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241  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Cake testers, thought they do make neat hair sticks too on: November 23, 2007 10:37:20 AM
I made these to be cake testers though.  For one, I love to bake, so I made one for myself.  I always wanted a pretty bejeweled cake tester, but never wanted to buy one, and was sick of using my bamboo skewers to do it.  For another, I needed to flesh out a Secret Santa gift for another forum, and the recipient also likes to cook and garden.  The flower one is for her, along with some gardening stuff.

There is information on how I made it on my blog.  It's pretty simple.  I had to make it out of knitting needles because there were no skewers being sold in the stores I visited now that BBQ season is way over.  I also added a magnet to make it easy to store by being able to just attach it to the stove, or fridge.

242  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / been a jelly making fool - for X-mas baskets on: November 11, 2007 06:09:19 AM
I have made soooo many jellies for Christmas baskets, as well as some pickles for those friends who like that sort of thing.  So far, there is a beet jelly (along with pickled beets, and beet relish for a beet loving friend), green tomato relish and pickles (for me and a friend who liked my batch from a couple of years ago).

Then for everyone else (the neighbours, and some work friends) I have made my juice jellies, a hot pepper jelly which looks so pretty, and will also be making a red onion jelly too.  The latter are savoury ones that will be nice with crackers and cheese, or an accompaniment for a meat dish.

Here is the pepper jelly - made with jalapenos and red thai peppers from my garden.

Here is a tester plate of juice jellies for my guinea pigs to try, from the top, clockwise, two mulled cranberries, two blueberries, and two 5 berry.

I made a pomegranite, a blueberry, a 5 berry, and a mulled cranberry.  Very easy, using prepared juices.  If anyone wants the recipes, I can post them.

I will be doing the baskets this year from painted earthenware flower pots that I will paint with the permanent bakeable paints, and add baked sweet treats, some home made fudge and almond roca, and things like spiced nuts or snack mixes.  Then they get wrapped with cellophane, and I add an ornament.  This year it will be either one of my beaded ornaments, or a crocheted one (not done yet) or, for the booklovers behind me, and friends at work, beaded bookmarks.

Here is the link to the post with the ornament tutorial:
243  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / graduated chained necklace with, hmm, donuts on: November 11, 2007 05:54:56 AM
I liked the byzantine bracelets I made before, with the glass donuts replacing the central rings, and decided to try it on a necklace.  I also decided to graduate the ends with smaller rings, in the same pattern.  I like how the shape of it turned out. 

What I don't like is my colours of donuts.  The darker amber colour is called Crystal Capri, and the sides are a crystal AB, which has a nice iridescence.  Within the chain, it shines like diamonds almost.  I like the two colours, but I do not like them together.  So I think I will take out the middle section with the Crystal Capri and make it all the AB finished donuts.

244  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Two chainmail bracelets on: November 11, 2007 05:50:24 AM
I made an adjustment to an earlier bracelet I did so that it would hold it's shape better.  It's rather chunky, but has a nice weight and very comfortable around the wrist.

Then I also did a segmented bracelet and really like the look of it with the larger jump ring separations.  I think I may do it with accent beads next time since I picked up some nice ones at a bead fair the other day.

245  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Celtic Stars and their evolution (long tutorial added) on: November 11, 2007 05:46:15 AM
I was completely enamoured with the Celtic star when I first saw it and figured out how to do two versions myself. 

The first was the first few I did, and I found it pretty floppy. The second, where the inside ring went through different rings, was more structured and maintained it's shape better.  They will be a nice addition to the baskets I am doing, and a nice accompaniment to the snowflakes I did last year.

Then I played with purple O-rings and thought they looked pretty cool.

I wanted to use them for Christmas ornaments, but they were small and would lose impact on a large tree with other ornaments.  They are only about an inch across.  So I made them the focal point of beaded ornaments (and may use them for toppers for tassels or icicles too - haven't gotten that far).

Here is there evolved form:

I used Nymo to string them, size 10/0 glass beads, and fire polished crystals for accents.  They were framed in a metal bangle to help hold their shape.

Sorry, this tutorial will be PAINFULLY LONG because there are two variations of the star, and two variations so far of the beading around the star.  Also, I sometimes have trouble translating the voices in my head onto paper Cheesy

Celtic Stars Tutorial
material list:
(same material list for both versions of metal star)
16 9 mm outside diameter split jump rings
25 - 6 mm OD split jump rings
5 3 mm OD split jump rings
Jump ring opener (optional I like to use one personally)
2 chain nose pliers
work surface (I use a piece of fleece material, makes a nice work surface for beading)

For making stars using rubber o-rings, replace 10 of the 9 mm OD jump rings with 10 9 mm OD o-rings, and replace 1 of the 9 mm jump rings with a 7 mm jump ring, as the o-rings are a thicker width around than the jump rings.

Version One


1. Open all 3 mm, and 6 mm jump rings.  Open 6 of the 9 mm jump rings

2. Pick up a 6 mm open ring, and pass through 4 9 mm closed rings; close smaller ring


3. Lay connected rings out so that 2 pairs of 9mm rings lay on either side of the smaller ring


4. Pick up an open 9 mm ring, pass it around the smaller ring, between the pairs of closed 9 mm rings and close it.  All the 9 mm rings should lay flat now, with the newest one sandwiched between the other pairs of rings, and around, not through, the smaller ring


5. Pick up another 6 mm ring, and pass through a new pair of closed 9 mm rings, and the pair at the end of the chain.  Close the ring.

6. Repeat from step 4 until you have a chain that has 5 pairs of stacked 9mm rings

7. Pick up a new 6mm ring, and pass through a section where three 9mm rings intersect, on the edge.  Repeat along the length of the chain, on both sides, closing all rings


8. Pick up an open 9mm ring, and pass through all the closed 6mm rings down one side and close

9. Pick up new 6 mm ring, and pass through the 4 9mm rings from both ends of the chain, closing the chain into a circle.  Close the ring.

10. Pass the last open 9mm ring around the smaller ring just added, between the pairs of larger rings.  Place and close the remaining 6mm rings in the intersecting spaces, making sure the ones that fall within the circle also go around the inner 9mm ring.  Close all open rings.


11. On the outside, gather pairs of the outermost 6mm rings over the doubled 9mm rings, and use open 3mm rings to connect them into 5 pairs.


If using rubber o-rings, replace the closed pairs of 9mm jump rings with o-rings in the pattern.  The 7mm jump ring replaces the center 9mm ring, it is smaller to accommodate the thicker o-rings.  You can use a 9mm ring, but it is a bit tight and slightly distorted.

Version 2 (makes for a looser/floppier star)

Open all 3mm, 6mm rings, open 1-9mm ring, keep 15 closed

1. Take a 6mm ring, and connect a pair of 9mm closed rings, close the smaller ring. 


2. Repeat until you have 5 larger rings connected in a row by 4 smaller rings

3. Place chain flat, sandwich the connected 6mm ring between two closed 9 mm rings, so that all the larger rings, including the connected ones lie flat


4. In each of the 4 spaces where all three larger rings intersect, insert an open 6mm ring and close it.  This holds the 2 larger rings in place.  Repeat along the rest of the chain.


5. Pick up open 9 mm ring, and pass through all the 6mm rings down one long edge, and close, bringing the chain together into a circle


6. Bring together the 2 end 9mm rings, and link with an open 6 mm ring, and close it. 


7. Sandwich that 6mm ring with two 9mm rings as in step 3, and connect with 4-6mm rings in the intersections as in step 4.


8. Use the 3mm rings to gather the outside 6mm rings into pairs to form star shape as for version 1.

When closing rings, make sure the edges are as flush together as possible.  When beading, make sure any rings that has thread/strands of beads attached has the split turned towards the centre so that the beading thread will not slip out of the ring, through the split.

Beaded Ornaments


1 Celtic star
1 string of 10/0 glass Czech seed beads
Nylon beading thread (I use Nymo size A, but C-Lon, or Superlon are fine too)
Beading needles
Fire polished crystals
Metal bangle (mine had a 65 mm inside diameter)
Bead glue (optional)
Ribbon for hanger
thread conditioner (I use thread heaven, but bees wax or a synthetic should be fine it keeps the thread from fraying as much, and helps it weave more smoothly and knot better)

Note some bangles are differently sized, you may need to experiment with the number of seed beads that gives you best fit.  The numbers given are what suits my bangles so that I do not have large areas of bare thread; even then I have to add 2 beads evenly on the odd arm of the ornament.

When threading through beads on arms already established in the design, if coming from the centre (the star) go up from the bottom of the bead towards the outer edge of the design.  If coming from the outer edge, thread needle from top of bead towards centre.

Version One

1. Measure out approx a meter of thread and cut it.  Condition and stretch, and thread through needle

2. Tie end of thread with several loops and secure knots through a 3mm ring on Celtic star, leaving a tail so ends can be woven in later


3. Pick up 11 beads, 1 crystal, 3 beads, and attach with thread, several loops, to bangle.  Make sure beads and thread are taut.


4. Feed needle back through last bead, pick up one bead, skip next bead, thread through 1 bead, crystal, 1 bead.  Pick up 10 beads and attach thread to next 3mm ring on star


5. Pick up 10 beads, 1 crystal, 3 beads, attach to bangle, repeat from step 4 until you have 5 arms around the star, attaching  9 beads on the last round before feeding through the first bead on the first arm to complete the round (again, you may need to add two beads evenly to one or two arms to ensure a full design).  Spread arms out evenly around bangle


6. Feed needle up one beaded arm through the 1st 6 beads, pick up 6 beads, 1 crystal, three beads, and attach to bangle, between two arms from the first round.


7. Feed back through 1 bead, picking up 1 bead, skip a bead, and feed through next bead, crystal, 1 bead.  Pick up 5 beads and feed through 6th bead from the bottom of the next arm

8. Pick up 5 beads, attack to outermost large single ring of Celtic star, feed back through last bead, pick up 4 beads and repeat from 7 around to beginning of round.  Secure thread ends by weaving in several rows of beads, and knotting between beads (pull taut to hide knots in bead holes.  Trim excess thread closely.

9. Spread arms out evenly around bangle.  Knots and where thread attaches to metal can be secured by a small dab of bead glue.  Make loop from ribbon and attach to bangle as hanger.


Version 2

1. This time, attach end of thread securely to outermost single 9mm jump ring


2. Pick up 16 beads, attach thread to bangle, and feed back through 1 bead. 


3. Pick up 15 beads and attach to next 9mm ring, feed back through last bead and pick up 15 beads and attach to bangle.  Repeat this step until you reach the first bead again, yielding 5 arms in a star shape around bangle.  Feed through first bead to Celtic star (again, add two beads evenly to occasional arm if necessary)


4. Feed thread up side of one arm through the 7th bead from the Celtic star, pick up 5 beads, 1 crystal, 3 beads, and attach to bangle, evenly between the arms of the first round.

5. Feed back through last bead, pick up 1 bead, skip the next bead, and feed through 1 bead, crystal, 1 bead.  Pick up 4 beads and feed through 7th bead from bottom of next arm from first round.  Attach thread to 3mm jump ring on Celtic star, feed back through 1 bead

6. Pick up 4 beads and feed through 7th bead from bottom of next arm, pick up 5 beads, 1 crystal, 3 beads, and attach to bangle, repeat from step 5 around star until you have another 5 arms of round 2. 

7. Weave thread ends through several times, and secure with knots, trimming off excess, and securing as with version one, add hanger.

246  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / convertible spiral necklace on: November 11, 2007 05:37:53 AM
I have a friend, also the mom of my best friend, who was admiring one of my spiral stitched necklaces that I made earlier in the year, when we were out to dinner this summer.  So I made one for her, then decided to do a bead wrapped cabochon to match. 

She likes purple, and the accent bead that I was using on the spiral stitch was obscured by darker beads, so I went with a silvered glass bead.  They seemed to show off the purple beads, and the cuts on them better.  Then I found a blue goldstone that seemed to go well with it, and the silvered beads went nicely with the flecks.  This is my first time beading around a cabochon, so no fanciness, just the basics until I really get a hang of it.

I used magnetic clasps so the necklace can be a plain spiral band, or she can have the cab pendent.

247  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Two more necklaces on: July 29, 2007 06:38:14 PM
I liked the helm weave and was making it into a chain, and decided to add more Japanese flowers to it.  I made some large ones flanked, flanked by smaller ones - the smaller ones turned out better - tighter and better defined.

The second is with sections of byzantine separated with larger rings, with graduating chains from the rings,a nd very pretty cracked glass topaz coloured beads from those chains.

248  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Some more chain bracelets on: July 29, 2007 06:34:39 PM
Two more with the glass cheerios.  One colour is called "mutant alexandrite" - it looks clear in some light, blue in another angle, and lavender at times, really lovely. 

This one is with a copper toned glass cheerio with a metallic backing, mixed with the mutant alexandrite.

This is steel with three copper rings in the centre of the pattern.  I was just using it for practice, but think that one of my guy friends may like it, so I may take off the clasp and add a few more repeats to fit a man's wrist.

The last was when I was trying out the beez to butterfly weave.  It is a bit loose because I used the rings I had already which were a bit loose for it, but it still turned out neat and very comfortable to wear. 

I think I am getting better with closing the rings, and am having a lot of fun with this!
249  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Closely following the first, my second and third chain maille projects on: July 15, 2007 09:43:14 AM
I have been wanting to make this bracelet ever since I first saw it in a Beadwork magazine.

With my confidence built from the first project - realising that it wasn't as hard as it looked, I immediately went out and got the materials for this.  It is a bracelet done with glass donuts (my bead store calls them cheerios) in the middle.  It worked up fast and I think looks pretty darn good.  I was so happy with them that I stayed up until 2 am making them!

Guess what I'm adding to my Christmas gifts for list?!

250  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / My first ever chain maille attempt on: July 15, 2007 09:38:35 AM
I have been wanting to try it for over a year now, and have had the supplies sitting around awhile.  Finally I got the nerve up to give it ago the other day.  I made this necklace from a tutorial done by Marylin Gardiner from Beading Times, an online magazine.  It was Japanese Flower patterned earrings.  I made three of the motifs and connected them, then I added a chain on either side from one of the books I had on either side to make a necklace, and added a cute flower toggle I had that looked like the flowers.  It was so much easier than I thought and I love it!  Love it!  LOVE IT!  did I mention that I love it?

Close up of the flower and toggle:

I am pretty happy with it as it is, but there is a blank area between the trio of flowers and on either side where I left a couple of jump rings out on purpose where I may add a semi-precious stone bead -maybe garnets.
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