Starfish, Mermaid, and Fish Beaded Necklace

Blogged under beading,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Wednesday 29 April 2015 at 10:00 am

If you have caught any of my crafting video podcasts over the past few months, then you already know that I will be taking a cruise this summer with my mother and two sisters. I’m not a big fan of cruises, but we have been trying to have a girls’ trip for awhile, and it was really difficult to find a time and place that worked with everyone. As a way to make this a little more fun than last time, I am totally crafting before and during the trip.

To start the crafting off, I decided we all needed necklaces to commemorate the trip. I’ve made two, and my sister (who is also a crafter) will be making the other two. Pictured is the one I made for myself. The other one I made is very similar, just longer per my sister’s request. After showing this off on Facebook and Instagram, I had a lot of positive response, so here are the supplies and basic “recipe” you need to make one of your own.

I purchased these supplies from Artbeads.com:

1-20mm Swarovski crystal starfish in luminous green

1 tube of Seabreeze 8/0 Designer Seed Bead Blend

1 loop 19.5×15.5mm, bar 26mm antique pewter twisted design toggle clasp

I purchased these supplies from Dragyn’s Fyre:

1 lead free pewter mermaid bead

1 lead free fish bead

4-5 lead free star spacer beads

I had these supplies already:

2 silver bead tips

20-24 inches of .014 beading wire

20-gauge soft silver-plated wire (used to add a bail to the starfish)

2-6mm turquoise colored Swarovski crystal beads

2 to 5- 4mm and 6mm clear Swarovski crystal beads

You will need the following tools:

round-nose pliers

wire cutters

chain and/or bent-nose pliers

Here is the basic recipe for assembling the necklace:

Use the silver-plated wire to make a bail on the starfish. Add a bead tip to one end of the beading wire before you start stringing. When you are finished stringing all the beads, secure the other end with the other bead tip. Attach the toggle clasp when you are done.

As you can see from the photographs, the beads are not really symmetrical except for the few in the center that anchor the starfish in the center of the necklace. You just string these on however you please. When you start to get the center, you will want to add the mermaid or fish so that one is on either side of the starfish. One item to keep in mind is that if you put the mermaid or fish beads further up the strap of the necklace, you won’t really be able to see them that well. That is why I positioned them in the center.

For detailed instructions on jewelry techniques such as how to attach bead tips, head over to the site I used to write for, About.com Jewelry Making. I have tons of helpful content that is still over there.

Crafty Princess Video Introduction

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast,Crafty Videos by Tammy on Sunday 26 April 2015 at 8:30 am

I have been learning a lot about how to set up my YouTube channel, and one important element (according to YouTube Creator Academy) is to include a brief introductory video for your channel so that when you have new subscribers and visitors, they can learn about you and what they will find on your channel. So here is my super short video introduction!



Craft Links Collection

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 26 April 2015 at 8:24 am

Connie Gee’s Designs

Connie shares a current WIP (work in progress) and has some tips on using quarter stitches and blending filament.

Art Bead Scene

Check out Mary’s fun tutorial using macrame and leather!

Quick Craft Update

Adorable amigurumi overload! Owen the Monkey and Blair the Bunny are ready for their new home. Come say hello to them before they move on their way.

How To Make A Pom Pom

Here is an easy video tutorial on how to make your own pom pom and ideas to use them.

Clay Cross Stitch

Have you ever heard of clay cross stitch? The words “unique” and “original” hardly do justice to clay artist Eva Stosic’s latest adventures in clay.

Beading Arts

It’s important not to overwhelm a great focal piece with too much embellishment when you’re making a pendant. Come see how Cyndi handled that in her latest bead embroidery piece!

Quick Craft Update – Episode 19

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast by Tammy on Thursday 23 April 2015 at 1:54 pm

This is one of my shortest podcast episodes so far, but it is packed full of amigurumi cuteness, a look at my knitted tote bag that is in progress, and some beads and crystals I’m planning to use on some sea-themed necklaces.


Show notes:

My Ravelry Group

My YouTube Channel

Freshstitches.com

Artbeads.com

Knit Picks

Book Review: Knit Noro Accessories

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 22 April 2015 at 1:35 pm



Knit Noro: Accessories: 30 Colorful Little Knits (Knit Noro Collection) is published by Sixth and Spring Books and retails for $24.95 in the US and $29.95 in Canada. There is no specific author or editor for this book. Obviously, it was put together by the Noro company to showcase its yarns. However, there are a number of designers’ work included in the book such as Debbie O’Neill, Karen Baumer, and Erica Schlueter. I would have liked a quick reference list included in the back of the book since sometimes the designers can make me decide whether or not I want to purchase a book. I asked to review this particular Noro book, out of the number that they have published, because I prefer to make accessories versus sweater and similar garments.

As with all the Noro books, I was not disappointed with the wonderful yarn colors and general “eye candy” included. The photographs are always well-done, and this book is no exception. You are able to get a good idea of what the finished product will be since there are close up as well as full views of each o the 30 projects. Some of my favorite projects are the Random Cable Mitts (long fingerless gloves that reach up well past the wrists and are full of beautiful cable-work); the Modular Neck Wrap (a loose fitting type of cowl with pretty button accents); and Cloche Hat (gathered at the to with a wide band in the center).

Beginners should expect to need additional assistance with the projects, as there is very little supplementary instructions as far as knitting basics. There are charts in the back and very brief illustrations of some stitches, but I don’t think there is enough here for anyone who is not already able to knit.

One drawback I have found with this book, and with many these days, is the tiny print and light text. Granted, my eyesight is pretty bad, but I think a book that you are going to use to craft an object should be very readable for everyone, not just 20 year-olds who good vision.

Otherwise, I love flipping through the pages of this beautiful book. There is just an overall feeling of luxury and richness that spills from the pages.

(The publisher provided me with a review copy of this book.)

Rainbow Yarn!

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Saturday 18 April 2015 at 9:48 am



I love the look and feel of this Souk Cascade yarn! It’s an almost equal mix of silk and wool, and it’s amazing. I will admit, though, it’s a tad challenging to work with, similar to Noro in some ways. You have to be gentle and patient.



It is so fun to watch the colors change, and it makes me want to keep knitting so I can get to the next color. I am attempting to make a simple tote with a long crossbody strap. The design is something in my head, which hopefully will successfully transfer into my hands as I keep knitting.

Crafting Deadlines, Challenges, Fish Extenders, & Other Crafts

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 18 April 2015 at 9:46 am

Art Bead Scene Inside the Studio: Humblebeads

Heather gives us a peak into her studio while she’s prepping for a trunk show at the same time she has to keep up with regular orders. How do you cope when you have too many deadlines?

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Stop by and check out the fun projects that the participants of the Frenzied Motion Challenge made!

Fish Extenders and Finished Bags

Finally finished the Fish Extender Bags! Tappingflamingo also show some of the gift ideas she has come up with.

Butterfly Spring Card Design

“Hello.” Here’s a bright cheery butterfly spring card with die cut embellishments to brighten someone’s day.

Blue Glass Solar Lights

Cherie’s playing with blue glass again! She’s made some solar lights for the garden.

Beading Arts

Cyndi has compiled a links list of her tutorials for little seed bead components that are endlessly useful in her work!

Yarn Review and Bead Crochet

This video craft podcast is full of knitting, crochet, and beading! Take out your current craft project, and craft-along with the Crafty Princess.

Plotting Some Bead Designs for the Cruise

Blogged under beading,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Friday 17 April 2015 at 8:32 am

If you have caught any recent episodes of my video podcast, Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast, then you know that I will be going on a cruise this summer with my mother and two sisters. I thought it would be fun to make some jewelry pieces of each of us that sort of are similar as far as materials, so I purchased some Swarovski crystal starfish charms and a few tubes of mixed beads from Artbeads. I’m going to ask each of them for some input as to what they want me to make, and (fingers crossed) I will have time to design and create a special piece for each of us before we hit the high seas.

Episode 18: Yarn Review & Bead Crochet

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast by Tammy on Saturday 11 April 2015 at 4:06 pm

There is a little of everything I love to do in this episode:
knitting, crochet, and beading.


Show Notes:

Lion Brand

Fresh Stitches.com

Knitted Patchwork Recipe

Knifty Knitter

Little Knits


Book Review: Crochet Boutique Hats

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Saturday 11 April 2015 at 12:33 pm

Crochet Boutique: Hats: 25 Fresh Takes on Classic Crocheted Hat Designs is published by Lark and written by Rachael Oglesby. It retails in the US for $17.95 and in Canada for $19.95.

The 25 projects in this book included three different skill levels: beginner, easy, and intermediate. Most of the patterns are beginner and easy; I counted 5 that are designated as intermediate level. This one aspect of the book that I really like because hats should be fun to make for anyone at any skill level, but they tend to be especially good projects for beginning crocheters.

Many of the beginning level projects also use thick yarn and large hooks, so again, it is very beginner friendly, or for those who just want immediate gratification, there are plenty of patterns that will fit into that category too. The author was also careful to use easy to find yarns such as Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick (for the Bulky Shells Beret); Patons Kroy Socks (used in the Wide Ribbed Beanie pattern, which is a great unisexl hat); Bernat Cotton-ish (for the Daisy Beret, a very cute beginning level hat); and even Lily Sugar n’ Cream (for a cute Bucket Hat). Color photos are abundant and provide multiple views of each hat, both on a model as well as laying flat.

I will say, that there are a few hat designs that do not personally appeal to me, but really, just a small number. Most look like something I would enjoy making and wearing. This would be a good “go to” book for someone who has mastered basic stitches like slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet and wants to start making finished accessories.

(A review copy was sent to me from the publisher.)

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