Tag Archives: pendant

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.


Success with Miyuki beads

candace (1)

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/

Free Hop-Scotch Tutorial

The free tutorial for the Hop-Scotch chain is available now. In the tutorial I use a combination of Superduos and Rizos, however Rizos can be replaced with Superduos if necessary, or both can be replaced with twins, as I’ve used in the necklace below.  To get your tutorial, go to this link, add it to your cart and checkout as usual. Your payment of $0 will be accepted and your tutorial will be emailed to you within 24 hours(EDIT:  I have just learned that I can share the PDF to everyone though this link, no need to go through the purchase rigmarole).  Share it, teach it, sell your wares if you wish. Please don’t sell copies of the pattern though, this is free for everybody to use.

I have also now completed my tutorial for The Orient Express, which is available here.

But it’s not all tutorials, I’m still enjoying making jewellery. This week I’m getting back to wirework, starting with my Flutter Away necklace. I’ve been dying to use one of my Ultra Swarovski Rivolis and this pink one makes me very happy.



Lil’ Wayne’s Teeth are not Welcome Here


Before I began this earring episode, I had another play with wire. I re-created my “Beginnings” necklace in silver wire and a beautiful Swarovski rivoli in medium vitrail. I mainly done this because I wanted to play with liver-of-sulfur. I’ve never tried any antiquing before, but I’ve admired it for a long time  in the works of other artists.

After weaving the necklace, I found that so much bright silver looked quite tacky, like a gangster rapper – all bling and no class.  I prepared myself before opening the bottle of liver-of-sulfur, I’d read all over the internet that the smell was straight from the sewers of hell itself. Clearly the people who thought that have never been to Wai-O-Tapu. It was an ever-so-slight whiff of Rotorua, nothing more – harden up guys!

Anyway, the wire didn’t darken as much as I would have liked, but it was enough to dull the shine, and make it more like a beautiful piece of jewellery and less like Lil’ Waynes teeth. The steel-like colour lets the rivoli really sparkle too.

I’m in the process of making custom ordered New Beginnings necklace too, a gift for the customers wife (take note husbands, happy wife, happy life). It’s deliciously gothic in black and purple, and makes me think of Disney’s Maleficent .



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After completing two Harlequin armbands in a row, I was desperate for a few quick projects before committing to another large one.

For most peoImage 01ple, intricite beadwork is something that is admired, but not worn. It’s shocking, I know! But I have to face the fact that the majority of the time, people like to wear simple jewellery. Big, bold, fabulous pieces definitely have their place, but simple is for everyday.

With that in mind, I have started on a range of pendants strung on ribbon and cord necklaces. These necklace will not be displayed in the online store, but they will be uploaded to a Facebook Sale album and can be purchased by sending me a private message or an email. I have plans for more non-woven jewellery to come soon, so watch this space.

Quick and Easy

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As my new Harlequin armband nears completion, I find myself thinking about what to make next. I like to plan ahead so that I’m not left with the notorious Beaders Block. For the time being, I’m over doing big projects; two massive peyote stitch armbands in a row has me dreaming in cylinder-bead pixels and I need a change of pace. I’m going to tear though a whole lot of quick projects to soothe my need for variation.

My first project is going to be something for myself. I’m going to a costume party this weekend, a rare excursion out in to the world. The theme is the letter S or D, I’m going as a swinger. Get your mind out of the gutter – I mean the dancing kind! I’ve got a black and white rockabilly dress with a big poufy black petticoat and some killer black heels. A talented seamstress friend is making me a little shawl so I can hide my wobbly upper-arms. I just need a brooch to hold the shawl in place, so I thought, why not make one? I’m going to try a wire woven one, as my vision of what I would make with beads would take to long and time is getting short. 

After the brooch I have a request from my sister for a red and silver viking knit bracelet. I’m looking forward to this as I have never used the bright wire colours before and I can’t wait to see what it will look like once it’s been pulled though the drawplate. To add a little glam to the rope-ends, I’ve got some stunning abacus crystals with a half Argent Flare coating on them, which gives them a silver effect.

Once I’ve done these two things, I’m going make some simple pieces. Big, showy, artistic jewellery is great and I love it, but there is beauty in simplicity and there is satisfaction in quick results. In time I intend to take my wares to market and a good stallholder should always have some lower cost items available. I have a gorgeous selection of pendants ready for stringing, and some memory wire waiting to be adorned.