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Posts Tagged ‘beads’

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True Californians look up at our dry hillsides and call them “golden.” (Never brown!) And in this beautiful state, it’s now the season of gold. It came a little earlier perhaps because of the drought, but it usually hits right around my birthday in early May. Let’s celebrate golden California with two hybrid West Coast-Venetian necklaces!

I made this piece as a birthday gift for myself and I have loved wearing it. The “M” charm is matte vermeil (gold over sterling silver), which I purchased at a gem and jewelry show from a great vendor called Forever Silvers. That company features tons and tons of charms. Highly addictive, highly dangerous!

The necklace includes Venetian glass beads from a company that imports them directly from Italy, the Venetian Bead Shop. I’m a big fan. (They are getting to know me pretty well over there!) That same company also sold me some round Swarovski crystals I used in this necklace, along with some pretty gold seed beads. I have to say, beads and charms are like candy. Once you start consuming them and get a taste for them, you can never have enough….

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The expanse of gold-tone seed beads at both ends mimics gold chain, don’t you think?

And last, I included Miyuki Japanese seed beads in a fun shape that I picked up on a recent trip to Virginia. As I travel, I always seek out crafts supplies! I also added in a few gold-filled metal spacer beads that I love for dressing things up a little.

To string this piece, I used flexible bead wire by Soft Flex, a company based up in wine country, in Sonoma, CA. I enjoy working with the lightweight version of their wire, which has a great drape. I closed up both ends with crimp beads and used a gold-filled lobster clasp to finish it off.

Here’s one more piece I made that I’d like to share:

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This one also includes Venetian glass beads, Swarovski crystals and crystal pearls, and Soft Flex wire. The central focal bead, two round beads and two twist beads are all wrapped with the colored wire, which I then passed through the bead a second time. It’s a cool way of creating a little space and movement in the piece without having to insert any extra crimp beads to hold things in place. I like these rose and gold tones for both spring and fall. The central disc bead looks like it’s been drizzled with raspberry sauce. Yum… The vivid colors are cheerful and appetizing, yet completely calorie free!

Write in if you have any questions about techniques, or just to tell me what you think of these designs. Happy crafting, and more to follow. I have more jewelry to show you, and I’ll also try to offer an update about a table runner and small quilt I’m working on in the near future.

 

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I am still making gradual progress on small quilts, but I confess that I’ve become distracted by…beads!

I returned earlier this month from a trip to Italy, where I found myself fascinated with the glass beads from Murano, an island off Venice. I stopped there very briefly and toured a glass maker. I even acquired some lovely necklaces… But I wanted to relive the experience back home with a few beautiful imports, trying my hand at creating jewelry combining large Venetian glass beads and tiny seed beads (also Murano glass). I like the mix of the dramatic and the delicate.

Here’s my first experiment, which was inspired by a design found on the website Venetian Bead Shop. I call it my Sea Earth Sky Bracelet:

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The big round bead reminds me of the Earth…. It contains some gold foil inside a bed of aqua; the gold is land, the aqua the sea. I really love the square beads surrounding it. The shape fascinates me. Plus they are fun to play with if you get bored. Just turn them over and around a few times, admiring all the shades of blue…

I also visited a local bead shop, Natural Expressions in Los Gatos, CA. That inspired me to create this Evil Eye Bracelet:

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This one I made using a handy bead design board:

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Very fun. And much quicker than my fabric art. I see more beads in my future!

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