Step Out in Style

Some weeks ago I bought some fancy buttons.  I’ve been meaning to use them and I’ve finally used one:

Step Out Bracelet

Step Out Bracelet

The bracelet is  entirely my own invention and is made of seed beads. Most of the beads are strung on Nymo nylon beading thread, but the columns connecting the ends, the beads are strung on fine elastic.

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Wrist or Ankle Decor

Why do I always describe things as bracelets if they’re small circlets?   It’s quite wrong of me, of course.  They could, after all, be either bracelets oranklets!  Anyway, whatever they may be, ultimately, here are two of them:

Carnelian Drop Bracelet

Carnelian Drop Bracelet

A gold-look chain with a single wire-wrapped carnelian and custom catch.

Circle of Delights Bracelet

Circle of Delights Bracelet

A charm circlet with garnets, two snowflake obsidian rounds, metal spacer beads and charms that represent (hopefully) things which delight some folk..

                                E     X     T     R    A                               

If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch, Ring Sizer is an app I’m delighted to recommend.  The very clear name of the app sets the standard.  Easy to use but remaining attractive.  You can obtain accurate measurements of existing rings or any finger/thum (no, I haven’t tried it on toes!).  Measurements can be set to whatever national system you prefer.  There’s also a comprehensive conversion chart.

Seeking Sophistication plus Camouflaged

During an outbreak of energy I did some beading that I thought was worth showing you:

Putting on the Ritz

Putting on the Ritz

This set for Jenny consists of carnelian, snowflake obsidian and garnet with gold seed and bugle beads. As you may guess, I was attempting to achieve a sophisticated look. Hopefully I succeeded…(?)

Camouflage Bracelet

Camouflage Bracelet

This bracelet I made for myself. It consists of Picasso jasper and green aventurine, with two carnelians as feature beads.

A Miscellanea

A good mix of jewellery here.  First, a bit of fun.  Our daughter’s moving this Saturday.  When I saw a set of charms to do with that very subject, well I just had to make this necklace:

Moving Home Necklace

Moving Home Necklace

Second is another bit of fun – a charm bracelet featuring Noah’s Ark and various animals.  Sadly, the animals are not even to scale with each other.  The bracelet consists of the charms and aventurine chips and smoky quartz nuggets

Noah's Ark Charm Bracelet

Noah's Ark Charm Bracelet

Sadly, Buttons Galore, the manufacturer, are no longer making these charms.

Thirdly, a piece that hung about for ages until I finished it this week.  Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show how it sparkles.  It’s a daisy chain necklace made in seed bead.  It’s suited to a girl, being just 16 inches long.

Daisy Chain Necklace

Daisy Chain Necklace

The pattern is in A Treasury of Beaded Jewelry: Bead Stringing Patterns for All Ages by Mary Ellen Harte.

Finally, a simple pair of earrings, each featuring a smoky quartz nugget and a plain oval carnelian:

Gem Drops Earrings

Gem Drops Earrings

 

 

Plaiting

I was watching JewelleryMaker the other morning and the guest designer (sorry, his name escapes me) explained a technique that I really liked the idea of.  It’s very simple: plaiting the stringing material!  Done right, it can give the impression of chain.  Of course, I had to try it out as soon as I could!

I have fallen in love with a reel of bright 24 gauge copper wire (from Bead Smith).  It’s wonderful to work with!  I guesstimated a length of it based on making a bracelet.  With this cut into three equal(ish) pieces, I tied one end in a loose knot and fixed this to an anchoring point, with a foldback clip.  I then commenced plaiting the three strands – yes! just like plaiting hair.  Once I’d gone to a length I chose arbitrarily, I slipped a 4mm garnet round onto the middle strand.  I added another garnet each time the same strand became the middle one (assuming that that would space the garnets reasonably equally, which it did), until there were five garnets threaded on.  I then finished plaiting the strands to match the length before the first garnet.  It was now time to fit it to Jenny’s wrist, to fit her as she preferred.  I now made one end into a loop, anchoring the end to itself and trimming the excess.  The other end, I bent back about 1.5cm so that it could simply be hooked through the loop. The cut end of this hook will “grip” the plaited wire by just wrapping it gently.

Red Heat of Love Bracelet

Red Heat of Love Bracelet

This bracelet was apparently loved by everybody who saw it!  In fact, I’ve since made two more….

A Flowery “Thank You”

At the end of last week a very kind lady sent some special cushions for me, via Jenny, which will make my life more comfortable.  Naturally, I really need to adequately thank her.  The most obvious thing to do was to make her some jewellery.  For such things, I prefer to come up with a design of my own, so that they are truly personal “thank yous”.  As the lady likes pink, I knew immediately that it would have a floral basis.  I ended up with Bellbine Beauty:

Bellbine Beauty
Bellbine Beauty

This bracelet is deliberately “freeform”, to reflect Nature.  All I can do now is hope that she likes it.

Bead Weaving

Over the last fortnight I’ve discovered the joys (and frustrations) of bead weaving, using mostly seed beads.  There are many free patterns on the internet, and Jenny has several books.  In terms of complexity, it’s certainly challenging!  Far more patience is required, too.  Making jewellery with gemstones is a wholly different activity.  There may be areas where you have the choice between man-made or natural, but there are definitely times when man-made is the only option.  If you’re interested, I recommend visiting Sandra Halpenny’s site.

"Elena" necklace

"Elena" necklace

Bracelet - bead weaving

Bracelet - bead weaving

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