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Download a free sample beadweaving project!

April 21, 2011

After the success I’ve had with selling beadweaving tutorials — and the great feedback I’ve gotten from fellow beaders! — I’ve decided to make one of downloads my beading tutorials free to download.

 Please download the Ruffled Honeysuckle Brooch – PDF Tutorial on my tutorials page. Feel free to pass along the word! And, of course, happy beading!!


New tutorial for sale on Etsy!

April 17, 2011

I’m excited to announce that I’ve listed a new tutorial on my Etsy store, as well as for instant download on the tutorials page on this blog.

It’s my first tutoiral for a ring, and I think you’ll really enjoy wearing it and making it. It was actually the first ring I ever made — see the original post here.

Please check out the listing for the Green Fairy Beaded Cocktail Ring on Etsy to find out more or buy it.

Taylor Necklace

April 13, 2011

Taylor Necklace

I mentioned in my last post that I had figured out how to make chain links using herringbone stitch. Well, here it is! I’m always happy if I can salvage something I’ve made, and I think this is pretty successful. The focus of the necklace is the links, which join together a beaded bead, and three vintage square cabochons.

I purchased the cabochons at both at a local bead show. The owner of the both brough the contents of her bead store to sell – she is retired and the bead store gone, but she still has plenty of stock from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s that she still sells at bead shows. She was very nice, and I absolutely loved everything she was selling. I’d estimate from the style of these cabs (which are made of modled plastic and glitter of some kind) that they are circa the late 1960s or the 1970s.

Although I suspect Liz Taylor would have never worn plastic with her collection of diamonds available to her, I’ve decided to name this piece after her because I was working on it when she passed away. She’s an icon to any jewellery lover, and the colouration of this piece – gold and turquoise – brought to mind her film Cleopatra.

By the way, if you are independently wealthy, you can bid on Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels at the upcoming Christie’s auction.

And another by the way, I will be posting a new tutorial for sale later this week.

Mucha Dragonfly Necklace

March 20, 2011

Mucha Butterfly Necklace

It’s been a while since I’ve had anything to post. Lately, I haven’t had the time or energy to make anything. The main reason for this is being busy with work. Since I work at a computer all day, my arms and neck often ache —  beading just doesn’t help. My contract at work is ending,  so maybe I will bead more to get through my job search. I’m considering starting my own business though, so maybe I will be really busy!

I started this project months ago, on my Christmas vacation. My original idea was to make beaded chain links. It was a terribly slow process, and they competed too much with the pendant.  I finally gave up on that idea after putting the project away for three whole months. I’m not into gaudy baubles — I much prefer this simple strung necklace. You can see the basic look I was trying to achieve with the chains in the two bails on the pendant. I saved the chain links, however, so you can look forward to seeing a bracelet made with them later on. I like to salvage things, if I can.

The pendant is made from a reproduction Victorian glass button I bought at Vancouver’s Button Button. I used the same technique used for the La Ghirlandata Necklace to capture the button. The combination of muted pastels and amber, as well as the dragonfly motif, reminds me Art Nouveau. The bezel itself reminds me of  Alphonse Mucha because he was known for framing his bohemian beauties with elaborate halo backgrounds, as typified in his painting Dance from the Arts Series.

Ladybug Beaded Box

December 5, 2010

Ladybug Beaded Box

This little beaded box was not my idea, but I think it’s a brilliant one. My boss requested a ladybug box after seeing the cupcake box. She wanted it for a friend who collects ladybugs, however, I haven’t really decided if I can give this one up. It’s only about 1.5 inches across, and probably about the same in height, including the crystal.

La Ghirlandata Necklace

December 5, 2010

La Ghirlandata Necklace

I love green beads because they are so lush, green itself being a colour of so many variations. I adore these green seed beads because they are lined with copper, making it a perfect match for a reproduction czech glass button I bought at Button Button in Vancouver a few months ago.

The end effect, to me, is reminiscent of a green garland. The name I’ve chosen is from Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s painting,  ”La Ghirlandata”, or ‘The Garlanded,” refering to the model in the painting, who is surrounded by flowered garlands. Rossetti is one of my favorite artists, and I was pleased to find out that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has a version of the painting in his collection. I can certainly see that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has a taste for oppulence, and if I hadn’t used up my Christmas wishlist, I’d certainly be requesting the book, Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection.

Gabrielle Gothic Collar Necklace

October 17, 2010

Gabrielle Gothic Collar Necklace

Because I am almost exclusively focused on beadweaving — and my patience for wirework and the like is so lacking —  it is very rare for me to even consider using metal findings. When I purchased this square piece of filigree at my local bead shop, I immediately knew I wanted to attach a beaded cabochon to it. I antiqued the filigree with black paint and choise a round black cab, which I salvaged from a piece of thrift shop costume jewellery. I beaded a curved collar using right angle weave and netting, attaching the filigree to the centre.

I was inspired to create a gothic style piece of jewellery after reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I absolutely love these books and am addicted to reading about the exploits of the Vampire Lestat and his supernatural brethren. Anne Rice has a true gift for richly describing the past. I created this piece after imagining the cold but beautiful Gabrielle de Lioncourt haunting the 18th century Paris streets.

Victoria Faux Opal Bracelet and Ring

September 2, 2010

Victoria Faux Opal  Ring
Victoria Faux Opal Bracelet

After making the Ernestina Faux Opal Bracelet, I happened upon some faux opal stones in my favorite Vancouver store, Dressew. I’m fairly certain from the slight wear on the foil backs that these little rhinestones are vintage –Dressew seems to get its stock from a timemachine.

The rectangular rhinestones are petite, at about 10mm x 12mm. I took it as a challenge to capture each one in beadweaving. The first attempt took 2 or 3 hours of trial and error. Using a mix of sizes and netting and right angle weave, I managed to produce something with the right antique look, and something that fit snuggly enough to keep the rhinestone in place.

I’ve named this set, of course, after Queen Victoria. Victoria owned many opals, and did much to repopularize opal jewelry in England.

Blue Koi Faux Raku Pendant

August 14, 2010

Blue Koi Faux Raku Pendant
Polymer clay is amazing for its ability to not look like polymer clay. I made this pendant last weekend, and it’s been mistaken for stone by several people.

My intention was to make something resembling Japanese Raku ceramics. To achieve this, I mixed blue and teal oil paints with transparent liquid sculpey, painting it onto brown polymer clay. I found running the cab under running water helped blend the colours naturally. Finally, I splattered it with gold mica eyeshadow from the dollar store.

Ernestina Faux Opal Bracelet

August 14, 2010

Ernestina Faux Opal Bracelet

I am extremely drawn to opal. Perhaps due to the depth and intrigue of the stone’s iridescence; perhaps also because they are said to be bad luck. To me, the idea of bad luck is romantic and challenging, so I’ve always enjoyed wearing everything from pink to black opals.

If, however, you’d rather not tempt the fates, these faux opals are an option. I made these opals out of translucent polymer clay and glitter. I’m very happy with the effect, which I think resembles a milky green opal.

I’ve named this bracelet after Ernestina, Charles’s young and slightly spoiled fiance in the French Lieutenant’s Woman. John Fowles is my favorite author, and the French Lieutenant’s Woman is my favorite novel. I feel that Ernestina, a conventionally pretty and stylish young Victorian woman, would appreciate this bracelet. Although not as obviously tragic as the book’s title character, I feel Ernestina is unlucky in her own way, making opals feel appropriate for her.