Playing with my Picasso 15/0’s!

Hey, everyone! I’ve been playing with those gorgeous Picasso 15/0’s I was telling you about in my last post and wanted to share what I’ve been working on.

First, I worked up a pair of my Dainty Duo Drop earrings with the Seafoam Picasso 15/0’s.

I used a combo of teal and purple beads with some shiny SuperDuos and a two-toned crystal drop. It’s not really in my comfort zone as far as colors go, but I like how they turned out!

Next, I used the Red Picasso 15/0’s to make these vaguely Christmassy earrings.

The earrings units an embellished version of the base unit that makes up my Barcelona Bracelet pattern. I added some brass chain and another set of two-toned Swarovski crystals to give the earrings some swing.

Then I made these earrings that I am obsessed with. I might keep these for myself, haha.

They’re these really cool pastel cream Swarovski rivoli crystals. I used the tan/brown Picasso 15/0’s and some mottled blue fire-polished crystal and tiny little Swarovski crystals. The pattern is called Rivoli Dangles by Gail Damm and it is my FAVORITE way to bezel a rivoli.

Lastly, I worked up a surprisingly spring-colored SuperDuo Rosette bracelet.

Weird colors for me, right? But I really liked that cream/turquoise/coral mix and the seafoam Picasso 15/0’s worked well as a border. It was an adventure!

That’s all I’ve had time to work on recently, but I finally got some photos taken in preparation for my big Black Friday sale coming up soon! So, keep an eye on my Etsy and Facebook for new listings and sale information.

In the meantime, you all enjoy your fall! Has anyone else done any beading with the Picasso 15/0’s yet?

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Oh happy day! Picasso 15/0’s are finally here!

Hey, guys!

I just wanted to pop in and share the good news!

If you haven’t heard the good news yet, Miyuki has finally put out 15/0’s with the Picasso finish! You may have noticed that I am in love with Picasso finishes.

In case you needed evidence of my obsession…

So, in case you didn’t know, I work at Beads Direct USA and when we got these babies in last month I about died. They’re so tiny, but the speckles still show up perfectly!

Look at ’em!

Miyuki Round Seed Beads 15/0 Picasso Seafoam Green Matte 8.2GMiyuki Round Seed Beads 15/0 Picasso Canary Yellow Matte 8.2GMiyuki Round Seed Beads 15/0 Picasso Red Garnet Matte 8.2GMiyuki Round Seed Beads 15/0 Picasso Smoky Black Matte 8.2GMiyuki Round Seed Beads 15/0 Picasso Chartreuse Matte 8.2G

I’ve got a pair of earrings going using the seafoam green color and I’ve got big plans for the brown and red as well.

Any other Picasso-obsessed beaders out there freaking out? I am so excited!

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SuperDuo Star Earrings 2.0 (with Kite Beads) – Rescuing an Old Pattern from Retirement

Hello, my dear friends! Are you having a nice fall? Things are finally cooling down around here and I am LOVING it.

So, quick story time. Back when I was a wee babe working at Beads Direct USA when it was still a brick-and-mortar store, I developed this earring pattern.


SuperDuos were still a brand new phenomenon at this point (we’re talking, like, what? 2011 or 2012?), so the design is really simple, but I loved the clean lines and the perfect points of the stars. When I opened up my etsy shop, it was probably one of the first five patterns I put up for sale.

So, what’s the problem? Well, this pattern calls for 4mm top-drilled bicones and guess what you can’t find anymore.


Turns out, Swarovski crystal only makes top-drilled bicones in 6mm and 8mm. But! When I was developing these earrings, we sold a generic Chinese crystal that was top-drilled and 4mm. I assumed since we sold them that they were easily available elsewhere. That was several years ago, though, and we’ve since discontinued our Chinese crystal line at Beads Direct USA and, despite extensive Googling on my part, I cannot find another retailer who carries those tiny top-drilled beads.

What’s a girl to do? I tried using 6mm Top-Drilled Swarovski crystal, but that made the earrings floppy and ruined the star shape. GemDuos and DiamonDuos weren’t quite right either. Nothing made that crisp, pointed star that I loved so much. I was fairly certain about two months ago that I was going to have to discontinue my SuperDuo Star Earrings and, for the first time as a designer, retire my pattern. I was heartbroken.

But then, a miracle occurred!


Kite beads to the rescue!

We got some Kite Beads in at work and I was suspicious that they might fit my endangered star earrings and they worked perfectly.


Look at my beautiful pointed babies! I love them so much!


So, I took this opportunity to re-write the pattern from scratch – it was one of my first patterns and wasn’t quite up to my current standards as far as illustrations and layout go. So I scrapped it and wrote and illustrated a brand new version. The pattern is now up on my etsy shop and you can purchase it here.

Now, what about you guys that purchased the pattern already and want the updated version? Well, I’m going to do the same thing I did for my Toying with Tiles update. Just shoot me an email or a Convo through Etsy and let me know you want the new version and I’ll send you the new PDF free of charge. However! Be sure to include the order number from the original pattern purchase, so I know you already paid for it. You can find that number in your Etsy order history.


So, what do you guys think of my updated little stars? Got any color combos you wanna try out? I have a few more ideas in mind and can’t wait to whip them out. It’s such a simple pattern that you can stitch them up extremely quickly (perfect for all those last-minute Christmas gifts I know I’ll be making mid-December, haha).


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Tips on Nail Care for Beaders!

Hello, everyone! So, I was scrambling for a topic for a new blog post this month (since part of my resolution for this [and every] year is to post twice a month and September is over today – OOPS) and was totally stumped. Then I remembered a few conversations I had had recently with some other beaders about nails.

See, my best friend took me and my husband to see Wicked (my third time, his first) and I had painted my nails to match the play. My left hand was Ephaba-themed in greens and black and my right hand was in Galinda shades of pink, white, and sparkly gold.

I’ve been getting into doing very simple levels of nail art lately and was really proud with how they turned out. As I was showing them off at bead night, though, I realized that most beaders don’t have long nails.

Which makes sense, since beading can be reeeeeally hard on your fingertips.

So! I have compiled a few tips on how to protect your long/painted/fragile nails while pursuing your beloved beading craft.

1. Wrap the Tip!

Okey-doke, first things first. When you paint your nails, paint the top of the nail bed like normal, but then run the polish brush against the free edge of your nail. This photo is from The Polished Perfectionist and she has a fantastic blog about nail care. Click the photo to go to her step-by-step guide on wrapping your nail tips.

What this does is basically protects the edge of your polish from getting chipped away every time you accidentally stand yourself with a needle or scrape your nail against a bead or tool. It’s been a lifesaver for me!

2. Trade your Hardeners for Nail Oil

So, I’ve been guilty of this one, but if you don’t have naturally stiff nails you shouldn’t give into the temptation of nail hardeners, or base coats that have hardening properties. They DO make your nails harder, but that can make them more brittle. What you want to do instead is use nail oil to keep your nails flexible – that way they bend when you jam them on your heavy box or beads, instead of breaking or chipping.

You can get nail oil is nice little brush pens. I keep one around and massage it into my nails when I’m watching TV at night or right after I remove my polish.

3. File Carefully, but Don’t Buff!

So buffing is bad news. It removes layers of your nail, which weakens them. So skip that step entirely. When you file, make sure you’re using a glass file instead of one of those cheap emery boards. The emery boards are a little too rough and using the glass file will leave your edges less jagged and less likely to snag and chip.


SimplyNailogical does a great video on YouTube here about filing your nails. If you’re weird about swearing, you won’t love her, but she’s got some great info (and I think she’s hilarious).

4. Use Tools!

Ok, we beaders are super bad about this (and I am no exception), but don’t use your nails as tools! We have tools for all sorts of beading conundrums, so don’t use your nails to open jump rings or flatten Fireline or wrestle open split rings – we have pliers for that!

Also – quick tip – EZ Scoops are an absolute godsend for opening big key rings. Just slide the tip between the two rings and push it through until it opens them up. Your nails will thank you!

Image result for scoop eez

I use this thing constantly.

5. Wear Polish as Much as You Can

Your nails don’t need to breathe – they’re literally dead skin. Wearing nail polish all the time actually helps keep your nails safe by acting like a splint or armor and keeping your nails strong and straight. Wearing nail polish also helps lock in your natural nail oil and protects them from being completely soaked with water, which can make them fragile.

The only way that nail polish can really damage nails is if you peel it off and accidentally peel up layers of your nail. So remove polish carefully with acetone (or use a peel-off base coat) and then use nail oil to replenish your nails because acetone is VERY drying.

SimplyNailogical made another great and VERY comprehensive video on nail care that you should give a watch. It’s about 20 minutes long, but it’s pretty much where I learned all this stuff.


But, so far using these tips has allowed me to enjoy my long nails and keeping them painted. I still get the occasional needle-induced chip, but overall I’ve been able to balance my love of beading and my enjoyment of painted nails.

So you guys have any tips to add? Any reasons that you do or don’t paint your nails?

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New Design -Buta Bracelet with ZoliDuos!

Hello, my dears!

Sorry it’s been such a long gap between posts – it has been a busy month for me!

One of the things I’ve been working on is my newest beadweaving pattern – The Buta Bracelet! (And earrings… or a pendant… whatever!)


Click the photo for the pattern link!

So, this pattern uses the new ZoliDuos, which… to be totally honest, I really didn’t like when I first saw them. Paisley really isn’t my thing and I was a wee bit salty that you had to buy a Left and Right pack when they totally could have made them round on both sides and therefore flippable.

But, my friend Cathy (who owns Beaded Bliss) challenged me to get over my prejudice and try them out and after a bunch of trial and error, these earrings happened.


I love me some top-drilled bicones, so I was pretty into these. Then Cathy asked me if I could connect them into a bracelet (yeah, ya’ll clearly have Cathy to thank for this pattern) and these happened.


Ooh! A quick word about that pink one, though. I don’t think you can tell from the photo, but I used Etched ZoliDuo (a shiny mattified shimmer effect that leaves a glittery, rough coating on the ZoliDuos) and that bracelet turned out pretty awful.

I think that the Etching effect is done after the ZoliDuo is shaped, which might make them a tiny bit bigger/wider than the normal ones and because of it, they do not work in my Buta pattern. I really don’t recommend them. They keep the units from forming up properly and make it buckle and curl.


Which is disappointing because they are so pretty. But! Luckily there are lots of other pretty colors available.


The pattern includes instructions for the bracelet and the earrings. Plus, the earring version could be worn as a pendant!


I’ve been having a really good time playing around with different color combos and the ZoliDuo’s surprised me with how nice they are to work with. I’m still suspicious of that Left/Right thing, but I think you could consider me a convert.


Oh! And the name! So, Buta is the name of the Persian twisted-almond shape that makes up paisley print. So, I thought it fit nicely in this weird little paisley/almond/apostrophe bracelet.

So, yeah! That’s what I’ve been up to lately! I’ve got some more fun stuff coming in Ocotber, so stay tuned! And let me know what you think of the ZoliDuos! Have they won you over yet or were you in from the beginning?


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Labor Day Sale – 2017

Hey, everybody!

So Etsy has recently upgraded a lot of the features that allow sellers to customize coupons and sales. To celebrate, they’re hosting a big Etsy sale for Labor Day Weekend and my Etsy shop is participating!

LaborDaySale2017 copy

For the long weekend, all of my patterns will be 10% off and all my finished jewelry will be 20% off! AND you don’t even have to use a code this time – it’ll all be discounted automatically, which is super nifty.

There will be all sorts of awesome sales going on all over Etsy, so be sure to check out all your favorite shops!

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New Design! – Vistella Earrings with AVA beads

Hello, my darlings!

So, you all remember another lovely sunday afternoon an embarrassingly long time ago when I sat down and spent the day with some of Potomac Bead Company’s AVA beads? Do you also remember how I completely failed to design anything with them? Well, my antagonistic relationship with these funky beads has finally taken a turn towards friendship. I present to you my Vistella earrings!


Click the photo for the pattern link!

I’m trying to get more creative with my pattern names, but OY! that could be a whole blog post in itself. It’s so tricky to find a name that is easy to spell and relates to the design, but isn’t already being used. I named these earrings “Vistella” because V is the Roman numeral for 5 and these earrings have five points. And then the “Stella” is Latin for “star”. Hopefully, it’s easy enough to spell that people can google it easily.


These copper and turquoise ones were my original prototype. I mostly just wanted to find a shape I could make with the AVA’s that hadn’t already been used. This slouchy star shape was a complete accident, but I love how it turned out.


I was a little worried that they might be a smidge too big or bulky for earrings, but it turns out that even though the AVA beads are a bit large, they aren’t very heavy at all. I’ve had no problem wearing these earrings around for an afternoon. They’re way lighter than I expected.


But! If large earrings aren’t your thing, this design works just fine as a pendant! I attached this one to a long piece of black chain and it hangs about mid-bust and looks great against a gray top.


I did some experimenting with the purple/silver and brown/gold set in the photo above and found out that GemDuos work just as well in this pattern as DiamonDuos. I also haven’t had any trouble swapping between Miyuki and Toho seed beads.


I am so excited to keep playing around with different color schemes. I’m thinking some Christmas colors with gold AVA beads might have a cool Christmas wreath / star look to it. The possibilities are endless! Do you guys have a favorite?

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25% Off Sale for my 25th Birthday!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I turned 25 today!

Go ahead, get all your firecracker jokes out of the way. I’ll wait.

We good? Good! Because I am having a big sale this week to celebrate my birthday! You may remember last years sale where I took an adorable photo of myself with all the sales info? Well, I forgot to take one yesterday and I maaaaaybe kinda just woke up, so this is all you’re getting.

It’s my birthday – don’t judge.

But! Adorable photo or not, the sale is happening!

Just use the code “HappyBDay2017” on ANY purchase of ANY size at my etsy shop to get 25% off from now until July 11th!

I’m so excited to share my birthday with you guys. Our little online community of beaders means the world to me. So, happy birthday to me! And happy Fourth to everyone celebrating!

Happy Beading!

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Secret Bead Along – Summer 2017 Color Selection!

Hey, everyone! You may remember last summer I participated in Jean Power’s Secret Bead Along and made this fantastic necklace. I’ve decided to play along again and picked out my beads based on Jean’s requirements list.


She listed the beads needed along with suggestions about which ones should match or contrast. I had a hard time deciding what to use, but then I saw an INGENIOUS chart on Facebook that The Indecisive Beader created where she graphed out how the beads were going to interact. It was so smart and I loved the idea so much that I made my own version on my laptop.

SummerBeadalong2017 copy

I’m working with garnet, lavender, and soft greens because I thought my combo last year was a little too monochromatic. This one is still in my earth-tone comfort zone, but the soft purple is a bit of a stretch for me. I’m really excited!


Are any of you guys participating with me? Got your colors picked out?

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