Tag Archive | Beaded Bracelets

Desert Song

DesertSongWrapBraceletBySusanMarieMolloyPhoto3The new Diamonduo beads arrived in my studio a couple weeks ago, and this past week found me doing more design work.

The Diamonduos are approximately 6mm x 8mm and come in a large amount of colors. For my new design, I chose the coral color.

A few mint-colored beads in my supply room caught my eye, and I coordinated the duet of coral and mint with antique gold. Laying all the beads together on the studio worktable, the first thoughts of a soft desert song floating on a breeze came to mind – thus, this piece’s title, “Desert Song Wrap Bracelet.”

As I worked the beads, this project seemed to be (subconsciously) inspired by the many creations of Deborah Roberti of Around the Beading Table. She creates down-to-earth tutorials that can turn any creative artist’s head. You can see her work and shop her tutorials by clicking HERE.

As with my “Queen Twosret” wrap bracelet, “Desert Song” has a beaded peyote stitch toggle clasp. The look is clean, yet elegant.  Depending upon the piece, I would rather have a beaded clasp than a metal one.  Again, it depends on the piece.

The tutorial is now available in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique. Click HERE to read more about it, purchase it, or request one made just for you by me.

In the meantime, listen for that soft desert song wafting in the warm desert breeze.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

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Peeking into Queen Twosret’s Jewel Box

QueenTwosretWrapBraceletTutorialI admit it: I am a fanatic for anything ancient Egyptian, and have been as far back as I can remember.

This week, I obtained some of the new 6mm pyramid beads. They are half the size of the similarly-shaped studs, and much more versatile for my type of creations. This summer I’ve been designing many new projects, and wrap bracelets are just one type.

I took the pyramid beads and combined them with other specialty beads in roughly the same sized category, added seed beads, and I came up with an easy to make wrap bracelet. I enjoy making my own beaded clasps, too, which is what I did for this project.

I used beads in traditional ancient Egyptian colors, and the piece feels like the Pharaohs had an extraordinary influence on this! The blue is like the prized lapis lazuli they used in their jewelry; the precious gold they prized for its flash; the reds of ochre and jasper; the black of the Nile’s rich silt; and the stripes on their headdresses when I created the clasp.

I named this piece “Queen Twosret’s Wrap” after the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Seti II’s wife. Two colors of seed beads are used to give a striped appearance between the larger beads. It adds a little something special, don’t you think?

The tutorial is available now in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique (click HERE to purchase).

Beads are from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery (click HERE for fabulous, high quality beads at affordable prices) .

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Our Ordering Process and Seizing the Silver Lining

From time to time, we – Gene and I – special order beads for our customers who shop at our bead store, Poppy and Gene’s Beadery. A couple of months ago, we special ordered beads for a customer who wanted to create Tamara Scott’s “Sandbox” bracelet. The customer gave us the numbers of the Miyuki Delicas, and we went ahead and ordered them. Part of our special ordering process is that both Gene and I double-check and triple-check the numbers and/or colors and sizes of what our customers want. And, of course, in this case as always, we did just that.

The beads came, the customer took them, and by the same evening, the customer had a couple of different excuses why she didn’t want them. One of the excuses was claiming we didn’t order the right beads. We checked, and yes, we did, according to her written instructions and the numbers on the pattern. However, for whatever real reason, she returned the beads, and I took that opportunity to create my version of the “Sandbox” bracelet with the very same beads.

This piece is such an eye-catcher, that I already have orders for several bracelets for my friends, in these colors. Looks like I’ll be in the “sandbox” for awhile!

“Sandbox” is a flat peyote (gourd) stitch using even-count. It worked up quickly. It’s an elegant piece that really can be worn day or night, dressed up or down. I particularly like the snaps used to close the bracelet. They give it a seamless, professional looks. What really makes the piece a knockout are the patina charms placed in each box, or “sandbox” if you will.

You can find this pattern on Tamara Scott’s website, Tamara Scott Designs. She also sells the charms via her Etsy store, Tamara Scott Designs.

Always see the silver lining in every experience. I do, and that makes for a lot of positive dynamics and beauty in life.

Tamara Scott's "Sandbox," without and with the patina charms. Yes, the charms really make this a knockout bracelet!

Tamara Scott’s “Sandbox,” without and with the patina charms. Yes, the charms really make this a knockout bracelet!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Crochet Beadwork

We took my class offerings to a new medium last week – beadwork a la crochet.

Crochet beadwork is a technique with which I busied myself several years ago, during a time when I couldn’t get enough of crocheting.  Wanting a little uniqueness to some of my doilies, I strategically placed tiny seed beads within the stitches as I worked them.  Adding beads to my work added the texture and visual interest for which I was looking. They turned out beautifully.

It came across my thoughts again several weeks ago when I was developing and scheduling my classes.  Why not offer this, a little “something different”?

This time, during my class, my friends and I decided to make some summertime beach-worthy bracelets.  My pattern is simple and basic enough for the beginning crocheter, and incorporates single and half-double crochet stitches with size 10 crochet thread in ecru and inexpensive glass or wooden beads.  It does work up fairly quickly, but still, it takes about two hours to complete, depending on how fast or slow you are as a crocheter.

Three of my students chose to create their pieces using glass beads; one chose colorful round wooden beads.  My friend who chose the wooden beads took my pattern in a little different direction.  She added a few extra rows, sans beads, to one of the edges:

CrochetBracelet1

The others completed their bracelets with glass beads, and they also turned out pretty.  (I think my photograph of them turned out pretty nifty, too!)  I think they would look good with black thread, too, don’t you?

CrochetBracelet2

Notice that a matching bead does its work as a “clasp” that blends in nicely.  They are ready for the pool or beach!

I plan on writing out the tutorial for my pattern that is public-worthy, and will announce its availability here when I get it written.

Enjoy your creativity!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Needling

Needle

Beading needles should not be so damaged during the first project. This is bad.

One of the most important suggestions I cannot stress enough is using very good quality tools, including beading needles.

I make the mistake of buying beading needles made in China.  Of the five in the pack I bought, three broke within a couple of weeks.  One of them broke off in my finger (you can read about that debacle here in my blog, “Safety First“).

 

I have some wide eyed beading needles from India.  Fair to good, I would say, but they bend, curve, and twist like crazy.  These aren’t worth it, unless you’re using them for one project only.

The best beading needles, by far, are ones made in Japan.  I find them sturdy and available in all sizes and lengths to help you create your professional beadwork.

The slightly extra cost is worth it.  You would actually be spending more in the long run if you kept on buy Chinese made needles, for sure.

Happy Beading,

Susan Marie Molloy

Designer and Owner of Miss Poppy’s Boutique

 

Spring Show

We set up our table at the Emerald Coast Bead Society Spring Bead Show earlier this month, and the event was successful. It was held at a local church in town.

My husband, who is an artist and owns Gene’s Joint, and I shared a table. This arrangement worked well. We could take breaks and cover one another’s’ items, and not skip a beat.

There's Gene from Gene's Joint preparing for the show.

There’s Gene from Gene’s Joint preparing for the show.

We visited our fellow artists’ tables, and we found some pretty nifty creations and supplies. We had a lot of fun talking and laughing with a fellow member whose table was behind ours. Fun times!

All of our fellow bead society members made lovely art, including jewelry, handcrafted glass and polymer clay beads, and similar art. I only wish I remembered to take a few pictures to show their outstanding work.

View from my side of the table with a few of my handcrafted charms and earrings.

View from my side of the table with a few of my handcrafted charms and earrings.

Lunch was tasty. The spinach quiche I had was delicious, and my husband’s turkey sandwich was to die for. The ladies of the church made a large selection of great-tasting and healthy food for our bead society.

One of the things that I would do differently would be to better organize our box of organza bags, gift boxes, and sales slips. I threw everything in a box (including extra business cards and pens) under the table, and it was sloppy. I’ll be better set up at our next show.

Show 1 Table

This is a mess. Organization is the key for the next show!

 

Overall, my husband and I had a fun time and sold a lot of our work. I even garnered a few custom orders.

I heartily suggest attending a bead show anywhere there is one available in your area. The work is beautiful, and sure beats the cheap, breakable junk that’s imported from China.

Before the crowds.

Before the crowds.

Support your local artists.

Happy Beading,

Susan Marie Molloy

Designer and Owner, Miss Poppy’s Boutique

 

Safety First

Last week at our monthly Beading Society’s meeting, we learned how to create pieces with seed beads and thread. Our project was the Sparkly Wheel, and both Gene and I did pretty good. We didn’t completely finish them off, and that’s good because I plan on using both pieces to make an ornament. I’ll write a future piece on that.

Gene's and My Sparkly Wheel Project with Czech Glass Seed Beads and Glass Beads

Gene’s and My Sparkly Wheel Project with Czech Glass Seed Beads and Glass Beads

Today I’m stressing the importance of care and safety when beading. This morning during the pouring rain here in Florida’s panhandle, I decided to try my hand at beading a bracelet with tiny cat’s eye beads and seed beads. All was going well until I pushed the needle hard through a tight bead hole and some of the needle’s plating slid and embedded itself in my index finger. In fact, it left two separate pieces right under the skin.

I spent about six minutes sterilizing a thin cross stitch needle, dripping hydrogen peroxide over my wounded fingertip, and picking out the fragments. Every bit of the foreign matter came out, and my finger is healing well.

This is moments before the beading needle's plating found its way into my finger.

This is moments before the beading needle’s plating found its way into my finger.

The needle itself didn’t appear broken, so I am thinking that some of the metal plating is what slid into my finger. I am not pleased with the quality of this Chinese made product, and I will be searching for a better quality, large eyed threading needle.

Using a thimble would have been better in accomplishing the task of pushing the needle through, and now I have one of my old silver thimbles sitting in my studio ready for future projects.

GrapesSuzette1.jpg

This is my finished ©Grapes Suzette bracelet.

In the end, my bracelet project turned out pretty and better than I expected, since this was my first try with a large project. I plan on creating more of this same style bracelet in different colors and beads, and I will offer them for sale in my Etsy shop when they are ready.

Remember: Safety is important – always!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.