Back in 2012 Beadwork magazine celebrated their 15th anniversary by presenting a challenge. They offered 4 months of beaded bead patterns and we had to come up with our own colour choices and design a piece of jewelry using the beads. The original piece I created was VASTLY too complicated and was basically a mash up of a needlecase necklace and this beaded bead necklace.
Eventually the penny dropped and I realised I needed to simplify the necklace – which I did – and it’s a better piece for the reduction.
Made with seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds. The chain is in herringbone stitch and woven with cobalt delicas. I love the contrast of the bright blue with the warm browns and creams of the beads.
Here are close ups of the individual beads:
I didn’t win a place, not surprisingly seeing as the original necklace was totally over-worked, but in its simpler version I bet I would have!
Made at the Portland Bead Society annual retreat in Cannon Beach, OR. This was a workshop given by Karmen Schmidt – we chose our own beads. I went very classic with gold, cream and brown along with a simple button clasp.
This bracelet was made during the Portland Bead Society’s annual bead retreat in Cannon Beach, OR. Darlene Fordyce taught the workshop. This is a clever right angle weave design with the middle row of dagger beads set in the opposite direction to the two outside beads. When the bracelet is fastened the ‘dragon scales’ lift up and create a pleasing effect.
Much knashing of teeth went into the making of this – sometimes a pattern comes quickly and begins to make sense early. Other times, such as this, my brain goes into meltdown mode and it doesn’t matter how many times I repeat the section it won’t stick.
The button was a fortuitous find and works perfectly with the colour of the beads.
In June I bought some interesting rivolis at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee. And I’m using some equally interesting bead colours from my stash to go with them, so I am curious how this will all turn out. At the last count she had over 4000 people signed up to work on the project, along with a Facebook page to show how everyone is doing.
Here’s the finished craw bracelet from the Playing with Possibilities Masterclass with Marcia DeCoster. So pretty. And easy to wear. It’s made with size 15, 11 and 8 seed beads, Swarovski crystals, and a snap for the clasp. Marcia wrote about it on her blog.
The bracelet is based on two of the components from her bag of possibilities. The craw and romantica pieces. I mirrored, enlarged and striped the craw component, and used the romantica piece to embellish the top. The romantica is used to cover the snap closure – see the picture below.
As an added note to this post: we spent the weekend with friends who live by the inter-coastal waterway. While we sat on the dock, swinging our legs and chatting I felt a sliding on my arm and out of the corner of my eye saw something slip into the water. I looked at my wrist – it was bare. My lovely bracelet had disappeared.
I’m so glad I had these great pictures, it hasn’t gone completely. Lesson learned – make sure the snap is a stronger one than Michael’s offer, and add a proper safety chain to precious jewelry.
I intend making this piece again, slightly different and of course, with the above safeguards.
Some time ago I was invited by the Devine Ms M to join a local beading group. It’s HAYUGE fun and expands my knowledge and experience in all directions. And when I say all, I mean ‘all’. There’s nothing like a group of women of diverse ages and backgrounds to increase one’s awareness of the world, or of a particular subject.
The Divine Ms M generously gives us all a birthday gift when the moment arises. Last year she gave us our names woven into strips of peyote. I am ashamed to say mine is still ‘on the counter’, as one of my beading companions says. Right now I can spy it on my beading table awaiting its final metamorphosis into a piece of wearable jewelry.
This time around she found a pattern for the most yumalicious little owl pendant designed by Heather Kingsley-Heath. Each of us receives an owl stitched in our favorite colours as a birthday gift. When we saw the first one the rest of the group set up a cacophony of waaaahs. Translated: gimme, gimme, gimme, I WANT, I WANT. So embarrassing. We loved the little owl.
And apparently I was the whiniest of them all. Oh dear!
But how could I not whine? It’s so cute.
If you want a little owl of your own, head over to Heather’s website and buy the kit. And maybe something else too – there’s a little bird pattern……
Here’s another little owl pattern if your single owl would like a companion. It’s a free step-by-step photo tutorial in pdf format, by Rizzo Antonietta.
This is the first time I have taken part in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog party and I am sooooooo GLAD I did. She wants us to challenge and stretch our design selves and it sure worked. Learning new ways to use colour, specially colours I am not fond of, new stitch combinations, and new shapes.
I have said it before, and no doubt I will say it again – BEADWORK IS THE MOST UN-DOING-EST CRAFT!.
I can’t tell you how many times I reworked the pendant on this necklace. And I love the end result. Emerald green is the Pantone colour of the year but damn, it’s a strong colour to work with.
What do you do with a donut? They are just so round! After much scouring the internet, beading books, and magazines I discovered netting. OK – step 1, net the donut.
Got to do more than that. Mmmmmm…….
After many interations the focal donut bead became a netted flower with inside embellishments of emerald green silver lined magatamas. Never used those before. And a peyote bail to slip over the twisted herringbone chain.
Can you believe it? Shirley gave me EXACTLY the right number of emerald magatamas to include in the rope embellishments and to go around the toggle. How could she have known? Just love the way the toggle balances out the pendant.
The necklace is approximately 31 inches long from toggle to clasp. It’s a long rope and the pendant hangs quite low.
Purple Netting Necklace
Now purple is not a favorite colour of mine. I like its effect, its meaning and how it works with other colours. But I seldom if ever, wear it or use it in my decorations. So this box of purple/lavender shaded beads slightly floored me.
The look of netted beads appeals so here they are together in one hayuge lump as the focal point of this necklace. They feel substantial and weighty. To keep the netting going I used some peach pearls, jasper semi-gemstone beads and some of the soup seed beads. To continue the sides of the necklace I transitioned to tubular peyote and spiralled some size 8 seed beads around the core.
And then Shirley did it again. She read my mind and sent me EXACTLY the right amount of crackle lentil beads and 2 extra gemstones so I could string the rest of the necklace. Isn’t she brilliant!?
The clasp came with Shirley’s soup mix and is made by Sharyl’s Jewelry. The bright copper complements the purple/lavender, browns/creams theme of the necklace.
Look at that! One lavender pearl left to put onto the other side of the clasp.
Guess what? I’ll probably wear this as it looks so interesting.
Lavender Pearls Bracelet
This bracelet is a simple design – beaded components stitched onto a band. It is made from some of the extra beads in Shirley’s mix. Having already used the focal bead and clasp I wanted to make something else.
The band is done in peyote stitch using the twin beads from the soup mix, with size 15 seed beads filling in the gaps. I calculated how long the band needed to be and then stitched 4 rows.
Lavender glass beads are encircled with seed beads and tipped with fire polish beads – brick stitch around the center. The lavender pearls are in the mix too. So I was able to use two things from the soup.
The purple/violet colour family is out of my comfort zone. This really made me stretch my colour chops. But in the end the amber/peach glow around the lavender, along with a tiny accent of lime greens worked.
And I find I wear the bracelet a lot. I think it makes me happy!
All together this was a great experience. I made some pieces I would not have made otherwise. Used colour schemes I would not have thought of without this outside nudge, and came away with some great additions to my jewelry box.
The only thing which was a bit stressful was the timing. This blog post was written while I was in America. All the pieces had to be finished and photographed early as I left for England on March 27th. Yikes! It cut my time short by a few days.