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This project assumes a working knowledge of weaving in/tying off thread; attaching a new thread; and opening and closing jump rings.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
©2020 Amy Haftkowycz, All rights reserved. Distributed by Viral Beads. This project may be distributed and taught by customers of Viral Beads. This document may not be altered in any way without first obtaining written approval from Amy Haftkowycz.
1- Thread your needle with a comfortable length of Fireline.
2- Pick up one 8mm melon, one 11o seed bead, one 6mm druk, one 11o seed bead, one 8mm melon, one 11o seed bead, one 6mm druk, and one 11o seed bead. Slide the beads down the thread, leaving a 3” tail. From the tail end up, pass the needle through all 8 beads a second time (Figure 1; Figure 2). Put the needle down, and then tie three knots with the tail and the working thread; this will pull the beads into a circle (Figure3). Pass the tail through the closest 8mm melon bead and then trim the tail off close to the beadwork. Pass the needle through the same 8mm melon bead.
3- Lay your work so the thread is coming out of the upper right hand corner (Figure 4).
4- Pick up four 15o seed beads, one 4mm fire polished bead, and four 15o seed beads. From bottom to top, pass through the 8mm melon that is immediately to the left. Pull the thread all the way through, forming a diagonal with the beads picked up in this step. (Figure 5, Figure 6).
5- Lay your work so the thread is coming out of the lower right hand corner (Figure 7).
6- Pick up four 15o seed beads. From bottom to top, pass through the 4mm fire polished bead that is immediately to the left. Pull the thread all the way through (Figure 8; Figure 9). Pick up four 15o seed beads. From top to bottom, pass through the 8mm melon bead that is immediately to the left. Pull the thread all the way through, completing the “X” pattern. (Figure 10; Figure 11).
7- I recommend weaving in and tying several knots before adding the connector components. This way, if something goes wrong while attaching the components, you won’t lose the beadwork that you’ve already completed. If your thread is long enough to attach the connector component after tying several knots, there is no need to trim it off. After tying several knots, work your thread so that it is coming out one of the 6mm druk beads (Figure 12).
8- Pick up one 11o seed bead, one 4mm fire polished bead, and two 11o seed beads.
9- Pass through the corresponding hole in one of the 3-hole connectors (Figure 13). Pull these additions in close to your beadwork, and then pass your needle through the hole of the connector several times, creating loops of thread that will reinforce the connection. Pass back through the last 11o seed bead picked up in Step 8 (Figure 14); pull the thread all the way through this bead.
10- Pick up one 11o seed bead, and then pass through the 4mm fire polished bead and the first 11o seed bead picked up in Step 8 (Figure 15) (Note that you skip over the second 11o seed bead picked up in Step 8.). Pull the thread all the way through the beads (Figure 16).
11- Pass the needle through 6mm druk bead, and then repeat Steps 8-10 to attach the beadwork to the second hole of the 3-hole connector component (Figure 17). Weave the thread in, tying several knots. Trim the thread close to the beadwork.
12- Using two pairs of chain nose pliers, gently twist the 6mm 18g jump ring open. Slide the jump ring through the remaining hole in the 3-hole connector and then gently twist it closed (Figure 18).
13- Using two pairs of chain nose pliers, gently twits the 4mm 24g jump ring open. Use this jump ring to connect the beadwork to the earwire and then gently twist the jump ring closed (Figure 19).
14- Repeat Steps 1-13 to make the second earring. Wear and enjoy!!
Like many others, my journey into the world of beads began on a fluke: one day, way back in 1995, I wandered into a newly-opened bead store in a neighboring town, and I was immediately hooked. And that addiction grew incredibly fast. I knew almost immediately that I couldn’t just buy the beads…I had make the beads myself! Before the end of my first year in the world of beading, I was set up with a torch, glass rods, and a kiln…I became a lampworker.
I spent many years making glass beads and selling them at bead shows and art fairs. It was a wonderful and exciting time. But, as the years wore on, my hands grew weary, and my mind craved to expand my beading experience.
As luck would have it, I had two dear friends who were looking to open a bead store, and they wanted a third partner to join them. It was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time, and in 2006 Artful Beads Studio and Workshop was born! Over the next 10 years, we had a wonderful time teaching classes, learning new techniques in beading, metal smithing, and metal clay, and generally having a great time. But, as we all know, all good things eventually come to an end; we all decided it was time to move on to new adventures and in January of 2016, we closed our doors.
And that’s when “Trixie’s Jewel Box” came to be. I still adored beads, and this was an opportunity to try things out in yet another direction. I received my PMC certification back in the late 90s, but hadn’t had the time for playing around with metal clay as I wanted. So, with the store now closed, I decided to focus my energy for Trixie’s Jewel Box on making metal clay jewelry components…pieces that add a unique, artistic touch to peoples’ designs without breaking the bank in the process.
I also began designing beading kits that center around my handcrafted components. This is a challenge that I truly enjoy, as it brings together my love of original metal pieces and my love of artistic Czech glass beads.
These days I can still be found at several bead shows a year, as well as on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/TrixiesJewelBox, where I sell my handcrafted metal clay components, beading kits, Czech glass beads, seed beads, and beading supplies. Additionally, some of my projects can be found in various beading magazines (both past and present), and I maintain a beading blog on my website www.TrixiesJewelBox.com. I don’t imagine I will ever tire of beads!