Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Non-allergic jewellery

I mentioned earlier that I was trying to make a metal-free jewellery gift for someone allergic to the usual metal findings. This bezelled rivoli pendant which I embellished with loops of seed beads and an inner row of picots was my starting point, but I was concerned about the metallic coating of the rivoli backing.

I thought of beading a comfort strip, as I have previously made for rings, but this was too bulky. Instead I cut a little circle from a scrap of ultrasuede to fit the existing bezel, and glued this to the reverse with a tiny amount of Bond 427 adhesive. I then added another row of size 15 seed beads to conceal the edge of the ultrasuede. Really neat finish, softened the point of the rivoli, and kept the metal away from skin...result!

The pendant was strung on a length of rat-tail cord with a sliding clasp of a peyote tube. Knots in the ends of the cord prevent the tube sliding off and the ends thread through in opposite directions. This finish is adjustable in length provided the tube is fairly tight and can be used for other stringing materials. I'm indebted to Donna Sanders of  Delicate Sparkles for this method, which she shared at the Bead Retreat we attended in May this year.

And the recipient wore the necklace for the whole day and did not come out in a rash!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mojo Regained

Seems like a Laura McCabe class is great for kick-starting a somnolent mojo! The classes (I did two) were the 'Stargazer Bracelet' and 'Treasure necklace'. Laura's projects are fairly complex and I only completed two bracelet and one necklace components, but as I opted to choose my own beads and made up the colour scheme as I went along, I was forced to be more creative.

As you can see, the palette I chose for both projects is fairly seasonal, reflecting the Autumn (Fall) colours which are beginning to appear.
I don't have enough delicas to complete the projects (not knowing which colours I would need beforehand) so I shall have to have some bead shopping therapy soon (poor me!)
As to the mojo, well it seems that actually beading is the key. Picking them up and making something suddenly raised a whole bunch of ideas and I have made a freeform pendant from the leftovers on the beadmat, using Laura Zeiner's tutorial and frame method : Stick Lizard Designs

And lastly, I even felt moved to blog... so all in all a better beady week for me!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Well, I seem somehow not to have published the last post, but things have been somewhat uneventful since then on the beading front. Probably because the real-life stuff has been dominating...back to school shenanigans (how do kids manage to grow so much over the Summer?) and a heavier work load after the week off. I have now decided to make a present for the girl who helped me out at work over the last 12 weeks. She was brilliant and so self sufficient I hardly had to supervise at all. Anyhow, they are keeping her for another 2 weeks before she starts her post-grad course, and as she is allergic to metal jewellery, I'm going to try metal free seed beading in the hopes she can wear it OK. I have used a rivoli in the pendant centre, so will try and cover the back with a comfort strip as per Laura McCabe's crystal book.