March 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
Very on trend and very easy to make, once I started I haven’t been able to resist going back to this style as it lifts a casual look to chic.
See my earlier post for how to make these Shamballa-style bracelets and the origin of the Shamballa bracelet.
Here are my recent variations on the theme:
I fell for this lovely red beads when I saw them in The Beaderie. The glossy layer of glass over the painted floral design gave these a translucent appeal and provided vibrancy to the red. Teaming it with the black cord for contrast was a no-brainer which also enhances the pastel florals.
This stardust version is incredibly effective if you want the hint of sparkle without spending a fortune on the Rhinestone pave beads of the original Shamballa concept. You can also get the stardust beads in bronze, gold and carbon which are tantalizing in their own right. Here I’ve used the 1 mm waxed cotton cord as the base cord but gone for a 2 mm woven nylon cord for the macrame work around the beads (you will need 120 cm for the main part and another 40 cm for the overlap section). This creates a more solid frame effect around the beads. In the overlap section, I’ve added another stardust bead. You can do this with the stardust beads as the hole is large enough for the 1 mm cord to be threaded crossways. Add the Swarovski Helix AB crystals on last.
The eagle-eyed among you will recognise this as part of a set that has evolved since Decemeber. I first made a necklace with these 12 mm red Agate stones and glass-coated bronze ceramic beads last Christmas as a special request. Then I made the earrings for the birthday present and now here’s the bracelet for Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day in the UK is the third Sunday of Lent instead of being in May).
These lovely dark blue and cobalt beads are amazing when worn with denim. Again, I’ve gone for the thicker cord on the outside to frame the beads. The solid look is softened by the delicate sparkle of the Swarovski Helix AB crystals waving on the tail ends. ♥K
February 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
Project No. 4: I loved this quartz necklace as soon as I saw this. It was knotted on black thread that really didn’t do it justice. You couldn’t really see the rutilated features in the quartz.
My first instinct was to remake the necklace with silver filigree balls that would add light and bring out the clarity of the quartz and the streaks of the rutile. However, I could not find filigree beads large enough that would create the effect I was after. I had to come up with another solution.
Although I rarely buy paper magazines or books these days, I was drawn to purchase Everyday Gemstones Winter 2012 . Enjoying the novelty of turning pages instead of swiping a screen, I found my ‘solution’ in the project “Steel wire & stones” – knotty wire beads. The instructions were easy enough – wrap wire around a mandrel. But the beads were quite tight and compact. After a bit of experimenting, I figured out how to create a more airy wire bead – more like a nest.
I used a 60 length of o.5o mm silver on copper wire to create each bead. Using a BeadSmith small mandrel which had stepped diameters from 1.5 mm to 5 mm, I wrapped the wire around full length of the mandrel tightly, then unravelled it gently, keeping the curls and twists in the wire.
Using the wavy wire to loosely warp a round shape on the 5 mm section of the mandrel with some diagonals and loops, I created the airy wire ‘nest’ bead.
So the last thing to do was to string it all together to form a necklace. The quartz pieces are fascinating and I searched online to find out more about rutilated quartz. I discovered on the International Colored Gemstone Association web site that these quartz pieces were tourmalinated quartz.
Less well known is a variety called tourmalinated quartz which, instead of golden rutile, has black or dark green tourmaline crystals. – http://www.gemstones.org
Learned a few things in the making of this necklace – everyday is a school day! ♥K
October 7, 2011 § 1 Comment
Earlier this week I tweeted that I was working on a project but couldn’t say any more. Before I reveal, here’s the story behind it:
I wanted to create a Birthday present for a lovely and very glamourous friend. But where to start? Up to now I’ve been working in pearls and stones that I would wear but my style is not hers. I started on an opera style necklace of pearls but somehow couldn’t imagine her wearing it.
Then inspiration! And of all times: early morning, 6 or there abouts, I was still half asleep while getting ready to leave for work, it hit me – I knew exactly what she would like. But I didn’t have time to do anything about it and had to catch a train instead. It was really difficult to concentrate that day, my mind kept going back to this:
How would I turn this into a necklace? What would go with this? When I finally had the opportunity to get all my stash out, I had a play around and tried different combinations.
I decided that I liked the black combination best although I didn’t think the faceted glass beads worked. I started stringing the Malachite with 4mm black bicones instead but it still lacked a certain something. So I started over, this time adding black seed beads. No, didn’t work. Undo.
It needed just a hint of sparkle, to throw light on the black and the Malachite. I went through my collection again and there it was: a tiny tube of Miyuki Galvanised Silver Delica. And those tiny beads made the difference:
I gave it to her this morning. I’m happy and relieved she liked it.
What do you think? Would you have done it differently? ♥K