Tag Archives: pearls

National Beading Week – Jean Power Secret Beadlong




People Chain x 12




A secret beadalong I hear you ask, what on earth is that ?

The super awesome amazing Jean Power in her capacity as a #NBW ambassador created the most amazing secret beading project, which over 4000 beaders worldwide are taking part in, for FREE!

The aim is to spread the love of beading, the instructions were clear, do some preliminary beading (if you want to) and then each day during National Beading Week the next step of instructions is emailed out.

So, am running a little behind but will still get them done this weekend (I hope) the fun of course is seeing what we are making.

In the beginning it could of been a ring, a bracelet, brooch, necklace it was a complete surprise.  I also discovered that its quite tricky to select colour schemes for a project when you have no visual idea of the end piece so its been a bit a revelation in my creative mind. Afterall its tricky to pick colours at the best of time which I imagine is why kits are so hugely popular in the beading world, I tend to stick to a purple themed colour palette, so I was fairly confident that my colours regardless of the project would blend beautifully, I did however use real miniature cultured pearls in the first piece – since I discovered Jewellery Maker I avoid all fake & glass beads where possible, obviously I need to caveat that as delicas, seed beads are all glass beads and not gemstones but sadly its virtually impossible to create some of the intricate beaded designs with gemstones as they simply can’t be faceted, or made uniform enough to be used in intricate bead woven designs such as this bracelet I created

#nationalbeadweek bracelet
#nationalbeadweek bracelet using delicas 

Now the piece is coming together, and I have seen (and printed out) the instructions for days 5 & 6 I realise that it will be a pendant, and I am guessing that we just thread the pendants on the beaded chain to complete the piece (unless there is a twist!) but regardless I am happy with the Greens, Gold and Purples I used.

Preliminary Beading for Jean Powers secret beadalong challenge.
Preliminary Beading for Jean Powers secret beadalong challenge, So using 5 Rivoli’s, size 15 seed beads and some size 11 delicious here are my starting pieces. 










A beaded flower - day 3 challenge piece
A beaded flower – day 3 challenge piece using Superduo beads , size 11 seed beads 








#NBW day 1, pearls!
#NBW day 1, pearls!







Day 2 #NBW Delicas and Crystals (Bicones)
Day 2 #NBW Delicas and Crystals (Bicones)

Quick Tiara – Wall of Fame JM

Woohoo I got on the Wall of Fame (again)  fingers crossed for a win one day …..

With this quick make, inspired by the amazing Gemma Crow (JM Guest Designer) although mine is slightly different, this is the basis of my darling daughters easter bonnet (aka easter princess tiara) for the school competition.

I created it using 2 rose gold hair combs, a rose gold tiara band, copper wire (as it goes really well with the rose gold colour) and some shell pearls, 10mm in size, peach in colour so the entire hair piece is co-ordinated.

It appeared on the JM wall of fame Facebook page on the 23rd March 2015, it made me so smile 🙂

Pearl Tiara
Pearl Tiara


Inspired by Laura

1.00 Bronze coloured wire, and 0.25mm wire

So, after re-winding the you-tube designer inspiration show several times I discovered that Laura Binding doesn’t follow a script, or a pattern her creations evolve.

Thus I concluded it was therefore pointless continuing to watch, as my creation no matter how hard I tried would never look like hers, as her demo piece wasn’t going to look the same as her original either!

So, on a positive note it means that what I create can’t be wrong, because I am no longer following a pattern, but am simply inspired by one of Lauras designs.

Once a good weave has been started, it needs to move to the centre of the wires, then its time to add a pearl
Once a good weave has been started, it needs to move to the centre of the wires, then its time to add a pearl

Firstly I cut 4 very long (hand to shoulder) lengths of the 1mm wire, and started to wire wrap them together in a V type weave using the 0.25mm bronze wire from the kit. I did just enough so that as I looped the weave around a pearl it encased it beautifully.




The wirework is now evolving
The wirework is now evolving…….

I then continued to weave, add pearls and bronze coated pyrites ….its not finished yet but it is evolving.

So it still looks a little disjointed, and Laura did say that she only used 10 pyrites on the band, I think I may need a few more than that! I have remembered to keep 4 strands of wire for the sides, so will see how big it finishes up once I have used up what I now call the 4 working wires.

Working Wires getting shorter
Working Wires getting shorter


Gemstone Collar

Sari silk & gemstone beaded collar
Sari silk & gemstone beaded collar

Inspired by the lovely JM designer Sheila Davies I have been busy working on this sari silk and gemstone collar piece, using a variety of sari silk ruffles & flowers meticulously sew in to place then decorated by a variety of gemstones from a bead scoop this collar piece is truly original.

It’s quite heavy so more of a winter piece of jewellery to wear than a summer collar, this means that the necklace needs to be durable and in keeping with the collar so I am considering kumihimo with sari silk ribbon intertwined with a length of  chain.


Jewellery Class….

Well despite my slight apprehension I really really enjoyed teaching at Crafty Bettys last Saturday, it was a fabulous crafty atmosphere with customers popping in the shop taking a huge interest in the delights on our class table. It over ran slightly as we veered off and made earrings to match the illusion necklace & scalloped bracelet in pearls, the daisy weave bracelet was addictive, and a set of 3 interlocking glass bead stretchy bracelets seemed to be a hit. So, we made Christmas wreath, started a daisy chain bracelet, 3 stretchy strung bracelets, an illusion pearl necklace, a pair of pearl earrings, and a scalloped edge pearl bracelet all in just under 4 hours ….. then a few hours later I read this on Facebook ……

“Thank you to Crafty Betty and particularly Fiona who provided a fantastic jewellery course. I have been well and truly inspired and would wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone interested in Jewellery Making.”

Its just so lovely to receive public feedback like this, really made me smile, and what more could a teacher / instructor ask for than to inspire others ? Still, days later makes me smile to read this 🙂

So we have another in the pipeline, and a Bridal Workshop / Wedding Fair  in March 2015 so busy busy busy. Am stocking up on pearls & wire as I type!

Check out the JM products on the table I used as well, and the JM tool kit, over the years I have used many sources for my threading materials and own countless tools but I will say I have found the wire, and tool kit exceptional from JM – and at a reasonable price. #jewellerymaker

The only thing we will have to differ on is that JM designers use the macrame board, and the necklace & bracelet boards I will always prefer a bead mat, or a bead it board, as I found the foam holds the beads, whereas the macrame board the pearls especially tend to just roll away on!

Anyway I am buzzing with excitement, planning my next workshops at the Bridal fair, and making my lovely sister some Christmas Party Jewellery ….. pics to follow later

Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys
Jewellery @ Crafty Bettys



daisy necklace
daisy necklace

Mojo back ….maybe ?

Pale Green Shell Pearls
Pale Green Shell Pearls


From this …..the Pale Green Shell Pearls from the mystery box, from Jewellery Maker 

to these little set, I added some findings from a set I had, and my own spacer beads – quite classic in design (well I think so)

It took a shocking small amount of time, whilst I was watching the Killing on Netflix (you should watch this if you get chance its excellent)


Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet Set made with Shell Pearl
Necklace, Earrings and Bracelet Set made with Shell Pearl

Mystery Box JM ….arrived

Last week you may (or may not) remember that I rather flippantly added to my JM order for £9.95 a MYSTERY BOX, so its all rather exciting, you give them cash and they send you a mystery box of tools / gems / stringing material / wire / kit etc ….I was on tender hooks to see what my mystery parcel would contain.

Well I didn’t get tools, or wire, or a kit, or any stringing material I got 3 strands of gemstones.

Pale Green Shell Pearls
Pale Green Shell Pearls

The first strand I pulled out of the bag were these really pale green shell pearls, each beautifully round and a reasonable size, I haven’t measured them yet but they aren’t 6mm they are certainly larger than that.


The next strand was simple to identify as rose quartz hearts, they are enhanced significantly by the strand of pure pink running through the centre! At approx. 14mm I am not really sure what to do with them, whilst I do love rose quartz, after all its one of those gemstones which is claimed to have healing properties, particularly useful as an aid to a good nights sleep if you drop a stone under your pillow, but I guess much of this depends on how much of a believer you are in the various myths and legends surrounding many exquisite gemstones.

Rose Quartz Hearts
Rose Quartz Hearts

The final strand was a complete mystery to me, even though it came out of a mystery box!

The idea of the mystery box is that you receive something of a greater value than the price you paid, its a surprise, if you don’t like the surprise you send it back (ok in theory but you have to pay postage, and to track the pack back to the distribution centre to ensure its delivered safely thus spending up to £5)

So here is the strand …..


Mystery Strand of Green Gems from JM
Mystery Strand of Green Gems from JM



Its very pretty, has translucent hues, traces of white / cream colours, jet black, varying shades of green, the intensity of the strand colours is quite intoxicating. But what is it ?

Well I asked a couple of my jewellery friends, googled a bit, searched the Jewellery Maker website, and came up with the following suggestions;

Green Aventurine  (possible ….)

Moss Agate Dyed (sorry couldn’t find a link)

Emerald Nuggets (not likely given the value placed on it)

Green Onyx (possible but the greens aren’t quite right)

Ruby Zoisite (had to study this one a bit, but its a long shot I think)

Chrome Diopside (highly unlikely given the rarity of this gemstone)

So, my next port of call was to simply email help@jewellerymaker, despite there being no label on the strand, and it being a random mystery purchase the result came back really quickly, the holding email suggests 24 hours for a response but in all honesty a couple of hours later in pinged the result ….. Emerald Nuggets

So how exciting is that ???? I was puzzled for a few days, was feeling a bit deflated that I hadn’t had a massive bargain mystery gift and hey presto I bag a strand of Emerald nuggets, and they aren’t microscopic either! The clarity on the stones is uber clear, they are beautiful. I was really impressed with the super fast customer service, the email response I received suggested immediately that they were Emerald, but they also offered to take them back in and examine them to give me absolute certainty but they are beautiful, I feel happy I can use them so next time to you buy something from jewellery maker just check out the mystery boxes you never know what treasures you might find 🙂

Also, its rare to state this but the customer service is OUTSTANDING ! (I just wish the delivery was instant!! )