yet, but it’s close to jewelry making season (I stop crochetting and switch to jewelry when it gets warm outside), so I’ll be playing around with it soon.

A few pieces I made are still for sale at CountrySidewalk.com, but only for a limited time. Make sure to get yours before they’re gone!

Mar 242014
 

For Christmas of 2013, I decided to make my grandmother a necklace that she might have an easier time putting on. I’d seen several designs with the clasp at the front and thought that might be easier for her.

It took some time to come up with the rest of the design. I tried several things, but nothing seemed to grab me like right-angle weave with Swarovski crystal pearls. I’d tried other crystal pearls, but they were painted and the paint started chipping before I even started beading.

The more crystals I added, the heavier the piece became. It was heavier than I’d expected and I started to worry that it would be too much for her. I stepped down to smaller and smaller pearls to cut the weight and make the piece less bulky on her neck. I hoped that would make up for the weight.

Making Grandma's Necklace

I forgot to take pictures as I was beading. I wanted to show some of the steps, but I did get a picture after I started embellishing. The picture was taken with my cell, so it’s harder to see the detail, but it’s a basic idea. You can see in the smaller pearls what it looked like before the embellishments.

Right-angle weave is my favorite stitch to embellish. It just adds a depth that the piece lacks and brings everything in tighter.

Grandma's NecklaceHere’s a close-up of the finished front of the necklace. Seed beads and 4mm crystal pearls adorn the front. I thought it turned out pretty well even though the seed beads weren’t the color I thought they were. I was looking for a little more contrast in the cream pearl colors. I didn’t want them to disappear into the other beads or the 4mm cream colored crystal pearls to disappear into them.

Grandma's NecklaceA close-up of the finished back. Most of the time I would only embellish the front, but I wanted it to be less noticeable if the necklace happened to flip over on one side while she was wearing it. I didn’t want to add more 4mm crystal pearls because I wanted it to lay flat, so I used two colors of seed beads on the backside. It also added some extra strength to the necklace.

Grandma's NecklaceThe toggle clasp didn’t look quite right just hanging there in front, so I added some dangles with jump rings. I figured if I didn’t like the look, I could always remove them later. While I wasn’t completely happy with the look, I thought the dangles added a needed distraction from the clasp.

The most important part, once Grandma saw how the clasp worked she was able to put it on by herself. She really seemed to like it and I was happy with the resulting smile on her face.

These are the only pictures I took. I will try to remember to take more pictures at different stages the next time I take on a project this detailed.

Nov 102013
 
May 292013
 

Just like having an expert on call 24 hours a day–here are the answers to any beading questions or dilemmas you might have.

Whether stringing, wiring, or beadweaving, step-by-step photographs, diagrams, and clear instructions will guide you through each stage of your work. The techniques are organized in the order you need them when making a project, from using the right tools and materials to finishing tips for neat, professional results–or you can dip in for help with a particular problem.

Learn about creative knotwork, quick and easy stringing, and how to work with wire. Mix vintage and modern beads, incorporate charms and findings in your work, and rescale and design your own patterns.

Whether you’re using large glass beads, crystal, or seed beads, using wirework techniques or stitches, making jewelry as gifts or to sell, this book has all the answers.

Book description from Amazon.com

This is a pretty good book for beginners. It has many of the basics for wire wrapping, beading, stitches, and loom work. Lots of valuable information about beads, vintage beads, cords, wire, thread, and the tools of the trade. I’m sure I’ll be referring to this book for years to come.

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