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!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Beadweaving Tutorial: Diamond Butterflies

This is the second of 4 DiamonDuo tutorials I've been working on.

In addition to DiamonDuos, "Diamond Butterflies" uses 2-hole Crescent beads, O-beads, and various seed beads and crystals.

Diamond Butterflies, a beadweaving tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs

Diamond Butterflies, Tutorial and Stitching by Sweet Freedom Designs
Diamond Butterflies, Tutorial and Stitching by Sweet Freedom Designs
The pattern is available here, in my Etsy shop!

Look for another DiamonDuo tutorial in a week or so!

Friday, July 22, 2016

New Beadweaving Tutorial Featuring DiamonDuos, MiniDuos, and 12mm Pyramid Studs

Do you find all the new bead shapes overwhelming?

The shapes themselves don't overwhelm me, but the pace with which they are flooding the market does! Seems like every week or so I'm hearing about another bead shape, and wondering how I can get my hands on some!

Last week I got my hands on some DiamonDuos, 12mm Pyramid Studs, Honeycombs, and Crescents, and thought I would lose my mind - where to start?!

Within several hours of experimenting with the DiamonDuos, I had come up with 4 different designs, so I started stitching and writing, and this represents my first tutorial from those efforts: Art Deco Diamonds & Pyramids.

Art Deco Diamonds & Pyramids, a tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
In addition to the DiamonDuos, this pattern uses 12mm Pyramid Studs, Miniduos, 3mm Swarovski bicones, and 15/0s. I really love the texture that the DiamonDuos and Pyramid Studs add to designs!

Turquoise and Beige Picasso version of Art Deco Diamonds & Pyramids, stitched by Sweet Freedom Designs

Purple and Gold version of Art Deco Diamonds & Pyramids, stitched by Sweet Freedom Designs

In the purple version, I substituted 3mm FirePolish for the 3mm Swarovski bicones, and the result is a gentle ruffle along the outer edges. Substituting a 2mm FirePolish for the 3mm bicones gives a nice flat edge.

The tutorial is available here, in my Etsy shop.

Watch for a few new tutorials to be published in the next week or so!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tangy Ranch Chicken - Quick and Easy, in the Crock Pot!

I recently purchased my first crock pot*, and after trying a few recipes I found on Pinterest, I took matters into my own hand yesterday and came up with this delicious tangy ranch chicken recipe.

Tangy Ranch Crock Pot Chicken à la Sweet Freedom!
The prep is quick and easy! 20 minutes or so in the morning, and 6-8 hours later you'll have a dinner your family will love!

  • 2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 cups russets potatoes (approx. 3 medium potatoes)
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 2 packets (2-oz each) Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Dressing mix
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Ranch Dressing (prepared)
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise or sour cream
  • 1//8 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Scrub the russet potatoes, then chop them into 2-inch chunks. No need to peel them! Place them in the crock pot.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water.
  3. Place chicken breasts on top of potatoes in pot. Optional: I pound my chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer first; I've made this recipe with and without tenderizing first, and I just prefer mine after tenderizing. But your chicken will be plenty tender without the pounding, should you choose to skip it!
    my trusty meat tenderizer hammer
  4. Cover the chicken breasts with 8 strips of just barely cooked bacon. Note: I use Hormel Microwave bacon, and cook 2 packets (the packets each contain 4 strips) separately, for 1 minute and 50 seconds each, while I'm prepping the potatoes. Couldn't be quicker or easier, and there is absolutely no clean-up!
    Hormel Microwave Bacon - so easy and delicious, and no clean-up!
  5. In a small bowl, combine the following: both packets of Ranch Dressing Mix, the prepared Ranch Dressing, the mayo or sour cream, the olive oil, the pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Stir until well mixed. Add a little more water if necessary to dissolve the Ranch Dressing Mix. Layer this mixture evenly over the chicken and bacon. Cover with parsley flakes.
  6. Wash the carrots and place in crock pot.
  7. Add the whole kernel corn on top last.
    Add the remaining 1/2 cup water around the bottom of the crock pot.
  8. Cook on high for 6 hours or on medium for 8-9 hours.

Let me know if you try the recipe, and what you think!

*My first crock pot for COOKING - of course, I have 4 crock pots at work: 2 for liver of sulfur (one for silver only, one for copper), one for pickle, 1 for vermiculite (for annealing enameled head pins):

Here's my enameling set-up, with my pickle pot on the left, and the vermiculite pot at lower right:
Just can't enamel without a few crock pots!
A close-up of my freshly-enameled headpins, annealing in warm vermiculite in a crock pot:

Vermiculite in a hot crock pot is perfect for annealing enameled headpins!

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Tutorial for the New Year: Stepping Stones

My newest tutorial was just published on Etsy: Stepping Stones!

This tutorial was built around the new Czech Pellet beads, and features instructions, pics, and diagrams for 5 different bracelets, using netting and RAW (right angle weave):

Stepping Stones Tutorial by Sweet Freedom Designs
In addition to Pellets, 15/0s, 11/0s, and 8/0s, some of the variations also call for 3mm FirePolish beads, 3mm Swarovski bicones, Superduos, and drop beads.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

I am SO close to releasing a new beadweaving tutorial - it just needs to be proofread. That was on my list for today, but I, well ..... just didn't feel like it. It was one of those rainy, take-a-nap kind of days!

So I will get it taken care of tomorrow, and publish my first tutorial of 2016 sometime tomorrow evening. I'll post here and on Facebook to let everyone know, but here is a sneak peak of ONE of the FIVE bracelets included in the tutorial:

More details tomorrow!

Meanwhile, as I was sitting around doing not much today, reading random forum threads on Etsy, I saw some folks talking about their views from Pinterest (y'all know I have a bit of a Pinterest addiction.....), and one poster commented that she'd had only a handful of views from Pinterest for the whole year, and didn't know if Pinterest was worthwhile. I got curious, because Pinterest is always my #2 source of views, after views from Etsy itself.

Of course, I post on Pinterest because of my little addiction, far in 2015, I have had 4802 views from Pinterest! I wish I had more information ... like a way to know how many of those converted to sales, but I don't.

Anyway - have a fantastic and safe New Year's Eve, and best wishes for 2016!