Fast Peyote – Who Knew?!

Have you ever tried to work a peyote pattern form a chart?  And got completely lost?  It’s horrible.  You have to keep track of the row you are on and remember to skip over the up or down beads to stay on track.  You always end up messing up and taking out rows and rows of your work — only to mess up again!

Well, I just came across this amazing video of a technique called “Fast Peyote.”  With this technique, you put on the beads for the entire row without skipping over up/down beads!   The technique as shown uses a double-drop (usually peyote 2 beads at a time), but there is no reason you couldn’t do the same with the usual 1-drop. Absolutely brilliant!  Check it out at: How to Make a Panda Pendant with Fast Peyote.


Fish Leather, Frogs and such


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Well, it has been a long time since I have posted.  I have been so busy.  Also, I have to say that as a Mom, I feel guilty if I spend too much time on my beading rather than chores around the house.  I feel that as long as my husband is working all day, I should be too.

Anyway, I finally bought a piece of fish leather to try and embroider.  Fish leather is an interesting new material.  It is fish skin from fish that are made into food, which is tanned and dyed like any other skin.  It even smells like regular leather, and not like fish!

I bought this piece of leather dyed blue with an opalescent sparkle.  It was a large piece, and the picture shows the half that was left after I cut off a piece for my cuff.

P1010951This piece of fish leather is very textured, with a paper-like surface.  Other fish leather I have seen seems to have a glossy surface without the texture, but still with the scale pattern on it.

Sewing through the fish leather was a lot harder than sewing through the backing I normally use (usually Nicole’s beadbacking).  However, it is much thinner than cowhide leather, and can be sewn with a regular needle.  I used a #10 beading needle.  A heavier needle might have been better.  I think with the remaining piece I will make a much less complex design.  The one I made took far too many passes of thread, and consequently, too many hours to sew.

Frolicking Frogs cuff

Frolicking Frogs cuff

The other material that I used for the first time is soutache braid.  I used the rayon type.  This is not how soutache is generally used in jewelry making, but I like the different texture it provides.  It was a bit diffucult to work with the ends of the soutache, because they ravel.  I put glue on the ends and then tucked them under the leather and sewed them.  I won’t do that again, though, because then I couldn’t trim the edges of it.

Speaking of edges, the edges of this fish leather were a bit more delicate than felted bead backing.  So, this edge technique worked well because it covers the edges well, and allows the needle to go in from the edge a bit further.  I felt like the edges might tear through if I got too close.

Soutache braid - rayon

Soutache braid – rayon

Here is what the rayon soutache looks like.  It looks kind of like a ribbon, but is not made like one.  It is as if you wound thread in an S-shape around two ropes until you covered the ropes.  That gives it the shallow area in the middle where you put the sewing needle.  It is generally used on its side, though I used it flat here.glossy red fish leather

So, would I use fish leather again?  Yes, but with a much less complex design.  I would like to try the glossy next time, like this glossy red sample at the right.  I get the impression that the glossy is usually smaller, but I may be wrong.  I still have a lot to learn about fish leather.

glossy red fish leather

Bead Fest Winter 2013


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Here are all of the entries to our Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild’s Bead Fest. Aren’t they amazing?!

Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild

We had 14 entries this Bead Fest! Some truly amazing work by our members! Listing left to right:

Bead Fest:Steampunk

Row 1

Bead Embroidered Collar- Entry for Steampunk Beadfest for EBEG by bjswearableart

  Secret “Steampunk” Bead Embroidered Lily Pond Music Box EBEG by lindmel

Five Minutes to Midnight by EsmerldasStudio

Steam Punk Butterfly necklace and earrings by ABeadedWorld

Row 2

Captain Nemo’s Garden – by KraftKonfessions

Sophie’s Fantasy Steampunk Evening Bag by JMCfineartjewelry

Neptune’s Daughter Steampunk Bead Embroidered Necklace by tropicalkaren

Bound and Determined Steampunk Seed Bead Embroidered Necklace EBEG by HannahRachel

Steampunk 2 Bead Embroidered Necklace EBEG by ConniqueJewellery

Row 3

Metropolis by LuxVivensFashion

Key to My Heart is Timeless: Bead Embroidered Steampunk Necklace by 4uidzne

Sunken Treasures Bead Embroidered Steampunk Necklace by AngelqueCreations

Romantic EBEG Steam Punk Bead Fest by ByMaja

Unchain My Heart, Steampunk Bead Embroidery Necklace by SharonEdelmanforEPEC

Our next theme is Kaleidoscope, for more info…

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Two New Bead Embroidered pieces


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I have been very remiss in my posting lately.  Trying to keep up with competitions and social media is killing me!

I haven’t had much time to bead in a while. Traveled at Thanksgiving time. Made some simple things for Christmas gifts, but mainly, just shopping for my kids, spouses and significant others kept me very busy.  Then, of course, having all the kids and others home at Christmas kept me very busy.  Just getting everyone to and from the airport was time consuming enough.

And to be honest, I spend FAR TOO much time playing around with games on my phone and checking Facebook.

This past month I joined the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild in addition to my membership in the Etsy Beadweavers, so I better get moving on making stuff!

I just completed one piece for each group, both bead embroidery.  My fingers hurt.

Captain Nemo's Garden - Steampunk Bead Fest EntryCaptain Nemo's Garden - Steampunk Bead Fest Entry

Captain Nemo’s Garden – Steampunk Bead Fest Entry

The first piece I completed was for the EBEG SCaptain Nemo’s Garden – Steampunk Bead Fest Entryteampunk Bead Fest, though it is more SEApunk.  Steampunk is a literature genre, generally Victorian science fiction based on the rise of steam power.  I chose Captain Nemo as my inspiration.  The piece evokes a Victiorian collar with cameo, sweet and a bit sinister.  Captain Nemo’s garden is guarded by (or in danger of attack by) an octopus and twin sea monsters.  I used the tiniest beads, 11s and 15s, for most of it.  It was extremely time consuming work.  It can be found on Etsy at:

Bay Tree Brooch - Close-up smaller (628x800)My next piece was for the EBW monthly challenge.  We were supposed to use a Faberge Egg as inspiration.  I chose the lovely Bay Tree Egg.  The border alludes to the planter that the tree is in, and the bird is like the one that pops out of the top of the original egg, but this one doesn’t sing!  I really love the way it turned out and am tempted not to sell it.  The listing for this is at:

Next, I think I will try my hand at Kumihimo.


December 2012 Challenge – “Emotional Roller Coaster”


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Time to vote for your favorite “Emotional Roller Coaster” at


December 2012 Etsy Beadweavers Competition

Voting Time – November 2012 Etsy Beadweavers “Circles and Squares”


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It’s time to vote again for your favorite piece in the Etsy Beadweavers Competition (

November Challenge Circles and Squares

This month’s competition had a theme of “Circles and Squares.”

Hollywood Circles and Squares

Hollywood Circles and Squares

Although my piece is very simple, I spent a long time trying to design the right square to go with the encased rivoli.  I wanted to use bicones because the challenge talked about the contrast between the smoothness of circles and the harsh corners of squares, so I thought the bicones embodied the idea of harshness of squares well.  I bought 4-5 different color crystals before being happy with the colors, but they still didn’t have the flash of the rivoli.  So, I made the backs of the square pillows with the permanent finish Toho silver.  Similar to the silver coating on the back of the rivoli, it gives a bit more sparkle to the bicones.

Close upThe rivoli are really beautiful in person, blue with flashes of purple and pink.  The accent beads I used worked perfectly with the rivoli.  They are a clear blue bead with a pink lining.  The blue and pink reflect the purple well, while somehow also still retaining the “pink-ness.”

I struggled over what type of clasp to use that wouldn’t take away from the look of the bracelet.  Then I figured out that I could use one of the encased rivoli similar to a button clasp.  I had to attach the connecting beads more toward the center in order to assure that the loop would stay securely around the rivoli,  but it ended up looking almost invisible!  The accent beads on the rivoli also work to prevent the loop from slipping off easily.

The picture that appears in the official competition is horrible because I had to quickly post my entry before the contest closed.  I was going out to a political rally with the family the night before the election and had to work like a dog to get it finished and posted in time.  So, I took more (better) pictures a couple days later and changed the ones I had originally posted on Etsy.

I had a lot of fun making this.  I hope you enjoy it.

Voting for October Etsy Beadweaving Team Challenge



It’s time to vote again!  This month’s theme for the Etsy Beadweaving Team Challenge was “Misty Winter’s Dawn.”  The challenge was to set a mood that explored a subdued and muted dawn-in-winter colour palette using tones such as: grey/white, blues/lilacs, pale oranges/yellows, deep greens/foggy greys.  We were to try to achieve a pale, pastel, soft, foggy, muted, subtle and subdued look.

Please visit the Etsy Beadweaver’s Team blog and vote for your favorite at

Good News – Bad News / Beading Safety and Your Pet


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I have been working SOOOOO hard on my third bead embroidery piece.  It is for the Etsy Beadweaver June Challenge on the theme of “Mystery.”  Since I got started on it kind of late – you know, waiting for inspiration – I had to

work around the clock to get it done.  For some reason I decided to base my piece on Alfred Hitchcock motifs and images.

After searching locally and on the Internet for some particular focal pieces, I decided to make them myself out of polymer clay.  I also had just ordered a set of Pearl Ex mica powders from Amazon and was really excited to try them out.  To make the “tunnel” cabachon look as if it might be a gemstone, I froze some lighter gray balls of clay and grated them while frozen.  I pressed the grated pieces onto the top of the clay and briefly worked it into a combination of translucent and dark gray clay.  I also added a bit of silver mica powder.  After baking, I plunged it into icy water which helps keep some of the translucency.  Then I wet sanded it and coated it in several coats of duracoat glaze with a tiny bit more mica powder in it.

The moon  was smeared with pearl colored mica powder just before cooking, leaving it with a lovely glow.  After baking, I glazed it with the glaze with the silver mica powder, then wiped it off so that the silver was only in the indentations.  Then glazed it again in clear. Clay that has a surface coating of mica powder needs to be glazed.

ImageThe faces were done similar to the moon, but without the silver glaze.  They had dark gray acrylic paint added after glazing.  I found that it only would stay in the cracks when I wiped the surface with my finger – a paper towel seemed to take it out of the cracks, too.

The birds were straight black clay which were then coated with almost white acrylic paint and wiped off.  That way they were not as shiny as the moon and tunnel.

So, I took a million hours making it, and was pretty excited about how it turned out.  (I used Wildfire thread for most of the embroidery because I like the softness when sewing.  I used Fireline for the fringe because I liked the stiffness.)  It was my first time adding fringe and certainly my most complex piece so far.  I finished it on the day it was due and took some pictures.  I skipped my son’s baseball game to make sure that I got it posted on time.  And then I sat down to upload the pictures from my camera and get my post ready.


And then my beautiful kitty came to sit on my lap.  She jumped up and I made room for her as usual.  And then I felt the string.  My beading string.  I thought the cat must have been playing with it and gotten tangled up in it.  Soon, though, I discovered it coming out of her mouth.  I tried to pull on it, but it didn’t come out, and she just started gagging.  It was pretty clear that she had swallowed it.  And then she ran away.  She ran away with about 18 inches of thread hanging out of her mouth – tangling on things as she ran, pulling on God knows what inside of her.  Now she was very scared and would not let me near her.  Then I could not find her.

I dialed my vet, praying that they were still open, as I ran around looking for her.  I finally got some lunch meat out of the fridge to try and lure her in.  The vet told me I would have to take her to the emergency vet clinic since they were technically closed.  So I got out the cat carrier, a pair of scissors, and trapped my cat in the bathroom.  I cut the thread short, grabbed her, and stuck her in the carrier.

Today she is still at the vet hospital, recovering from the very expensive surgery to remove the thread.  Since they can’t pull on the thread for fear of it cutting through something, they had to open her up in FIVE different places to get it all out.  I am still kicking myself.  Tonight I will clean up all of my beading thread and put it somewhere safe, and from now on, I will have to change my beading practices so that I never leave thread out.  Just imagine if it had beads on it!  Oh, I can’t bear to think about it.  I hope anyone who reads this will learn from my mistakes and never do this to their own pet.  I can hardly live with myself.