Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silver Seed Beads

Over the years I've grown quite fond of Miyuki's bright silver seed beads, and I use them often in my beadwork. They're a great accent to many designs, and they'll work well in just about any color palette. The silver and black combo is one of my go-to palettes, and in these mini Disco Ball beaded beads, the silver is prominent without dominating the beaded beads.
I think it packs much more of a punch with the larger drop seed beads in this Silvery Amethyst Dewdrop Bracelet:
But much of the time, I try to use silver seed beads in a more subtle way, such as in these Squareflake earrings:
So when I was designing the kits for the Dewdrop beaded beads, I incorporated some 15° silver seed beads into the Black Rose Tips version of this design. However, I ended up taking them out for the final version. My first attempt is on the right, and the final version is on the left:
In this particular design and color scheme, there is already a lot going on in terms of texture and complexity, given the combination of the square tilas with the rounded drops and three sizes of seed beads. Plus the permanent-finish galvanized 8° seed beads already give this beaded bead some shine. This is the first time where I felt that the silver seed beads just added too much to an already busy design, so I exchanged them for some dark purple seed beads which readily blend into the finished beaded bead.

Have you ever had a tried-and-true design element surprise you like this?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Beaded Beads and Lampwork Beads

Earlier this month my aunt lent me a collection of beads that she purchased over the course of her travels, including these two gorgeous Venetian foil lampwork beads:
One of my favorite ways to build a new piece of jewelry is to use lampwork beads as the color palette for the entire piece, and then build up matching beaded beads from there on. Since I have Dewdrop beaded beads on the brain, I picked out some dark metallic brown tila beads, cobalt blue drop beads, and sapphire round seed beads to match the sapphire blue of the Venetian beads. When I put them all together, this is the Dewdrop beaded bead that I came up with:
I took some liberties in matching this beaded bead to the lampwork beads, such as using proportionally more cobalt beads and some light metallic copper seed beads that are not really represented in the lampwork beads. But I think that it complements the lampwork beads quite well.
What do you think?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Pattern and Kits: Dewdrop Beaded Bead and Bracelet Set

My newest pattern is now available at; the Dewdrop Beaded Bead and Bracelet Set. The Bead Origami version of this pattern is expanded with additional illustrations and photographs, and includes a full pattern for the matching Dewdrop bracelet!

I got a little carried away with myself and put together kits in five different color palettes for this design. Here's one in Silvery Amethyst:
I've named this one Black Rose Tips in honor of a similar color palette Gwen used for her Cube Cluster beaded bead. I think that these two designs would coordinate quite well together in this color palette:
This one's Lavender Fields, because that's exactly what it reminds me of:
This one's Harvest Bounty. The red seed beads that I ordered for this kit turned out to be a little brighter than those that I used for the bead featured in Beadwork Magazine, but I kind of like how it makes the whole bead look brighter:
Finally, this one is Patina Lagoon, because I can't get enough of these matte metallic patina beads:
Each Dewdrop kit contains enough materials to make a total of five Dewdrop beaded beads, or alternatively, one Dewdrop beaded bead and one Dewdrop bracelet. Here's a bracelet in Silvery Amethyst:
Don't forget that the Dewdrop beaded bead is one of the five beaded beads required to enter Beadwork Magazine's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest. The deadline for entering is October 26!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beadwork's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest: Dewdrop Beaded Bead

The final beaded bead in Beadwork Magazine's 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Series is now published; the Dewdrop Beaded Bead, by yours truly.
This design features Miyuki's two-hole tila beads as well as two sizes of drop beads, which can also be substituted for round seed beads for a more sleek look to this design. Melinda writes about this and other variations on these beaded beads in her Editor's Note in the same issue of Beadwork Magazine, and Pixiloo already wove a gorgeous red version using this substitution. You can see images of it on her blog.

I wove one of these Dewdrop beaded beads in the silvery metallic color palette that I've used for the other four beaded beads in this series. I went with some matte metallic grey tila beads for this particular beaded bead, however Miyuki recently released a bluer shade of this tila bead which I think would look even better in this color palette.
Here's my complete set of all five beaded beads in this series (I tried weaving Gwen's Cube Cluster with triangle seed beads instead of 3 mm fire polish beads, but I'll switch back to the fire polish beads the next time I weave this one; the triangle seed beads don't fit quite as well).
I'm busy working on several kits for this design, which will be available on my website very soon. The kits will feature an expanded pattern, as well as a special surprise :).

More information about the 15th Anniversary Beaded Bead Contest is available on the Beading Daily website. Check out my versions of the previous beaded beads in this series here, here, here, and here.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Crystal Ball Kits Back in Stock

Purple Dream Crystal Ball beaded bead kits are now back in stock on the Bead Origami website
I don't know how many times I'll be able to refill this kit, since the green dichroic-lined seed beads are hard to source. So get 'em while they last!

For the curious, here's my kit-making space while I was putting them together. I also took the opportunity to put together some Sakura Charm kits too, which you can see just to the right of the paper cutter.
I made use of my new mini scale which is both great for small amounts of beads, and surprisingly accurate given its size and price point. Here it is with 1.5 grams of 11° Japanese seed beads:
Next in the pipeline are more Rivoli Kaleidoscope kits... Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New City, New Workspace

I know I've been somewhat absent at this blog as of late, and it's because I've been busy moving all of my worldly possessions across the state to a new city. I'm now getting settled into my new apartment in San Diego, where my husband plays with the symphony orchestra.

The best thing about my new apartment is that I have an entire room for my new bead studio! I've setup my workspace right next to the window for plenty of natural light.
I'm looking forward to creating plenty of new beaded art in this new space. 

I also listed this Crystal Ball beaded bead in my Etsy shop:
It reminds me of a warm forest during the summer. Don't you agree?
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