Statement Necklaces

With Summer finally here and temperatures on the rise it’s the perfect time to start wearing amazing necklaces that the world can see. Wearing a beautiful necklace that’s covered by a coat keeping you warm during the colder months is just not cool. I recently made a few necklaces that are worth showing off that I would like to share with you today.

Up first… Statement pendants that I picked up at my local craft store that I accentuated with beads, crystals and metal beads to create one-of-a-kind necklaces that can be worn with a tank top and jeans or dressed up for a more formal occasion.

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Next, two multi-strand necklaces that have instantly become two of most favorite necklaces I have made. I especially love the silver-tone necklace as I used a variety of stones in different colors so the necklaces can be worn with multiple outfits.

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And finally another multi-strand necklace made with Tila beads, seed beads, stones and crystals. I came across this pattern a while back and had been eyeing to make it for a while. I ordered all the beads and stones to make it and then let it sit for a while. I’m happy that I finally got around to making it though as the final piece is definitely not something you see everyday.

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Now onto making more pieces…

Bead & Yarn Project Round-Up

Hope you all had a good weekend! So, as of late most of my posts have mainly been focused on the “spatula” part of the title of my blog, but, I definitely haven’t forgotten about the “bead” nor the “yarn” part. Hence the Bead & Yarn Project Round-Up title of this post. I tend to work on these projects without taking the time to take pictures of the process or the progress so today I will be sharing with you pictures of the final product.
 
Up first two yarn projects…
 
This is a clutch I crocheted following the Candy Color Clutch pattern from Lion Brand Yarn using their Bonbons Yarn in Nature. While the pattern called for using simple buttons that would need a crocheted button cover, I opted to add a little pizazz to the clutch and used gold-toned buttons instead. The pattern was super simple to follow, but, I did find it a little annoying to change the color of the yarn every two rows, but, the final look was worth that extra work.
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Up next, a baby blanket. The Dreamy Lace Baby Throw – also a Lion Brand Yarn pattern – which I used Pound of Love yarn (also from Lion Brand) in Honey Bee. This pattern was also quick and easy to follow, the one thing that concerned me was adding the shell border, but luckily I was able to add it without incident.
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And now on to the bead pieces…

My new favorite beads to work with are SuperDuo beads. The beads have two-holes so you are able to create some pretty cool earring and bracelet designs.

Like this bracelet…

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These earrings…
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Or this earring and bracelet set…
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Another two-hole bead that’s been fun to work with are Tila beads and CzechMates Two-Hole Tile beads.
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I’ve also finished a few crystal embellished seed bead bracelets. These are probably one of my favorite bracelets to make because even though they do require a bit of work to complete, you can play with all kinds of color combinations to create a very unique and original bracelet.
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The cross-weave bracelet using bugle beads, pearls, seed beads and crystals.
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The same bracelet but with an embellished edge comprised of seed beads and drop beads.
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Some ladder stich earrings.
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And finally, a cube and crystal bracelet.
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Hope you enjoyed looking at these items as much as I enjoyed making them. Have a great week!

Tiles, Tilas & Triangles

While round seed beads are fun to work with – they are versatile and offer a uniform look to most jewelry pieces – sometimes it’s nice to try out different shapes and sizes to get pieces that are unique and more intricate looking.

One such bracelet is the Tila Token bracelet by Marcia Balonis that was featured in the June 2012 issue of Bead & Button Magazine Bead & Button Magazine. When I started working on this bracelet I went by the material list that came with the pattern; 5mm Miyuki Tila beads, Size 11 Japanese cylinder beads (Delicas) in 2 colors and Size 15 seed beads.

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Things were going well through the first few steps…

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But when I started to add the Tila beads they weren’t lying flat and although it’s not pictured here I was having a hard time keeping the Delicas close together on the sides of the bracelet. I tried restarting the bracelet a few times but in the end decided to try it with different size beads altogether.

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I opted to go with Czech Tile beads, Size 8 seed beads in 2 colors and Size 11 seed beads. Czech Tile and Miyuki Tila beads are similar in that they are square beads with two holes but they differ in that Tila beads are 5mm and Tile beads are slightly larger at 6mm and are more rounded around the edges and corners. Because of that roundness I prefer the look that Tile beads give a bracelet over Tila beads.

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I started off by working in ladder stitch to create the first two rows of the bracelet.

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I then switched to flat herringbone stitch to create the next few rows and to add the Tile beads throughout the bracelet.

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This was actually the first time I used the herringbone stitch and while it took a few minutes to get the hang of it once I did the bracelet came together rather quickly.

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To complete the other end of the bracelet I once again worked in ladder and herringbone stitch and then attached a magnetic clasp and the bracelet was done.

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Using the same Czech Tile beads again – along with Size 11 seed beads – I created a bracelet I will call Squared V’s.

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I knew that the bracelet was going to be four tile beads wide so I began by stringing the following pattern for my desired length: one seed bead, one Tile bead, eight seed beads, one Tile bead, one seed bead, one Tile bead, eight seed beads, one Tile bead, etc. Once I reached by desired length I went in the opposite direction and sewed through the Tile beads adding seed beads by one where my starting point was one seed bead and decreasing by one seed bead where my starting point was eight seed beads.

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I kept this pattern going adding the Tile beads where necessary and it wasn’t long before the bracelet was done. FYI… The greatest amount of seed beads between your Tile beads will always be the number wide of Tile beads you want to use times two. For example, if you only want your bracelet to be three Tile beads wide the greatest number of seed beads used would be six, if it was five Tile beads it would then be 10 seed beads. I then added seed beads to the ends to attach the clasp and the bracelet was done.

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Since I did have some Miyuki Tile beads sitting in my stash waiting to be used I decided to make a few more of these bracelets.

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And finally I used Triangle beads to create a pair of earrings that I came across in the April 2013 issue of Bead & Button Magazine under the pattern called Triangular Opulence by Ana Rao. To be honest I am still on the fence as to whether or not I like them. I am thinking it has something to do with the color; I opted to buy clear Triangles to make them since I figured I should stick with something neutral. I guess I should have gone with something bold instead. Along with the triangles I also used 11mm crystal drops, Size 11 seed beads, and Size 11 cylinder beads (Delicas) to make the earrings.

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Using the ladder stitch I stitched together six triangles to form one unit and then stitched four more triangles to that unit to add on a second unit. I then added triangles to each of the end units, once again via the ladder stitch.

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Once the base was done it was time to start embellishing it. I started by adding the crystal drop.

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I then stitched a Delica bead to the front of each of the triangles and a Size 11 seed bead to the two centers of the base units. I attached an earring finding to the top and as simple as that the earrings were done.

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The Great Gatsby Inspired Bracelet

If you haven’t seen “The Great Gatsby” I highly recommend it. After watching it I actually regretted never having read the book. I was supposed to read it in high school but after reading a page or two I opted to read the cliff notes instead. It’s probably one of the few cliff notes I have ever read as I have always enjoyed reading, but that was just one book that was impossible for me to get in to. I thought for a second of reading it now but that regret soon subsided as my previous sentiments were validated by many… the book is boring. Baz Luhrmann apparently took some liberties in adapting the book to the big screen.

The movie has inspired a new wave of fashion trends especially in jewelry. Just check out the new collection from Tiffany’s, which is gorgeous but out of most peoples price range. I suppose jewelry made by the company 1928 Jewelry will be experiencing a surge in sales now as it’s a little more affordable. The jewelry from that era was more like pieces of art more than anything else. A friend of mine came across a bracelet/hand ornament on M&JTrimming’s blog that was inspired by the piece Carey Mulligan’s character Daisy wore in the movie that she liked and asked me to recreate.

The supplies: a yard of pearl rosary chain, a pearl and rhinestone applique and a clasp.

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To begin I made the actual bracelet part first. Since the pearl rosary chain is connected by interlocking eye hooks I was able to connect the chain to the clasp without the use of jump rings which gave it a much cleaner look.

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Next, I used fireline to sew one section of pearl chain to each end of the applique.

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I then made a ring with some of the chain and attached it to one end of the applique.

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I then attached the other end to the bracelet and voila, as simple as that a Great Gatsby inspired bracelet.

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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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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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