Monday, November 30, 2009

New Tutorial - Squared Circles Beaded Beads

I just finished my newest beaded bead tutorial - the Squared Circles beaded bead:

I like how this design works with both Czech glass lentils as well as Swarovski crystal circle pendants. I used the air blue opal shade of these crystals for these very wintery earrings:

This design also works with both larger lentils and crystals, as well as oddly-shaped "ovaltine" beads such as those in the focal beaded bead in this necklace:

This necklace features Squared Circles beaded beads as well as a variation of my Circle Starburst beaded bead woven from "ovaltine" beads. Czech firepolish beads and freshwater pearls complete this grey necklace.

Remember that the SATeam Wrist Candy Holiday Giveaway ends on 12/6, and until then anyone who purchases an item from any of the participating SATeam shops will be entered in a drawing to win a beautiful charm bracelet valued at over $400! At my shop, this promotion is valid for each jewelry and tutorial sale, so it's applicable to this new Squared Circles beaded bead tutorial too :). Search SATEAMWRIST at Etsy for other fabulous sale items!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

SATeam Wrist Candy Holiday Giveaway - Only 8 Days Left!

The SATeam promotion is ending soon! Until 12/6, anyone who purchases an item from any of the participating SATeam shops will be entered in a drawing to win this beautiful charm bracelet, featuring handcrafted charms from over 25 individual team members!

A list of the participating shops can be found at the SATeam blog, and you can also find sale items by searching for SATEAMWRIST at Etsy. Remember that at my shop, this promotion is valid for each jewelry and tutorial sale. There are only 8 days left in this promotion, so search SATEAMWRIST for all the fabulous sale items!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Lentil Beaded Beads

I have a soft spot for lentil glass beads. Maybe it's because I like teardrop beads a lot too. I've been working on incorporating them into beaded beads for close to two years now, and it's been such a challenge to engineer a solid beaded bead structure without the lentils flopping all over the place! After many attempts (resulting in many ugly prototypes), I've finally come up with some structures that I'm happy with.

The first is about 16 mm in diameter, and is completely hollow. I've named it "squared circles" since the circle-shaped lentils form a cube-like structure, and I thought it was a rather quirky name :). I made three of these beaded beads for this necklace:

This necklace also features some of Melissa Vess's beautiful lampwork beads. I was happy to find that the high-luster lentils ended up matching the lampwork beads perfectly!

This design is so versatile; it also works very well with Swarovski circle pendants. Here are two in a pair of earrings:

The other structure is much larger (24 mm!) and was much more difficult to design. It took lots of work and experimenting before I finally constructed this design to my satisfaction, as the prototypes to this beaded bead were either too squishy, or so stiff that completing the structure was physically impossible. I named it "circle starburst," and made it into a solo pendant in a Southwestern color palette:

I hope to complete tutorials of these designs before the end of the year, and I'm working on incorporating crystals into the circle starburst design as well. I'm trying to come up with a special holiday deal for these tutorials, so keep an eye on this blog!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crystal Wrap Earrings and Artbeads Coupon Code

The other day I received a package in the mail from, which was a surprise since I wasn't expecting anything from them at the time. They sent me a copy of their lovely 2010 inspirations calendar, which will make a great addition to the wall right next to my bead desk, as well as a coupon code to share with my friends and blog followers! The coupon code is scf10p-artbeads-0424, and is good for 10% off an entire order! Since the code is valid until the end of the year, it's great for your holiday shopping needs!

Speaking of Artbeads, I just finished the last part of my series on using a sampling of their Swarovski crystals in my designs. For this project, I chose some jet 4 mm bicone crystals. Not exactly an original bead to work with, as bicone crystals are ubiquitous in the jewelry-making community. However, these crystals are cut in Swarovski's new XILION cut, which features a larger number facets on each side of the bead that also alternate between small and large facets. It's a subtle change, and it's worth noting that these XILION crystals (article #5328) are completely interchangeable with the old #5301 cut in beadweaving designs. However, since Swarovski is completely replacing the #5301 bicones with the #5328 line by the end of the year (since the new cut is much more difficult to imitate by competitors), I figured that now is the best time to get used to the new design.

Anyway, I wove some beaded beads out of these crystals and three different sizes of Japanese seed beads to create a pair of earrings. I've been tinkering with this design for a while, and I have some other versions of this design featuring different combinations of seed beads in my Etsy shop.

I also made two more pairs of earrings in purple velvet and silver, and in aquamarine champagne and purple. These two pairs feature the old #5301 bicone crystal cut. Can you spot the difference?

Now that I look at them, I think that using the 4 mm jet crystal is not the best way to show off the new cut. Next time I'll try using a larger size bicone, perhaps in an opaque opal shade.

Full disclosure: The 4 mm #5328 jet bicone crystals used in the first pair of earrings were received as a gift from

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rings and Things Roadshow, Fall Edition

Last Saturday I attended one of Rings and Things' last bead tour shows of the year. By this point, I really should have used more of the beads I picked up from the last time I attended one of their bead shows, but I just couldn't help myself. Here's what I picked up:

From bottom to top, we have rose quartz, bloodstone, smoky quartz, onyx, lapis, dyed red freshwater pearls, and then even more freshwater pearls. I also picked up some Swarovski crystal 4 mm bicones; they had a surprisingly large stock of the new 5328 bicone style in addition to the old 5301 style, as well as the new cyclamen opal color.

I like how even the round stone beads are, since evenness is very important in the type of beadweaving that I do. I'm sure that the lapis is dyed, but it's so pretty that I don't care.

I was really happy to find drop-shaped freshwater pearls in peach, pink, and white at this show. Now I can continue my teardrop pearl experiments with additional colors! These pearls came at three colors to a strand, and although I like all three colors I wish they had come in strands of one color each.

The pre-holiday bead shopping doesn't stop here... The BABE show is this weekend and it's always been one of my favorite bead shows. If you're planning on going, check out their website for a coupon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Jewelry in the Shop - Earrings!

I listed a few new pieces in my Etsy shop:

First, a pair of black and silver mini Disco Ball earrings:

Next, a pair of black and gold Double Bubble Jacks earrings:

Finally, a pair of red and gold Swarovski crystal earrings:

Remember, until December 6, purchase of any item in my shop (both jewelry and tutorials) enters the buyer into a drawing for this beautiful bracelet made by over 25 members of the SATeam! Check out our team blog for more information!

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