KR Designs 11 - Beadwoven Jewelry Blog

This blog is for my comments about making beadwoven jewelry, my inspirations, frustrations, and love of color.

The banner is Lilacs in Springtime, a free form peyote bracelet.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Latest Creations and Art Fairs

This Dragonfly Button Bracelet is the latest in my button series. It does not have any hex (hexagon) shaped beads, so it was easier for me to stitch. I started another button bracelet with metallic blue purple hex beads only and ordered 3 more packages of beads since two packages created about half the bracelet length. These beads are labelled size 8, but appear to be smaller than the other size 8's I've used on this series. The button is quite striking, so having all the same beads is a good background for it. Photo when finished.

Recently completed another druzy pendant - amethyst with blue purple beads similar to the in process button bracelet. There are round amethyst beads in the chain, too.

Speaking of amethyst, I am waiting to receive a cabochon from one of my favorite suppliers on Etsy.

I was hoping it would show the photo, but I'll settle for the link so you can see Sheila's shop, Tradewinds Studio, if you choose. The url must not be public because using the photo function of Blogger tells me it can't find the url.

I will be showing my work at a private fundraising party for the Riverside Arts Weekend show next weekend. I'm looking forward to speaking with the guests about my process in creating my jewelry and showing off my jewelry creations. It will give the guests an opportunity to think about items that they might want me to create for them or purchase from my inventory. People need to think about my items before they purchase, as it is seldom an impulse purchase. Often they purchase for special occasions or to coordinate with something else that they don't have with them at the Art Fairs. My customers need to get to know me as well as I need to see how a particular style or item fits them, both physically and their personality.

I was accepted for the LaGrange West End Art Festival which will be my third year in a row. It's nice to be in a show where people remember your work. I learn a lot from the people who stop in my booth. My button bracelet series was inspired from a customer at this show, so thanks to her, I learned how to do something more confidently. I was puzzled at how to make them fit well (the button loop closure). For another customer, the Muse needs to visit to show me how to combine amethyst and peridot; I just don't have the right beads. Often I collect beads stored together until I stumble on just the right ones, or most of the right ones. Maybe that cabochon I'm expecting will be the key, or at least it will make a gorgeous jewelry item. Wonder what it will look like?

I've been reading how to have a great blog which has made me more critical of anything I might write. I've learned not to ramble on .........

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Creations for the Riverside Arts Weekend

This is a newly created Black & Royal Blue Button Bracelet which has been listed in my etsy shop.

When I applied to the Riverside Arts Weekend art fair, I thought I would use Czech glass items in my new work because when I lived near Riverside, IL, the communities nearby were Bohemian, Slovak, and Czech neighborhoods. This bracelet features a glass .875 inch black glass button with a shiny metallic look royal blue color on the highest points in the design. It was recently made in Czechslovakia from old molds; others are hand painted with bright gold paint accents. They are worthy of being the focal point of my bracelets.

The bands of the bracelets are wide, about 1.5 inches, as the buttons range in size from .875 to 1.25 inches. Anything larger, I would create a bead embroidered pendant or pin featuring the button. A future project....

I chose to create a band in a traditional bead weaving stitch called brick stitch. I chose as many shaped seed beads as I could find in size 8 in the two colors and ended up with 4 black beads and 2 royal beads, and I alternated the rows of beads. The hex shaped beads were smaller in diameter, so the pattern created did not create a traditional brick work design and the bracelet does not lay flat but looks okay when worn. I alternated the number of beads per row with the black rows being one bead longer so the edges have a zigzag appearance.

The lesson I learned is that not all beads labelled as a size measure the same size. I will use the hex shaped beads alone next time. Previously, I chose to create a bracelet in black hex size 11 beads with black diamond square size 11 beads in blocks of color with the same number of rows which kept a similar width but had very different lengths on the bracelet. It is in the traditional 3 drop peyote stitch, and was sold at an Art Fair last summer.

I have learned that I need to create a sample of the weaving to make sure it looks the way I want it to be. The weaving time (about 12 hours) is too much to invest in a "mistake" as I learned by redoing the black & royal blue button bracelet, but cutting the first version apart relieved some of my original frustration. So if you are a beader, please learn from my experience.

If you would like to visit the website of the Riverside Art Weekend, the link is  They have just started developing 2013's site and have the list of artists to date. The show is just about two months away, in Mid May, and is one of the first of the season in the Chicago area. Seeing my necklace on the site makes the upcoming show more real despite the snow which is falling outside my window!

Next beading project in the button bracelet series could be a black with a dragonfly on the button or a purple bracelet. Any requests for color or size?