Tag Archive | Czech glass beads

The Designing Process

il_570xn-1050051277_g9yxThings are still hopping in our bead shop, and while we’re busy with that, I thought I’d share another of my original designs with you.

When I’m not teaching art, or working on my books (yes, I’m a published author, too), or travelling, or being involved with the day-to-day routine of life, I find inspiration to create from the world that surrounds me. Last year, I designed an easy beaded Christmas ornament cover that proves to be a huge hit with my customers time and again.

Just like with anything else, designing a project is easy, and it’s not. The Beading Muse was kind to me with my Noelle Christmas Ornament Cover project. One evening, I was organizing my Czech glass beads and came across some pretty pink ones I forgot I had. I paired them with some green ones, and liking the combination, it was natural for me to accent them with some silver lined seed beads and a few larger black beads. They looked good on the beading mat and would look even better as an ornament cover.

The color combination may seem unlikely Christmas colors, but my thinking is that if you like it, it works. For example, I’ve seen Christmas trees decorated with all purple – ornaments and lights – and though that’s not my preference, it works for others. Anything goes.

So, I settled into my studio, dug out a clear, round ornament, a needle, scissors, and Fireline ® and got to work. After a few tries and a few restarts, I was on a roll to creating this ornament cover. The picture of how it should look was in my mind; I didn’t even sketch it out first, as I usually do, for each method is different in creating something.

This particular project turned out well, in spite of all the backtracking and a few restarts. The trickiest part was actually taking clear photographs of the steps, then adding diagrams to each to show what needs to be done to create a pretty finished piece. Lighting was key to producing clear images, of course.

As I mentioned earlier, this became my most popular ornament cover tutorial to date. It takes little time to make and can be made in your color combination. Several of my students and customers shared pictures of their finished ones, which I will share here at a later date. Their color combinations are creative and pretty!

If you’d like to learn more about my tutorial, CLICK HERE.

Happy Beading!

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

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Up the Beading Road

My beading fascination and business took another exciting turn this past couple of weeks. I am now learning new skills and techniques with beading with threads.

My first project was a simple back-and-forth sewing technique. I used fishing line, cat’s eye beads, and faceted Czech glass beads. I finished it off with a simple silver toggle clasp.

The project went well, and I was finished in an evening.   I wore the bracelet for a few days and decided that fishing line made the bracelet a little too stiff for my liking. I wound up making a similar bracelet for a friend, but this time I used Fireline thread. What a difference! The bracelet was more flexible, lighter, and felt alive. Now I will take apart my bracelet and redo it with Fireline thread.

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This past weekend, I attended a regular beading class. The project for that morning was the Darby Bracelet (pattern created by Deborah Roberti). It featured a ladder stitch, which I wanted to learn.

After having a slow start to the first portion of the pattern and two tear-outs, I was getting the hang of it. I broke a needle in class, and that does happen from time to time.  I took my unfinished bracelet home, and I was finished that evening. I finished the bracelet at home, and by the time I was more than halfway done, I gained confidence and speed with each stitch. It got to a point where I didn’t have to rely one hundred per cent on reading the pattern. In fact, I only heavily referred to it when I added the clasp.

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It turned out well, though I made it about one section too much for my wrist. It won’t fall off, but it could be a little bit smaller. My next Darby Bracelet will take care of that.

I find that threading beads is a nice change from wire beading. I plan on creating a few new pieces for my Etsy shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique. I believe this new beading technique will be a nice addition to what I offer for my customers.

My finished bracelet.

My finished bracelet.

Happy Beading,

Susan Marie Molloy

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.

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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.

Play Ball!

I’ve moved towards offering sports-themed accessories and jewelry. What started this was that I had a Chicago White Sox charm, some black and white beads, and wire.

First, I took silver plated copper wire and made jump rings, then connected them with a twist to form the base of my project. Hand wrapping each bead cluster with Czech glass and India glass beads was quick work. Finally, when the White Sox charm went on, I thought something was not quite finished. It needed one more item.

That item was a handmade ceramic baseball bead made in Peru. It was the perfect add-on for my creation!

Although this accessory is a dust plug for Androids, iPhones, Kindle, Tablets, iPads, iPods, et cetera, I can easily convert it to a key chain, gym bag charm, purse or hand bag charm, or car rear view mirror charm at no extra charge. I invite you to click on the photo below to read more on this sporty item.

I will take custom orders on sports-themed accessories and jewelry, so feel free to contact me at Poppy at SusanMarieMolloy dot net.

Play ball!
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©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.