Japan Challenge – EBWC

Remember last month I said I was working on some Japanese inspired patterns?  I’ve started with a rework and rewrite.  The February Challenge for my most active team,  The Etsy BeadWeavers, is right up my alley.

This beaded collar necklace has my signature fringe, and is fashioned in some of my favorite colors. It is made of Swarovski crystal and Japanese glass seed beads. Fits a 16″ neck. The center front from top to bottom of fringe is approximately 7″.

This necklace was made for the February 2013 challenge for The Etsy Beadweaver Group. The February 2013 Challenge is called “Japan” and this piece was based off the lovely wisteria I saw in Nara when I was in Japan as a teenager.

Please visit our team blog at www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com between the 9th and 15th of February to vote for your favorite entry! My team is so talented – you’ll be delighted by the entries. We have a new challenge every month, so favorite the blog and stop back at the beginning of the month to see what we have created.

This item is available for sale at http://hannahrachel.etsy.com

You an also purchase the tutorial for this piece: https://www.etsy.com/listing/52824577/hannah-rosner-wisteria  PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PATTERN DOES USE MEMORY WIRE FOR THOSE COILS



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!

I can’t seem to find these, so I’m reposing them.  I apologize if they are repeats!

The World’s Easiest Bling Bracelet – Swarovski Crystals and Lampwork.
Here’s another super trendy bracelet that’s actually really easy to make.Materials:
* 7″ Swarovski chain – mine is on a blue ultrasuede base, but you can get it from Etsy without a base.

Expect to pay about $6/foot.
Here’s a link to a store with stuff that would work just dandy.

* Leather Lacing – about 18″

*Lacing Thread – you can use whatever you’ve got.
I have some black hemp here that would work, but I’ve decided to use C-lon Macrame thread since I have some pretty colors.
As a side note, I get my C-lon from here:

* Glue – I suggest .527 watch glue or “Zap-a-Gap.”

* Bead or Button for closure – of course I used a boro bead…


Fold your leather lacing in half. This is going to be the button loop, so make sure it fits over whatever you’ve picked as a closure.
Lay your lacing along the same line as the leather. See which side I have the cut end on? I’ll be wrapping the loop shank over the top of this to conceal it.
You can use a spot of glue to keep it all in place.

Wrap the lacing tightly around the leather to make the loop shank. I suggest at least 1/4″.
Keep it together at the end with a half-hitch knot. You can use another spot of glue if you’d like.

Lay the swarovski chain over the lacing. You can use a spot of glue to keep it in place if you’d like, but its going to be the wraps that really keep it all together.

Wrap tightly between each swarovski stone.

You could continue a full length of the bracelet, or you could decide you want more lampwork bling. I cut my Swarovski into separate pieces and added some boro bead goodness.

At the end, make a shank in the same way you did at the beginning. If you’d like to hide your cut lacing thread end, you can thread it on a needle and sew it back in through the loop.
Use a spot of glue to hold everything in place, if you’d like.

String on your bead or button and knot to hold it together. Again, you can use a spot of glue if you’d like.

Cut all raw edges. Wait for your glue to dry.

Wear and enjoy!

Other options:
Here is a bracelet on Etsy by westprince done without the lampwork beads.

Here is a bracelet done exactly the same way, only using ball chain. This is on Etsy by sukoshishop.

Another challenge piece FINISHED!

Yesterday, I talked about my newest team, the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild.  They have regular themed challenges (which they call “Bead Fests”) and this most recent challenge was “Steampunk.”  The deadline isn’t until the 31st, but I have a lot to do this month, so wanted (and was inspired) to get it done early.
Steampunk is an interesting design melding of Victorian romanticism and modern technology.  Often, this style uses antique style keys, locks, hearts and cogs.  It melds them with ruffles, lace and silks.  There are a few really great books on the market just now that discuss Steampunk style; in fashion it is growing as a mainstream “look.”

You may want to take a look at Diane Hyde’s website “Beadpunk” for inspirational items. http://www.beadpunk.net

Good examples of steampunk style are found in the movies Hellboy II, Sherlock Holmes, League of Extraordimary Gentlemen and Wild Wild West.

From Wikipedia:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Therefore, steampunk works are often set in an alternate history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman.

Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from the genres of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre.

You can read more about it here  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

The design started with a couple of pieces I purchased from Diane Hyde years ago at Bead & Button.  I’ve been hoarding them just waiting for the right piece to put them into.  You can actually purchase them on her website (link is above).

To this, I added a stamped art nouveau face cabochon I bought from her, but can’t find on her website.  I had three Chinese crystal HUGE (maybe 25mm) rivolis that I got from Charlene (the owner of Caravan Beads in Chicago), some elk hide, some fluffy fiber fringe and a spherical watch pendant.  I added in a bunch of Swarovski pearls, some pink quartz I got in a bead swap (check out the bead swaps at http://www.beadswap-usa.com/index.php ) and started my bead embroidery work!

I always work from the center outward, so glued down the floral stampings and face cabochon first and captured them in the beadwork.  For this particular piece, I wanted to learn how to do some diagonal peyote stitch leaves and found the free instructions here!

I don’t think I actually purchased anything for this piece except for the copper tube clasps.  Everything was “in stash.”

You can view more about this piece on my Etsy.  http://hannahrachel.etsy.com

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!

I’m thrilled…. and scared.
Now that the catalog is out, I can tell you!
I’m teaching three classes at Bead & Button in 2013!
Classes open soon for registration!
I’ll also have my same booth – #410.

Boro Floral Beads underwritten by ABR Imagery

Tuesday – http://www.beadandbuttonshowstore.com/b130944.html
Description: Use borosilicate glass and several lampworking techniques 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 (2 possible class times)

Tuesday Evening – http://www.beadandbuttonshowstore.com/b130620.html
Sunday Morning – http://www.beadandbuttonshowstore.com/b131763.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.
SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS & TOHO Beads Present: Garden Trellis Crystal Bracelet

Wednesday – http://www.beadandbuttonshowstore.com/b130705.html
Description: Weave a romantic bracelet that looks like a rich Victorian heirloom. Embellish with over one hundred crystals for extra bling. Students can make either a soft bracelet or a rigid cuf

Teams are a community feature on Etsy where you can connect with other members. With Teams, you can meet people with common interests, and collaborate. The Teams feature makes it easy for you to join an existing team or to create, maintain, and promote a new one. It’s also a way for shoppers to browse by theme or location and find shops that might interest them.  Teams sometimes do arts/crafts fairs in real life, promote each other’s shops and hold challenges or contests.

I am part of a number of teams on Etsy and I’ll speak about a few more of my teams tomorrow.  But today, I want to talk about one of the more active teams I’m part of.

From the team announcement; “The Etsy Beadweavers Team is made up of bead artists who aspire to successfully market their beadwoven creations on Etsy.com and elsewhere. As such the EBW Team has two areas of focus:1) Practical business help, including sales promotion by networking, marketing and creating awareness of beadweaving as an art. 2)Artistic inspiration, instruction and encouragement.. The Beadweavers’ creations are different from many of the traditional beaded items, in that they are woven from hundreds or thousands of tiny beads to create intricate designs and pictures. These weavings take the form of both art and jewelry. Each piece takes many hours to complete, with some larger pieces taking weeks or even months.”

Each month, the Etsy Beadweavers pose a challenge to their members.  Many of these pieces are some of the most creative beadweaving pieces I’ve seen.

Winter Sunrise (photo above) was created for the October Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, “Misty Winters Sunrise.” I went ahead and completely missed the mark on the muted/misty part of this, but perhaps my teammates will put up with me when they look at the last photo and see my inspiration. I get a little bit sidetracked by color sometimes. The photograph was taken by Robert Herst. See how everyone else fit the misty, muted part of this challenge by visiting our team blog, http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com between today and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.

17.5″ necklace in 45mm (2″) focal bead, decorated with a black skeletal tree and a full rising sun on a graduated background. Focal is made of Italian glass and is semi-matte. Toggle clasp, Czech glass, Swarovski crystal and seed beads.  Cannot be lengthened or shortened, sorry.

My lampwork focal beads are annealed in a digitally controlled kiln for lasting durability and cleaned using a diamond Dremel bit.  Beads vary a little in size and shape since they are all individually made. Some parts are sculptural and therefore thicker or raised.

Incidentally, this technique is an embellished spiderweb necklace. I have a beginning level tutorial on how you can make your own here https://www.etsy.com/listing/53342545/beading-patterrn-embellished-spiderweb

Pictures were taken in a table top photo studio and the bead has been enlarged to show details. Colors may slightly vary on different monitors.