Pearl Clusters and Butterflies

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Hot off the press!! You are the first to see!!

More basic spiral stitching but now my creative juices have kicked in. I created the necklace first using 8/0 seed beads in red, black and gunmetal gray. Core color is red.

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I alternated between spirals and pearl clusters. Clusters consist of dark gray and light gray pearls. With some black and red glass beads added in.

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Dark gray pearls are Swarovski in three different sizes.

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You want to know why I like the spiral stitch so much?

Because it is forgiving. I can use imperfect beads for the core beads. I can use leftover beads for the spiral. As long as the color and size match what I am creating, I can sneak them in. Such an excellent way to use up some of my “sitting stash”. When I was searching through my beads looking for anything red, gray and black, that’s how I found the light gray potato pearls. I had forgotten all about them.

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I used the same clasp for both the necklace and bracelet. A hammered metal toggle. Got them from Auntie’s Beads. Also got the black jump rings from there. Aren’t they great!! They blend in perfectly with the beads.

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Love those butterflies!! I may have to buy more.

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Two More Spiral Necklaces and a Button Bundle

Busy, busy, busy. That’s been me for the last 2 weeks.

First, I had to take a time out for hubby’s family reunion which was two weekends ago. Friday through Sunday. Of course, the Queen Procrastinator that I am, I had lots to still do on the days leading up to it. So, hard as it was to neglect my beads, no crafting got done.

I had been working on the lavender spiral necklace I told you about. And was just about finished when I felt the urge to rip it apart. Something just wasn’t right. I liked it when I started. I hated it when I was near the end. I think it was the color. Too much lavender.

Here’s the old one. The one I took apart.

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Here’s the 2nd version. I am happy with this one.

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Using the dark plum (almost black) iridescent core beads also as spiral beads balanced the lavender color. And I added a separate strand of black Swarovski crystals. Large rondelles and smaller round crystals. With lavender seed beads as a filler.

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Both necklaces measure 54″. Over the head style for the spiral rope and a silver clasp on the crystal strand.

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I created this “Button Bundle” to gather all the strands together. Button can be worn anyplace on the necklace. I took photos of the button at the bottom and on the side.

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To make the Button Bundle, I strung 8/0 seed beads in the back and through the button holes. And sewed them to a silver magnet.

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Easy on, easy off. Move it wherever you want. Cool, huh!! Just one of the many ideas floating around inside my head. It probably works best with huge buttons. To hide the magnet.


I also made this lime and plum spiral necklace. Using 8/0 seed beads. Core beads are plum. And lucky me!! I had round glass plum beads which matched perfectly with the plum seed beads. So I made a separate strand with the glass beads.

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Both strands measure 46″. Over the head style for the spiral necklace and a silver clasp for the strand of plum glass beads.

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You would think I’d be tired of the spiral stitch about now. Nope. Not. I am going to make up more. As soon as I decide which color will be the core and which colors will be the spiral.

25 Beading Tips Learned Along The Way

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While I haven’t been at this that long, I have picked up a few tips I think are worth sharing.

  1. place a ruler at the edge of your worktable (near your chest) to stop beads from rolling off
  2. surround yourself with beading mats for your handy tools, no one likes to hear the sound of you constantly putting your flat nose pliers down on the table, over and over and over
  3. gather up what you “think” you will need before you begin a new project and keep those supplies within an arm’s reach to prevent interruptions
  4. when Plan A isn’t working, take a break, take a nap, sleep on it, a fix usually surfaces. Embrace your Plan B’s when it doesn’t.
  5. save imperfect beads for projects that don’t require perfection, don’t throw them out
  6. when you finish a project, continue to keep “those beads” on your work table for a few days, you are bound to find stray beads later.
  7. work under really good light. I have two Ott-Lites. A floor model and a portable one with handle.
  8. until you are able to eyeball bead sizes, keep the labels that came with the beads. If you transfer beads to a different container, move the label too.
  9. beads you are sure you will never, never, ever use… donate, giveaway, get them out of sight so you aren’t wasting valuable “thinking” time when you see them in your bead stash.
  10. wrap clear plastic packing tape around your hand, get down on your hands and knees to search the floor for wayward beads (or use a Crafter’s Vacuum)
  11. don’t throw out leftover lengths of beading thread, I use them when practicing a new stitch. Same with stringing wire. Keep anything longer than 12″.
  12. keep small baggies and small containers handy to keep projects organized
  13. to keep searching to a minimum, store like items together, such as clasps, spacers, jumprings
  14. if having trouble threading a needle, stick the tip of another needle through the eye opening, it could be clogged with thread conditioner
  15. when an idea hits me, I gather up like or complementary items and put them in a ziplock bag. When the mood hits, I reach for one of those project bags.
  16. eventually you will have to replace your beading tools, but hang on to the old ones. I use them for things such as pulling needles through stitches.
  17. hold up your finished item to the light and look for strands of thread fibers sticking out through the beads, use your “good” flat nose pliers to get a good grip on the fibers to pull out.
  18. store your finished jewelry in baggies to protect the metal used. You can also buy special anti-tarnishing bags and strips.
  19. make a note of ideas immediately, make a sketch, don’t let the next best thing since sliced bread vanish into thin air!!
  20. I keep a journal of date started/finished, supplies used, where purchased, measurements. Useful when offering items for sale; gold-plated, gold filled, sterling silver, etc.
  21. when designing make note of number of beads used. Example: to remake that perfect peyote toggle you made last month, check your notes. String 14 seedbeads (8/0) and peyote 4 rows. Your notes will prove useful and save designing time.
  22. keep manufacturer labels, you never know when you might need the exact name of something, color, measurements, details on how to purchase more.
  23. one of my favorite items I reach for again and again probably cost 10 cents. A red plastic spoon. I use it all the time to dish out beads when beginning a project. Separate colors. Scoop up beads when finished, to return to their containers.
  24. take photos, you will need them for craft show applications, contests, eBay, Etsy or just for your own enjoyment.
  25. Remember to have FUN!!

Spiral Stitch Bracelet and Earrings

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Finished!! These go with the necklace I made last week.

Bracelet can be worn separately or connected to the necklace to make it longer. And I made a matching pair of earrings.

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Can you believe I still have quite a bit of bronze and topaz seedbeads left. After making all of these.

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I guess I bought too much. I have cleared these colors off my work table and stored them away for the time being. Maybe I will bring them back out in the fall.


What color is on my work table now, you might ask?

Lavender. Pretty lavender.

Making a one piece spiral stitch necklace. My plan is to make it long enough to wrap several times. I’ll keep going until one of three things happen. Boredom sets in. I get sick of looking at the color. Or I run out of seed beads.

Oops. Just remembered. I haven’t taken ANY photos of it. I need to go do that now. I have about 25″ completed.

What are you working on?

Another Way To Extend Cord On Your Macrame Project

If you run out of macrame cord in the middle of your project, here’s another way to extend the cord.

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And check out my blog post from last year. More ways.

https://thisyearsdozen.wordpress.com/2009/09/24/how-to-extend-add-on-macrame-cord-ends/

How are you extending the cord when you run out? Let us all know. Thanks!!

Wood Flowers, Watchfaces and Vinyl Tubing

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Add these together with a few seedbeads and what do you get?

Cute necklaces!! 3 of them. Orange, white and royal Blue.

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I still have a bit of work left to do on them. They need clasps. And I need to figure out how to connect the watchfaces to the wood flowers. I have several ideas. Just need to see which works best. I won’t use glue. I don’t do glue. It hates me.

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See the washers. I used 80 of the small #6 size. Came out really nice. I was surprised. These are the washers hubby got for me last year. Can’t believe it took me a year to come up with an idea.

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Watchfaces are temporarily attached with stringing wire. Until I come up with a permanent way to connect them.

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This orange one will be different from the others. I cut an 11″ piece of tubing for the front. Back half will be chain links.

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I am just about out of vinyl tubing. Have enough to make a bracelet. Though I really like making these necklaces, not sure if I will buy more tubing. I bore quickly. Time to move on to something different.

Learning the Basic Spiral Stitch

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For some reason, I thought this stitch would be hard. It isn’t. At least the one I am learning isn’t. The basic spiral stitch. After the initial beads to get started, it is just add one color A and three color B. That’s it!!

I used up some small lengths of beading thread to practice. They came out good enough to use. Not long enough for a complete one piece necklace or bracelet. I had an idea for loops. Circles. I like loops and circles. So I made a loopy necklace.

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Beaded toggle can be worn on the side or in the back. I love making these beaded toggle bars. I made this one really skinny. String 14 beads (flat even count peyote) and sew 4 rows (4 beads at the top and 4 at the bottom). It was tight zippering the sides but it came out great. I usually do 5 rows but think from now on, I’ll just do 4. Seems sturdier.

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Seedbeads are 8/0 in bronze and root beer (topaz). Core beads are topaz. They are hard to see in the photos but really pretty.

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I have enough gold links to make a bracelet. I think I will make it so it can be used to extend the necklace and make it longer. So it can be worn as 2 pieces (necklace and bracelet) or just a long necklace. Thinking… always thinking.