Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christmas Beaded Ornaments

This year, I am participating in the Art Elements Blog Hop.  I had grand ambitions...and then December happened.  It comes around every year and all of a sudden its time to go to concerts and bake cookies and get gifts and then its Christmas! 
Here are my two ornaments....

I wanted to learn how to make a beaded star.  I've seen many on Pinterest with beautiful, complex designs and there is one with snowmen on it that I would love to make.  So, I made a prototype, just to learn the stitch and how it all fits together and that's as far as I got right now. This pattern is from Diane Fitzgerald's book, called Shaped Beadwork and Beyond.  My first beaded start still sits pretty on the tree, even if the design is slightly plain.  I actually found another link on Bead and Button and another way to make these stars and may try it as well.  Diane Fitzgerald's idea has you making five beaded components and then sewing them together.  Bead & Button's idea has you making 10 beaded components and then sewing them together - which may be helpful if creating intricate designs on the faces of the stars. 

My second ornament came from the idea given at Art Bead Scene blog.  Why not make an ornament with all my favorite hoarded art beads?  I really like these beads and had to have them but either found them too big for the more delicate or flat jewelry I like to make or too whimsical for the jewelry I make.  But I love them hanging on the tree!
The art beads included are: a spunky cowboy pendant by Jade Scott (who no longer sells these), beautiful handmade glass beads from Loupiac, and an enameled copper bead with the saying "Less is more" from Blue Antiquities.  Less is more is a phrase I keep trying to live by but find many challenges with.  This wreath isn't in traditional Christmas colors because I'm planning on hanging it by my kitchen window to enjoy all year after the tree is down. 
**The in between beads are pyrite and the wire was found on the ground after a nearby utility pole was getting changed out.  I collected a whole bunch of one foot wire segments - not sure what kind of metal it is, maybe steel?  It's silver colored and slightly hard.
Can't wait to see what everyone else made!  Merry Christmas!

Here are the links to the other participating designers:  
Guest Designers
Art Elements Team

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Geometric Beaded Bead

Has anyone seen the beaded bead tutorial on Pinterest?  If you have, you may recognize the pattern on this bead. I pinned it over a year ago and was very intrigued both with the pattern and how it was done.  So my curiosity finally won out and I tried it.  The Pinterest one looks like it uses Czech seed beads.  I used delicas, so its a little more angular.

Here's a link to the pinterest inspiration:

Monday, June 5, 2017


It's my birthday month!
So I am offering 20% off any items over $10 in my shop.
Use Coupon Code:  BIRTHDAY20 when checking out.

Also, look for some new listings this week in the shop.
I have quite the inventory right now and would like to share and sell some of it.

While I haven't been making quite as much jewelry these last two months, I have been "earning" some new bling...
Finishing two half marathons in the month of May. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bead Soup Blog Party - Bead Hoarder's Edition

First, Thank you Lori Anderson for hosting another Bead Soup Blog Party.  This is my third and I've enjoyed meeting other Beaders across the US through this platform.  BSBP is back!

Second, Thank you Annita Wilson, my BSBP partner.  She sent me some awesome beads.  And it was fun working with them.  So, here were the beads that were sent to me....

 I started making jewelry with many of the components but only happily finished a few ....
The beautiful yellow green and black cut stone was made into a tassel pendant for this long necklace.  The chain is made up of white shell beads and gold Czech glass beads.  A fun, long bohemian necklace. 

Next, I split up the pair of purple, magenta and turquoise blue puffy rectangles and made a bracelet with many handmade components.  The faceted beads are polymer clay.  Check out how they are made here:

I love how this bracelet turned out.  The colors go together so well!
Lastly, these beaded bead earrings were made with the strand of AB purplish beads. 

Thank you again to Annita.  I loved working with the beads. 
Here's the beads I sent her:  
Check out her blog to see what she did with them:

And make sure to check out all the Bead Soup Blog Hop participants by checking them out here:

Stay tuned.  I have a leather bracelet that was started with the green shell beads that will soon be finished! 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A green bracelet - perfect for St. Patrick's Day.  

This one is also from Kassie Shaw's Beadweaving Beyond the Basics.  I love this FRAW.  The base of the bracelet sewed up very quickly.  And this would look so much more dramatic in black Czech glass and a navy blue iris seed bead underneath with silver accents.
But there are only so many hours in a day.  
So this one is inspired by Spring, which really needs to come back to the Midwest....

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Yo-Yo Reversible Pendant

Here's another beaded item from the Beadweaving Beyond the Basics book by Kassie Shaw.  I love the bright colors and the fact that it is reversible.  Everything is so bright and cheery in this book - I really could stitch up the whole book.  This one just needs a neckchain and its all good to go. 

This is the first time I've worked with a lunasoft cabochon.  The colors are so vivid.  But I do have a question - because they have a soft top to them - do they get scratched and do they pick up dirt easily?  I had this lying on the table and when I picked it up, noticed that a few crumbs were 'stuck' to it.  They easily brushed off, I just wonder if hair 'sticks' to it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


These beaded beads are called Wheelies and are from the book Beadweaving Beyond the Basics by Kassie Shaw.  Kassie introduces the concept of FRAW (faux right angle weave), which really makes right angle weave go so much faster.  I love the idea and have now done a few projects from the book. 

The book shows these little cuties as earrings, which are very darling.  The only con I have with these earrings is that I can really see the thread that I am not crazy about.  I don't know if my size 8's were too small to fill in the spaces.  It's definitely not a tension thing - I couldn't pull it any tighter.   Nevertheless, they are still very cute!
  Side View

 Front side and back side.  The center bead pops up in the front. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Beaded Beads

I've been on a kick lately, trying out different beaded beads. 

These are from the book The Art of Beaded Beads by Jean Campbell.

I think they were called pumpkin beads - which is definitely what they look like.  I like the pink one better - the contrast on the top and bottom definitely makes the bead look more dynamic, although I don't know how important it would be in the long run.  I imagine that these beads would look great as a focal on a necklace or bracelet (they are kind of big - about 3/4 inch tall and 1 inch wide) and they will probably have some other larger beads squished on either side of them so the contrast edging would not be as noticeable. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

jewelry Stringing, Winter 2017 edition

Sadly, this is the last Stringing magazine. 
Happily, I was published in it again.  Two bracelets:

The first was actually a  birthday gift for a friend that she was nice enough to give back temporarily so it could be shipped off to the magazine for photos, but has now since been returned.  If you can't tell my friend has a thing for bees.  The centerpiece is an Italian bee coin that I buffed and waxed and added the chain and embellishments.  Even the clasp has a bee on it!  The clasp is from Green Girl Studios.   The bee charms are Tierracast. 

The second was inspired from the gold rush segment in the magazine and the handmade focal bead (from TreeWingStudio).   Everything just fits so perfectly together in this bracelet.  One of my favorites. 
All the handmade beads:  purple lampwork flower: Thornburg Bead Studio, green/brown ceramic bead:  gaea,  Blue/white ceramic bead:  blueberri beads.  The rest of the beads are pyrite and gold-plated spacers.     This one is now listed on etsy!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Other Hobbies

Like most other jewelry makers, I have other crafty hobbies (several other crafty hobbies).  Over the holidays, knitting was my thing.

My niece is very much into Harry Potter, so I made her a Harry Pottery scarf.  Unfortunately, it took me until a month after Christmas to finish it. 
The lighting is not very good because I was trying to package it up quickly after finishing it or I was afraid it would never go out in the mail. 
With this scarf, I liked that there was no front and back.  It is a great thick scarf for the cold winter.  But if you are making it for a kid, I would suggest casting on less stitches.  Here's the pattern:

In the fall, I also filled the request of my youngest kid, for a minecraft hat: 

The pattern is a purchased download in Ravelry:
And how many times has it been worn?  Not very often, because it soon got replaced with a Target-purchased Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hat.  And that is why I have a love/hate relationship with knitting anything for my kids. I love that they want something their mom made, but hate that they don't have any appreciation for the time it takes.  I guess that sums up most of motherhood.  😖😜

Friday, February 24, 2017

Handmade Polymer Clay Beads

Those titles - I have no original ideas for them so they all seem come out a little boring.

With a little extra time last week, I finally delved into the fun world of polymer clay bead-making.  I've had Erin Prais-Hintz's Fabulous Facets tutorial for well over a year and was able to take the time to use it.

First, it's a great tutorial.  She's very thorough and for someone who has never worked with polymer clay before, it was all useful knowledge.   And even more important than working with the polymer clay, I thought the painting tutorials were very helpful.  I've had the alcohol inks and patinas for awhile but never used them with such great results. 

The end results were very 'fabulous'.  The beads have a lot of depth.  And some look like rough cut stones.  I used different size metal space to make different sized beads, since I'm more partial to smaller beads. 

Some learnings: - first, my hands must have been pretty warm when working with the clay and kept softening the faceted cuts.  And they are so hard to see until after you bake and paint them.  And some of the cuts were a bit wonky, so I had to sand some of the edges down after they baked (which I also learned is better to do before painting them or it creates a lot of rework. =} =}

All in all, more beautiful and unique beads to make jewelry with.  Can't wait to include them in some designs! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bead Hoarder's Blog Party Partner

Introducing Annita Wilson - she's my Bead Soup Blog Party partner for this Bead Hoarder's Edition.  Here's her blog:

I received all of her awesome beads last week. 

Look at that awesome slab of green/yellow/black stone and beautiful purple and blue stones - love the colors. 
The heart was the main hoarded pendant.  It is a lovely mossy sea green ceramic pendant. 
And the detailed butterfly pendant - so many choices.

I have so many ideas percolating - just hope I can pull them off.

Thank you for these beads!!!  Come back on March 25th for the reveal.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop

It's time for the Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop.  I'm so thankful that Lori Anderson has started another blog hop.  The ones in the past were always fun and I've met some other beaders that way.

My partner this time around is Annita Wilson.  (
I sent out her beads yesterday - here's the preview:

I hope she likes them and makes something awesome with them!   And I can't wait to see what she sends.