Sunday, May 29, 2011

Netted Bracelet in Turquoise, Garnet and Silver with Beaded Bead Dangle

Well, that's a mouthful for a title, eh?! I had made the beaded bead awhile ago and had envisioned using it for a dangle on a bracelet. After learning the tubular netting technique, I decided the beaded bead was the perfect accent for a coordinating bracelet. I used turquoise crazy lace agate, Czech druks in garnet AB and silver 15/0 seed beads. I added additional coordinating accent beads and a decorative toggle clasp with the beaded bead dangle inserted into the accent beads. Fun to make and wear!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beaded Helm Weave

After completing the Dragonscale bracelet, I had extra 20g Sterling Silver and Enameled Copper in Red rings left. As luck would have it, I discovered that the simple, but elegant Helm Weave could be made with 20g rings of the exact same inner diameters! What luck!!! So, I set to work on the weave, but I decided to vary the monotony of the pattern by adding Sterling Silver beads to the single, large rings. It gives the necklace a beautiful drape and adds a touch of beauty to an already lovely chain maille design. I'm not the first person to think of adding beads to chain maille, but I think I can make many variations on this theme in the future.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dragonscale Chain Maille

I've been a busy little beading and mailling bee, finishing up myriad UFOs and plotting new twists on old designs. I finished (after running out of the Sterling Silver jump rings and reordering) my first Dragonscale chain maille bracelet in Sterling Silver and Enameled Copper (EC) in Red with a Sterling Silver tube clasp. It is a pain-staking weave, slow and intricate. However, the resulting piece is lavish and drapes beautifully! I'm working up another using EC in Red and Amber on a double bias. Yes, I like to torture myself :P

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ootheca Cuff Finished!

I have finally completed the Ootheca Cuff in Berry Colorway. The design is from Rachel Nelson-Smith's Seed Bead Fusion book. This was a labor-intensive effort, but the resulting reversible cuff was worth the time. I didn't realize the bracelet was reversible until after I had created both bases in the same color, but I did use two different colors of Swarovski bicones on either side to make it somewhat reversible. I'll no doubt make another, however, it will be one of my go-to projects when I'm between other designs. My next project from her inspirational book will be a pair of earrings that seem to be able to be worked up in a day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beading is...Stress Therapy

I made this bracelet while staying in Madeira Beach during our kitchen/family room demolition phase (see my new blog "Age of Destruction at I went to the local bead store, Celestial Beads, and bought my supplies and sat down with Anne to make an Autumn-themed bracelet using a pattern by Deborah Farrand. I used Swarovski Pearls in Burgundy, Swarovski crystal bicones in Crystal Copper and a Miyuki seed bead mix in Golden Grains (topaz, brown, beige and cream). The clasp is a sun/moon toggle in antique gold.

I really enjoy beading no matter where I am. I have a plastic portfolio case that I cram with all my latest projects and a travel cosmetic bag crammed with more project components and beading tools. Needless to say, I don't always have what I need to finish a project...jump rings, thread protectors, the 'perfect clasp' or ear wires, but I've got plenty to keep me busy beginning a new project or continuing an existing one. While the house remodel rains chaos and insulation down on my head, I know I'll have a peaceful time in my bead room.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fandango Bracelets!

I am shocked that I haven't posted anything about Bead Crochet. Truth be told, bead crochet is the first beading technique, after basic stringing, that I learned. In fact, it's the first self-taught, bead weaving technique that I mastered. I had a few failed attemps, when I was 9 or 10, at crocheting a scarf that ended up being long enough for a baby doll, so it wasn't like I was a crochet guru to start with. Undaunted by my lack of a solid crochet resume, I remember sitting down with my instruction booklet by Mary Libby Neiman, my crochet hook, some thread and some beads and thinking..."Wow! This is going to be awesome!!" Approximately two weeks into my 'tutorial,' I wanted to pitch the entire knotted mess into the garbage can, set it on fire and do a dance around the bonfire. Oh, but I'm a sucker for the 'impossible challenge' and so I continued to crochet beads into mangled, unrecognizable forms. I eventually referred to my creations as 'cat yak', channelling all the Feng Shui that Bill the Cat had to offer. Then one day (six to eight weeks into my self-imposed, self-respect mutilation), in one of those *insert Angelic Chorus here* moments...I created a perfectly formed bead crochet tube. The rest is history. I could not turn back after the beads fell into perfect harmony. Now, in a total ironic twist, this is my go-to relaxation technique! Here are my latest creations...various colors of three sizes of seed beads generate this spiralling bracelet design using bead crochet techniques. It looks like a complex geometry problem, but it's jewelry!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sonoran Sunrise

I have been eager to finish this beaded tubular netting necklace for quite some time. The tubular netting technique actually works up quite quickly, but I must not be the fastest beader in the West ;D I had chosen the colors, turquoise-colored jasper and orange carnelian, because I was in a Southwest frame of mind for some reason. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one. One of the patrons of my local bead shop came in with her version of a Southwest jewelry design the day I was finishing mine! I happen to love the colors of turquoise and orange nestled in a bed of silver. I also made a pair of beaded bead earrings to coordinate, which for me is a big accomplishment...I always forget to make the earrings :P I have started a bracelet in a combination of Czech glass druks in garnet with the turquoise-colored jasper with silver accents and made a coordinating beaded bead dangle.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FEST March Challenge Winner!

FEST stands for Florida Etsy Street Team to which I belong. Each month we have a themed challenge and members are free to submit one entry to be judged by the followers of our fabulous FEST Blog. You can check out all our events, tips and promotions by visiting us here: ( Last month our themes were Aquamarine or Spring. Our winning entry was this beautiful jewelry set by Mandy of TwinkleJewels85. Please visit her Etsy shop to view more of her lovely jewelry designs (!

Here is a short bio from Mandy: I am originally from North Carolina. I moved to Florida last June and love it !!! I enjoy all types of art ;) I would like to go to an Art school and get out of the field I'm in ;) We shall the meantime I'm just going to enjoy doing this as a hobby...

Congratulations Mandy!! Your Wire Wrapped jewelry set is beautiful! Stay tuned to see what this month's Challenge entrants come up with. The themes are 'Diamond/Crystal' or 'Singin' in the Rain.' It is a fun and creative way to showcase the multidisciplinary talents of our group :D

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ootheca Cuff: Berry Colorway

This project was inspired by Rachel Nelson-Smith's design from her vivacious and inventive book, "Seed Bead Fusion." I chose a colorway with a ripe berry theme, since the 'bumps' reminded me of luscious raspberries and blackberries. This particular design is beautifully conceived, however, the execution is a bit of a challenge. Thousands of seed beads are required to construct this cuff and while the finished piece is well worth the time and effort put forth, let's just say I've been weaving this baby for quite some time now and I've still got a ways to go! In the first stages of the design, two 6x29 unit bases are created in Right Angle Weave (RAW). Then bumps are added to the base at every other unit. The two units are then sewn together (this is where I'm at as I type). My next step is to embellish the cuff with 3mm Swarovski bicones and then add a clasp and safety chain. I'll update as I make progress with these final touches.

I've gotten the two halves sewn together! Now for the embellishing phase...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Freeform Wire Wrapped Paramecium Cuff Bracelet

I have finally taken the plunge and have begun to learn the art of sculpting wire into shaped forms. My first attempt, while primitive, was a blast to make from beginning to end! I used a base of 12 ga aluminum wire and wrapped with various lengths of 22 ga craft wire in silver and red and finished with wire wrapped red coral beads. I really didn't have a master plan when I began my project (not something I'd recommend for a newb). I did have a vague idea of a general shape for the base, so I made a highly detailed sketch of that to help me get started (ok...note to self: in the future, maybe a little more detail).

Then I started bending and wrapping the wire and added the beaded detail when I ran out of space. I think it kind of looks like a unicellular organism or a multi-toed space alien with red nail polish. I'll let you decide :D

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dragon Droppings

Not the most alluring title for a blog post, but it is fitting! I was teaching myself Turkish Round Maille weave and had been fumbling around using a visual diagram that just wasn't clicking in 3-D for me. So, I started and stopped numerous times using rings of various diameters and gauges. Observing the mess of little mistakes on my work table, it reminded me of something a dragon might spit up/excrete after devouring a Knight in Shining Armor. In this case, some very shiny and colorful Niobium armor. I decided to scrap the chain tutorial and search for another that would be compatible with my topographic vision of the weave. Voile! I found a tutorial that allowed me to create a Tapered Turkish Round Maille Necklace in Pastel Niobium! Chew on that Dragon :D

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's Black and Gold and Red All Over?

This is a slight modification of a Sabine Lippert bracelet design. Sabine is an extraordinary German beadwork and jewelry designer. You'll find many of her patterns at as well as a calendar of her teaching engagements. For this design, I embellished the middle with Swarovski Jet bicones and used Miyuki drops to form a beaded 'prong setting' for the crystals. I have fallen in love with Sabine's intricate beadwork designs and this lacy bracelet is the first of many that I plan to make!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Limon Byzantine and Celtic Flowers

Am I in a citrus-y mood or what? I had started out with the intention that I'd make another Japanese 6:1 bracelet, but my hands had other 'ideas'. I decided that a Byzantine chain, interrupted by Celtic flowers or knots, would be bright, cheerful and not too floral.

I have recently purchased four (4!) books on chain maille. Two are by Scott David Plumlee: Chain and Bead Jewelry, Geometric Connections and Chain and Bead Jewelry, Creative Connections. The other two are Chained by Rebeca Mojica of Blue Buddha Boutique and Link It! by Susan C. Thomas. All three chain maille artists are innovative and exciting designers. Something I admire and aspire to be myself, when/if? I grow up ;P

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wire Work Newbie Tries Her Hand At A Perri Jackson Tutorial

I am sooooo envious of all the superb wire work and metal artists in our community. I have been admiring the designs of so many artisans, but haven't had the nerve to venture into the realm of shaping wire into intricate patterns and sculptural shapes. Then I happened to find Perri Jackson's DNA Twist tutorial ( and decided to take the plunge. I was skeptical, not about Perri's ability to write and illustrate a tutorial, but about my ability to follow the instructions and replicate the pattern! However, I did exactly as Perri outlined and wound up with my first woven wire pendant. Admittedly, I was afraid to use precious metal wire and crystals on my first attempt, so I used the very inexpensive 'Fun Wire' and seed beads. Hey! Ya gotta start somewhere :P Perri writes her tutorials in such a well conceived and illustrated format, it was a blast from beginning to end!! I think I'll make another one...this time I'm going all in =)

Friday, January 14, 2011

UFO #1

OK, I admit that I have seen more than my fair share of UFOs! All of the UFOs (UnFinished Objects) live on my work bench and make fleeting appearances and then disappear into the cosmos. I made a tentative New Year's resolution: capture any invading UFO that surfaces, quarantine it and probe my bead stash until I find the components necessary to finish it. This is my first 'encounter': a lonely earring without a mate. I was short one of the larger gold pearl beads to complete the pair. After much digging around 'Area 51', aka 'my unlabeled bead boxes', I found the matching bead and made the clone of the first earring. Victory is mine!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Florida Orange Juice

It is not even Spring yet, but in Florida the citrus industry is in full bloom! I decided to enter this design into the Florida Beader's Calendar Contest for the February cover. This bracelet is a Japanese 6:1 chain maille weave using non-tarnish silver and tangerine jump rings and is interlaced with sterling silver and Swarovski crystal 'seeds.' Yummy! Ironically, I had a difficult time photographing this piece of jewelry as there hasn't been a lot of sunshine in the Sunshine State lately :P