365 Days Progress


Day 334 - 91.5% completed!

Day 79 - Sea Anemone Bead

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sea Anemone Bead
Today I made another bead from my new book The Art of Beaded Beads.  Man I just love this book!  The bead I made today is the Sea Anemone Bead designed by Carole Horn, page 44.

Very easy to make and would be a great beaded bead for a beginner to make since it only uses tubular peyote stitch.  All you do is make 5 rows of tubular peyote with 8/0s, then 3 rows of same in 11/0s, and 2 rows of same in 15/0s.  Weave through to the other side and repeat.  That's it. 

Now mine looks a little different than the picture in the book, mine seems, well, rounder.  Carole's seem more disk shaped, but it could just be the way the were photographed.  Also, I thought my stitching was pretty tight, but maybe not tight enough to draw the ends inward to make it more disk shaped.  I will definitely try this one again.  The photo in the book showed several in a graduated color scheme on a black satin cord.  Very cute!

Sea Anemone Bead, conquered!

Day 78 - Beaded Wire Daffodil

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This morning I noticed that the daffodils were almost blooming in my yard.  I just love daffodils, they smell good and the yellow is just brilliant and fun.  So I decided to try to make my own.  I found a great website called Beaded Flowers and found a pattern for a Beaded Wire Daffodil, and got to working on it.

Can you tell which daffodil is mine?  I thought not.  tee hee.

BTW - Bead Table Wednesday (March 30, 2011)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hello everyone!  Here's what's on my beading table today.  Actually, I'm pretty neat and tidy right now, only one project on the table!  I'm working on my Day 78 lesson, another beaded wire flower inspired by a walk in my back yard this morning, can you guess what it will be???  ;-)

Happy beading today!


Oh!  If you are wondering what the heck I'm doing with a Susan Bates Knit-Check on my table, I'll give you my tip.  Although this is used to measure the size of knitting needles and crochet hooks, it is small and a handy ruler to keep in my supplies.  It measures inches and cm, and the holes can be used to measure the size of beads you might find laying around.  Whole sizes are measured in mm and you could measure a 2, 4, 6 8, 9, and 10 mm bead by just dropping it in a hole!

Day 77 - Prickly Pear Bead

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prickly Pear Bead
I finally found the book I've been looking for!  The Art of Beaded Beads, edited by Jean Campbell and comprised of beaded beads from different bead artists.  I'm fascinated by beaded beads and this book is treasure trove of these little gems!

The bead I chose for today is the Prickly Pear Bead designed by Joann Baumann and Alyse Middleton.  This bead was easy to make and uses ladder stitch, tubular twisted herringbone stitch and fringe techniques.  The instructions called for size 8 and 6 beads which made a fairly large focal type bead.  I would like to try it again with 11/0 and 15/0 beads to see if it could be used as a cute spacer bead.

You will enjoy making this bead and it works up fairly quickly.

Prickly Pear Bead, conquered!

Day 76 - Tso Stitch (Variation 1)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tso Stitch, base row and with one row added
Today's lesson is the Tso Stitch, Variation 1, designed by Hsiao-Hsuan Tso from the April 2010 issue of Bead & Button magazine.  The base row reminds me of the Quad Stitch in one of Beth Stone's seed beading books, but is also reminesent of right angle weave.  However, variation 1 is actually based on tubular peyote stitch starting with four beads and adding two beads at a time.  Variation 2, to be covered in a future post, starts with six beads.

After you make the base row you can then add rows like you would with Right Angle Weave, although when you add them each "unit" is comprised of a round of tubular peyote.  It is also possible to increase and decrease the rows to create things like flower petals, as shown in the magazine.

I found this pretty awkward to work with and it's not particularily pretty to me, but what do I know, I've only been beading for three and a half months.  :-) 

My buddy Olivia had nothing to say.

Tso Stitch, Variation 1, conquered.

FYI - Top Color for 20011 - Honeysuckle!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I just read on Happy Mango Beads blog that Pantone has chosen the top color for 2011!  It's HONEYSUCKLE!  Here's the color below:



I always thought honeysuckle was white, at least that is how I remember it when sucking the "honey" off the honeysuckle stamens during the summer.  Oh well, I love this color, so I will search for the elusive pink honeysuckle.

Here is the link here to see the whole blog post at Happy Mango Beads!

Day 75 - Beaded Wire Flower - Double Loop

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today's tutorial is for a Beaded Wire Flower using a Double Loop technique and is again from Albina Manning's blog Around Beads.  The flower I made yesterday from Albina's site used many single loops of beaded wire to make the petals.  Today's lesson makes multiple loops within the same petal.

Beaded Wire Flower - Double Loop
The flower we are making is a violet and has five petals with three loops each, one loop each with a double loop around each single loop.  With this flower you can make five separate petals and assemble them together after you make five, or you can make all the petals on the same piece of wire with a little space between each.

This time all the beads are loaded on the wire before you start.  Of course make a little bend or something at the end of your wire or all your beads will fall off like mine did.  Also, mine doesn't have a stem because I ran out of wire, so make sure you have a really long piece if you make all the petals on the same wire.

Very cool.

Beaded Wire Flower - Double Loop, conquered.

Project - Pendant and Necklace Finished!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I finally finished my pendant and necklace!

"Diana"
Created by Mandy

Day 74 - Simple Beaded Flower

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simple Beaded Flower
Thank you to Deci at Gem Trails for pointing me in the direction of Albina Manning's blog called Around Beads.  Albina has a great tutorial for a Simple Beaded Flower that is awesome.  It is a wire flower made in three layers with a 6mm bead in the center.

It's really a great tutorial, the instructions and photos are spot on and showed me exactly what my tangled web of wire and beads was supposed to look like.  Although I created the first two layers of the flower easily, I didn't really do them correctly.  There was supposed to be "hole" in the center, where mine was a criss-cross of wire.  It wasn't until the third layer that a light bulb went on and I finally got it right.

The flower in the tutorial has three different color layers, but I was to lazy to get up and get two more colors of beads so all my layers look the same.  But it was easy to assemble the parts and I actually created a really cute little flower!  I love it!  Now if I could only find my florist tape I could wrap up my wire stem and be ready to go.  The photo showed the flower attached to a hair clip, but since I'm a little over the age for a cute little flower in my hair, I think these would be awesome tucked into bows on presents.

Simple Beaded Flower, conquered!

Day 73 - Ladder Stitch Ring

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ladder Stitch Ring
(ok, I played with the photo editor effects a bit)
Today I was wondering what to do for my lesson, when I saw Pearl's post over at The Beading Gem's Journal about Sarah's Ladder Stitch Ring tutorial at her blog Operation Tackle That Bead Stash.  It looked so cute I decided to give it a try.

The tutorial calls for pearls, but I made mine with 6mm crystal AB bicones and silver size 11/0 beads.  It was a fun to make and the pattern ensures for a comfortable fit.  I was going for that platinum diamond kind of look, but my ring turned out pretty monochromatic.  I think maybe gold beads would have looked better.  But it was fun to make and definitely used up some of the stash!

Ladder Stitch Ring, conquered!

BJP - Bead Journal Project 2011 (March)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I finished my March Bead Journal Project right on schedule!  My theme is a year of crystals and this month's crystal is Blue Apatite.

Blue Apatite Meditation
Apatite in general is readily available in blue, but quite rare in yellow.  Apatite has inspirational properties and is the interface between consciousness and matter.  It is a stone of manifestation and  facilitates psychic development, and aids in communication and self-expression on all levels.  Apatite increases motivation and builds energy reserves while inducing openness, social ease, and encourages extroversion.  This stone stimulates creativity and intellect and clears confusion, expands knowledge and eases sorrow and anger.  Its healing properties include aiding in the healing of bones, encouraging healthy eating habits and balancing the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.   Specifically, Blue Apatite connects to a high level of spiritual guidance, enhances group communication, opens the throat chakra, and heals emotional dis-ease.

FYI - Lark Crafts Is Looking For Submissions for 2012 Book

Friday, March 25, 2011

I thought I would pass this along!  Lark Crafts is looking for photo submissions of your original jewelry for a book to be published in 2012!  Click here for your chance to be famous and for submission rules!

Good Luck!



Day 72 - Hexagon Angle Weave

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hexagon Angle Weave
Today's lesson is the Hexagon Angle Weave taught by Gwen Fisher of Bead Infinitum.  You can find her instructional video for this weave on YouTube by clicking here.

Gwen does a great job demonstrating the Hexagon Angle Weave using some teaching software.  The directions are very clear and the visuals are great.  The weave itself is easy and Gwen shows you how to extend your initial "patch" of Hexagon Angle Weave in all four directions.

My only problem was that as soon as I turned off the video and when to work on my swatch, I was completely confused as to which directions to go in!  All the sides looked the same to me.  All and all it is a cool stitch and the bracelet that Gwen shows in the video is awesome, so I know it can be done!

Hexagon Angle Weave, conquered.

Day 71 - Dodecahedron

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dodecahdron
Today I made a Dodecahedron, I just love saying that for some reason.  LOL.  I found the pattern on Liri's Gallery of Beaded Jewelry, this is the link for the Beaded Bead.  The ball she is creating with these diagrams is called a Dodecahedron.  This means it is a polyhedron with 12 flat surfaces, those surfaces in this case being 12 pentagonal faces with 3 beads meeting at each vertex.  (OK I looked it up on Wikipedia, and just for giggles, its dual polyhedron is the icosahedron whatever that is.)  I just think it is so cool that you can use math to figure out how to make these beads.  My idols in this category are Gwen Fisher and Florence Turnour over at Bead Infinitum.  I just love the mathematical beaded beads they make.

The instructions at Liri's site are for just one needle, there may be an easier way to do it with two needles.  It took me several tries to get this to work, only because I can't count to 5 on a consistent basis.  But I finally got a roundish looking ball which I then shored up to make it stiffer by going back through the pentagons several times.

I am pleased with how it turned out.  Now I'm wondering how the heck to do you embellish it to make it pretty?  If I come up with something I'll post the embellished bead back here for you to see.  In the meanwhile, I'll get my geometry book out and try to figure out how to make an icosahedron.

Dodecahedron, conquered!

BTW - Bead Table Wednesday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All the news lately leading up to Prince William and Kate Middelton's royal wedding in April has gotten me to thinking about Princess Di's engagement and wedding so many years ago.  I was one of those that got up at 4:30 in the morning to watch the nuptials.  I'm not one to follow the stories of famous people but something about Diana always drew me to her.  Not sure if it was her strength, grace, and vulnerability or her incredible beauty and humanitarian efforts.


I read somewhere that a good way to learn to bead is if you see a piece of jewelry that you love to try to recreate it in beads.  So that's what I did.  I've always loved Diana's engagement ring and on my bead table today is my interpretation of Princess Di's ring.  Well actually just the Sapphire and diamonds.  Mine has a dark blue Czech faceted bead surrounded by peyote stitch and loops of 11/0 crystal silver lined seed beads, with a row of tiny gold charlottes to tighten the bezel on both the front and back.  It is reversable and I'm not sure whether to make earrings or a pendant.

I wish the photo was better, it's not showing the sparkle of the silver lined beads.  Well that's what I've got!  :-) 

Mandy

Day 70 - Beaded Heart Chain

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beaded Heart Chain
The Beaded Heart Chain is one of the tutorials available on Liri's Gallery of Beaded Jewelry.  This stitch creates a little beaded heart with two connector chains in between each heart.  It's easy to do, but is one of those stitches that you use both sides of the thread with the beading in the middle.

I'm pretty sure I was doing the stitch correctly, but my hearts don't really look like hearts do they?  I think it might be because I used Czech size 11/0 seed beads.  They were all I had in red, but I think the unevenness wasn't desirable in creating a rounded edge.  Or it could be that the turn around to go back up the heart in order to create the outside loop is to sharp to give a rounded appearance.

Either way, I don't really like it.  I don't know if it's the beads or the stitch, but I probably wouldn't do this again.

Beaded Heart Chain, conquered.

Day 69 - Polygon Weave

Monday, March 21, 2011

Polygon Weave
Today's stitch is the Polygon Weave as shown on Bead-Patterns.com, pattern #2710.  These instructions are available as a free downloadable pattern by clicking here.

I thought this produced a pretty swatch on it's own.  I've yet to see a jewlery pattern using the stitch so I'm not sure what it would look like in a necklace or bracelet.  I'm also not sure how you would add to it to make a bigger item.  Does that make sense? 

If anyone is aware of a free pattern using this let me know so I can give it a whirl!  Thanks!

Polygon Weave, conquered.

Contest - The Ugly Necklace Contest

Monday, March 21, 2011


Finally! A contest I think I could win! LOL.

The Ugly Necklace Contest -- Official Rules

Thought I would share this in case you all hadn't seen it, too funny!

Deadline is March 15, 2012.

Ok, the troll really is kinda cute, :-)

Day 68 - Biva (Nepal) Chain

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Biva (Nepal) Chain
In honor of the arrival of Spring, today's stitch is the Biva (Nepal) Chain.  This is a pretty little stitch that looks like a little row of Spring flowers.  It's very dainty and would be very cute as a bracelet for a child.  The stitch is used in the Flower Bud bracelet as found on the Bead Patterns website by clicking here and searching for pattern # 11066.  This is free downloadable pattern.

This was a very easy pattern and I think would look even better bead embroidered as a border on clothing.

Biva (Nepal) Chain, conquered!




Day 67 - Kumihimo

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kumihimo Disk
Today I took a Kumihimo class at Bead Soup, my favorite bead shop!  Jo was the instructor and as usual a good time was had by all!

I had seen pictures online of the Kumuhimo braiding disk, but had no earthly idea how the heck anything could be created with one of those things.  Even though I had also seen pictures of Kumihimo beaded jewelry before, and I loved it, I just couldn't comprehend what I was seeing.  Funny how when something that looks so hard is shown to you by a professional, it turns out to be so easy!

This is one of those things that can be very meditative because of the repetition in steps.  But that is exactly the type of thing I have some trouble with.  I tend to zone out.  Has it ever happened to you when you are driving?  You drive the same path every day and it gets so routine that sometimes when you arrive at your destination you don't remember driving there?  (I hope this happens to someone else!)  This was the same thing, the braiding of the eight strings in the same way around, and around, and around the disk made me zone out.  Then I would kinda wake up and not really realize where I was with my strings!  But I have to say it was very calming.

Kumihimo Braid w/ Beads

Anyhoo, in my sample I used 3 strands of fuchsia fuzzy yarn, 3 strands of dark amethyst/silver/fuchsia yarn, and two strings pre-strung with a fuchsia/purple E bead mix.  I thought I would see more of the yarn in my braid, I was going for that mixed media look, but that didn't really happen.  It ended up looking more like it needed a shave because of the little fibers sticking out.

But, this was really cool, and I have lots of little Kumihimo projects dancing in my head already!

Kumihimo, conquered!

Day 66 - Turkish Double Loop Bead Crochet

Friday, March 18, 2011

Turkish Loops Bead Crochet
OMG.  I'm in love.  Today I tried Turkish Loops Bead Crochet from the December 2009 issue of Bead & Button magazine.  The necklace and bracelets shown in the magazine were designed by Adele Rogers Recklies and Keiko Seki.  This technique is also known as perlen crochet or jewelry crochet.  The patterns in the magazine were for a two loop rope and a three loop rope.  I tried the two loop rope for my sample.

This was so much fun!  Weeks ago I learned what I will call "tubular" bead crochet, and while I could do it, it was really awkward and still is.  I'm so sssllllloooowwww at it and I would consider myself to be a pretty good intermediate/advanced crocheter.  This on the other hand was so easy and much more like "regular" crocheting, I was actually getting a little speed up and it went FAST.  Definitely will use this again!

Turkish Loops Bead Crochet, conquered!



Bonus - Pay It Forward Gift Received!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I am soooo excited!  Yesterday in the mail I received my Pay It Forward gift from Deci at Gem Trails!  I was so lucky to have been one of the first five commentors on her Pay It Forward blog post and I've been anxiously awaiting my prize.  :-)  I practically skipped back from the mailbox, went straight to the kitchen and ripped open the tightly sealed envelope to reveal this stunning pendant!


I just love the colors and craftmanship and will treasure it.  Thanks so much Deci!  And yours is almost done, I swear.  lol.

Day 65 - Crystal Shamrock

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crystal Shamrock
Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I looked all over for a "free" beaded shamrock pattern as my lesson for today, but only found one and it wasn't that fabulous. 

So I did what I think any diligent beader would do, I created my own pattern!  This is my first attempt at something original and I don't think it turned out to badly, although it does look more like a green cross with rounded edges. 

But still, I came up with something that actually looks like what I set out to do.  Yay ya!

I used 4mm green round Czech glass beads and 10/0 Czech green silver lined beads so that it would really sparkle.  So cute!  Now for that green beer....

Crystal Shamrock, conquered!

Day 64 - Two-Bead Spiral

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two-Bead Spiral
Today I tried out the Two-Bead Spiral stitch from Beth Stone's book More Seed Bead Stitching.  I just love Beth's books, the instructions are crystal clear and the photos and diagrams are awesome.  I love that she tries out all kinds of things on old favorite stitches and comes up with great new ones.

I was looking for a very thin beaded chain to make for my beaded beads I made yesterday.  So I tried the two-bead spiral and it was perfect.  Easy and pretty, I will definitely use this.

Two-Bead Spiral, conquered!

Bonus - Lori's Seed Bead Giveaway from Auntie's Beads!

Don't miss Lori's awesome giveaway!  Lori Anderson is giving away a gorgeous palette of black, white and silver seed beads from Auntie's Beads to a lucky someone who leaves a comment on her blog post.  AND, if you blog about it, you'll get an additional entry!

Don't miss the fun the deadline is March 31, 2011!  Click here for a link to Lori's blog Pretty Things.

Actual beads, not actual size.  :-)

Bonus - BJP - February (Hematite)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In finally finished my February piece for the Bead Journal Project you can see it here if you've a mind to.  The crystal for February was Hematite.

Now, if I can finish March by the end of March I will be all caught up.  March's crystal will be Apatite a gorgeous blueish greenish stone.  Yummy!

Namaste

BTW - Bead Table Wednesday

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This is my first BTW, how much fun is that?  I loved looking at all the photos Flicker, everything is so beautiful and inspiring!

What's on my table?  My cat, Olivia.  Fell asleep under the warmth of the light and I never have the heart to disturb her. 

So beading can wait, Lord knows I need to clean the house.  LOL.

Namaste my friends.

Bonus - Beaded Badge Holder

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lisa on her ABeadADay blog posted a great project picture for a beaded eye glass holder that her Dad had come up with for his friends.  You can see a photo of that piece here on Lisa's blog.  Very cute!

It's funny, last week I made almost the identical project and thought I invented it!  LOL.  I am definitely learning that to come up with a completely unique idea in the this fabulous beading community is daunting.  Even as a beginner, I try to keep what I know of copyright laws in the back of my mind, and while I need to use books, classes and Internet at the moment to learn stitches and techniques, I still try to give myself time to create something on my own.  So far I haven't come up with much, but I did create a badge holder for myself with no pattern and just the materials I had on hand.  I must have been channeling Lisa's Dad!

It looks like my badge holder is made almost exactly like the eyeglass holder.  For mine, I used my bead soup (which was becoming substantial) to create a Russian Spiral rope (my favorite stitch so far).  To each end, I attached a wire (I used a long head pin and cut off the "head" end), threaded an 8/0 bead, an end cap, another 8/0 bead, and made a wire wrapped loop on the end.  My wire wrapping is awful, so that doesn't look that great, but oh well.  Then I got two jump rings (one seemed really thin) and attached each wire loop and the round part of a toggle clasp to the double jump ring.  I attached my badge to the toggle clasp and ta da! 

I was really fun to make and a fabulous way to use your bead soup!

Day 63 - Crisscross Bead

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ides of March!  I was walking around all day waiting for something to happen, but nothing did except I got my new BeadWork magazine in the mail!  Yay ya!  Immediately my eyes went right to the cover where I saw a bunch of darling little beaded beads that said EASY.  Right there, on the cover.  I had to try it right away.

The pattern is from the April/May 2011 issue of BeadWork magazine, on newstands now, and was designed by Monika Pienkowska.  They are called Crisscross Beads.  Believe it or not, they are beads made with tubular peyote.  Of course with my limited supply of beads on hand, I had to substitute what I thought would be beads comparable in size to the ones called for in the pattern.  Even without the right beads it turned out adorable!  I used pink quartz and light topaz AB beads and I love the way it looks.

Crisscross Bead, conquered!  (and will be conquered again, and again, and again!)

Day 62 - Skinny Russia Spiral

Monday, March 14, 2011

Skinny Russian Spiral
Today from Beth Stone's amazing book, More Seed Bead Stitching, I picked out the Skinny Russian Spiral to try.  I love the Russian Spiral anyway, but always wanted to make a skinnier rope without having to reduce to using 11/0 and 15/0 beads.  So this was perfect for me, and believe it or not she even has a skinnier version which I'll try at a later date.

As opposed to the usual 9 bead start for a standard Russian Spiral, the Skinny Russian Spiral starts with a 6 bead start.  You are pretty much dropping off one 8/0 and two 11/0s from the original stitch.  It's very easy to do, instead of three loops around you have two before you do your step up.

Very nice when you want a rope just a pinch thinner.

Skinny Russian Spiral, conquered!

Day 61 - Two-Drop Ladder Stitch

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Two-Drop Ladder Stitch
 Today's lesson is again from The Beader's Bible by Dorthy Wood.  I chose the Two-Drop Ladder Stitch.  Since the ladder stitch is used a lot as the base row for the herringbone stitch it is useful to be able to quickly stitch together two rows at a time, thus cutting your base row time in half.

It was very easy.  Figure out how many beads you need in your base row (it needs to be an even number).  Double it.  Then string that many beads on a thread.  Bring the needle through the third and fourth beads from the needle end of the thread, pull taut and you should end up with two columns of two beads.  Continue down the line adding two beads at a time to your base.  When you get to the end tie the two ends of the thread together.

If you want to continue in ladder stitch, turn around and continue adding two beads at a time.  Easy peasy japaneasy.

Two-Drop Ladder Stitch, conquered.

Bonus - 365 Project Nerd Merit Badge

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I won, I won!  I produced a short (way short) video of my 365 A Day Project (teaching myself a beading lesson a day) and won a 365 Nerd Merit Badge!  I am so proud of myself, now if I could only find that Girl Scout sash of mine....


And here is the video!



Day 60 - Beaded Tassel

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beaded Tassel
Today from The Beader's Bible by Dorothy Wood, my lesson was to make a Beaded Tassel.  Since I had a little more time I decided to try something a little more involved.  The beading stitch was any easy one, a 3-bead netting over a home made tassel.  I still included this as a beading lesson since it involves some sort of beading.  Let's face it folks, with 365 days of lessons to fill I'm going to have to branch out a little!

This didn't turn out as great as I would have liked, but still looked pretty good and I got the technique down.  I used some left over yarn (left over from my knitting days last year, lol) to make my tassel.  I actually learned a cool way to make a tassel that I would not have thought of before.  Once you make the tassel you make a ring of 32 beads and bring that down over top of the tassel.  It should fit snugly.  Then you start the netting.

I tried to pick coordinating beads from what I had on hand, but I think now a combination of the silver and some kind of jewel toned matte beads would have looked better.  I think I messed up a little on the color sequence in the netting also, but one side looked pretty good so I took a picture of that.  LOL.

This would be a really cute project for a bookmark, a pull of some kind, gift wrapping, etc.  I will definitely do this again and come up with my own netting pattern....maybe embellish a little...could be fun :-).

Beaded Tassel, conquered!

Day 59 - Spiral Stitch with V-Neck

Friday, Mach 11, 2011

Spiral Stitch w/ V-Neck
I want to make a friend of mine a necklace with a special pendant I got just for her at the last bead show I attended.  I really wanted to do a thin russian spiral that came down into a "v" in the front to show off the focal bead.  I couldn't figure out how to do it, but did find a tutorial on making a regular spiral necklace that comes down in to the "v".  Although regular spiral stitch is not my favorite stitch, I don't like how the spiral sticks out and reveals the center beads.  I will have to experiment with different bead combinations to see what works well.

The tutorial for the spiral stitch v-neck is located here on the website Rubysbeadwork.com.  Ruby has some great tutorials and pictures and you can even email her for help with them!

So I tried it out with a small sample with some left over beads and some crystals that I used as a makeshift pendant just so I had something to play with.  Again, I don't care for spiral stitch, but the "v" part was really easy to incorporate with the pendant and I like the way it looks.  Can't want to start the project for Louise!

Spiral Stitch with V-Neck, conquered!

Day 58 - Beaded Circle Earrings Hexagon Weave

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Circular Hexagon Weave
I was so excited this morning to look over my blogroll updates and see a new posting by Gwen on her blog Gwensbeads!  Gwen has posted a new beading tutorial this time for Beaded Circle Earrings in Hexagon Weave.  This is an awesome video using Dolceri software.  You can find the tutorial here on Gwen's blog.

The tutorial is very easy to understand.  If you are like me, you will probably have to start and stop the video so you can catch up to her, but that is no problem.  And what is great is even after you stop you still have the diagram to refer to so you don't have to remember everything that was said.

The Hexagon Weave is similiar to the Right Angle Weave except that it has a unit of six beads instead of four.  This pattern was fun and I made my sample in no time.  I'm not much of an erring wearer so I only made one.  LOL.  OH!  I thought this pattern would be a rocking start to a snowflake design!

Beaded Circle Earrings Hexagon Weave, conquered!



Day 57 - Tubular Odd-Count Peyote

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tubular Odd-Count Peyote
Today I wasn't feeling well and wanted to try something simple.  From The Beader's Bible by Dorothy Wood my lesson was Tubular Odd-Count Peyote.

A very easy stitch, I didn't realize that it would spiral on it's own, so that was pretty cool.  The good thing about this tubular stitch is no step-up, you just go round, and round, and round, and...

Tubular Odd-Count Peyote, conquered.

Bonus - Pay It Forward 2011!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am participating in a great blog event called Pay it Forward 2011. I read about it at Gem Trails.



The first 5 people who comment on this post will receive a handmade gift by me. In return you must write a blog post explaining Pay It Forward 2011 and send your first 5 commenters a gift handmade by you.!  It's a great way to make new friends and spread some handmade love around in Blogland!   No rush to send them out today or tomorrow, just be sure that you do your new friends will be waiting!

Remember:  It's not the size of the item that matters, but the spirit and joy of paying it forward!

I look forward to meeting you!

Mandy!



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Day 56 - Heart Pendant

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I found a cool crafty website called Cut Out and Keep and saw a free pattern for a beaded Heart Pendant.  It was interesting looking and different from what I've done before so I decided to give it a try.  The sample photo for the pattern was ok, it showed a great shape for the heart, but blue crystals and seed beads where used that I didn't much care for.  I decided to do mine in pearls and gold seed beads and WOW did it make a difference.  It turned the pendant from cute to very classy.

The pattern is not hard, I think I would call the stitch a modified right angle weave for lack of another name.  I don't know if there is an actual stitch name for what I was weaving.  There are very minimal written instructions for this pendant, but the diagrams are pretty good and I was able to figure it out.  The pendant is made by making two heart shaped pieces and then sewing them together with beads.

I really like this and will be making it again.  I wish the picture was better it doesn't do the pendant justice.  I don't know how I will attach it to a necklace and what kind of necklace to use.  Something thin I think.  The bail is another story.  I don't want to use anything that will take away from the pendant.  This was a great project!

Heart Pendant, conquered!


Day 55 - Tubular Herringbone

Monday, March 7, 2011


Tubular Herringbone
Today I tried the Tubular Herringbone stitch as shown in The Beader's Bible by Dorothy Wood.  The colors I chose for this are really crappy, my selection of Delicas is very limited.

The stitch was easy starting with a ladder stitch base.  Well I guess that's about it.  LOL.

Tubular Herringbone, conquered.

Day 54 - Crystal Ball

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Crystal Ball
Finally!  I completed the Crystal Ball pattern in the June 2009 issue of Bead & Button magazine.  The pattern, by Lillian Chen, is located on page 28. 

All told from my count there are about 44 steps.

Folks, this took me forever.  I didn't end up completing it until my fourth try, and even then I had to redo several steps.  Part operator error and the other part operator error.  LOL.  First I was just reading the pattern wrong.  Then I ASS-U-MEd that I knew what the next step was and would rush ahead, only to be totally lost.

But I finally got it.  I love the green of the Czech crystals I got at the last bead show, reminds me of St. Patrick's Day coming up!

Crystal Ball, conquered!

Day 53 - Double St. Petersburg Stitch

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Double St. Petersburg Stitch
I had to go to plan B today.  The lesson I was trying out I had to put aside because, well, I just couldn't figure it out even on my third try.  But I will.

Today's lesson is the Double St. Petersburg Stitch taken from the bracelet pattern by Lesley Weiss on page 24 of the June 2009 issue of Bead & Button magazine.  This stitch was pretty easy.  You start this stitch in the middle of the thread.  You will work on one side of the thread and then the other.  This allows you to have two individual St. Petersburg Stitch chains that are connected in the middle.  They share the bead at the bottom of the "V" the two stitches create.

The only thing a little tricky was starting the second half of the stitch, or the other side of the two individual pieces.  Only because the turn was a little confusing at first.  This stitch makes a dainty little piece, I wonder what it would look like with bigger crazy looking beads?

Double St. Petersburg Stitch, conquered!


Bonus - Bead Journal Project 2011 (January)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today I finished  my January entry for the 2011 Bead Journal Project, you can read all about it by clicking here.  Thanks!


Day 52 - Another Beaded Bead

Friday, March 4, 2011

I didn't have much time today to get my lesson done, so I chose something fast from the April 2011 issue of Bead & Button magazine.  It's another beaded bead (a bead made out of beads), but I figure since none of the beaded bead patterns have been the same, I'm good.

Another Beaded Bead
The pattern for this bead can be found on page 43 and is part of the pattern for the Daisy Spiral Necklace by Cathy Lampole.  There are two sections to this pattern, one is the spiral tubular netting and the second is the beaded bead component.  I'm only doing the beaded bead part.

The pattern was easy, using the crossweave method (right angle done with two needles using both ends of the thread) for the center part and then attaching crisscrosses of bicones on the sides and seed beads on the top.  Usually I don't like crossweave, but this didn't seem to bad.

My bead turned out ok and substantially like the photo, however I didn't understand one small part of the pattern, so my bead only has four sides with bicones, not five.  This means that when I did the seed beading at the top and bottom, it didn't turn out like a star, it was more square shaped.  But it look pretty cool anyway.  I'd like to try this again with a  wide range of beads just to see what they look like.

Another Beaded Bead, conquered.

Day 51 - Cubic Right Angle Weave

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cubic Right Angle Weave
From the April 2011 issue of Bead & Button magazine I chose to do the tutorial for the Cubic Right Angle Weave by Flo Hoppe.  I've actually tried to do this two times before but didn't know that I was doing it and I had great trouble weaving it.  This is a strange little stitch which consists of using right angle weave to create cubes which can then be lined up, offset, or layered.

Each cube consists of a box with six surfaces; top, bottom and four sides.  In my photo I have drawn "+'s" so you can see the cubes at the side of the stack.  Getting started with this can be pretty confusing, and it is very awkward to hold the first little cube while you are making it.  I made a swatch of 5x5 cubes and then put two more rows of cubes on the top just to see what it would look like.  Once I had figured out what I was doing it went pretty quickly.  I'm not sure what you would create with this.  The bracelet the made using this stitch in the magazine is not very appealing to me.

Cubic Right Angle Weave, conquered.

Day 50 - Open Back Peyote Bezel

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I went back to About.com today to see what else I could find to do.  I came across the tutorial for the Open Back Peyote Bezel, which can be found here.  This is a method of enclosing a cabochon in peyote stitch so that it may be used as a pendant.  In this method there is no fabric backing so the cabochon is not glued or affixed on anything before you start the peyote stitch.  This is used in a lot of the more elaborate beading and is something I've been eager to learn.

Open Back Peyote Bezel
I kind of had an idea of what the process entailed, but actually doing it is another story.  Again, it's not that it is hard just a little awkward trying to weave the peyote and hold on to the stone at the same time.

The cabochon I used, which is really just a stone or something with a flat back and a slightly domed top, is a glass bead/stone with a flat back that I got at a store in Columbia, MD.  It's kind of like a glass worry stone.  I thought it was cute and would make a really cute pendant or as a focal bead on a bead embroidered cuff.  This was all I had that would work for this project so I used it, although I will probably take it apart at a later date.  I also used black 11/0 Delicas and really small gold charlottes that I got at the bead show on sale.  I have no idea what size they are but they seem smaller than a 15/0.

From the top this looks great! But, from the sides you can see a good amount of thread and it looks like there should be more beads.  It seems to have a lot of space between beads.  I don't know why that happened.  Also somehow I lost my "step up" place so there was no actual stopping place.  You can see at the very top there are two black beads in between the gold beads where there should be one.  That is because since the step up was gone and there was no where to end.

I'm going to have to take this down to Bead Soup and have the authorities take a look at it and tell me what I did wrong.  I can't figure it out!  All in all though, I understand the lesson and it turned out pretty well.

Open Back Peyote Bezel, conquered!

Day 49 - St. Petersburg Leaves

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

St. Petersburg Leaf
Today I was surfing around on the website About.com looking at their beading section.  Surprisingly the section has a good number of tutorials for making all kinds of things.  Definitely a "go to" place for finding new lessons.

I chose the St. Petersburg Leaves pattern because it was pretty, and well, I have something about leaves.  I just love them.  The tutorial for the pattern can be found here.  It is not a hard pattern to follow, and since I have worked with St. Petersburg stitch before it worked up fairly quickly.  It was just a little awkward holding the piece while weaving, but once I got used to it I was fine.  The leaf is also made from both sides of the piece.  You work from the middle of the thread out to one side, then work out from the middle of the thread out to the other side.  I actually like doing that since you don't have to end off when you get to the end of one side and start back up on the base of the other side.  I will have to try making this with different numbers of beads to see if I can get larger or smaller leaves.

St. Petersburg Leaves, conquered!
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