beaded jewelry projects

Beading, Then and Now

I was trying to clean up/out my jewelry-making area, and in the process, I came across some of my very early work in different areas.  I found some necklaces from when I first started beading; some of my initial tries at viking knit, early bead embroidery and then wire weaving.

I sat down and stared at the pieces (conveniently ignoring the piles of beading supplies I was supposed to be cleaning up) and then picked up some of my more recent examples of each jewelry style.

Wow.  Big difference.

Jewelry Upgrade

The jewelry got me to thinking about how far I had come in many of my techniques.  And when I stared at my current work, I wondered where I'd be a year from now, five years from now, etc.

The way I see it, jewelry is just as much about the journey as it is the destination (i.e., the completed piece).

Save Some Pieces of Your Jewelry!

No matter where you are at in your jewelry journey, same some of your pieces -- especially some of the first pieces in a new technique.  Put them aside to look at later, so you can see the progress you have made!

As you'll see in the following video, some of my first pieces in a new technique aren't exactly stellar.  Yours might not be either, but practice is how we learn and grow.

Then and Now Video

So, here's a video that shows some of my jewelry from when I was starting, and more recent pieces in the same technique.  You'll see the evolution of my work, and some of the items I'm just starting to learn more about.

So....hope you enjoy the video!

Right Angle Weave Earrings Video Tutorial

I've made a right angle weave video tutorial using earrings as the example.  While I also have a video that shows RAW (as it is also called) as a bracelet, these earrings are easier.  Well, faster at any rate!  In fact, this set is easy and fast enough to make a pair of earrings in about a half hour.

About Right Angle Weave

This is one of the hardest beading stitches to get the hang of, but then one of the easiest once you do!  I remember several years ago when I first tried it.  I sat down at the kitchen table with size 11 seed beads and swore that I would not get up until I got the hang of it.

A couple of hours later, the"ah hah!" moment arrived. I'm sure it would have been much faster if I had a video to watch.  So I decided to do a video that will introduce you to right angle weave with a pair of earrings.

You won't need a lot of supplies, and you can make them as long or as short as you want.  I've used larger size beads in this pair, but you can make them larger or smaller.  That's the great part about these earrings -- they are extremely versatile.

Right Angle Weave Earring Video Tutorial

Here are the supplies for this video.

  • Czech druk beads, 6mm, 20 beads.
  • Czech druk beads, 4mm, 12 beads.
  • Size 11 seed beads, less than a gram.
  • Earring findings.  I used sterling silver french wires.
  • Thread; I used Fireline, but you can use Silamide or Nymo if you wish.
  • Needle, size 10 or 12 (whichever you prefer).
  • Pliers (used to open and close the loop on the earring findings).
  • Scissors or other thread cutter.

If you've never done RAW before, watch the video all the way through before you make the earrings.  It's not terribly long -- not quite 10 minutes.  Then once you've done it all the way through, try it again by following along.

Hope you enjoy it!  🙂

Beaded Cabochon Jewelry Heaven

I adore the look of beaded cabochon jewelry.  I had done quite a bit of it some time ago, but things got in the way and I kept putting off and putting off getting back into it.  I mean, all you have to do is stare at Sherri Serafini's work and get intimidated (but she does absolutely gorgeous work).

I've been cleaning out my workspace, and I stumbled upon some cabs I bought, oh, I'll say 5 years ago and already glued to the backing...and that's where I stopped.

Then I found some lovely cabs I bought at a gem show maybe 4 years ago, and they have likewise been sitting around.  (I swear, sometimes I thought I could hear a faint "make me into jewelry" cry coming from that corner of my office...)

And let's not discuss all the dichroic cabs I bought maybe 3 years ago....

Are you sensing a pattern here?  🙂

Back to Beaded Cabochons

Beaded Cabochon (Seashell)

I figured it was time that I actually do something.  So I've been beading up a storm!

Remember the seashells I gathered a couple months ago?  Well I've been going wild with them -- they are so much fun!  To the right is a necklace I made with one of the seashells.

(I've got a few more glued to backing, waiting their turn as well.)

Got a hot pink agate cab that I am working on, but am waiting for some more supplies to come in so I can finish it (I'll post a photo when I am done).

Naturally, one of the dichroic cabs is being worked on, while I am waiting on the supplies for the pink one.

Can-Can Cabochon

And here's another, done up in turquoise color.  I'm thinking the cab is howlite (dyed), but who knows what the bead nuggets are; all I know is that for the price I paid, they are definitely not geniune turquoise!

If you're interested, I've got an ebook tutorial for making these necklaces.  Want more?  I've got a tutorial for an intro bead embroidery components.

Cabs, Cabs and More Cabs

One of my favorite cabs I have ever bought, an ocean jasper, broke in my hands.  I got that one at a gem show, and I should have known to not get one that thin.  I still have some ideas for it, though, since it's so pretty!

And I have ordered more cabs from ebay, as I have an idea for a beaded cab bracelet (among other things).  When all of those cabs get in, I'll take some photos for you to see.

Well, guess I should quit writing and go get beading!  Catch you later with more photos.

(Now it's later and I have some more photos of my bead embroidery; click for larger photos.)


Beaded Jewelry Projects, Take 2

Are you like me -- you have beaded jewelry projects all around, in various states of completion?  I hope I'm not the only one, who half-way through a project gets another idea that I just have to start!

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have the peyote stitch beading project ready for prime time yet.  I'm done except for the clasp.  Right now I'm struggling to find a cool button to use for my clasp.  I thought I had a ton of them.  Well I do, but they are all in shades of gold and white and pink and black...not colors I can use for this bracelet.  So, it will be another day at least until I can get the button clasp finished.

"Autumn Winds" PMC Pendant With Man-Made Ruby

"Autumn Winds" PMC Pendant With Man-Made Ruby

But all hasn't been lost!  In my hunt for buttons, I came across some projects, supplies and items that I totally forgot I had (has anyone else had that happen?).  Even the infamous beaded shoe project!  (More about that later.)

But quickly, here are two of my PMC projects; I really like the one with the dichroic glass cab.  But the one with the ruby (man-made) has a funny story.

I had made a pendant that I really liked, but unfortunately, I didn't make it strong/thick enough, and part of it broke off.  Grrr.

So, I took part of the pendant and went back to the drawing board.  I added more PMC and the ruby.  Finally, fired it and lo and behold...something very organic looking.  But when I brought it to class, people oohed and ahhed.  Moral of the story -- never throw anything away, you never know how it can be recycled.

(It really is prettier than the photo shows -- for the life of me, I can't get the ruby to sparkle in a photo like it does in real life.)

Now, onward to more of what I found. Like the shoe.

Beaded Jewelry Projects and "The Shoe"

I found tons of beaded necklaces, mostly peyote with bling added. They were made back when I was learning beading, so they're fairly unusable "as is". Unusable mainly because they are so darned heavy! But I'm confident that I can re-make them. One for sure I can re-do as a bracelet. The others...well, I have to keep at least one the way it is. Why? So when I get depressed because the beaded jewelry isn't going well, I can see how far I've come.

"Sea Lights" PMC Pendant With Dichroic Glass

"Sea Lights" PMC Pendant With Dichroic Glass

Now to my shoe project.  Yes, a real shoe (size 6) that I am covering in beads.  I got the idea after taking a bead embroidery class.  I decided to cut out some suede in the shape of the shoe (in parts, naturally).  Then, I would bead embroider each piece, and eventually piece it all together onto the shoe itself.

It's all done up in shades of red.  From fire engine to deep garnet, I have all kinds.  Some are seed beads, some bugle, some gemstone beads, all in a joyful melange of textures.

Am I done?  Of course not -- maybe half way.  I was originally making it for a contest, but ran behind and missed the deadline (and stopped working on the project).  Guess I'll have to start it back up again.

OK, let me go so I can get the peyote bracelet done and get a photo for you.  Catch you later!