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White and Gold Cabochon

I started this cabochon a long time ago, but ended up letting it sit around for a while. The cabochon is a rounded triangle of white quartz. With an unsual cabochon, I decided to stick to three basic rows of beading, a simple multistrand bail, and a white silk cord. I used two different colors of gold Japanese seed beads separated by a row pearl colored Czech seed beads. This necklace will be on Etsy soon.

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Fairy Lariat

This necklace is the second pattern I've tried from Beaded Allure by Kelly Wiese. (The first was the necklace I made my mom for her birthday.) For some reason, I just fell in love with this pattern, even though it's a different style of necklace than I usually wear. The stitch was interesting. It looks like a chevron chain, but it's really contructed quite differently. It worked up quickly, which was my only concern about it beforehand since a lariat needs to be pretty long. I used Vintaj antiqued brass components for the charms and ring. The other beads in the fringe are Czech glass, and the seed beads are Japenese. I really like the necklace, but I haven't been wearing it as much as I hoped. As much as I like the look of it, I'm finding that I don't have too many outfits that really suit a lariat.

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Mom's Birthday Necklace

I made this necklace from my mom for her birthday. It's a variation on a pattern from Beaded Allure by Kelly Wiese. This book is a fairly recent edition to my library, and I really like it. I've already made a necklace for myself from it as well, but I don't have pictures yet.

My mom's necklace is made from Czech and Japanese seed beads and fire polished  Czech glass beads. The band is a variation on peyote stitch that the book calls diagonal peyote stitch. It uses a basic peyote stitch in the  middle, but different turnarounds on each end to move down one stitch per row. The flowers are woven separately and sewn on after the fact. The necklace closes with a loop and bead closure hidden in the front of the necklace.

It was a fun project, and I look forward to using some of the other patterns in the book.

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Tribal Goth Bracelet

This bracelet was a comission for a friend, who wanted something to coodinate with an existing necklace. The necklace (which I don't have a picture of), consisted mostly of black wood beads and V-shaped hematite beads. Overall, I would describe the look of the neclace as tribal, with thick, angular beads, and a mask pendant. My friend had looked at my website and liked the look of netting, so we decided to go with that despite the difference in styles.

To get the really ornamental look he was hoping for, I decided to adapt a necklace pattern that I've used before, most notably in my entry into a contest at my former favorite bead store.* I added a few beads in the top row and altered the spacing in a few other places to straighten out the built-in curve of the original pattern. The bracelet is made primarily of black and hematite-colored Czech glass seed beads, with hematite bicone bead accents. It closes with a rose shaped magnetic clasp, which the client requested, having seen it on something else I made. Later, I antiqued the clasp using liver of sulphur, but I didn't take a picture.

The bracelet looks more goth than tribal overall. However, it still complements the necklace well because the points echo the V's in the neckalce and the addition of the hematite bicones makes this bracelet look much "heavier" than netting usually does. My friend was very happy with it and has been wearing it regularly since it was finished.

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*It would still be my favorite, but sadly, is now closed.

Mother's Day

This first pair of earrings were part of my mom's Mother's Day present (Mother's Day?! Yes, I'm still catching up on back logged posting). The center beads are carnelian, surrounded with with Japanese seed beads using circular brick stitch. The bottom row are glass drop beads. I made them to coordinate with a handpainted gourd necklace tha I bought at our local farmer's market.

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While the family was gathered for Mother's Day, I also delivered a bracelet to my sister-in-law that she asked me to make to go with a necklace that I made some time ago. It's made of Czech seed beads. The ends are brickstitch triangles connected by several strands of the same beads. We've since found out that my sister-in-law is expecting - the first baby of a new generation in my family - so it seems appropriate to include it in the Mother's Day post. 

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More Experimentation

My experimentation with shaped peyote inspired me to try some more new techniques.

I see a lot of patterns that use right angle weave, but aside from one pendant, I've never tried it. I decided to try a bracelet pattern from a pattern-a-day calendar that is just basic RAW in a color pattern that produces the look of flowers. I have to say, it was not my favorite project, although I like the look of the finished product. The stitch itself wasn't that difficult, but it is very hard to work backwards or make changes. I'm not ready to give up on this stitch altogether, but I don't think it's ever going to be my favorite. I did really like the button and loop closure on this, and i think I may try it with some other stitches.

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Next, I decided to make a square stitch ring using a pattern from Beadwork magazine. This is my first foray into square stitch and I liked it. The pattern uses size 11 seed beads, but in the first ring, I didn't realize the green seed beads were actually 10's. This was easy to compensate for in the body of the ring, but it produced the ruffled edges in the band. They look nice, but I wanted it to turn out smooth as it was in the pattern. So, I made the second ring, which turned out exactly like I wanted. Both rings have a 10 mm amethyst bead in the center.

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Peyote Lantern Pendant

This necklace is my next try at shaped peyote stitch using patterns Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork. It's made using Delicas for the body with natural brass beads and charlottes as accents on the sides. The top and bottom of the lantern are made with natural brass bead caps to enhance the shape and add detail. I had a little trouble fitting the peyote stitch bottom on, but I'm hoping that I just miscounted the rows. I've gotten a lot of compliments on this one, so I definitely will make more. I've bought some small glass beads, similar to those in the pattern, for my next try.

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Beth's Birthday

Looking at the last few entries, I've made a number of birthday presents in the first half of this year. I hope everyone enjoyed them.

The two projects in this post were both for the same birthday. I made the first one, then realized that it just didn't "look like" the person I made it for. So, I threw it in the box of jewelry with no home and started over. She seemed to really like the second effort, so I felt good about it.

My friend's husband told me that her favorite color was pink, so for the first project, I picked a variety of pink glass beads and strung them with some cute butterfly charms. I like the result, but it's a little bigger and more elaborate than anything I see her wear.

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I decided to start over and make something simpler and cleaner. Also, I realized that she wears more silver/white gold. For the second attempt, I used rose quartz beads wire wrapped with small, flower shaped spacers on silver chain.

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More Shaped Peyote

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been exploring shaped peyote stitch since early this year. These two projects are a continuation of that.

The first was birthday gift. After seeing the trefoil keychain I made for Eric, my friend hinted (rather broadly) that he might like it if someone made something similar for his upcoming birthday. Always happy to oblige, I made this pendant  for him using hematite colored Delicas and hung it from a simple ball chain. I really like this pattern, and one of these days, I'll get around to making one for myself.

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The next project is a tiny bowl made using six pentagons woven in round peyote stitch. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it in the book. I even made it in the same colors shown in the pattern, which is rare for me. I like how it looks like a little flower. This is a completely useless little object, but it was fun to make and pretty. I suppose I could try to find a way to wear it, but I really just made it for the joy of making it.

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Old Faithful: Cabochons

I am SO behind on posting, it isn't funny. To put it another way, I'm posting this listening to the air conditioner run, but when I made them, it was the heater instead!

Whenever I'm at a loss for my next project, I always feel like I can fall back on embroidering cabochons. They're fun, relatively quick to make (well, some of them anyway), and I always have a few on hand. I was just thinking earlier this week that I'll probably do a couple when I finish my current project, then I realized that I've never posted these two.

The first was a birthday present for a friend. The cabochon is an Orthoceras fossil. It's embellished with three simple rows of Japanese and Czech seed beads and hung from a silk cord.

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For the second one, I asked Eric to help me pick the colors to go with the cabochon. He's the one with the art degree around here, after all. Plus, we often have different tastes, so he'll pick something for me that I might not have considered. In this case, I started with a malachite cabochon, which reminded him of the Joker. So, he picked white, orange, and purple Czech seed beads to go with it, and I ended up making it into a Joker flower for him. This was my first time using brick stitch to create a ruffled edge around the cabochon, and I liked it more than I expected to. I think I'll try it again on something more, well, sedate.

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