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The long awaited: Half Tila Arches Necklace Design is now available!

Half Tila Arches 3 colors

Soon after Half Tila beads became available, I designed this necklace (the original, as shown in bronze). I posted photos of it on Facebook and it received lots of praise and requests for a pattern, but there were a few problems.

When I wore the necklace, it didn’t sit quite right. The components twisted and turned. The focal pearl bezel tilted upwards instead of lying flat on my neck. I knew how to fix it but the beads that I envisioned that would work were just not available at the time. This was just before the market became saturated with every type of two holed bead imaginable. Back then, there were only Tila Beads, SuperDuos, and the new Half Tila Beads.

A few years later, I found the cool silver colored Etched Drum beads from Kelly Stevenson of Back2Bead (as shown in the gunmetal colorway below). I knew that these beads would work well because they have a flat back and two holes. The two holes help keep the components from twisting, and the flat back helps the focal lie flat when wearing it! I remade the necklace using these beads and was quite pleased with it, so I started to write the tutorial.

Unfortunately, my pattern writing skills were not up to the task at the time. Each time I made a component, I made it differently and I had trouble finding a thread path that would be easy to diagram and to teach. I put it aside and focused on other projects.

Now, years later, Melissa Speicher from my local bead store saw the necklace and asked me to teach it at her store Crystal Garden Designs of NY. I agreed, knowing that I now had the skills to write the pattern, but I still faced a problem. The Etched Drums did not come in many colors, and some of Melissa’s customers prefer a glitzier look to the industrial look of the gun metal colorway. I searched my stash and some bead vendors and found that the pattern would work well using Preciosa Candy Beads as the connectors and a Swarovski Rivoli as the focal (peach colorway below). I remade the necklace again, and wrote up the pattern with instructions for both the gunmetal version and the peach version.

The pattern is now available in my shop. You can purchase it here: Half Tila Arches Necklace Tutorial. I hope you’ll give it a try! It’s for intermediate to advanced beaders.

Supplies for this necklace can be purchased at the following links:

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2019 Beadwork Designer of the Year!

I’m so excited to have been chosen by Beadwork Magazine to be one of three Designers of the Year for 2019! It is a great honor, and one that I did not expect to achieve. I share this with fellow honorees Wendy Ellsworth and Vezsuzsi. I hope you’ll enjoy what we create this year along with Beadwork’s many other talented contributors.

As a Designer of the Year, I will be sharing the instructions to make one of my designs in each of this year’s six issues. The first (Feb/Mar) has already hit the press, and is available for purchase in print form or digital form at publisher Interweave’s website. In it, I present my Thistle Necklace. The design was inspired by the beautiful two-holed Kite beads and three-holed Cali beads that were sent to me by Beadsmith last year. As I played around with the beads, I found that they form very easy to make bezels that can be used to encase Swarovski rivoli crystals of all sizes.

Here’s what the components looked like on my bead mat as I worked on the design. Notice that some of them are open – without a rivoli inside them. Those were the first ones I made. Once I saw how pretty they looked open, I knew they would only be improved by adding some bling. Luckily, I had just the right color rivolis to add!

After making these components, I saw that Beadsmith came out with some new kite beads that had a laser-etched design on them. I fell in love with them and had to design something special with these. I used the same basic bezeled rivoli idea and made this necklace, bracelet and pendant.

The tutorials for the necklace and bracelet are available here: Kite and Cali Necklace Kite and Cali Bracelet

Kite and Cali Poinsetta bracelet tutorial

The design also works well for Christmas as the design looks a lot like a Poinsettia when beaded with red kite beads. The tutorial for the bracelet includes the supplies needed to make it in either the laser-etched beads or the poinsettia beads.

As I just couldn’t get enough of these fun components, I played around with some variations of the open-holed components that I had originally created (I hate letting good beadwork go to waste). Here’s what I created with the open components.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of insight into my design process and I hope I’ve inspired you to create some lovely beadwork! Please share your thoughts and your beadwork in the comments.