Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Handmade Beaded Valentine's Day Bracelet
Buy this uniquely handcrafted charm bracelet for someone you love this Valentine’s Day, or if you’re feeling up to it, make it yourself!
All beads used in this bracelet are handmade, excluding the charms.
To Make this Bracelet you will Need:
Empty Paper Egg Carton
Red Wool Roving
Clear Nail Polish
Pink Acrylic Paint
Black Acrylic Paint
Fine Tipped Round Paintbrush
2 Crimp Beads
Small Lobster Clasp
Heart Charms of your Choice
9” Beadalon .012” Bead Stringing
Step 1: Paper Mache Beads. Tear the paper egg carton into tiny pieces. Tiny, tiny, pieces. Place the torn pieces of egg carton into a plastic bowl. Pour enough nearly boiling water over the pieces of egg carton so that they are entirely submerged. Let sit for at least three hours. Mush the mixture with your hands. Remove water from the mixture and stir in at least half a 16 oz bottle of Elmer’s glue. Pinch off a bit bigger than a quarter sized piece of paper mache. Using your thumb, middle and index finger pinch water out of this glob of paper mache, shaping it into a ball as you squeeze out excess water. Set aside to dry. Once the paper mache is dry, paint the beads a base coat of pink, followed by a black polka dots, and then a coat of clear nail polish to seal. After drying poke a hole through the bead with a large needle.
Step 2: Felt Beads. Portion off equal sized pieces of red wool roving. Rub the portions of felt onto bar soap. Do not scrub the felt onto the soap, but rub a piece of felt across the soap in one direction, once. Submerge under hot water…a little or a lot(the amount of water I’ve added when making my felt beads hasn’t really changed the outcome). Start rolling and shaping with your palms and fingers the portion of felt into a ball. If the felt is concaving toward the center, tug the fabric out and continue rolling until you have a felted bead. Tada!
Step 3: Cut a 9” piece of Badalon bead stringing wire. String a crimp bead onto the wire and bring the crimp to one side of the string. String the end of the beading wire through one end of the lobster claw clasp, restring the wire through the crimp bead, and squeeze the crimp together, securing the clasp.
Step 4: Take the loose end of string and string this end through the eye of a needle. String two red felt beads, one pink polka dotted bead, two red felt, one pink polka dotted bead…Finish the bracelet by attaching the other end of the clasp.
Step 5: Charms are attached ever three beads by a jump bead.
From, Kimberly at LoveLifeLiveLife.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
To make a necklace similar to this you will need:
3 charms of your choice in various sizes
(the charms I've used for my necklace are the two fish charms and one round metal finding)
2 large beads
20 gauge wire-silver
round nose pliers
24 inch long thin leather cord
1 barrel clasp, 1 jump ring
Step 1: Connecting the first bead to the central charm or Charm 1. Charm 1 really should be the largest charm of the necklace. Cut a 5 inch long piece of 20 gauge wire. Bend a 3/4" u-shaped hook at one end, End A. String the charm on the wire so that it falls to the center of the bent u-shaped hook. With your thumb align End A with the long piece of wire and squeeze together slightly. String a large bead on the long piece of wire and push the bead down over End A of the wire to lock the charm in place. Now, hold your round nose pliers in your right hand so you fist is pointed away from you. Keeping your fist pointed away from you, grasp the wire 1/4" above the bead you just strung. Fold the wire above the pliers toward you with your left hand, following the curve of the pliers. Hold the pliers about eye level, fist still away from you. After folding the wire around the curve of the plier the two pieces of wire should be fairly aligned. Now continue folding the wire around the plier so that you have a loop. Curve the excess wire around the base below the loop so the wire is pointing toward you. Bend this part of the wire in a downward diagonal around the curve of your bead. Your wire should now be on the bottom left part of your bead. Curve the wire around the back base of your bead and wrap the base of your bead with the wire one complete time, ending the wrap on the left. Curve the wire up toward the head of the bead and wrap around the top loop once. Cut off any excess wire.
Step 2: Charm 2, the right charm looking at the necklace, was created in the exact same way as Charm 1. The difference is the varying sizes of the charms which creates just a bit of asymmetry that works well in the piece. No need to attach any charms to the leather cord yet!
Step 3: With your wire cutters cut a 5 inch long piece of 20 gauge wire. Fold the wire in half using the curve of your round nose pliers. To fold the wire in half, again hold the round nose pliers in your right hand with your fist pointed away from you. Grip the wire with the pliers mid way up the 5 inch long piece of wire. Fold the wire remaining above the pliers toward you so two pieces of wire are parallel. Keep holding the folded wire with the pliers and bend the piece of wire facing you in half into a u-shape. String Charm 3 onto the u-shape and let the small charm fall to the center of the fold. Remove the wire from the pliers. Grip all three pieces of wire at once with the pliers just above the small charm. Wrap the wire you just strung the charm onto tightly around all wires, just above the charm, twice. Snip any excess wire.
Step 4: Time to attach the charms! Take Charm 1 and string it onto your leather cord allowing the charm fall to the center of the cord so you have the same amount of leather cord on both sides of the charm. Hold Charm 1 in place with your left hand and make a knot to the right of the cord. Do not tie the two cords together! Now make a knot on the opposite side of Charm 1. Continue with two more knots on each side of Charm 1.
Step 5: String Charm 2 on the right hand side of the cord. Tie three consecutive knots after Charm 2.
Step 6: Attach a jump ring after the knots on the left side of Charm 1. Holding one end of the jump ring with your thumb and forefinger and one end with the round pliers secure Charm 3 on the jump ring. Follow Charm 3 by three consecutive knots.
Step 7: The finishing touches! Just tie one side of the barrel clasp to each end of the necklace, snip the ends, and you're ready to go!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
As might be expected, some of the necklaces I make are inspired whence rummaging through a bead store and coming across beads that catch my eye. This certainly applies to my Alligator Skin beaded jewelry necklace.
I really loved the earthy quality of the triangular accent beads that I've used as a focal point for this necklace, and actually helped to really free style the design. This took several times of putting the necklace together, remaining unhappy with it, and reassembling it until I got it just right; balancing the slightly uncanny color palette. The result is a wonderfully expressive tribal piece that is quite reptilian. Wear it and connect with the reptile inside!
Alligators and Crocodiles have always been widely recognized symbols of power and strength, as well as, stealth, patience, and 'hidden danger'.
Dream analysts say that seeing an alligator or crocodile in your dreams gives you an opportunity to be mindful of anything in your life that may not be visible on the surface, but is waiting to strike suddenly and without mercy.
Jungian analysts believe that an alligator pendant can be useful in keeping your inner alligator or shadow (the part of yourself that you wish the most was not there) locked away.
Ancient Egyptians depicted Sobek (their god of creativity) as a crocodile. Even Sekhmet, an Egyptian warrior goddess, was sometimes depicted with a crocodile's head. This was an illustration of her power and ability to defend their sun god Ra by crushing his foes in order to defend his kingdom. Egyptians embalmed many of these ‘holy crocodiles’ in the same manner as they did humans. According to the Greek historian, Heroditus, the pyramids were beyond description, but the labyrinthine temples containing the mummies of crocs and kings impressed him more.
Tattoo and Totem specialists say that the alligator or crocodile symbol might suggest that there's more to you than meets the eye, or mat represent the qualities of maternal love, swiftness, survival instinct, primal energy, and an unbridled creative force.
Get my Alligator Skin beaded jewelry necklace and take a Walk on the Reptile Side!
I have always loved paper beads and their endless possiblities. This is a beautiful video showcasing paper jewelry handmade by women in Northern Uganda.