Two Bracelets and a Ring

I decided to take a break from my knitting projects last week to work on some jewelry pieces that I have wanted to get done. In all honesty my arms and wrists needed a break from all of the shoveling I did from when I was snowed-in.

Up first was something super simple… Yarn Wrapped Bangle. I got the idea from a craft email I receive every day from Martha Stewart’s website. All I needed to complete this project was yarn (you can also use ribbon), tacky glue and a plastic bangle. It doesn’t matter the color or pattern of the bangle since you will be covering it up. The one I used had sequins on the inside and only cost $2… You can’t beat that!

IMG_9460

To start off I wound a few yards of yarn into small ball and glued one end to the inside of the bangle. I let the glue dry completely and then started wrapping the yarn tightly around the bangle. Every so often I stopped to make sure there weren’t any spaces between the yarn and around the midway point I added some glue to secure the yarn in place.

IMG_9466 IMG_9478

It didn’t take long before I had a completely new bangle.

IMG_9482

After that was done I moved on to a Cabochon and Seed Bead Ring. I got the idea for this piece from the February 2013 issue of Bead & Button Magazine in an article called Ring Tones. I used two different color size 15 seed beads, an oval cabochon, an adjustable ring and prestiffened felt for my beading foundation. I was able to find the ring and felt at my local Michael’s store and I ordered an assortment of cabochons from Fire Mountain Gems (www.firemountaingems.com) for under $3 so I have plenty more to use if I want to make more rings or pendants and such. As for the size 15 seed beads, I had one of the colors and then took advantage of a sale at Beada Beada (www.beadabeada.com) and ordered an assortment of colors that I normally wouldn’t pick just to have a nice assortment for future projects.

IMG_9472

To start off I cut a piece of the felt to fit into the bezel of the ring. While the directions called for using two or more pieces of foundation I opted to use only one piece since the ring I was using had a very shallow well.

IMG_9474

Next up, I glued the cabochon to the center of the felt. After it completely dried I began to stitch the seed beads around the cabochon using the beaded backstitch. I started with a round of yellow and then added a second round of yellow on top of that round so that those seed beads would come up the sides of the cabochon. I then stitched two rounds of turquoise seed beads around the yellow.

IMG_9488

It wasn’t long before I was done and my embroidered piece was ready to be adhered to the ring. While I did have jewelry glue (which I used to glue the cabochon onto the felt) I opted to use Krazy Glue to adhere the entire piece to the ring so I could be sure it would stay put.

IMG_9492

I was really happy with how it came out and I can’t wait to wear it. And now that I know how to embroider on felt I am looking forward to making other pieces of jewelry.

IMG_9502

And finally the last piece I made was a bracelet that I also came across in the February 2013 issue of Bead & Button Magazine called Crystal Bridges. The bracelet is made with 12mm bugle beads, 4mm pearls, 4mm bicone crystals, 3mm fringe drops, size 11 & size 15 seed beads, 4x1mm daisy spacers and a two-strand slide clasp. While the article did have suggested colors for the bracelet I opted to go a different route and made my bracelet in shades of blue. I had Swarovski Crystal bicones in my beading stash that I wanted to use so I based my other colors off of them.

IMG_9513

To start I created the base of the bracelet by using the crossweave technique to add the bugles and pearls. On a comfortable length of Fireline I threaded a size #12 beading needle onto each end and then centered a bugle bead onto the thread. Then with each of the needles I picked up a pearl and with one of the needles a bugle bead and then crossed the other needle through it. In total I added 32 bugles for the bracelet to be approximately 7 1/2 inches. Just to note, if the size needs to be adjusted the number of bugles beads on the base must be an even number for the top embellishment to work.

IMG_9515

Following that I added the top embellishment. I once again used the crossweave technique to add the pearls, size 15 seeds beads, bicones   and daisy spacers.

IMG_9516 IMG_9519

Once that was done it was time to add the clasp. This was a little backwards to me since I am accustomed to adding a clasp to piece of jewelry only once it’s completely done. Once again I used the crossweave technique to add size 15 seed beads and a bicone crystal to attach the clasp to the bracelet. In all honesty the bracelet could be worn like this and you could forgo the side embellishment, but, if you want more of a unique piece I think it’s necessary to keep going – which is what I did.

IMG_9530

To add the side embellishment – which consists of the size 11 & 15 seed beads and the fringe beads – I worked in a simple bead weaving technique.   To start I added one size 11 seeds between each of the pearls.

IMG_9531 IMG_9534

I then added five size 15 seed beads by stitching my thread through the size 11 seed beads I had just added, which basically left the size 15   seed beads arching around the pearls. I was concerned at this point because the size 15 seed beads weren’t sitting flat. I kept playing with the thread   by pulling it snug and then loosening it in an attempt to have them fall flat, but, it didn’t work. Luckily the final step rectified the problem.

IMG_9535

Finally, I added the fringe drop beads by sewing through the three middle size 15 seed beads from the five I added in the previous step.   Basically the fringe drops sat next to the size 11 seed beads. I ended my thread and my bracelet was ready to wear. Unfortunately I’ll   have to wait a while to wear it since the colors are more for Spring/Summer.

IMG_9549 IMG_9550

It’s Time To get Beading and Crocheting/Knitting

I’ve been piling up yarn for the past month or so for knitting and crocheting projects and I finally decided it was time to start working on them. On my plate I have two baby blankets, a cardigan and a scarf to make. I definitely have to get the blankets done, but, there is the possibility that the cardigan and scarf will end up sitting on the back burner once I am done with the blankets. I tend to push big projects that are for myself further and further down my to-do list as other things come up, especially if they are quick and easy.

IMG_9255

First up a baby blanket using Red Heart Soft Baby Steps Yarn in Light Grape.

IMG_9261

While I thought it was going to take a while to work this blanket up, after a few hours of crocheting I am happy with my progress and am looking forward to the finished product.

IMG_9269

I also have some beading projects that I am eager to get done as well. In a recent issue of Bead & Button magazine there were a few pieces that piqued my interest. While going through my own collection of beads to pick out colors I realized that I wasn’t too happy with the colors I had so I decided to take advantage of a sale at a beading website and stocked up on some different colors of size 15 beads. I also added some bugle beads, tila beads and cabochons to my collection.

IMG_9247

Stay tuned to see what I create!

Crystals & Wire Pendant

At a shopping event I went to last month I saw a pendant that was made with crystals and wire that instantly caught my eye. While I did like it I thought it was a little too pricey and knew it was something that I could make myself since it was a free-form design that didn’t follow a specific pattern.

I used 22 gauge gold-tone wire (anything thinner would probably not hold up to all of the wrapping and anything thicker may be too difficult to wrap with) and random Swarovski crystals that I had left over from other projects to create my pendant.

Using about a yard length of wire I just haphazardly started wrapping the wire around itself adding crystals wherever I thought necessary. Afterwards I used round-nose pliers to curve any loose portions of the wire to ensure that the pendant would stay together. After about 25 minutes of work I ended up with a unique piece of jewelry.

I’m sure I’ll make a few more of these but I’m thinking I’ll use stones and seed beads next time to create more of a statement piece.

Teardrop Double-Strand Necklace

While going through some papers I found a magazine rip out of a necklace that I liked and wanted to make – a long gold-tone necklace with semi-precious teardrop gems and pearls. I didn’t have those exact components, but, I did have blue/yellow swirl glass teardrops and gold seed beads. While I did have glass pearls as well I didn’t like how they looked with the teardrops and seed beads. So I opted to go with coral glass oval beads which I found at my local Joann’s.

My supplies.

I got to work on making the necklace and decided to place six size 10 seed beads between alternating teardrop and oval beads using gold beading wire. I made two of these strands in different lengths and attached them to a double-strand toggle.

And here’s the finished product.

 

Unfortunately I wasn’t too happy with how it came out. I didn’t like how the necklace was hanging with the double-strand toggle. Also, my strand length wasn’t proportioned well between the two strands so I felt that the longer strand was too long. And finally, the seed beads I used weren’t the best quality so the gold tone began to rub off. So, I decided to make the necklace again.

This time I used TOHO Size 11 Gold Seed Beads that I got at my local Michaels store. I’ve used TOHO seed beads in the past and have never had a problem with them fading so I knew they were a safe bet.

I got to working on the necklace once again and opted to use a single strand toggle this time in hopes that the necklace would hang better.

I was much happier with the necklace the second time around. Using a single strand toggle meant crimping both strands together which provided the weight for the necklace to hang better. To correct the problem of the strand length I decided to leave the shorter length as is and removed two each of the teardrop and oval beads and twenty-four of the seed beads.

Seed & Cone Earrings

I came across an earring pattern – known as the Taos Earrings – while searching through the different projects available on the Artbeads website. They looked simple to make and offered the option of being able to combine different colors which meant they would be extremely versatile to wear.

First things first I picked out the four colors I wanted to use. Being that I only had silver bead cones in my beading supplies I was limited to colors that would look good with silver. Since its summer time I opted for bright colors.

Next, I strung the beads on my thread. Since I wanted the earrings to have a little dimension to them I opted to string a different amount of seed beads on each of the threads. Afterwards I looped the thread through a crimp bead and crimped it.

  

I then used an eye pin to loop through the thread, put the bead cone on and then using the straight wire portion of the eye pin created a loop and wrapped it around the bead cone to ensure it would stay in place. I used a fish hook earring finding to hang my creation and voila it was done. In total both earrings took me less than 30 minutes to make.

While I liked how they came out, I wasn’t too keen on the colors once they were done. So, I decided to make another pair using colors that weren’t as bold.

  

Craft Fair

A few weeks ago I participated in my first craft fair. While I didn’t sell as many pieces as I would have liked, it was a fun time nevertheless. I spent the weekend with good friends and it was learning experience for future shows I may participate in.

A full view of my entire collection.

A nice assortment of earrings and bracelets.

A full range of necklaces.

A close-up view of my Swarovski crystal pieces.

In preparation for the fair I was feverishly working to get earrings, necklaces and bracelets done. Below are a few pieces that were among my favorites.

Crystal and Seed Bead Wave Bracelet – Made with fuchsia crystals and yellow-tones seed beads.

Flat Even-Count Peyote Bracelet – Made with transparent ivory, turquoise and topaz 1.5mm cube beads stitched in a haphazard pattern. I used an actual button for the clasp.

Pink & Gold Necklace.

Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Crystal accents – I actually saw a similar necklace in a recent issue of Stringing magazine but it was strung from silk cord. I initially did use silk cord but didn’t like the way the necklace fell so I opted to use gold chain instead.

Glass Pearl Beaded Ball – This was an experiment gone right. I normally make beaded balls using crystals but saw it one day made with glass pearls so I decided to give it a try and was very happy with the outcome. Up close the ball almost looks like it’s comprised of small flowers.

A Colorful Assortment

A yarn and bead shop near me had a closeout on their entire bead inventory so I took the opportunity to stock up on some bead colors that I normally don’t gravitate towards – different shades of blues are always a sure bet with me. And while I did buy some blues, I was happy with the other colors I picked out as well.
 
Then it came time to put these new colors to good use.
 
The blue wave bracelet was made by starting with a five bead ladder stitch and then embellished with curves consisting of Swarovski Crystals and Size 8, 11, & 15 size seed beads. The double curve bracelet was made with Tila beads (flat square beads that have two holes) and size 11 and 15 seed beads. It was my first time working with Tila beads and while I was looking forward to using them I doubt they will become one of my favorites to work with. I didn’t care for how flat the bracelet was once it was finished. And finally, the earrings are made by starting with a ladder stitch of bugle beads and size 11 seed beads then embellishing it with size 8 and 11 seed beads. I like how these earrings look, but, I just find making them to be way too time consuming.

Necklaces Galore

I find inspiration for the jewelry I make in many different places. It could be from flipping through a magazine, seeing different colors together or from other pieces of jewelry. My biggest problem though is that I tend to buy the components I need to make a piece but then never get around to actually making it because I get caught up with making other things. Recently though I buckled down and finished a few necklaces that I have wanted to make for some time.

Tigerskin Focal and Semi-Precious Chip Multi-Strand

For this necklace I used a 40x30mm Tigerskin faceted glass bead as the focal point and Amazonite semi-precious chips, glass bicones and yellow stone nuggets for the rest of the piece.

Without a definitive pattern I strung the Amazonite chips along with the bicones and stone nuggets on three separate strands of gold beading wire. The only thing I did make sure of was that the stone nuggets were placed along the three strands so that they wouldn’t be next to each other. I then had the three strands go through one of the larger yellow stone nuggets, the Tigerskin glass bead and another larger yellow stone nugget and then continued in my haphazard pattern of stringing the chips, bicones and smaller nuggets.

I was really happy with the final product. It was exactly what I was envisioning.

Coral Semi-Precious Chip Spiral

The idea for this necklace changed quite a few times before I actually completed it. I even changed the design while I was working on it. At first it was just going to be the coral spiral on a gold chain but then I came across some ceramic blue-green beads that I thought would be a nice addition.

Using a basic spiral rope chain technique I strung the coral chips along with clear glass beads in a size 6. I then decided to use small yellow-brown stones I had along the ceramic beads to create the focal piece.

I connected this piece to the gold chain by using size 15 glass seed beads and reinforcing the thread a few times to make sure it wouldn’t ultimately break from use.

Glass, Shell and Metal Multi-Strand

Using black glass beads, white shell beads, two different size gold link chains and wire I created this multi-strand necklace.

Shades of Blue Multi-Strand

When I saw a necklace like this one while flipping through a magazine last year I was determined to make something similar. It took some searching to find the exact components I needed to complete it, 30 strands of beading wire and a lot of counting, but, it was all worth it. This is by far my favorite necklace from this group.

Swarovski Crystal Jewelry Sets

Recently I used different beading techniques to create jewelry sets with Swarovski crystals as the focal point. The set on the left was made with 4mm bicones in Olivine and Vintage Rose (O&VR) while the set on the right was made with 4mm bicones in Blue Zircon and Padparadscha (BZ&P).
 
To create the bracelets for both sets and the necklace for the O&VR set I used the Right Angle Weave technique. I’ll be honest; when I first learned how to do Right Angle Weave I didn’t like it. The finished product was nice, but, I had a hard time just getting into the flow of doing it. I would always forget my place and end up with my thread coming out of the wrong bead. Thankfully working on these bracelets and necklace I didn’t have any issues like those. The one problem I did have was that my thread broke a few times while working on the necklace. I used 6lb Fireline thread which is strong enough but I think that the Right Angle Weave technique weakens the thread after being passed through the beads and crystals so many times. I tried to minimize the problem by not pulling the thread too tight as I added on each new crystal.
 
For the earrings I followed a pattern that I came across in the Bead & Button magazine from June 2011 called Star Power. The technique used is a basic Netting technique. While the link doesn’t provide exactly what I did, the concept is more or less the same.
And finally, instead of creating a Right Angle Weave necklace for the BZ&P set I opted to make a beaded ball using the Cross-Weave technique. Which I learned is actually a form of the Right Angle Weave using two needles instead of one. This is actually the first bead weaving project that I learned.
Notes:
Right Angle Weave Bracelets & Necklace: For the O&VR bracelet and necklace I also used Miyuki delicas (size 11) in metallic light bronze and for the BZ&P bracelet I used Miyuki delicas (size 11) in steel.
Star Power Earrings: Unfortunately Bead & Button doesn’t provide the pattern for free, but, it can be purchased here. I modified the pattern by only using two stars as opposed to three. As for supplies, along with the crystals I also used TOHO seed beads in size 11 and 15 in the color bronze and 2x4mm peanut seed beads in matte metallic light golden brown for the O&VR set. As for the BZ&P set, I used silver-lined crystal seed beads in size 11, TOHO seed beads in silver-lined gray in size 15 and 2x4mm peanut seed beads in matte hematite. FYI, the only place that I have been able to find peanut seed beads is on Fusion Beads. Fusion Beads also has a full list of supplies here for the earrings.
Beaded Ball: I also used Miyuki delicas (size 11) in steel and a 10mm round crystal to create the ball.

Byzantine Chain Maille

I was never really interested in learning how to do chain maille until I saw a pair of earrings that I thought looked pretty cool. So, I searched for a pattern similar to the one I saw, Byzantine, to attempt to make them myself. Since I wasn’t sure how much I would like chain maille I bought an inexpensive pack of 5mm jump rings to get started.
After a few attempts I finally got the hang of it but realized that the jump rings I bought were too small. The earrings were coming together but it was hard to see the pattern. When I put them up to my ear there really wasn’t anything to them. The other issue I had was that the pattern wasn’t staying together. In other words, when I would lay the jump rings down the pattern would completely fall apart and when I would pick them up I would have to move one jump ring so the pattern could take shape again. I wasn’t sure if that had to do with the jump rings or something that I may have done wrong with the pattern.
I decided to take them apart and try again another day with larger jump rings and maybe a different pattern. All in all chain maille isn’t bad. What I found most annoying was taking apart the jump rings and closing them again since I wasn’t happy with how my project was coming out. But, I will say it is better than bead weaving in the sense that there isn’t any waste; when I have to take something apart with bead weaving I always end up wasting thread.
%d bloggers like this: