This bracelet popped out of nowhere during a creative slump. I wasn’t intending to make anything in particular, I just needed to start something. A lot of tinkering around with different beads eventually lead to this design, that I absolutely love. It’s the first design in which I’ve used Rose Montees and I couldn’t be happier.
Living in New Zealand, I’m constantly exposed to Pacific Island culture and design. The motif created by the layout of beads is reminiscent of the flower images often found on traditional Polynesian Tapa cloths. I’d like to say that that was the inspiration behind this bracelet, but the truth is, I didn’t see the Polynesian motif in the design until a friend made the Pacific connection when I was looking for a name for the pattern (Thanks Hayley!).
Of course, there is a tutorial for this bracelet, which you can find, with a materials list, here.
It’s been an entire year since I first began writing this tutorial. I would sit and stare at it for a long time, but for some reason I just couldn’t make it work. I’m not a natural at illustrating. I had to teach myself to use the software, and if I’m honest, I still don’t know what I’m doing. But I always get there in the end, and I’m very proud of my results with this tutorial.
I struggled with one particular logistical problem, then suddenly, a few weeks ago, the solution popped into my head. Since then it’s been all go, beading, writing, refining, testing…. But now, it’s finally ready.
Provoquant features a beautiful 30mm Swarovski Pear stone, two 16mm Rivoli and a whole lot of CRAW. CRAW is a marvelous stitch, it has a robust structure while remaining lightweight on the wearer. If you have not learned CRAW yet, I have a free tutorial available here. This tutorial is also attached to the Provoquant tutorial, which is available in my Etsy store now, I hope you enjoy it!
It’s Easter! And what better excuse for a sale. Not that I need an excuse for a sale, but Easter makes for a handy facade. The real reason for the sale is that I may have had a wee crash in my car.
By ‘may have’ I mean I definitely did, and by ‘wee crash’ I mean I t-boned a small truck because I’m an idiot. So now I have two pay the insurance excess for two vehicles. No one was hurt, so that’s great, but I’ve now used up my entire chocolate and ice-cream fund for the year, and that’s the real tragedy here. Think of the children!!
So hop on over to my Etsy store, fill your shopping cart and use the coupon code “EASTER” to receive 20% of everything – that’s jewellery and tutorials.
This year, I’m focusing on individual stitches by releasing tutorial packages featuring four projects using the same stitch – but in different ways. The first package, which is available as of today, is for Spiral Stitch. This is aimed at beading beginners, experienced beaders who have never tried spiral, or beaders who want to extend their spiral techniques.
In this package, you will learn basic spiral stitch, double spiral, how to create a V in a spiral stitch rope for a necklace, and also how to do Flat Spiral. This tutorial uses photographs and diagrams, as well as clear, written instructions.
CRAW is such a marvelous stitch. It has such a wonderful texture and is strong and robust without being too heavy. It’s also a perfect for bezelling (I don’t think this is a real word, but it should be, and it should be a broad definition: bezelling, adj. the act of creating a cozy aesthetic nook for something beautiful) around any shape.
In my latest piece, Provoquant, I have bezelled two Swarovski Light Vitrail rivoli and one gorgeous Astral Pink pear. The rope is also CRAW stitched, left mostly unembellished with faux end-caps. If you would like to learn this wonderful stitch, you can find a free tutorial here. I promise, it will open up a whole new world of possibilities.
I haven’t blogged since January, but I have been doing a little bit of beading in amongst the chaos of my life. Starting with a beautiful Heliotrope rivoli, bezelled with gold and peacock seed beads and Swarovski bicones. I stitched a delicate chain of gold seed beads in Right Angle Weave, double-woven for a more uniform look, to create a gorgeous necklace.
Phew what a year! It was one of my busiest, but one of my least productive jewellery-wise, with my world being all topsy-turvy. I have much to be grateful for, including the support that I have received from members of this amazing international network of beaders. I love the way we rally around each other in times of struggle, boosting each others sales to help through the hard times. In 2015, beaders helped me get back on my feet after my separation, and also helped to pay for Kranky-cat’s ear surgery, thank you all. I hope 2016 will bring more opportunities to create.
The weaving has been slow, but I have managed to complete two new necklaces that were custom ordered. My lovely customer already owns a necklace that I made years ago, featuring one of these lovely resin roses in red. When she discovered that I had black and ivory in my stash as well, she couldn’t resist.
The ivory necklace is made with Toho seed beads in chenille stitch. To allow the bead work to fit through the narrow bail on the pendant, I used a bead-quilling technique with 15/0 seed beads. The black necklace features Czech seed beads in a variation of a filled net weave.
Wishing you all a fantastic year full of art and inspiration.
It’s been a negligently long time since my last post, but I haven’t forgotten about you, dear readers. I’m pleased to see that you haven’t forgotten about me either. My blog has been getting plenty of views in my absence, and my Facebook page has just reached 1000 likers! How exciting. Of course, such a milestone requires a celebration. Right now, I have a competition on Facebook to win my One-of-a-kind Clara necklace (pictured below). Not your thing? How about three tutorials of your choice from my store, instead? Head to Facebook and like my page, and the post containing the instructions and you’re in to win. Share the post too, if you’re so inclined, it’s not necessary to win, but it’s good Karma.
In other news, everyone is talking about Hubble Stitch! If you haven’t tried it, do it now. Right now. Drop everything and go for it. It’s so addictive and versatile. It was designed by Melanie de Miguel, who has this beautiful book detailing the technique and it’s many uses. Her biggest convert is the lovely Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, who also has a number of tutorials featuring The Hubble in her store Jewelry Tales. I made my own version of her Mermaid Bracelet. I didn’t have the 2mm crystals that her pattern called for, but I substituted 11/0 seed beads and it worked fine. Of course, the instructions were beautifully written and illustrated, as Cynthia’s work always is.
Mermaid Bracelet, Designed by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, beaded by Jenny Sangster
I promised a beady post and here it is! My Cosmic Necklace tutorial is available in my Etsy store, and one physical version of the necklace has also been listed for sale. I adore the Swarovski Cosmic Rings, it’s so difficult to choose which colour to use; they’re all so pretty. The instructions are very thorough and easy to follow. I hope you enjoy it.
I’ve also started working on my next CGB piece. I’m not yet sure where I’m headed with it. I’ll go with my tried and true method of making it up as I go. I have also started a second, more personal blog, Unplanned Detour, which will follow me through my marital upheaval. It’s where I will share my experiences, thoughts, frustrations and general nonsense, with a touch of humour. Be warned though, it’s me, unfiltered. If you’re easily offended or don’t like bad language, might be wise to stay away.
Also, maybe don’t visit if you don’t appreciate terrible ClipArt
I would like to take the time to thank everyone who has purchased my Harlequin tutorial. It has been the largest tutorial I have written and was a huge learning experience. I also want to thank everyone who gave me feedback, both complementary and constructive criticism. Some truly wonderful advice was received and changes were made accordingly, transforming it into something I feel very proud of. I’m also grateful to have received my first reviews on Etsy (5 stars – whoop whoop!). It has been wonderful to see photos of your own Harlequins – please keep sharing them!
Harlequin Bangle – Small Neon
Having worked almost exclusively with delicas for the last few months it’s been nice to just tinker with the bead stash again. I came up with these nifty little cubes.
The kids pilfered the first four (not pictured), which I made while trying to perfect the final thread-path. Then the lure of the visible colour spectrum drew me in. I began weaving the indigo/violet cube, but realised that the violet wasn’t quite right. It was pale and silver lined, whereas the other colours are bright and opaque. I’ve ordered three different purples from The Bead Hold, just to be sure. I have a vague idea of where I’m going with this, but vague ideas are subject to change without notice. Time will tell.