Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I know someone who loves Blues and who loves Dragons - so with that guiding compass as my guide, I decided that a double Tree of Life with a penchant for Dragons would be the ticket for him.
DRAGON TREE OF LIFE Hanging Mobile (CH0288)

Freeform Wire Wrap Christmas Ornament

This Freeform Wire Wrap Christmas Ornament just popped out by itself following on the fun making of the Freeform Wire Wrap Pendant and Earrings in copper.

Freeform Wire Wrap Christmas Ornament
Freeform Wire Wrap Christmas Ornament (CH0292)

Circular Jewelry Pouch with Multiple Pockets

I made this circular jewelry pouch as a trial piece.  A long long time ago (2011? 2012?)  Anyway, you will be disappointed (as I am) that I don't know where I learnt it from nor where the instructions are.
handmade circular jewelry pouch with multiple pockets
handmade circular jewelry pouch with multiple pockets (CH0293)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Some Handmade Crosses & Rosary Stuff

These batch of handmade rosaries and rosary accessories were made quite a while ago when I was going through a period of rosary-making.  (Boy, that was fun!)

Handmade Crosses
Handmade Crosses (CH0299)

Sweet Audrey - Freeform Wire Wrapped Gemstone Pendant

There is not a lot of instructions I can give on this as it is freeform wire wrapping.  The thing I find that sets this off and makes it a bit more special is the use of square wires.  With a little bit of twist, they add a lovely extra piazazz to the piece.
Freeform Wire Wrapped Pendant
Freeform Wire Wrapped Pendant (CH0285)

Snuggly Cat - Beaded Bezel Clay Cat Pendant

I am not a clay artist but it sure doesn't stop me giving it a go and having a good time to boot! This Snuggly Cat - Beaded Bezel Clay Cat Pendant started off with a lovely round cabochon sent to me from America.  (Thank you Beverly Reynolds!)

SNUGGLY CAT - Beaded Bezel Clay Cat Pendant
SNUGGLY CAT - Beaded Bezel Clay Cat Pendant (CH0295)

Swarovski Coleman Beaded Dangle Necklace

This Swarovski Coleman Beaded Dangle Necklace is an unmistakable revelation of just how far back-logged I am.  This was created in 2011 and I have just gotten round to writing it up in 2013! Back-logged or what?!

Swarovski Coleman Beaded Dangle Necklace
Swarovski Coleman Beaded Dangle Necklace (CH0289)

Multi-Strand Simple Elegance - Necklace & Earrings

For Sooty's 2012 birthday I wanted to create a jewelry set that was deceptively simple, classically elegant and yet flexible and accomodating of more than one style. This Multi-Strand Simple Elegance necklace & earrings set was the final result.

Multi-Strand Simple Elegance - Necklace & Earrings
Multi-Strand Simple Elegance - Necklace & Earrings (CH0298)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bling & Purity - Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings Set

Bling & Purity - Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings Set
Bling & Purity - Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings Set (CH0279)

Felt in the mood of doing some soothing beading rivolis.  So what could be better than bringing out some super sparkly Swarovski rivolis in the ubiquitous Crystal AB, and just blinging and beading the night through.

As sometimes happen, as I make something, an inkling of who this is meant for came to mind.  (Soot!) And once that happens, the rest of the look kind of has a guide to lead it to completion.

Longevity Necklace and Earrings - Upcycling

Longevity Necklace and Earrings
Longevity Necklace and Earrings
sku: ch0280

This was made from some old jewelry pieces my mom gave me: Chinese character meaning "Longevity" or "Long Life".

Purple Friends - Swarovski Infused Necklace and Earrings Set

Purple Friends - Swarovski Infused Necklace & Earrings
"Purple Friends" - Swarovski Infused Necklace & Earrings
sku: ch0281
So why do I call this the "Purple Friends" set?  It is quite mesmerising when you stare at this.  The delectable purple of the cubic zirconia (CZ) long tear-drop pendant dominants.  And yet, it has such a warmly friendly character when topped with the Swarovski pearls in Gemstone colors. So it does seem to me as if it should be called "Purple Friends"!

Vitrail Fling - Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings Set

Vitrail Fling - Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings
Vitrail Fling - Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings
sku: ch0282

The "Vitrail Fling" jewelry set features the fairly rare but totally superb Swarovski rivoli stone in Vitrail Light.  It is the centre piece of this set. The Swarovski Vitrail Light is one of their more amazing finishes, capturing light and colors that speaks of sunsets and sparkling wine.

Swarovski Neon - Wire Crochet Necklace and Earrings Set

Swarovski Neon - Wire Crochet Necklace & Earrings
Swarovski Neon - Wire Crochet Necklace & Earrings
sku: ch0283

This Swarovski Neon Wire Crochet Jewelry Set almost took as long to edit and write up as it did to make it!  As you can see, there is a preponderance of iimages to illustrate the making of this piece.

Revamped Swarovski Ear Cuffs

Revamped Swarovski Ear Cuffs
Revamped Swarovski Ear Cuffs
sku: ch0287

I love ear cuffs. But they don't love me.  I have little cabbage ears that ear cuffs laugh at.

Not to be deterred, this sterling silver ear cuffs have been one of my favourites for over 20 years.  I got it before I knew how to do a lick of jewelry making.  And it broke.  So it has been languishing for a long time, waiting for its time to shine again.

Freeform Wire Wrap Pendant and Earrings

Freeform Wire Wrapped Pendant and Earrings
Freeform Wire Wrapped Pendant and Earrings
sku: ch0291

This Freeform Wire Wrap Pendant and Earrings is just pure play and experiment.

And it was real fun.  The shapes are as they happen; unplanned. Try it and be surprised :)
I also took this opportunity to try out a new technique of making my own ear wires.  It all turned out pretty well.

Butterfly Clasp Transformed - Necklace and Earrings Set

Butterfly Clasp Transformed - Necklace and Earrings Set
Butterfly Clasp Transformed - Necklace and Earrings Set
sku: ch0294

I have named this "Butterfly Clasp Transformed" necklace and earrings set even though it is not meaningful nor descriptive for anyone but myself.  Reason: this set was transformed from a pattern I bought (Butterfly Clasp by Heather Collins Etsy Store).

Elastic Chainmaille Bracelet - Balex Second Chance

Elastic Chainmaille Male Bracelet
Elastic Chainmaille Male Bracelet

This elastic chainmaille (aka chain mail) bracelet is called the "Balex Second Chance" because this is the second one of its kind that was made for Balex - which he lost (of course!).  I have a feeling he will lose this as well, as has been his wont, and so this is his second and last chance to keep it safe - as he promised!

Swarovski Crochet Necklace and Bangles - Mix n Match

Swarovski Bangles - Mix n Match
Swarovski Bangles - Mix n Match
sku = ch0276

This mix and match modular jewelry set includes 3 crochet necklace cords and 3 crochet bangles, with Swarovski crystal beads integrated into the work.

Flat Base Swarovski Crochet Bangles - Multiple Colors

Swarovski Bead Crochet Bangles
Swarovski Bead Crochet Bangles

I call these "flat based" crochet bangles because the inner side (against the skin) is made flat, without beads - to provide a comfortable easy feel to these bangles.  I have used stretchy yarn (viscose) so that it is much easier to wear.
I have made all of these bangles for Small size.  Apart from some bangles having dangles and some not, the technique is the same.
For the crochet bangles that have dangles, just make the dangles and have them ready for threading.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bead Crochet Rope Lariat Necklaces

Since I am in the mood for crochet (and always for beads), I have done me up some crochet rope necklaces or lariat necklaces.

Crochet Rope Lariats - ClearlyHelena
Crochet Rope Lariats

For more details on how to make these bead crochet rope lariat necklaces ...

Crafts & Jewelry Making - Tips and Notes

General Tips and Notes on Crafts & Jewelry Making

This page is intended to be a collection of general tips with respect to various crafts and/or jewelry making that I cannot quite categorize elsewhere.  So that being said, it will be inevitable that this page will grow over time.  Please come back here for a visit or just bookmark me!

Don't Throw Away your Cheapy Seed Beads

Yes, I love, I adore my precious Miyuki and Matsuno and Toho and Czech seed beads - but I confess I still hang on to my cheap (economical is the word!!!) Chinese seed beads.  I just love them even though I don't use them for precise beadwork.

I always thought that there is really nothing wrong with the economical Chinese and Indian seed beads.  Their colors are pretty darn lovely.  Their glass is robust and edges rounded.  Their colors are long lasting.  Their biggest downside is their irregularity.

But that can also be their biggest advantage.  For example, I use them in some of my crochet beadwork - especially bead crochet ropes and such.  Their very irregularity lends a definite sense of imperfect organic feel to the final product.  For some designs, that is exactly what you want rather than the monotonous regularity of the more expensive seed beads.

So hang on to you cheapy seed beads.  They may delight and surprise you!

Samples of beaded crochet ropes made with chinese seed beads 
(with some Swarovski bicones thrown in)

bead crochet rope - ClearlyHelenabead crochet rope - ClearlyHelena

Monday, June 3, 2013

Notes and Tips on Beaded Crochet

bead crochet necklace - ClearlyHelenaThis here is an example of the use of beaded crochet rope (in the First Love Bead Crochet Necklace).

On this page are various notes, tips, and suggestion about crocheting with beads (aka bead crochet).  This page will grow as I come across or think of new things. So though this page may start off small and short, be assured that I will collect more bead crochet notes here as time goes on.

I am assuming that you already know how to bead crochet and even how to make beaded crochet ropes so the crochets notes and tips here will be used solely as reminders or supplements to pre-existing crochet knowledge.

Crochet Stitches and Beaded Crochet Stitches

This is a growing list of crochet stitches and also beaded crochet stitches.  Where possible, I will try to only include the illustrated crochet stitches (so popular in the excellent Japanese magazines) with corresponding English name for the crochet stitches.  I am not as familiar with the English names as I am with the illustrated icons used, so I can't promise I will also have the English crochet term.

Chain Stitch
Crochet Chain Stitch
Crochet Chain Stitch

Earwire Shapes and How to Make Earwires

How to Make Earwires or Earring Findings

For some reason, I find myself with earwires on my mind and just how to make them.  For some reason, their very shapes and variations are inescapably fascinating to me.

To that end, I have been researching and googling and reading up on them.  Here are some of the images I have found. Special note will be given to good tutorials on how to make your own ear wires.

I have also started a separate board on Pinterest: Ear Wire Shapes.

Beaded Batik Cuffs

I have been playing on and off with beading batik for almost  a year now. And most of my efforts are still in the sad WIP (work in progress) incomplete stages.  Except for a few, this Beaded Batik Cuff being one of them.
Beaded Batik Cuff - ClearyHelena
Beaded Batik Cuff


Chainmaille - What is Aspect Ratio and Ring ID

Chainmaille is interchangeably spelt as chainmaille or chain mail.

Aspect Ratio AR in chain mailIn Chainmaille, what is Aspect Ratio and Ring ID?

.. both terms which is often seen at their supplies sites.

In normally jewelry making, the size of a jump ring is often the diameter of the outer ring.
In chain mail, more attention is paid to the wire diameter (WD) and its inner diameter (Ring ID).

From this last 2 stats, the all important Aspect Ratio (AR) is calculated:


Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to Make Beaded Crochet Earrings

This pair of beaded crochet earrings is photo-detailed in Beaded Crochet Jewelry Set in Deco Style (ch0314).  This article illustrates how the beaded crochet earrings are made including how to make beaded bead cap.
Beaded Crochet Earrings - ClearlyHelena
Beaded Crochet Earrings

How to Make Beaded Crochet Pieces

How to make Beaded Crochet Necklace

This brief tutorial refers to Beaded Crochet Jewelry Set in Deco Style (ch0314), and details the making of the beaded crochet that went into the making of the necklace. (The making of the Beaded Crochet Earrings will be in another article.)

How to Make Beaded Crochet Necklace & Earrings - ClearlyHelena

Beaded Crochet Jewelry Set in Deco Style

Here I will just display some photos of the finished beaded crochet jewelry set - necklace and earrings.
This work involved a number of different techniques which I will document separately.
Beaded Crochet Necklace

graph for beaded crochet jewelry

graph for beaded crochet jewelry

Monday, May 20, 2013

Patina, Alcohol Inks, Dye Oxides, Vintaj Ranger, Swellegant

I am beginning to get into colorizing metals and stuff and the plethora of alcohol inks, patinas, dye oxides, metal coatings, etc. is throwing me into a spin.  So I have been gathering information on them and trying to discover their differences and applications.

My focus is not to go into indepth technical but to learn enough so that I know what to get for what purpose.  My narrowish focus at the moment is coloring metal as in jump rings and chains.  And I am only going to write about the different products as I get them.  (It would be impossible to write about all of them unless I had a century of nothing else to do and they stop producing such delectable products at such a rapid clip!)

This page contains general information with links to more specific notes on each product line (as and when I get either the products or the information).

Notes on Gilders Paste

Some very quick notes on Gilders Paste.

Gilders Paste - silver and gold

Notes on Ranger Patina, Inks & Mixatives

Sometimes you will see Vintaj Ranger and other times Adirondack Ranger.  It really doesn't matter.  It is more a branding thing (as to whom Ranger has partnered with for a range of products).  I will mainly just refer to them as Ranger.  These are just basic notes on how to quickly use Range inks, patinas, mixatives, and blending solution.

ranger inks, patina, mixatives

Notes on Swellegant

Swellegant is similar to the Ranger Patina and Inks but with some differences in application.  I am still too new to both ranges to make any determined recommendation of one over the other but I will point out some differences - especially in how to use them.

Prepare -  clean / degrease/ sand surfaces as normal

Swellegant sample

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Swarovski Color Carousel

I am testing this Swarovski Color Carousel. Hopefully this is be a useful online tool for anyone color matching or aiming for harmonious colours in jewelry making and crafts.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to Determine Right Size of Crochet Hook

This is just a short note (which I may or may not add to later) about a rule of thumb in determining the right crochet hook size for your thread.
crochet hooks

Because I never get exactly the same materials as recommended in a pattern and more often than not, I am often creating crochet stuff with whatever yarns and threads (and beads) I have on hand, I have found that not listening to my rule of thumb has always been to my detriment and to my project at hand.

So the rule of thumb is (given whatever size yarn and/or beads you are using):

  • If the hook constantly catches (and often splits your yarn) - then your hook is too small.
  • If you find difficulty in pushing into a previous row's stitch (to make your current stitch) - then your hook is too large.
That's it.  Short and simple.  Now, if only I would be consistent in listening to myself, that would be great! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hoola Hoop Earrings in Circular Peyote Stitch

Some days ago, I wrote the tutorial on how to make hoola hoop with Peyote Stitch.  Since then, I have stolen snatches of time to play around with possibilities and variations.  Here are but some of the results.
Hoola Hoop Earrings in Circular Peyote Stitch
Hoola Hoop Earrings in Circular Peyote Stitch

Monday, May 13, 2013

How to make Hoola Hoop with Peyote Stitch

This is a hoola-hoop shape made with Peyote Stitch.  It is 3-D and solid.  Among other ideas, this 3D peyote hoola hoop shape is ideal for earrings and/or pendant.

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

Beaded Squares of Deco Handmade Necklace and Earrings

Yesterday I was writing about how to make a solid (rigid) double layered square with beaded RAW stitch.  Then I decided to play around with it some more.  And then my eyes fell on some Deco stripes, and this was the result 24 hours later.

Squares of Deco handmade jewelry in RAW stitch
"Squares of Deco" handmade jewelry in RAW stitch

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Beading Stitch: Solid Double Layer Square with RAW Stitch

How to make a solid (rigid) double layered Square in RAW (right angle weave) stitch?  The first photo shows some samples.  They are just for reference and as you can see, I have not tidied up all the threads yet.

This actually is a very delightful shape - it is crisp and solid and can be used in a ring, as a pendant, or any anyway your creativity takes you.  I did make some of these some years ago but for the life of me, I could not remember how it was done.  I had found some illustrated instructions in a Japanese beading book, and I followed along.  At that stage, I had never even heard of the term "RAW" or "right angled weave".  Without the book, there was no way I could reproduce these little delights.

However in a moment I will let you know a little secret and how I now have the (probable) ability to reproduce this at will without the initial instructions book ...

How to make Solid Beaded Square - double layered - in RAW
Solid Beaded Square - double layered - in RAW

Right Angle Weave Stitch: How to make a Square Ball

This is one of the simplest balls to make with RAW (Right Angle Weave) Stitch.  Sorry the image is not very clear but hopefully the illustrated steps will illustrate the steps in making this RAW St ball.
How to make a Ball with RAW Stitch
How to make a Ball with RAW Stitch

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bloglovin - How to Add your blog to get some Loving!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin -  I was told by a wonderful friend Ren, via Facebook to sign up for Bloglovin so she can follow me.  Was I chuffed?  Yup!

So I have signed up.

If you too have a blog and you would like members of Bloglovin to give you some loving - How to Keep Your Blog Readers and Followers with Bloglovin (by A Little Unhinged)  is a very useful article detailing how to add your blog to Bloglovin.  (You need to do this before you can get any Bloglovin followers).  And don't be like me - read the entire article before you get started.  Makes your life easier - I assure you!

Happy Bloglovin!

How to Bead Stitch: St Petersburg Stitch

Basic St Petersburg Stitch

Note: this article has been updated with new information and to be found at:
Beading: St Petersburg Stitch (recommended)

St Petersburg stitch is something that I learnt before and then promptly forgot, much to my chargrin.  So this time, I have drawn up a simple pictorial.

St Petersburg Stitch how to
Basic St Petersburg Stitch - How To

Once you get the basic St Petersburg stitch, then the variations you can ply on them will be pretty endless.

Back to Basics: Beading & Jewelry Making

Starting today, I am going back to basics from beading weaves to wires to anything that comes across my path.  I will tamper down my eagerness to plunge headlong into my next project and put the bubbling cauldron of ideas on slow simmer.

Once upon a time, seemingly long ago, I asked what I now know to be one of the most basic questions on Australia's Beading Forum: "What is the best beading stitch to learn?", followed by "How many should we know?"

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Glass Pebbles Jewelry Instead of Glass Dome Cabs

I have always been a tat fascinated with those ubiquitous glass dome cabs but was never inspired enough to figure out what I could do with them that was going to be a tat different from the norm of placing them in a pre-made metal frame and hanging them off a chain.  So I had no glass cab domes in my studio when I finally decided to do some experiments.

Luckily I had some of those flat based glass pebbles that the economy stores sell.  They are usually used to fill bottom of vases or something. So armed with a few pieces of scrap paper and a cutting from a newspaper, some ModPodge and beads (of course) .. these 2 little pendants emerged.

Quirky Handmade Pendants: "Lonely Girl" & "Tilting Winnie"

CH0310 & CH0311

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mix Media Wall Hanging - the Long Process of Stealing

Mix Media Nights Wall Hanging

mix media wall hanging, Kandinsky inspiration
mix media wall hanging, Kandinsky inspiration (CH0305)
In an endeavour to continue making things for the home, I finally completed this wall hanging that started in Feb 2012.  Before anyone pokes me in the eye and call me names, let me just quote my favourite Picasso quote:
Good artists borrow
Great artist steal

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to Wire Net Bezel a Cabochon

How to Make A Bezel for a Cabochon with Wire Netting

SKU = CH0307
That is what I wanted to learn and here are the first few results.  I watched a very useful basic video Wire Weave Cabochon Bezel Tutorial by Camille Sharon (see vid towards end part of this article) on YouTube.  Even though she was teaching the Viking Weave, she also covered wire netting towards the end.

wire net bezel for opal pendant

Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Set Swarovski Stone - Swarovski 4501 Baguette Fancy Stone

Though the instructions here are specific to the Swarovski 4501 Baguette Fancy Stone, it will also serve for general instructions for many of the Swarovski stones and settings.

Swarovski 4501 Baguette stone is sold separately from its metal settings (also from Swarovski).  You can find some of these at: Swarovski Stones at ClearlyHelena.

This photo below shows how the stone sits: left without further adjustment vs. right with some minor adjustment.  As you can see, after adjustment, the stone sits much better and more flush to the edge of the metal setting.
Swarovski 4501 stone with setting

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gems & Colors - Beaded Bezel Gemstone Cab & Swarovski Rivoli Necklace and Earrings

Beaded Necklace with Gemstone Cabochons

This necklace is handmade with a variety of gemstones cabochons (onyx, labradorite, agate) in various colors and strong together with Sterling Silver hand made components and links.  And the charming sparkle is provided by the delicious Swarovski Rivoli #1122 (Montana, 14mm).

Colorful Gemstones - Beaded Bezel Cab Necklace
Colorful Gemstones - Beaded Bezel Cab Necklace

How Many Seed Beads Needed to Bezel around Swarovski Rivolis

This is a rough guide to how many size 11/0 seed beads generally needed to bead bezel around a round cab or Swarovski rivoli.

Swarovski 1122 Rivoli Stone

Round Swarovski Rivolis are measured by their diameter, e.g. 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, etc.

Peyote Stitch - Bead Bezel a Swarovski Rivoli

Rule of thumb Formula
(Diameter x 2 ) + 4 size 11/0 seed beads.

12mm round rivoli - (12 x 2) + 4 = 28 seed beads
16mm round rivoli - (16 x 2) + 4 = 36 seed beads

Note: You will want to have even number of seed beads.  This should give you the first round of beads around the rivoli.

RAW - Bead Bezel a Swarovski Rivoli

For wanted of more proper terminology, I designate the below photo as 2 'squares'.  When you join into a circle, then you will have 3 'squares'.  That is one way of counting.
Alternatively, you can count the center (blue) beads - for 3 'squares', there will be 3 center blues.
counting RAW squares

Rule of thumb Formula
(Diameter + 2 ) 'squares' (or center beads)

12mm round rivoli - (12 + 2)  = 14 center beads
16mm round rivoli - (16 + 2) = 18 center beads

Tip: This Right Angle Weave tutorial is a good place to learn how to RAW.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Embroidery Edge Stitching

Lately I have been discovering how useful blanket stitching is.  However it also led me to wanting more than just blanket stitching as a decorative edge stitching.    Below is a pictorial depiction of a number of edge stitches.  Generally these are classified under Embroidery Stitches however in today's increasingly popular mix media world, these stitches are extremely useful for more than just embroidery.
blanket stitch and edge stitches

How to Felt a Bird

How to Needle Felt a Birdie

Needle felting is fun.  It is like drawing in 3D.  These are some basic steps from the transformation of a need, the bird-ing of an idea, and the felting of a wooly mix media felted bird.
idea for a felted bird
Basis of idea for felted bird

I wanted a little birdie on my mix media artwork (to be shown later when complete).  So I thought about felting a birding.  I found the image above (sorry, I can't exactly remember where.  Mr Google might know). And thought it looked pretty much like the birdie I would want on my art piece.  So on to how to felt the bird.