Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Lots of knots: Waxed Linen Blog Hop

If you are looking for my BSBP8 post, it’s HERE!

About a month ago, Diana Ptaszynski had the brilliant idea to host a blog hop using waxed linen. Quick as a flash I signed up, as I really really like using waxed linen cord in my jewellery designs. I first came across it in Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel ‘s book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry, which is a fantastic book, and one of my go-to books for inspiration. I love how both of these designers incorporate waxed linen into their designs, they are both a source of great inspiration to me!

What do I like so much about waxed linen? It comes in a whole range of colours, like teal or lavender, denim blue or rusty red, chocolate brown, black or naturally off-white.  It comes in several sizes, or plies (which refers to the number of strands incorporating the cord, usually 4 or 7, but as few as 2 and as many as 12!), so you can find one to fit most beads, except perhaps those tiny-holed pearls and small seed beads. And the waxing makes it kind of sticky, so knots really stay where they are supposed to stay. It’s lightweight and drapes nicely in a necklace, and is strong enough for bracelets too. And it adds a textural element to all jewellery designs that wire just doesn’t have.

For this blog hop I did a couple of pieces. The first is a necklace that is similar in design to the owl necklace I did a few weeks ago for BSBP8. As I have mentioned before, I am a member of Rebecca Anderson‘s Curiosity Club, and the April kit, entitled “Delft”, contained a combination of blue, aqua, white and translucent beads as well as two disk-shaped lampwork beads made by Helen Chalmers. And, like all of Rebecca’s kits, there were 2 skeins of waxed linen, in orange and denim blue.

In my stash, I had a polymer clay pendant in copper and blue-green from Erin Prais-Hintz, with a bird on one side and the phrase “Mother knows best” on the other: perfect as I planned to give this necklace to my Mum as a belated Mother’s day and birthday gift. I combed through my stash for some more beads in similar shades of blue, adding the white and blue floral ceramic beads and some blue seed beads to the mix. A copper chain at the ends of the beaded section allows the length of the necklace to be adjusted.

Mother knows best necklace Collage

My next design also used beads from one of Rebecca’s kits, this one the March kit, called “After the Rain”. Rebecca included a piece of Liberty print bias binding, and I was racking my brains to come up with an interesting use for it. Inspired by one of the other designers, I decided to wrap it around a Vintaj creative hoop to make a bangle. Instead of the more common wire wrapped around the fabric to help secure it, I wrapped some yellow and orange linen around instead, with a few tiny translucent pink Czech beads (both the linen and the rounds also came from the kit). I found an interesting lobster clasp in my stash and used it to close the bangle.


I also made a pair of earrings from the same kit, using orange waxed linen to dangle yellow and orange flower beads and “mushrooms”—piggies on top of a round bead—from a brass ring.


Finally, I thought I would show you some other earring designs using waxed linen (these were made a few months ago, not with this blog hop in mind). The first pair uses a pair of ceramic rounds from Jennifer Heynen, with seed beads knotted on waxed linen dangling below. The second pair uses some porcelain charms made by my Mum, with a sweet little floral decal adorning them. A small Czech coin with an embossed bird is knotted over the charm.

Waxed linen earrings Collage

Mum and I have also collaborated to make sweet bird ornaments: a porcelain bird with waxed linen “legs” knotted onto an antiqued brass or silver branch.

Birds of a feather Collage

It seems like there are a lot of other fans of waxed linen out there with Diana and I, as 44 people are taking part in this blog hop. If you have time to visit some of their blogs, the links are below.


Felt fancies—the big Bead Soup Blog Party reveal!

It’s finally time for the third reveal day for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party! This is my first BSBP and I have to say thank you to Lori Anderson, whose brainchild this fabulous event is, for such a great idea.

Now the premise of the BSBP is that Lori matches us all up with a partner, with whom we exchange bead soup—a mixture of beads and components including a focal bead and a nice clasp, plus some coordinating beads. You can make as many pieces as you are inspired to make, but must use the focal bead and the clasp, and as much of the rest of the bead soup as you like, adding in extras from your own stash as required.

My partner for this BSBP is Marina Dobrynina, a Russian beader living near Paris. Marina makes beautiful felt beads, embroidered works of art really! She sent me the following bead soup, which included a selection of her felted beads in soft greens and pinks with a splash of vibrant orange, some coordinating crystal beads of various sizes and shapes in deep purple, bright green, pink and peach, some white seed beads, a brass dragonfly clasp and two  brass cord ends, and some brass findings. I used almost everything she sent me, except the white beads and the brass end caps, adding only a few findings as I needed them.

The big challenge for me was putting the hole through the felt beads. After asking Marina’s advice, I went to work with a darning needle—a bit  anxiously, I must say! First you poke the needle through the bead, trying to line it up so it goes through the middle. Then when you pull it out, the hole disappears! I eventually figured it out, and went to work. And without further ado, here it is.

First I made a pair of earrings to get used to working with the felt beads. I used a pair of soft pink felt balls, green crystal and a lacy beadcap on each bead to make a blossom with some sparkly crystals dangling below. They are very light!

Then a necklace, showcasing the biggest green felt bead, embroidered with stars, and surrounded by more pink and green felt beads, as well as a pop of orange, and interspersed with links of crystals. I added a simple lobster clasp and an extension chain with one of the pink teardrop crystals dangling from it, as well as some lacy brass beadcaps (Vintaj of course!).

Here’s a closeup of the focal beads showing Marina’s beautiful embellishments.

Finally a bracelet using the remaining felt beads, one embroidered and the rest plain, with crystals linked in a similar pattern to the necklace. And the gorgeous dragonfly clasp of course!

That left me with the brass endcaps. These endcaps stumped me for a while as they are closed—you can’t thread a pin through the ends—and they are also quite wide, about 7mm diameter. Marina is a seedbeader as well as a felter, and these are the kinds of endcaps used for seedbeaded ropes and kumihimo braids, neither of which I know how to do. But flicking through Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel’s book Bohemian Inspired Jewelry, I saw the Japanese Kimono cord, also known as crepe cord, and thought that would be perfect, if I could find some. Well, it’s not something easily found here in Australia, but in the end I located a supplier, and I ordered some! Unfortunately, it arrived yesterday … so I’ll have to show you what I make with them another time.

Now I’m off to visit Marina’s blog to see what she did with the bead soup I sent her, and to have a look at the other 130 blogs involved in Reveal 3. Please join me in a round of applause for Lori, who surely deserves it for the hard work she has put in! As well as a stiff drink, a large slice of her favourite pie, and I think a holiday might just be in order too!

For the rest of the participants in this round, check out the links below:

Hostess Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin’
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann’s Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents

Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie’re
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth’s Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul’s Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo’s Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce’s Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home
Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities
Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy’s Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori’s Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem’s PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi’s Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes YOU ARE HERE!
Menka Gupta, Menka’s Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca’s Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee’s Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo
Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin’ of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs


The simple truth

One of the things I love about making jewellery is the abundance of beautiful art beads created by hand by talented artisans in glass, ceramic clay, polymer clay and other materials. And one of my favourites is Erin Prais-Hintz, whose delightful Simple Truths line of pendants appeals to the writer within.

Erin’s pendants, which she sells through her Etsy site Tesori Trovati, combine quotations and phrases with sweet stamped images on hand painted polymer clay pendants.

To celebrate the year since Erin launched her Simple Truths Sampler Club, in which the lucky members receive a new limited edition pendant each month (I’m not one of them but I aspire to being part of the club some day), she is holding a blog hop to encourage her customers to create something with their Simple Truths. I imagine that many owners of these pendants are like me, hoarding them until the perfect beads come along, pulling them out to look at now and then and putting them back with a sigh.

Currently I have two of these pendants in my collection, a Woodsy Owl and a little bird with the phrase Mother knows best stamped on the back, but I only had time to make one piece, with the Owl. Inspired by several of the necklaces in Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegal’s book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry, I put together a necklace using a mixture of earthy glass beads, some antique copper chain and a mossy green-brown silk fairy ribbon. Other than having to restring it because I initially made it lop-sided, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, and I’ve been wearing it all day.

For more creative uses of Erin’s Simple Truths, visit the blogs below!

Erin Prais-Hintz
Sharon Misuraco
Tanya Goodwin
Alice Peterson
Melissa Trudinger YOU ARE HERE!
Lori Bowring Michaud
Rebecca Anderson
Chris White
Cherrie Fick
Rosanne Garvison
Shelley Turner
Marlene Cupo
Mary Harding
Lola Surwillo
Michelle Burnett
Kirsi Luostarinen
Paige Maxim
Kristen Fagan
Cynthia Riggs