Feb 052013
 

“Bead Soup,” simply put, is a collection of beads.  It can be completely random, like saving all your extra beads in a bowl, then seeing what you can do with them.  Or they can be planned assortments with contrasting or complementary colors.  Usually there’s a interesting mix of shapes, sizes and textures of beads.

bead-soup-beaded-necklace-still

Often you’ll find these assortments calling your name at bead shows or in craft stores.  (What?  Beads don’t call to You?)

This  necklace was made from a purple and yellow packet that leaped into my cart, erm, that is – I just couldn’t resist it.

bead-soup-beaded-necklace-still-hanging

I decided to keep the project simple by just stringing 4 strands of beads onto beading wire, adding bead caps, a pendant and some chain around back to finish.

You know me, it’s got to be adjustable.  🙂

bead-soup-beaded-necklace-still-close-up

As you’ll see in the video, I had a hard time deciding on a pendant until the beads were strung.  Then the choice was obvious.  This is a case of following the excellent advice I once heard to “Make visual decision visually.”  It seems “duh” but often we try to guess without actually seeing.

Anyhow, enjoy the video, and give it a try for yourself.

WordPress has been having issues lately with embedding videos.  So instead of having it here on the blog, today you’ll have to go watch it on my YouTube channel.  Sorry for any inconvenience!

Happy creating.  🙂

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Bead Soup Beaded Necklace

Materials:

  • a “bead soup” assortment of small beads (usually in 50-60 gram containers)
  • 4 20-inch pieces beading wire
  • 2 – 2 inch pieces wire (headpins with the heads cut off work great)
  • 8 crimp beads
  • 2 bead caps
  • 3 or 4 jump rings
  • 2 – 3” pieces chain
  • lobster clasp
  • pendant and jump ring or bail to attach to necklace
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • crimping tool, if desired
  • hemostats, beads bugs or other clamping tool for holding beading wire ends

To make necklace:

  1. Randomly string 16-inches of beads from assortment onto each 20-inch piece of beading wire.
  2. Use round or chain nose pliers to make a U-shaped hook in one end of each 2-inch piece of wire.
  3. Slide a crimp bead onto a wire, then slide the wire back through the crimp, leaving a 1/8-1/4 inch loop of wire.  Flatten crimp bead with chain nose pliers or crimp with crimping tool.  Repeat with one end of each of remaining three strands of beads. Trim excess wire 1/8-inch from crimp.
  4. Slide all four loops onto a U-shaped hook, then use chain nose pliers to close U into a loop.  Slide end of wire through a bead cap.
  5. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead cap.  Bend wire at 90° angle.  Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop.  Reposition pliers to finish loop.  Use wire cutters to trim wire where it crosses beginning of loop.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 to add crimp beads, wire hook and bead cap to other ends of bead strands, leaving about 1/8-inch slack in each wire.
  7. Add 3-inch piece of chain to each end of necklace with a jump ring.  Add clasp to one end of chain with a jump ring.  Add a jump ring to remaining end of chain if necessary.
  8. Attach the pendant to one strand of necklace with a large jump ring.  (Or use whatever means is appropriate for your pendant.  If your bail is closed, you’ll need to slide it onto one of the strands of beads before completing step 6.)
Jan 032013
 

A couple weeks ago I shared a video tutorial showing how to make this necklace.

green-and-blue-lampwork-pendant-necklace-still

In the video I promised to show you how to make your very own tangled wire beads.

tangled-wire-bead-earrings-single-still

As promised here they are, made up into earrings.

tangled-wire-bead-earrings-two-still

You can make your wire beads as large or small as you like, in any color wire, with any color or colors of seed beads.  Imagine the possibilities!

Materials:

  • two ear wires
  • two head pins
  • spool of 22-gauge craft wire
  • 24 glass seed beads
  • two shell beads
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Leaving wire on spool, string 12 glass seed beads onto wire. Use round nose pliers to make a loop with end of wire.  Use chain nose pliers to make a bend after loop. Use chain nose pliers to make a 90-degree bend ¼-inch from first bend.
  2. Use your hands to freeform wrap wire around ¼-inch piece, forming core of bead. Continue freeform wrapping, occasionally sliding down a seed bead, until you’ve used all 12 seed beads and wire bead is desired size and shape.
  3. Position wire on side opposite loop. Trim wire to 1 inch long. Use round nose pliers to form another loop, tucking end of wire into bead. Trim excess wire if necessary.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 to make second bead.
  5. To make bead dangle, thread shell bead onto a head pin. Use chain nose pliers to grasp wire just at point where it exits bead. Bend wire at 90-degree angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop. Reposition pliers to finish loop. Use wire cutters to trim wire where it crosses beginning of loop.  Repeat to make dangle with second shell bead.
  6. Open loop of bead dangle and attach loop of a tangled wire bead. Open loop of ear wire and attach other end of tangled wire bead. Repeat to make second earring.

Happy Creating!

Dec 112012
 

Way back in October Lesley Watt offered up the results of a lampworking friend’s destashing. Can you say super-duper generous?  Wow!

Hey, when someone offers free beads, who am I to turn them down?

bead-giveaway

Yup, the bead I got was in this pile.  I’ll let you play Eye-Spy.  😉

The only catch was that we had to promise to make something with our treasures and share them in a blog hop on 12/12/12.  Sounded good to me!

Here’s the necklace I made:

green-and-blue-lampwork-pendant-necklace-still

I don’t think I could have picked a bead I would have liked more from that pile.  Thanks, Lesley!

green-and-blue-lampwork-pendant-necklace-close-up

Here are the other lucky recipients of Lesley’s kindness.  Be sure to check out their creations.

Lesley Watt –thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.co.uk
Cory Tompkins –tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Rebecca Anderson – songbeads.blogspot.com
Marie Cramp – skyejewels.blogspot.com
Claire Braunbarth – smittenbeads.blogspot.com
Heidi Post – expostfactojewelry.blogspot.com
Tiffany Smith – southerngalsdesign.blogspot.com
Sharyl Macmillan-Nelson – sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com
Ailsa Cordner – bramalfiebeadsetc.com
Linda Landig –  lindalandig.wordpress.com
Caroline Dewison – blueberribeads.com
Renetha – lamplightcrafts.blogspot.co.uk
Kari Asbury – hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Niky Sayers – silverniknats.blogspot.com
Purple Cobwebs – purplecobwebs.blogspot.co.uk
Cilla Watkins – tellyourgirlfriends.com
Therese Frank – theresestreasures59.blogspot.com
Claire Ennis – clairescrystalclassics.blogspot.com
Emma – apolymerpenchant.blogspot.com
Kathy Lindemer – bay-moon-design.blogspot.com
Alicia – allprettythings.ca
Sandy Huntress – keepsakecrafts.net < You are here. 🙂
Lori Bowring Michaud – artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Amy – copperdiem.blogspot.com
Katherine Gale – terrabeadworks.blogspot.com

Just for fun, here’s a video showing how to make this necklace and some of my thought process in the designing.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • lampwork focal bead
  • 1 decorative head pin
  • 1 crystal bead
  • 3 silver space beads
  • 6 beads of “tangled” wire
  • 2 cube beads
  • 2 eye pins
  • 3 1-inch lengths chain
  • 2 10-inch lengths chain
  • necklace clasp
  • 15 5mm jump rings
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Directions:

  1.  To make bead dangle, slide crystal bead onto decorative head pin. Follow with silver spacer, lampwork bead and 2 more silver spacer beads.  Grasp wire with chain nose pliers where it exits last spacer bead; bend wire into 90° angle.  Grasp angle with round nose pliers and start to form a loop.  Reposition round nose pliers and complete loop.  Use wire cutters to cut off excess wire where wires cross.
  2.  To make bead link, slide a cube bead onto an eye pin.  Grasp wire with chain nose pliers where it exits bead; bend wire into 90° angle.  Grasp angle with round nose pliers and start to form a loop.  Reposition round nose pliers and complete loop.  Use wire cutters to cut off excess wire where wires cross.  Repeat to make second bead link with second cube bead.
  3.  Use 5mm jump rings to connect the elements in the following order:                                                                                                                                                                  10-inch length chain > wire bead > 1-inch length chain > wire bead > cube bead link > wire bead > 1-inch length chain > wire bead > cube bead link > wire bead > 1-inch length chain > wire bead > 10-inch length chain > clasp
  4.  Attach a jump ring to end of chain opposite clasp.
  5.  Use a jump ring to attach lampwork dangle to center link of center 1-inch length of chain.

 

 

 

 

Nov 052012
 

This wooden cat bead was given to me by a friend quite some time  ago.  I immediately made it into a necklace, but then didn’t wear it very often.

cat-bead-necklace-still-1

If you have jewelry you know you ought to like, but never feel like wearing, perhaps it’s time for a makeover.

cat-bead-necklace-still

Although the cat is wired up much better than before,  I’m  still not sure about the beads I chose for this necklace.  It may have to undergo yet another redo.   Are those green beads too big?  Are the yellow ones too yellow?  Should I go with more wooden beads and natural colors to compliment the cat?

Ideas?  Thoughts for improvements? Anyone?

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • carved wooden bead for pendant
  • one head pin
  • several seed beads (if needed for head pin)
  • 10 inches of beads to complement wooden pendant
  • 14 inches bead stringing wire
  • two crimp beads
  • two 6-inch pieces of chain
  • four split rings
  • lobster clasp
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • split ring pliers
  • crimping pliers

Instructions:

  1. Slide wooden pendant onto head pin. Add seed beads if necessary to fill in space. Grasp head pin with chain nose pliers just above last bead and bend head pin at a 90-degree angle. Grasp bend with round nose pliers and wrap wire around pliers as far as possible to start to make a loop. Reposition pliers to finish loop. Keep round nose pliers in loop and wrap remaining wire several times around wire above last bead. Trim off excess wire and use chain nose pliers to tuck end in. File wire end smooth if necessary.
  2. Use split ring pliers to attach a split ring to each end of both pieces of chain. Attach a lobster clasp to one split ring.
  3. Slide a crimp bead onto bead stringing wire; slide on one split ring and slide wire back through crimp bead. Use crimping pliers to secure crimp beads.
  4. String on half of beads in desired pattern; slide on wooden bead pendant. String remaining beads, a crimp bead, and split ring from other piece of chain. Slide stringing wire back through crimp bead; pull snugly and crimp securely with crimping pliers. (Don’t pull too tightly against last beads strung or your necklace will be stiff and won’t hang nicely.)
Oct 082012
 

In case you were wondering, here’s yet another way to use cuff bracelet links.  This one is the simplest of all.  (Here are the links for the steampunk bracelet tutorial and the pink floral cuff bracelet.)

blue-cuff-bracelet-still

I love the way the silver, blue and gunmetal all work together. Plus, I find these so much more comfortable to wear than regular, solid cuff bracelets.

blue-cuff-bracelet-still-close

Happy creating!

Supplies:

  • 3 – 1 1/2-inch x 1-inch oval cuff bracelet links
  • 12 – 6mm jump rings
  • 4 – 8mm jump rings
  • 3 inches chain
  • lobster clasp
  • 2 pair chain nose pliers
  1. Attach a 6mm jump ring to each of the four holes in each of the bracelet links.
  2. Slide an 8mm jump ring through 2 adjacent 6mm jump rings, then through 2 adjacent 6mm jump rings of a different bracelet link.  Attach remaining bracelet link in same manner.  Also attach 8mm jump rings to the end pairs of 6mm jump rings.
  3. Attach a 1-inch piece of chain to one end of bracelet; add a lobster clasp to end of chain.  Attach remaining 2-inches of chain to other end of bracelet to complete.

 

Sep 282012
 

I’ve been having fun, making some new items for my Etsy shop.  Of course, as soon as the jewelry gets made, I have to wear it!

steampunk-cuff-link-bracelet-still-1

So, I’m wearing my new steampunk bracelet right now, and loving it.

cuff-bracelet-link-steampunk

What’s listed in my Etsy shop are the individual oval links.

steampunk-cuff-link-bracelet-still-2

I’ll be posting a video soon showing how you can make a very cool bracelet with only one link.  But I’m kinda partial to this one with three.  🙂

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • three oval cuff bracelet links, approximately 1.5 inches x 1 inch (two holes on each side)
  • 14 8mm jump rings
  • eight small beads
  • eight eye pins
  • lobster clasp
  • two pair chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide a bead onto an eye pin. Use round nose and chain nose pliers to make a loop with remaining pin. Cut off excess eye pin. Repeat to make a total of eight bead links.
  2. Open a jump ring; slide into a hole of a cuff bracelet link. Slide on a bead link and close jump ring. Open another jump ring; slide into corresponding hole in another cuff bracelet link. Slide on other end of bead link, being careful to keep everything straight and untwisted. Repeat to attach second pair of holes in cuff bracelet link. Repeat to attach third cuff bracelet link.
  3. Use jump rings to attach remaining four bead links to remaining four holes in cuff bracelet links.
  4. Attach remaining loops of two bead links (coming from the same cuff bracelet link) to a single jump ring. Repeat for remaining two bead links, adding a lobster clasp to this jump ring.

 

Aug 272012
 

I kinda love the look of the chain tassels in these earrings.

chain-tassel-earrings

Don’t they dress up the beads wonderfully?

The key, as I mention in the video, is to make the wire loops large enough to accommodate all the chains.

I can totally see these in just about any color, but I’m liking the white and gold look.

Happy creating!

Materials:

  • two ear wires
  • two eye pins
  • two glass beads
  • two small spacer beads
  • ten 1-inch pieces of chain (12-13 links per inch)
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide spacer bead onto eye pin; then slide on glass bead. Use round nose and chain nose pliers to make the beginning of a loop. (Make loop slightly larger than normal, about 3/8-inch from tips of round nose pliers.)
  2. Slide end link of each of five 1-inch lengths of chain onto loop. Close loop and make one or two wraps. Cut off excess wire, tucking in end with pliers as necessary.
  3. Open eye of ear wire and slide on top loop of eye pin. Close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.

 

Aug 242012
 

These simple, yet classic earrings are a snap to make. They’re sure to be a wardrobe staple.

chain-bead-earrings-video

Like I mention in the video, I chose to use all metal components so these earring would go with just about any outfit.

Materials:

  • two metal beads
  • two 1-inch lengths of chain
  • two ear wires
  • two head pins
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Instructions:

  1. Slide a bead onto a head pin. Use chain nose and round nose pliers to start a loop. Slide one end of 1-inch length of chain onto loop. Complete loop with one or two wraps, tucking in end as necessary.
  2. Open ear wire. Slide other end of chain into ear wire. Close ear wire. Repeat for second earring.
Happy creating!

 

To my regular readers, sorry I’ve been missing for the past week.  I’m working on climbing out of my own personal black hole at the moment, so keeping the projects quick and easy.  Hope you enjoy.  🙂
Jul 302012
 

A reader recently commented on this bracelet I was wearing in a previous video tutorial.

memory-wire-bracelet-still-brown

I made this some time ago and it’s a favorite.  It may look like a series of bangles, but it’s actually one 36-inch length of memory wire, strung with beads.  Super simple.

memory-wire-bracelet-still-blue

This bracelet in shades of blue and green uses the same basic bead pattern. You don’t have to string your beads in a pattern, they could be random, or you could use all the same beads. It just occurred to me that a random assortment of all different metallic beads would look really cool. Hmmmmm… the possibilities.

In the video below I give you some tips on using memory wire, plus some design ideas for your beads.

Happy creating!

Jul 252012
 

Today’s What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday shows me in the middle of making another jewelry video, this time for a necklace.  I usually don’t use this desk for my video tutorials, but I needed the room for the bead design board.

2012-07-25-woyww-making-jewelry-videos

Yes, that white thing on the left IS an embroidery hoop. I stuck a couple layers of white fabric in it and used my favorite two-binder-clip trick to stand it up.  Actually, I think I like it better than the purchased light filter on the right.  Go figure.

There isn’t much else interesting on the desk, unless you count the Trader Joe’s chocolate hiding towards the back.  Which *I* find quite interesting, but it’s mine, all mine, mwuah-haha.  >:)

Anyhow, speaking of jewelry tutorials – I’ll have another one up for you tomorrow, so be watching for it.

Hope you’re having a creative and happy summer!