Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crystal Chandelier Earring

One of my coworkers has a bit of a problem with the back of my bead embroidery pieces and no matter how many times I explain to him that this is the way to finish off the back of bead embroidery he still says well why don’t you cover the back of the piece with beads too. It might all be well and possible to cover both sides of a bead embroidery piece (not that I see the point of using up beads for the back of a piece) but in order to address this issue I just decided to give beadweaving a go. Kill to birds with one stone: learn a new technique and have the backs of the work covered in beads so he would stop going on about it! :D
The piece I am covering in this post is not my first attempt at beadweaving a piece together (I started with simpler bezels) but since this piece is made specifically for someone and I have to give it to them tomorrow I decided to write about this one first .
a few weeks ago a colleague of ours from our corporate offices asked me to make her a clear crystal chandelier earring and I said ok. Twenty minutes later she gave me a call and insisted that I should make the chandelier earrings look sexy too! Now I have no idea how to make earrings look sexy so I was a bit stumped at this point and to be honest with you because I had no idea how much she was comfortable paying for the finished piece I didn’t want to go on a crazy bead shopping spree (which I am really good at) and spend loads of money on crystals and beads. So I was very adamant on using whatever I had.
I was lucky to find some swarovski crystals in my stash that I had completely forgot about and put together all my beads in the clear and silver family in front of me and started to play around
I started this piece by bezeling the oval piece first. I do have to say I am really bad at finding out how many beads I need to start with so I went with a Ladder/Brick stitch technique I learned on the bead and button website to start the bezel for this piece which made it a little bit easier to do. It is frustrating getting the stone to sit in the bezel and not move around when you are trying to capture it in the bezel and this is probably why bead embroidery to me is still so much easier to do. At least with bead embroidery your stones don’t keep running away from you every two seconds.
Once the bezel was done I added a row of seed beads around the bezel to allow me to do the decorative edge. Nowhere is where the fun kind of started. I have never used superduo beads before and I was itching to incorporate them somewhere in my work so after each bead that I had added to the outside edge of the bezel I added a silver superduo bead. Once I stepped up to the top hole of the superduos , I started adding faceted silver beads which helped with the extra sparkle I was looking for and then I covered those beads by going around one more time and adding size 15 seed beads to give it a more finished look.
To make the piece in to a chandelier type earring I started adding the bicone drops on each side and the bigger crystal drop in the middle to finish it off. To me this was enough to make the earring pass of as a chandelier earring.
Now bezeling the square swarovski crystal on the top of the piece was a whole different story. I had so many problems with this piece I was ready to throw in the towel. What made it worse was that I was so engrossed in figuring out how to bezel the damn stone that I forgot to make any notes on what I was doing so when it came to bezeling the second stone I had no idea what to do again which made it even more difficult because I had to make sure that the piece matched the first one I had made so that both earrings would look exactly the same. I kept referencing my first piece and in the end I just had to try and make at similar to each other, as it was humanly possible
I have to say both earrings don’t look exactly the same but the discrepancy is so small that it can be overlooked. I have already shown the picture of the piece to the person I have made these for and thank god they liked it cause otherwise I would have had to redo the whole thing .i just hope that they like the piece when the see it in person tomorrow.
Anyway I hope you guys really enjoy this piece too and that it can inspire you guys to make something sexy too: D
Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dangly Turquoise and Moonglow Earrings

it feels like it has been a year since I have posted anything on this blog, well had I waited a few months it would have been a year I guess: D
Not good! So bad that even my parents gave up on reminding me to update the seems that something always takes precedence over doing this and to be honest today is probably the first day in 4 months that I have absolutely nothing to do or think about.
I have been busy with work and I started taking a few beading classes here and there to learn about bead weaving as opposed to bead embroidery which I usually do and I have to say I really enjoy it .my latest obsession is making Cellini spirals but I will talk about them hopefully very soon in a new blog post.
so before I move on to showing my woven pieces I am going to show you one of the last bead embroidered pieces which I actually sold a few months ago as well!
While looking through Etsy I fell upon these golden yellow moonglow squares that I just had to have. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Dangly earrings!

For the earrings I used a teardrop turquoise cabochon as my main focal point and did a simple gold and turquoise bezel. As always to make the piece sparkle I used the smallest size of crystal chains that I had. I had thought of finishing the piece after adding the chain but when I thought about it the piece looked too small and finishing the edge after the chain with any kind of edging would show pieces of the backing, which I don’t like.

I ended up adding a row of stacked turquoise and gold beads to make the piece larges and cover the backing so that when I do the edge you cannot really see any of the lacey’s stiff stuff.
Once the piece was done I did a simple picot edge all the way around and added a loop with size 15 beads in order to be able to add the moonglow stone and the earring hook. And voila the earrings were done!

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Brick Stitch Earrings

I have been trying to find some inspiration for new work for the past month and nothing seems to come into my head. I am officially out of ideas it seems! Not a good thing when your fingers want to make stuff and your mind is blocking the progress. I have been trying to lock down ideas but then I find that I am not able to really make it work and that is frustrating and I guess that is why I have not really been trying to make any bead embroidered pieces.
But in order to not stay completely idle I decided to make some simple brick stitch earrings. I find it I am less inclined to worry about my colour choices and patterns with these pieces and the fact that they are so quick and easy to make, makes creating them very satisfactory which in turn makes me feel a little less useless: D
For these earrings I used round quick links as the base of my brick stitch earrings and then started using a selection of pinks and purple beads in various sizes and finishes to make the beaded earring.
Once I was happy with the pattern and size I finished the piece by going around and doing a picot edge using the same beads I had used in the piece along with some 3mm fire-polish beads that picked up on the pink and purple hues of the beads.
crystal chandelier earring
Once I was done with this first one I was ready to start experimenting with shapes and adding different types of beads which lead to somewhat of a more elaborate dangly earring. Which led to my second attempt at making a brick stitch earring where I decided to go for kind of a black and clear chandelier type earring.
crystal chandelier earring
I used the same type of quick link I had used in the other pair of earrings and once I had the first couple of rows finished I decided instead of going around using the same size of beads all around to mix it up with a different size of beads just to see what the results would look like.
crystal chandelier earring
As with any type of beading, it does get a little bit tricky making beads fit once you use various sizes but the end result looked interesting enough so I kept going.
When I was done with the main beading I added a larger size faceted bead as a focal bead and added a large crystal bead for more sparkle. I then finished the edge with a mixture of stacked and picot edge to clean the piece up.
crystal chandelier earring

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Evil Eyes

Evil eyes
I know I have been MIA for a while and I tell you why. I had never ever in my entire life ever wanted to work in retail. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just have bad feet and a bad back which means standing on my feet for a long time is a pain in the bum! Literally! But jobs in fashion are hard to come by and so when the opportunity for the retail job I have now represented itself I jumped at the chance. And as luck would have it we were allowed to sit unless we had customers which worked out absolutely perfectly for me but this past few weeks we had an outpost in another part of the store which meant that we were each standing on out feet for hours on end with no relief.
I think I have mentioned how much I loved my colleagues but this standing around for hours each day was enough to test the boundaries of all our friendship. We were all tired, cranky and mad at our manager for not helping us out .so when we were finally thrown out of the outpost space and had to go back to our little salon in the store we were all so happy we nearly did a little jig.
So with the long hours and the aches and pain behind me I can resume somewhat of a normal life and that in turn means getting some content on this blog.
Evil eyes
I have a colleague who is probably one of the funniest people I have met in a long time and he is always telling me the weirdest stories about his life and let me tell you he has lived a life. I keep telling him I should start writing a book about his life so we could get rich and be done with this daily routine.
Evil eyes
A while back he told me a story about how he had an evil eye necklace, which was given to him by his mom. Apparently he drove his mom crazy so she would give to him and she kept saying that she would give it to him when he was older so he would be able to take care of it. And lo and behold he got it when he was older and he went and lost it!  He said he has been searching for another evil eye piece so when he asked me if I could make him something with an evil eye on it I said sure!
I didn’t want to do any bead embroidery because to be honest I didn’t know how to keep a bead-embroidered piece masculine. So instead I decided to do a thin peyote stitch strap that resembles a watchstrap so it can be a bit more on the masculine side.
I had bought two different colours of delicas because I could not decide which one matched the colour of an evil eye better so of course I ended up making him two sets of bracelets one thin one with the darker delicas that I liked more and for the lighter colour beads he requested a thicker bracelet which I tried to talk him out of because I didn’t think the proportion of the eye that I had to the thickness of the bracelet would work but it was his bracelet in the end anyway so I made him what he wanted!
As far as I know he has worn the thicker bracelet once or twice since I made it for him in early December but the thinner one has always been on him! He says it has given him good luck and I say it is all in his head and it’s probably because he really does seem to believe in the whole evil eye thing!

Evil eyes

A couple of days ago he asked me if I could make him an adjustable eye bracelet using some beads he had seen me use on another bracelet. For the life of me I could not understand why someone would need so many eye bracelets but well to each their own. I did tell him that by the time I am done with this job and it’s time for me to move on to a permanent job he would be covered in eyeballs!
Evil eyes
For these new bracelets I used blue wax cording which I just ran through the beads. I put a little bit of glue on the end of the cords to make them stiffer and to stop them from unraveling too much when I was pushing them through the beads. I also decided to use these new flat evil eye beads that my mom had sent me in the bracelet, my only issue with them was that they have a little it of glitter around the pupil part of the eye but I was able to find one that had a little bit less glitter that the rest which I didn’t think would look too bad on a man’s bracelet!
Evil eyes
Evil eyes
All in all I have to say I like these bracelet and I ended up making some for my other colleagues in different colours too but I have to say making beaded pieces be masculine is hard to do. Or at least it is for me! I am still not sure if I was able to produce a masculine piece with these, but I am hoping that these pieces come across as a little bit less girly as my other pieces at least!

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

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

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Black Spiked Bracelet

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.
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.
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.
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!
spiked bracelet

Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved