Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beadyness from 2013 and Plans for 2014

Hello again! I hope you all are enjoying these last few crazy days before Christmas relaxing with a nice big cup of something warm and your favorite beads… Ha! I know that's just what I'm doing! ;-) Oh well, we can try…

In discussion for our last blog posts for 2013, our fabulous leader Jen Cameron suggested that we each share a new or favorite technique we learned this year and something we each hope to learn in 2014. So here's mine…

I can't say I learned any new techniques per se — mostly I just experimented with some ideas. As you probably already know, I really enjoying painting and have a paintbrush AND beads in hand whenever possible. (And of course paint all over my fingers and whatever surface I happen to be near!)

In my playing, I made variations of these beads — using scraps from past projects and adding a crackle effect with paint — it's a simple technique, but with very nice results. You can see my mini tutorial here.

Then I came up with this idea, doing more painting on the raw polymer surface…
Textured and painted in many, many thin layers and finally crackled to make these colorful "Tattered Butterfly Wing" beads. I'm really loving this effect!

And then one rainy day when my plans to go hiking were soaked, I made these…
Rainy Day Pendants made with tiny hand drawn umbrellas on shrink plastic and embedded in polymer… polymer that was painted, of course. They sure made my rainy day less dreary! These were inspired by Rebecca Watkins of Artybecca. You can see some of her designs here.

And, finally a peek at a technique I have in my sights on for 2014…

Bead crochet! My focus for the past few years has been my own bead making and my poor bead stash of gemstones, glass lovelies and art beads has dwindled down to a very embarrassing teeny tiny amount.

More and more I've been thinking about expanding my jewelry making and recently when browsing Etsy I stumbled across the above gorgeousness in someones favorites and knew I would have to learn how! It wasn't the first time I'd seen bead crochet, but these striking designs really caught my eye and inspired me. These are by Ann Teplova of Chudibeads on Etsy where she shares her beautiful creations and her tutorials.

Her patterns are amazing!

Ann's work got me looking for more examples and of course I couldn't forget about AJE teammate, the talented Kristen Stevens — she is always whipping up some beautifully detailed creation. These are a couple of my favorites…

And, I'm sure you already know about Kristen's beaded beads — gorgeous too! They were the CoM for November and I made these new earrings with the pair she gave me…

Finally, a few more bead crochet designs from Pinterest…

1.Autumn Lariat Necklace 2.Crazy Bead Crochet Rope Bracelet 3.Autumn Spectrum Necklace 4.Bead Crochet Lariat Necklace

So, hopefully for me, this new year brings more beads to replenish my stash and time for jewelry making. What new techniques have you learned this year? Do you have anything planned for 2014 yet? Do share!

Wishing you each a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with lots of time to enjoy family and beads!


  1. What lovely inspiration! I don't think I would have the patience for using those tiny seed beads, nor would my eyes be able to handle it. Merry Christmas to you!

  2. Such a great idea! Love your crackle beads. And the idea of putting shrink plastic into the clay is just the epitome of cleverness! The true, smack your head and why didn't I think of that moment! The bead crochet you shared is knockout. I know I would never have the patience for that. But I bet you will master that and make it blend in seamlessly with your great clay! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the day! Erin

  3. Those beaded ropes look so luxurious--so many options with them! They remind me of the effect of Viking knit, but with color. Can't wait to see what you do with it!

  4. Those beaded ropes look so luxurious--so many options with them! They remind me of the effect of Viking knit, but with color. Can't wait to see what you do with it!


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