Spiraling Pearls, Crystals and Seed Beads

I currently subscribe to Bead & Button  magazine and while I normally rip out a few patterns from each issue that I want to make, I usually find that there is one pattern that I am eager to try over the other ones. From the most current issue that pattern was Sea Strand by Sue Neel. The pictures made it look really intricate and complicated but in actuality it’s quite simple to follow.

From the title of my post you can guess what components I used: 4mm & 12mm glass pearls, 6mm crystal rondelles and Size 11 seed beads.

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To start the necklace I strung alternating rondelles and 12mm pearls on a yard of 6lb fireline – beginning and ending with a rondelle – for my desired length. I then centered the beads on the thread so the two tails would be the same length. I sewed each tail through its corresponding rondelle once so they could essentially be stop beads as I continued to work on the piece.

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Next up, using about a yard and a half of thread I sewed twelve seed beads around alternating sides of the pearls by sewing through the rondelles. Once again I sewed the tails of the thread – which should be the same length as the original thread – through their respective rondelle.

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And for the final strand I used another yard and a half of thread to sew three 4mm pearls and additional seed beads onto the piece. As with before, the tails of this thread should be the same length as the original thread and sewn through their respective rondelle. To end the necklace I used one thread from each end to connect the clasp – I used the original thread – and I ended the other two threads by weaving them through the path of the clasp and ending them in the necklace.

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While a bracelet wasn’t part of the pattern I saw in the article, I decided to make one after completing the necklace. I followed the exact same pattern and technique as the necklace just for a shorter length.

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And finally I made the earrings that were included in the pattern to complete the set.

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Three Long Necklaces In A Short Amount Of Time

While I do have a few projects sitting on my knitting and crocheting needles, I decided to take a small break this week from working on them to make a few jewelry pieces.

I made this necklace about a year ago and unfortunately the chain I used has started to tarnish. I tried to clean it but it was to no avail, the tarnish is here to stay, so, I decided to remake it.

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To replace the chain sections I decided to use some glass pearls and natural shell beads I had in my collection strung on flexible beading wire. I’m always happy when I can use things I already have. So many times I find myself buying more items to create things as opposed to utilizing what’s in my collection.

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For the first section of the necklace I used three different sizes of the glass pearls arranging them from largest to smallest.

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While the second section remained the same as the original necklace, I updated the third section  – which used to be chain – with more glass pearls and the natural shell beads.

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And here’s the completed necklace. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it, but, once I tried it on I was much happier with it than I ever was with the original one.

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Up next I worked on a necklace that I got the idea from while I was out shopping one day. I liked the necklace I saw, but wasn’t too keen on the colors it was made with. I wanted something a little brighter and summery. It’s made up of alternating sections of seed beads and chain.

Supplies for this necklace are pretty basic; size 6 seed beads, two different styles of chains, jump rings and eye pins. In lieu of the eye pins you could use a medium gauge beading wire.

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I started off by creating the sections of seed beads by threading fifteen seed beads onto each eye pin. I had already mapped out the pattern I wanted to follow so I knew I needed eight stacks of the green and white beads and four of the blue beads. The nice thing about using the eye pins is that I only needed to create a loop on one side as opposed to two sides had I used beading wire.

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Following that I used jump rings to combine two stacks of each color. The stacks were about two inches long.

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Now I was ready to cut the two chain styles into two inch sections and attach four pieces of the chain (two pieces of each chain style) to jump rings.

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I had a feeling that the necklace was going to be on the long side so I only connected half of it to get an idea how long it was going to be. And I was right, this one half of the necklace was approximately twenty-seven inches long so I knew I had to make some modifications.

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I ended up re-doing the bead stacks by eliminating five seed beads on each one and re-cutting the chain to match the new length of the bead stacks – approximately one and a half inches. The necklace ended up being about forty inches.

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And finally I used some of the bead strands I got at the bead show I went to last month along with some chain I had to create this final piece.

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First off I created the bead portion of the necklace by stringing the beads onto flexible beading wire. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use spacer beads or daisy spacers between the beads but once I started stringing I realized the daisy spacers were a better fit.

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Next up I cut the chain into three equal pieces and attached them to the bead sections.

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And voila a new necklace. This was by far the easiest one to make and probably my favorite.

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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.