Oct 312017
 

Inspiration comes from so many places: nature, the work of other artists, color palettes and the like.

I’m often inspired by materials, especially when somebody has put them together in a way I wouldn’t have thought of.

fall harvest bracelet cover

This wire wrapped bracelet, full of Czech glass beads, was inspired by a strand of beads in a recent Dollar Bead Box called “Fall Harvest Mix.” 

This bracelet is fun to wear, as several of the beads are drilled off center, making it easy to fidget and fiddle with them!

Something about the matte finish of the beads made me think of candy corn, so I had to run out yesterday to get some just for this photo shoot.

Do you love or hate candy corn? I love it until I’ve eaten too much, then I hate it… and myself, lol.

You may find these videos useful in making this bracelet:

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Fall Harvest Bracelet-Wrapped Loop Beaded Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Feb 012016
 

frosted glass necklace & earrings

I’ve been waiting for just the perfect project to use these frosted cracked beads. I love the way the broken insides look like little druzies with all their sparkles.

This design, which focuses on the beads and is quite simple, is perfect. As a bonus I show how quickly you can throw together a matching pair of earrings.

By the way, I went looking for a link for you for the beads I used, which I got at Michael’s and thought were glass. The link I found (below in the supply list) looks exactly like them but says they are agates. Either way, they’re quite striking and pretty. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Frosted Glass Necklace & Earrings Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials

necklace:

earrings:

  • 2 head pins
  • 2 ear wires
  • 4 3 mm silver spacer beads
  • 2 bead caps
  • 2 8mm hematite saucer beads
  • 2 spacers
  • 2 12mm glass beads

Tools

  • scissors
  • glue
  • 1-Step Looper or round nose pliers & wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers

Directions

To make necklace:

  1. Make a knot 5 inches from one end of 1 mm cord. Slide on a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer. Make another knot right next to the second spacer.
  2. Make another knot in the cord 4 inches from first knot. Repeat pattern of adding a spacer, a 12mm bead and a spacer, finishing with another knot next to the second spacer.
  3. Continue this pattern, having 4 inches between beaded sections, until all beads & spacers are used.
  4. After adding final spacer do not make a knot. Instead knot the two cord ends together, leaving 4 inches between one of them and the nearest group of beads. Add a dab of glue to the knot and trim cords once glue is dry.

To make earrings:

  1. Onto a headpin slide a 3mm spacer, 12mm bead, bead cap, spacer bead, hematite saucer bead and a 3mm spacer bead.
  2. Make a loop with remaining wire and attach to ear wire.
  3. Repeat to make second earring.

 

May 252015
 

summer sparkles bracelet.JPG

This bracelet started, as many of them do, with the focal beads. I just love the colors and the summery images. This set was purchased at a bead show, sorry I can’t remember the name of the vendor. However, you will be able to find many beads like them for sale on Etsy and Ebay. Try searching for “summer beach lampwork beads.”

This is a fairly simple stringing project. The tedious bit was making 64 little bead dangles. The 1-Step Looper helped that process go more quickly, but it still took a while.

I’d love it if you shared photos of your projects based on this tutorial at my Facebook page in the “Your Creations” album.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Summer Sparkles Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 3 lampwork focal beads, 20-30mm
  • 6-8 blister pearl beads
  • 64 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 64 silver plated ball end headpins
  • additional silver spacer beads as needed
  • silver plated toggle clasp
  • 2 silver plated crimps
  • 2 silver plated wire protectors
  • 2 silver plated crimp covers
  • 12-inches .48mm bead stringing wire

Tools:

  1. Slide each 4mm crystal bead onto a head pin. Use round nose pliers or the 1-Step Looper to make simple loops in each headpin, making 64 bead dangles.
  2. Separate dangles into eight piles of eight each.
  3. Add a Bead Stopper to one end of bead stringing wire. Onto wire string: two pearl beads > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > pearl bead > loops of eight bead dangles > lampwork focal bead > loops of eight bead dangles > two pearl beads.
  4. Add a Bead Stopper to other end of wire and check fit of bracelet. If needed string additional silver bead spacers between and/or after beginning and ending pairs of pearl beads.
  5. To finish ends remove one bead stopper and onto bead stringing wire slide a crimp, then slide wire into one end of wire protector and out the other. Add one end of your clasp to the wire protector. Slide the wire end back through the crimp and bring crimp to within 1/8-inch of wire protector. Flatten crimp or use One Step Crimper, then squeeze ends of wire protector together. Trim shorter piece of wire close to crimp. Cover crimp with a crimp cover by picking up with crimping pliers, sliding over flattened crimp and gently squeezing pliers. Use crimping pliers to shape cover into a round bead shape if necessary.
  6. Repeat step 5 to add other half of toggle clasp to other end of bracelet.
Oct 272012
 

Last weekend I had a little “just for me” time and spent the day at a bead show.  Yup, you read that right, a bead show.

Imagine a hall, filled with close to 100 tables… all about beads, bead making and jewelry making.

So. Much. Fun.

(Click on any of the photos for a larger view.)

2012-10-20-bead-show

Some of the tables were like these, piled high with strands. You had no choice but to run your fingers through all their smooth, shiny yumminess.

bead-show-beads-004

Some focused on individual lampworked beauties, like this one that came home with me. Can you say creamy vanilla goodness?

blue-sea-glass-bracelet-still

I wasted no time making these sea glass beads into a quick stretch bracelet.  (Video tutorial coming soon!)

2012-10-20-bead-show-1

Here’s a table of dichroic beads, arranged like a rainbow.  Sooooo pretty.  I wish you all could have been with me; they were so much more sparkly and lovely in real life.

bead-show-beads-001

There were tables of polymer clay bead artists.  (This is the work of Seana Bettencourt.  Her web site is here, and her Etsy shop here.  Sadly, both are rather empty at the moment, but I hope she’ll post some things soon so you can see more of her wonderful creations.)

These little flowers came home with me.  I haven’t a clue what I’m going to make with them, but some day just the right project will come up.  In the meantime they just sit on my desk and make me happy to look at them.

2012-10-20-bead-show-7

More strands of beads.  See those little white baskets in the middle right?  They give those out to shoppers so we can pile in whatever catches our eyes as we browse.

So imagine from across the room a huge CRASH — then – rattle, rattle, rattle…

There was a gasp – a beat – and then a collective, “Awwwww…….”

Everybody there empathized.  lol

2012-10-20-bead-show-6

Individual lampwork beads.  Loved her display with the little lights underneath.

2012-10-20-bead-show-2

I’m still kicking myself for not going back to this table. I wanted to get one of her little vases with air plants.  (Upper right)

2012-10-20-bead-show-3

I also planned to get one of her glass parrots, but then talked myself out of it later.  Silly me.  🙁

Tropical Birdz1 by Mystic Moon Beads SRA U5

The good news is, they’re both in her Etsy shop here. I’ll just have to pay shipping now.  Ah well, lesson learned.  (And the lesson is, don’t leave the bead show until you’ve spent ALL your money!)

2012-10-20-bead-show-5

Tables full of all kinds of wonderful chain, of which I bought a fair amount.  They will certainly show up in future jewelry videos.

2012-10-20-bead-show-4

More luscious yummies.

So, who’s going to come with me next year?  We can mutually talk each other back into the purchases we want.  🙂

 

Oct 312011
 

Perhaps some of you, at one point, have read my About Me page, and have read there that I love to do lampworking. Perhaps you have wondered why I never post any lampwork projects.

The sad story is that I haven’t been able to get out my beloved torch since three years ago for my birthday hubby said he’d build me a studio for lampworking. This sounded like an excellent idea, as the basement sawdust and hot glass don’t mix very nicely. (Burnt carbon makes black streaks in glass beads. Ick.) Anyhow, all my tools got packed away and work commenced. It’s been slow, but he is making good progress, and hopefully I’ll be back in the business of playing with fire very soon. 🙂

In the meantime, today’s holiday reminded me of some beads I made a few years ago. This kitty cat is a favorite of mine. The quality is not the best, I need LOTS more practice to get good, but I like it and wear it.

black-cat-bead-necklace-close-up

The cat is actually made of two beads, the head and the body are separate.  I love how the sparkly bead in the middle looks like a fancy collar.

black-cat-bead-necklace

I wear the cat year round, I only strung the candy corn beads on for pre-Halloween wear.

And here’s a funny story about the candy corn beads. You might notice that they aren’t shiny like the cat beads. In order to make them more realistic I dipped them in an acid etching solution which gives the beads their matte finish.

candy-corn-beads

Shortly after I’d made them I proudly brought my new beads to show my friend, who had taught me how to lampwork. My teenage son, her teenage son and one of their friends were hanging out at her house that day. The friend, who was a nutty kid, spotted the pile of “candy”, dashed into the room, tossed them all into his mouth and sprinted out. It was only a few seconds later he came back into the room, looking appalled and spitting out my awful tasting acid etched glass beads.

I only wish I had a picture his expression, it was priceless.

Fortunately, no beads or teeth were broken in the ordeal, lol.

May all your Halloween candy be real and yummy!

Happy Halloween and happy creating.