Thursday, January 29, 2015

Watches: From Function to Fashion

The personal time keeper we know as a watch was developed around the 15th century, and was typically worn as a pin or pendant. These early “clock watches” had no minute hands or glass faces like those we’re familiar with today. Eventually the design would evolve into the “pocket clock”, worn almost exclusively by men after the waistcoat became a fashionable garment. By the 16th century, the pocket watch was a common accessory for telling the time.

Emerald Bewitched Pocket Watch by youmin
Emerald Bewitched Pocket Watch by youmin

Though wrist watches also developed at around the same time, they were considered a women’s accessory until around the 1880’s, when they became a crucial tool for military engagements. Since then, the wrist watch has evolved and developed into a fashion accessory for both men and women that we almost take for granted. Watches quickly became a part of our culture, and have even been important items in fiction throughout their existence - from the pocket watch in “The Gift of the Magi” to Penny’s computer watch on Inspector Gadget.

Penny and Her Computer Wrist Watch

With smart phones now being so common, personal timepieces are no longer the essential functional item they once were – though they continue to be worn as accessories. As beaders, we have the advantage of being able to design and make one of a kind watch straps with any materials that we desire, so they’ll never go out of style. Here are just a few projects for handmade watches that you can try:

Tile Watch Band by 2GoodClaymates
Tile Watch Band by 2 Good Claymates

Watch Me Now Bracelet Tutorial
Watch Me Now Bracelet by

Time for Fruit Salad Necklace Tutorial
Time for Fruit Salad Necklace by Beadaholique

I don’t carry a phone to help me tell the time, but I’ve also never had such a need for a watch that I seek them out for style. Plus going metal free with my beadwork means I’m not up to making my own watch. Often I’ve just carried an old digital watch in my purse for the rare occasions when I need to know the exact time. Still, once in a while something comes along that I can’t resist putting on. Right now, the watch that I wear to work is a quirkier fashion statement that sort of clashes with my jewelry, but I love it anyway.

LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Watch

I bought this Lego Star Wars stormtrooper watch just to get the matching minifigure inside for a gift, and decided I might as well make use of it (even though I had to get a second set in order for it to fit my adult wrist). The strap is made entirely from Lego links, and I definitely love the palette. People often ask me if it actually works, which seems to imply that one could certainly wear a watch that doesn’t tell the time, so long as it looks awesome.

Do you like to wear a wrist watch? How does it fit into your style?

Many thanks to for inspiring this post. Invaluable is currently running a blog project all about intriguing watch stories. Check them out on Twitter to see more watch inspirations and stories about the watches we wear.

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Work in Progress: Cobalt Rope

This week I’m having a great time working on a new fringe necklace with some cool striped elements. I had been craving a design with black and white stripes and a single chromatic color, but the design I wanted to do is a lot different than what I ended up with. At first I was thinking of seed bead strands with single-bead black and white stripes, but as I started to develop the idea, I ended up with big color-blocked patches instead. I still want to find a way to make the little stripes happen, but I’m really enjoying the current project.

Cobalt Fringe Necklace in Progress

I’m almost ready to add the fringe, which will also have some big black and white stripes, and probably some yellow white-hearts. Meanwhile, my helper and I have started on our first medallion of the year, featuring a teal and copper Czech coin. When I did my bead clean up, I moved all of my coin beads from my overflowing “Assorted Glass” tray to the mostly-empty “Cubes, Hexes and Triangles” tray. This prompted him to choose emerald green Toho triangles to go with the coin, and so far it’s looking gorgeous.

Blue Cobra Necklace

The blue fringe necklace from a few weeks back turned our really great. I ended up using the red white-hearts after all, and they definitely work well with the turquoise strands. I had enough of the 8/o blend to add a few of each to every strand with a nice pattern. I did end up with about 5 gunmetal beads leftover, which I’ll probably add to a bead soup at some point.

What are you making right now?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Monday, January 26, 2015

Culled Bead Soup Experiment

As I get ready to start taking inventory for this spring’s tax returns, I’m doing a lot of sorting and reorganizing. While I was cleaning my work space and putting away a lot of stray bead packages, I discovered that I had several baggies and tubes of culled beads built up from the past few years.

I always drop misshapen beads into a designated tea-light cup on my bead tray, and when it gets full I’ve been in the habit if pouring most of the beads into the nearest empty package. I always leave a few behind to act as stop beads, and then forget about the rest. The result is a sprinkling of these little mixes all over the place.

Culled Seed Bead Mixture

During my cleanup, I decided to consolidate all of the culled beads into a single large bag. It occurred to me that I probably have other tubes and baggies stashed somewhere else from ‘the early years’. I thought it would be interesting to catalogue this batch, and then check back later this year to see how the quantity and colors have changed.

Right now the mixture is mostly black 11/o seed beads – partly because I used it so much, but also because after switching to Czech seed beads, I got a lot picker. I’ve tried to reduce the waste a little bit by setting up a second cup for culled beads. In it I’m saving all of the beads that are just really tiny, but not weirdly shaped. They’ll come in handy for fringes some day.

Culled Bead Soup 2014

When it’s time to take a look at the mix again, I’m hoping to use it in a new purge necklace, while also using up some UFOs and unwanted beads.

Do you save your culled beads? Have you come up with a special use for them?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Victorian Filigree Inspirations

Another giveaway draw has come to a close! Congratulations to Greta, who will be able to learn some amazing wirework techniques from the Filigree Jewelry with a Twist series of lessons by Melody MacDuffee. Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and to Melody and everyone at Craftsy for the amazing jewelry class!

Filigree Jewelry with a Twist Class

For this giveaway, I asked how you would use the floral filigree techniques in your jewelry designs. Greta’s favorite inspiration is Victorian style filigree, which would definitely be fun to recreate with Melody’s fun wirework florals. I can see it embellishing cameos and smooth cabs, or decorating a bracelet in pretty pastels. From cosmetic tools to momento mori, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found in Victorian antiques. Here are just a few examples of the lovely shapes of the era!

What’s your favorite Victorian trend?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading and Friends
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Friday, January 23, 2015

Inspired Beaders: Ta Meu Bem

Blue Glass Necklace by Ta Meu Bem

Today’s guest beader is Mika of Ta Meu Bem, who creates stunning beadwork jewelry designs - including some very exciting netted broad collars. She has a flair for using bold colors and one of a kind patterns that stand out from the crowd.

Inspirational Beading: When did you first get started with jewelry design?

Mika: I began designing jewelry when I was 8 years old. My mom bought me a bag of seed beads and a loom. I took to it very quickly, and soon the sounds of beads getting sucked up by the vacuum cleaner became commonplace in my home. I couldn't put it down. It would be years before I began doing stringing. I beaded on and off until about 15 years old when I found a Michael’s by my house with an excellent seed beads section. It was like no one else bought beads there except me, so I had a field day.

Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first piece? Where is it today?

Mika: My first piece was a loom woven bracelet. I remember it had triangles and was in a primary colors scheme. I have no idea what happened to it, seems so long ago now. I do however still have some earrings and bracelets I made about 15 years ago. These earrings are made from tiny matte Czech beads. I made a matching bracelet that’s disappeared, but the earrings remain. Back then my best friend Erin was the only person besides my mother who knew I beaded. She was, and still is a big supporter, and also a robber. “Let me borrow this you can make a new one” are words from her I’ll never forget.

Inspirational Beading: What kinds of beads and materials do you like to use the most?

Mika: I love and use only glass and gemstone beads, and I LOVE seed beads. I've recently become obsessed with vintage seed beads which I use a lot – French, Czech, African. They just don’t make some colors like they used to. If I had to delve into it, I love Czech seed beads the most. They’re the authority and continue to innovate. I actually enjoy using non-uniform seed beads as well. I've had several people chide me about it, but I think the misshapen beads add character to my pieces. I love to use this vintage silk thread that gives my necklaces this amazing lightness and drape. I’ll be sad when my stash runs out because I found it at an unbeatable price. Honorable mention to Toho because they make some of my favorite colors these days.

Gothic Choker by Ta Meu Bem

Inspirational Beading: Where do you look for your favorite inspiration?

Mika: The past! I am a vintage fiend. Traditional stitches - African, European, Colombian have been my biggest inspirations. The colors, the layers, the fact that a lot of them never use printed patterns leaves me in awe. Another inspiration for me is the ancient Egyptians. They loved netting (I do too), and the more pictures I find from museums and books continues to drive my work. Also, everything from the Embera tribe. They’re native Colombians and their use of color and the breadth of their pattern making will blow your mind. I’m also part of a great and supportive community on Instagram where I’m most socially active. The ideas that my clients on Instagram, especially regarding color have been my favorite projects. I can't forget that Inspirational Beading, Poé gyöngyei and NemVal are the first beading blogs I found, and definitely helped me discover what I like to do.

DJ Stilleto Wearing a Ta Meu Bem Necklace

Inspirational Beading: What’s the most interesting or unique thing about your design process?

Mika: Color. Everything starts with color to me. I tried to write/draw patterns but I never follow them. I start with a color and work from there. I enjoy monochromatic color schemes the most, and the pieces always evolve as I go, even when I use a pattern. For the most part, although I invest in patterns and books, I rarely use them. I want to get all of this creativity that’s been laying latent in me out before I begin following more designs.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color to work with?

Mika: Favorite color? GREEN, green and more green. It’s easily accessible in a plethora of hues, both seed beads and gemstones. I really like Purple too, but it’s not easily accessible in regards to seed beads.

I Love the Rainforest Necklace by Ta Meu Bem

Inspirational Beading: What are some of your other favorite materials?

Mika: Vintage stampings, fringe material and Druzy are a big part of my work. I don’t want to spread myself too thin because there’s already too few hours in the day, but I really like chainmaille and I’ll be taking my first wire-wrapping class, and first class ever, at the end of the month.

Inspirational Beading: What is the most exciting design in your shop right now? What makes it special?

Mika: Actually I’m really bad at updating my Storenvy and Etsy websites. Most of my pieces are sold through Instagram or in person at art walks and bazaars. The most exciting thing I have is coming soon! Also a large percentage of my projects are custom work, so they never make it to my websites. What makes my work special is that people always tell me it feels good to wear my jewelry, that they can feel it. You can always find me on Instagram, that’s where the magic is. It's my favorite website, and there are beaders from all walks of life there- Native, Ukrainian, Japanese, and more. We’re all there under one roof supporting each other in a way I never imagined. The community there is a big part of why I bead, they are a reflection of the passion I feel, and I’m so thankful for them.

Vintage Seed Bead Necklace by Ta Meu Bem

Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?

Mika: Every person who thinks for a moment “I could never do that”. We are a sisterhood and brotherhood of beaders, it’s important never to forget that. I began doing hand woven pieces 9 months ago when I saw a girl wearing a beaded collar for the first time. I saw it and thought “I have to do that, I can’t do that. Of course I can do that!” I was lucky enough (in a way) to be unemployed at the time, so I was able to spend 5 hours or more online researching every day, and another 10-16 hours beading a day. Yes it was that serious, I literally would bead for hours on end. I wasn’t good, and I lacked direction so I worked slowly and made mistakes, many a mistake. This went on for months. I would not be swayed from my journey, and slowly but surely things began to change. I got better with the encouragement of others and my continued dedication to research. Anyone who wants to begin beading, feel free to contact me on any of my social media accounts, I’m here for us.

Inspirational Beading: Tell us a little more about you.

Mika: I’m Jamaican American and live in Southern California. I’ve been beading for 20+ years now. Ta Meu Bem (tah may-O bane) is my company that I began two years ago while living in Brazil. It is a Brazilian expression that people use when they are giving into someone, or when someone is looking particularly fierce fashion wise. My Brazilian friends are the ones who pushed me to begin selling my jewelry after goading me with comments like “did you get that from the fashion district?”, when I angrily would respond “I DID NOT” they would always say “Ta meu bem” as if to soothe me.

Native Fire and Twilight Sky Necklace by Ta Meu Bem

You can see more exciting jewelry designs by Mika by following Ta Meu Bem on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading and Ta Meu Bem
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spring Flower Beaded Bracelet Tutorial

Sometimes you just want to have a little fun with your beads! This cute bracelet tutorial from our beading friends at Panda Hall features a bright palette and a simple floral motif that you can weave with ease. The basic version uses acrylic beads for a very lightweight bracelet, but the wire based weave would stand up to just about any round beads your creativity demands. It would look fabulous with Swarovski neon pearls!

Yellow Flower Acrylic Beaded Bracelet

Spring is coming and flower jewelry is very suitable to dress for this season. There are many beaded flower patterns on picture sites like Pinterest, and when searching for beaded flowers, you will see lots of complicated and delicate designs. This yellow flower bracelet project, however, is quite simple and it is suitable for jewelry beginners, too.

To make the yellow flower bracelet, you will need:

6mm yellow acrylic beads
8mm green acrylic beads
Crimp beads
Tiger tail wire
Toggle clasp
Wire cutting pliers
Flat nose pliers

Begin by making the basic flower pattern: Take 60cm of tiger tail wire, and use a crimp bead to fasten the wire to the clasp. Then, string 8 yellow beads to the wire and make a loop by threading the wire back through the 1st bead added.

String a green bead on the tiger tail, and thread the wire through the 6th yellow bead added in the previous step. Tighten the wire and the first flower is made.

Beaded Yellow Flower Bracelet Tutorial

To begin the next flower, add 2 new yellow beads to the tiger tail, and thread the wire back through the 5th and 6th beads on the flower. Thread the wire through the 2 newly added beads again.

Add 6 yellow beads to complete the flower shape, and pass up through the bottom of the 2 beads added in the last step. Thread on a green bead and pass through the 4th yellow bead just added.

When the flower pattern reaches your ideal length, you can thread a crimp bead and the other half of the toggle clasp on the wire. Thread the wire back through the crimp bead and pinch with your pliers or crimping tool. Trim the extra wire down and you have finished the whole yellow flower bracelet.

Beaded Yellow Flower Bracelet Project

If you like, you can choose red beads and green pearl beads or glass beads, too. What do you think about this flower bracelet design?

Many thanks to the designers at Panda Hall for sharing this fun spring tutorial with Inspirational Beading!

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading and Panda Hall
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Work in Progress: Teardrop Collar

This week I’m juggling a couple of small projects while I wait for my next big inspiration. I started a new fish leather medallion a few days ago, and I’m very excited about how it’s coming along. I had been holding on to a handful of bugle shaped African Christmas beads for ages, wondering just how I was going to use them. I kept coming back to embroidery, but I couldn’t think of a decent pattern to work with. Then it occurred to me that with fish leather, I could use some negative space and avoid needing a pattern altogether. In came some Czech glass face coins, and all of a sudden I had a great idea for an asymmetrical sun design.

Teardrop Collar and Sun Medallion in Progress

While I was waiting for the E-6000 to dry on the medallion, I needed a quick new project. Part of my New Year’s resolutions for beading is to consolidate and even out my jewelry shops, and I need some new chevron collars for balance, so I started there. A quick scan of my drops and fringe beads ended with a really simple palette of pale blue, beige, and black.

What are you making this week?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pantone Spring 2015 Bead Color Ideas

Pantone Spring 2015 Fashion Colors

A new color of the year has been presented by the design teams at Pantone Color Institue, and it is easy to see a change from last year's picks. This year’s spring lineup has a great mix of hues, with some interesting possibilities for palettes and trios. Just a few bold colors are playing backup to softer shades of blue and a handful of airy neutrals.

For this month’s color trios, I divided up 9 out of ten selections in the Spring 2015 Women’s Fashion palette to create three exciting mixes. It took a little trial and error to get the balance just right, then find perfect bead colors to match, but I’m very excited about the results.

I started with moody Marsala, the color of the year. It almost looks out of place with the other colors, being so earthy and dark - better suited to summer than spring. Therefore, I decided to elevate it a bit with a tropical splash of Scuba Blue and sandy looking Custard – it was easy to picture Marsala as a boldly patterned swimsuit on a gorgeous beach. For the beads, I picked garnet Picasso 6/o’s, turquoise white-hearts, and buttercream ceylon. The buttercream doesn't quite have enough yellow to match Custard, and I think the palette suffers a bit for it. Still, I think this trio would look amazing as a rope or multistrand necklace.

Swimsuit Spring Bead Color Idea

Next up I chose Classic Blue, then added Aquamarine and Toasted Almond. The two shades of blue are so different that they almost contrast, so it seemed like a fun challenge to make them work together. The neutral was a bit hard to place, with its nylon stocking-like hue. In the end I went with transparent cobalt seed beads, voluta shell heishi, and perfectly matched aquamarine Swarovski bicones from my forgotten birthstone stash.

Silk Stockings Spring Bead Color Idea

Finally, I combined Lucite Green with Strawberry Ice and Glacier Gray. I liked the ice-cream shop quality of the trio, which could be both youthful and classy. Then I realized that I have virtually no pink beads in my stash, and I had to go back to the drawing board. Tangerine was the only color left over, and orange isn’t exactly abundant in my bead choices, but it worked out really well. For this palette I used Swarovski gem pearls in turquoise, lustered orange seed beads, and white-lined black diamond. The colors are actually a little more intense than the originals and don't look anything like ice cream, but this palette is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Sherbet Shop Spring Bead Color Ideas

What do you think of this year’s spotlight colors?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading and Pantone
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Learn Filigree Jewelry with a Twist

Floral Filigree Cabochon Pendant by Melody MacDuffee

There’s nothing quite like attending a class to learn a new skill or technique, where you can follow along with an instructor as you work. If there are no classes in your area, the next best thing is to get instruction from a video. You can see every step of the design process, and pause or rewind any time you need to refresh or start over.

Recently I had the opportunity to try out video tutorials on Craftsy, and it was a revelation. Unlike YouTube, which offers only basic interaction with instructors, Craftsy lessons are built for maximum learning. The video productions are excellent quality, with great lighting and sound, multiple angles from which to view a work in progress, and of course the ability to re-watch any section as needed. In fact, videos are already divided into sections for you, so it’s easy to review a particular portion of your favorite lessons. Once you’ve purchased a lesson, you can interact with the instructor and other students by posting questions, answering polls, or sharing images of the pieces you created.

Melody MacDufffee, founder of Soul of Somanya and author of Lacy Wire Jewelry, invited me to check out her latest class on creating gorgeous twisted wire filigree jewelry. The class includes 7 video lessons for 7 wirework jewelry projects, all featuring a pretty floral filigree technique. Each project builds on elements learned in the previous lesson, allowing students to continuously develop skill with the techniques. It all begins with adorable filigree earrings with a simple design using just wire, beads, and a flair for organic shapes. From there the filigree technique expands into a gorgeous statement necklace, framed hoop earrings, a stunning cuff bracelet, a freeform brooch, cocktail rings, and a cabochon pendant with a beautiful heirloom quality.

Filigree Jewelry with a Twist Virtual Beading Class with Melody MacDuffee

The fantasy geek in me – the part that loves fairies, dryads, and vine-covered castles – is head over heels for the look of Melody’s floral filigrees. The delicate wirework is deceptively simple, and works with a variety of beads and jewelry designs to create life-like flower and leaf motifs that look as if they took hours and hours to make. Because the wire can be twisted and shaped nearly any way you wish, and bead options aren’t limited, the design possibilities are endless. I was picturing the pretty flowers transformed by dark gem tones, black crystals, and patinas into elegant gothic jewelry.

Framed Filigree Earrings by Melody MacDuffee

Melody is a natural teacher and you really get the feeling of sitting down in a one-on-one class as she guides you through each step. The lessons are very thorough, with plenty of trouble-shooting tips and variation ideas included. The Crafty virtual classroom allows you to re-play the last 30 seconds with a single click, so you can easily get an in-depth look at any steps you need to, and you can add your own notes at any point for future reference.

If you’ve been looking for a new technique to try, or want to get a great introduction to wireworking techniques, Filigree Jewelry with a Twist is an excellent place to get started.

Want to give it a try? Leave a comment on this post letting us know how you would use floral filigrees in your designs, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the complete class! Be sure to include a contact method with your comment if you do not have a profile with email enabled. One winner will be drawn on Saturday, January 24th.

For a limited time, you can also get the complete Filigree Jewelry with a Twist class for 33% off – visit for details.

I would like to thank Melody MacDuffee and Craftsy for allowing me to preview the Filigree Jewelry with a Twist class. Inspirational Beading has not received compensation for including products or content in this post.

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Melody MacDuffee and Craftsy
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Friday, January 16, 2015

Floral Spiral Rope Bracelet Tutorial

Floral Pattern Spiral Rope Stitch Tutorial

Some of the most enjoyable aspects of beading are the simple pleasures, like combining a handful of choice colors, or adding a sweet motif to a classic stitch. One of my favorite ways to dress up the plain but pretty spiral rope is with flowers. By adding a simple pattern to the spiral rows, you can create tiny flowers that look just like daisy chains.

To make this spring spiral bracelet you will need:

3 yards of Fireline or Nymo
Czech seed beads in 3 colors (5 grams base color, 4 grams petal color, 2 grams pollen color)
Japanese seed beads in 1 color (about 2 grams)
1 clasp or button of your choice

For the spiral rope, I’ve layered Czech seed beads over Japanese round seed beads, both to get a nice rounded shape for the spirals, and ensure that there is plenty of room for thread in the spiral core. Whatever palette you choose, you want to make sure that your base colors contrast with your flower colors, so that the motif stands out nicely.

How to weave floral spiral rope stitch:

Pick up 4 Japanese (core) seed beads, and 5 Czech seed beads in your base color. Pass up through the core beads again and pull snug.

Spiral Rope Stitch Tutorial

Pick up 1 core bead, 1 base, 2 petal, and 2 base color beads. Stitch up through the top 3 core beads from the previous stitch and pull snug. Pass up through the core bead just added, and roll the new beads to the side.

Spiral Rope Beading Tutorial

Pick up 1 core, 1 base, 1 petal, 1 pollen, 1 petal, and 1 base color bead. Stitch up through the top 3 core beads and pull snug. Pass up through the core bead just added.

Floral Spiral Rope Tutorial

Pick up 1 core, 2 base, 2 petal, and 1 base color bead. Stitch up through the top 3 beads and the new core bead as before.

Repeat the entire pattern, including a row of 5 base color beads between each flower, until you have a rope that is about 2 cm short of your desired length. Remember to start with just 1 core bead at the beginning of each flower motif.

Floral Spiral Rope Pattern

After the final stitch, pick up 7 core beads, one half of your clasp, and 6 core beads. Pass back through the first core bead picked up, and the top 3 core beads in the beadwork.

How to Add a Clasp to Spiral Rope Spiral Rope Bracelet Tutorial

Pick up 4 base color beads, stitch down through the top 2 core beads in the rope, and pull snug. Add 3 base color beads, and pass through the top 4 beads in the core.

How to Taper Finish Spiral Rope

Stitch up through the nearest spiral row and weave around the new loop twice to add strength. Weave in any remaining thread and trim.

Repeat on the other end of the rope to add the second half of the clasp (or a bead loop for your button) and taper the rope.

Lotus Flower Pattern Spiral Rope Bracelet Project

This pretty flower pattern is perfect for spring bracelets and necklaces, and a great way to use up small amounts of seed beads leftover in your stash. You can also combine 2 or more ropes in a single bracelet for a beautiful wrist-garden!

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Work in Progress: Dragonfly Collar

This week I’m jumping right into a new collar using my caramel Picasso daggers. I knew right away that I wanted to pair them with some gorgeous dragonfly blue seed beads, so making a palette was easy. I also added some white-lined black diamond seed beads to my stash recently, and they seemed like the perfect way to top off the palette.

Rather than complicate things with a lot of layers and varying accent beads, I stuck with just two rows of color and rootbeer AB 8/o’s between each net. I was thinking of using some yellow white-hearts between daggers on the outer edge, but thought better of it at the last minute.

Dragonfly Dagger Collar in Progress

This collar should whip-up pretty quickly, and I’ve already got a follow-up project in mind using some very old beads from my stash and possibly a new Czech button. I've also got a little toggle clasp on deck for an upcoming tutorial.

What are you making this week?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pearl Knotting Techniques and Projects

This year’s first bead giveaway has come to close. Congratulations to our winner, and thank you to everyone who entered! We had some pretty semi-precious rounds up for grabs this month, and I asked about your favorite techniques for using round beads. Our winner, Leanne, chose pearl knotting - a great way to showcase any round bead.

The basic technique for stringing pearls and rounds between tightly cinched knots hasn’t changed much over the years. Chances are your favorite beading site has a basic tutorial - the learning center offers a great step-by-step on how to do basic pearl knotting.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial from

Of course you can mix and match different bead sizes and colors for a unique look,
like in Katie’s Continuous Style Necklace project from

Pearl Knotting Tutorial from

The natural elegance of freshwater pearls really stands out when they are spaced just-so,
like in the Lady Emma's Pearls necklace project from Beadholique.

Pearl Knotting Tutorial from

Changing up the stringing material can create a whole new look,
like in the Knot Your Mother’s Pearls Lariat project from Auntie’s Beads.

Have you used the pearl knotting technique in your designs? What kinds of beads do you like to use it with?

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading and Friends
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With and