Wednesday, October 9, 2019

July - September Update

Summer behind now I am stepping into fall projects. I have not posted since June, but that does not mean there has not been lots of beading. Lets start with my Kaleidoscope collection. I got into a grove of designing peyote triangles to look like a kaleidoscope.

All of the designs are listed in my Preserve Studio Etsy shop under Tutorials and PJS Annex shop under Tutorials.  The instructions are word charts only so you must know how make a peyote triangle.

I have listed in both Etsy shops the tutorials for the earrings with the matching pendant for three of the designs. 

Finished Sizes: Earring (1.25" x 1.25")  Pendant (2.50" x 2.50")

They are stunning to wear with a tee-shirt or dress. I apply a thin coat of ProtectaClear which makes the triangle firm in shape and shine brightly.

When I started beading several years ago, I skipped over many beading techniques and stitches and dove head first into bead embroidery. I am still super passionate about bead embroidery, but I thought I should expand my knowledge to find more ways to share and connect with fellow readers  A brick stitch pattern caught my eye in an Etsy shop so I thought why not learn what its about.  

The patten above came from BellePatterns.Etsy.Com. You must know how to do the basic brick stitch increase and decrease to complete this pattern. Once I got the hang of it I got hooked on the possibilities. ,I ended up purchasing the BeadTool 4 software to explore the possibilities. The software is nice, but it does take some practice to master. Here are some of my first designs using the software. 

One thing I learned is to create a template of the desired measurements and then learn to fill in bead patterns and colors. One template was used for the 4 designs above. Color choices are important to carry the design. For example, look at the third earring from the left. The green is too prominent and the pink I used is too light making the design seem unbalanced in my opinion.  I had intended to use a cream color background except I did not have the bead supply. I think the black background would have looked good if the pinks were stronger such as an opaque or matte. Oh well, this is why we experiment over and over again!

Last, but not least all of these beading projects reminded me that I need a really good beading mat to separate colors.

Viola! I made the ultimate beading board with 9 sections. It's a beading mat over an 8 x 10 size wood base. 

I have 3 beading boards for sale in my shops. Check them out.
Thanks for following my beading journey. I hope my work inspires you to reach above your comfort zone.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June Update

An early update to this month is I learned how to make a bolo tie.  I saw a bolo tie on Pinterest worn with a tee-shirt. I thought it looked amazing so I set out to make my own. 

I have a good supply of cabochons but I had to research where to find the clips for the backside and the tips for the end of the leather.  I found and 

You will notice there are 4 peyote strips on the leather cords.  I made these with even peyote just to dress up the cords.  They slide so they can be positioned anywhere on the cord.

The bolo tie is very versatile and can be paired with casual or dress shirts.  Above I paired it with a linen blouse. It looked just as nice with a tee-shirt.

There are a few style selections for a clip on the backside and I think it comes down to individual preference  I liked the tension clip below best because it keeps the leather cords aligned and clipping it down with the tension flap is optional.

Both suppliers offer a nice selection of tips. does have sterling silver tips. The metal tips are nice too.  I think it comes down to style and budget. 

I have another bolo tie ready to be photographed. As soon as the sun shines again I will get some photos of that design to share.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

March, April, May Update

Something a little different this month. A 3 month update! Where did the time go!

First, and the most exciting was I put together a wholesale order of earrings for a gift shop in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Because the shop is across the street from the ocean I selected bead colors fitting for the location. In addition, I was able to use some of my sea glass collected last summer on the shores of Lake Ontario. 

Because this was my first time getting involved with wholesale I had to figure out materials and labor to arrive at the wholesale price. It took a little time to document my process on paper, but it was time well spent. I found a wholesale calculator online that came in handy. 

One of my goals this year has been to review my tutorial library. First and foremost to improve photos and second, determine if any prior designs can be retired.

The end goal is to redo the photos onto a light background opposed to the black background I had been using for the past few years. This should take me all summer. In the meantime, I hope to have some new work completed in June to share. 

So, today's lesson is to look around you and see if there are improvements or enhancements that can be made to your beading path that leads to further success and satisfaction.  As always, I hope describing my path can help others follow their passion.

See you soon!

Friday, March 1, 2019

February Update

My beading mat has been a highway of beads this month. I have broken my own rules of one thing at a time.  Oh well, maybe next month I can get back on track.

The red rock cuff design was inspired by a recent trip to Sedona, Arizona.

I found an orphan string of beads and pearls in a box. I almost took it apart until I found this gorgeous cream, beige and brown cabochon in a rectangular shape.

There are lots of ideas laying out on my beading mat.  It does not help to have a new batch of cabochons waiting in the wings.

Looking for a good place to purchase cabochons?  Try the All Stone Shop on Etsy.  The cabs are beautiful and the prices seem fair. Shipping is free over $50.

Monday, January 28, 2019

January Update - More Copper

I think the copper run may be officially over because I am out of the copper links. I did incorporate a small supply of copper bead caps that have not been easy to use with beads because they are oversized, even for a 14M bead. Using pliers I straightened the caps using one as a focal point and then one on each end of the cuff.

My goto bead colors always seem to be metal colors and I love combining them. The cabochons were bezeled with 11/0 shiny copper delicas. I also used bronze 11/0 round seed beads and a mixture of bead colors that I call a southwest theme.

The bead edging was completed with 8/0 bronze round seed beads. This was the first time I used the 8/0 over 11/0 beads. In my opinion the end result was bold and beautiful.

I glued the beaded foundation to a blank cuff and finished the underside with a soft brown leather. 

The last copper design this month was a pair of earrings. I started out feeling luke warm about the design and style and ended up loving them.

It has been a fun month using up all of my copper supplies. I hope you find inspiration for how I have been using copper links, beads and bead caps.

On the side I have been working on a beading tutorial for a bezeled cabochon I recently completed with a lacy and layered technique. I will provide an update when that becomes available in my Etsy shop. 

Happy Beading!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Copper Components and more

I have been hooked on copper designs following my last post on the pendant and earrings. I like that design so much I made another pair of the oval copper link earrings. I have listed them in Etsy Shop with 20% off. Sale price is $60 plus free shipping.

Also listed in my Etsy Shop is a feather pin approximately 2-1/4 inch in size. This was a super easy design once I found feather templates on Pinterest. To make the left side elevated I put another piece of bead foundation along the left side and then glued it in place.  

As usual, I added a light piece of cardboard backing behind the felt foundation and then cut small slit in the ultra suede that is glued down. I am thinking I will make this design a short tutorial. It's great for beginners and the end result can be achieved easily.

Friday, December 21, 2018

November/December Updates

There comes a time when some things need to change or you will get bored. I love all of my bling work done with shiny crystals. I probably will not abandon that creative zone, but I need new challenges. In admiring other bead artists I realized I have more potential than I am tapping. I looked around my studio for pieces that are gathering dust that could be incorporated into my beadwork.

First, I had these copper links I purchased probably 10 years ago. I think I made a necklace or two and probably disassembled one of them. I love copper so I came up with a use for the links which happen to match a necklace that also came out of unearthing some older copper beads.

The moral of the story is more things go together if you just look hard enough. Another idea I am tapping is having my pendants be useful as a pin. I love pins and have a good collection I have accumulated over the years. None of my collection are pins I made because I really just started making pins over the past 3 years.

Let's me breakdown my creative process for each piece.  This piece resulted in that copper ring. It was part of a stick pin thingy I made that fell flat in interest in my Etsy shop. The cabochon is an orphan with no mate. Between these two items as the focal I strung some beads of interest around the parameter. The fringe just added a nice detail to dangle from a 16 inch silver snake chain that will also serve as a pin. 

In my opinion the piece was just too striking to have one purpose so I added the loop and bar pin to the leather backing. 

Feeling stoked from having the above piece turn out to my satisfaction I went back to the drawing board with some other loose components. First, if you follow my work you will notice I love metal color beads mainly because they create a richness to what is actually just tiny pieces of glass.  For this piece I used 6 copper beads as the focal around the cabochon that is encased in matte copper delica seed beads. To make the copper pop I used 8/0, 11/0 and 15/0 nickel plated Miyuki seed beads.

Once again, a piece too striking to have one purpose. You might notice the chain is different from the above photo because I was checking the looks of a snake chain versus a stainless steel link chain. I think they both look good!

Next, the earring design had to coordinate, but not be too matchy matchy. I strive to avoid this tendency in my designs. 

The copper links, copper beads and nickel plated seed beads tied the earrings to the pendant design.

Thought you would like to see the earring posts. I could not find these any where in the usual bead catalogues. It was another artist that pointed me to AliExpress to find them.  They only come in silver or gold plated, however, they are sturdy and comfortable to wear.  I do lightly bend the lever piece a little at the tip to be sure they have an extra looseness in case someone has a fuller earlobe.  

That wraps up creative journey in November/December to expand my vision and skills to higher limits. 

Up ahead in 2019 is my goal to bead a clutch purse. I found the perfect pattern for the purse from ChrisW Designs from Australia. The purse design is called Chloe's Court. Once again, I plan to incorporate odds and ends into the beadwork design. 

As always, if you have any questions or need help on resources, please email me. Thanks!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Another October piece completed and listed in my Etsy shop. This pin and pendant can be found here.

A decal object I saw became a bead embroidered pin and pendant. This project pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone of freeform beading. For anyone looking to move up a level try looking for pictured objects that can be traced and then filled in with beads.  I encourage the use of contrasting bead colors and different shades of the same colors to create dimensional looking designs. 

For the cat outline I used 15/0 gunmetal black round seed beads and in the center I used 15/0 round seed beads in galvanized silver and crystal.  I wanted the center raised so I picked up 3 (silver, crystal, silver) beads and pushed the needle back down close to the working thread. By raising the center slightly it sharpened the inner outline.

The backside was lined with a faux leather fabric. I glued a 1 inch bar pin and made a chain guide using a small strip of ultra suede. I did a basic sewing stitch across the strip adding a bead with each stitch. My fancy way to hide the thread. I trimmed the length close to the bead stitch and then glued the strip to the backside with E6000 glue. This is the very best glue for jewelry making. My best advice is less is best.  It has great adhesion and dries clear, you just don't need a lot in the application.

As always, I hope my beading journey provides inspiration for you!