Sunday, October 26, 2014

How to attach a bead cap to a beaded Kumihimo or crochet rope

So far I haven't been to a bead store that carries everything I need to complete a project. Most of the time, I went in the store with a certain idea or a color scheme in mind. After an hour of browsing and searching, I walked out with materials for a completely different project because I couldn't find the right size and complement color beads or correct findings to finish a piece of bead work.
My dilemma this time was looking for a two inch 24-gauge head pin to attach the bead cap to a Kumihimo necklace. I had to resort to the craft wire. Other gauges would work, but I prefer size 24 gauge wire; it is not too thin nor too thick to bend and wrap. Sometimes, the alternative works out better. I now prefer attaching the bead cap this way since it doesn't pull and tug the bead like my other tutorial.

Step 1: Cut about 3 inches of wire.

Step 2: Insert the wire in the middle of the braid as close to the beads as possible.

Step 3: Trim the extra threads. Bend the wire upward.

Step 4: Wrap the wire around the braid a couple of times. Insert the bead cap and make a wrapped loop.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Quick Way to Bezel a Swarovski Rhinestone with Half Tilas

Awhile back I purchased a couple bags of Tilas but I haven't gotten a chance to use them. Now come the half Tilas...I have been working with SuperDuos on several projects so it's time to shift gear and try the half Tilas. I just discovered that my local bead store also carries Swarovski rhinestones called solaris, hexagon shaped crystals. With the angular cuts and facets, I thought the half tilas would be perfect to bezel the 14mm rhinestone.

Step 1: With almost a yard of Fireline, string a pattern of one 11/0 seed bead, one half Tila for a total of 10 half Tilas and 10 seed beads. Form a circle by tying a double knot. Go through all beads again to reinforce and also to hide the knot inside a bead. Pull thread tightly. Trim the tail thread.

Step 2: Move working thread to the upper hole of a Tila. Pick up a 4mm bicone, pass through the next Tila. Repeat this step until all 10 bicones are added. This is the front of the bezel.

Step 3: With working thread exiting a Tila, pick up one Tila and pass back through the previous Tila.

Step 4: Pass through a bicone, a tila. Pick up another Tila and repeat step 3. After adding 10 Tilas, move the working thread to the upper hole of a Tila just added in step 4.

Step 5: Let's work on the back of the pendant. 
Pick up a seed bead, pass through a Tila added in step 4. Repeat until all 10 seed beads are added in between the Tilas. Insert the solaris then pull thread tightly. Go back through all beads to tighten the circle and to keep the solaris in place. 

Step 6: With thread exiting a Tila in the back of the pendant, pick up five or seven (depends on how big the jump ring that you use to attach the bail) seed beads to form a loop. Go through the Tila and the seed beads about three times to reinforce the loop. With the extra thread, retrace the thread paths to reinforce your work. Tie half hitch knots in between beads. Trim the thread.

I thought one of these connectors that I got at Hobby Lobby would look nice and unique as a bail for my new pendant.

Back of pendant: Since I used a small oval jump ring to attach the pendant to the bail, I strung five 15/0 seed beads to make the loop.

Front of pendant: The bail is pretty fancy and the crystals are very sparkly, so I decided to keep the pendant simple.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Color Here, Color There, Color Everywhere!

    A couple weeks ago, I taught a beading class to a group of wonderful ladies. Seeing them choosing and putting colors of seed beads and crystals together: antique rose, deep rich burgundy, fun and flirty orange...I realized I had learned something important from them. I learned to be bolder with my color choices. I also realized that I sometimes painstakingly tried to match the colors, it turned out to be a waste of time after seeing my focal bead blended in too much with other beads that it lost its luster. That evening I went home and  reassessed some pieces of jewelry that I made awhile ago.  The Victorian Pearl pendants, for example, could use a "make-over".


I think the focal of the pendant now really stands out  and I am very pleased with the outcome. Size 8/0 gold seed beads were replaced with purple. Also, instead of size 3mm Czech beads, size 11/0 were used.

After is a great and free resource that I recently subscribed. Each day, I get a couple of inspiring palettes of colors emailed to me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Kate" Statement Necklaces

Using SuperDuos, rivolis size 14mm and 12 mm, seed beads size 11/0 and 15/0, three components are made.

Connecting the three components, a pendant is formed.

"Kate" Statement Necklaces
Inspired by the jewelry collection of Kate Spade of New York

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easy Way to Bezel a Rivoli with Superduos

   Now that my knitting fever is over, I am back to beading. After two month hiatus, I showed up at the door of the local bead store and was thrilled to find out the store now carries Superduos.
   After a few hours mixing, matching bead colors and sizes, and figuring an easy way to bezel a rivoli, I decided to use circular netting.

Round 1: For a 14mm rivoli, string a pattern of 2 Superduos and one size 11 seed bead eight times. Form a circle by going through all beads one more time. Tie a double knot, then use another needle to weave the tail thread in between the beads before cutting the tail off. With the working thread, exit through the outer hole of 1 Superduo.

*Note: Because of the color coating, the holes of some beads are blocked. I strongly recommend that you check the holes of the beads before you string them. They can be cleared by poking and twisting  gently with a headpin but it is a hassle especially when you are in the middle of beading!!

 Round 2: Add one size 11 seed bead between each Superduo.

Round 3: With thread coming out a seed bead from round 2, string 8 beads, skip an 11 seed bead and pass through the next seed bead. This is loop one.

Loop 2: Go back through the last 3 beads of loop 1. Pick up 5 more beads, skip a bead from round 2, pass through the next bead. Repeat this step 5 more times.

To close up round 3, pick up 2 seed beads and go back through the first 3 beads of the first loop.

Insert the rivoli then tighten up the loops by passing through all beads in the middle circle.

*Note: I always put a coat of clear nail polish on the back of the rivoli to protect the foil.

The front of pendant

With the rivoli now secured, more beads can now be added to make a bigger, fancier pendant.  The possibilities are endless!

Here, another round of 3mm pearls are added on top to add dimension to the pendant. 

In this final round, two seed beads are added in between the pearls to tighten up the pendant.

A loop of seed beads is made to attach the pendant to a store bought necklace.

This pendant is attached on a bail bought at Michael's so it can easily slide on and off any chain.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Scallop Edge Beaded Necklace

Scallop Edge Beaded Necklace
Designed by Carol Metzger
Pattern can be purchased at her Etsy Shop

I added more loops of beads than shown in the original pattern to weigh down the necklace so it rests nicely on the neck.

Knitted scarf and cowl patterns

After months of dry, warm weather,  Northern California finally got some welcoming rains.
This is just the perfect time for me to settle on a comfy sofa and try out some of the free patterns from

Lace Pattern by Jimmy Beans Wool
I used Charisma yarn by Loops & Threads

Polka Dots Cowl - My first project using two colored yarns. 
This  beautiful yet easy to make pattern is a great introduction to fair isle knits.

Free pattern from

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My New Year Resolution

My resolution for this year is to complete all unfinished projects that are laying around on my work table or stashing in boxes. So far, I managed to finish a few knitted ear warmers and cowls that I promised my daughters and nieces a couple years ago.

Three-Strand Braided ear warmer, free pattern from

I also made five-strand braided ear warmer  so it can be pulled down and worn as a neck warmer.

Another ear warmer for my niece, free pattern from