Tag Archives: Jewellery

Knotted Beaded Necklace

In my latest beading adventures I decided to try to have a go at my own version of this necklace from Whitestuff.

DREAMING FLOWERS NECKLACE

Should be fairy easy… Oh how wrong could I be?

After a fair amount of time I came up with this:

This is my first attempt.

Not long enough, balanced enough……generally you get the idea?

I had another go, using all the things that I had learnt from the last time.

Longer, better spaced....

Longer, better spaced….

The back is finished off with square knots which means you can alter the length.

The back is finished off with square knots which means you can alter the length.

The perseverance was definitely worth it.

The finished, final version.

The finished, final version.

Summer Rings

Whilst at Spoilt Rotten Beads at the weekend I spotted a bargain. The sun was out and I was really drawn to the lovely bright summery colours:

Such lovely, bright colours

Such lovely, bright colours

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them – make them into rings so I also bought some of this:

0.8mm Non Tarnish Silver Plated Wire - 6 meters ).8mm silver plated wire.

I made three rings:

Simple wire wrapped rings.

Simple wire wrapped rings.

Can you see how I progressed?

Can you see how I progressed?

The front view.

The front view.

So which colour will you wear to bring on the summer?

(ironically I am writing this listening to the pitter patter of rain!) Bring on summer!

Bezelling

I have worked on another of my items from my to – do list…..working with beads without holes or cabochon’s. I found these amazing beads called luna soft cabochon.

Luna Soft Cabochon 18mm Round - Blueberry

They almost seem to have a light inside them (they don’t photograph that well). As there is no hole in them you have to make a ‘case’ for them using seed beads. To be honest, my first attempt is not quite what I was hoping for but I did learn the name for beading techniques along the way.

I started off with a ladder weave:

Ladder weave

Ladder weave

bezel 2

I then added in some tiny size 15 seed beads.

bezel 3

Next a bit of tubular herringbone stitch.

bezel 4

This time tubular herringbone stitch with three seed beads.

bezel 5

A final row of size 11 seed beads finishes this side off.

I now need to finish off the bottom row.

I now need to finish off the bottom row.

My finished cabachon. It is a bit too enclosed for m liking but it is a  start and is something that I can work on.

My finished cabochon. It is a bit too enclosed for m liking but it is a start and is something that I can work on.

I then decided to have another go, using a slightly different technique this time….more beading techniques learnt. 🙂

bezel o 1

This time I started with a right angle weave stitch.

bezel o 2

Next I added a row of beads in between the top beads from the previous row.

bezel o 3

I then added a tiny size 15 seed bead in between each of these beads. This was the top half completed.

This is the finished item.

This is the finished item.

I have to say I am really pleased with this. I think that I will make it into a ring. I will be making more of these, that is for sure.

Which version do you prefer?

Which version do you prefer?

Viking Weave

I am not one to sit idle as you will be aware and last week was a bit of a challenge. The steroids that I was on made me shaky and I found it hard to concentrate on things for long. I was also mostly based around the bed thus ruling out many projects such as beading.

I have had a technique on my wish list for a while and I thought that this may well be the time to try…..viking knit. Viking knit is not knitting, really a weave. You end up with a rope like piece:

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These can then be turned into jewellery pieces like:

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I had bought the kit to do this when I did the celtic heart necklace with the wire mesh.

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This is the kit I got. It comes complete with a pair of nail clippers!! There is also a simple wire gizzard and some wire to have a go with. It was this wire that I started to work with. I found the instructions easy to follow and was able to get going quite quickly.

The beginnings of a Viking knit

The beginnings of a Viking knit

I obviously made a mistake on the second day that I picked this up and ended up having to undo a load due to leaving one of the loops out, but that is normal is it not? Overall, I got on very quickly the second day.

It grew quite quickly.

It grew quite quickly.

The one thing that I did struggle with was that I knew that I would be ‘stretching’ the braid and had no idea as to how much it would grow. I simply didn’t know when to stop. In the end I decided to stop when it nearly reached around my wrist.

I cut off the ends and thread wire through the ends to use as a lever to pull the weave through the draw plate.

I cut off the ends and thread wire through the ends to use as a lever to pull the weave through the draw plate.

Pulling it through the draw plate.

Pulling it through the draw plate.

Pulling it through the draw plate means that you can set the desired width and length. I am hoping that this will help to iron out the ‘imperfections’ that occurred whilst I was ‘weaving’. I shall keep you informed…..

A Virtual Hug

I have just read this post from Notsogranny. At the end I wanted to give her a huge hug. I so recognised the feelings that she was experiencing, in fact I had been so caught up in my own ‘problems’ that I had failed to see how she was feeling. (Bad, bad friend).

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It is no secret that this has been a tougher than usual week for me and, yes, I had let myself get a bit melodramatic and caught up in it but perspective is a funny thing. I view Joanne’s life as a real achievement, something that is to be aspired to but failed to recognise that her life, like mine has its ups and downs too. Yes she has a wonderful family, built up an amazing business around her teaching, designing, tech editing and producing but there are times when burn out happens to her as well.

Not So Granny

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We all get so busy, caught up in all sorts of amazing, exciting opportunities that sometimes it is hard to step back and remember who we are and what is truly important to us. My illness should not really come as a surprise as I had been saying for a little while that something needed to give. It turns out that this is my health!  I am a firm believer that everything that we encounter makes us who we are. I may have started today morose but I am not going to end it that way.

Last night I got out my wire and had a go at doing some wire hearts. I had a play and enjoyed myself. I relaxed a bit.

This is the biggest heart.

This is the biggest heart.

A middly sized heart.

A middly sized heart.

A tiny heart.

A tiny heart.

 

That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed everything that I have been doing recently. I have. A lot. But I do push myself. Constantly. I am always trying to learn new things and take on something new. Even this week, when I was ill in my bed I ‘took the opportunity to have a go at Viking Knit’. Hmmm yes, even when ill I am pushing myself.

The beginnings of a Viking knit

The beginnings of a Viking knit

So, going forward I am going to try to step back a bit, and take a bit more time. I am writing this here so you can all remind me. Starting from now. I don’t think that I am going to defer my marathon. I may not be preparing in quite the way that I expected, or even, be able to quite achieve what I wanted to but I am not an elite athlete. I am going to go out there and enjoy myself. It is an experience that I am going to enjoy. I had a *cough* big birthday this week. Life is for living in the best way possible for you in the here and now. I am going to try to remember this. Always.

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If you are having a wobble for what ever reason then please accept a hug from me. Life is busy, it even gets in the way but whatever you are doing try to enjoy it. xx

Last minute valentines gifts

Valentines day may be racing toward us but with carefully chosen beads there is still time to make something unique and extra special.

I found these heart shaped beads in Spoilt Rotten beads.

I found these heart-shaped beads in Spoilt Rotten beads.

My first project involved the silver wirework bead. I had an idea as to what I wanted to do with this but had several goes to ‘perfect’ it.

This is an easy beaded heart. The big thing that I learnt from this is that, when making jewellery you should use the best components that you can, I used some very cheap beads from my stash for this project that I bought ages ago. Using crystal beads would transform this particular project.

Despite Valentines day rapidly approaching I am afraid that I am not yet done with hearts. Sorry. What plans do you have for Valentines day?

Two more twin bead projects.

I have really got into beading with twin beads and have spent another happy weekend creating patterns. I love that there are cross overs with crochet e.g. you can work in rounds. I also like that it is truly creative. This was a stumbling block for me for a while but I am now really loving it. I am hungry to learn more.

Some of you will be aware that I have been writing a blog for my local bead shop, which is where all this jewellery making has come from. There is some cross over with this blog as I must have photographs on the web somewhere to get them onto that blog. With me not being very techie I have decided that I may as well make two posts from the same thing. In that way. Should you ever wish to have a go at any of the projects then I do tend to link all the bits straight up to the blog so that you can easily get hold of the necessary bits. Anyway, on to this weeks projects:

I call this my star burst pendant.

I call this my star burst pendant.

I envisage this hung on a simple chain or even a bit of wire which would have a bit more structure. Here is how I made it:

It now gets a bit tricky; if this is your first one then you go around again, adding 1 more twin in between each of the pair of twin beads from the round below and then fasten off. If you are wanting to join it onto another motif you:

Go around this little circle a few more times to strengthen it and then fasten off.

Tips: Don’t pull too tight as it will prevent the motifs from sitting flat.

IMG_0132My next one came about when I was trying to create a more oval shape rather than circular. I came up with these earrings.

I was also keen to include some bicones.

I was also keen to include some bicones.

Here is how I made them:

In order to add the ear hook go through one of the end bicones, add a twin bead and go through each of the holes of it, add a seed bead, a hook, a seed bead and another twin. Go around this circle a few more times to strengthen it. Fasten off the thread.

IMG_0142So there you have it. Two more makes to add to my list (my own designs too!)