Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wisdom Mandala in Pink Purple Amethyst on Silk Cord

Do you get in color moods? I sure do. I feel like I've been in a pink mood for a while now. As long as I'm playing with pink, I'm happy.
I really enjoy weaving Wisdom Mandala Pendants because each one is an exploration of color. When I got all of these new pink beads over the summer, I knew I'd have to eventually make a pink one, complete with matching 100% silk cord that I spun on my spinning wheel.
This piece is for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click on the photos to see the listing.
The pattern available here:

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

TUTORIAL Puff Beads -- a beaded bead torus with Embellished Super Right Angle Weave

Puff! Puff! Puff!
Learn to make your own Puff Beads like the surface of a doughnut with a tube of seed beads forming the hole.  You can easily string them on a chain or cord like I did for the pink necklace on the cover of the pattern.
Mostly stiff, but a still flexible, Puffs are beaded beads made with embellished super right angle weave (E-SRAW). Do you enjoy right angle weave (RAW) and want to learn more? Before attempting this tutorial, you can learn flat SRAW on my blog for free at
Puff Beads are made with just three sizes of regular Japanese seed beads and beading thread, making them a great way to use up seed beads leftover from other projects, and they look great simply strung on cord with a few lampwork glass beads.  Materials lists are included for various sizes of seed beads and embellishments including optional rose montees like I used on the green beaded bead below.
This tutorial shows how to shape SRAW into the surface of a torus, and embellish the outside. Included are 2 pages on the theory of shaped SRAW, 12 pages showing step-by-step instructions for the main design (the torus), and 5 pages showing 4 geometric variations of beaded beads that are simpler and smaller than the main design. The tutorial guides you to apply the theory and techniques to make the other designs in several sizes from 11 mm to the 23 mm Puff Bead.
The tutorial is a PDF file with 20 pages, including over 120 illustrations and photographs with lots of writing explaining the pictures. Suitable for intermediate bead weavers with enough variations to inspire advanced weavers.

Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Upcycled Sweater Number 5

I really enjoy making these new sweaters out of old sweaters, enough that I decided to start numbering them.  This one is number 5.  I'm finally feeling more comfortable with the technique of sewing sweater on my serger without fretting over every seam.
It's made of fine wool and cashmere.  It's pretty soft, cozy and warm.
Plus, it buttons up the front with some old buttons from my grandmother's button box.  I made the button placket myself, which I'm pretty proud of.  It took me 13 tries on a scrap to figure out how to get my sewing machine to make button holes properly, but I got it, and I took notes for next time.
I'm rather pleased with how the neckline came out.
The little leaves are all stitched on separately.
I also added leaves on the sleeve hems and on the patch pocket. This cardigan sweater is for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click the photos to go to the listing.  Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let me call you Sweetheart

I'm in love with you. 
Let me hear you whisper that you love me too. 
Sweetheart Pendant with Cubic Right Angle Weave

I couldn't decide which color of pink crystals to use.  So I used all of them.  I wrote a tutorial for the Sweetheart Pendant so you can learn to bead one yourself.  Thanks for looking.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tensegrity Sculpture with Seed Bead Weaving

My neighbor Ben brought me a gift of this tensegrity sculpture, made from six pen tubes, eight hair bands, and twelve bobby pins. The blue things are the pen tubes.  The triangles are each one hair band.  The bobby pins are holding the bands and hidden in each end of the pen tubes.

Of course, I had to make one in beads. It took me several tries to finish with this piece above. I tried first with bugle beads, but my results were quite wonky.  Eventually, you see above that I made six separate sticks with cubic right angle weave (CRAW), and I embellished them to stiffen them.  Then, with a seventh piece of thread, I assembled the sticks, using tiny seed beads (where the hair bands would be).

It turned out to be a lot harder to bead weave this piece than I expected.  With the hair bands, the tension balanced everything and the tubes sit in a position of least energy.  With seed beads, I was using a number of beads to determine the distance between the ends of the stick.  I had to get the counts just right or it would sag when I used too many, or bend out of symmetry when I used too few.  I know because I made errors both ways.  "Try and see what happens."  Well, I tried and saw, and in the end, it's still not as balanced as I'd like. Ah well.  I still enjoy a good new beading challenge, even if it doesn't always end perfectly.  Thanks Ben.  That was challenging!  I anticipate that one of you could do better.  Please show me, if you try.  Thanks for looking.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mostly Cashmere Mostly Purple Tunic Sweater Dress

I put away my beads for a bit so I could do some sewing.  This tunic sweater is mostly purple, and mostly cashmere (with a bit of wool, which is mostly merino).
Sweater Dress

Oh so soft! The fabrics are super stretchy and did I mention that they're super soft? The tunic is semi fitted through the bodice and drapes slightly longer in the back than in the front.

I hand dyed two of the sweaters with wool dyes to get those bright purples. The accent colors include deep blue, olive green, deep forest green and brown. The seams are medium leaf green.
All seams and hems are professionally sewn with four polyester threads on my serger sewing machine. This is very well made, comfortable and warm.

Size: Medium, 38" bust measured flat, and stretchy.  I'm offering this for sale until it gets cool enough around here to wear it myself.  It's 89°F today here as I type this.  I think if it had been 60°, I would be wearing it instead of listing it for sale.  Click on the photos to see the listing.  Thanks for looking.

This tunic was inspired by the sweater coats of Katwise, with help from her sewing tutorials, which are amazing, by the way.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Beaded Bead Necklace in Pink Silver Black with Lampwork Glass

For this necklace, I made 8 beaded beads, including a Conway Bead, 3 Nuts and Washers, 2 Infinity Beads, an Octahedral Cluster and an Mini Ionic Rhombic Dodecahedron. Then, I added 7 borosilicate and lampwork glass beads torched by several different artists. That's 15 beads in all. Together they make a pallet of bright and pale pinks, silver, gray, and black.
They're all strung on a yard of 100% silk cord that I twisted and plied on my spinning wheel. If you enjoy stringing beads, you could use this set as a beginning of a more elaborate necklace, but I would wear them just as they are, strung on cord.
Includes 6 inches (15 cm) of beads. Largest beaded bead measures just over an inch (26 mm). Click on the photos to go to the listing.

If you would like to learn to make your own beaded Nuts and Washers, I have a tutorial available here:
I have a tutorial for the Octahedral Cluster here:
The Conway Bead tutorial is here:
The Ionic Polyhedra tutorial is here:
The Infinity Dodecahedron tutorial is here:

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