Yesterday, I posted about getting my wonderful selection of beads in the mail via Kalmbach Publishing Company.  They were donated from Eva Sherman at Grand River Beads.  I like this, because it sounds like my own Good River business name and she’s from Ohio.  I’m sort of tickled.  Plus, I know Eva in person and she hosted a trunk show of my patterns last year at her store.

What I forgot to mention was that the whole idea stemmed from Lori Anderson, who has hosted a “Bead Soup Blog Party” for a couple of years now.  I kept on missing the deadline for it, but perhaps I’ll catch the next one.  You can read about the original idea here:  Anyhow, Lori has written a book based off her Blog Party called Bead Soup: 32 Projects Show What Happens When 26 Beaders Swap Their Stash.  You can get it on Amazon.  Its less than $14.00

Ah shoot.  I shouldn’t have done that.  Now I’ve gone and ordered it.

This morning I poured Eva’s Bead Soup into a bowl and started adding stuff from my stash.  Here’s what I’ve got:

 As you can see, I’ve added a ton of orange from my stash. There’s some citrine, some hematite, some brass chain, some vintage lucite and some other stuff. I need to go back in there and bring out the purples from the original set a bit more, so now its time to go shopping!



Braided Necklace with Lampwork Drops Tutorial


DIY! Project Accessory Inspired Necklace
Well, I think its time for another free tutorial for me. This one was inspired from Christina’s Rope & Chandelier Part Necklace on Project Accessory, which I’ve been sucked into and probably will now watch religiously. I’m sure there’s someone to blame for this besides my wanting to avoid work.

Here’s a photo of my finished necklace. I used black hemp and lampwork (full materials list below).

Here’s a photo of hers.

Now, before we get into this, let me just say that I believe this design belongs to her. I think the design is fabulous, although its more of a summer thing than a winter thing. I’m not planning on making money off the tutorial or anything – its a straightforward braiding design that she has added drops to and a leather strap across the bottom to hold the weight.

Materials needed:
*Hemp, 1-2mm wide
*Leather Cord, about 2mm
*Optional (I had it leftover from my macrame tutorials): C-lon
*Optional (if you are using the C-lon): Needle with large enough eye to thread with C-lon
*Optional (if you are using C-lon): Thread Burner
*Glue – I like .527 Watch Glue OR E6000.
*Clear tape
*2 Ribbon Crimp Ends, available from your local bead store or About 13mm should be fine. There may be a bulk buy going on!
*Headpins, available from your local bead store or Get the largest/thickest ones you can. There may be a bulk buy going on!
*Jump Rings, available from your local bead store or Get about 8-12mm ones. There may be a bulk buy going on!
*Jump Rings (1 or 2). You might need an extra large jump ring or two for your pendant.
*Optional: Extender Chain (you’ll see this in my photos below)
*1 Large Off-Mandrel Pendant (overview on how to make this below).
*Even number of disk shaped beads (I used a 23mm press that I purchased off Ebay. I have no idea who the maker is, but I luuuuv it. I recommend one of Catt’s presses for this, though, which you can purchase here:…raduatedLentil)
*Optional: Matching beadies

Part 1 – Assembling and Making the Beads

Okay, first, lets get through that off-mandrel pendant.
Taken DIRECTLY off of my friend Val’s description (I think she’ll be okay with this):
* Make desired design at end of 6-14mm rod.
I used boro, but you don’t have to. It was something like double amber purple over white over clear with clear swirls. I’m not 100% sure of the colors since I don’t mark my rods religiously.
* Squish.
* Heat tungsten until glowing – push through glass to make hole – (make sure it is warm enough to receive it. but a little stiff too).
I use a Peter’s Tweezers for this step since I suck at using a tungsten. I’d love to use Handy Andy’s tweezers, but haven’t yet purchased any.
* Attach cold seal to one end, and melt off “blob” from other of rod.
I pointed my end while I melted it off…
* Decorate and embellish ’til your heart is content.
* Flame polish and anneal – oh, and have fun!

Scared of making something off mandrel? C’mon! Try it! Its fun!
Alrighty, you could always make a big bead for the center front – it doesn’t HAVETA be off mandrel.
Great! Make some disk beads to match. I made 6, and then some matching donut shaped ones.
While the pendant and the disk beads anneal, we can go ahead and make the necklace part.

Part 2 – The Weight Bearing part of the Necklace

Cut 9 pieces of the hemp 2 1/2 feet long each.
You’ll be braiding them using a regular three-strand braid, but the trick is that you’ll be dealing with three strands as a single piece, just to give it some bulk. You want to keep them all next to each other, not bunching up, though, so your final braided ribbon stays flat.

Braid them up to 1 1/2″ less than you want your final piece to be – the ribbon ends and the clasp will add that extra length, plus you can go in and add an extender chain.

Don’t know how long you should make it?
Choker necklaces sit high on the neck.
Wikipedia tells me that they are generally 14-16 inches long.
HOWEVER, I need a 12 inch choker and a good friend on mine uses an 18″ one. See where the idea of an extender chain might be useful?

Don’t know how to braid? No problem – there is an excellent tutorial here:

Got your braid done? Awesome.
The ribbon crimp is really easy to use – you just have to make sure all your pieces fit into it.
Wrap a piece of tape around where you want to cut your braid at start and end. Make sure its on there really tight!

Cut a piece of leather to the EXACTLY the same size as the finished braid.

If you’d like to stitch it onto the bottom of the braid a bit, this will make it a little stronger. I’ve used C-lon here and knotted the ends on the back of the piece. I use a little bit of glue or a thread burner on my knot since C-lon tends to be springy and the knots come undone.

Use another piece of tape to attach the leather to the bottom of the hemp braid.

Cut the tape in half and glue the HECK out of the ends.

Part 3 – The Clasp

Open up your ribbon crimp a bit, add a bit of glue in there, and then smash it around the outside of the hemp/leather/tape contraption.

Add jump rings, your optional extender chain, and a clasp. I added beads to the end of my extender chain since I had extras.

Part 4 – Attaching the Beads/Drops

Okay, your beads and pendant are annealed and cooled and all the bead separator is cleaned out of there, right? We’re going to work on the drops first. I made them all first, but you can make them as you work (see directions below).

Attach the pendant to the center front leather using the extra large jump ring. I added a couple of extra jump rings because I wanted my pendant to sit lower than my side beads.

Put the disk beads onto the headpins. Because my beads had larger holes, I had to add a smaller bead underneath. I also used a loop headpin (an eyepin) so I could add little copper drops I found in my stash. If you have matching beads, you can load them on top. Make a loop at the top of the headpin. If you know how to wire wrap, this will make it stronger.

Attach the head pin loops to the leather using jump rings.

Admire your work!


Gahanna, OHOne of my favorite things about the Gahanna Bead Studio is that supplies are included in the class fee, except for where listed below.


Students need to be comfortable with even flat peyote stitch. This piece also looks lovely with briolette drops or daggers. There are samples of each at the store.

Sept 15.


(Photo in main intro block, right) Use crystals or pearls and seed beads to make your own version of this handbeaded bracelet. Students should be very comfortable with flat even count peyote stitch before registering for this class. Sept 21.


Use seed beads and crystals to make your own version of this handbeaded bracelet. Students should already be comfortable with ndebele/herringbone stitch. Sept 10.



Fashion another over-the-top necklace piece with a decidedly steampunk feel. Students need to have a working knowledge of peyote stitch and be well versed in bead weaving. NO SUPPLIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE CLASS FEE. Sept 17.


Make this tri-sided pendant using rivolis. Students need to be familiar with even count flat peyote stitch. Sept 29.

Register online! Just hit the classes page. There are multiple class pages, so scroll through to see them all.



Chicago & Forest Park, IL

Lecture Series – Etsy Success

(at Briolette)

Etsy HeartEtsy allows vintage, supplies and handmade items on their site. Not just for beaders – learn to sell your work successfully online!

Thurs August 11 Class Date 6-9pm

Brocade BraceletEmbroidered Beaded Brocade Bracelet

(at Caravan)

A beginning beadweaving class. Learn basic bead embroidery!

Fri August 12 Class Date 6-9pm

Felted BagReUse! Recycle! Felted Beaded Tote Bag with Hannah & Bethany Adams (at Caravan)

A beginning felting and beadweaving class. Learn to upcycle and reuse for a one-of-a-kind tote.

Sat August 13 Class Date

Atlantis - ScallopAtlantis Bracelet (at Briolette Beads & More)

An intermediate level beadweaving class. Students need to be comfortable with even count flat peyote stitch.

Sun August 14 Class Date

Register Online!


Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase



May 18
One of my best-selling designs and classes.  Learn even count flat peyote OR if you already know that learn how to do fast peyote, which does two rows at a time.  Then, add a wire framework.  I think the next time I make this it either needs bells or charms…


May 21
I love this bracelet!  Students need to know even count flat peyote stitch (consider the class above).  It looks complex, but works up very easily.

May 25
Beaders constantly ask us about the differences in seed bead sizes, shapes, and finishes.  This lecture-based class looks into all these as well as color affects your eye, how to pick “good” color combos and how the type of beads blend.

June 15
This class is not for jewelers alone!  Learn the ins and outs of successfully selling on ETSY.  These classes are for any artist who is trying to sell their work on line.  Bring a pen and notebook, and a laptop with wireless if you have one.

Register online!
There are multiple class pages, so scroll through to see them all.

Please Join Us!

2nd Annual AllyBeads Bridal Show

Friday, March 25 – 5 – 8 pm
Saturday, March 26 – 11 am – 5 pm

AllyBeads Jewelry & Gifts – 16 Main Street – Milford, OH 45150
513/831-8300 –

AllyBeads Jewelry & Gifts

Custom Jewelry & Bridal Beading Parties

Chaz Bridal & Consignment (with accessories by Two Stitches)

Beautiful Gowns, Dresses, Accessories and Bridal Attire Services

Cruise Planners – The Best Cruise Shoppe

Cruise & Travel Specialists for a Perfect Honeymoon/Destination Wedding

Kirk & Company Jewelers

The Ring – From Proposal to Ceremony

McIntire Photography

Experienced Wedding Photography

Row House Gallery & Custom Framing

Capturing Memories with Artistic Flair

Sugar Cupcakery

Delectable & Beautiful Organic Cupcakes

Supporting Cast

Auel’s Chocolates – Edible Wedding Favors

Floral Keepsakes – Specialized Floral Presentation

Gayle’s Vintage Clothing – “Something Old” Jewelry

GIG Metal Designs – Personalized Metal Jewelry/Favors

Good River Gallery – Custom Bridal Jewelry

MJ’s on Main – Great Food/Party Room for Showers & Rehearsal Dinners

Phoenix Rising Designs – Custom Bridal Hair Accessories

Okay, that’s it…  The more I work with WordPress, the more I like it.

Check out my new customized shopping menu, up above.