freeform peyote bracelet

What’s Up With Jewelry?

I got to thinking about what's up with jewelry the other day.  We've run into some chilly weather and it's too soon to start the veggie garden.  Time for jewelry, perhaps?

The Curse of the Peyote

I should say organic peyote, because regular peyote is pretty easy to teach.  After I finished up my viking knit tutorial, I decided to start on one for free-form organically-designed peyote.  But here's the problem; how can I teach something that I do on a whim?  And how do I provide a pattern for something really free-form?

sculptural-peyote-bracelet-closeupSo I've been trying to come up with some patterns that are free-form enough to get you started, along with one that falls into the "Wow, where did you get that!" category.

I'm thinking about a pair of earrings (basic freeform), a pendant (a little more challenging) and then a knock-em-out bracelet.

Stay tuned -- I'm still working on it!

Another Jewelry Auction Site

I came across another jewelry auction site that looked rather interesting.  And while they don't have a ton of hand-made jewelry, they do have some nice pieces with precious gems -- amethyst, opal, etc.

Anyway, right now they have a $25 coupon -- $25 off your first purchase.  And yes, there are plenty of items for $40 and under, so you stand a chance of getting something really nice for a great price (the word "free" comes to mind). So, go on and check it out and get your $25 off coupon.

Bidz - CPS $25 Coupon

Viking Knit In Sterling

I made a really pretty necklace in sterling silver for a gift and darn -- I forgot to get a photo before I sent it off!  I'll see if the recipient will be so kind as to take a photo and send it on to me.

I made it with 24 g sterling wire, dead soft.  Ohhh, was it ever nice to work with!  Dead soft copper is pretty decent but the silver was even easier to work with.  At any rate,  I made it in a single knit, using 6 petals.  It ended up substantial, but still had a bit of a lacy look to it -- very nice, if I do say so myself. 

Of course I made the end caps, from 18 g sterling.  I went rummaging around and found some sterling beads, around 12mm that had been sitting around for a few years.

I finished with an S-hook clasp I made from 18 g sterling.  I made it a little fancier by wrapping it with 26 g sterling wire.  Had to end up using my hammer a little to harden it up some, but it was stiff enough to be safe.

Unfortunately, I don't think I have enough sterling left over to make myself a necklace.  Unless maybe I use some of my lampwork to add to the length some.  Hmmm -- maybe it's time to fire up the torch again!

Freeform Peyote Bracelet, Day 2

This freeform peyote bracelet took me longer than I expected, because I couldn't decide how I wanted it to end up! Between deciding colors, design and a clasp, I was running out of ideas.

Nevertheless, I did finish it. For additional embelishments I used size 11 silvered clear seed beads, in a random pattern around the bracelet. No particular design or idea, just where I though it might look interesting.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet, Completed

Freeform Peyote Bracelet, Completed


For the clasp, that was tough. I had originally thought button and loop; I did the loop then realized that I had no button!  Well, I had some in gold-tone that were perfect, but the gold didn't quite go with the rest of the bracelet.

Hmmm, rummaging around in my button bag, I found plenty that were too big or too small.  Drat.  Then I came across the dark blue button.  Right size, but a little dark.  Well, let me add some seed beads and try to lighten it up some.

And that actually turned out to be a good idea, because the button fits well against the bracelet; it's not so tall that it hurts when I put my armon the table and type.  Or write.  So it turned out well.

The Next Project - Retro

OK, I decided that I was going to do something that had a retro/vintage look about it, but with a little modern-day flair.  The decision?  A necklace with a large pendant.

I started off pretty well, with a moss jasper cabachon glued onto some Lacy's Stiff Stuff (I think that's what it's called).  OK, I confess; the cab has been glued onto the backing many years?  Several, at any rate.

So, I added a ring around the base of the cab with white 3-cut size 15 seed beads.  Now I remember why I dislike working with size 15; they're so tiny!  But, I finally got them all put on.

Next was a ring of turquoise around the cab.  Kind of rough-looking turquoise, but it had the green-y color that picked up on the colors in the cab.  Done.

Retro Jewelry Necklace, Step 1

Retro Jewelry Necklace, Step 1


But it didn't look right yet.  Ahhh, I found a tube of silver seed beads, around a size 6.  Turquoise and silver go well together, so why not?  So I sewed some of the silver beads around and between the cab and the turquoise.  And that's where I'm at so far, as you can see.

Then I did something really silly, even for me.  Not thinking, I cut away the Stiff Stuff from the back of the cab.  Totally forgetting that I really needed to glue it to some suede before cutting.  Argh.

So now I have to slightly modify my original design before continuing, because I need to get a backing on and hide all the stitches.  But I have some ideas.

I'm off to find the glue, more Stiff Stuff, some suede and some jump rings.  The glue will take a few hours to set, so I'll have to continue tomorrow.

For today, I'll leave you with some lampwork auctions to look at and enjoy.  Have fun!

[nms:lampwork beads sra,6,1,10]

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial Day One

OK, since you folks have requested it, here's a freeform peyote bracelet tutorial.  This is day one, where we make the basic bracelet.

Before I start, I'm assuming that you know how to do the regular peyote stitch, as it's the basis of this bracelet.  If you don't, check out the basic peyote tutorial video.

One other item of note.  This is more of a structured freeform peyote bracelet.  By that I mean I am not going as freeform as I would normally do (with holes, netting, etc.).  Instead, this is a middle ground between a normal peyote stitch and a full-blown freeform.  In other words, if you've always been a structured person, this will let you let loose a tiny bit. 

Materials Needed

I'm not going to give you exacts, because freeform peyote isn't an exact science.  Instead, gather up the following in whatever amounts are suitable for you:

  • Size 8 seed or tube beads, single color.
  • Size 11 seed or tube beads, two or three colors.
  • Six beads or crystals, from 5mm through 8mm.  Various colors to coordinate with the seed beads.
  • Thread; I used 6-lb Fireline, in the grey color.
  • Needle, size 10 or 12.
  • Clasp of your choice.

Step 1:  The Base Bracelet

Make the base bracelet out of the peyote stitch, using the size 8 seed beads.  I made mine 6 beads wide by about 6.75 inches long.  You can make yours as long as needed, minus the size of your clasp.  Here's the photo of the base bracelet.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, the Base

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, the Base (Click to Enlarge)

Note:  Don't worry if your bracelet isn't arrow-straight.  Because this is freeform, it doesn't matter.

Step 2:  Add the Beads or Crystals

Next, I decided where I wanted my crystals.  Since I have been talking about vintage beads, I decided to use three of them in this bracelet.

I placed the beads with the smallest towards the bracelet ends, and the largest in the middle.  I spaced them out so they were more-less even.  Here's how it looks now.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Step 2

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Step 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Don't worry about thread showing at the ends of the beads; it will end up being hidden in the next set of steps.

I encourage you to not use evenly matched beads/crystals in this step.  If you noticed, I have one large bead, two medium, two slightly smaller mediums and one small cyrstal.  It's part of being freeform!

Step 3:  The Basic Freeform Peyote Stitching

OK, now comes the fun part!  It's kind of hard to explain this part since it's freeform, but here's how I basically did it.  The freeform part was done with the size 11 seed beads.

Come up from a hole next to the crystal and string however many beads needed to just about loop around the crystal; the seed bead loop should lay just slightly to the back of the crystal.  Bring the needle down through the size 8 bead, then back up through the one right next to it.

String on two seed beads, then begin a peyote stitch across the loop, back towards the original direction.  Once you reach the end, bring the needle down through a size 8 bead, then back up through the next.  String 2 seed beads and peyote your way back across again.

Once you've made a peyote ring across the back of the crystal. string maybe 8 or so seed beads and lay it across the base bracelet.  Go down through a size 8, back up through the next one.  Add 2 seed beads and peyote back the way you came.  When you get to the end, turn atound and peyote back down.

Thread your needle through the size 8 beads, until you come up through the bead next to the next crystal and repeat.

It's one of those times that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's what I have up to this point:

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Adding the Freeform

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Adding the Freeform (Click to Enlarge)

As you can see, I've made a loop around the crystals, and down across the base bracelet, which I have then added the peyote stitch.

Well, that's it for today.  I'm going to embellish this bracelet further in the next post.  If you like what you have up to this point, put the clasp on it and call it good!  But if you'd like to go a little further, stop on by for the next set of steps.  I should have them up in a day or so, once I decide how fancy I want to get!  😉

Meanwhile, here are some pretty eye-candy pieces of vintage costume jewelry that you might like looking at.

[nms:eisenberg vintage signed,7,1,10]

Freeform Peyote Stitch Bracelet

Here's the freeform peyote stitch bracelet I've been working on -- finally! This will be a "drive-by" post, but I wanted to get the beaded bracelet photo up since I have been talking about it all week!

"Mermaid's Garden" Freeform Peyote Bracelet

"Mermaid's Garden" Freeform Peyote Bracelet

OK, so what's in it? Glad you asked!  I used the following in this bracelet:

  • Size 8 and size 11 seed beads, in shades of blues and greens
  • Abalone Beads (2)
  • Baroque Pearls (3)
  • Sterling Silver Beads (a few)
  • Mother of Pearl Button
  • Lots and Lots of Crystal Fireline

I always find the clasps the hardest part of the bracelet, because with freeform, I don't want the clasp to scream, "here I am!".  So I tend to minimize them, and let the bracelet itself take center stage.

Well, this was my warm-up.  I was looking through my bookcase last night and found my book on coraling -- forgot I even had it!  It's organic-looking, so right up my alley.

I also, in the process of rummaging around, found more of my lampwork -- I guess I still have some I can play with!  And the focal I found is a beauty, if I say so myself.

Well, I said this post would be short; goodnight, sweet dreams and see you tomorrow!