Saturday, January 12, 2019

Some projects are just... meh.... ugh... bleh....

We all have them. Those projects that sit and sit and sit because we just can't get motivated to start or finish them. I have more than a few of those but am determined to finish some this year. It's nothing against this project but here is my current dreaded project: the Empress Catherine Collar, designed by Leslee Frumin. As you can tell by the 2016 publishing date of the "Favorite Stitches" issue, it has sat in my to-do pile for a couple years.

And, based on the materials list, I made a bit of an investment in the supplies, specifically 302 4mm pearl rounds.
The project finally hit my beading mat this summer and, at first, it went swimmingly as I built the base of right angle weave. But then I got to the embellishment part and hit my first speed bump. You do criss crosses of beads in between each right angle weave unit, which isn't too bad, but you have to string a small number of 15/0 beads underneath a line of embellishment requiring that I pay close attention that  I am going in the right direction and not snagging around another part of the project. Not ... at ... all ... relaxing. So I tucked it away over the holidays and brought it back out this week-end.

Here's a close-up of my embellishing work so far.

I do love the color of the Swarhovski rounds: scarabaeus green. I needed so many for this design, I bought the factory pack of 500 pieces which gives me some extra for a later design.

So I treated myself to less frustrating design and put together these Winding Path earrings, designed by Stephanie at BronzePony. Here is a link to the YouTube tutorial if you'd like to make yourself a pair.

Winding Path earring design: Bronzepony Beaded Jewelry

Sunday, December 30, 2018

So long 2018!

Thanks to all my friends and family who have helped make 2018 so bright!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Reading is "fun"damental!

How many of you remember that saying from your primary school days? I don't even know if they use it any more but I have loved to read as long as I can remember. When I found the Goodreads site back in 2009, it was such a treasure trove. I could log the books I had read (to avoiding re-buying them in the future) and keep track of the books I want to read. Needless to say, my to-read list is much longer than my read list but 2018 marked a first as I read 100 books, giving the answer to people who ask my what I do in my retirement!

And, because I am a statistics geek, I captured this screen shot that shows the books by rating.

And, if you are a reading junkie too, here are my five-star rated books for 2018. My top book for the year is "The Heart's Invisible Furies" by John Boyne.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Embellished headband tutorial

I started a tradition of offering to make bridesmaids’ jewelry for each of my nieces who are planning a wedding. The dress selected by one dear niece had a fancy neckline which did not need a necklace so I decided to use my love of bead embroidery to make these embellished headbands. They are festive, unique and look great on just about any hairstyle. All you need are some fabric-covered headbands and an assortment of beads.


  • Any fabric-covered headband will work but I like combining two thinner bands to make a double headband and used 5mm headbands purchased from Etsy CraftontheCouch. (If you order from this seller, pay close attention to the about one month shipping time as they are shipping from China.)
  • E6000 glue 
  • binder clips 
  • craft or popsicle sticks
  • Assorted beads to complement the color theme. This is a good chance to use your stash. I used 11/0 seed beads as the smallest and 8 mm as the largest. 
  • Fireline or other beading thread to match your palette.
And here’s my bead assortment.

Prepare headbands

If you decide to use the two-headband option, prepare the headbands by gluing the bottoms together with E6000 glue. Have a craft stick at hand to remove any excess glue that pops out when you place the headbands together. Angle the headbands in such a way to allow at least one inch between the tops of the headbands.

This photo shows how I angled the headbands.

Using the craft stick, spread the glue on the bottom ends to be connected.

Use binder clips to hold both ends together while the glue dries. Allow at least 12 hours for the glue to cure before attaching beads.

Attach beads

This is where the fun begins! Start at the bottom and use your smaller beads for the first inch or so. Use your thread to reinforce the section where the two bands come together. Any reinforcement will be hidden by the beads you attach. Then work your way up each head band, mixing up your bead selection in a design that is pleasing to you.

And here are four headbands all ready for the lovely bridesmaids!

© Cave Creek Beads