Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Work in Progress: Crystal Phylactery

At last I have a project in progress that isn’t too secret to share! This week I’m taking a quick break from my big project to make a necklace for this year’s Halloween costume, and it’s going to be awesome.

I picked up one of the new Swarovski Elements crystal skulls a while back, mostly just so that I could see one up close. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, and it’s been sitting in my glass bead box for ages, not being inspiring. So it was very exciting when I decided to go as a lich for Halloween this year, and needed something spooky to make a pendant with. What better jewel to hold a sorcerer’s soul than a crystal skull?

Crystal Skull Phylactery Pendant in Progress

I’m making a short chain with red-trimmed St. Petersburg stitch. I want the necklace to fit like a choker, so it’ll be very quick to whip up. So far I’m loving the look of the ruby beads along the edge. They’ll definitely stand out!

What are you making this week?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spotlight: Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild

Bead embroidery is one of the most exciting mediums available to bead lovers, simply because it has no limits. Nearly anything that can be sewn or glued is fair game for bead embroidery: from sequins and cabochons, to ribbon and thrift store treasures. Bead embroidery is also one of the only techniques that moves seamlessly from jewelry to non-wearable designs, d├ęcor and sculpture. It is the technique for imaginative beaders.

Bead Embroidery by Sue Goode Bead Embroidery by OhMyMuse

One group that doesn’t shy away from the challenge is the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild. This team of shop owners is small – with a maximum membership of 50 at any time – yet their designs are anything but. Many members have been honored with awards from some prestigious competitions, and been featured in popular beading magazines. Here are just a few of their recent creations.

EBEG Designs

Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild Fall Designs

The Guild currently has 37 very talented members. Search for EBEG on Etsy to see hundreds of gorgeous designs. You can see more finished pieces and collages on the EBEG team Facebook page, or find shops on the Bead Embroidery guild page. For a serious dose of inspiration, check out their regular Bead Fest group challenges on the EBEG Blog.

Copyright 2014 Inspirational Beading and EBEG Members
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn Color Inspiration

Another bead giveaway has come to a close. Thank you so much to everyone who entered to win the fall treasures bead mix!

This month I asked about your favorite fall colors. Our winner, Estra, chose the combination of brown, orange and yellow. These colors definitely bring to mind the beautiful colors of autumn foliage, fall harvests, and cozy sweaters.

Autumn Blends Treasury

What do these colors say to you?

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Custom Favorites

During my first year as a jewelry seller on Etsy, I was very fortunate to get several requests for custom work. In addition to keeping me busy and inspiring some new designs, it helped give me the budget I needed to start building a really respectable bead stash. Although I’m very happy with the place I’m in right now, creative-wise, I still look back on these projects fondly. Here are three of my favorites:

Tropical Links Peyote Necklace

This chain link necklace called for a tropical palette,
so I combined almost every shade of orange, yellow, and purple that I had in my stash.
There’s also some aqua blue and a hint of green.
I had a lot of fun working out the best pattern for such a large selection of colors.

Japanese Maple Herringbone Lariat

I was really excited to work on this lariat, not only because it was one of my favorite - and proudest - designs.
I simply loved the transparent red seed bead mix used in both the rope and the leaves.
I think it’s just about time I searched for it again.

Royal Courtyard Pendant

This pendant was really interesting to make.
It combined my love for 15/o bead flowers and 4mm cubes.
I want to revisit this design in a more versatile style soon.

Do you like making custom designs? What’s your favorite part of the process?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Work in Progress: Collar Adventure

My bead tray looks a little chaotic this week as I tackle my new collar project. I’ve included a lot of accents in this design, including African Christmas beads, wood spacers, and two kinds of drops. In addition to my usual votive of culled beads, I’m also collecting up any 11/o Czech seed beads that aren’t wonky, but just a bit too small. They’re not quite right for the beadwork I’m doing now, but they’ll be just fine in other projects. Picking them out and setting them aside saves me from having to encounter them again and again as I work. Between these and the many bead types I have laid out, there were already a lot of saucers to begin with, and then I ended up having to pick out a lot of stitches, adding another dump bin of deleted beads to be reworked.

Tribal Beadwork Collar in Progress

I was on such a roll that I completely forgot to incorporate the second part of my pattern, and didn’t notice until I was almost two thread lengths past where it should have been added. This would have been a tragedy, except that I’ve been taking precautions against just this sort of situation. I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving my tail threads unfinished - just weaving them in a little ways and then leaving them in place until the end of the project. This way, if I catch a mistake, I don’t have to cut any threads - just undo a bit of work and carry on as usual.

Have you had any beading mishaps lately?

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