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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.

classicturquoisebrooch2

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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Leather,Gold and Turquoise Bracelet

turquoise gold and leather bracelet4

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you have all had a wonderful and special day today. I for one took this day to rest and clean up my flat! Here is the thing; I believe I might be the only person in the world that goes to work on their day off because they just enjoy being around the people that they work with. And since today was the only day that no one was going to be at work I had no choice but to sit around the flat and get some of my own work done!

turquoise gold and leather bracelet3

I love my co-workers they are fun, funny and they make me feel less alone in this world and I love spending every single minute that I can with them! So since I have started working at this place I think I have only not gone to work on my off days to hang out maybe just once or twice. But whenever I go for a couple of hours I make sure to take some of my beading to get done over there which for me feels like killing two birds with one stone; not only do I get to have fun but then I am doing something that I love to do on my time off anyway.

turquoise gold and leather bracelet6

So last week when I was there for a visit I had taken this huge 2-inch turquoise stone to do some beading on. My aim was to either turn it into a brooch or a necklace. But as soon as I took the stone out of my bag to start my work my manager asked if the piece was I was working on was for her. To be honest I had already made her something for Christmas with gold and turquoise charms (knowing that she loves anything turquoise) but when she started dropping hints that she wanted the stone I was working on as a bracelet then I just had to do it.

turquoise gold and leather bracelet7

The problem is she has teeny tiny wrists and the only way I could make a bracelet for her without measuring her wrist was to make a bracelet using a bracelet base.

I have seen a lot of these bracelets using bracelet bases but I have never done it and my manager had a very specific design. She wanted a gold bezel on a leather base and nothing else. So something very simple and for those of you who have seen my previous work you know that I do not do subtle. Restraint is not something I exercise much of in my beading!

turquoise gold and leather bracelet8

My other problem was that I only had a few hours to make the bracelet. Our office party was on Saturday and she started telling me about what she wanted on Thursday afternoon so this piece was done rather quickly because I had already decided to make a whole load of muffins and chocolate mousse to take to work on Saturday, thank god I had Friday off so I could get everything done

Doing a bezel is easy and it doesn’t really take me that long. I glued my cabochon onto a faux leather piece, which was all I had and did my rose gold and gold bezel. The main struggle with this bracelet was figuring out how to use the bracelet base and how to bead around it and I didn’t find it that easy to do.

turquoise gold and leather bracelet

I bought a bracelet base from Michael’s that had a flatter top, which was somewhat perfect for the huge turquoise stone because it gave it more of a flat base to sit on. The only thing with the bracelet base was that it was not a solid bracelet base so in order to stop the filigree pattern that the bracelet had from showing through once the leather was glued onto it I also used a layer of Lacy’s stiff stuff so that the pattern of the bracelet would stay hidden.

turquoise gold and leather bracelet9

I glued the leather with the beaded turquoise stone on to the bracelet and trimmed around it, I cut another piece of leather and glued it to the inside of the bracelet and trimmed that as well .if I had time I would have waited a while for the glue to dry off before starting to finish the edge but I just had to get it done so I could wrap it and go to bed, so I set out finishing the edge. The one thing about working with the faux leather that I didn’t like was that the stitches were very visible and that doesn’t sit well with me. Since making this bracelet I have made another one for myself, which is a little bit different, and I have use Ultrasuede in that one and the stitching is not visible at all and I love that. I will share pictures of that bracelet in another post having said that I think I need to do more stuff with leather backing so that I could get comfortable with and make my stitching on leather nicer and neater. If any of you guys have used a bracelet base and know of an easier way to trim and finish the edge please let me know, I really need some help in that area!

turquoise gold and leather bracelet2

I finished the bracelet around 1am and went to work the next day at around 7:30, suffice to say I was beat but the look on her face when she opened and saw the bracelet was all worth it.

So anyway I hope you guys enjoyed looking through the pictures of this bracelet too and hope you have had a wonderful Christmas!

turquoise gold and leather bracelet1


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Black Spiked Bracelet

 

spikedbracelet8

HI friends!

I feel like its been ages since I had a free moment to update my blog, well to be honest it has been a while and my mom keeps reminding me that I haven’t put anything on my blog which makes me feel bad but I have been crazy busy. So today I decided to bring in my laptop to work and use my lunch hour to update my blog.

spiked bracelet

 

spiked bracelet

I have been trying to bead any chance I get and since starting this job I have gotten a few orders from my colleagues but this bracelet I am writing about is a one of the last pieces I finished just before hurricane sandy.

spikedbracelet

A week or so before sandy I discovered this amazing bead shop in NJ called Blanche’s bead store. The store seemed very small from the outside but omg when you pass the threshold and walk in you are transported into bead heaven. Needless to say I went nuts in the store and bought way more than I had anticipated. But one thing I was very chuffed to find was these sew on spikes I had been looking for, for some time and they had them in quite a few different colours. I also ended up buying these metal hex cut beads that looked somewhat like very small Czech beads.

spiked bracelet

I knew I had to make something with the spikes as soon as I got home, so I went through all the pictures I had made into cabs and chose this one painting by Oleg Dou which I though was perfect.

spikedbracelet2

Sometimes I find working with different finishes of silver a bit challenging. It seems that sometimes different finishes and colours can be either too dull or too shiny and they don’t necessarily look good sitting next to each other but I soldiered on until I was somewhat happy with how things were working.

spiked bracelet

I used my maleficent bracelet as an inspiration for the beadwork on this piece and once I got into the swing of things I started changing it around a bit so it wouldn’t look too similar to the other bracelet.

spikedbracelet1

One thing I have to mention is that the spikes get stuck on everything so just sewing them on is not actually enough because they turn over when the get caught, so I ended up putting some glue on the bottom of the spikes to they would stay put!

spikedbracelet12

spiked bracelet


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Pink Bollywood Inspired Earrings!

 

Today was my day off from work which means I have been up since 9am running around trying to clean up the flat and run errands, suffice to say that today was crazier and busier than my days at work so I thought I’d finish off the day by writing about one of the crazier pieces I have done.

Crazy in the sense that I am not a pink lover, I have never been but I had such an urge to do a pink piece that it took me by surprise. I think it was because I had been looking at Indian saris and watching Hindi songs on Youtube for some fabric research I am doing, that I got overexcited by all the colours and sparkles and pink saris that I just had to make something upbeat.

One of the songs that I looked at is called “nainon mein sapna” from a movie called Himmatwala. I have not seen the film but all the colours in the world seem to make an appearance in this song. All the jewelry, the colours and sparkles, the song and dance is enough to overload the senses but I cannot help but feel cheerful when watching this clip and these earrings where somewhat inspired by the colours, fabrics and jewelry in this song and these outfits in particular.

 

I was surprise to see that I had pink beads in my stash. Not only that, I had the same pink beads in both size 8/0 and 11/0 which was a welcome surprise. Since this is bollywood inspired I went with the biggest crystal cabochon that I had which were this 30mm teardrop shaped sew on swarovski crystals that my mom had got me a while back.

For me the colours in this piece were crazy enough that I just didn’t feel comfortable doing much when in came to the design which is ironic since this was the perfect opportunity to go completely bonkers on the design since it was inspired by all the flash of bollywood but I just couldn’t bring myself to go too crazy.

I think it was fun stepping out of comfort zone but this is not something I think I can do all the time. Even though I am glad I did it I cannot imagine doing another piece this bright, at least not for a while! hope you guys have had a lovely , fun-filled weekend !!

 


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Black Wings Bracelet

 

 

I have been so busy this week work and I have to admit I love it, I love that feeling of having some sort of purpose but it seems like I can only do one thing at a time and I have really been neglecting my home life and my social life. Also I am so tired by the time I get home that I have been going to bed at around ten. I have always been a night owl, going to bed at let’s say  5 am is nothing new to me, I find it easier to work during the night, less distractions and all that but now I cannot wait to crawl into bed!

So lately in my beadwork I have been more and more into tightening my colour palette and not using every single bead I possess in every piece. I know I tend to get a little bit overboard with my bead usage. So I set out to only use three colours with this bracelet: red, gold and black. Also for backing I used black Ultrasuede tacked onto Lacy’s stiff stuff.

I really liked the way that the hex cut beads looked in my last bracelet and since I have a huge package of those I decided to use those beads as the main body of my piece.

As always I started with my bezel and then moved on to the wing portion, which I had already mapped out on my backing. In order to get the piece as symmetrical as possible I did one side first and then moved on to the other so I could make everything match. So the number of beaded lined on each side is the same.

I was really happy with how things were looking after the first couple of black rows but I wondered if the piece would look very flat by using only black. So I decided to incorporate different types of stones in the same colour palette. Luckily I had just enough red fire polished beads to finish this bracelet off .so I decided to use them to separate the black sections.

I also didn’t want to use any other cabs but then I decided I needed to. The red cabs that I used are Mexican opals in dragon breath. I loved the colours of these. They are a nice red but in a certain light they look somewhat blue but when I glued them on my backing, which was black, they completely lost their appeal. But since I didn’t have any other cab that would have worked I decided to draw around the cab and cut the Ultrasuede up so that I could glue these cabs on to the Lacy’s stiff stuff. Once the cabs were glued onto a white background they got their blue tint back. I am just glad that the whole thing worked otherwise I would have had to undo all the work and start all over again.

I kind of only noticed the red lights on the model’s face when I was done with the piece, it kind of looked like the red cab underneath it was the cause of all the red lights on her face and I really liked that.

Once the body was done I decided to not add any decorative edge as I thought the piece looked fine as it was and the good thing with a decorative edge is that it can be added whenever, so if at a later time I think it needs it I can go back and do that without any problems. To finish off I added a gold clasp to the bracelet and it was all done.


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The Angel Bracelet

To say that this week has been the most bizarre week of my entire year would be an understatement! First off I really thought I had lost my mind this past week; I went a little bit stupid without electricity! So much so that I vouched to go and visit Thomas Edison’s grave once my power came back on and to my surprise I found out that his grave is somewhere in New Jersey, this whole thing cannot be a coincidence! So when the weather is better I would need to go and pay my respect because as of Monday my electricity has been back on!

On Sunday night I went to bed after putting on as much clothing on as I could and snuggled under my two heavy-duty duvets! As I was tossing and turning trying to get warm enough so I would fall asleep I heard a weird noise! I think it sounded weird because I hadn’t heard that noise in nearly 10 days. The air conditioning was making noises; I jumped out of bed in a daze and turned the lights on! OH MY GOD!! POWER! I went in to the living room turned my TV and computer on and everything was working, you should have seen me I was standing in the middle of the room flooded by artificial light and I was completely gob smacked, my mouth opening and closing like a fish! Then five minutes later the power went out again and I was ready to burst out crying but I thought that would be silly so I went back to bed! And then two minutes later the power came back up again and then went out again, and the pattern went on for a couple of hours but I am so so so glad that the power is back on and everything feels so normal! To top off such an amazing day I got a call to say that I was hired at this place that I had applied for a job and that I could start the next day!

So I think I have been like somewhat of a headless chicken this past week with all the different problems with what happened here in New Jersey and I have been trying to adapt to this new schedule that I am on so I feel I have really neglected my blog.but we will blame sandy for that!

I made this piece a month or so ago. I had been drawing a lot of patterns that resembled wings and I had been trying to experiment with different curves and shapes. Also I had been meaning to work with these hex cut type beads that I have had for a really long time!

Since the shape reminded me of wings I went with grey/clear palette although one of the hex cut beads seems to have a purple tint to it but I still think the colours work together well.

I have also been wanting to do a full row of bugle beads around a piece but I haven’t been able to get them to sit right. Every time I tried I got really weird gaps and I don’t like gaps but I was determined to try it out and maybe because I used a smaller size bugle beads (3mm in this case) the gaps were not too bad and I could get the bugles as close together as possible while following a tight curve around the centre cabochon. I also used the same bugle beads for the edge finish to give the bracelet more of an angelic/feather/ ray of light type of feel in keeping with the theme I was going for.

 

It feels great being back on the blog and being able to post about beading again and I hope you have enjoyed this piece! I also hope that it would stop snowing now, I have work tomorrow and I really don’t enjoy driving in the snow! Good night everyone!

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:

 

  • OVAL WHITE CABOCHON
  • 20×15 CAT’S EYE GRAY CABOCHON
  • SILVER TEARDROP GEMSTONE BY RECOLLECTION
  • 5MM HEMATITE RONDEL STONE BEADS
  • 2MM CRYSTAL CHAIN
  • 3MM GUNMETAL BUGLE BEADS
  • MATSUNO SILVER HEX 2-CUT BEADS SIZE 11/0
  • MATSUNO SILVER-LINED TRANSPARENT PURPLE HEX 2-CUT BEADS SIZE 11/0
  • SILVER LINED DARK GRAY SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0 SB1563
  • SILVER SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0
  • ANTIQUE SILVER PERMANENT GALVANIZED SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0 SB2600
  • SILVER LINED CRYSTAL SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0
  • DBS 0251
  • SILVER LINED PALES GRAY SEED BEADS size 15/0 sb3399
  • METALLIC DARK SILVER SEED BEADS SIZE 15/0 SB3197
  • CLASP
  • GRAY ULTRASUEDE
  • LACY’S STIFF STUFF
  • FIRELINE 0.006” IN CLEAR

 


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Vintage Green Earrings

When I first decided to do bead embroidery it was all because of a video on Youtube by Beadaholique. I didn’t know anything about bead embroidery even though I had done a lot of just random beading at my fashion jobs .i really didn’t have a clue where to start so I went ahead and bought the stuff that was mentioned in their video plus some vintage German cabochons that they had on their website. I loved the German cabs I got from there specially the green and purple ones I had purchased. Since they only had a limited number of cabs left and these were vintage stones I decided to go ahead and buy out the rest of the green and purple cabs that they had in stock. i am so glad I did because they haven’t restocked these cabs again and I haven’t been able to find them anywhere even though I have been looking constantly.

Out of the two cabochons I would have to say that the green one that I have used in this piece is my favorite but I had the hardest time matching any colour bead to it.

The cabochon has a unique teal/turquoise colour and I have quite a few different beads that fall in that category but none of them looked anything special next to the cabochon. None of them added anything to the piece and I thought maybe I was going about this the wrong way.

The cab has a nice shine and effect to it and the beads I was testing around it, all had different shiny effects on them and so maybe that was the problem. Too many different finishes were clashing with each other.  I went with a matte finish bead in the end that was close enough to the main colour of the cab.

I think the matte effect of the bead helps in that they make the main cabochon stand out even more. But I needed to use another type or colour of bead to make the piece more dimensional and interesting and none of the blues and teals were doing that so I decided to see if metal colours would work.

I don’t have an innate way with colour and matching colours is my main headache when it comes to any type of designing whether it is beadwork or if it is fashion design work. So after doing little samples with gold/silver and bronze, I settled with bronze and loved how the piece turned out.

For the edge I did the all too popular picot edge but I really though the piece deserved a little bit more so I decided to experiment with filling out the space between the size 11/0 beads of the picot edge.

I was going for a rounded effect at first. I found out that adding four size 15/0 seed beads between each size 11/0 beads would just lie flat .in the next step I added five which I found with a little but of manipulation would make these pointy shapes and I was really excited about so I scraped the idea of having round loops around the earrings and went with this pointy edge.

I was going to keep these earrings for myself but I decided to list them on Etsy and I was glad and really surprised when they got sold. Good thing is I still have a few more of the main cabs left so I can make more of these if I ever wanted to!:D

            LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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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! 😀

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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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.

LIST OF MATERIALS USED


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Lady with Dark Hair Pearl Necklace

Can you believe the weekend is over? I spent the whole of Saturday waiting for a package that never arrived and then after doing my weekly shopping I decided to go through my scrapbooking supplies and see what I could get rid off. Suffice it to say that by the time I looked through just half the stuff I had I was a little bit ashamed of myself for spending that much money on things that I don’t use. I love paper but I am no scrapbooker .I think I need to find a way of selling all the dies and punches and stamps I have accumulated in the past year. There is no point in them just sitting in drawers.

But before the weekend is over I want to at least get one post finished in order to achieve one positive thing. So this post is about one of my earlier pieces, which means it was done roughly 4-5 months ago when I was in my resin cabochon-making phase.

There are a few setbacks to these resin cabochons. First of all it takes a long time for them to get made and you never know if the finished product is going to come out perfect (without pesky air bubbles or watermarks) until it is all done and over. Another thing that can go wrong with the cabochons is the thickness of it.

For my pieces I used to do a thin layer, put the picture in let it cure for 12 hours and then add a layer of black. But after a couple of uses my molds became a bit lopsided so some of the cabochons were thicker on one side and thinner on the other even though I tried to get it as level as possible. This means that when it comes to bezeling the piece it would look weird. And no matter how much I sanded the piece I could never get it completely even which is why I ultimately switched to clear domes.

This resin cabochon was made using a painting by Harrison Fisher titled “lady with dark hair”. The cab that I had made was too thick so I had to come up with a way of covering the sides and at this point I was only doing stacked bezeling and hadn’t learnt the how to do peyote stitch bezel .so after the initial two stacked rows I decided to add the one thing I go to when I can’t find a bead that works: pearls.

I went through the size 15/0 beads and came out ever 8 beads to add a 2mm pearl stacked with a size 15/seed bead. Once I had gone all around the piece I only had to go through one of the size 15/0 beads on top of a pearl and start adding size 15/0 beads to close the gap between the beads and form a bezel around the cabochon.

After I was done with the main piece I made two other smaller pieces to match the main piece and I just had to connect everything together. I made a simple chain with the beads and pearls that I had used in the main pieces and attached a spring clasp. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to attach clasps back then and you can see that I have gone around the loop of the clasp with thread a few times to secure it on and I don’t like that I can see the thread .so next time I go back home to visit my parents I have take this necklace from my mom and fix the clasp issues.

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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