Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wedding necklace: bead embroidered cabochons in burgundy and rose gold

Here's the last piece of my wedding jewellery suite: the necklace. I haven't finished it (I'm going to add some more drops) but the basic structure is done.

There are five bead embroidered elements, which incorporate vintage 24 mm acrylic cabochons, a 12mm rose gold rivoli, rose gold seed beads and various shades of burgundy pearls. The drop is Swarovski's Bordeaux drop pearl. I've mixed all kinds of burgundy colours in this piece, from purple to brown, to try to get an overall impression close to the colour I wanted.

The chain is rose gold plated.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wedding bracelet: bead embroidered acrylic cabochon in burgundy and rose gold

I'm finishing off my wedding jewellery as I get married in less than two week :)

All the pieces are built around these gorgeous 24mm acrylic cabochons I got from Etsy seller yummytreasures.

This is a bead embroidered bracelet with one cabochon, two 12mm rose gold Swarovski rivolis and a rose gold clasp.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fake double spiral stitch bracelet

I wanted to stitch a spiral bracelet and couldn't make up my mind whether I wanted to use 4mm black fire polish beads or 4mm burgundy pearls as the main beads. Well, I remembered some good advice: "When beading, if you ask yourself "What if..." then just do it!" I stitched five rounds with the fire polish and then did five rounds with the pearls and it looks quite a bit like double spiral stitch but is much, much faster!

Core is four 8/0 metallic dark raspberry. 11/0s are rose gold.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wedding earrings

After experimenting with various materials and techniques, I've finally settled on what I'm going to use for my wedding jewellery.

I'm getting married in a burgundy dress (from Kiyonna -- comfy and beautiful :)) and I tried so many different colours of rivolis trying to match it, or at least get close. Swarovski just doesn't have a real burgundy -- one that's not too red or not too purple. After trying crystal red magma, burgundy (not available in rivolis but available in 12mm buttons) and siam I finally gave up on that area and turned my attention to bead embroidering cabochons. I got some really lovely vintage 24mm cabochons in a gorgeous burgundy and now I'm all set!

Here are the earrings. The seed beads are Toho colour PF551 -- Rose Gold. There are also rose gold Swarovski pearl drops and 6mm bicones in there :)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bead embroidery pendant

I'm working on a new pendant - the focal cabochon is dragon agate and I've paired it with a crystal red magma Rivoli and rose gold seed beads. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Farfalle fever by Shelley Nybakke

Another Shelley Nybakke design, using peanut or farfalle beads and RAW. These are the bigger farfalle beads, the 3 x 6 mm ones, and they have a gorgeous weight and stitch up amazingly quickly!  I only had one tube of them (and I have massive wrists) so I made a narrower bracelet and I added a slightly ruffly netted edging of copper to the blue.  I will wear it with jeans :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Richer Ruffles bracelet by Shelley Nybakke

I stitched up this gorgeous bracelet yesterday! It's the Richer Ruffles bracelet, by designer Shelly Nybakke and the instructions are available through her Etsy store.

It's a really cool design, but the finished bracelet is extraordinarily heavy, since it's all made from 8/0 seed beads!

My version is made on a base of black beads, with rows of gold lined matte crystal, dark bronze, a brown czech mix (Wheatberry, my favourite mix!)  and then a final row of various black, brown and copper fire polish beads in 3 and 4 mm.

I love how organic it is. I thought at first the ruffles would be floppy, but it's all very stiff.

The instructions are not terribly detailed but they're certainly good enough to follow. You should be familiar with even count peyote, both one and two drop.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Antique pink earrings

I was approached by Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia for an item for the silent auction at their Pink Spring Gala fundraiser  -- and this is what I've made.  I'm not a huge pink fan, but I do love the warm pinks of old silk lingerie.  I had recently bought some blush pink metallic 11/0s that are too cool to go with the rose gold findings I'm using for my wedding jewelry but they look fabulous with the antique rose rivolis! Clearly it was meant to be :)

14mm Antique Rose Swarovski rivolis
Toho Seeds Beads 11/0 Permanent Finish Galvanized Sweet Blush TR-11-PF552
15/0 silver seed beads
antique rose bicones
Swarovski crystal pearl drops in Rose Gold
The ear wires are the Shapely wires from beadsmaker's Etsy shop - they make any earring look amazing!

There's no pattern for these -- they're about as simple as earrings can be. I bezelled the rivoli with peyote, starting with 32 11/0s, added a third round of 11/0s then tightened each end of the peyote with two rounds of 15/0s. I added one more round of 11/0s in the middle row of the 11/0 peyote and added the drop and the ear wire.

Check out Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia for more information about their great work!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Working away at Black Lace Lariat... In the pub!

David and I are in the pub in Bridgewater and I'm working on my project. I always like to bring some kind of handwork with me and this is my current obsession :)

I'm on my 26th unit of the main necklace and considering my options. 

Shall I keep it as a Lariat or make it a long necklace with a tassel focal?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pattern Review: Beth Duo Earrings by Beth Clark

Linda over at Linda's Crafty Blog posted about a pattern she'd been trying to track down, and the end result is that the designer posted the tutorial! You can buy the pattern from Beth Clark's Artfire shop.

It's a pretty pattern and a great one for Superduos. (The earrings above used 30 purple and 12 black Superduos -- great for using up odds and ends of colours!) I found that I needed to use tight tension throughout and reinforce the work as I went because the first earring was a bit floppy until I restitched it. The second one worked better because I reinforced all thread paths.

I really like the shape -- I like the slightly cupped nature of the earring and really like the use of Superduos -- the pattern really makes the most of them.

I just stitched the pattern for the second time, using copper and black Superduos, and left out the 11/0s in the first circle, which was one of the things Linda suggested. It does make the earring flatter but the most important things is that it seems a bit more stable without the 11/0s. Or maybe it's just that I'm getting the hang of it :)

Beth also offers 5 other cute tutorials through her Artfire shop -- check them out!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black Lace Lariat update and Art Deco Bracelet finished

Here's where the Black Lace Lariat stands this afternoon.  I love it!  It's so pretty. It's also the perfect project for picking up, doing 10 minutes work and putting it back down.

There are three sections to this necklace -- the large elements shown above, a smaller section with small elements separated by black faceted teardrops (which I'm waiting for) and the tassels. I decided to start the tassels.

Below you'll see the start of the tassels. I used 8/0 beads for the peyote base of the tassel instead of the 11/0 triangle beads the pattern calls for.

I finished the Art Deco bracelet last night. Really pretty.

I made the band of the bracelet out of 11/0s instead of the 8/0s the pattern calls for because I didn't have enough 8/0s. I will make this bracelet again using 8/0s. My herringbone on the band is also not perfect -- I did get confused at a couple of points, but that's my unfamiliarity with herringbone not a problem with the pattern!  Next time will be perfect :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pattern review: Art Deco Bracelet by Smadar Grossman

This is a review of Smadar Grossman's pattern for her Art Deco Bracelet. It was published in the Dec 2013/Jan 2014 issue of Beadwork or you can purchase the pattern as a download on the Interweave store.

I think I just needed a break from all black beads :)  I had noted this pattern in the Beadwork issue when I read it -- it appealed to me because of the combination of shapes -- so when I was looking for a palate cleanser from the Lace Lariat, it just jumped out at me.  The central motif (shown above) isn't hard to make but I found it fun, and a nice change. I can see from the pattern that quite a bit of herringbone awaits me in the next steps :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Making progress slowly on the Black Lace Lariat ...

I've started modifying the pattern for the Black Lace Lariat slightly to reduce the cupping of the floral element.

For step 5, instead of putting 5 13/0s between each picot (which makes the outer circle of the floral element) I'm using two 13/0s, one 11/0 and 2 13/0s. The element cups slightly but it's much flatter and I like it better!

In the photo above the closest (end) element was made with 11/0s in the middle of each section of the outer circle -- the one next to it was made with all 15/0s. I like the fact that the closer element is noticeably flatter. I'll keep doing them this way, and put the five more cupped elements in the centre of the necklace so they'll fall at the back of my neck and be less visible.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Working on Black Lace Lariat by Lisa Kan

I downloaded the beading book Bead Romantique by Lisa Kan a few weeks ago from the Interweave store and this project immediately caught my eye.

It's the Black Lace Lariat and I love it! It's inspired by Victorian mourning jewellery made of Whitby jet (one of my favourite stones) and I can't wait to finish it.

If you don't want to buy the whole book, not to worry, you can just buy this pattern as an instant download.

It calls for three full hanks of 13/0 charlottes, which are seriously the smallest beads I've ever used!  They're (surprisingly)  quite a bit smaller than 15/0 Japanese seed beads, that's for sure.

It also uses 11/0s, 3mm round fire polished beads and small daggers. (It also calls for 11/0 triangle beads which I only noticed today, so I'm going to pretend I didn't see them and make that bit with regular 11/0s :))

It took a few weeks for all my supplies to arrive, but the last thing I was waiting for, the charlottes, finally arrived today and I made a start.

Each of these floral motif elements has come out slightly cupped for me -- I was worried that I was using too tight tension (and indeed you shouldn't use terribly tight tension on these) but I can see from the photo of the finished project that they're slightly dimensional there, too.

I'm loving the intricacy of the piece as it grows -- it's quite unlike any other piece I've worked on.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Pattern review: Diamond Montee bracelet by Potomac Bead Company

This is a review of a free video tutorial by Potomac Bead Company for their Diamond Montee bracelet.

I didn't have any 20SS montees so I made it with some Chinese crystal cubes I had bought last year because they were super pretty :)  I had been looking for a pattern to use them in, and this seemed like it would work well.

I'm really happy with the bead combination -- I had a couple of false starts while I sorted out the best combination:

11/0 medium bronze (I used these instead of the 15/0s the tutorial suggests)
8/0 matte bronze
Opaque green lustre picasso Superduos
4 mm Chinese crystal cubes

This is an easy pattern -- basically it's a slightly fancy right angle stitch -- and it works up quickly. I did find that the patterns seems to zig and zag a bit as you can see in the photo above -- it doesn't bother me, but it was probably due to my stitching it like RAW.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pattern review: Country Girl Tila bracelet by BeadsMadness

This is a review of the pattern Country Girl Tila Bracelet by BeadsMadness on Etsy.

I went looking for a pattern to use up some of the many Tilas I have :)  I found this, and it's my new favourite Tila pattern! I found it stitches up quite easily and I think the result is quite attractive.

For this version I used:

Matte cream Tilas
Green SuperDuos
Black 11/0
Yellow Gold 11/0
Pearl Ceylon 11/0

I like the way it goes together. You have to watch your tension pretty carefully, though.  It's made with a double needle technique, passing back and forth, adding rows.