Several months ago, a package of Tagua beads came in the mail from Ecuador! Tagua beads are made from the nut of a palm tree in South America. They can be carved or cut into many different shapes. The Tagua nut’s best known quality is that in its natural state, it looks very much like Ivory, but can be dyed any color of the rainbow. Tagua beads are light weight and eco-friendly!
My favourite Tagua beads are called potato chip beads or slices. They are very thin with one hole on the top. I wanted to try using them as a cabochon, so I glued 3 of them to small pieces of Ultrasuede. Then, I beaded around them using peyote-stitch. I used orange and turquoise blue glass seed beads in size 11 and 15.
After I finished beading my bezels, I decided to utilize the holes at the top of the beads by making my own bails. I did this by peyote-stitching a few rows of beads through the hole and the Ultrasuede at the back of the piece. After creating a second beaded link, I was able to attach sterling silver ear wires. For the third pendant, I stitched an 18″ blue spiral rope chain to match.
These pieces are very lightweight in comparison to a beaded stone or glass cabachon. If you like big earrings, but don’t like them weighing your ear down, these are perfect! This set is now available for sale in my Etsy shop. You can also find a fabulous selection of Tagua Beads at EcuadorianHands.com. Thanks for looking!
*Please note: I have received the Tagua Beads used in these pieces free of charge from EcuadorianHands.com. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
Posted in beadweaving, earrings, etsy, jewelry, necklaces
Tagged Bead, Bead embroidery, Beadwork, Ecuador, Etsy, Peyote stitch, Phytelephas, Seed Beads, South America, Ultrasuede
Boston Bead Company is offering an exclusive bead embroidery workshop with me on Saturday, February 9! Learn how to do basic bead embroidery and peyote stitch while making this hot pink cameo pendant. This project uses size 8 & size 11 Czech glass seed beads, so it is suitable for beginners, although any prior needlework experience you may have had will be helpful.. This 5-hour workshop will be held at the Cambridge, MA store. Please click the pic for more details or register HERE. Hope to see you there!
Posted in beadweaving
Tagged Bead embroidery, beading, beadweaving, Beadwork, Boston artist, Cambridge Massachusetts, craft, Jewelry, Peyote stitch, Seed bead, workshop
This week, I am busy preparing for next week’s bead embroidery workshop at Boston Bead Company. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to show you my latest freeform beaded bracelet!
Remember my first lampwork beads I made at Diablo Glass School recently? Well, I experimented by weaving them into one of my freeform peyote stitched cuffs. This piece is well-balanced with one lampwork cylinder bead at the center and two lampwork beads on either side of it. I used a mix of pink, white, blue and gold seed beads. I stitched through the lampwork beads many, many times to ensure that the thread will hold the weight of the piece. And, it does! Click the pic to see more photos. This bracelet measures 7″ so it will fit anyone with a 6″ wrist. It also features a sterling silver slide clasp which makes it easy to put on & take off!
Also, just a quick reminder, you can save 10% off any order in my Etsy shop by using coupon code OCT200. Valid through October 31, 2012! Thanks for your interest in my beadwork!
Posted in beadweaving, Boston, bracelets, etsy, jewelry, lampwork
Tagged Bead, Bead embroidery, beading, beadweaving, Beadwork, Boston, Etsy, Jewelry, Lampwork, Sterling silver
Last week, I received a fabulous package from Preciosa Ornela in Czech Republic! It contained a sample of the new Twin Beads as well as an assortment of seed beads & glass accent beads. I love the beads, as they are some of my favorite colors, but I also loved the beaded pencil & pen they sent:) Check them out:
I was excited to learn of a new seed bead and all of its possibilities! Inside the promotional package were several project ideas which I would love to try – especially the cube-ular bracelet shown below, but I will need to buy more Twin Beads in several colors to complete that one..
I received two packages of Twin Beads. I chose to use the dark purple ones below. As you can see, they are oval shaped with two holes. They aren’t all perfectly shaped, but they are all beautiful!
After trying out a few techniques, I came up with an idea for a bracelet. This was my first try at this design. It basically shows off many colors of seed beads that I received. The Twin Beads link the rows of seed beads together in an improvisational bead-netted sort of way:) Then, I added an interesting larger bead at the end to use as my toggle clasp. How do you think it looks?
If I were to recreate this bracelet again (which I am considering!), I would probably change a couple of things, but overall, I am happy with how it turned out. It is very comfortable to wear, too.
I think I will list this item in my Etsy shop! Next, I would like to figure out a way to work the Twin Beads into one of my bead embroidery projects! If you have tried the new Preciosa Twin Beads, what did you make with them? Please share your experience! If you are interested in learning more about Preciosa glass products, follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter. That’s the news for now. Back to beading!
*Please note: I have received the above mentioned products free of charge from Preciosa Ornela. This is my honest review of the products and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
Over the long holiday weekend, I got a chance to work on a small project for Artbeads.com‘s blogging challenge entitled ‘What’s Old is New Again‘. Artbeads was kind enough to send me a piece of 16g sterling silver half hard wire and some new Toho seed beads! My challenge was to incorporate something old into the design. So, I chose an antique watch face! A few years ago, I picked up a bag full of old watch parts at an antique market in London. I love to use these because, to me, they add a bit of mystery. I always wonder what the watch might have looked like, who wore it, and where they had to be at any given time…
Fairy Tale Flower Pendant (detail). 2.75" (7cm)
For this piece, first I formed a flower shape out of the wire. I stitched the watch face onto a piece of Ultrasuede, and began beading around it. I then used a freeform peyote stitch technique to fill in the flowers’ petals with seed beads. I stitched white beads onto the front of the flower, and a green seed bead mix onto the reverse side. This really adds visual depth to the piece! After I completed the beadwork, I added a brown leather cord. This is definitely one of the more unique art pieces I have ever created. It almost looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland, but not quite.. So, I decided to call it a Fairy Tale Flower Pendant, and I listed it in my Etsy shop. What does it remind you of? :D
Fairy Tale Flower Pedant on Leather Cord
*Please note: I have received the above mentioned products free of charge from Artbeads.com. This is my honest review of the products and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
Today, just a quick peek at a new jewelry project I started beading this weekend. So far, I’m using only green Japanese size 15 seed beads. I’m beading 4″ strips (62 rows x 3 beads wide) and I’m weaving them together using sort of a single needle ladder stitch technique
… I thought I was crazy at first, because this takes a very long time (& I might go blind in the process), but I think I’m going to like the results!
Believe it or not, I’ve actually been busy beading during the past week. Working in freeform peyote stitch, I’m creating small strips of beadwork measuring 4-6″ long. These will be the ripples in the water which floods St. Mark’s Square
(during acqua alta
season) in my painting. I think I am about halfway through making these. They are quite time consuming and right now I feel they are an exercise in futility! You can see how I plan to use these pieces in the photo below. Eventually, they will be stitched directly to the canvas. How do you think it will look when it is finished? (If it will ever be finished!)
Sinking St. Mark’s Square (Venice, Italy). Bead embroidery on painted canvas.
24″ x 36″ (32cm x 46cm). Work in progress.
Sinking St. Mark’s Square (Venice, Italy). Bead embroidery on painted canvas.
24″ x 36″ (32cm x 46cm). Work in progress.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! It has been crazy hot here in the Boston area – we are in the middle of a heat wave! I don’t mind though – I like it hot. It reminds me of my trip to Venice, Italy
! So for the past couple days I’ve been working on my beaded St. Mark’s Square
painting. I painted in the gray buildings on the right side of the deteriorating Campanile
. They are actually empty lots where these buildings used to be. The buildings no longer exist in my painting because they too deteriorated & sunk into the Grand Canal
. It is my intention that the right side of the painting look very contemporary with its hard edges – perhaps to represent the future of Venice. The left side of the painting is meant to look more traditional representing how Piazza San Marco
once looked. My beaded Basilica
& Campanile will represent how it actually looks today…
Now, I must work on the beaded water which will fill in the lower section of the painting. I started working in 3-drop peyote stitch. I am using several different green and gray seed beads. I plan to make many different pieces of beadwork that I will eventually stitch directly to the painted canvas. These will represent the acqua alta
which floods St. Mark’s Square every year. How do you think it will look?
My inspiration for this piece was indeed the disastrous BP oil spill
that has taken place in the Gulf Coast. The summer of 2010 has been marked with the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of the United States. Everyday, I can’t help but to think about all of the innocent birds and sea creatures whose lives have ended
as a result of man’s greediness. I wanted to express this thought in a necklace, so I purposely trapped the starfish within the black oil beadwork. Somehow, beads seem to make every idea look beautiful, but this piece definitely doesn’t look ‘right’ in my eyes. I hope that whoever sees it will be compelled to take a closer look and wonder why the starfish is not moving freely… How does this beadwork make you feel?
Trapped. Freeform Peyote Beaded Necklace. 14″.
As soon as I take some more photos, I plan to list this necklace in my Etsy shop
. To stay updated on all my latest Etsy listings, please check my Facebook page
. Thanks for your interest in my beadwork! Also, speaking of Facebook, don’t forget to enter Artbeads’ World’s Greatest Bead Sweepstakes
for your chance to win one of seven fabulous Artbeads.com Gift Cards! This sweepstakes is open to all US or Canadian residents (excluding Quebec), 18 years or older and ends on July 22, 2010 9am PT. To enter, just click the image below. Good luck!
*Please note: I have received the above products free of charge from Artbeads.com. This is my honest review of the products and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
I just realized that my blog turned 4 years old last month! Time Flies! Also, my last post was my 1000th post! Two reasons to celebrate! So, this week, I will be running another Lark Books giveaway! Here is your chance to win a copy of Laura McCabe‘s latest book – Embellished Beadweaving!
For those who may not be familiar with Laura’s beadwork, let me just say that she really was the first beader who opened my eyes to the possibilities of beading as an art form. Her works are uniquely ambitious and oddly beautiful. Embellished Beadweaving gives readers an insight into her creative soul as well as her educational background. Here’s a sneek peak:
First, I love the beginning chapter entitled ‘Beads Through History’. To really gain a full understanding of the ancient craft of beading, you must first learn about its origins and why humans are continually drawn to beads.
Next, you will learn how to make some of Laura’s beaded embellishments. Instructions for these are clearly written & illustrated! Throughout the rest of the book, you will be in awe of Laura’s jewelry designs.
Learn how to make elaborate earrings, bead-encrusted bracelets, and eye-popping necklaces. And, to top it all off, you will also be inspired by the gorgeous gallery of bead art featuring other artists’ beadwork at the end of the book.
If you are fascinated by Laura’s beadwork as much as I am, or the art of beadweaving in general, then this book is for you. I promise you will not be disappointed!
*Please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, May 29, 2010.
*Please leave your email address in your comment, or make sure your email address is posted on your Blogger profile so that I have a way to contact you if you are the winner. Entries without email addresses will not be eligible.
*To enter more than once:
Please post the news about this giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, and/or your own blog by clicking the Share button at the bottom of this post. Don’t forget to let me know where you have posted the news in your comment on this blog post!
*One winner will be randomly chosen & notified on Sunday, May 30, 2010.
Thanks for your interest, and good luck!
*Please note: I have received the above book free of charge from Lark Books. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.