Friday, August 28, 2009

Vintage Beaded Beads

Today was another fun day at Artful Bead Studio! I learned to make these lovely "Vintage Beaded Beads" that can be used as components for earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Our teacher also gave us a recipe to make a matching component in a smaller size. She made a bracelet using the larger component as a focal, and she then added a small component to either side of the focal. To complete the length of the bracelet, she attached a filigree finding to either side of the clasp and the smaller components. The finished bracelet was just beautiful.

I'm planning to take another workshop at Artful next week, where I'll learn to create a similar component that can be applied in the same manner as the Vintage Beaded Beads. One of the gals at the shop put together a necklace using both styles of these components, and it looks so amazing! My plan is to complete a similar project after I take the next workshop.

The day before the next workshop for the other component is gonna be BIG. It will be my first experience using Swarovski Rivolis!!! I'm SO EXCITED about this workshop. After examining the finished piece they have at the studio, I'm uncertain if this project can be completed during the allotted time frame of the workshop. It would be great if I am able to do it, but I won't know until I start. I will be very excited to post and blog about that one!! It is such a glamorous looking necklace.

This weekend there is lots of rain scheduled in our forecast with Hurricane Danny looming in the Atlantic Ocean, so I'm hoping to accomplish a lot of beading. It's already getting late on Friday night, so I doubt I'll start a new project now, but I must begin my plan of action. I will have to break tomorrow night from beading to attend a child's b'day celebration, and I MUST accomplish a good, strenuous workout both Saturday and Sunday, but the rest of the time I hope to concentrate on beading. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Peacock Feathers Woven Bracelet

I just LOVE this design and it works up quickly! This is another fun one from Artful Bead Studio. The ladies who own and operate this shop just rock my world! I must spend at least two or three afternoons per week there! Their designs are just beautiful, their instruction is superb, and they are so very patient.

This design is versatile in that you can create either a single or double row of woven beads in the piece, and naturally, I had to try one of each! The single row bracelet looks so beautiful in person.... much more so than the photo portrays. I'm giving this bracelet to my girlfriend for a charity fund raiser she's organizing and that will be held exactly one month from today. I hesitated to make such a contribution because I'm still learning the craft, and I don't sell the jewelry. This is a relaxing and rewarding hobby for me. My friend was tickled pink when I told her that I'd make something for her to auction off with a restaurant gift certificate. I hope it fetches a nice penny from the bidders!

Woven Dangle Bracelet

I made this fun bracelet at Artful Bead Studio, my favorite local bead shop. There are 144 wire-wrapped dangles in this bracelet!! It took me an evening and a full day to complete this piece, but I enjoyed it and I hope to make a couple more. I learned how to work more quickly, as if I was working on production. It was a good experience. I'm disappointed that I didn't use lighter gauge head pins for this piece because I now see that they have a significant impact on the overall design. With that knowledge, I will be sure to use the lighter gauge head pins hereafter.

Bead Fest Philly

Well, as usual, Bead Fest Philly was KNOCKED OUT!! Wow... two full floors of fabulous CANDY!! :D

I was fortunate enough to take two workshops this time around. The first one was with Doris Coghill. Her work is GORGEOUS! We made a "Stone Necklace" in her class, using a really interesting twisted wire technique. The cool thing about this workshop is that we could BYOB (bring our own beads.) Doris had Stone Necklace kits available for purchase, but I decided that I wanted to use what I already had in my stash. Of course, I had to buy more beads to match the beautiful Amazonite stones that I'd chosen for the project. It was fun hunting for precisely what I needed though. My necklace is not complete as yet. I'm actually going to start over from scratch, now that I understand the technique more clearly. I want to incorporate some different beads than I had originally planned in my design as well. I hope to finish my necklace soon. I'm sure it's going to be really lovely.

My second workshop was with well-known wire designer and author, Denise Peck. She taught her famous Viking Knit technique, and we had a lot of fun in her class! I was anxious to try the technique because I think the wire weave looks so beautiful. I'm so pleased that I was able to complete the project in the allotted time frame and I've gotten several compliments on the bracelet. There was a vendor at Bead Fest who created a special Viking Knit tool!! Stephanie Eddy is a genius! This all-in-one tool makes crafting a Viking Knit piece so much simpler, AND she also designed a way to craft the special size bead caps that are used exclusively with Viking Knit! Stephanie sold out of the tool at the show, so I was disappointed that I didn't get to bring one home with me. Now, I am patiently waiting for my tool to arrive via USPS. Apparently, UPS lost one of her boxes of inventory in transit to the show, so she didn't have enough supply on hand to meet her demand. I'm holding off on beginning any Viking Knit projects until I receive my new tool. I purchased one of Stephanie's Viking Knit kits at the show, so that's likely what I'll tackle when I get my hands on the tool. I'm excited to give the Viking Knit another whirl!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Had so much fun making these macrame bracelets, though getting the hang of the knots can be tricky. I really love the colors of the Czech button. I'd like to make a necklace using this macrame design, but first I must decide on a focal piece.

I purchased Annika deGroot's Micro-Macrame: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords. The book is beautifully put together and Annika's designs are exquisite. I am half-way through my first project from the book, and I regret to admit that I'm very disappointed with the way it's turning much so that I don't even want to complete it. :( There are a number of other projects in Annika's book that I would like to tackle. I hope I'll be more pleased with the way those other projects turn out.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I have been having a grand old time weaving those little tiny seed beads that I bought like crazy when I first started beading, but haven't used in a very long time. I find it very exciting to see what emerges from weaving those little tiny guys together. :) Other things that I like about bead weaving include the portability of the craft, and the length of time it can take to work on a piece. There are times when I would prefer to work on a project that takes more than just an hour to complete, as is often the case with a number of simply strung and wire work beaded projects.

I continued practicing my spiral stitch that I learned last Saturday and came up with this beautiful necklace and bracelet. I think I'd like to make a bracelet to match my Autumn Blooms necklace pictured here. I really like the way it turned out. :) I love the colors in my Modern Vintage bracelet pictured here too.

I enjoyed making this "Beaded Tennis Bracelet" yesterday at Artful Bead Studio. Barbara was my teacher and she was wonderful. I'm so glad that Artful Bead Studio will hold one-on-one workshops!! The other bead shops I am familiar with typically will not hold a class if enrollment is too low.

I can't help but marvel over this project. I just love the way it turned out and I love the way the bracelet feels on the wrist. I've already got another one started! :) I also love the idea of using shank buttons as clasps!! I have such a collection of buttons from over the years. I have always saved the buttons that were included with an article of clothing that I purchased. I've contemplated tossing those buttons in the trash at times, since it seems that they just continue to pile up. I find that I rarely ever use them. But, I've never tossed those buttons in the trash out of guilt. I can't bring myself to discard something that I think may be useful at some point in time. Well, am I ever thrilled that I've saved all those buttons, as I see now that I will be able to put them to good use!

Tonight my plan is to complete a beautiful bead & chain necklace piece that I've been wanting to get to for a while. I am going away for the weekend, so I will take my woven project with me and work on that if I get a chance.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

First Spiral Stitched Piece

I took my first class today at Artful Bead Studio where I learned to make this beautiful spiral stitched bracelet! The gals at the bead shop were all very patient and kind. I struggled a little bit with threading the needle. It isn't as simple as it may seem, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. I'm excited about bead weaving because it will expand my options for jewelry creations. Woven pieces can be used on their own and/or as components in a piece of jewelry, which allows the artist to incorporate various techniques in a design. I am delighted that I'll be going back to Artful Bead Studio on Wednesday to make a beaded tennis bracelet! FUN!