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A couple of years ago I purchased a kit from a Sydney Craft Fair – ArtTable Beadwear. They made the most beautiful beaded Australian Native flowers using french beading techniques, though unfortunately it looks as though the company hasn’t survived.
Well, finally I finished the making, turning what should have been a hair ornament into an asymmetrical necklace and matching earrings. I can’t even begin to explain how I made it, though basically, each leaf/petal is made individually, and twisted together to form flowers… then arranged on longer pieces of wire and wrapped up with silk ribbon and floral tape. I combined it with a deep purple satin cord, embellished with a Chinese woven medallion.
I get so many compliments when I wear it, and I highly recommend going through the work and effort – its worth the satisfaction and reward. There are many books and kits available with a bit of searching.
I am constantly on the lookout for interesting beads and over the last 10 years I have managed to accumulate more beads than I can possible use in my lifetime! (The one with the most beads at the end wins, right?)
About four years ago, I bought these blue Millefiori Glass cube beads from eBay, and they have been sitting quietly in my bead collection for all that time. The companion seed beads were only acquired recently in an awesome little bead shop in NYC. I can’t remember the exact address, but its nestled in amongst all the other bead shops on W37th street. Click on the pictures below for the Gallery:
Materials for the Necklace:
19 x 1cm focal beads (such as these glass cubes)
Matching/coordinating/ contrasting seed beads
Fireline (crystal coloured)
2 silver cord ends with loops
4 silver crimps
1 silver clasp & jumpring
20cm length of silver tigertail
Tips for Making the Necklace:
Use a bead design board and lay out all the focal beads so that you know they won’t knock into each other, and as you feed the seed beads onto the fireline, keep checking the distance visually. I found it too hard to calculate the number of seed beads required, especially with the tiers of each strand being at a different height. Its easier to look and see that it is working out right.
To make the earrings:
I just used short strands of seed beads with a 2mm silver cube bead at the end of each strand. Each strand was a different length, with the cubes at the end of one strand. I just used the fireline thread so that the strands were “wispy”. I make my own earhooks out of 21ga sterling wire, but pre-made earhooks would be fine as well.