Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beaded Beads

I've got more than a few projects that I should be working on.  In addition to finishing up my projects from Bead and Button, I've entered a few challenges here and there.

This week, though, I've been fixated on none of the above.  Instead, I've been happily making beaded beads.

I've mentioned Beadwork Magazine's Beaded Bead Contest a few times.  Over the past few months, I completed a few of the beads, but had been stumped on how to incorporate five different beaded beads into a cohesive design.

A few weeks ago, an idea popped into my head.  Actually, the idea drifted into my head as I was falling asleep.  Luckily for me, it managed to lodge itself in there and I remembered it upon waking.  I'm really hoping this idea works and I've been busy working on the beads I think I'll need.

The first pattern is Seeing Stars, designed by Melinda Barta.  It was published in the February/March issue of Beadwork.

While I wasn't keen on trying this design, it is easy to bead and the little stars are fun to make.  You could even use bigger beads and change the look.

The second beaded bead was designed by Gwen Fisher and published in the April/May issue of Beadwork.

The Cube Cluster Beaded Bead seemed complicated at first, but once you get going, it's a fun project.  I love the symmetry of the bead.

Florence Turnour designed the third beaded bead for the June/July issue.  Her Stargazer Beaded Bead starts out a bit squishy, but really shapes up as you add the overlay.  I was amazed at this design and made two versions.

If you haven't tired of beaded beads (and, really, how could you?) Gwen and Florence have a ton more designs for sale on their website, Bead Infinitum.  I highly suggest you check out their store.  Gwen and Florence are mathematicians and their beaded cubes, rings, prisms and spheres are well thought out, fun to bead and amazing when completed.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel,  from Jewelry Tales, designed the Treasure Trove Beaded Bead, which was published in the August/September issue of Beadwork.  This is the fourth bead in the series.  Cynthia's bead features a right angle and peyote weave overlay that really changed the look of the bead.  Again, I am amazed at how this bead worked up.

This bead reminds me of a lampworked glass bead with dots on the surface.  It's not quite smooth, but is so much fun to touch and interesting to just stare at.

If you would like to see more of Cynthia's designs, check out her website or her etsy shop.

Cindy Holsclaw has designed the remaining beaded bead, to be published in the October/November issue.  I'm really excited for this one.  Cindy's designs are marvelous and you can check them out at her store, Bead Origami.

As it stands, I have three more beads to make and then I can start on my design.  I'm crossing my fingers that it works like I've imagined it.

The Beaded Bead Contest doesn't start until the middle of October, so you have plenty of time to start working with these fabulous beaded beads.  Honestly, any one of these would make a spectacular pendant if you wanted to try just one to get your feet wet.  :)


  1. Tanya - your beaded beads are looking so awesome!!!!! I can't wait to see your final piece for the contest. I had high hopes of doing this contest too, but I simply won't get to it this I guess I'll have to root & vote for you! :)

  2. Those are so cool. I have no patience for seed beads. I find it fascinating but also terrifying! I think these are really cool and would make one cool necklace!
    Enjoy the day.

  3. These have been tempting me since the first issue (okay, since the second one -- the first one looked a little simplistic, but I imagine I'd fall in love if I made it). You've done some wonderful interpretations of them. Can't wait to see your final piece!

  4. You're off to a great start. I look forward to seeing your finishe piece in the end. Thanks for such a nice, detailed article.

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I've been having a blast with these. :)

  5. Tanya, you are doing a fantastic job on these beaded beads I look at them in each issue, but I have not tried one yet. Looking forward to seeing your finished piece and you will have my vote in the contest.

  6. Those are all awesome beaded beads! I like how you've tried different color palettes on each beaded bead - it's so fun to see how everyone is interpreting these designs! Thanks for the kind words about my work too :)

  7. Tanya, the beaded bead has always caught my attention and I did finally do one ---mind you a very simple one last Christmas. I love what you have come up with and look forward to what you will do with all of them.

  8. Thank you for your kind words! I'll look forward to seeing your finished project.