Pearl dangle earrings

I’d made a pair of wavy pearl dangle earrings a while ago, but noticed I wasn’t wearing them much. So I decided to give them a quick makeover. I twisted the waves into rings (still squiggly ones though) around the pearls. Heh, I really didn’t want to waste that wire even if it was slightly dented from my earlier bad handling. 😛

Pearl dangle earrings

Surprisingly, this small change makes the earrings cuter and more appealing to me. I’ve already worn them twice!

Background: My valet tray. Embellishment: Fringe from my macramé ornament. Looks like my DIY items are wonderful props! 😀


Beaded partial necklace

My first attempt at bead crocheting resulted in a beautiful bracelet and some very painful fingers. 😦 I’d wanted to try my hand at Kumihimo instead, but I haven’t managed to buy a disc yet. While I’m thinking if I should make a DIY Kumihimo disc, I decided to give bead crocheting one more shot — this time, with cotton crochet thread instead of generic nylon wire.Partial beaded necklaceI tested out the pattern with a few color combinations before finalizing this one. The white seed beads are non-uniform and slightly larger than the others, which made me almost not use them, but it gives the piece a bit of a rustic and handmade look, so I decided to keep them after all. I like this look now. 🙂

The pattern is a 9-bead repeat of blue(3)-white(2)-brown(3)-white(1). It is broken in the middle by a 9-row single-color band of metallic silver seed beads. That makes it around 40 rows of the base pattern on each half, resulting in a partial necklace slightly longer than 16cm (about 6.5″).

To finish the piece — At each end, I used gold wire to make an eye loop that went through the visible crochet stitches and strung a bead cap through the remaining wire. I made another eye loop outside the bead cap to hold the cap in place. I then attached a large jump ring through the outer eye loop, through which I strung black rope to make the partial piece ‘complete’.

Wire-wrapped chunky beads chain

I’d always wanted to make a chunky beads chain, and now that I own some thicker gauge wires, what better than wire-wrapped chunky beads? 🙂

Wire-wrapped chunky beads chain

I got the chunky turquoise beads to remain in place with the wire open inside. That is, there’s nothing attached to something else to keep the placement tight. It works fine because the wire is pretty thick and strong. I then made the eye-loop-like loops with the same wire strand — these loops would be used to connect to the other beads in the chain. I continued to wind the wire around the beads, turning it around the eye-loops. I’d intended the wraps to come out neater, but when the first one began to get untidy, I thought “Why not?” and made them kinda messy. I actually like how it looks, though I need to get better at making tidy wraps. 😉

For the rest of the chain, I used glass beads — flat, translucent white ones and round ruby-red ones. I used smaller gauge wire for these, stringing them on the wire and forming regular eye loops at both ends for the chain connections.

I absolutely adore this chain!

Beaded bracelet

I’m back to using paper beads! I didn’t make new ones for this bracelet that I cobbled together, instead I reused some beads from a set that I’d made years ago. They’d been a part of some jewelry piece for a long time, but have been back in my stash for a while now.

Beaded bracelet

Beaded bracelet

I just love the shocking pink on the paper beads! It goes really well with the black and white. To make the rest of the bracelet look compatible, I used white, black / hematite and red seed beads.

To start with, I cut 4 lengths of about 20cm (8″) flexible copper wire. I crimped one end of the bunch, and strung seed beads through two of the wires. (Using all four wires for beading was overkill, but using just two wires made the structure not strong enough.) After around 1/5 of the wires was threaded, I added a paper bead, passing all four wires through it. More seed beads and paper beads followed. Finally, I crimped the other end of the wires and snipped off the extra. A small jump ring through both crimp tubes was enough to make the bracelet slide on and off my hand without requiring a clasp.

Beaded braceletNow I’m back to pondering about what I can do with the rest of the paper bead set…

Beaded ornament experiment

Beading is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I’ve done some bead crochet projects, of course, but constantly seeing cabochons with beaded finishing on my Pinterest screen has to have some effect, doesn’t it? 😉

So before I go running to buy beading supplies, I thought I’ll first try it with the limited supplies I have. I used my collection of beads and some nylon wire for the test run. I started out with a cyclic symmetry of three and added a few rounds. Because nylon wire isn’t super-thin, I could only go into each bead about twice on average, so the project ended up kinda stunted. In the final round, I turned the three-way symmetry into a six-pronged ornament. This is how it looks —Beaded ornamentRecounting my experience, I think I’d like to try more sometime.

Crazy wire-caged pendant

I have stashes of strong, thin, flexible, colored wire that nevertheless does not hold its shape very well. I used to make bracelets with this wire, but it’s been a while since I used any of it. This time, I decided to use it for a different purpose — to make a pendant.

Because the wire does not hold its shape, there was no use trying wire-wrapping techniques with it. Instead, I thought I’d loosely wrap the wire around the bead, something like a loose cage. A couple of chunky beads I tried this with didn’t yield great results, though. Then some beads with a spiral design on them caught my eye. They weren’t really that chunky, so I tried joining two of them with a spacer bead in between so that the result appears bigger. The wire melded well with the spirals on the beads… Great! I could use these components.

Crazy wire-caged pendant

Crazy wire-caged pendant

I cut around 10″ (25cm) of copper-colored wire for this, and bent the wire in half. I strung the free ends together through a crimp bead, then one spiral bead, a spacer bead and lastly, another spiral bead. I stuck a thick wire through the ‘loop’ at the top so it does not slip inside the beads. I tied a knot at the bottom with the wires, tightening the whole structure. Then I just twisted the wires around the joined beads in a haphazard manner. When I almost reached the end of the wires, I pushed them back into the crimp bead from the bottom of the bead. I then squeezed the crimp bead shut, and snipped off the ends of the loopy wire where they (barely) emerged at the top of the crimp bead. Finally, I added a small jump ring to the top loop.

Don’t you think the haphazardness (or loopy-ness, if you will 😉 ) of the wire caging gives a crazy look to the pendant? 🙂

Bead-crocheted bracelet

Bead Crochet Bracelet

Bead Crochet Bracelet

Ow! Ow! Ow!

That’s my fingers crying. They don’t hurt much now, but by the time I was done making this bracelet, they were not happy. But even they have to agree that it was worth it. As they say — “No pain, no gain.” (Although, there might be a less painful way of making these bracelets. More thoughts on that later.)

I’d learned about bead crochet a really long time ago, but had never got a chance to work much on it. Mainly because I didn’t have the appropriate crochet hook. Now that I’ve bought a size 11 steel one (to try out wire crochet, mostly), I was ready to give bead crocheting a try.

I got out some nylon beading thread along with huge stashes of various cylinder beads. I would make a 6-bead spiral, with alternating dark and light beads. For the dark color, I chose the dark blue stash that included some heavy metallic (almost-blue) green cylinder beads. For the light color, I chose white beads, and some brown ones scattered randomly amongst them. It was then time to start crocheting!

I used about 240 beads for each ‘arm’ of the bracelet, with alternating dark and light beads. I pre-strung the beads onto the thread, made the initial loop with 6 beads, and built on the loop until the rope was a little less than 3″ long. It was a bit tedious when I started with the first rope, but by the time I got to the second rope, I wasn’t even consciously thinking about what I was doing.

When both ropes were ready, I chained two jump rings and added them to one of the ropes, and chained a lobster claw clasp to a jump ring, which I attached to the other rope. I then took a length of 22-gauge wire to add the central bead. (That’s a bit weak for a bracelet, I know, but I don’t own thicker wires…) I strung onto it a large, but low-key, off-white bead flanked by two ornamental spacer beads. I then attached the wire to the free ends of both ropes by making eye loops. Done!

Bead Crochet Bracelet

Now, about that less painful way of making this bracelet. The problem: repeatedly pushing your crochet hook into tiny gaps between beads and their supporting threads is not good for your fingers. The solution: Kumihimo! I’ve been wanting to buy a Kumihimo disk lately, but they don’t seem to be available in this part of the world. Something to add to my to-ask-friends-traveling-abroad-soon list. 😀

If you have other thoughts about kumihimo vs. bead crochet, I’m very interested in knowing.