Thursday, December 31, 2015

Useful Free Printable Graph Paper for Different Beading Stitches

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015 5 Comments

Color pencils and a blank beading graph paper help us plot out our beaded designs. Experimenting before you actually bead anything is a good thing. Here are some useful printable charts for different beading stitches.  Free. The way we like it.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to Make Crackled Metal Pendants with Alcohol Inks

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 2 Comments

I've written about a tutorial on how to color washers with alcohol inks before. The effect is somewhat like water color.  What if you wanted more depth to the design?  Reader Aims pointed me to this tutorial by Tammy Tutterow who shows how to make crackled metal pendants with alcohol inks. The designs do have a distressed look about them.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

ChewBeads - Baby Safe Necklaces for Mums

By on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 6 Comments

It's been several years since I wrote about chewable jewelry for mothers and babies.  Allowing babies something safe to gnaw on is good for healthy teeth development.  Another line of food safe silicone jewelry from Chewbeads I came across is noteworthy.  Their necklace and bracelet collection offer mothers a colorful range of necklaces and bracelets.  These keep babies and mums happy!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Winner of the Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples Book Giveaway

By on Monday, December 28, 2015 0 Comments

Last week's giveaway for a very different kind of bead embroidery book drew a very different crowd. That's because this book attracts people who do or love embroidery as well as little beads!  People like Carol who said "I already do embroidery but learning how to add seed beads would be fantastic!"



Book Review & Giveaway | Mastering Beadwork

By on Monday, December 28, 2015 42 Comments

Some years ago, I reviewed the Absolute Beginner's Guide to Stitching Beaded Jewelry.  It still is a book I would recommend to total novices. But what if you are not just started out but wanting to improve your basic beading skills a bit more....and have some fun while doing so.  This book might just do the trick.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

4 Pip Beaded Earrings Tutorials to Try!

By on Sunday, December 27, 2015 3 Comments

Pip beads from Preciosa Ornela are fun to work with.  They are petal shaped so are often used in floral designs. Here are 4 pip beaded earrings tutorials to try!  Ulrika of Pretty Nett's earrings tutorial shows the pips used at the bottom of her orchid flowers.



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Ear Wire Tutorial Shows Off Lampwork Beads

By on Saturday, December 26, 2015 2 Comments

I've covered how to make French or kidney style ear wires before. This style of ear wires has a secure catch which reduces the chances of losing the earrings.   But I also love Robin Atkin's ear wire tutorial over on her blog Beadlust. It is a clever way of showing off lampwork beads or other kinds of beautiful beads. The wire loop at the back doubles up as the catch.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Adorable Polymer Clay Christmas Tree Charms Tutorial

By on Friday, December 25, 2015 1 Comments

I wish all my readers who celebrate, A  Merry Christmas indeed and for everyone - a most happy holiday season and a wonderful creative and Happy New Year!  What tutorial could be better than this adorable polymer clay Christmas tree charms tutorial by Caroline Dewison over on Art Jewelry Elements. Something to consider making for next year, eh?


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Huge While Stocks Last Tagua Bead Sale!

By on Thursday, December 24, 2015 4 Comments

Long time readers will remember that I wrote about natural tagua nut beads from the ivory palm tree from time to time.  Ecuadorian Hands also sponsored a number of past giveaways.  I enjoyed using these natural beads to create unique designs and more importantly to help raise awareness of the terrible plight of wild elephants and rhinos in Africa. However, this might well be my last tagua bead post.




Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Easy Peasy Macrame Pendant Tutorial for Irregular Nuggets

By on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 2 Comments

It pains me to admit I remember macrame plant holders when they were popular some decades ago. They are b-a-a-c-c-k.  But I much prefer the miniature version.  Gina Michele's tutorial for an easy peasy macrame pendant tutorial utilizes the same technique to capture an irregular nugget.



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Brief History of Native American Jewelry

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 3 Comments

This is written by Andrew Hoffman. He is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA. In addition to writing on various topics of interest (including turquoise jewelry and physical fitness), he enjoys working out, surfing in Santa Monica, and collecting classic, first-edition novels. You can get in touch with him over here .

The handmade production of Native American jewelry is a celebrated tradition with profound cultural significance. If you have ever beheld or owned authentic Native American jewelry, you surely understand the beauty and the intricacy of the production process, but you may not be aware of the immense work that goes into it. From bracelets to earrings to bolos, every piece of jewelry tells a story, and it may surprise you to learn just how elaborate a process is involved in bringing its unparalleled beauty to life.

Native American silversmiths ca. 1930-45

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winner of the DIY Wrap Bracelets Book Giveaway

By on Monday, December 21, 2015 0 Comments

Reader Zan had it right :"This looks like some winter fun. Making new bracelets while it is cold outside!" So true. The DIY Wrap Bracelets book giveaway from Interweave/F+W attracted both novices as well as those who have made such styles before. Phil said, "I have been making plenty of these and would love new inspiration."


Book Review & Giveaway : Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples

By on Monday, December 21, 2015 53 Comments

When we talk about bead embroidery, we usually mean the elaborate beaded bezels and surfaces covered with lots of seed beads.  Did you know there is another version of bead embroidery, one that is delicate and perfect for embellishing clothing, bags, hats, fabric based home decor and even canvas shoes?



Sunday, December 20, 2015

How to Make Leaf Resin Pendant or Ornament Tutorial

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015 1 Comments

Canadian Shireen Nadir, of the Blue Brick, who was featured on this blog before, is an extraordinary crafter as well as a jewelry maker. She started making resin jewelry after photographing many leaves. It was a natural progression to embedding them.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Peyote Side Stitch Tutorial for Easy Decorative Tubes

By on Saturday, December 19, 2015 2 Comments

When you design a rope style necklace - kumihimo, Viking Knit, wire crochet, chain, leather etc - you could leave it plain or add a pendant.  Consider another alternative.  A beaded tube!  This peyote side stitch tutorial for easy decorative tubes is so easy, beading novices can do it.  It is by Melissa over on Tangible Daydreams.


Friday, December 18, 2015

How to Make a Bead and Wire Poinsettia Plant

By on Friday, December 18, 2015 1 Comments

Poinsettias, despite their bad rap, are actually only mildly toxic to pets, No treatment is necessary unless the symptoms are severe. My poinsettia is usually placed high up away from pets and small children. But if you rather not have them around, use the french bead and wire technique to make a poinsettia! This mini poinsettia tutorial is by Fen of Bead Flora Jewels whose gorgeous bouquets are amazing.  I wrote about her work before.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

How to Make Metal Work Bell Flower Earrings

By on Thursday, December 17, 2015 3 Comments

Just last week, reader Aims mentioned in the comments of the Christmas Wreath Tutorials how she liked to wear festive earrings.  She has "One pair with bells that drive everyone nuts but me!" What about silent bells then? Judy Larson, a fantastic instructor who often shares her tutorials here, did indeed come up with a noise-free design.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Combined Beadwork and Byzantine Chain Mail Bracelet Tutorial

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 7 Comments

One way to be innovative is to combine techniques.  This clever combined beadwork and Byzantine chain mail bracelet tutorial is by Sheryl Yanagi. Yes, you guessed it. Each ring is beaded!  From 15/0 seed beads no less!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hand Drawn Animal Art Jewelry by Periwinkle Nuthatch

By on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 4 Comments

There are many ways artists can express themselves in wearable art designs. One of New York based Emily Thompson's favorite ways is drawing on shrink plastic. Her hand drawn animal art jewelry on her Etsy, Periwinkle Nuthatch, shows her gift for illustration. Her charming designs are mostly drawn with colored pencils although she has also used acrylic paints.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Winner of Parawire's $50 Giveaway for Wire, Wire Wire!

By on Monday, December 14, 2015 4 Comments

You really, really, really like wire.  The entries almost went through the roof for the Parawire giveaway last week. No wonder.  They do have a huge range of colors and gauges.  Plus the opportunity to buy in very large spools.  Don't forget the 10% discount code for the rest of December is bg1215 



Book Review & Giveaway | DIY Wrap Bracelets

By on Monday, December 14, 2015 51 Comments

Wrap bracelets have been around for ages but they never seem to lose their popularity. Perhaps it's because of the tribal look. Or the ease in which they can be made. Whatever the reason, they are comfortable to wear and have infinite possibilities in terms of colors and style. Many people love wearing several together.



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wire Wrapped Holly Jewelry Tutorial

By on Sunday, December 13, 2015 4 Comments

The bail forming pliers and its stepped cousins are very useful for making wire. Indeed it is one of my favorite wire forming tools because of its versatility.  This wire wrapped holly jewelry tutorial makes use of the different sizes of stepped bail forming pliers to create the edges of the holly leaf. The instructor is Christina of CSL Designs who comes up with many innovative designs. 


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Safety Pin and Beads Jewelry Tutorial

By on Saturday, December 12, 2015 3 Comments

Safety pin jewelry is not new. It started in the punk rock era.  The well known designer, Tom Binns integrated them in his statement necklace designs and inspired others to incorporate this utilitarian fastener. I've also covered various safety pin and beads jewelry tutorials before.  This recent one by Misty Spinney over on Brit+Co shows how good this particular style of safety pin jewelry can be. Not just for the younger set, eh?


Friday, December 11, 2015

How to Make Wire Flower Earrings Using a Mini Flower Loom

By on Friday, December 11, 2015 5 Comments

I'm always on the hunt for simple tools from other crafts to use in wire jewelry making.  I found some inexpensive yarn flower making jigs by Clover.  The mini- flower looms are just the perfect size for earrings - or even a necklace if several are connected together.  So here is my how to make wire flower earrings tutorial!



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wire Wrapped Pendant Design Tutorial using the Bail Forming Pliers

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015 3 Comments

Trust me. The bail forming pliers is one tool you will use again and again.  Not only can you use it to make the stock items like ear wires and clasps, the pliers can also be used for all sorts of design elements.  One great example is this tutorial for versatile funky pendants by Gayle Bird.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Three Pretty Beaded Flower Necklace Tutorials

By on Wednesday, December 09, 2015 2 Comments

I am always delighted when I come across a design that is different from others.  Usually beaders tend to incorporate beaded flowers in a necklace in a regular manner.  But this offset beaded flower necklace tutorial  by Melanka.org.ua is refreshingly different....and lovely.  


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hand Painted Wood Jewelry by VivaArcenciel

By on Tuesday, December 08, 2015 3 Comments

Natali is the Ukrainian artisan behind VivaArcenciel on Etsy.  She makes colorful hand painted wood jewelry reminiscent of traditional Ukrainian ornamentation and visual art forms.  With deft brush strokes she paints mostly floral motifs.  The use of color is very important in Ukrainian culture as is the distinctive motifs and compositions.



Monday, December 7, 2015

Winner of The Best Beads Shop's Czech Beads Giveaway

By on Monday, December 07, 2015 1 Comments

Wow!  There are a lot of Czech beads fans judging from the large number of entries for The Best Beads' giveaway last week!  My thanks to all of those of you who left such kind comments about my wire vase pendants. 

Parawire $50 Wire Giveaway | Wire Flower Earrings Design Feature

By on Monday, December 07, 2015 154 Comments

Parawire, a US manufacturer, has a huge range of premium craft wire and they are back for another awesome giveaway (and a special reader discount)! The type I have been using lately are the fine silver plated copper core ones which are also coated and thereforetarnish resistant. The wire is soft and easy to manipulate.



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Amazing Polymer Clay Peacock Necklace Tutorial

By on Sunday, December 06, 2015 3 Comments

It`s not surprising polymer clay is popular with the artistic crowd especially those with a talent for sculpting.  Designs can really wow with this material.  One amazing tutorial for a polymer clay peacock necklace is by Christi Friesen over on Fire Mountain Gems.  Her complex Peacock Pizzazz design appeared on the cover of their catalogue some years ago.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

How to Make a Seed Bead and Wire Snowflake

By on Saturday, December 05, 2015 1 Comments

Bead and wire snowflakes are not only fun to do but versatile as well. Use them not just in jewelry designs but for the Christmas tree! I missed this tutorial from Preciosa Ornela last year. No matter, the design is perennial and won't melt either.  The designer,  Helena Chmelíková, came up with 3 distinctly different designs.


Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Make a Wire Vase of Flowers Pendant Tutorial

By on Friday, December 04, 2015 8 Comments

The best thing as far as I am concerned about handmade jewelry is the freedom to do anything you want...within reason. So I like to make fun designs like vases of flowers. I've done this before. This time, I have adapted the tree of life design idea and made it into a wire vase of flowers pendant. Here is the basic tutorial.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

3 Awesome Beaded Wreath Earrings Tutorials

By on Thursday, December 03, 2015 2 Comments

Beaded wreath earrings are not only fun but quick to make.  One added advantage is they can also be used as ornaments!   So here are 3 awesome beaded wreath earrings I absolutely love.  The first is wire work; the other two are beadwork.   The wire work tutorial is by Christina of CSL Designs.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Grand River Bead Society Museum and Library Displays

By on Wednesday, December 02, 2015 7 Comments

The Grand River Bead Society ,where I am a member, holds meetings once a month except for the summer months. We have lots of fun learning new techniques and there is plenty of opportunity to talk about our favorite subject and show off our creations. We also have a few vendors among our members and an annual garage sale for destashing! So if you're not near enough to Guelph, Ontario to join, check out if there is something similar in your city.  If not, consider starting one up!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gorgeous PET Upcycled Jewelry by Gülnur Özdağlar

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 4 Comments

Gülnur Özdağlar is an award winning Turkish architect who has a passion for recycling unwanted material such as PET (plastic) bottles for water and beverages into something beautiful to wear.  Her gorgeous PET upcycled jewelry achieves that aim in spades. 


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