September 29, 2017

Organizing Beads to Take on a Trip (Kit XChange)

I love to take my beadwork with me when I travel. It doesn't matter whether it's a couple of hours in the car or I'm going across the country - if I'm going to be away from housework and cooking for a few days, I figure I'm going to have time to bead and make jewelry.



A big challenge is deciding what to bring on the trip and how to pack it all. The decision on what to take hasn't gotten any easier, but I may have found what I think is the solution for how to travel with my beads. This was my beading projects and supplies for my most recent trip in August.

August 16, 2017

Bead Earrings - Scallop Shapes using Brick Stitch

Brick stitch scallops. I think that's a good descriptive name. This is the beadwork technique I played with most of last month.

Beadwork earrings - scallop shape using Brick Stitch: Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

It's just brick stitch, but by using some larger beads in the base row, and then following the line around those beads in the next rows, you end up with a nice curved or scalloped shape design. It can be used a variety of ways to make shaped beadwork. I have a bunch of examples I worked on this summer.

June 8, 2017

Making Fancy Wire Letters for Initial Pendants

I recently had a custom order for my friends wedding. I had a couple of ideas that I proposed for bridesmaid's gifts in addition to the gift bow necklace that I ended up making.

One of the other ideas was wire initial letter necklaces.

I like initials.  They're cute and obviously somewhat personal.  I've previously done a tutorial on how to make square stitch beaded initial pendants, but I thought I would share some of my wire initials too.

How to wire wrap initial letters with link to template - Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog


June 5, 2017

DIY Wire Gift Bow Hook and Eye Clasp - Necklace Redo

This project started out as a custom order for bridesmaid's gifts - a simple wire gift bow necklace. The tutorial for the gift bow charm is at the link.

As usual, I ended up with a few extra bows after the necklaces were delivered - and I'm getting super tired of the extra projects laying around. I really wanted to find another way to use the wire bows.  After brainstorming a bit, I decided they would make sweet hook and eye clasps. 

DIY Wire Wrap Gift Bow Hook and Eye Clasp - Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And even better, I had a necklace that is just crying out for a better clasp!

May 26, 2017

Learn to Make a Fancy Scalloped Wire Edge - Free Tutorial

This post has been a long time coming! I decided to make wire leaves following my previous tutorial tutorial so I could make another pair of the leaf dangle earrings.  Revisiting an old design is a great opportunity to see where else you can take it.

Variety of wire leaves made from free tutorials at Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

In this case, I decided to combine the leaf shape with a lacy edge that I first made on one of my heart designs.  I realized I never did a tutorial for that edge, so a little over 2 years later - here it is!

This is the lacy edge heart. If you are interesting in making this shape, start with the free wire heart shape tutorial.

Learn to make this wire heart with scallop edge - from a free tutorial at Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

May 20, 2017

Why is Herringbone Weave More Difficult with Flat Beads? - and What to Do About it.

Although it may not be obvious, herringbone wire weave works best with beads that are round in the center. They don't have to be perfectly round beads, but oval, rondelle, drops, anything that is rounded will work best because the bead can turn in the herringbone frame and it will still look fine.

Tips to make Herringbone Wire Wrap Using Flat Beads at Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

So what do you do when you want to add herringbone wrap to flat beads?


May 14, 2017

How to Do Herringbone Wire Weave with Beads: Free Tutorial

As a follow up to the basic herringbone wire weave link tutorial, here is a tutorial for the variation with beads.  I used silver 20 gauge wire for the center and 24 gauge wire for the herringbone wraps for a two-tone metal effect.

Free tutorial: Herringbone Wire Weave with Beads - Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

One thing I really like about adding the side beads with a large center bead is that it looks like an evil eye.  I think that look could probably be played up a little more in the design with your choice of beads.

May 10, 2017

Vintage Look Photos Framed with Bead Embroidery

I decided to take a new approach to beaded cabochons for Mother's Day.  I wanted to make something personal and nostalgic, like an antique photo pendant or locket.

But it had to be beaded, of course.

Frame picture cabochons with bead embroidery - free tutorial

The pendant and framed picture are a combination of the materials I could find to work with for this type of project and a new bead embroidery book I borrowed from the library.

April 28, 2017

Quick Double Spiral Wire Ring Tutorial

This wire ring tutorial is quickly made and the instructions are not as exact as they normally are.  But, the ring was also quickly made, so it only seems appropriate that the tutorial be the same.


But - I really do like this ring.  It's super comfortable, adjustable and I think the basic design can be morphed in some interesting ways.

April 22, 2017

Free Herringbone Wire Wrap Link Tutorial

You know how people say be careful what you post on the internet, that it will be there forever?  That's not entirely true.

How do I know?  Because I link to all sorts of articles and tutorials, and over time, they disappear and the links go to pages that aren't found or are re-directed to content that is different from what I intended.  

Of course, those articles aren't the same as the pictures of you doing something embarassing that you don't want your co-workers, boyfriend or mother to see.  Those probably will be there forever.

Free herringbone wire weave tutorial

One of the things I've started doing is re-visiting my old blog posts and making sure they are still good. I took this on because I know some things have changed.  And some of those changes are exciting!

February 23, 2017

Comparing Delica Bead vs. Czech Bead Loomed Bracelets

When something catches my interest, I generally have to try it a couple (or more) different ways before I decide what I like best.

And so it is with looming.

Immediately after finishing my first bracelet on the Ricks bead loom, I warped it up to make another bracelet of the same design.  You'd think I'd be a little more adventurous, but I'm not.

loomed bracelets with Czech and Cylinder beads

Well, not entirely true - I did plan on changing things, but the pattern, width, and length aren't the parts that needed changing.  It was the beads.

February 20, 2017

Adonnah Langer Style Loom Bracelet (and Salvaging the Selvage)

I promised a story about the other loom beaded bracelet I made last week - what I consider an Adonnah Langer (or Chili Rose Beadz) style loomed bracelet.

I'm sure there are many other people who have done this style of looming, but she is probably the most famous for it at the moment.  It uses a combination of seed beads and Czech crystals of varying sizes.


This is one of those worst case scenario stories.  I just got done looming a bracelet I love, finished it, tried it on and...

February 15, 2017

Making Loomed Bracelets with a Ricks Beading Loom

For about 2 weeks now, I have had three beading looms warped and ready to go.  And there they sat.  Waiting.

Waiting...

Finally inspiration hit and I made bracelets using two of the three looms - the Ricks loom and the Mirrix loom.


Any idea which bracelet is made with which loom?  Well, if you are familiar with the Ricks loom, the answer is probably obvious.

January 15, 2017

Micro-Mosaic Class and Looming Projects

If each new year were a race, it would be safe to say that I come off the blocks too quickly and lose my kick by the end of the race.  I need to learn to pace myself.

And so this year starts like most before it - tons of ideas swirling in my head.  Ideas on ways to improve my websites, new products to design or build, lists of new interests or techniques to explore... plans, plans, plans!

Perhaps this year will be different and the momentum will continue throughout the year.  But, probably what's more important is that I still find things that I enjoy and the energy to do them.


Among some other things, I started this year by breaking out of my shell and trying something new - a class in micro-mosaic at the Bead and Design Show in Pasadena.  These are the class projects - can you guess which is mine?

By the way, the show is over today, but they'll also be in Tucson later this month and Costa Mesa and Santa Clara in March.