Saturday, July 13, 2019

Solving Problems: Clasp Edition

Last week, a customer in the bead shop wanted to attach a slider/tube clasp to a bracelet she had just finished stitching. We both love these slider clasps because they have such a low profile: you see more stitching; less clasp!

Her bracelet was perfectly designed for a 3-hole clasp, with three "peaks" on the end:
St. Petersburg bracelet
But when I placed a 3-hole slider next to the bracelet's end, the clasp clearly wasn't wide enough:
Bracelet next to 3-hole slider clasp

A 5-hole slider was the perfect size, but the 2 extra holes just wouldn't do. Unsightly, just sitting there, empty:
Bracelet next to 5-hole slider clasp
I'd always wondered what would happen if I tried to remove some of the rings on these sliders, and here was the perfect opportunity to find out.

Using my chainnose pliers, I grasped the extra loops (individually) as close to their soldered connection to the tube as possible, and gently twisted each loop back and forth until it snapped off. Then I filed each connection point as close to the tube as possible to remove the leftover loop and solder:
5-hole clasp after removing 2 loops on each half and filing smooth
Look! Pretty close to a perfect match:
The 3 remaining holes line up almost perfectly with the peaks on the end of the bracelet
And here's the finished product:
Nice, right?

Other than that time I used Perfect Pearls to turn a silver clasp purple (and similar patinations with Liver of Sulfur, etc.), I have never altered clasps. If I couldn't find a clasp I liked, I just stitched one from seed beads! But this successful experiment has emboldened me a bit!

Have you ever altered findings to make them suit your needs?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Building Bridges: A New Beadweaving Tutorial

This bracelet tutorial uses Rizos, DiamonDuos (or GemDuos), Arcos Par Pucas, and 15/0s. The pattern is designed for more experienced beaders, and is available in my Etsy Shop.

Building Bridges, a beadweaving tutorial ©Sweet Freedom Designs

It is a wide, flexible bracelet, and the 11-page step-by-step tutorial includes instructions for substituting 3mm Firepolish beads for the Rizos. Four colorways are also shown.

Building Bridges, a beadweaving tutorial ©Sweet Freedom Designs

4 colorways for Building Bridges, a beadweaving tutorial ©Sweet Freedom Designs


Saturday, December 22, 2018

New Beadweaving Tutorial: Deco Love

Deco Love, a beadweaving tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
This pattern started out to be an earring tutorial - I saw a gorgeous bird's-eye view picture of the tower of the Chrysler building, with its luscious Art Deco curves and lines, and was inspired to play with my new Arcos Par Puca 3-hole crescent beads and see if I could recreate those curves and lines!

Chrysler Building, NYC - a stunning example of Art Deco architecture
This tutorial is extremely versatile - you can make the earrings long or short, give them fringe or no fringe, add dangles or no dangles, and put crystals in middle of the pairs of crescents or leave that space open. You can use Swarovski crystals or firepolish beads, or even metal bicones - tons of options!

Just a few of the different earrings in this tutorial.
The pair on the left have crystals inside the crescent pair, while the pair on the right do not.

The final pair of earrings I made were a super-long pair with black Honeycomb beads, black Arcos Par Pucas, and crystal AB Swarovskis, and they are absolutely stunning (though impossible to photograph well.)
Horrible pics, but trust me; these are beautiful!
I draped one of the long black earrings on the back of my hand, admiring it, and thought: Wow, this would make a great bracelet!

So there you have it: Deco Love. In addition to the Arcos Par Pucas, it calls for Honeycombs, 3 and 4 mm crystal bicones or firepolish (in the bracelet, I actually substituted True2 mm firepolish, to make it extra dainty), 15/0s, 11/0s, and optional dangles for the earrings.

It's available here, in my Etsy store!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Two new tutorials! (It's about time, right?)

This brand new beadweaving tutorial, "Lucy in the Sky," features DiamonDuos/GemDuos and 8mm 2-hole Candy Cabochons, plus assorted seed beads and other embellishing beads. Five different colorways are shown, and in one of them I used a mixture of DiamonDuos and GemDuos. While these diamond-shaped beads are from different manufacturers, they are completely interchangeable!

Lucy in the Sky: 5 different colorways


Lucy in the Sky: there's a wide version and a narrow version!
The step-by-step instructions include both the wide and the narrow versions, and is available in my Etsy shop.

My second "new" tutorial is "Peanutty" -- it's not so much new as it's "I forgot to blog about this" - oops!

Peanutty is a double spiral tutorial for peanut beads, and you will never find more clearly written step-by-step instructions for creating a double spiral (you can easily substitute seed beads for the peanuts, so if you have been struggling to figure out the double spiral, this is the pattern for you!.

Peanutty: A Double Spiral Tutorial for Peanuts
3 different colorways are shown, and there is also an earring pattern. Detailed instructions are included for securely attaching the endings as shown in the pics.
Peanutty colorways.
You can find Peanutty here, in my Etsy shop.


Friday, May 5, 2017

New Tutorial: It Takes Two (Different Types of Triangle Beads) to Tango

My newest tutorial is now available on Etsy:

It Takes Two (Different Types of Triangle Beads) to Tango, a beadweaving tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
This pattern calls for several different 2-hole beads: 6mm 2-hole triangles, Tangos, 6mm pyramid studs, and SuperDuos, plus 3mm Firepolish, and various seed bead sizes.

The 21-page tutorial is loaded with pictures and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and diagrams.

It Takes Two to Tango, by Sweet Freedom Designs
Instructions are given for 3 different variations of the bracelet:

3 different bracelet variations: It Takes Two to Tango, by Sweet Freedom Designs
and several earring variations:

Some of the many earring variations possible with It Takes Two to Tango, by Sweet Freedom Designs
Five different colorways are also shown.

I consider this an intermediate to advance tutorial, but if you have experience reading beadweaving patterns, you will be able to create these designs.

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Curvaceous Crescents - A DiamonDuo and 2-hole Crescent Beadweaving Tutorial

I have just published my latest DiamonDuo tutorial: Curvaceous Crescents. In addition to DiamonDuos and 2-hole Crescent Beads, it also uses Pellet Beads, 2mm FirePolish, 11/0s, and 15/0s.

Curvaceous Crescents, a beadweaving tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
I consider this to be an advanced tutorial, although any beginner who's comfortable reading patterns will be able to pick up this tutorial and create the bracelet - the tutorial has explicit step-by-step instructions as well as easy to follow diagrams.
Curvaceous Crescents, by Sweet Freedom Designs
Curvaceous Crescents, by Sweet Freedom Designs
This pattern also includes a bonus tutorial with step-by-step instructions and diagrams for making DiamonDuo buttons/beaded beads/components. This will allow you to create matching clasps, earrings, etc. for your DiamonDuo creations -- I used this pattern to create the button for the bracelet in the pic above.
And here are some earrings I made with the same tutorial:
DiamonDuo Earrings, from tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
Curvaceous Crescents, by Sweet Freedom Designs

The bracelet tutorial, with bonus DiamonDuo button tutorial, is available here, in my Etsy shop. I hope you enjoy it!
DiamonDuo buttons by Sweet Freedom Designs

Sunday, August 14, 2016

DiamonDuo Herringbone Tutorial

This is the 3rd of 4 DiamonDuo Beadweaving tutorials I've been working on: DiamonDuo Herringbone.

DiamonDuo Herringbone, a beadweaving tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
DiamonDuo Herringbone bracelet; design and stitching by Sweet Freedom Designs
DiamonDuo Herringbone bracelet; design and stitching by Sweet Freedom Designs
The tutorial is available here, in my Etsy shop!

Look for the next DiamonDuo tutorial later this week!