Tag Archives: handmade

Classic Turquoise Brooch

classic turquoise brooch

I just got back from spending two glorious weeks in England with my family and friends. After the few weeks I had had at work this was all I needed. To spend time with people I loved and leave all the drama behind.

I spend my two weeks stuffing my face with yummy food and running around London and Brighton in the cold weather wearing two coats on top of each other like a mad woman trying to see all of my friends and family. My whole body hurts from running up and down the tube steps and I feel a little bit sleep deprived but this is the type of pain that comes from having too much fun and that ain’t bad.

classic turquoise brooch

I had taken my laptop with me with the aim of updating my blog, but who was I kidding I don’t think I even turned my laptop on once while I was there and that’s a little bit shameful!

For the past few months I have been thinking more and more about making pieces that are more classic looking and wearable and as much as I love doing more elaborate pieces and using art images in my work, I know that I cannot in reality sell those pieces .so I have been aiming at making let’s say more sophisticated pieces that can be sold without any copyright problems and all those sort of things.

classic turquoise brooch

A few months ago as a thank you gift for a friend of my mom I decided to make a turquoise brooch. I love turquoise and as you have seen if you have looked through my blog, you see that I use them quite often. I needed to make something elegant and not too over the top but I didn’t want it too understated either. That is not me at all.

The turquoise cabochons are beautiful on their own so after doing a simple bezel I just needed something to add a little but of sparkle to the piece and then it would be done.


The swarovski crystal chain that I used is the most beautiful crystal chain that I own, I love this chain so much that it physically hurts me when I cut it up to use. I guess it hurts me because I can’t seem to get it anymore for the price that I got it for. I was lucky though that the lady that sold it to me on Etsy was kind enough to sell me some more from her private stash.

I find that when I use the chain in a piece my work is really done and I don’t feel the need to add more. So once that was added I finished off the piece with a simple picot edge.

classic turquoise brooch

My friend wore this brooch over a black dress at wedding and she got quite a few compliments which led to a few people asking me to make one for them and as soon as I get my hands on some of these cabochons I am going to start making more of these brooches to put on my Etsy shop. I hope you guys have enjoyed looking at this piece and I hope you are all doing well!

classic turquoise brooch

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


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Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

Crystal Skull brooch

A friend of my mom had asked me to make a turquoise necklace and earring set for her and yesterday while I was there showing her the samples of the things I had made for her and she asked me why I liked skulls so much. I have thought about this so much, because I don’t like anything gory, or scary but I keep getting asked why I like things with skulls on them and I really have no answer for it.

I really don’t know why I like them so much. All I know is that I liked skulls way before I started worshipping anything Alexander McQueen makes with skulls. I find it a little odd that my family and friends prod me this much about my love of skulls saying weird things are but you are so normal why would you like skulls, as if people that like skulls are in someway abnormal! But I have stopped trying to explain why I like things with skulls on them. I think it’s a same as someone liking pastel florals. I don’t like floral patterns in general (unless they are very sharp and modern which is rare but it happens) but then I wouldn’t go around and say “seriously what do you see in florals, florals are frumpy!

But it’s a matter of opinion and taste and we are all entitled to them. But for this piece I had an agenda. I had been thinking about how feasible it was to make a bead embroidered piece while incorporating small cutouts in the process.

For this piece I went with an image by Tom Bagshaw titled “Lucky 13”. The beading design mimics the flourish that is drawn underneath the skull. I did a couple of sketches to get the placement and the sizing of the curlicue design right so that when the beading was being done it would look continuous.

I also had to plan out the size of the cut-outs to keep them to a size big enough where I could go in with scissors and make the cuts and have it make the impact I want as well as for it to be small enough to be cohesive with the piece.

As you can see it is doable but I did find it difficult to cut into the piece and be aware not to cut any of the threads. I took my time cleaning the edges and getting as close as I could to the edges when I was making the inside cuts.

Once it was done I drew the outline on my Ultrasuede so I could make the cuts before gluing the suede to my piece which made things a lot easier and only had to do a little it of touch ups to get just right.

To clean up the edges I went around the piece with size 11/0 seed beads but I used size 15/0 for the edges of the cutouts. I did a crazy stacked edging on the top part and if that wasn’t enough I went with a dangly Swarovski crystal on the bottom.

Even though I know skulls are not really something most of you guys are into, I still hope you enjoyed the piece! 😀


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

Sparkly Turquoise Earrings

Ahhhh what better way to spend a Saturday evening than sitting down and watching My Fair Lady? As I am writing this, poor little Eliza is trying to pronounce words beginning with H and setting fire to things! What joy.

My favorite part of the movie has to be the embassy ball with that amazing crystal necklace! Which brings me to today’s little beaded piece, which is a mixture of turquoise and crystals.

The idea for this came from my turquoise bracelet which I had made a long while ago. I was really happy with how the beads and crystals worked together so I decided to make a pair of earrings to go with the piece.

I didn’t have any more of the green crystal pieces I had used on the bracelet so for these earrings I substituted them with a pair of turquoise cabochons and for the bottom part of the earring I used a larger swarovski crystal stud earrings which I cut the backs off in order to use as the focal component.

Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend and If anyone is interested in these earrings they are available on my Etsy.


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, Earrings

Blue Goldstone Earrings


True to form I managed to waste my whole Saturday, I had so many plans. I think it’s because I heard back from one of the jobs I had interviewed for and I was told that I was overqualified which is the most bizarre explanation for not giving someone a job ever in my opinion! After reading the email in a half asleep state this morning I decided to take a portion of the day and wallow. I mean no one should start their Saturday with this type of email. So I moped about for a while going through the 7 stages of grief but apparently It took more than a few hours to get over the news because I suddenly looked at the clock and its now nearly 1:30 in the morning. Nooooo!!

I might have wasted my whole day but I am not going to waste my night so I have decided to write up a quick post.

A while back I shared pictures of a piece I had made which I had yet to finish. You can see the original post here.

I finally decided it was time to do something with the piece and even though I had originally made the pieces for gloves, in the end I decided it would be best to make them into earrings.

I used crafters ultimate glue to glue the piece to Ultrasuede making sure to glue a couple of millimeters away from the edge. This is so that the needle could go through the backing and the Ultrasuede easier but if you decide to do this and get glue to the edge don’t worry the needle still goes through, it might need a little bit more coaxing at times but it will go through,

I was thinking of doing a clean edge around the piece but since I had used bigger beads in my last row of beading I thought that doing a clean edge might look a little bit weird so I opted to do a sunshine edge and do a basic picot edge to finish the piece off.






Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, Earrings

Gold and Pearl Cameo Shoe Clips

I had a really exciting Friday!  About two weeks or so ago I decided to put up some of my stuff on Etsy for sale and one of the pieces (the blue dichroic glass brooch from my last post) got sold on Thursday and needless to say I was chuffed to bits! I love Etsy and I buy a lot of things on there but I never ever thought one of my things would actually sell on there! So I have been pumped all weekend running around the flat organizing pieces, planning new things, photographing some stuff and all that good stuff  and I think I worked myself into a little frenzy cause now I am utterly exhausted and I haven’t even done much!:D

So as I am sat here watching practically every show that is premiering here on TV this evening I thought I would write a short post about one of my older pieces, the last of the three set of shoe clips that I made for my mom.

If you guys remember my the Crown of Ms.V brooch then this set of shoe clips will look familiar to you. My mom loved that brooch so when she purchased these cameos I decided to turn them into shoe clips for here following the exact same pattern as the brooch but upside down meaning that the crown part was on the bottom of the piece instead of the top. I don’t think I was following any sense of logic when decided to invert the pattern, I think I just wanted to see what it would look like!

My mom loved the clips, but then again she would love anything with pearls on it, but she told me that she has used it a couple of times at parties which makes me excited that she is getting some use out of them!

On another rather random note, ( since I am writing this on a sunday evening but posting it monday morning )I am so excited for the season premier of Revenge this evening, only because this is the first time I am actually getting to see a series on its actual premiere date. Back in the UK series tend to be shown rather a couple of months later than they premiere over here and I am always a season or so behind anyway. but lately I have been catching up on all my series and I have been thinking of doing a series of pieces based on the characters from the TV shows. I have a character in mind from the American horror story, I think it will turn out cool but we will see. Hope everyone had a nice weekend! If you read this let me, which shows, you are looking forward to watching this season ?


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, shoe clips

Ms.Pemberton Brooch


I love the days when I get home and I see packages by the door and you know those packages contain something you really really need!!! I finally got my threads and I have become a beading machine.

All the planning I did last week has really helped move things along. I had done all the sketching, I had chosen which cabochons would go with which design. I had even listed beads I wanted to use on the pieces.

For the first piece I am using another Lori Earley drawing and this one is called “Ms.Pemberton” .how regal is that!

I went with a sapphire blue and black theme. I did a stacked bezel around the focal image and then did a row of alternating faceted glass beads and swarovski pearls.

I wanted the next rows of beading to snake around all the new cabochon and larger beads that I was adding and that needed a little bit of planning as the inside row of beads becomes the outside row when it snakes around the smaller cabochons so in order to get it right I did both the blue/sapphire row and the black row at the same time.

I also used a Copic marker to darken the top two beads a little bit since they were transparent and against the backing they were looking more sky blue than sapphire blue. Colouring the backing and the backs of the beads helped make it a darker colour.

To finish off the piece I went for a free form stacked edge followed by a drop formation on the bottom.



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Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

Queen of Hearts Brooch

Last week a weird thing happened to me! I ran out of thread! It is so weird for me to let this happen cause nightly beading is like my ritual so how I did not see that I was totally out of my favorite fireline thread is completely beyond me. So in order to not be completely useless I sat down the other day and decided to plan out some pieces while awaiting the arrival of the threads.I started by drawing some sketches out for some new brooches but in the end I couldn’t help myself so I decided to start a piece anyway and use the wildfire thread that  I have.

For the piece I went with another Natalie Shau cover art for the Cradle of Filth. The picture is of a woman in royal regalia holding what looks like a human heart! Nice huh!!

I too cue from the colours in the paintings so I went with dark red and gold and using an assortment of different crystals. Michaels had 50%off all the bead gallery crystal which means that I obviously went a little nuts in there and ended up leaving with a whole bunch of beads which are now all piled up on my desk but it also means that I now have a good collection of red beads.

I am always amazed at how a subtle colour difference or a finish of a bead can effect a piece so much.

The way I had planned this piece was to have a hole on top and have a dangling bead hanging in the space but I when I cut around the piece, the top part was just too thin and it made more sense to cut into the piece and try to connect them again with the dangling bead when the piece was finished.Because the top parts of the piece were so thin I did sandwich a piece of thick cardstock between the backing and the Ultrasuede to give the piece more stability.

Once all that was done I finished the edge of the piece with a sunshine edge. The small inside corners were a little tough to do but I am glad that it was doable. I finished off the piece with a pinkish/red Toho teardrop crystal bead which was the only thing I had in my stash and up close it actually doesn’t look as pink as it does in the photo, but maybe I should put in an order for a red swarovski crystal next time I am going to order things


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved



Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

Maleficent Bracelet

Disney sure knows how to do a villain properly, especially female villains! They are all so beautiful, regal and well villainy!!!

I love maleficent and out of the older Disney movies sleeping beauty is my favorite , my all time favorite is the little mermaid but that’s a different story! So I was very surprised to read that the sleeping beauty was one of the least successful Disney movies!

When I first saw the series of work done by Tom Bagshaw inspired by the Disney villains I was instantly in love.The painting inspired by Maleficent is called “Evil Intent” and I really wanted to do something special with it and since my first exercise with a fully beaded bracelet went really well I decided that this was going to be another bracelet piece.

I glued on my cabochon onto black Ultrasuede that I had roughly stitched to Lacy’s stiff stuff and started to do the bezel work around the piece. I work really quickly when I feel secure in my colour choices and the pieces that I do that are darker tend to go a lot smoother and faster since I tend to second guess my choices less when it comes to using darker colours.

I was sure of a few things in this piece: I really wanted to use crystal chains, and I really wanted to use these new nail head beads that I had just ordered off Etsy.

After I was done with the beading around the focal point I went on a little scavenger hunt for the next pieces. After laying down a couple of different pieces onto the piece I finally went with two large round cabochon and two smaller blue goldstone cabochons.

Once all the beading was done I checked to see if the piece would fit around my wrist. But it was way too small. I didn’t want to add anymore stones cause I thought it would an overkill to have yet another type of stone added to the work and I didn’t have anything that was smaller that the blue goldstone cabochon that would go with the piece. So after a little bit of thought I went with more of the nail heads to get the length I needed for the piece to fit my wrist.

Once the piece was done I glued it on to another piece of Ultrasuede and cleaned up the edges by doing a sunshine edge. I have to say that sewing through the 3 layers of Ultrasuede and Lacy’s stiff stuff really does a number on the fingertips! To finish off I went with a simple tube bar clasp for closure.

I have to say that I have done a couple of pieces that I like but this is the one piece I have done up to now that I am really proud of. I had this bracelet on when I had to go for a doctor’s visit and I found it intriguing that one of the nurses that worked there though the piece was scary. Now I don’t see the piece as anything remotely scary as she put it but she was wearing hello kitty scrubs so I am guessing that out sensibilities fall on different ends of the spectrum. So what do you guys think ,is this piece scary!!!!?


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, bracelets