Tag Archives: necklace

For the Love of Beads

What a painfully unproductive few months I’ve been having! I’ve been terribly unwell, but I’m slowly easing my way out of my hiatus with some gentle beadwork. I started with some earrings designed by the lovely Debra from DatzKatz Designs. She knows how I love her Hinged CRAW Diamond Drop earrings and she gave me permission to make several pairs to sell. You can find them in my Etsy store.

Next, I was back to basics working in spiral stitch. It’s good to work a simple stitch for a while. The repetition is therapeutic and it’s good to feel the beads in my hands again.

I’ve been watching what others have been working on lately and I’m constantly floored by the talent and creativity in our community. Marcia DeCoster’s communal Bead Love project is a great source of inspiration and it’s so good to see everyone getting in on it and embracing the idea behind it. Great things can happens when we remember why we do what we do. It’s for the love of beads and the love of creation.

Provoquant

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.

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New Creations

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.

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Later I used the same design to create my Nymph earrings, which are now available as a tutorial through my Etsy store.

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Next up I made a hair pin as a gift for a friend. I based the design on an oriental lily, in cream and gold, with ruffled edges. For the centre, I used a filigree bead cap, splayed open with a pearl.

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I have lots of ideas floating around in my head, but I need more hours in the day to make them manifest. Stay tuned.

Happy (belated) New Year

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Learning Something New

Many moons ago I purchased, with good intention, a piece of Nicole’s Bead-backing along with a square of dark blue ultrasuede. Having spent countless hours sitting enchanted at the amazing examples of bead embroidery on my computer screen, I decided to give it a crack. But before I started, I became distracted with a gazillion other shiny projects and my plans were forgotten.

Not so long ago, I found those two enticing pieces of fabric, and so put thread to needle. With out any clear planning of what I was making,  I sketched a design on the bead-backing, bezeled on a cabochon, completely ignored my design and made a thing. It was pretty rough in places, and a poorly placed pearl came loose, but as I progressed, my stitches improved.

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In my next piece, I was confident enough to use a pretty copper Swarovski Cosmic crystal. I only use my crystals if I’m confident, because wasting crystals is an unforgivable sin. With the addition of some turquoise, orange, dark brown, and copper, I turned it into a super awesome unique necklace.

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A Cosmic Tutorial and an Unplanned Detour

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.

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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

Also, maybe don’t visit if you don’t appreciate terrible ClipArt

Getting Back My Mojo

Creativity doesn’t always come easily to me. Sometimes I go through phases where ideas don’t flow; my guiding force has come up lame and I feel stifled. There’s a sense of claustrophobia that comes with being unable to create successfully, it’s like an external force bearing down on me, preventing that something from getting out. Luckily such phases are relatively shortlived, and once they pass, I can get on with enjoying the process.

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Success with Miyuki beads

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Christine necklace Version 1.0

My most recent phase of creative constipation, I dealt with by weaving a length of plain, single-colour crochet, which I turned into a simple necklace. Once it was finished, I still felt un-enthused. I persevered because of a secret unreasonable fear that if I “take a break”, I may not ever start again. A new bracelet design eventuated, which I loved, then I added a circular peyote stitched button clasp. It was my first attempt at circular peyote, so I thought I’d try it again, but my second result was wonky. Still not out of my slump, I felt disheartened, even though I was aware that my failure was most likely due to the use of Czech seed beads, whereas my initial design was made with the much more consistent Japanese Miyuki beads. My supply of Japanese seed beads is very limited, with the vast majority of my stash being Czech, so I took to the internet and ordered a modest amount of Toho seed beads in delicious bright colours. When they arrived, I felt rejuvenated. I’ve never worked with Toho seeds before, but they are my new favourites. They’re perfect little units, and the hole on the 11/0’s is wide enough to slip a jump-ring through, which is a huge bonus for finishing all manner of trinkets.

With my new loves at the ready, I quickly whipped up a necklace in Hot Pink, Lemon, Lime and Sky Blue, using the same technique as my bracelet. But found that the chain twisted  when worn. But my creative flow was functioning again, and a simple solution was quickly found and I began stitching my final design. I intend to try that bracelet again, I’m determined to conquer circular peyote, this time in Tohos.

(Edit: I originally named the necklace Candace, however I have now renamed it Christine in honor of the woman who was the receive the pink version for her birthday next week. Christine tragically passed away as the result of an accident on Saturday night after spending the evening babysitting her grandchildren. Much love to her family.)

Completed Candace necklace, available at http://jsjewellery.storenvy.com/

Completed Candace necklace, available at http://jsjewellery.storenvy.com/