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For The Love of Beads BlogThe adventures of Suzanne, Nibbler, and friends in the world of beads and jewelry making crafts

Just so you know, I’m not slacking off. I have been busy busy busy rephotographing and listing all of my various treasures that have been sitting around and waiting for a purpose.  My etsy shop grows and I begin to contemplate the featured listings, they seem worthwhile as someone new to etsy but I have to decide which piece to have featured.

I have also been playing around a bunch with wire, making a ton of coiled beads with Swarovsky’s and other colorful accents and I am finally feeling a lot more comfortable with it, more in control.

My big project at the moment is taking, as always, longer than expected but thats what happens when you try to make a functional purse out of 3mm jump rings. Work is slow but rewarding – pictures to come! If I find the energy I may even put together a tutorial for the finished product, I have been snapping some pictures of the process.

Oh! I almost forgot, we have a bunch of new tagua beads coming next week! They are lots of fun and I am sure you will like them!

Anyway, TGIF
Happy crafting!

Posted by Emily

New Necklace Display Inspires me to Etsy (finally) loki orange black2

That’s right! I have finally made my way onto etsy to sell some of my handmade pretties! This morning was spent photographing and uploading and then writing descriptions for them all.  Whew! I had quite a few pieces lying around and it took awhile to sift through them. One thing I noticed was that my style is very changeable – I have a wide variety of materials at my fingertips and so I tend to shift back and forth between an even wider variety of themes and styles.  However, lately  I have been working more with mixed materials, like the necklaces in this post (only the first of which is listed in my etsy shop unfortunately as I finished the second one and simply love it too much to sell).

New Necklace Display Inspires me to Etsy (finally) chameleon dressedup blog

I feel much more comfortable and fluid when I work with all of my favorite media spread out in front of me so I can mix them freely. It appeals to my otherwise somewhat conflicting tastes.  In my youth, I was fairly ecclectic; mixing and matching styles that others claimed “didn’t go together”, and that has certainly stayed with me.  I am from a generation that grew up rejecting labels, any labels, and so it feels natural to me to simply pick what I like and put it together however I want it. Even if it means my style varies wildly from delicate pink and silver Swarovsky beaded necklaces to a silly Frog choker and some simple cord pieces.

Anyway, I have a sink full of dishes waiting for me so there’s only a few items listed for now but more will come soon, ’til then;
Happy crafting!

Posted by Emily 4 comments

Welcome to the wire jewelry index page!

The posts below describe my experiments with wire as I seek to master this versatile medium, as well as some hopefully helpful tips I have picked up along the way. For guides featuring other media, click on over to our Tutorials page.

Part 1: Introduction & Pegboard/Wig jig
Part 2: Simple Wire Jewelry & an Easy tutorial
Part 3: Showcase!

Posted by Emily

Featured here are all of my chainmail tutorials in order by the date of their original posting. More are sure to be added so check back and see what other new ideas we have for you! For other kinds of tutorials, click here.

Posted by Emily

Showcase: Sue Beads Part 3 wire pendant

This coiled wire pendant is the last of my pieces featuring Sue Beads (at least until I buy some more!). This one was a lot of fun to work on and incorporates silver wire, beautiful dark blue lampwork beads, and AB crystal Swarovski components.  Someday I will decide just how to string this pendant without detracting from its free form, shiny goodness.

As you can see, my wirework has come a long way. In fact, the final post in my beginner’s wirework experiments is coming up soon!

‘Til then, happy crafting!

Posted by Emily

Welcome to Part 2 of my first Showcase! (If you missed part 1, click Here to see it.) This Showcase continues to feature the lampwork of the wonderful Sue Beads, this time as the focal (and splashes of color) for an assymetrical cord and bead necklace.

She has done a great job with her key beads particularly and I really wanted to make something fun and comfortable and somewhat casual that would capture the impression I got from looking at it. I like what I’ve come up with but found a unique challenge in trying to making the double-stranded side hang properly.

Showcase: Sue Beads Part 2 suebeads

This necklace is made with gray cotton cord from our shop; well, now it is. I had originally made it with black cord but found that I didn’t like the lack of contrast between the color of the key and the color of the cord so I redid it in gray and it looks a lot better.   I still keep thinking it needs a little extra something but I am also stubbornly pleased with it as it is. What do you think?

Want to make your own super comfortable key necklace? Wander on over to Sue Beads or her shop on etsy and get started shopping but don’t forget to pick up some soft cotton cord before you go!

(For anyone who is curious, the book in the background is The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay, one of my favorite books when I was in high school, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Arthurian fantasy.)

Posted by Emily

After getting in some new products and playing around a bit, I like the new cotton cords we’ve gotten so much, I couldn’t resist making myself this cute, simple necklace – perfect for rainy days!

DIY Corded Necklace rainy days

If you like it, make one for yourself! The cord features a style I have always knows as “spiral staircase” and it the easiest style of friendship bracelet I ever made.  How to and materials list after the cut.


Posted by Emily

Hello again!
The flu has passed, the last long weekend of the summer is over and I have been playing with lots of wire recently. We got some new stringing supplies in and I got a little sidetracked from my wire-wrapping practice. I did, however, bring the two media together for some interesting and fun projects that I decided would make a good tutorial/inspiration post so, here we go! Now that the kiddies are back to school (or have been for a week or two), you parents should have a bit more time on your hands – why not make a fun colorful necklace for yourself, (or your kids who might need some cheering up now that the summer is over).

These are pretty easy to make and don’t take much time. All you need is some wire and some creativity!


Posted by Emily 1 comment

Branching off into a new craft can be incredibly daunting – the first few attempts at learning a new skill always feel so strange, almost hopelessly awkward, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?

For me that ’somewhere’ was a pegboard. An essential tool for forming wire into shapes which can then be put together, the pegboard is relatively easy to use once you get the hang of it. The trick of it is that wire has a tendency to spring back and, therefore, closing a shape can be the hardest part.


Posted by Emily 5 comments

Since my pliers decided to break on me, I have taken it as a sign that I should try something new. There are, however, far too many cool techniques in the world of jewelry-making that I have not yet mastered. Unable to decide what skills to hone, I decided I would do a little bit of everything, see what I like, and share my experiences in a new column.  So, I hope you’ll join me in a wild and fun investigation of the wide world of crafting!

First up I decided to attempt to master the art of wirework and so this weekend I am going to the library and the local craft store.  I’ll post my first experiences next week along with, if I’m brave enough, some of my first few wire creations!  Suzanne is also interested in learning something new and will also be posting about her adventures once she takes her first lampwork class.

‘Til then, happy crafting!

Posted by Emily

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