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 252014
 

Twisted Chain Necklace

I made this necklace for my daughter for Christmas 2013. Made from aluminum jump rings with a lobster claw clasp in a twisting pattern.

I was upset when my jump ring order came in because the red jump rings were actually hot pink. I made it anyway and hoped she would still like it.

It was difficult to get the twist to show up right in the picture, so I hope the pattern comes through. The jump rings tried to stack on top of each other instead of keeping their twisted shape when I put it down.

One of the days, I need to invest in a necklace display for taking pictures if I’m going to keep doing this.

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.

%d bloggers like this: