Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tower of Felt: Textile Bracelet No. 48 Pink

This tower of felt features five different felt cuffs made of wool, silk, mohair and sparkle fibers.  I made them using a technique I developed that I call felted lace. 
The latest felt bracelet (No. 48) is made with pink and orange wool, mohair, and I also added a bunch of silk in orange, burgundy, and red.  It's maybe a third silk which makes it extra soft and gives the colors a luminous quality that is difficult to capture in a photo.  The colors are rich like fire.
Felt Cuff

The pink one really plays nice with the other felted lace bracelets I've made.  Here you can see it with a purple one. They are big, soft, bold and comfortable.
Felt Cuffs  
I think these three make a nice "pair." Think of it as cozy jewelery for winter wear.  

Purple Felt Cuff
The white one can be worn as either a bracelet or a little crown on top of the head.
 Felt Crown
Thanks for looking!
Felt Lace Bracelets

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Beaded Lace Adventure Necklace No. 2

Last time I reported on the Beaded Lace Adventure, I showed some beaded motifs from my latest tutorial, Eucalyptus Leaves.  Today, I have the complete collar to share with you that uses a bunch of those motifs. 
Eucalyptus Leaves is a two-for-one pattern that shows how to make a bracelet as well as the Eucalyptus Clover, which was the basis for this collar.  The top edge of this collar is composed of nine eucalyptus clovers in bronze, silver, black and matte gray seed beads.
I also used nine beaded lace flowers with 3 petals and eight pieces of beaded lace swags on the bottom edge. Swarovski pearls in cream connect the various motifs.
I have to admit, I'm thrilled with the drape of this piece.  It fits perfectly at that place where the base of the neck meets the top of the collarbone.  Considering how heavy it is, this collar is remarkably comfortable.  I used gold filled chain, lobster clasps, and jumprings to make the clasp adjustable for a perfect fit.  Actually, it didn't really want to lie flat for the photos where I laid it flat on the table because it's not designed to be flat. But since it's lace, it will stretch and compress to fit.  That's what all of those holes are good for!
This Beaded Lace Adventure Necklace No.2 is for sale in my Etsy shop.  Thanks for looking.  Happy holidays.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holly Leaf Earrings

Late last night, after a couple of tries, I worked out a design for a tiny seed beaded holly leaf. Today, I got the illustrations drawn, and next, I'm working on a pair of earrings with red crystals for the berries. The design is quick and easy. So, look out for a free tutorial on holly earrings from me later this week. It's going to be my little Christmas gift to all of you bead weavers out there so you'll have something seasonally appropriate to wear to all of those holiday parties that I hope you'll attend.  

Here's the first earring.  It took a couple of tries to get the berries as I wanted them, but now I'm happy with it.  Thanks for looking!

Update: the tutorial is now available here:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Eucalyptus Leaves Bracelet: Part 5 of the Beaded Lace Adventure

It's been a couple weeks since I reported on the Beaded Lace Adventure, and during that time, I've given a lot of thanks, ate a lot of delicious food with my friends and family, and managed to finish one new tutorial.  I hope you'll think it's a good one.  This is Part 5 of the beaded lace adventure, which I call Eucalyptus Leaves.  Eucalyptus is a two-for-one pattern which shows how to make this bracelet,

Eucalyptus Leaves Beaded Lace Bracelet Tutorial
as well as the Eucalyptus Clover, a four-petaled design that plays well with the other lace motifs in the adventure. It's like the four-petaled flower from Part 2, but bigger and more elaborate.  A bunch of them in a row makes a nice band for a collar or bracelet.
In fact, I will use most of these clovers in the collar I am currently stitching, which I'll share when it's finished.  In the mean time, here are some of the designs I've been playing with, and the tutorial includes a few more to inspire you to make one for yourself. 

Here you can see what the eucalyptus vine looks like in black. I think looks like some mod black lace from the 1950s, super chic.  I should probably finish this bracelet, but I'd rather work on the collar because it's bigger and more elaborate.  
The eucalyptus tutorial even includes a few lacy snowflake designs like this one.  How pretty would this be hanging in a window, twinkling when the sun shines on it, and lacy when the sun shines through it.  
To conclude this post, I'm thrilled to share the work of a fellow beading blogger... From a companion on the Adventure, here is bead work by Tanya of Pixiloo.  
She made this beautiful necklace using my Beaded Lace Swags tutorial.  I love how she stacked two different swag designs, and added pink daggers to make such a lovely necklace.  The colors she chose look very antique to me.  I like it. Can I tell you, I am so exited to have someone joining me on this adventure, because I think the possibilities are huge and potentially gorgeous (like Tanya's necklace here), and Tanya promised to make more beaded lace!  So I'm waiting patiently for that.   Tanya also wrote a nice review of the Beaded Lace Adventure on her blog, and for that I am thankful.  And for you reading my blog, too. Thanks for looking.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lotus Drop Earrings

These beaded earrings feature little fan dangles in the shape of lotus flowers. They are woven with purple and bronze glass seed beads and Swarovski crystal in hot pink, and creamy pearl. All of the metal is sterling silver. They are fancy enough to be noticed, yet still casual enough for day wear.
Lotus Drop Beaded Earrings
These are medium sized earrings, and the beaded beads have a ton of detail for their size.
Length of earrings from top of ear wire is 37 mm (1 3/8 inches).
Lotus Drop Beaded Earrings
I have a tutorial available if you would like to learn how to make you own Lotus Drop Earrings. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Textile Bangle Bracelets No. 45 Purple, 46 Green, and 47 Yellow

I'm making felted lace bracelets again in celebration of the holiday. It's very labor intensive, but I love the forms, texture and color combinations that are possible with wool, silk and sparkle fibers.

No. 45 Purple
Felt Lace Bracelet
No. 46 Green
Felt Lace Bracelet
No.47 Yellow
Felt Lace Bracelet
One of the fun things about felt is that it's super flexible, but when it gets bent out of shape, it will pop right back into position.   
Felt Lace Bracelet
That it doesn't collapse under it's own weight is more a product of how light it is than how stiff it is.  If you're like me and like the look of jewelry, but find bracelets really uncomfortable, you might just love wearing felt bracelets as much as I do.  These pieces are for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click on the photos to go to the listings.  Thanks for looking. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Iris Drop Earrings in Pink Pearl Bronze

These Iris Drop Earrings are dramatic little dangles that are small enough to be comfortable and fancy enough to be noticed. They are woven with glass seed beads in bronze, with Swarovaki crystals in several shades of pink and creamy Swarovski pearls. The little rings and ear wires are sterling silver.
Iris Drop Earrings
These are medium sized earrings, and the beaded beads have a lot of bling and detail for their size.
Length of earrings from top of ear wire is 39mm (1 1/2 inches).
Iris Drop Earrings
If you would like to learn to make your own Iris Drop Earrings, check out the tutorial available here:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Beaded Lace Adventure Continues

I'm working on a second lace collar for my beaded lace adventure, and I thought I'd show you one of my stops along the way.  Here are a few of the components that I've made for the piece so far.

This includes a beaded lace medallion, four lace flowers, and a swag

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fern Earrings for My Sister

A few days ago, I showed you the pair of Melissa Grakowski's Fern Earrings I made for mom for the holidays.  When my sister saw them, she also wanted a pair.  She chose blue, purple and metal, and this is what I came up with.
For my sister
Here's mom's pair so you can compare the colors.  It's always fun making pretty things.
For Mom

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beaded Fern Earrings with Herringbone Stitch

I've always loved Melissa Grakowsky Shippee's beaded ferns, and I finally got a hold of her book "I can herringbone" and made myself a pair. Actually, I think I'll give this pair to my mom for Thanksgiving. I rarely make other people's beadwork designs these days, but these were a real pleasure to make with Melissa's fantastic instructions.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lace Medallions: Part 4 of the Beaded Lace Adventure

I finished my first beaded lace necklace, and I'm so in love. 
Steampunk Lace Necklace
It's so comfortable, and it hangs beautifully below my neck. The drape is just perfect. I chose steampunk colors of black, gold, bronze and pearl.   
Steampunk Beaded Lace Necklace

You might notice this necklace features a large golden bronze Beaded Lace Medallion, which happens to be Part 4 of my Beaded Lace Adventure. The medallion tutorial is now available if you would like to make some medallions too.
The instructions explain how to make 5 different medallion variations. I give specific patterns for medallions with 6, 7, and 8 petals that range in size from 1 1/2 to 2 inches. The last three pages includes photos of several design possibilities for necklaces and wide cuff bracelets using medallions, flowers, and swags. more designs are coming!  Here's an example of a cuff design.
You can read more about the Beaded Lace Adventure here on my blog, find the patterns in the tutorials section of my Etsy shop, and please look out for more soon. I've got more designs in my notebook still to realize in seed beads, but I have to sit down and bead them first before I can show you.  So, come back later!  And as always, thanks for looking.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Beaded Swags: Part 3 of the Beaded Lace Adventure

I'm still having fun designing lace for my Beaded Lace Adventure.  I love lace, always have.  And with more elements to design with, I can create larger, more elaborate compositions. 
Beaded Lace Adventure
In my new pattern on Beaded Lace Swags, I show how to weave 9 different versions of swags, including these.  So you can make a beaded lace necklace with me!
Beaded Lace Swags
The compositions here also include Beaded Lace Flowers and Swarovski crystals.  This composition is almost symmetric, but I realized that if I want to make a symmetric necklace, I better start making two of each sample piece.  
 Beaded Lace Necklace
I did that for most of the flowers, but I haven't started making doubles of the swags yet. So these compositions are quite asymmetric, because that's all I've got.

Beaded Lace Necklace
You can read more about the Beaded Lace Adventure here on my blog, and please look out for more soon.  I haven't finished this necklace yet, and I've got more designs in my head, but I have to sit down and bead them first before I can show you.  So, come back later!  And as always, thanks for looking.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Behold the power of the BEADS!

I'm working diligently on my next installment of my beaded lace adventure, but until then, here's a little something to appeal to the 4-year old in you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Going on a Beaded Lace Adventure

I'm going on a lace adventure.  Do you want to come along with me?
Beaded Lace Flowers
Let me explain...  For the last couple of weeks, I started beading lace.  I'm taking my inspiration from the fantastic Terese de Dillmont, who documented the art of Irish lace crochet in her Encyclopedia of Needlework, in the 1880s.  From Terese, I learned how to do crochet lace flowers, and I made a few free video tutorials that you can find here on my blog.  One classic crochet design is the basic five petaled flower.
Crocheted Flower

I tried to make a flower with beads and a needle instead of yarn and a crochet hook.  And so I did, and I made more and more, and now I have a little garden of black lace flowers made out of seed beads and thread.  
Beaded Lace Flowers
I have enough flowers to make a bracelet.   I could sew them together and add a clasp, but what I really want to do is make is a big black lace necklace, a collar that fits comfortably around the base of my neck with crystals hanging off of it and pearls connecting it together.  Something dramatic and Gothic.   So I just put in an order for the bigger beads, and I'm going to make more flowers.  I'm also going to add swags and other do-dads and lacy bits to fill out the piece until it's big and complicated.  And I want you to make one too!  Don't you want to make your own?  I mean, you like lace too, right?

Now, what's so great about this lace technique made with bead weaving is that it's easy to do, and because it's flat, it's easy to draw patterns explaining how to do it, and I think that should make it easy to learn as well.  So I'm writing a series of tutorials in hopes that some of you will play along and make beaded lace jewelry with me.  Athena's Acanthus Bracelet is the first design in the series.
Athena's Acanthus Bracelet
So I'm going to make big necklaces.  Rather than making one large tutorial explaining how to make a whole necklace, I'm going to write several shorter (read that "inexpensive") tutorials that each explain one kind of design. Rather than focusing on making complete jewelry, for now at least, I want to teach you how to make individual motifs, and show you ways of arranging them.  The result will be a series of designs and tutorials that all coordinate so you can compose larger pieces of jewelry.  I'm not sure how many of these tutorials I have in me, and it might depend upon how enthusiastic you gals are in encouraging me to make more.  But I think I have at least a couple more.  
So, I'm selling these as short tutorials, individually priced so you can just buy the parts you want to learn and make.  And I am pricing them at a fraction of what I normally charge to encourage you to try it out, and make your own beaded lace jewelry.

Part 1 of the Beaded Lace Adventure is Athena’s Acanthus Bracelet.
Athena's Acanthus Bracelet
Part 2 is Beaded Lace Flowers.
Beaded Lace Flowers
Part 3 is Beaded Lace Swags.
Beaded Lace Swags

Part 4 is Beaded Lace Medallions.
Beaded Lace Medallions
Part 5 is the Eucalyptus Leaves, which shows how to make a bracelet
Eucalyptus Leaves Beaded Lace Bracelet Tutorial
and the Eucalyptus Clover, a four-petaled design that plays well with the other lace motifs in this adventure. It's like the four-petaled flower from Part 2, but bigger.  A bunch of them in a row makes a nice band.
and more designs are coming! Look for in the tutorials section of my Etsy shop.  Here is my first complete necklace, made with motifs from Parts 2, 3, and 4.   
Steampunk Beaded Lace Necklace
Stay tuned for more because there's definitely more.  More tutorials and more jewelry.  As always, thanks for looking.
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