Monday, July 20, 2015

Pretty Peyote Bail

I love hand-crafted findings. They give pieces a more organic, custom feel and can also help save money. I learned what has become my go-to technique from Laura McCabe's book Embellished Beadweaving but I think it's a pretty standard technique.

Over the years, I've made a few bails but not nearly as many as toggle closures. Recently, I finished a beaded rope using a wonderful technique by Kristen Stevens on the Art Jewelry Elements blog. Isn't this a fun rope pattern? It works up really quickly once you get the hang of the thread path.

I wanted to use a Steeler pendant but needed a bail and had a triangle shape in mind. When I looked online for ideas none were quite what I had in mind. I wanted something fairly simple and on the smaller side. So I decided to come up with my own. This technique is probably documented out there somewhere but I couldn't find it. It is super-easy. Just make two triangles with one having one more row so you can zip them together on the "top" of the bail.

Here's what my hand-crafted findings looked like.

And here's the finished piece.

The bail is dual-purpose since it can be easily slipped over the toggle portion of the necklace so the rope can be worn with or without it. I was going to work up a quick tutorial for anyone who might be interested so leave me a quick reply and I'll be sure to notify you when it's done.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bonkers for Bracelets!

I've been on a bracelet binge these days. Somehow, my beading path has crossed with some terrific new (to me) tutorials and techniques and today I will share those with you.

First up is this wonderful five-strand bracelet by Christina Larson whose YouTube tutorials are among the best I have tried. Here's the link to her Five-Row Wrap tutorial and here are my finished pieces. These bracelets take lots of thread and a bit of time to make but the end result is worth it.

On this version, I made a button using a Pitt logo sealed and glued into a Nunn design button form and then glazed over with Lisa Pavelka's Magic-Glos which is easier to use than resin since no mixing is involved. These customized buttons have endless uses and I especially like them personalized with photos of the jewelry recipients.

I so enjoyed Chrstina's tutorial, I thought I would give one of her macrame lessons a try. Next up was the beaded vertical larks head knot bracelet. These are super-easy and make up quickly. I made a couple of these as gifts for some of my young nieces.

And then I went a different route with a Cellini spiral bracelet.

My frenzy ended with one of my favorite techniques - flat Turkish bead crochet adorned by this clever cuff I found on Etsy.

© Cave Creek Beads