Monday, January 11, 2010

Balloon Box Beaded Beads

Artbeads declared December as their month of Silver & Glass for their blogger partner program, and seeing as it's now January, I'm quite tardy in posting my contribution...

For this set of projects, I decided to sample some of their "medium" 6 by 9 mm Czech glass teardrop beads for some beadweaving experiments. My prior teardrop beaded bead projects use the smaller 4 by 6 mm Czech teardrop beads, and I wanted to see if I could make a beaded bead from the larger teardrops.

I'm totally stoked about the result! These beaded beads make great solo pendants as well as neat necklace components, and they're so fun to make too! I've named this design the "Balloon Box":

I used the "German Purple" shade of Czech glass teardrops for the above beaded bead, as well as some 2 mm round sterling silver beads and Japanese seed beads. Here's one in "Medium Amethyst/Copper":

And here's one in "Medium Turquoise/Picasso":

I had so much fun with these beaded beads that I made three more of them for a necklace, combined with some Bali silver hollow swirling wire beads and additional Czech glass beads and silver beads from my own stash:

The beaded beads in the necklace are in the same German Purple shade of glass that I used in the first pendant, but I changed the colors of the Japanese seed beads to a darker hue:

And finally, I made a simple pair of matching earrings with the Bali silver beads:

I'll definitely be making more of these Balloon Box beaded beads in the future!

Full disclosure: The Czech glass teardrop beads, 2 mm round sterling silver beads, and Bali silver beads used in these projects were received as a gift from No payment was made for the review of these products.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Octahedron Beaded Bead Necklaces

Today I added two new necklaces to my Etsy shop. Both feature three Caged Octahedron beaded beads, and are strung in a similar style. However, the colors and materials used in each necklace give both very different looks:

The dark green freshwater pearls in the first necklace served as the starting point for this piece, so I complemented them with silver, green, and dark brown seed beads to create the beaded beads. To achieve a more forest-y look, I strung the beaded beads with smoky quartz round beads surrounded by more freshwater pearls.

The second necklace features four lampwork beads by glass artisan Alex Shapiro. I found these beads at his booth at the BABE show a few years ago, and just fell in love with the dark blue color and the hint of sparkle in these beads. I made three beaded beads to match these lampwork beads, woven from Czech glass, and pink, white, and blue Japanese seed beads:

If I could make this necklace over again, I probably would have used less pink in the beaded beads because they seem a bit bright compared to the pink in the lampwork beads...

Both of these necklaces are currently available in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Artbeads Gift Certificate Winner Revealed!

Congratulations to alli for winning the Artbeads gift certificate giveaway! In the new year, alli wants to learn how to to add picot fringe to her bracelets, as well as how to make earrings from my beaded bead tutorials. Thanks alli! I'd love to see what you create with my tutorials!

Everyone has some great beading (and origami!) ideas to try in the new year!

Cindy wants to try making bead lace based on knitted lace. (Sounds neat! If anyone can work out the logistics, I'm sure you can!) If you haven't already seen her beautiful bead lace creations, check out her "Arwen" bracelet and the beautiful matching earring tutorial in her Etsy shop!

BeadKnitter wants to increase her knowledge in 3-dimensional beading with peyote stitch, right-angle-weave, and more complicated beaded beads, as well as delve into Russian beading techniques too. She's already completely mastered the Octahedral Cluster beaded bead from beAd Infinitum - check out her beautiful color variations of this design here and here! (I love the collection of Spock images too!)

BeadWhisperer wants to expand on the beading techniques that she's already familiar with; peyote, right-angle-weave, netting, and beaded beads, starting with a free-form peyote bracelet. Check out her geometric, dimensional peyote bracelet inspired by "Shaped Beadwork" by Diane Fitzgerald here! (the colors turned out great too!)

DragonTrollQueen wants to get into seedbeading this year, and is also interested in incorporating crystals into beaded beads. (It's not as hard as you think! The Squared Circles design is totally interchangeable between Czech glass and circle crystals.) She already does some gorgeous work with wire and crystals; check 'em out in her Etsy shop!

Sihui wants to learn how to make necklaces and bracelets in addition to the earrings that she already makes, as well as something in the Steampunk style. Sihui showcases some beautiful origami on her blog, and has a wide variety of very cute origami earrings in her Artfire shop! (Steampunk origami! Sounds awesome!)

The documentation of the random drawing is available at this link. Thanks to everyone who entered in the drawing, and to everyone who participated in the sale!

Full disclosure: The $25 gift certificate prize for this giveaway was kindly provided by
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