Video: What Is Beading Wire?

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 22 June 2015 at 9:45 am



Video: Using a Bead Board for Jewelry Making

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 9 May 2015 at 10:44 am

I am heading back to some jewelry making basics, starting with this brief “how-to” video on using a bead board to help you design beaded jewelry.



Starfish, Mermaid, and Fish Beaded Necklace

Blogged under Jewelry Designing, beading 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.

Plotting Some Bead Designs for the Cruise

Blogged under Jewelry Designing, beading 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.

Hemp and Bead Crochet Bracelet

Blogged under Jewelry Designing, crochet jewelry by Tammy on Monday 23 March 2015 at 5:55 am

I often think of design ideas when I’m half asleep. Sometimes this can be in the middle of the night when I really should be sleeping, but sometimes it will happen as I’m waking up. This past Sunday morning the latter happened, and lucky for me, I was able to clearly remember my idea instead of having a foggy recollection of it. To make sure I did not let the day get too far gone without having the chance to at least start my jewelry design idea, I pulled out some hemp and glass beads and set them in front of me to see as I sipped my morning cup of tea. This was going to happen!


Soon after breakfast, I located a size B crochet hook, and I got busy. I used about 4 yards of thin purple hemp and slipped on 30 glass beads onto it. Using chain and single crochet stitches, I start creating what I had envisioned a few hours earlier.




After a few stops and starts, I finally finished the crochet part and added a clasp. I have some ideas to improve on this design, but for the prototype, I’m very pleased with the results.

Beaded Rings Dazzle-It Update

Blogged under Jewelry Designers/Artists, Jewelry Designing, beading by Tammy on Friday 27 February 2015 at 6:09 pm



It was so fun to be part of the Dazzle-It Rings Blog Hop. I showed a little teaser, basically the wonderful beads and other supplies, and talked about what I had planned to do during episode 15 of my video podcast, and then I posted finished my ring, of course, on my own blog. However, above is a photo collage of all the rings together, which were created by myself and these other talented designers: Cyndi Lavin, Marissa Decipeda-Wong, Jennifer Tryon, Lisa Pace, Eileen Bergen, and Nancy Donaldson.

Dazzle-It Rings Blog Hop - My Green & Purple Obsession!

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Sunday 22 February 2015 at 12:19 pm

I recently mentioned the Dazzle-It Rings Blog Hop and showed off some super pretty seed beads I received from John Bead Corp. in a recent podcast episode. Now I get to share the process as well as the finished product. It started, of course, with some yummy beads and also a new booklet, Rings by Giovanna. The book has wonderful full-color up-close photos of how to use seed beads to weave various types of ring designs.



First, I had to pick out the beads, and I tend to be all about green and purple lately, so I selected those to get started.



Next, I had to decide on the stitch and the project. I decided to go with peyote and create an adaptation of the “Sinuous Ring” design from the book.



I used a size 12 needle, and the beads are size 10 seed beads. The supplies included black .15mm Wildfire by Beadalon. One tip for getting the beading wire through the needle is to use wire cutters to cut the beading wire. You need a very good cut on the end, or you will have a heck of a time getting that through the eye of the needle.



This project, which included a few stops and starts, ended up taking me about an hour to do. Little Dude was not happy that I was sitting at a table beading and not snuggling him on the couch. He tried a few times to even climb on top of the table! He is schedule for a bath today, which will include a mani and a pedi, so that will calm him down later, LOL!



Here is the finished ring flattened on my work area. I alternated 2 rows of green beads and 2 rows of purple beads. Then I stitched a picot with green beads around the edges.



I love how it turned out! I have some ideas for other ring-related bead designs. Hopefully, Little Dude will not get too upset that I’m planning more seed bead jewelry projects!

Come back soon for a link that will show off all the rings created by participants of the blog hop!

Visit + Revisit Craft-Along

Blogged under Crafts from the Past, Design Ideas, Fiber Fun, Jewelry Designing, My Crafty News, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 16 January 2015 at 12:35 pm

I am very excited to announce our first craft-along for the Crafty Princess Diaries Blog/Podcast group on Ravelry. It starton on 1/15/15 and end on 2/28/15.

Ravelry group members are invited to “revisit” a previous craft they have tried before and stopped doing for whatever reason and/or “visit” a new craft or project they have never tried before. For example, if you used to spin but haven’t for years, “revisit” it by picking up the roving again and give it a go. If you have been thinking of trying a new craft, like cross stitch, “visit” it by trying it for the first time.

The official thread for the craft-along is linked here, and we have a chatter thread as well.  Participants will start their own post in the official thread and share what they are planning, working on, and how their “revisit” or “visit” is generally going.

Post pictures! Tell us what inspired you. Journal your experiences with us. Keep adding to your own post in the thread as we craft-along together throughout the rest of this month and February 2015 as well.
Finished objects are not required. In this craft-along it’s the process, not the product, that we will be sharing!

I will randomly pick someone at the end of the craft-along who will win a $5 Ravelry giftable pattern.

Ch. 3 of Bored By Back Stitch!

Blogged under Good Books, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Sunday 12 October 2014 at 6:03 am



Cyndi Lavin’s bead embroidery followers will be happy to know that the third chapter of her latest bead e-book, Bored by Back Stitch, is finally available. Like her other chapters, this one is priced at a bargain, $3! It continues on the journey of bead embroidery and includes four new bracelet projects. Mixed media folks will also find this third chapter very interesting because she includes information on using unique foundation surfaces using pleated silk ribbon, metal mesh ribbon, soutache braid, and chocolate bags.

I’m in Beads and Beyond!

Blogged under Jewelry Designing, My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 11 October 2014 at 8:58 am

Check out pages 38 to 39 in the November 2014 issue of Beads & Beyond for an with me!

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