Monday, April 23, 2018

Astral Spore Pendant

My newest beading pattern is now available.

The Astral Spore Pendant features the new Quarter Tila Bead in this very tactile, geometric pendant. It uses four colors of Quarter Tilas and a whole bunch of bugle beads and round seed beads, and it's hollow and self-supporting so you can see right through it. This beading pattern is an advanced design, and it teaches you how to weave the finished pendant.

Like the Succulent Topiary Pendant, this design uses the geometry of an icosiedodecahedron, which is like a dodecahedron but with 20 extra triangles. In this design I've embellished each of the 12 pentagons so that they stick out from the base. I've also attached a tassel-like set of matching fringe containing Czech etched dagger beads in colors that just make me swoon. The whole design reminds me of something from astronomy, like a comet, but I already have a design that has "comet" in its name (I'm going to run out of names someday!). But it also reminds me of a grain of pollen, so it's the Astral Spore Pendant.

This is actually my third attempt at stitching a geometric design with Quarter Tilas; the first two attempts were a little smaller, and the smallest one was harder to stitch than this design. The pattern contains a few photos of the smaller attempts.

The beading pattern is 24 pages long and contains 70 photos and illustrations. Kits are available in the three colorways pictured, and contain all the beads needed to stitch the finished pendant.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Succulent Topiary Pendant

I wrote a new beading pattern.

The Succulent Topiary Pendant features a whole bunch of shaped beads all woven together in a geometric floral pendant. This advanced beading pattern teaches you how to stitch the finished pendant.

When I set out to stitch this design, I wanted to play with some Tulip Petal beads that had been sitting in my stash for a couple of years. I didn't intend to use so many shapes to stitch these little beaded flowers and bits of greenery, but as I worked I found that a collection of Rizos, Gekkos, drops, and Spiky Buttons complemented the floral Tulip Petals. Oddly enough, by the time I finished the flowers didn't look much like tulips, but they do remind me of cactus flowers.

It's a relative of the Tila Garden Pendant. Both designs use shaped beads and Tilas on their edges, and both have dodecahedral symmetry, but the Tila Garden uses the geometry of a standard dodecahedron while the Succulent Topiary uses that of an icosidodecahedron. You can think of it as a dodecahedron with 20 added triangles. The Succulent Topiary Pendant is also quite a bit bigger.

The beading pattern clocks in at over 20 pages and 60 photos and illustrations. Kits are available in two colorways and contain all the beads needed to stitch the finished pendant.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 25, 2016

New Pattern and Kits: Comet Trails Set

I've finished my next beading pattern, the Comet Trails Lariat and Earrings Set!

Beaded Beads with 2-Hole Crescents

I received a few packages of 2-hole crescent beads and 2-hole bar beads as part of Starman's Trendsetter program. After playing with them for a while I gravitated towards incorporating them into beaded beads, and I experimented with using them in geometric beaded bead embellishments. I couldn't decide whether to stick with bars or crescents for these embellishments, so I ended up using both for two different sets of spiky beaded beads. A lariat proved to be the ideal format to show off both versions.

Like the 2-hole triangles, the crescent beads have an "up" side and a down side that influences how they will orient themselves in the finished piece. I experimented with both orientations, but in this design the crescents preferred an outward orientation that gives the beaded bead a spiky look.

A Long Hubble Stitch Rope

I have a confession... Until I wove this piece, I didn't think I'd get into Hubble Stitch. Developed by Melanie de Miguel, this lacy, open weave is a cousin of right-angle weave and is reminiscent of a three-bead picot. I'd seen several lovely examples of this stitch from not only Melanie but also from Cynthia and Marcia, and I'd even made a few basic samples using the stitch, but I didn't initially see how it could be incorporated into any of my designs.

However, I noticed that the triangle shape formed by three-up Hubble looked like the seed bead embellishment in these beaded beads, so I set out to replicate that embellishment in a rope using Hubble stitch. The result is an extended variation, and by the definitions shown in Let's Hubble, it's an offset, four-up, tubular Hubble rope with periodic horizontal spaced out 2-hole beads. I like how this rope is light and lacy, but most of all how well it complements the beaded beads.

Matching Earrings

A pair of the smaller beaded beads make quick and easy matching earrings.

Three Colorways

Starman is continuously developing new colors and finishes for their beads, and it's quite fun to explore different colorways with this design.

The beading pattern for the Comet Trails Set includes complete written instructions on how to weave each component of the lariat, how to attach the components together, and how to weave the matching earrings. The pattern also includes a few images of the prototype pieces of beadwork that led to this design. Like the lariat, this pattern is on the long side; it's in the PDF format and clocks in at 30 pages and 117 full-color illustrations and photographs. I classify this pattern as intermediate, and it's most appropriate for beaders who have previous experience with beaded beads and who would like to learn a new way of creating them with 2-hole beads. Knowledge of Hubble Stitch is a plus but it isn't required to follow this pattern.

Kits for this design are available in three different colorways and make the completed lariat measuring up to 34" long, along with a pair of matching earrings. Each kit contains all the beads and findings needed to complete the project.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Prism Blossoms Pendant for the Spring

The other day I wove a new Prism Blossoms Pendant to celebrate the first day of spring. I used some new colorful metallic Dragon Scale beads that I picked up from Beki at Out on a Whim when they were exhibiting in San Diego.

A photo posted by Cindy (@beadorigami) on

(By the way, I'm on Instagram, where I like to post candid shots of what's on my bead board, and also cats).

I wanted to pair these beads with the new opaque Duracoat seed beads from Miyuki. I had been anticipating the release of these new beads ever since they showed off samples at the 2015 Bead & Button Show. Fortunately they shipped just in time for spring and they should be arriving at your favorite bead retailer soon.

A photo posted by Cindy (@beadorigami) on

I'm quite happy with how the pendant turned out!

Kits for this colorway are available at, and contain all the materials needed to weave the finished pendant.

Thanks for looking!

New Pattern and Kits: Opulent Deltahedra Set

I wrote up a beading pattern for the Opulent Deltahedra Set!

Beaded Beads with Triangle Weave

You may have recognized this project from a 2015 issue of Beadwork Magazine; the Opulent Octahedron Necklace was one of my six Designer of the Year projects for 2015. These beaded beads use the geometry of the octahedron and a variation of triangle weave to make these sparkly, self-supporting beaded beads.

Five beaded beads pair with shiny crystal pearls and additional crystals for an elegant necklace:

Matching Pendant and Earrings

While I'm quite partial to the geometry of the octahedron (especially for beaded beads!), the great thing about triangle weave is that you can use it to create an infinite number of geometric objects made up of equilateral triangles. One of these objects is the icosahedron, which is made up of 20 triangles instead of eight. The Opulent Icosahedron makes a substantial beaded bead that's the perfect size for a pendant.

Additionally, a single triangle unit pairs with pear-shaped crystals for an easy, elegant pair of matching earrings.

Several Variations

The 3D shapes that can be made up only of equilateral triangles are called the deltahedra. While there are an infinite number of deltahedra (some of which feature quite cool star-shaped points), there are only eight that are strictly convex. I beaded all eight of them using the same technique that I used to make the Opulent Octahedron and Icosahedron. They make a collection of interesting structures that offer intriguing possibilities for further jewelry designs.

The beading pattern for this design includes complete written instructions on how to weave the Opulent Octahedron, the Opulent Icosahedron, and the matching Opulent Earrings. Additionally, I included several pages of variations showing photos and descriptions of all eight convex Opulent Deltahedra. The pattern is in the PDF format and clocks in at 26 pages and 89 full-color illustrations and photographs. I classify this pattern as intermediate and it's most appropriate for beaders who have already tried triangle weave and who would like to learn several possible ways to create 3D beaded beads with this stitch.

Kits for this design are available in three different colorways and in two different configurations; the Opulent Octahedron necklace kit makes one necklace with five Opulent Octahedron beaded beads, and the Opulent Icosahedron and Earrings kit makes one Opulent Icosahedron beaded bead that can easily make a pendant, and one pair of matching earrings. Each kit contains all the beads and findings needed to complete the project.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

New Pattern and Kits: Star Fragment Pendants

I finished my latest beading pattern, the Star Fragment Pendants.

Coiled Cubic Right-Angle Weave

Over the past several months I've been quietly working on this new variation on CRAW. It's an idea that originated from several places; most importantly it builds on Gwen Fisher's Twisted CRAW technique, though I recently dived through my old photos and prototypes and found related bits of beadwork dating back to 2008 (!). I started exploring this concept in earnest after taking a four-day class with David Chatt, where he encouraged me to explore versions of RAW and CRAW that twist and spiral.

That was last January, and since then I've beaded a whole box of beadwork ranging from promising experimental samples to quite ugly (but educational) failures to satisfying pieces of finished jewelry. It's been quite an artist's journey for me, full of both joy and disappointment, confusion and gradual understanding, and a whole lot of hard work. I'm looking forward to telling this story further as I present more of this beadwork, but for now I'll focus on the first design out of that box.

CRAW That Twists and Coils

The Star Fragment Pendants feature this CRAW variation that not only twists in the style of Gwen Fisher's technique, but also coils like an old-fashioned telephone cord. While others have explored these ideas with embellishment and bead size strategies, the twist of this version is generated by the specific thread path of the stitch. Like CRAW, coiled CRAW can be embellished and made into components, and the same ideas also apply to prismatic right-angle weave.

The beading pattern for this design describes how to make two different sizes of Star Fragment Pendants from embellished coiled CRAW components. In the pattern I explain the similarities and differences between CRAW, twisted CRAW, and coiled CRAW, and I introduce terminology to describe the unique features of the stitch. The pattern is in the PDF format and clocks in at 22 pages and 85 full-color illustrations and photographs. I classify this pattern as advanced and it's most appropriate for experienced beaders who have mastered CRAW and are ready for the challenge of learning this new variation. Though to be honest, I find the action of stitching twisted and coiled CRAW easier than traditional CRAW, but it's difficult to wrap one's brain around the subtle intricacies of coiled CRAW structures if you haven't already mastered CRAW.

Small and Large Star-Shaped Pendants

This design uses a collection of traditional beads; Japanese seed beads, round beads, fire polish beads, and bicone crystals. The petite pendant features one component, while the large one features two components in two different sizes. The components stack and join in an offset way that's a little tricky to assemble, but I like how this substantial component has such dimension and texture, and I'm quite happy that it also has negative space in the center (a concept that I frequently struggle with).

Kits for this design are available in three different colorways and include all the beads needed to make both pendants, though at the time of this writing the bronze colorway is currently sold out (I'm in the process of re-stocking this colorway, so check back soon for updated availability). Both pendants look lovely strung either separately or together on a silk ribbon.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Beaded Bead Reflection Photography

I've been playing with photographing some of my beaded beads on a reflective surface.

It's a fun but challenging photography technique and I think it works particularly well for silver beadwork. I used a piece of dark reflective plastic to generate the reflection, which does the job quite nicely however it also picks up every single speck of dust in the light tent. I had to spend a ton of time editing out the dust specks in post-processing to generate these shots.

Here's a shot of a Fairy Triangles beaded bead. I like how the reflection picks up the lower part of the beaded bead as well as the top.

Here's another shot of the silver Half Tila Technocluster beaded bead, which I previously tried to photograph in a previous post.

For reference, here's my previous attempt at photographing this beaded bead. The big difference is in the reflective surface; in the older shot I used a clear piece of plastic to generate the reflection (instead of a dark piece of plastic), but since both the top and bottom sides of the clear plastic show, it makes a double reflection rather than a single reflection.

I like the reflection in the new shot, but the beaded bead is a little overexposed. I prefer the way the beaded bead looks in the older photo.

Finally, I used this same technique to photograph the Diffractions Necklace, which is the project that I'll be teaching at the Beading by the Bay bead retreat in March of 2016.

This necklace features both cube- and dodecahedron-shaped beaded beads that use a unifying set of materials and embellishments, and I'm looking forward to teaching this project because it's a great example of beading with different geometries to make different types and sizes of beaded beads.

Thanks for looking!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...