Our crazy weather is really making me guess at what’s going to  come next.  But the daffodils are blooming, and I cut some forsythia for a vase in the house.  Usually spring is my favorite time of year, but this year I just am not sure what will happen outside my door in the next two hours.Just as a reminder, at the end of this month, I’ll get to see old friends again at the Rocky Mountain Bead Society Show in Denver.  I’ll have more details on the 22nd.Next month, we have some brand new multimedia and beads classes at the Gahanna Bead Studio including this bizarro bracelet (you can make it with or without the spikes).  I’ll tell you about them in May, but meanwhile, we still have room in a couple of the classes this month.  Details and links are in the post below.

I’ve been working hard to update my Etsy There’s tons of new stuff on there and loads of clearance items in the artisan focal beads, eurostyle beads and beaded jewelry sections.

Happy beading!


BEAD OF THE MONTH CLUBS on my Website! Stringer Bead

Did you know that I do bead of the month clubs?  There are a few to choose from, and you can either do a 3-month or 6-month subscription (they are great deals, but they are better deals at the 6-month level).  Read all about them here.

  • Focal Bead of the Month Club
  • Iris Bead of the Month Club
  • Orchid Bead of the Month Club
  • Biannual and Perennial Bead of the Month Club – Perfect for spring!
I’m teaching at Bead & Button in 2013! Classes are now open for registration!
BnBThe Bead & Button show floor has been reconfigured, so they’ve moved my booth over one spot – I’ll be in the same row, just closer to the front.  Booth #408, right next to Knot Just Beads.

 Boro Floral Beads underwritten by ABR Imagery

: Use borosilicate glass and several lampworking te
chniques to create detailed, lifelike floral beads. This is a perfect introduction to borosilicate glass for students who already have soft glass bead-making experience. Students will leave with several large scale floral beads.
Class involves the use of a torch with open flame and gases. Wear safety (didymium) glasses, cotton clothing, and closed-toe shoes. Tie long hair back.

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS & TOHO Beads Present: Intro to Beaded Soutache
Sunday and Tuesday Night Classes are full!
NEW! Wednesday Morning –  http://www.beadandbuttonshowstore.com/b131807.html

Description: Originally used to adorn military uniforms, bridal veils, and clothing, soutache braid has made its way into the jewelry world. Combine braid and beads, then assemble into a soft bracelet, a hard cuff, or a fabulous barrette.

I just signed up for my first bead soup blog party!  Since its done by lottery this time, I hope I get in.

This idea is from Lori Anderson who has already hosted six of these blog parties and has written a book about the results.  Its called Bead Soup:  34 Projects Show What Happens When 24 Beaders Swap Their Stash.  Its available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  I got it downloaded to my Nook.

Here’s how it works (taken from Lori’s Blog)…
First, you must have a blog! 
Second, no, you do NOT have to make your own beads!

Sign up on her blog from January 25-27.  www.BeadSoupBlogParty.com

Once you get a partner, you’ll then send that person a Party Pack:
::  A focal  ::
 ::  Some coordinating spacers or beads  ::
 ::  A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)  ::
The idea is you will use the focal and the clasp, and if you wish, some of the coordinating beads, incorporating beads from your own stash.  The idea is to help you think outside the box and work outside your normal comfort zone, pushing you into creative directions you may never have gone.

When you get your package of beads, show your beads on your blog.  Then you make something with the beads (or several pieces!), take a picture, and post it on your blog on the reveal day.  Everyone hops around to as many blogs as possible to see what people made.  You don’t have to hop all on one day and you aren’t obligated to visit all the blogs.

There was a variation that Kalbach Publishing Company promoted when Lori’s book first came out.  A number of bead stores donated bead soup to Kalmbach.  They, in turn, sent the bead soup out to participating artists.  My bead soup arrived from Eva Madzsar Sherman & Grand River Beads

I used her lovely beads and added a whole bunch of own and came up with this piece.

We’ll see if I can come up with something I’m as happy about in this next blog party!



I could have sworn I posted these, but I can’t seem to find them, so I apologize if this is a repost of something I gave you earlier.  Nevertheless, its a free pattern/tutorial, so have fun!

Fringes, tassels, feathers and chain are all trendy for winter 2012 and early 2013. So, I decided to combine them in this tassel necklace.

* Cone Shaped Bead Cap
-You could get a premade silver one, but I decided to make my own.
-Details below about making your own.
-As for the premade ones, I like the Bali sterling.
* Premade Beaded Fringe (or, you could bead your own)
– I already had some of this so decided not to make my own.
-You can get it in the upholstery section of your local fabric store.
-I used 3”
* Chain
-Small pieces for the tassel and a longer piece to hang your tassel on!
* Feathers (I used about 7)
* A bead
-I used a handmade spacer bead.
* Wire – 20 gauge or thicker.
* Optional: Bail
* Optional: Bobbin Bead
* Needle
* Thread
* Wireworking Tools – round nosed pliers, flat nosed pliers, wire cutters
* Glue – I like .527 watch glue.


About a million years ago I picked up these ½” mandrels from ABR Imagery.

Beforehand, I had a couple I had purchased from Arrow Springs, but they were nicked at a class by one of our own LE members! Anyhow, I guess what I’m saying is to both mark your tools when at class and also you can pick them up from many different suppliers.

If you decided to make your own tassel cap, then the one thing I have found about these mandrels is that you need to make sure they are really well-dipped in bead separator and also you work pretty hot. The width of the mandrel makes it difficult to heat up and glass just has trouble sticking to it. Keep at it! Mine is totally uneven.

I used 96COE “Raku” glass for my tassel cap.



Once you get that bead cap off your mandrel, the rest of the project is pretty easy. The whole getting the bead cap off thing didn’t work after a few days soaking. It also didn’t work after being stuck in the freezer. Having a temper tantrum at it seemed to work, but there’s no good reason why it should respond to that when nothing else worked. I wonder if temper tantrums would work on my dog…

Make a loop on one side of the wire.

Cut a 3” piece of the beaded fringe, roll it up around the wire and tack it into place with needle and thread.

Sew the feathers in place, evenly spaced around the tassel.

Sew the chain in place, evenly spaced around the tassel.

That totally looks like something you’d go fly fishing with, doesn’t it?
With the remaining thread, wrap around the top of the tassel and stitch the whole thing together tightly. Add some glue just for extra insurance, but make sure that the glue doesn’t get everywhere. It needs to be hidden by the cap.

Slide the cap over your tassel. Add the spacer bead and make a loop at the top. If you know how to do a wirewrap, then do it. It’ll add extra insurance.
If you don’t know how to wirewrap, its actually part of my free tutorial here:
I added a bail since I had one lying around and it just makes it look more professional. Remember, if you are adding a bail AND doing a wirewrap, you click the bail in after you create the loop and before you wrap the wire around!

Hang your tassel on your chain and wear!
I had a matching bobbin bead, so of course I added it because more is sometimes…more.
Actually, the first photo is better.

You’re so IN, girl!

The January Etsy Beadweavers Challenge is up and polls are ready for you to cast your vote!  Please visit our team blog, http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com between the now and January 15th, 2013 and vote for your favorite entry.


Usually the Etsy Beadweavers take a break from Challenges in January, to help everyone recover after the busy holidays.  However, this year the moderators decided to open the polls again for a very special challenge.  This new challenge has no theme and is open to any new work that is created from September 29, 2012 to January 5th, 2013.  Only beaders who have not won a challenge beforehand can enter this challenge.

So… here I go!  This piece was inspired by a set of abalone shells I purchased last time I was in Northern California.  It is asymmetrical, which was a real struggle for me.  In addition, the colors I used were based off the shells but are not colors I generally use.  It does have plenty of fringe, though.

I also had 80 grams of baby blue 8/0 silver lined seed beads and about 50 grams of some sweet pink 6/0 silver lined seed beads, both gifts from Toho president Iwao Yamanaka at Bead & Button a few years ago that worked perfectly with the shells.
I’m working on turning this piece into a tutorial.  It shows you how to set a freeform cabochon or flat-ish shell into beadwork using four sizes of seed beads.  In addition, it shows a fringing technique (no surprise there) and a beaded bead technique.  TUTORIAL WILL BE AVAILALBE FEBRUARY 1st ON MY ETSY SITE.  http://hannahrachel.etsy.com 

Please note that there are restrictions on harvesting and shipping abalone shells, so
I got my shells from Beki at Out on A Whim Beads.  She cannot ship, so if you are near her store, drop on by and see if she has them in stock.  I’ve also found them on the internet and assume that these sellers have permission to ship.  I don’t know whether they are reputable, though and take no responsibility for the quality.  You might want to email them before you order.

The beads are available from Bobby Beads.  


Silk and Chain Steampunk Necklace

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I might have posted this already, but I just can’t seem to find it, so my apologies if it has already gone up on this blog… but here it is again.
Before you get to work, please take the time to read the tutorial thoroughly.
It’s a bit like a complicated recipe; you want to have all of your ingredients ready before you start!  This tutorial is intended for intermediate  beadweavers; you should really know even count peyote stitch and be able to read a peyote graph.  If you don’t know peyote stitch, I have a tutorial available on my website and my etsy page: it is called the Japanese Screen Bracelet.
This document is protected by copyright, and is intended for the sole use of the person who has purchased it. Please do not copy this tutorial, or distribute it in any manner. (This does not include printing for your own personal use.)
The design for this piece is based off of ancient techniques.  The design itself, however, is mine.  You may not reproduce this design for sale without my written permission.  In addition, this design may not be entered in any competitions without given me design credits and without written permission.  Thank you.
Most importantly, please have fun! Feel free to contact me with any and all questions regarding the information below, and for sources for any of the materials mentioned. I’ll do my best to help you track down whatever you’ll need!

* Centerpiece – I used one of the steampunk watches that we bulk ordered from China, but you could use a lampwork pendant/bead!
*1/4″ silk cording
*Cord Caps
*Wire – I used 22g since that’s what I had hanging around
*Chain (I have three varieties here). My longest piece was TWICE as long as the cord and just happened to come attached to that watch.
*Big jump rings (I think these guys are 10mm)
*Disk Beads
*Lampwork Spacer Beads
*Size 8/0 or size 6/0 seed beads
*Beading Thread (I recommend Fireline)
*Clear Tape
*Glue – I recommend .527 watch glue or “Zap-a-Gap.” Don’t use superglue since it puts a white film on glass beads that looks bad.
*Optional – Steampunk Cog Bead things (I used two – they were made by Tim Holtz)
*Optional – if you’re using a lampwork centerpiece: headpin and matching beadies
*Optional – matching 6mm Swarovski crystal
*Wireworking Tools – flat nosed pliers, round nosed pliers and wire cutters

The Centerpiece

If you have purchased one of the watches and want to use it as the centerpiece, you don’t have to do anything to it besides take it off the chain. However, if you want to use a focal bead, you’ll need to turn it into a drop first.

Slip a bead (shown is a Swarovski, but you’ll be using your focal) onto a head pin, and using round nosed or needle nosed pliers to bend the head pin over. If your lampwork bead hole is too big for the little “head” on that head pin, block it up with some smaller beads, one above and one below your bead. See the little space between the headpin and the 90-degree bend? You want this, but you only want a little bit of room there (no more than 1/16”).

Tip: In the photo I’m uploading, that’s a towel behind the Swarovski, but it looks like a shag rug, so turn on some disco now to complete the rest of this project.

Next, hold the bent part of the head pin with round nosed pliers, and with your fingers bend the rest of the head pin around the nose of the pliers to form a loop.

Insert the nose of your round pliers back through the loop. Hold the loop of the head pin over the nose of the pliers while using bent/flat/needle nosed pliers to wrap the head pin around itself. This will secure your loop so it cannot open.

If you are using the watch, you might want to add some heavier beads at the bottom of the tassle chains. I’ve noticed the weight isn’t well distributed otherwise. I also added some more chain into the tassle, because I LOVE fringe.

The Silk Cord

Our own Jamn makes silk cording, but its not as thick as the stuff I used. You could bundle some of hers together though, and it would add a layer of texture that would be really beautiful.
Here’s a photo I randomly ripped off her etsy site, just to tempt you. Hopefully she won’t mind…

I found some of the thicker stuff also on Etsy at
but here’s the thing… I’ve never ordered from this company and so as a result can’t vouch personally for her.
She’s got good feedback, though.

I happened to have a piece from a million years ago, made from a company called embeads. I looked them up online and can’t find their website, though. I’d also like to pretend that I was all trendy in using orange since its the Pantone Color of 2012. Actually, the Pantone Color is “tangerine” and I just had this cord…

The Disks

I refuse to take responsibility for my boro disk-making obession, so I’ll just go ahead and blame someone else for it (you know who you are, up there in Canada)! You can make your disks out of either soft glass or boro. I just like the colors of the boro. If you want some, I’ve got plenty to spare, just let me know how many and the approximate color. They’re super cheap, too. I used… uh… 8 of them. They only sort-of matched.

Anyhow, here’s a bunch of eye candy I had hanging around on my computer…

If you do want to try and make your own, here are two videos I dug up on youtube. They use soft glass, but you could use boro instead. As a matter of fact, I think its easier in boro. You do want to pop them into a kiln, though.



Ready to put this thing all together?

Wrap your longest chain around the silk cording. Wrap it pretty tightly, and try to keep the wraps even.

Wrap scotch tape tightly around the ends. This will help to keep your chain nice and even with the silk cording and will also help keep the silk cording from fraying. Cut the tape directly in half so that when you add your bead cap the tape doesn’t stick out from underneath that cap. Nip off the extra chain with wire cutters.

Wrap a piece of your wire around the chain and taped edge. Do it really really REALLY tightly. Add a bunch of glue right at the top of the tape. This will help keep your silk from fraying also, and acts as extra insurance in case your wire wrap wasn’t tight enough. Run the wire up through the bead/cord cap. I like adding a matching bead up here to make the back look as nice as the front. Wirewrap your clasp onto the piece.

Okay! Time to embellish the front!

Add a large jumpring at the center front. I like to catch the chain here, too, just to make sure that the wrap stays consistent. Attach your focal bead/watch to the jump ring.

I put a piece of thin chain through each of 4 disks and suspended them from jump rings around the cord/chain.

I also added two other short pieces of chain between the jump rings. You know, since I had that extra chain and all. The three chains I used in this piece did NOT match. This was part of the fun of it.

Finally, I stacked glass disks, spacer beads, cogs, Swarovski crystal and some 8/0 seed beads and sewed them onto the silk cording. My cogs were two different metals and none of the beads matched. I was okay with this!
Here’s a close-up on one of those stacks.

Too busy for you? Here’s a simpler version…

Now, lets see your version!
Like these tips, articles and tutorials?
Buy me a cup of coffee!