Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunflower Set

I was in the mood to celebrate the summertime, so I wove a pair of sunflowery Sakura Charm earrings to match a pendant that I'd woven some time ago.
The pendant is a Rivoli Kaleidoscope, and features a tanzanite crystal at its center for a hint of purple in the traditional sunflower:
I also found this icy aquamarine and silver Rivoli Kaleidoscope pendant in my pendant stash, which makes for a very refreshing flair in the summer heat.
All three pieces are available in my Etsy shop. Click on each individual photo for more information about each piece.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Microphyte Necklace in Pandora Sapphire

I worked up another Microphyte Beaded Bead, this time in the pandora sapphire color palette that I've used before in my Pagoda and Double Pagoda designs.

When I was finished putting it together, I took the design a step further and made two smaller variations, each playing off of a different geometric element of the original. Since the Microphyte Beaded Bead uses the symmetry of a cuboctahedron, it has eight triangular sides and six square sides. So I decided to separate those two elements into their own beads by weaving a cube and an octahedron. The cube was relatively straightforward to weave, but the octahedron was woven with a tetrahedral thread path and ended up looking a bit unusual.
I describe how to weave both variations in the Microphyte pattern.

Finally, I wove an extra bead of each variation, and put all five beads into a necklace with additional Czech glass beads and Japanese seed beads:

I sure do love this shade of blue...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Pattern: Microphyte Beaded Bead

I've been experimenting with combining shaped seed beads and bicone crystals in close proximity to each other, and I came up with a cute triangular element that could work in several different designs. Being a beaded bead person, I connected several of them into a ball. After some additional tinkering, I arrived at this cuboctahedral beaded bead that I like to call the Microphyte Beaded Bead:
I like how this beaded bead looks so organic, yet it has a defined symmetry underlying its odd structure. It reminds me of colonies of microorganisms that I learned about in microbiology class many years ago, hence its name. In pink it also looks like some kind of alien berry:
I had some extra beads leftover from putting together Harvest Queen Necklace kits, so I also worked it up in harvest colors:
The Microphyte Beaded Bead pattern is available exclusively at I'm thinking of putting together some kits for this design too... Which color combo do you prefer?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beadwork's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest: Sneak Peek!

For those of you who have been following Beadwork Magazine's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Series, I received permission from the magazine's editors to put together a special sneak preview of the fifth design in the series! Now presenting... The Dewdrop Beaded Bead:
This design came about after I created a related bracelet with tila beads and drop seed beads. I thought the bracelet pattern might look nice as a beaded bead, so I wrapped a small portion of it around a round core bead and joined the ends together. Then I wove in some netted caps to each side, and this barrel-shaped tila-and-teardrop design was born.
The Dewdrop beaded bead uses the three standard sizes of Japanese seed beads, Miyuki's two-hole tila beads, and fringe drop beads in both the 3.4 mm and 2.8 mm sizes. I've woven it in several color palettes, and several other variations are possible which I discuss in the pattern.
The Dewdrop Beaded Bead pattern will be published in the October/November issue of Beadwork Magazine. More information about the 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest is available on the Beading Daily website. Check out my versions of the previous beaded beads in this series here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Price Reductions in Etsy Shop

I've been at work on several new pieces of jewelry, some of which I'm planning on putting in my Etsy shop. To make room for these new pieces, I've lowered the prices of several older items that have been in the shop for quite some time. This is just a selection of the available items - click on the images for more information about each piece.
Amethyst and Peach Beaded Pendant, $29 Now $22

Purple and Gold Venetian Necklace, $79 Now $59

Black and Gold Crystal Earrings, $20 Now $15

Black and White Bubble Box Necklace, $65 Now $49

Light Blue and White Pearl Pendant, $40 Now $30

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beadwork's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest: Treasure Trove Beaded Bead

Over the weekend I eagerly wove the next beaded bead in Beadwork's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead series, Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's Treasure Trove beaded bead:
This design is quite different from the previous beaded beads in this series, in both symmetry and construction, yet I love how it fits so squarely in Cynthia's unique design style. If you've ever tried her Lagoon or Geode beaded beads, you'll notice a similar symmetry and a familiar construction strategy. I think this beaded bead would pair very well with her Itsy Bitsy earrings.
This design uses a lot of thread and several repeat passes through the same threadpath in each step, and justifiably so in order to achieve the correct tension to hold the beaded bead together without unwanted wonkiness. While this approach can lend itself to tangled threads, it has the advantage of requiring next to no reinforcement to make it solid and sturdy after the final seed bead is added to the design, which is quite satisfying if you get impatient like I do.
I also tried weaving this beaded bead with round crystal pearls for the large inner beads instead of fire polished beads, which led to a slightly shorter but wider variation.
I also used a few different colors of the smaller fire polished beads, but I think I like the original color patterns better.
The Treasure Trove Beaded Bead pattern can be found in the August/September issue of Beadwork Magazine. More information about the 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest is available on the Beading Daily website. Check out my versions of the previous beaded beads in this series herehere, and here.

The last addition to this beaded bead series will be published in the October/November issue, and it was designed by none other than yours truly :). I can't wait to see it in print!
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