Button beads for… beading!

Yippee! The beading gods have finally heard my prayers. My local stores now sell Preciosa seed beads, so I don’t have to order uniformly sized beads from overseas. <Dances a little jig.> So I now have beading needles, beading thread, aaaand… beads! I’m all set to practice some beading. Peyote stitch, get ready to be conquered!

Antiqued polymer clay flower / button beads

I made these button beads from polymer clay, thinking I’ll work some beading around them whenever I’m done learning a few beading stitches. I used a mold for these beads, and used acrylic paints for antiquing. The mold impressions are deep at the edges, and there’s a whole lot of paint there that I just couldn’t get rid of, but I’m not bothered much. After all, they’ll all be obscured by the beading. πŸ™‚

Hope against hope that I get to working more on these soon. I’m chugging along on a knitting project right now, though. I’m on the edging for one sleeve, and then I’ll only have one sleeve left so I’m pretty eager to finish that too. Hmm, I think I can aim for beading practice only next week.

Am I too greedy to hope that Miyuki seed beads become available locally too? πŸ™‚

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

My first project in the PCA art retreat. And my first batch of improvisations to compensate for lack of supplies where I live. πŸ˜‰

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

Crocheted Polymer Clay Jewelry

This project uses the invisible spool knitting technique of wire crochet to embellish organic polymer clay beads with a delicate wire mesh, creating teardrop-shaped earrings and pendant. The wire crochet technique is used to create a fine necklace as well.

I could make the beads without much hassle. (Thanks to my sis for lending me her supplies to add the shine on them.) However, I can’t find the fine wire needed for the project here. So I used what I could lay my hands on — a thicker gauge wire.

Now, this wire does not really hold its shape while I work on it, so I couldn’t use the invisible spool knitting technique. I did regular crochet instead, which makes for a thicker mesh.

The wire mesh is also not the least bit delicate — if anything, it’s strong and yet springy πŸ™‚ — but I wanted to work with it instead of trying to force it to be something it wasn’t, so I made the pieces look more traditional Indian instead of modern, by adding more wire-crocheted accompaniments for the earrings. Instead of making a fine necklace, I made a tube that a cord (or a seed-bead necklace) can be strung into.

And I also made a tiny piece that I added as a charm to an old scrunchy bracelet that I’d made. πŸ™‚

So many improvisations! Love the results! ❀ ❀

Paper beads, seed beads

I still use the paper bead bunch keychain that I made, and I still love it. Using the keychain made me want to churn out more of those beads. Here’s what that urge resulted in —

Paper beads, seed beads

Chillin’ out!

I don’t want to make another keychain out of these, though. I wonder how I can use them… I’m thinking they’d do well accentuating a yarn-based project. Any other ideas?

Paper button

Wow, it’s been a month since my last post! I’ve not been making much jewelry these days, so the pause in my jewelry blogging is inevitable. πŸ™‚ I’ve mostly been working on one or two personal programming projects, and on my knitting.

One piece of jewelry I did make recently was a paper button for a short jacket that I knit for my sis. The jacket is light-and-dark gray, and I wanted to make a button that matches those tones. I decided to make a spiral disc bead, and add some wirework in the end, both as embellishment and as the loop through which I can thread the ‘button’ onto the jacket.

Paper button

I made the bead by winding many thin, long,Β slowly-tapering strips of newspaper one after another. This way, the bead ends up wider than it is long. Of course, plenty of glue is needed from time to time to prevent unwinding of this ‘super-long strip.’ After the glue dried, I painted the bead with a rough ombrΓ© effect of black and silver acrylic colors in the front, and fully black at the back. I waited for the paint to dry fully before applying multiple coatings of mod podge, letting the piece air-dry between coatings.

The finished bead is pretty sturdy, and is about 0.5cm thick and 2cm wide.

We eventually found a different button for my sister’s jacket, and I didn’t get a chance to add the wire embellishments to this button. I’ve to find some other use for it now! πŸ™‚

Tiny beads galore!

I’ve not had much time for making jewelry in the past couple of weeks, but after I tried my hand at beading, I decided to order some (cough!) beads — mostly seed beads — online to incorporate in my creations. They’ll be used in other jewelry too anyway, not just for beading. My sister already has grand plans for them… πŸ™‚

(Mostly) seed beadsI’m satisfied (for the time being) with these colors, but I have a feeling they might be in their shelf for some time because right now, I’m thinking about paper beads.

Chunky paper beads

Chunky paper beads

Chunky paper beads

Paper beads were what I started my DIY jewelry experiments with, and Janice Mae’s paper bead blog and video tutorials helped me take my first (and many subsequent) steps in making paper beads. I’m so grateful to her.

Now for the chunky beads. I’d decided to make them from newspaper. I’ve made such beads before, and used (and then reused) them in jewelry pieces. Now that my sister has finally added them to some bracelets, I thought I’d make another set. Chunky beads look great when used with wire, but I’ve not really decided how exactly to wire-embellish the ones I’ll make. I’ll leave that inspiration to strike me another day. Meanwhile, I’ll summarize how I made the beads themselves.

I followed most of this tutorial by Janice Mae for the beads, except that I wanted my beads to be chunkier than the ones in the tutorial. Because I used thin newspaper instead of the thicker catalog paper used there, I had to measure and cut many, many long strips of newspaper. Each strip was about a meter long, with the ends of the strip differing in width by half a centimeter.

Winding a paper bead

The long strips made it a little clumsier to work the bead — if I was not careful, my fingers would slip, the paper would get unwound, and I had to do damage control. That’s why I had to use glue frequently to keep the paper in place. After lots of paper-winding that included gentle pushes on the surface of the beads to shape them, the chunky beads had passed the first stage of their creation.

Chunky paper beads

I left them for a while so the glue could dry. Over the next few days, I applied multiple coats of matte-type Mod Podge on the beads, leaving each coat to dry well before the next application.

Chunky paper beads

The beads are now hard, with a bit of shine on them.

Next phase: Operation Wire Embellishment. πŸ™‚