Green rondelle necklace

When I bought these green rondelles, I had no idea what to do with them.  My mother talked me into using them to create a necklace for this large lampwork pendant.
It's mostly stringing, but the bail is done in ladder stitch.

Juliet Arrighi

Murano glass heart

As soon as I saw this glass pendant for sale online, I knew I had to have it. Here it is, on a necklace of glass seed beads and Tibetan silver filigree beads.

Juliet Arrighi

Doublewide purple tennis bracelet

I  don't know what to say about this bracelet.  It started out with green crystal rondelles.  Don't ask me how it ended up with purple bicones and red accent beads.  It will look nice with a red hat, I'm sure.

Juliet Arrighi

Patriotic necklace

I have been wanting to make a necklace in patriotic colors for a while, and I just realized that I had the beads I needed to do it.
I started out just making a bracelet, but I liked it so much, I decided to extend it.  The base is a 2-needle right angle weave done with silver-lined E beads.  After that I wove a diagonal string of blue seed beads and red E beads, then decided to weave it on the back too.  The diagonals on the front and back ran toghter, and making it look like I wound a spiral around the base.  I might have to do this again, using just red seed beads over the silver base, as a candy cane look for Christmas.

Juliet Arrighi

Box Cards

After making the pouch in my last post, I thought about other ways to send small gifts in the mail, and remembered that there was a box card that I wanted to try.  It uses a whole 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, so I wanted to test and make sure I understood the folds before using a paper that I liked.  I grabbed one of the more atrocious papers in my collection, a sheet from and old Michaels Slab (remember those?) and went to work.
A striped paper was probably not the best choice, but the results were good enough that I chose to complete the project into something I could use.  This would be good for mailing inchies or an ATC, or maybe even another bracelet.

I did wonder about the dimensions - could I alter the size?  I ripped a page from an old Vogue magazine (thanks, Mom) and trimmed it down to a 9 x 6 rectangle, and made all the folds at 1.5 inch intervals.
This ended up being 3 x 3 inches, a very usable size for me, and not bad looking, either, if you don't mind the closeup of Jessica Alba's face on the back.  This is how cheap I am - I would rip a page from a magazine rather than waste a sheet of Slab paper.

Juliet Arrighi

The sum of the parts (not great)

I worked on my bugle bead necklace some more last night, and finally figured out how to attach all the pieces.
After I got everything attached and tried it on, I immediately saw the things I wanted to change, the main thing being that the fringe is way too short.  I think I will retry this piece, and see if I can make it look like the beaded ball is a slide.

I like showing you my misses as much as my hits - it's like letting to peek into my brain.  I hope it isn't too scary!

Juliet Arrighi


Last week I went to a TAC open house, and we did a couple of Make-n-Takes, in addition to grousing about price hikes and whatnot (can't have a new catalog without complaining about price hikes! except last year, they thwarted me by dropping the prices.  Now they are back up again).  Chris always designs nice things, but I really didn't see the point of making a little cardstock pouch - what was I going to do with it?  Cheryl looked over at me and said, "Juliet, you could put one of your bracelets in it!".  (Cheryl is so smart!)

It was a brilliant idea!  I had a bracelet that I needed to mail out, so when I got home, I made this:
It is a little thank you gifty for a wonderful friend who sent me these Martha Stewart punches that she didn't want (I can't even say those words without stuttering - "Martha Stewart punches I don't want" - nope, just can't do it) among a LOT of other things, including the heart-shaped button on the bracelet, and the embossing powder on the word (you can't tell it from the scan, but it is a clear powder with an interference finish - Diane sent me a bunch of these, and they are so fun to use!)

I hope she doesn't like the pouch TOO much - she might want her punches back!

Juliet Arrighi

Playing with bugle beads

I have a container of mixed red beads that I picked up at Walmart when they were downsizing their craft department.  I couldn't turn down 60 grams for only a buck and a half, but over a year later, I still hadn't used any of them.  I looked at the container and thought about why I was having a hard time getting inspired, and I decided it was the bugle beads.  I don't really like bugle beads.  They have sharp edges that will cut your thread, and their shape makes them awkward for most bead weaving.  I decided to challenge myself to use the bugle beads.
They made a nice strap woven with gold seed beads, and I quickly decided that I wanted to add a beaded bead with a beaded tassel as a focal point.  I had never done a beaded tassel before, but it seemed pretty straightforward, so I just sat down and played until I got one.
The fringe parts were easy, but i didn't know how to attach them at the top, so they are tied to an E bead, which is a problem.  I don't know how to attach the fringe without all the thread showing.

I skipped that problem by trying to remember how to make a beaded bead.  I finally gave up and went online, and found this video tutorial.  It looked like what I had in mind, so I whipped one up.
It's a nice little ball, about the size of a marble, but there is no clear way to attach anything to it.

What I have are three nice parts and no way to make them a whole.  Any ideas?
Juliet Arrighi

Gold netted necklace

I have been working the past few days on this necklace, which is one of the more demanding jewelry projects I've undertaken, at least in terms of time spent.  However, I was happy doing it, because as it was working up, I felt that I had what I really wanted - the perfect rope necklace.
It is everything I wanted.  I love the colors, the weight, the boldness and the delicacy.  It is exactly what I have been trying for months to achieve.

However, I don't like how it looks when I put it on.  I don't know why.  I liked the other rope necklaces I've made.  This is also the first time I've felt this way trying on a piece of jewelry I've made.  I'm  always in love with my own work (vanity), and I should love this piece most of all.  I don't, and it is making me very sad.

Juliet Arrighi

Red tennis bracelet

I was looking at my stash and saw that I had a single strand of red bicones.  I counted them - 80.  80 isn't enough for a lot of things, but it is enough for a tennis bracelet.  I thought I would try it with the crystal iris beads instead of gold ones, and found that since the gold ones are a little smaller than the crystal iris ones (11/0 instead of 10/0 - if you are a beader, you know what that means), I wasn't using as many bicones as I thought, and wove my row with only 36 red bicones, leaving me with enough for another bracelet.  As I was weaving, though, it occurred to me that the button I was planning on using  was a little wide for the bracelet - could I make the bracelet twice as wide?
Yes!  It was surprisingly easy to add another row down the side.  It is a really good width for the button, too.  I think I might have to try this with the purple bicones, next.

It's kind of funny - I spent over 25 bucks at the bead expo just on fancy toggle clasps, and now my new favorite way to close a bracelet is a button.

Juliet Arrighi

Skinny Bracelet

I just got a package of crystal bicones in the mail today, 1200 fire-glazed purple ones.  I had a thought that I could make a few bracelets as prizes for my Red Hat Bunco next month (we don't play for money, these are just small token prizes).  I love the colors that bounce off these beads!
I left it unfastened so you could see the loop with the button.  I really like the button as a closure.  I thought this pearly button looked great with the crystal iris seed beads.  When it is fastened, you don't see the loop at all.

The pattern for this can be found here at Deborah Roberti's site.  She has a lot of good patterns for basic jewelry, and sells patterns for more elaborate pieces.  I don't really care for a wide cuff bracelet most of the time; a skinny one like this suits me fine.  A bracelet like this is very economical, too.  100 bicones  and even fewer seed beads are enough to fit most wrists, so it could be made with leftovers from a larger project, too.

This isn't very different than the pattern I use for my tennis bracelet, except I use seed beads along the whole side instead of bicones.  I knew I couldn't be the first person to think of arranging beads this way.

Juliet Arrighi

Tennis anklet?

I few months ago I made this tennis bracelet, but it was really too long.  I did show it to a couple of friends, who both liked it, and asked for it to be an ankle bracelet.  It was too loose on one of them, so the other snatched it up.  The first one pouted, so I promised to make her one, a little smaller.

I do not know what is up with this pattern; I tried to make it smaller, but it ended up bigger - over ten inches.  I did use a button for a closure instead of a toggle.  Let me know how you like the button - I do need to make this the right length, and I don't know which is the best way to fasten it.  I have plenty of buttons and toggles, and even a few lobster clasps (but those are all silver), and I value your input.

Juliet Arrighi

Russian Spiral Weave

When I went to the Bead Expo in Fredericksburg a couple weeks back, one of the vendors had several samples of a beautifully woven necklace.  I wanted the pattern, but wasn't willing to buy enough beads to be offered a copy, so I settled for the name of it - Russian Spiral.  As soon as a got home, I started googling it.  I started playing with some of the beads that I bought at the expo (the short glittery sample below) and quickly realized that to make a long rope, I was going to need a LOT more beads than I had purchased.  It was taking me about 20 of the larger beads (4mm) per inch.

(click for detail)
I ordered 800 of the blue bicones off ebay, and started working on the first full necklace.  Two bad things happened - first, I realized I only received half the order (I emailed the vendor, the other 400 are on their way), and second, I realized that my tension was terrible.  for the weave to be attractive, it needs to be tight.  The loop I completed with the blue beads is long enough to slip over my head, but sloppy enough that I think I will just cut it apart and start over when the other beads arrive.

The red necklace is my third attempt.   The red beads are from a bag of E beads that I have had forever, and that I had mostly used as spacers.  The bronze iris beads are ones that I bought at the Bead Expo.  I never thought I would run out of those red beads, but I ended up cutting apart another project and tapering off with smaller, duller beads just to scrounge enough to finish the necklace.  Still, I really like it.  The red and brown together makes me think of chocolate covered cherries.  I was able to keep my work tighter, but it was still the most difficult part of doing the weave.  Does anyone have any good suggestions for maintaining a good thread tension?

Juliet Arrighi

My Shoebox - Tim Holtz cards

First, let me apologize for not posting Chris's shoebox swap card - I don't know where it is.  If you have been inside my house, you probably aren't surprised to hear that.  I will post it when I find it, though.

So, I promised to show you my card, and not only did I design a card beforehand, I made one while I was there, because Tim Holtz has so many great stamps, you could make the same card a hundred times and they would all be different.  Here are my cards:

These are both based on Tim's second Christmas tag in 2009, if you want to see the tut.  I just used painted cardboard flowers and corners instead of the metal ones that he sells.   It's pretty fancy for a card with only one layer.

allsorts - free and easy
Craft your days away - vintage
ECP Challenge - gold
Less is More - shades of blue
Card and scrap - punches
Craft Garden - bird (first card)
Crafty Ann - uplifting sentiment
Art Impressions - distressing

As always,you can find lots of challenges to play in at Feline Playful.

Juliet Arrighi