Crafty Tuesday: Beading with crochet flowers

Crafty Tuesday


Finally I finished my second crochet flower necklace. The first one had rather small crochet flowers and this time I wanted to do something slightly bigger. I already made the flowers in November and now finally I finished the necklace.

I still have flowers and matching beads left, but am not sure yet, what to do with them. Any ideas?


Have you done anything crafty lately? Let me know, I am always looking for inspiration.

This post is part of

Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.


Spellbound beads

If you like beads, wearing jewellery and books you need to have a look at Spellbound beads.

Making beads out of used books and turning them into bracelets sounds like the perfect combination to me. You can choose between art bracelets, travel bracelets, music, nature and so on….every time the beads are made from books corresponding with the theme you chose.

Love “Wuthering Height”? Get the bracelet! You like “Where the wild things are”? Dito! The prices are very reasonable, just to make a choice is hard! Check the bracelets out at Spellbound Beads!


Easy and elegant beaded copper jewelry by Lora S. Irish

Easy & elegant beaded copper jewelryBlurb:

Bend It, Shape It , Anyway You Want It…Wire Jewelry

Prolific craft author and instructor, Lora Irish is back with a fresh volume of craft techniques – this time on making wire jewelry.

Using inexpensive wire and tools commonly found around the home, readers will learn how to bend, twist and coil wire to create an endless variety of shapes for attractive necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Once readers master the basic wire shapes, they will learn how to create finished pieces by incorporating fasteners, earring hooks and cording. When these basic building blocks are mastered, readers will learn how to embellish their designs with beads and more complex designs. Practice projects, step-by-step instructions and a gallery of designs will show readers just how easy it is to get started in this fun and rewarding craft.

In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes       

For people who like: beading, making jewelry, creating wire elements from scratch

My thoughts: 

This book reminded me a little of Sara Withers’ “The encyclopedia of wire jewellery techniques”. However, it is even more detailed and gives even clearer instructions about bending and shaping wire.

It consists of three parts. The first is about the necessary tools and materials to create jewelry, the second is about the techniques, the third about projects that you can create with the newly learned abilities.

The techniques part is the biggest one and the amount of shapes is incredible. It starts with the easiest side-loop and continues to the most complicated looking spiral links. All shapes are shown with a number of clear and detailed images so that the instructions are easy to follow.

All links used in the book are listed in a chart complete with numbers and name of the link. This helps when you get to the projects part. For every project you will find a list of links used, a supply list and instructions. The projects go from easy to elaborate and cover earrings, bracelets and necklaces, either made completely with wire and beads, or with additional cord.

I liked how the book was structured, the clear pictures and the overall look of it. I personally prefer silver to copper jewelry, but all instructions can be used for silver wire as well. If you are only interested in creating beautiful bead necklaces using bought wire elements, this book is not for you. If you are looking for a beginner’s book for working with wire, this is perfect.

Product info and buy link :

Title Easy and elegant beaded copper jewelry
Author Lora S. Irish
Publisher Fox Chapel Publishing
ISBN 978-1565235144
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy Easy & Elegant Beaded Copper Jewelry


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


Needlework Tuesday: Crochet flower necklace

I am all into combining crochet and beading at the moment. When the last two weeks it was about crochet with wire this week I am combining crochet flowers with beading. I crocheted the little flowers and then threaded them onto wire with a larger bead in the middle of the flower and smaller beds between the flowers. The instructions said to sew the middle bead onto the flower but I chose not to because I found it easier that way (and I could skip the sewing). For threading the flowers on the wire I had to use a needle since the wire was too  elastic to go through the yarn just so.

My next necklace is already in the making. It will be longer with larger five petal flowers in black, grey and light blue.

Crochet flower necklace

Photo template from puglypixel

Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.


Needlework Tuesday: Crochet wire necklace

After the red and black necklace from last week I made another one with a slightly different technique. This one consists of three different strands that are twisted together at both ends, whereas the first one was one long strand that was “folded up”. The advantage of the first one: there is no fiddling to twist and get the strands together. The advantage of the second one: you can add beads along the way if you notice you haven’t started out with enough.

Crochet wire necklace

Last week Tami asked for instructions. I found two which are quite helpful:

Basically what you do is you thread the beads and then start stitching chains and always push one bead to the hook and add it to your chain stitch. It sounds and looks more complicated than it is.

    The easy way is to do it like this (sorry for the more than simple looking image):wire_necklace
    All you need to make sure is that you have enough beads threaded to last for the intended length of the necklace. You crochet the whole length in one go and “fold” the strands in the required length and keep them in place with a safety pin on both ends. When you finish you just clasp the ends of all strands and put them on two jump rings and attach a fastener. That’s it!

    Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.


Needlework Tuesday: Crochet necklace

This week I tried out a crochet technique to create necklaces. It’s not one of those tight crochet bead necklaces that you need a lot of patience for, but the easy, quick kind. I got this little book from the library that teaches you various techniques and this one here is as easy as one, two, three.

All you need is wire, a crochet hook, small beads and the knowledge how to crochet chain stitches. That is all there is to it!

Crochet necklace

Image template from pugly pixel

Have you ever crocheted necklaces? Or anything else with wire? Let me see, I am curious!

Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.


Needlework Tuesday: Socks and necklaces


Two projects are on my agenda for the near future.

1. Crochet socks.

I have never crocheted socks before and am curious. I like the idea of homemade socks, but – as you probably know by now – I hate knitting in general, knitting with five needles is even worse. Crochet is a good alternative, but crocheted socks are not good for wearing outside. However, they might be a nice and cute accessory for lounging at home during winter.

I am using the yarn from my post from two weeks ago, but haven’t got much to show yet.

2. Crochet and beads necklace.

I found those earrings made from ribbon and pearls that are crocheted together. Normally I don’t do any delicate crochet anymore, but I sort of liked that combo of ribbon and beads. I wouldn’t wear earrings, but the piece might also make a nice pendant, don’t you think? Attach it to a not too long ribbon and you’re done!

Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.


Necklace knockoff

On Flamingo Toes I saw this wonderful Boden Boulevard necklace knockoff. So last week I bought a couple of supplies and went to work. Instead of the twill I bought velvet ribbon and the link chain is different, too, but I totally like the result.

I only realized later that I made a mistake in one of the strands (you can see it on the picture), but true to the motto “Is mir egal, ich lass das jetzt so” (roughly: I don’t care, I’ll leave it like that now) I, well, left it like that.



World Beads by Janet Coles

worldbeads A collection of beadwork ideas from around the world. Thirty projects are given, with step by step guidelines and colour photographs.

The more than short blurb on amazon doesn’t do that book justice at all. The 30 projects are just a small part of the book. They are integrated in the various chapters as an example for the beads and beadwork that are explained in the according chapter.

After an introduction to beads in general Janet Cole shows the reader beads and beadwork from all over the world, organized into chapters according to continent and sub-chapters about various places and bead styles. In the chapter about Europe for example she talks about Venice and the island of Murano, amber, Victorian jet or Bohemian glass makers. In the African chapter she talks about Moroccan enamel, the Tuareg, bead jewellery of the Zulu and many more. India has its own chapter with details about prayer beads, ceramic beads from Varanasi, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan etc. Far East and Oceania feature chapters about Chinese jade, silver beads from Bali and Japanese glass. And the Americas cover jade, gold and glass from Mexico, beads from Peru and the native Americans. These are only a few of the chapters, there are many more. Among the 30 projects are a jet necklace, a Moroccan berber necklace, A Tuareg cross, an Ethiopian necklace from silver- and glass beads, a belt made from bone beads, a necklace from antique Tibetan turquoise and many more. The instructions come with many illustrations and a picture of the finished piece.

A very informative book for everybody who wants to know more about beads, their history and the various styles out there.


The complete book of beads by Janet Coles

This stunning volume utilizes glorious colour photos to catalogue all types of beads (glass, wood, metal, ceramic, natural, semiprecious, plastic, novelty and collectable), offer design guidelines on planning jewellery (considerations of bead shape, texture, size, weight and colour), and document various practical considerations (findings, equipment, basic techniques for creating earrings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches). The section on themes and special occasions, complete with directions for each project, features designs for evening wear, summer styles, holiday looks, weddings, children’s items, and African- and Indian-inspired pieces. Even the purely informational and visual spreads (those without complete instructions) offer endless inspiration and ideas for beaded creations.

The book first of all gives an introduction to beads. How they are made, where they come from and how they were used through the ages. Then it shows the various kinds of beads: glass, wood, metal, ceramic, natural beads (seeds and beans, ivory, bone, horn stone, shells), pearls and corals, precious stones, amber and jet, rocailles and synthetic beads.

Then it gives you tips how to plan a necklace, what to consider in terms of color combinations, structure, size and weight, specific themes (e.g. for evening attire, summer, festive, wedding, kids) and various looks (African, Native American, Indian).

It shows you examples of how to turn old, broken necklaces into something new and explains techniques in short.

From the first look the book gives a slightly outdated feel. However, it gives a lot of valuable information which is underlined with detailed pictures. The various beads and forms are all shown very clearly and the necklaces all are very tasteful (even if the style is not always what I would like to wear).

I especially liked the introduction of the history of beads. I never knew that the word “bead” came from the old English words for “to pray” and “prayer”. I checked the etymology of the German word “Perle” (the Germans don’t differentiate between beads and pearls as far as the word is concerned) to find out whether it had a similar background. The Brothers Grimm tell us, however, that the word probably derives from the Latin “pirula”, which means “little pear”.

I also found the section about the various looks helpful where Janet Coles explains what beads to choose to achieve a certain feel.

The book is not aimed at beginners who want to learn about techniques or specific projects. As a thorough introduction to the topic it is extremely informative and beautiful to look at.

Available on amazon


The encyclopedia of wire jewellery techniques by Sara Withers

Blurb: Whether you are an experienced jewellery-maker looking to move up to the next level, or a complete beginner, "The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewellery Making Techniques" is an invaluable resource. Using this book you can: learn how to manipulate wire to create elegant structural designs for earrings, rings, pendants, necklaces, tiaras and brooches with clear, illustrated instructions; combine wire with beads and stones through threading and wrapping for an intricately embellished look; have fun experimenting with different types of wire, from precious metal to electrical and recycled wires; and, progress from basic wire-working skills to more advanced techniques, such as making linked jump-ring chains, simple soldering, and using chemicals to alter the wire finish.

My thoughts: Apart from some smaller publications in German, I haven’t read many books about wire jewelry, so I can’t really say that Sara Withers writes the best books on it, but I think that her books must rank quite high as far as quality of explanations and pictures are concerned.

Where her “encyclopedia of beading techniques” explains various styles of bead jewelry, this one goes into minute detail of making wire jewelry. Once more the photographs are very detailed and clear. I have looked inside various books of this kind on amazon and a lot had either only sketches which to me are not very helpful, or photographs that were not detailed enough. The photos here leave nothing to be desired.

The book consists of three chapters. The first one deals with core techniques and is divided into various sub-chapters like findings, shapes and spacers, chains, decorating beads, knitting and twisting and constructing with wire. The second chapter already introduces some basic silversmithing skills and the third one is a gallery with the work from designers from around the world.

Again, you won’t find any projects in this book, but simply detailed explanations of how to do things and some inspiration on top of it.

Available on amazon


Bead Work by Sara Withers

Blurb: A guide to creating bead jewellery. This book contains information about materials and equipment and demonstrates the techniques in several easy-to-follow projects which use a variety of material from traditional wood to papier-maché.

My thoughts: This is a book ideal for beginners who would like to start to learn making bead jewelry with projects instead of only reading about techniques.

After a short chapter where Sara Withers talks about materials and tools she goes medias in res and introduces the first project, a pair of hoop earrings. Slowly the projects become more difficult and more techniques are shown. Everything is explained in detail and with clear and close up photographs.

Some of the projects didn’t appeal to me as far as the choice of beads or colors were concerned, but this is a matter of taste and can easily be rectified by simply substituting the beads.

All in all the following pieces of jewelry can be recreated with the help of this book:

  • Hoop earrings
  • Straight earrings
  • Frosted necklace
  • Stars and Moons necklace and earring set (crimps and a little wirework)
  • Triangles necklace and earring set (developing crimping and wirework skills)
  • Venetian-style glass necklace and hatpin
  • A chain of fishes necklace and earring set
  • Double stripy necklace (managing threads and using calottes)
  • China blue necklace (necklace with four strands)
  • Clay and tile bead necklace (this is getting complicated)
  • Monochrome choker (introduces bead weaving)
  • Jasper necklace (knotting)
  • African choker (macramé technique)
  • Special beads and leather (leather necklace)
  • Lapis and silver necklace (wirework skills, additional tools)
  • Sprung wire bracelet
  • Two-strand bracelet
  • Loom made bracelet (using a beading loom)

If you like to work with given projects this book is a great find. Available on amazon.


The Encyclopedia of Beading Techniques by Sara Withers

Blurb: Beads have been used for decoration for centuries. Available in a huge array of colours, shapes and sizes, they are beautiful, adaptable, and easy to work with. These practical projects show how you can add detail, texture, colour and originality to garments and accessories by incorporating beads into your knitting, crochet and needlework. Learn traditional and contemporary techniques such as bead weaving, stringing, wirework and strand-knotting, and even find out how to make your own beads.

My thoughts: Just in case you were wondering, no, this blog is not turning into a craft blog. But since I recently started to look into jewelry making and at the same time try to review every book I read, I decided to have a shot at this non fiction book.

If you want to make your own jewelry, don’t know what you might like, what techniques you might want to use and generally have no clue as to how to do what, this is the perfect start. It is exactly what the title says, an encyclopedia that talks about materials, tools and techniques in detail. Everything is explained with the help of great photos that show exactly what to do and how to do it.

Sara Withers doesn’t lecture on what colors to use and what materials to get but rather encourages the reader to find their own style and gives them the knowledge to go and try stuff out until they do. You won’t find any projects that tell you exactly what materials to get to recreate exactly that one piece of jewelry. The books very effectively gets you acquainted with what materials and techniques are out there, so you are able to go and create jewelry your way.

Highly recommended.

Available on amazon (you can have a look inside there as well)