Thursday, October 1, 2015

Work in Progress: Ocean Pendant

Greetings to my fellow beaders after a much too long absence! My work schedule has been scrambled around quite a bit these past few weeks, and it’s has totally derailed all of my other schedules like sleeping, beading, and writing. I’m going to have to work out a new way of planning out my free time, but for now I’ll just have to play a little catch-up.

Green Spiral Pendant in Progress

Although I didn’t have time to write anything special to celebrate the official release of Ancient Worlds Modern Beads today, I have been able to do a smidge of beading here and there. I’m almost finished a new spiral rope pendant featuring one of the carved bone shells that I added to my stash a while back. Originally, I was just going to go with a plain rope, but I found that the combination of colors made the rope look too naked, so I added some fringe beads and magatamas to bulk it up a bit. All that’s left is to construct the various components and then I can move on to something new!

What are you making right now?

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Work in Progress: Ruby Pattern Collar

This week I’m finishing up lots of little side projects and getting ready to sink my teeth into a new collar project. The palette is inspired by a nifty mosaic handbag from a recent fashion collage. I had planned on including some brown and black but:

a) I’m running low on black and have zero bead budget right now, so I’m rationing for who knows what, and

b) I couldn’t figure out a way to get all the colors I wanted in a similar finish, and for this one I didn’t want to mix.

Egyptian Collar in Progress

So, this is the palette I got, and I’m actually pretty pleased with it. A night’s worth of stitching will prove whether it will work or not! I’m hoping to play a bit more with patterns in netting, but mostly I just need to get this idea out of my head and into the beads. It’s been on my mind for days!

The new medallion pendant is coming along slowly but surely. My helper picked up a first-week-of-school bug and isn’t feeling very creative at the moment, but I’m sure we’ll have some new colors added soon.

What are you making this week?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Favorite Seed Bead Netting Tutorials

It’s not always easy to admit when an idea you’ve had isn’t all that great. It can often take some time to realize it, and it definitely helps to have some outside input. I recently had a good nudge from a comment on my seed bead netting tutorial that made me realize it’s not really a tutorial at all. It’s most certainly time to give it an update.

With back-to-school still taking up much of my attention right now I didn’t have time to make a new tutorial just yet, so I thought I’d find some other great netting tutorials to share for now. Unfortunately, the pickings are a bit slim when it comes to free netting projects. I did find some nice ones that would make great primers for the techniques. These are my favorites:

Crystal Netting Necklace Tutorial

Beaded Crystal Net Necklace by Sandra Halpenny
A great example of variation in simple netting.

Netted Bracelet Tutorial

Christmas Cutie Bracelet by
With pretty accent bead embellishments.

Netting and Fringe Necklace Tutorial

Rainbow Bib Necklace by
For ambitious beaders!

Once you’ve tried out some basic netting or a variation of it, it’s pretty easy to incorporate your own patterns and twists to get a piece that you really like. There’s no ‘right’ way to do netting. Although it’s basically just an expanded peyote stitch, it’s much more versatile and open to experiments with bead size, shape, and quantity.

I’ll definitely have to add a netted collar project to my list of tutorials that I will – someday – write. In the meantime, happy beading!

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Work in Progress: Medallion and Ombre

Things are happening in my workspace this week, although there are a lot of them all at once and they’re all going really slowly so it feels like not much is happening at all. I’ve finished the new cuff and make a pretty big dent in my leftover seed beads, but I still have to weave in all the tails. The new medallion is started, but I still haven’t passed the first two color choices yet. Once I’ve finished added the green triangles we’ll add another layer.

Medallion and Ombre Bracelet in Progress

I’m also working on a couple of special tutorial projects with fall themes, including some veggie-inspired ombré and something candy inspired. More on those later!

What are you making right now?

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ancient Worlds Modern Beads Preview

We have just under a month until the official release date of Ancient Worlds Modern Beads– although some readers have received their copies already, and the response has been great so far! Thank you so much to everyone who has given the book a chance. It’s very exciting to know that readers will soon be able to learn the techniques and draw a little inspiration from my own favorite sources.

As promised, I’ve created a slideshow preview of every design featured. There are 30 projects in all – necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings all inspired by the ancient world. The video will give you chance to view all of the finished designs and some of the techniques covered in the book. I’ve only included the main designs – most projects also include examples of variations on color, materials, or style. In other words, there is a lot of jewelry squeezed into these pages!

For the most part, the projects are showcased in the video by the same order you'll find them in for each chapter of the book. Each civilization has it's own section, with 10 projects for different skill levels - from beginner to advanced. In writing Ancient Worlds Modern Beads, I did my very best to provide the same attention to detail that Inspirational Beading readers have come to expect for both basic techniques and complete projects. Each chapter is also sprinkled with extra tips for getting the best results, creating variations, or finding the best materials for a design.

The inspirations are quite varied, though most projects are modelled after real ancient jewelry from Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Several pieces draw on the icons of ancient deities like Juno and Demeter, while others invoke the things we admire about the classical world. Many of my favorite designs are covered, including those that many Inspirational Beading readers have requested in the past such as the chevron collar, herringbone coil bracelet, and chevron lariat.

Nile Necklace from Ancient Worlds Modern Beads Necklace of Sithathoryunet - Met Museum

Nile Necklace Project

Amphora Cuff from Ancient Worlds Modern Beads Terracotta Lekythos - Met Museum

Amphora Cuff Project

Which project are you most interested in? Are there any techniques not covered that you’d like to see in a future tutorial or book? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Copyright 2015 Inspirational Beading
Barron's Educational Series and The Met Museum
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