Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday - Spring Birds Earrings

At this time of year, I weary a little of claims that Spring is just around the corner. Perhaps it's my dour perspective, but to my mind, Spring is far from just around the corner. It doesn't seem at all near! Still, there's no reason not to get ahead and make some Spring-y designs and that's what we have here.

The ceramic birds that I've used are from Blueberribeads, as you may well know. The wooden barrels are from Pyamtuning Crafts. Aside from your art beads, you'll need: three 20cm lengths of 4ply waxed linen in shades of green (I've used mint, sage and olive); four 4cm lengths of 1mm hemp, in khaki or something similarly neutral; a range of bead caps - around 5-6 for each earring; 12 mini czech glass bellflowers; 24 gauge antique copper wire; and, of course, a pair of ear wires.

To start, lay out your cords, with the short lengths of hemp at the centre point of the linen cords. Then take a generous length of your wire and bind them all, at the centre. Making a wrapped loop and wind the tail from your loop slightly down over the top of your cords where they have been folded.  

Next, string all your linen cords through the wooden barrel, leaving the short hemp lengths splayed out at the top. Take another piece of wire - around 8cm should do - and wrap it round the linen below the barrel to secure it in place.  Then, start to fray your hemp cord so you get a 'mop' of single strands.  Once you've unravelled all your hemp, select a bead cap that will sit tightly over the top of the hemp. You want something that will push your hemp so it falls downwards over the barrel. The cap I've used can be folded in to keep the hemp in place.

Start adding the rest of your bead caps, with the cup of the cap facing upwards, to form a nest. Then, add your bird. I've sat a little spacer in the top of the hole in the bird as it is fairly large and the wire is rather fine.  You may be tempted to use a thicker wire to give more rigidity but I found that 22 gauge wire was not flexible enough to grip the cords as tightly as is need. As the wire is quite fine, I've made a double wrapped loop above the bird to finish the top of the earring.  Next, turn your attention back to the hemp.

I've trimmed the ends of mine so that the lower half of the wooden barrel can be seen; it also gives a bit of a neater look. Next, attach your ear wire. The final step is to add your glass flowers. Thread one onto each of your linen cords and secure with a knot, fixing them at different positions on the cords. Finish by trimming your cords just below each knot.  Then, you just need to make your second earring.

Bye for now, Claire


Monday, January 26, 2015

Amuse the Muse - Marsala beads - with Rebecca of Songbead

Hello everyone, and happy Monday. It's the last week of Marsala - and that's because it's the last week of January! Yippee! I've found another lovely selection for you this week. Enjoy.

I hope you've been as inspired as I have by this year's colour of the year. See if you can challenge yourself to use it in some of your designs this week! 

Next month's theme is.......heart beads! No, not very original considering the month - but whether you choose to embrace loving your sweetheart, your friends or yourself next month, love isn't really a bad thing, is it? Especially not when it's in bead form. Leave your {he}art bead links in the comments below. 

And now for the BeadBlogger Links. Have a great week!

Cherie Burbach

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in Edinburgh, capital of her native land. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Irish waxed linen macrame button loop clasp tutorial

Hello and happy Thursday everyone! Today, I'm bringing you a tutorial which I shared on my own blog last year. We are mid-January right now and for most of us that means chilliness, darkness and a long, long month post-Christmas. However, I'm sure I'm not the only one looking ahead to the warmer months (hurry up Spring!) and thinking of lighter, brighter and more playful styles and designs. For me, that very much means reaching for the Irish waxed linen cording, and some of my favourite art beads. I hope you enjoy this wee tutorial! 

I've always been a little unhappy with linen cord loops, worrying that they weren't quite sturdy enough, even covered with beads, to really work as a clasp. Last year, I had a brainwave whilst making a knotted bracelet - I had two really long tails left, and I came up with the idea of half-hitching one cord onto another to see what would happen. I am sure that many, many people have done this before me, and I'm certainly not claiming this as my own - but it was definitely a lightbulb moment for me! I thought I'd share what I did with you here. I've used 7ply Irish waxed linen cording in Lilac - 7ply is a great choice for bracelets (which need to stand up to a bit more rough and tumble than earrings or necklaces) because it's almost twice as thick as 4ply, but still goes through most beads with a little practice.

1. Finish knotting the main part of your bracelet, ending with two loooong cord ends. If you like, you can leave one much longer than the other so as not to waste too much. You do need a lot of cord to knot with for this! I'm not a measurer, but you may want to work out exactly how much cord you'll need after you've made a couple. My brain just doesn't work like that! 

2. Bring one cord (the working cord) over the other to make a u-shaped loop. 

3. Bring the working cord back through the loop. 

4. Pull snug to form a half-hitch knot. 

5. Repeat these half-hitch knots, using the same working cord, to form this spiralling rope. 

6. Tie the working cord around the base of the rope to form a loop. I tie a double knot and then added a few beads to the tails, crimping them on. 

7. Here's the finished bracelet! And another one with different cord/beads below:

Pressed glass, 7ply Irish waxed linen cord and Vintaj brass crimps from - 

 Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in Edinburgh, capital of her native land. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Perfect Pairings :: Nan Smith

Nan Smith has taken on a year long challenge to make something in polymer clay each week. She shares one of her creations, a brooch inspired by the colors and the shapes in Hundertwasser's Imagine Tomorrow's World painting. The striations of the clay layers isolate the darker, more muted colors in the top of the painting and the swirl in copper mimics the large bulls-eye in the bottom of the painting.

Featured Designer :: Nan Smith of Nanmade

Just a friendly reminder... We have a slightly new format for uploading your pictures for consideration for the Perfect Pairings each Wednesday, as well as the Monthly Challenge Recap post. We are now using Pinterest! You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes, including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge! (Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)
Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description so that I have someplace to attribute the picture to! And don't forget to tell us about those art beads!
Deadline to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post is Wednesday, January 28th! Let's start the new year off with a BANG!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: Stacked Bezel Cup Ring

                                     Stacked Bezel Cup Ring Tutorial

Today's tutorial is about making a ring on an adjustable ring blank.  We will be using a beautiful art bead made by polymer clay artist Claire Maunsell.  We will be adding some hand felted pieces and a few pieces of sterling silver to attach the art bead to the micro screw rivet.
A list of materials and tools follows.  After that are the step by step directions.

Adjustable ring blank silver plated (available on Etsy or Rings & Things)
Center hole art bead disk about 5/8 inch in diameter I used one of Claire Maunsell's beautiful polymer beads
brass screw rivet (micro screw)  1/2 -3/4 inch long 1/16 inch thick ( Source Etsy) or
hand felted disk 1-1 1/2 inches in diameter or several scraps of Sari silk
copper or silver heishi bead and sterling silver bead cap used inverted --diameter greater than disk bead center hole, with 1/16 center hole
Optional supplies:  mica disks (daniel essig on Etsy), metal disks, waxed linen in a complementary or matching color
epoxy glue or clear nail polish
wooden dowel the diameter of your ring

hand drill  with 1/16th inch drill bit  or 1.8mm punching plier
Safety glasses
Center punch
Flush cutters
Tiny eyeglass screwdriver
thin tip Sharpie Marker
Metal file

We will be using a ring blank that has a very shallow round bezel cup to build a ring with felt, mica (optional), and a polymer clay art bead

1.  Find the center of your bezel ring blank by measuring and drawing a line through the widest part of the circle.  Then rotate the ring 90 degrees and draw another line.  Where the lines meet is the center of your ring.  Use a thin tipped sharpie marker to draw the lines and mark the spot where they meet

2. If you are going to drill your center hole,  slide your ring blank on the wooden dowel.  Hold the ring and wooden dowel in place with a vice.  Using the center punch make a divot where you marked the center of the bezel cup.
3.  With your ring on the dowel, securely in place with the vice, and  wearing safety glasses, drill a hole in the divot with your hand drill.  If you are using the punching plier, align it with the marked center and punched the hole. ( Please note:  You can only use the punching plier if you are making a hole through just one thickness of metal.

4.  Try the screw rivet in the hole you just made to make sure it fits.  It the hole is too tight, use the awl to widen it by working it around in the hole.

5.  Cut out a circle of your felt slightly larger than the disk bead you are using, in this case it would be about 1/14 inches since the disk bead is 1 inch in diameter.

6.  Make a hole in the center of the felted disk with the awl.

7.  To assemble your ring, insert the brass screw rivet into the ring from underneath the bezel cup.
String on the felted disk the optional mica disk and the copper or silver heishi bead.

8. Screw on the brass nut and make it as tight as you can.  Use the eyeglass screwdriver or your finger nail to hold the rivet in place as you continue to tighten the nut.  When you are sure it is as tight as it can get, clip off the extra length of the rivet and file it smooth.  Tighten it again and add a couple of drops of epoxy glue  or clear nail polish.  Let it dry completely.

9.  If you want to add additional color to your ring you can wrap waxed lined around part of the band as seen in this picture.  Use slip knots on the inside of the ring band to secure the waxed line.  Add a drop of epoxy or clear nail polish to secure the slip knots.

Or you could add in some mica sheet

10. Try on your  new ring and enjoy!!

 Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Amuse the Muse - Marsala beads - with Rebecca of Songbead

Happy Monday everyone! I hope January is treating you well. Time for another run down of art beads, with this month's theme - Pantone's colour of the year, Marsala. 

Rejetta of Jettabug Jewelry found this sweet (literally!) pair of polymer birdies over in Northern Ireland from Areto Beads Jewellery.

And here are a few lovelies that I found, in a marsala palette. Enjoy!

And now for the BeadBlogger Links. Have a great week everyone! 

 Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in Edinburgh, capital of her native land. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Art Beads to Inspire You For The ABS January Challenge

Painting Imagine Tomorrows World by  Hundertwasser

I have been very inspired by the wonderful colors and joyful designs in this work by Hundertwasser.  In my search for art beads for you to enjoy and to entice you to participate this month, I had a great time looking and here is what I found:

10 Ancient Corals Nuggets , Lampwork Beads , rustic looking  glass beads by Beadfairy Lampwork, SRA

Ancient Corals Nuggets by BeadFairy

6 Big  Artisan Statement Beads - Handmade from Polymer Clay
Artisan Statement Beads  by MargitBoehmer

A pair of orange and blue and natural and rustic earthy ceramic disc beads connectors; nr. B94
Rustic Ceramic Disk Beads by  HappyFishThings

v i v i d wilderness series - glass lampwork etched earring pair beads - vivid, southwest colors - rustic beads by Uglibeads
Glass Lampwork Beads by Julie Wong Sontag of Uglibeads

MISTY. Glass Lampwork Beads, Beaded Jewelry Art. Necklace, pendant. HUGE Single round Focal. Stainless Steel choker. Handmade by OPENSTUDIO.
Large Lampwork Bead by Laura Blanck of OpenStudioBeads

Graphic Blooms Bead Set (4) - Handmade Bead Set, Art Bead Set, Flower Beads, Art Beads

Graphic Red Bloom Beads by Something To Do Beads  Claire Lockwood Art Bead Scene Editor


Orange Poppy Pendant

                Poppy Pendant by Humblebeads  ABS Founder Heather Powers

Kalypso Seas handmade lentil focal bead Large bead by Ema K sra srajd ooak pink bead
Calypso Seas Lampwork Bead by EmaK Designs  ABS Editor

simple truths bundle #4
Simple Truths Bundle # 4  By ABS Editor  Erin Prais-Hintz

Handmade Round  Ceramic Toggle Clasp  Organic Textures  Bright Colors by Mary Harding
Round Toggle Clasp  Bright Colors by Mary Harding, ABS Editor

        Colorful Beads From Creative Impressions In Clay, ABS Editor  Tari Sasser

Scarlet - 2 small handwoven beads - handwoven beaded beads - handmade beads - seed bead beads
  Handmade Beaded Beads By Rebecca Anderson, ABS Editor, in The Curious Bead Shop

I hope you enjoyed this eye candy tour of art beads I found.  Hopefully  you are energized by their beauty and will  start making something for this month's ABS challenge.  Remember that we are now posting to Pinterest. 

Here are the particulars:

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. You need to have a Pinterest account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring. 
2. Email us at absmonthlychallenge@gmail.com to get added to the monthly challenge board.
Subject: Monthly Challenge Board Request
Indicate if you want to be added to the Jewelry Board, Bead Board or both.
You will be emailed an invite to the board within 48 hours. Accept the invite and you are ready to pin your entries.
3. Two ways to pin your entry to the board.
Pin your photo from the internet (on your blog, Etsy shop, etc.) 
Add your photo directly from your computer

Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork. 
An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.
***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply added to wire or cord will not be accepted.***
Please add the tag or title JAN ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.
 Photos are approved by our moderators, if a photo hasn't followed the guidelines it will not be approved. You may upload 2 entries per month.

• Beads Makers Pinterest Board-Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. 2 entries per month are allowed. 
One entry will be picked by the editors on the 28th of each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 27th of the month.
Beads only - do not post jewelry on this board. If a post doesn't fit the challenge it will be deleted.

Thanks so  much for stopping by.