Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Little Triangle of Fun

I absolutely love the designs of Cynthia Rutledge, so was very pleased to see the article in the December / January Beadwork and the patterns for the cascading links bracelet (p. 81). I did not have the faceted zirconia beads nor the gold drops, but wanted to try the pattern, so I just adapted to what I could find in my stach (which is getting big enough for me to start my own bead store!). So, I made a little motif, then decided it would be a sweet little thing on a delica triangle base. I used a 8 mm pearl for the centre, the colour was not perfect, but ok for this little motif. I will try this pattern again with a faceted stone centre. I hope I can go to one of Cynthia's workshops some day when she is closer than the west coast.

Anyway, this is a really quick little tidbit, good for when you need a quick gift. I ended up finding some more drops in the local bead store, but hope I can eventually find some in my favourite 22L bronze colour which I love and which makes a great goldtone neutral.

Crystal Drop Necklace

I was in Cathy Lampole's store, That Bead Lady a few months ago, and she had a lovely necklace on display with terrific beaded beads, and the store manager A. explained that the design had been submitted to Bead and Button for publishing later this year. When the magazine came out, I recognized the beaded beads, but they had changed the design to an asymmetrical one instead of the balanced one Cathy had in the store. Frankly I really like Cathy's original a lot better, so it is too bad they did not use it on the cover instead of changing it. The beaded beads were what interested me most, so what I did here is make the medium bead and added a sterling silver bail as this was a Christmas gift for my daughter.

The instructions are in Bead and Button October 2009 (Issue 93) and as usual with Cathy's designs are easy to follow. I made the top beads go further to make the pearl in the interior less visible by adding a few more rows of reduced peyote, which worked well. The crystals are a dark blue (Montana) AB and compliment the silver well. I added three drops to the bottom, with sterling 22 gauge wire for the head pin.

This makes a really elegant beaded bead that looks great on it's own on a silver chain. I think I will make some more of these for gifts. The bail is Bali silver from Cathy's store, and really raises it up a notch, so the bail is well worth the expense.

Scallop Variation - Part II

For Christmas I gave my son a certificate for a necklace of his choice for his girlfriend. He really liked the one I made his sister (posted above), so wanted to pick out a new colour scheme. After messing my bead area up totally as he looked through all the colours of beads, we finally decided that the critical element that worked well in the original was the opaque colour of the accent crystals, so I made a red variation for L. Same technique, but I used a magnetic clasp, and varied the chain design a little.

Inspired to Bead Again

I have had a busy fall, including trips to San Francisco to visit our son, and then a surprise working assignment in the Middle East on a project that took me to the United Arab Emirates, including work and visits in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, a camel safari, and finally an evening in Oman. While this was all wonderful fun and very interesting, when I returned home I couldn't wait to make something and also to cook my own food. So, I have been busy trying out some new bead motifs and will be posting some new beadwork shortly. Also, for Christmas my daughter, who is a graphic designer, redid my food blog using a more sophisticated program so that she will no longer hear me complaining so much about how my picture layouts change when I post.

The picture is of Dubai, and I thought the mix of old boats and new buildings was very interesting. Now I will return to just beading on this blog.

Scallop Necklace Variation

I loved the necklace on the cover of Bead and Button's December 2009 (#94) issue, but it was really too elaborate for your average person to wear, so I adapted it to what I think is a really lovely little pendant necklace. I made the first one in my favourite delica colour, ( Code 22L from my favourite store for Japanese beads, That Bead Lady in Newmarket, Ontario) and an opaque turquoise AB 4 mm crystal.

In terms of construction, the scallop curve is a 4 bead ndebele chain in which 2 size 11 beads and 2 size 8 beads create a differential alignment, resulting in a very smooth scallop. The instructions say to go through each of the 4 colouns to set the scallop, and I found it is important to do that carefully and make sure you get each column or the scallop will twist. I followed the directions for one scallop, then added shorted twisted bugles. fort he top, I added a crystal to each side, with a potato pearl in the middle. I added a band of size 11's behind the pearl to make the front top crystals stand out better.

For the chain I used size 8's and 5mm faceted Chinese glass beads, with a small right angle weave accent in the contrast colour in size 11's. The chain is delicate and fast, so it makes a good compliment to the necklace. The fast part makes it good for gift giving too. I am not very tolerant of repetition, and really don't like making long complicated chains.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Blogging, Traffic, and Comments

I initially started my blogs to learn how to do them. Since then I confess I am now wanting someone to read them occasionally, so I am hoping to get some comments. I realize that in order to do this I need to get some traffic, yet I know my blog pales in comparison to the plethora of very professional looking blogs.
However, I was really pleased when I opened up today to see that I have 10 followers now. My daughter, who is a graphic designer, tells me that it often takes three years to get a blog going, so I will perservere. Some days I wonder why I am writing tis blog, but the truth is that I enjoy it.
So, please comment, and thank you to those who have. I will try to get some more content on this in the fall when the weather outside is cooler and I am not gardening, travelling (the picture is of Prince Edward Island where my parents live), or having company.
To the French beaders, who I greatly admire, I could do some posts in French, it would be good practice for me, so "laissez moi un commentaire si une poste francaise vous plait. Mais, je sais que j'aurais des fautes de grammaire!!

Catch a Star

It has been a busy summer and I have taken a break from much beading. Here is a little pendant I tried. The pattern is from Bead and Button August 09 - Issue 92.
The pictures show the front and the back. This is a very quick and easy project, and works up to a good sized star, about 1.5 inches across, great for a little gift for someone. The pearl in the centre was a little small for the pattern requirements, so next time I will try to find a better match.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

One for All Hexagon

The other bauble I made last night was the octagon version of the pattern from Try to Be Better (see previous post for info on pattern). It worked up really easily, and is a quick pendant if you need a gift in a hurry.
This bezeling technique is easy and really works up nicely.

A star for Easter

I wanted to make some little gifts for my daughter and my niece who are coming up for Easter. I started with the pattern "Yasmine" by Ilde, a French beader. can buy this through the internet and then you get a PDF file. Ilde has several other great patterns.
Anyway, I merrily went along making this, then realized it was way too bunched up on the star ends, then looked at the picture again and realized I had double the points needed!! So, as is usually my rule, I ripped it out and cut it up before going to bed. Nothing is worse than having to start your beading with mistakes. Anyway, the final star evolved today, and it is quite lovely, and an underneath structure makes it quite substantial and sturdy. I will add a bezel on the back and make this a pendant. This pattern assumes you know how to bezel a rivoli and make a star setting, so it is not for the faint of heart. If you are experienced however, you can figure it out from the diagrams even if you don't speak French.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

New Way to Bezel

I just tried a new pattern (available in English and German) called "One for All, All for One" from the German Website "Try to Be Better" ( Sabine Lippert is the author and designer, and her blog is terrific and includes several free patterns that are great as well. I like to support blogs like Sabines through also buying patterns as a way of thanking the designers for their work and the free patterns they give to others. The website has links to places it can be purchased. I bought this through PDF download from Glasperlen Designs The site is in German, however I sent an English email to them after struggling with my very limited German and an online dictionary, and it all worked through paypal payment. A PDF was then sent to me.
The pattern is excellent, clear diagrams and great photos. The technique is terrific (and you need the pattern, there is hidden structure underneath!) and works up into a sturdy square bezeled bead. I used the technique in Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork book of using size D Nymo doubled. This technique eliminates one end to sew in. I would use size B next time as the going was pretty tight after several bead passes through the delicas and 15's. There are two other bead designs in the pattern, and although it is expensive given the current euro / CDN dollar exchange, it has tons of potential for doing some interesting component combinations, so I highly recommend it and am planning to try some other designs from this pattern.
I am working on improving my photography, and I see so many lovely blogs that look so professional. I realized today that I need to use aperture priority more, so on the picture for today I experimented, and found that good pictures with better depth of field seem to be with an F stop of at least 5.6, with 7.1 yielding an even better one if you can use a tripod. I used a 50mm macro Canon lens with tripod, and this lense seems to produce the best close ups. I also want to get my daughter, a graphic designer, to make me a branding signature, I am not very skilled at the photoshop text stuff and need to get some tips.
Finally, my blog has been mainly a source for me to write about things so far, but I was so excited today to see three comments, wow!!! and one of them from Pencio, a fantastic French designer who I greatly admire!! So, now I am really inspired to improve!!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Playing with Triangles

My fascination with the architecture possible through beads continues. I found a really nifty little triangle patterns free on a German Website, Glasperlen Designs by Eva Maria Keiser. I made one little triangle, but then did another, expanded it, and before you know it I had a pyramid. I have pictures to show you the steps along the way. Not sure what to do with it, maybe add a ctrstal and turn it into a pendant. Link to pattern (there is an English version) I would like to figure out a way to do this continuously rather than making four triangles, I hate sewing in thread ends. I used smoke 6 lb fireline, and this gave a little stiffness which is needed for the structure. The little googly is one of my porcelain dolls I used to make, I still have a basement full of antique doll molds. I started beading when I needed jewellry for my dolls and could not find any I liked, and over the years the beads took over.....

Monday, 2 March 2009


This pattern is from Ilde, her blog is Les Tresors d'Ilde. It is called Edelweiss, and is available for purchase download. She also has several nice free patterns on the site.
The stages involved are first, a bezelled 14mm rivoli, then the front petals, then the back petals. It is a great workout on how to do odd count peyote with decreases. It is really lovely, and being aged right now while I figure out a chain.
There are samples of this done on Ile aux Perles, and all seem to use 2 colours. I would like to try a version with additional colours next.

From a German beading blog...

In keeping up with my goal of language acquisition, I have started finding some German bead blogs. Here is a really interesting shaped beaded bead, called "Sakkara".
No infrastructure such as a wooden bead is needed. In the pattern the bead is symmetrical, but I just wanted to try this, so stopped midway and fooled around with a star ending.
The pattern is available for free download at:
There is another similar bead but more complicated that I may try next, called Pittaya.

This technique involves increases at regular intervals, and makes stepped up sections. I think this must be how some of Paula Adams patterns for ornaments are done.
Since my German is very limited (like a vocabulary of about 20 words!) I will have to try to figure out some of the common beading words.
Here are some pics of the bead along the way. The star is my creation, I just made half the bead and then played around.

Flower Power

I am absolutely obsessed with the architecture of beads, so when I saw pictures of the Flower Power pattern I was hooked. There have been several examples of this made up on the French bead blogs. The pattern is by Holle Randy, and is available at

The technique is basically the same as for beaded rings done in peyote, with a few rows of delicas, then a couple rows of 15's and zipped up at the end. The petals were a challenge, and the number of thread passes in the 15's meant that a small needle was a necessity. But, having said that, the last row when this little petite fleur is zipped up was a real thrill (ok, looks like my thrill quotient is easily reached. )
Right now I have this hanging on my little jewelry form so that I can contemplate what to put it on.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

The second beaded box....

Here is my second beaded box, they are really good for compulsive people to do. My mother got this for her Christmas present so she can show her friends what I do for fun.
I used size 10 delicas. They are much easier to work with than the regular delicas, but they still make a detailed pattern.
Now, what can you put in it????.......3 almonds, seed beads, a fortune cookie paper, old flies, the sky is the limit!!
The pattern is adapted from the book Little Beaded Boxes by Julia Pretl.

Beaded Beads

I love to make beaded beads. These are from a French blog by Ilde
that I have found through the forum Iles Aux Perles. Using the French forums and blogs has been really interesting. Their beading is very artistic, and many posts have patterns ("schemas") that are usually free. As a bonus, reading them is helping my French, and I can easily follow the French patterns now. If you have some French, I highly recommend Iles Aux Perles. When I started I just kepts an online French dictionary loaded on a separate tab.
I had to work hard to figure out a pattern for the rose accent bead. I used a peyote chart paper, but had to rip out a few rows as I got confused on the sequences. Anyway, making my own chart was a good exercise in how to chart and make up a pettern.
These were put on 1.5 mm wooden beads. I just found another pattern for 2mm that I will try next.

Peyote Necklace

This necklace is from Bead and Button Issue89(February 09). I have generally done peyote using delicas, but was impressed with the more flowing feel of the seed stitch peyote. Instead of a cabochon, which seemed too large, I used a 1.6 rivoli, and started with 42 delicas for the initial row. The setting is a little loose, and 40 might be enough. I used the suggestions from Laura McCabe cabochon chart available on her website. Because the really small charlottes are not available in Canada as far as I can find, instead of them I just skipped a slot on every other peyote stitch. This produced a good zigzag pattern. I also sewed the embellished rivoli to the background peyote piece as I prefer to avoid glue and use stitching where possible.