Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beading With The Daisy Chain

I've been kind of lax in my promise to post beading techniques and tips. School and my new part-time job are taking up a lot of my time, so I stayed up late tonight to write this blog post.

This stitch is a favorite of
mine since you can use it as a base to build all sorts of jewelry on...plus it is a very easy technique to master. You can vary bead sizes, using a larger bead for the center of the daisy, or you can use all the same color and size to start a base for a necklace or choker.

Step One:
Pick up a "petal" bead on the needle. Pull the bead down the thread, leaving six to eight inches of thread as a tail. Pass the needle up through the bottom of the bead. (Try not to split the thread as it will be removed later. )

Step Two:
Pick up four more "petal" beads, then one "center" bead on the needle. Pass the needle back through bead #1 towards the tail.

Step Three:
Pick up three more "petal" beads (#7, #8 and #9) then pass the needle through bead #5.

Step Four:
Pick up one "petal" bead (#10) then pass the needle back through bead #9.

Step Five:
Pick up another "petal" bead (#11) then pass the needle back through bead #10.

Step Six:
Pick up three more "petal" beads (#12, #13 and #14) and one "center" bead (#15). Pass the needle back through bead #11.

Step Seven:
Pick up three more "petal" beads (#16, #17 and #18) then pass the needle through bead #14.

Last Step:
Add more flowers until your chain reaches the desired length by repeating steps four through seven. Each additional daisy consists of 8 "petal" beads and 1 "center" bead.
When done, work the thread tail emerging from bead #1 back into the piece using the zig-zag method.

Here's a wonderful picture of a finished choker necklace using the daisy chain stitch with an interesting variation of colors.

Try this stitch out. It's fun and hard to make mistakes on. One piece of advice, use different colors for the "center" and "petal" beads to keep track of your stitches before you try a variation like this necklace.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Tubular Peyote Bracelet

With my U of A classes starting on Jan. 14th, I have no time to promote my Etsy shop and finish my 2008 business taxes. Also, I am running short on time to write posts to my blog. In the last couple of jewelry making posts, I used pictures and step-by-step written instructions. Not everyone can follow these types of instruction, so I started searching for some really good video instructions. I came across this Auntie’s Beads Karla Kam instruction for a tubular peyote bracelet on You Tube. It looks pretty easy to follow and you can pause the video as you need to.

Let me know how you like video instruction vs. written instructions. Relax and enjoy making your jewelry pieces!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wrapped Headpins And Eyepins

Creating the wrapped loops on headpins was one of the hardest things to for me to master in jewelry making. The headpins can be costly, so your best bet is to buy some cheap 21 or 22 gauge beading wire without coating to practice on. Once you master the technique, it will add a touch of elegance and professionalism to your jewelry piece, plus increasing the security of your beads in the design.

You can create one wire wrap or as many as you like, but keep the number consistent throughout the piece. I like to use three wraps and 20 or 21 gauge headpins or eyepins.

Figure 1: Leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) tail, place the tip of your chain nose pliers where the bead will be. Bend the tail to form a right angle. I like using 2 inch headpins since they give you working room with the wire, but precious metals can be costly, so use the shortest headpin you can work comfortably with.

Figure 2: With round nose pliers, grasp the tail just past the bend and pull it over the jaw to point the other way.

Figure 3: Rotate the pliers so the empty jaw is above the partial loop and continue pulling the tail around the bottom jaw until it is perpendicular to the bead or the wire.

Figure 4: Pull a split ring, chain, closed jump ring, etc. from the tail into the loop.

Figure 5: To keep the loop round, grasp it with round nose pliers in your opposite hand just above the cross. Do not press pliers tightly on loop as it will dent the wire.

Figure 6: Grasp the tail with chain nose pliers and pull it around the wire until it meets the bead. Make the first wrap against the pliers and keep wraps close. Clip and press wire end flat with pliers.

A couple of extra tips:
1) If you order your supplies online, you will not save money by ordering 24 gauge pins. They work fine in delicate pieces where you are using nothing but wrapped loops and tiny beads, but are too thin to make secure eye loops. Also, 24 gauge headpins will pass through most beads.

2) If you choose to use plated headpins, buy them from a dealer like Fire Mountain Gems. The headpins and eyepins you purchase at local craft dealers like Michael’s or JoAnn’s are of a poor quality and you will waste a lot of pins. The plating is not secure and will flake off when pin is bent.

Enjoy! Claudia