Beaded Jewelry

Calling All New Beaders! (Actually, Calling All Beaders)

I have had questions on what projects are best for those new to beading. But even experienced beaders may find this post useful, as sometimes we need to go back to our roots. Or, you may need a refresher on a particular technique. So let’s talk beading!

What Jewelry Do You Like?

The first thing is to decide on what you like to wear for jewelry.  Are you into bracelets, or do necklaces turn your head?  Do you get ecstatic when you pass an earring display, or do you prefer your rings on your hands?

Once you’ve got that decided what you’d like to make, then think of your personal style.  Are you someone who likes a clean tailored look or do you prefer something more organic?

And of course — what colors go you prefer?  Is your look more muted, or do you go crazy for bold colors?

Choosing  Your Project

The reason I asked you to think of all this is because you want to be able to wear your jewelry!  And it’s a whole lot more fun when you know you will have a great time not only making it, but wearing it as well.

Of course, maybe you want to make some jewelry for a friend or relative.  What kind of jewelry do they like, and of course, what colors do they favor?

Project Suggestions

If I was totally new to beading and wanted to try it with a minimum of money, I’d go for making some stretch bracelets.  I have two videos on making them (here’s the link to the other one), so you can get an idea of what might be involved.   Another project that is easy is a wrap bracelet (and of course I have videos on them as well).

If you want something a little more of a step up, try some stringing — you can work with beading wire and crimps to make some gorgeous necklaces, bracelets and even earrings!  Naturally…I have a video for that too!

Seed Beads and More

When I first started beading I swore I would never work with seed beads — they were just way too tiny!  You can see how that worked out, LOL, since at least half of my videos and most of my ebook tutorials are centered around those tiny glass treasures.  Go figure.  😉

One of the easiest weaves using seed beads is probably peyote — once you have the first two rows set up, it’s almost like autopilot — the pattern of the weave is very obvious.

One of my personal favorite beading stitches is Russian Spiral — that’s the pattern in the picture at the top of this post.  The weave is easy to follow, and better yet — it works up quickly!

Want some videos on seed bead stitches?  Check out my Youtube playlist for the seed beads.

What About Bead Embroidery?

Bead embroidery is gorgeous, and it’s probably a lot easier than you think.  I do have a Bead Embroidery 101 video, and if you think you’d like to work with components, I have an ebook tutorial for that.  I also have some other bead embroidery videos.  Here’s a link to my Youtube Bead Embroidery Playlist.

The thing I like best about bead embroidery is that it’s very, very forgiving.  I do a lot of organic work, and it’s a case of “anything goes”.  I have to credit Sherry Serafini with my addiction to bead embroidery.  While I am in no way in her league, she is my inspiration.

OK, so these are my feelings on beading, per se.  Upcoming…my thoughts on all things wire!

Russian Spiral Gets Reversed! Russian Spiral Video Tutorial

Reverse Russian Spiral BraceletsI’m sure what I call a Reverse Russian Spiral has another name, but it really is just a pattern variation, as opposed to a brand-new stitch.   I called it a reverse spiral some time back, and the name stuck for me.

What’s Different?

In a regular Russian Spiral, the various colors all spiral one way up the rope — they all go in the same direction (typically clockwise).  In the reverse method, one of the colors spirals clockwise, and the others counter-clockwise.

So…same stitch, different look.  😀

Video Tutorial

In the video tutorial, I show you how to make the purple bracelet.  I alos explain the differences between the purple and the blue bracelet.  But first, a little about the supplies.

You will need the following for the purple bracelet:

  • Silver 4mm cube beads:  About 5 grams.
  • Permanently galvanized silver seed beads, size 8:  About 5 or 6 grams.
  • Light purple (orchid) opaque size 11 seed beads:  About 5 grams.
  • Dark purple matte size 11 seed beads:  About 5 grams.
  • Purple iris size 11 seed beads:  About 5 grams.
  • Amethyst-colored 4mm fire polished beads:  2
  • Size 11 beading needle; you can use a size 10 or 12, if you prefer.
  • Thread:  I used Fireline; you can use 6lb or 8 lb.  Or, you could also use a thread like One-G or K-O.
  • Clasp of your choice; I used a round silver magnetic clasp.

Now, all you need to do is kick back and watch the video!

Bead Embroidery Bracelet – “Gypsy’s Silk”

Bead Embroidery Bracelet - Gypsy's SilkEvery time I take a bead embroidery class, I come away full of new ideas.  A couple of weeks ago I took a couple of classes with Sherry Serafini (who, by the way, is as awesome a teacher as she is a beader), and this is the result of one of the classes.  I call this bead embroidery bracelet “Gypsy’s Silk”.

A Different Look

You’ll notice that this is a little different from most bead embroidery; it’s closer to being mixed media.  Then again, bead embroidery really is mixed media in a way, since you are beading on some type of fabric or backing.

The difference with this is that silk is being used as part of the bracelet.  It’s a type called Shibori, and it’s gorgeous!  I am not sure if the silk is pleated, then dyed, or dyed before pleating.  Either way, it’s beautiful, as well as intriguing to work with.

So, I have to give Sherry the credit for thinking up this beautiful new style of bead embroidery.  But it’s also given me ideas for taking this a step in a different direction.  Which means that I have a whole slew of new projects percolating for my upcoming “Bead Embroidery Components 2” tutorial.

Where’s the Shibori Silk?

While the Shibori silk ribbon in the bracelet above I bought from Sherry (I fell in love with the colors), I had also bought some online from Etsy (one of my favorite places) that was a bit more muted.  But at the class, I discovered that one of my classmates also sold Shibori ribbon, so click here for her site – she has absolutely gorgeous colors too.  (And no, I don’t get a commission for recommending her — I just saw with my own eyes what she had with her, so I know it’s wonderful.)

Big and Beautiful (If I Say So Myself)

This is a really wide cuff — a little over 2 inches.  But it takes a surprisingly short time to complete.  Of course, part of that is due to the fact that the ribbon takes up a fair amount of space that would normally be covered by beads.  But, that was my idea — Sherry’s demo piece had less silk showing.  But since I have never been one to color between the lines, I took my piece in a little different direction.

So that’s “Gypsy’s Silk”.  I had a really hard time naming this piece, but it seems to fit.  Well, I think so at any rate.  So, off to the races (so to speak) and I’ll start getting together my next Bead Embroidery Components 2 tutorial — and it will be far more “bling-y” than Intro to Bead Embroidery Components.

So, hope you like this piece, and see you later!  🙂