Monday, February 25, 2013

Coffee and Tea Caffeine Pendants

I wove three new Caffeine Molecule Pendants and listed them in my Etsy shop. Two are in coffee-themed colors, while another is in a nice green tea! Click on the links below each photo to learn more about each pendant:

Beaded Caffeine Molecule Pendant - French Roast - Sold Out!

If you'd like to bead your own caffeine pendant, a pattern for the Morning Coffee Molecules is available at my website!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bead & Button Show Class Update

A reminder that registration is open for classes at the 2013 Bead & Button Show, and the classes are filling up! The Friday session of my Tila Garden Pendant class is already full, but there's still some space in the other session on Sunday. I'm teaching a total of six classes at the show (click on the images for registration information on each class).

The first class that I'm teaching is the Raindrop Flower Necklace. In this six-hour class, you'll learn how to make three different kinds of beaded beads with drop-shaped beads, as well as a very flowery teardrop beaded focal that can also stand alone as a pendant!

The next class is the Tila Garden Pendant, where you'll learn how to weave tila beads and shaped seed beads into your own little miniature garden. This advanced project uses quite a bit of geometry, but it's so satisfying to wear once it's done!

The night sky-inspired Cosmic Nocturne Pendant uses Swarovski crystals, round and shaped seed beads, and either twin or SuperDuo beads all together in this self-supporting, hollow pendant. This layered, tactile pendant is such fun to wear because its look changes depending on how it's strung, and since it can be strung through about a dozen different openings, you can customize how you want it to look when worn!

The Ice Queen Necklace uses 17 individual Pagoda charms for a beautiful statement piece. You'll learn not only how to make these eclectic little charms, but also how to use redundant thread paths to strengthen the beadwork. The class kit actually comes with enough materials to make 20 Pagoda charms, so students can elect to make a slightly longer necklace, or a necklace of the same length plus a matching pair of earrings! Last year, many students completed the matching pair of earrings in class.

Finally, the Sparkling Compass Set is perhaps the most versatile of the classes that I'm teaching at the show. It's a class for all levels of beaders, where you'll learn how to make the Sparkling Compass component and weave it into earrings, a bracelet, and a beaded bead! If you're a beginner, you would probably want to start with the earrings, and you'll be able to finish at least one of them and probably the pair in the class. Advanced students can elect to skip right to the beaded bead. The class kit contains materials for all three pieces, and it even works with rizo beads too!

More information about class registration, as well as general show information can be found here. I'd love to see you there!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fiberoptic Dodecahedron

It feels like a while since I blogged about what I've been up to, which makes me feel like I'm not accomplishing anything. I've actually been working on several projects at once that are in varying states of completion, and not all of them are quite ready to show to the world. One in particular is quite ambitious, and it's evolving from rather esoteric, science-nerd origins into a whole lot of crystal bling. I'm interested to see what it will look like when it's done! But I don't quite want to let it out into the world until then...

In the meantime, I think that I am ready, however, to show this:

It's a dodecahedral version of the Fiberoptic Duo beaded beads, so it's a Fiberoptic Dodecahedron. It's actually my fourth attempt at this design. If you purchased the Fiberoptic Duo pattern, you might have noticed another version of this beaded bead in the "Variations and Inspirations" section at the end of the pattern. This newer version includes crystals on the inside for a subtle sparkle (but is a "subtle sparkle" really possible?), Also, the seed beads in the lace overlay of this beaded bead make nice little stars!

It's hollow but self-supporting, and surprisingly strong.

Oh, and I also made a watermark for my photos.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Origami Interlude: Immortelle

For this month's Origami Interlude, I folded a piece designed by Lukasheva Ekaterina of She has a gorgeous gallery of kusudama origami, and several free diagrams to boot! This piece is called Immortelle, and is a variation of her Dragonfly unit:

This piece features 30 Immortelle units joined together without any glue or adhesives. I used six units each of five different colors of origami paper, and joined them together using the uniform color distribution that I describe in my Candy Dodecahedron beaded bead pattern. I used two sheets of paper for each unit so that the completed piece would be more colorful; about half of the backside of each piece of paper shows in the final unit.

I really like how flowery this piece looks!

A free diagram and how-to video for this piece is available at Check out some of my previous interludes into paper origami here, here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sunset Sparkling Compass Set

I finished a new set of samples for the Sparkling Compass Set, which I'll be teaching at the Bead & Button Show this June. I picked up some cosmic crystals in astral pink, and found that they blend together really well with one of the colors of the new rizo beads. So I paired them with various shades of purple for a very warm, sunset-y colorway:

The Sparkling Compass beaded bead looks quite different with these rizo beads! It has much more of a flowery, burst effect compared to the more angular original version.

For the earrings, I couldn't use the rhombus crystal pendants because they're not available in astral pink, so I switched to the asymmetric galactic pendants. I was wary of this shape at first because they don't match the four points of the Sparkling Compass component, but when you position the crystals in different directions for each earring, I think it ends up working just fine:

Here's the whole set in this sunset colorway:

And here's the second colorway, in dark, cosmic hues that remind me of images of distant galaxies:

And finally, here's the original colorway:

The class for the Sparkling Compass Set includes instructions on how to make all three pieces in the set. Students can expect to either complete the earrings in class, or they can elect to start the bracelet. The class code is B130659, and it will be taught at the show on Sat. June 8, from 2:00pm-5:00pm. I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sparkling Compass Earrings with Rizos

In preparation for the classes that I'm teaching at the 2013 Bead & Button Show, I wove a pair of Sparkling Compass Earrings with a very simple bead substitution. Can you tell?

That's right, four of the 11° seed beads in each earring were swapped out for rizo beads! And what a difference such an easy bead substitution makes in the final design... Compare them to the original pair on the right below:

I like this effect so much that I think I'll offer it as an option in the kit for the Sparkling Compass Set class at the Bead & Button Show (B130659, Sat. June 8 • 2:00pm-5:00pm).

The Sparkling Compass Set includes this pair of earrings, as well as a matching bracelet and beaded bead. Students in the class will take home instructions on how to complete all three pieces in the set.

Check out my previous experiments with rizo beads here and here!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tila and Rizo Charm Earrings

Have you Rizo'd? After making a Double Bubble Jacks beaded bead with these little rice-shaped drop beads, I tried them out in my new Tila Droplet Charm design. I substituted both the 2.8 and 3.4 mm drops with rizos, and came up with these purple and copper earrings:

The rizos definitely give this design a different look and shape! Though since some extra thread shows around the rizo beads when they're used in this design, I added a couple more 15° seed beads to these earrings compared to the charms described in the original pattern. Two extra seed beads sit on either side of the rizos on the sides of the charm, and four extra seed beads sit at both the top and bottom of the charm, between the circles of four rizo beads.

Would you like to make your own rizo bead earrings? The Tila Droplet Charm design is available as a free pattern on my website as a PDF download, where I explain how to weave this rizo'd variation. As always, if you find this pattern useful, drop me a line and let me know!

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Kits: Fiberoptic Duo Beaded Beads

Kits are now available for the Fiberoptic Duo Beaded Beads. Each kit makes five beaded beads, and since both the cube and octahedron versions use the same number of beads, each kit can make either five Fiberoptic Cubes, or five Fiberoptic Octahedra, or any combination in between. The first colorway is in patina green and dark bronze:

I liked this colorway so much that I made myself a necklace with these beaded beads. This necklace uses two Fiberoptic Cubes and Three Fiberoptic Octahedra:

The second colorway is in bronze and amethyst, and includes these gorgeous marbled purple and bronze seed beads:

The last kit is in black and silver (a go-to combination that goes with everything), with just a touch of bright purple (which is an awesome color):

All three kits are available at, and make five Fiberoptic Duo beaded beads. The kits include all the beads needed, a beading needle, plenty of thread, the Fiberoptic Duo pattern (automatically delivered after checkout as a PDF download), and shipping is included, even for international orders!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tila Droplet Charm Necklace

While I was weaving the Tila Droplet Charm earrings, I experimented with stringing them on thin beading wire like I did for my Sakura Charms. They fit though the beading wire rather effortlessly, and I thought, "these would make a great charm necklace." So I made one:

This necklace features seventeen Tila Droplet Charms, all woven from the free beading pattern available on my website. I strung them with additional round and drop-shaped Japanese seed beads and the new rice-shaped rizo drop beads.

This necklace matches the lavender fields colorway that I used for this Dewdrop Bracelet:

Combined with the earrings that I posted the other day, this makes a complete set of tila bead and drop bead jewelry!

The Tila Droplet Charm is available at if you'd like to make your own Tila Droplet Necklace. As always, if you make anything from this pattern, I'd love to see pictures!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Free Pattern: Tila Droplet Charm

I wrote up a pattern for the tila earrings that I posted a few days ago, and it's now available on my website as a free pattern. Presenting the Tila Droplet Charm!

I designed this charm to match the Dewdrop beaded bead. Like this beaded bead and the Dewdrop bracelet, this charm frames a tila bead with round and drop-shaped Japanese seed beads. Here it is in the lavender fields colorway:

Two Tila Droplet Charms make an easy pair of earrings, and conveniently only use a small spoonful of beads. They're the perfect design for any extra beads leftover from a Dewdrop kit.

This pattern uses the new illustration style that I've been tinkering with for the past few months. I'm very interested in your feedback on these illustrations, so drop me a line and let me know what you think!

The Tila Droplet Charm joins my other two free beading patterns at, and it's the first free tila bead pattern available on my website. As always, if you make anything from this pattern, I'd love to see pictures!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Tila Teardrop Earrings

A while back, when I was working on the Dewdrop beaded bead design, I wanted to make a pair of earrings in a matching style. I think I've finally succeeded with these tila bead earrings:

These earrings frame tila beads with the same drop-shaped and round Japanese seed beads that are used in the Dewdrop beaded bead:

I think it's a pretty good match, don't you?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Scene From the Beading Tray

I started a new beading project the other day, using bicone crystals, Japanese seed beads, and bugle beads. They got a little jostled on my beading tray, so I took a picture:

I don't usually work with bugle beads, but I'm really digging these little sterling silver-plated 3 mm bugles. I can see why they're sometimes called "liquid silver."
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