I've been taking lots of classes over the past couple of weeks, learning more scrapping and jewellery techniques to share - not least yesterday, at a class with Helen over at Crafting Time learning about creating pages starting with a blank piece of paper and creating the background using Distress Inks - pictures of this to follow!
I'll be off to another class next weekend, this time learning to make floating necklaces - wire work is something I'm only just starting to embrace, but Julie's class last month was such an eye-opener I'm definitely becoming addicted to producing earrings in addition to my seed bead work. Here's a pair of earrings I made in Julie's class last month:
Here I used a silver finish ball head pin, with a silver lined blue seed bead to sit underneath the glass bead. I then twisted the wire at the top to make an eye. For the second glass bead, I made an eye on a piece of 0.6 wire, sat the bead on top and then made another eye. This meant I could attache the ear wire, and then affix the two beads together.
Last week's bead fair at Newmarket racecourse offered up a treasure trove of beads, and armed with a very long shopping list, it was easy to get carried away with all the sparkly items! I mostly bought beads for projects, some of which I have been working on over the last week or so - the earrings and necklace below form a set:
These are made using flat peyote stitch to join together hex-cut seed beads. This is a simple stitch, although the end result is quite striking. I've then used bicone crystals and size 15 beads as small accents throughout, with the centre of the necklace using some drop crystals to create the focal point. I have finished this one with a loop clasp, using one of the drop crystals to secure the necklace when worn. I've used a similar structure with the earrings, creating a bit of movement by using interconnecting eye pins with two different patterns so that they match the necklace. I'm hoping to sell this one at the Budding Beaders Macmillan charity event on the 3rd December - details on that to follow later next week.
The last piece of jewellery I want to share with you is actually a piece I made a while ago - it is made entirely of seed beads woven into a "hazelnut shell spiral". This is actually quite easy to do, but quite fiddly until it begins to grow. The beads are strung in pairs of 8 to make semi circles around a central column of four beads, and then each shell is made up of four of these pairs. It takes a while to build, but I think the photo below shows how sparkly it looks once finished:
Time for me to make some more jewellery now, I must start thinking about what I can make for people's Christmas presents!