Monday, March 24, 2008

Working out what Size to make your jewelry

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great Easter, and managed to make progress on your latest beading project.

One question I get asked a lot is how to decide what length to make a piece of jewelry. If you're making jewelry to sell, you can make a range of sizes.

But if you know who you're making a bracelet for, then measure their wrist. Use a flexible tape measure and then add 1/2-inch for a child's measurement, 1 inch for an adult.

For children, on average bracelets range from 5-6 1/2 inches for 3-7 years and from 6 1/2 - 7 1/2 inches for 8-12 years.

When it comes to necklaces, children's sizes range from 12-14 inches for 3-7 years and 12-16 inches for 8-12 years.

For adults, it really depends on how long you want the necklace to be. Again, measuring is a good place to start, or check out some jewelry in a shop to get an idea of lengths.

Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An amazing story

I get lots of emails from people all around the world, and sometimes I find it frustrating that I can't answer them all. My kids like to spend time with me!
Occasionally, I get an email that is incredibly touching, and this one from Bobbi Jean is one of those. For many of us beading is a bit of fun, something to do to fill in an hour or two, or maybe even make a small income from. And yet for some people, like Bobbi Jean, it's a whole lot more than that. Sometimes stuff happens in life that's pretty lousy, but if we look to the future and focus on making the most of where we're at, it's amazing where life can take us.
Thanks to Bobbi Jean for allowing me to share her story. I hope you all get something from this.
Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)

Dear Felicity:
I discovered my love of beads when I was a little girl and my cousins and I would sit on the floor, spread them out, hold them up to the light and string them on actual fishing line. (What can I say, we lived in North Carolina on a military base, hardly a center of artistic expression).

Anyway, I rediscovered beading when I was hospitalized for four months only able to lay face up flat looking at the ceiling as my spine had been shattered along with both my legs. I had very little fine motor control.

Needless to say I could only make one or two items at a time. I was, however, blessed with 5 children. I would design things for them and give them as presents.

Little did I know that my kids were walking advertisements. My sons always had the best presents for their girlfriends who showed them off to their sorority friends and my girls always wore unique pieces.. My younger daughter was in college and I had made her a particularly different necklace to match her formal dress. She told me that strangers would approach her wanting to know where she got her jewelry.

Years later I made my eldest daughter's wedding tiara and the jewelry for the wedding party. I did the same for my younger daughter. The same scene played out with the others. Pretty soon I had built up a client base without going to one show.

Believe me, I'm not suggesting everyone be run over by a drunk driver, but it just goes to show that sometimes if we are paying attention we don't have to look very far for the road that is given to us. God bless, Bobbi Jean

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting Ready to Bead

Hi everyone
I love this practical suggestion from LuAnn. In a busy household like mine, I don't always get the time to sit down for hours to do some beading. Most of the time I snatch 1/4 hour here or there. The problem is that by the time I get organised to start, I need to do something else! So this idea of LuAnn's is a great one for making the most of the time you have available. Thanks for sharing LuAnn!

"My problem is finding time to do the projects that I see in magazines or think up during my rare creative moments. Since I am always on a diet, I purchase the single serving "Lean Cuisine Meals" and I hate throwing the little serving trays away. I realized they are just the perfect size to store my future projects in. I pick out the beads that I want to use as well as the spacers and other findings. I choose what I'm going to string them on and place that in there with a picture of what I'm making or a sketch. These stack very nicely. Then, when I have a little time to bead--instead of dragging out all of my beads and beading supplies (which takes about 1/2 hour). I just go to my stack of projects and pick one that I can finish in the space of time that I have. This saves the time of deciding what I want to use and dragging out all of my supplies and then having to put everything away when I'm done. I usually put extra beads/spacers in just in case I don't like the way the beads look when strung. Then the next time I have all of my beads out, I just go get the leftovers in the containers and put them all away at once.

Hope this might help some of my fellow beaders.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Beading Chain video

Hi everyone
I thought this was a very easy to follow demonstration about using beading chain. Hope you enjoy it!
Mind you, I think it would be easier with shorter fingernails...
Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)

Beading A Wedding Veil

Got a wedding coming up? Thought this might be interesting!
Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)

A Guide to Beading a Wedding Veil

There are so many neat and wonderful things that you can bead, and, surprisingly enough, you can even bead a wedding veil. This is definitely a delicate project, one that is most certainly not for beginner beaders, but one that can be a lot of fun and result in a beautiful and timeless creation for the experienced beading professional.

If you are interested in beading a wedding veil yourself, and feel like you have the experience and knowledge necessary, then there is one design in particular that you should try out.

Beading a Wedding Veil

For beading a wedding veil in this case you are going to need the following materials: white floral wire, heavy button hole thread to gather the top edge of tulle, silk flowers, pearls, beads, Velcro, fabric from dress or similar to dress, wide ribbon, batting, and plastic combs to keep the veil in place.

Now you need to find a workspace large enough that you can lay the fabric out completely flat. You can use a pattern, but if you don't want to, then you can always just fold the tulle over lengthwise, pin it together so it won't move around, and cut the bottom end off, rounding off the corners. You can leave the sides straight if you want, and the squared end will be the top of the veil.

Once you have cut the tulle accordingly, you can gather it by using a gathering stitch on the straight edge of the fabric, and then bunching the tulle together. Now you have to attach the tulle to the combs, and you can do this several different ways. You can either attach the veil directly to your crown with an adhesive, or you can attach it to a separate 4 inch comb. One of the biggest advantages to attaching it to a comb is that then once the ceremony is over and you are at the reception, you can remove the veil but leave the headpiece on.

The Beading Process

For beading a wedding veil, the best idea is to use a beading machine, as it will be less likely than you to tear the fabric, especially if you are working with tulle, lace or satin, which is typically what wedding veils are made from. By beading a wedding veil yourself, whether the veil is for you or for someone else, will make you feel proud and happy with your accomplishment.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Gorgeous Jewelry by Jeanette

Hello everyone!
Well, another week has flown by. Life gets too busy sometimes!
I've been enjoying looking at some great jewelry made by Jeanette, and she's said it's okay for me to put some on the blog for you to look at. I also like the way she blends beautiful jewelry with the healing powers of crystals and gemstones. I also like the handmade clasps. Her website is at

First up I had to pick something green!

Chrysocolla & silver
This beautiful chrysocolla necklace measures 19.5" or almost 50cm. The beads measure 16 x 20mm. It is hand knotted with black silk and finished with a hand made sterling silver clasp. Chrysocolla is a hydrous copper silicate.

Chrysocolla is said to be a calming, cleansing and re-energising stone. It may help with guilt, destructive emotions and heartache. It may assist with self awareness, confidence, sensitivity and creativity.

The physical healing properties of chrysocolla are believed to be many. Some are - assistance with PMS and cramps, arthritis, muscle spasms, blood oxygenation, liver, kidneys, intestines and pancreas.

Crazy lace agate & silver

This hand knotted crazy lace necklace closes with a simple sterling silver hook.
The agate has been dyed a beautiful colour pink which has really brought out the pattern in the agate. The beads measure 18mm long x 14mm wide and the necklace length is 19.25" or 49cm long. Agate is a member of the quartz family with the same chemical composition of silicon dioxide.

Agate is said to bring physical, mental and emotional balance and self confidence. It may help overcome negativity and bitterness and inner tension. Useful for emotional trauma. It may be useful for hollow organs e.g. stomach, uterus, intestines etc. and healing for the eyes. Crazy lace agate is said to bring elegance, mental agility, liveliness and flexibility (perhaps like its patterning).

And finally, a really interesting piece.

Jade and silver necklace with sugilite pendant with jade earrings
This necklace measures 21" or 53cm long. The beads measure 6mm in diameter.
The jade beads have beeen dyed a beautiful purple. The pendant measures 3cm long x 4cm wide. The earrings measure 3cm long. Jade's chemical composition is sodium aluminuim silicate.

Jade is believed to attract friendship and good luck. It is a protective stone, bringing harmony to the wearer, bringing mind into balance with the body.
Jade is said to be a cleansing stone, working with the kidneys.

Sugilite's chemical composition is potassium sodium, iron, manganese, aluminium, lithium silicate.

Sugilite is a spiritual stone. It is said to protect the soul from shocks and trauma, relieving spiritual tension. It is a healing stone alleviating negative energy, encouraging positive thoughts. It is a good pain reliever and supportive to nerves and the brain.

Check out Jeanette's website for more fabulous designs, I'm sure you'll be inspired!
Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Beading Video - Making a Wrapped Loop

I blame my son - he's the one who's always checking out stuff at YouTube! Anyway, here's another beading video that I came across and thought you might find helpful. Enjoy!
Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)

Sewing With Beads

Hello everyone
Maureen sent me this useful idea a little while ago, and I thought I'd share it here. I did some sewing recently and got all tangled up, so I should have remembered this tip sooner!!

Thanks for all your great tips. Here's one that saves me no end of time. I stick a darning needle (standing up vertically) into my pin cushion. Slip my Nymo bobbin onto the needle and pull off as much thread as I need. The bobbin turns easily on the needle, no tangles and no chasing after escaping bobbins.

Keep smiling and thanks Maureen!
Felicity 8-)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Susannah's been at it again!

Hello again
I just got this email from Susannah, showing another of her lovely pieces of beaded jewelry. And even better, it's in my favorite color - green!
I love the way she's mixed up different beads and links, and yet it all works together really well.
Great work Susannah! I hope this inspires some others to try something similar.
Keep smiling
Felicity 8-)