Simple Essentials for Making Bead Jewelry

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Combining two colors for jewelry projects:

Light blue with brown
Pink with brown
Pink with lime green
Pink with olive green
Turquoise with olive green
Turquoise with lime green
Turquoise with yellow
Orange with olive green
Orange with blue
Dark red with pink
Dark red with light blue
Plum with lavender
Plum with turquoise
Dark blue with turquoise
Black with anything, but especially with pinks, reds, and light blues
Clear with anything
White with anything

You can of course combine many other colors with the two color combinations listed above in one jewelry design project.

How to make plain loops:

Plain Loops: Use flat nose pliers to bend the straight end of a head pin to a 90 degree angle, about ¼ to ½ inch from the top of the straight end. Hold the longer part of head pin with flat nose pliers. Grasp the straight end. Twist wrist so you bring the end around to meet the bend to form a circle. Or, you can use the one step looper tool which makes perfect plain loops every time.

The other kind of loop is called a wrapped loop.

How to open a jump ring: Open it by gripping the end on each side with pliers, separate it by tilting the right side toward you and the right side away from you. Close the ring by reversing these instructions. These can be tricky to close tight. If you don’t close them tight enough and correctly, your beads will fall off.

For more information about basic beading techniques and several projects with step by step instructions, read the book: “Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want it.” Written by: Susan Beal. You can easily find this book on Amazon. There is a total of 150 designs in this book for making earrings, necklaces, bracelets, embellishments and more. All with photos and step by step instructions.

Reference Used: “Bead Simple,” by Susan Beal

Article Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Visit Carmilita Earrings at for bead drop earrings, bracelets and 3 piece sets for sale.

How to Plan a Jewelry Layout

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A jewelry design begins with a layout. You will begin a jewelry design by arranging beads in the same order or pattern that you desire your finished piece of jewelry. Plan while the beads are still loose to avoid imbalances and/or a break in the pattern. Proper layouts can save you a lot of time and frustrations. Plastic trays are available for the purpose of jewelry design layouts. They have grooves and places in which the beads can fall into instead of out and away from you. These are available online or in bead retail outlets.

How do you create spaces in your pattern?

Use smaller plain beads, sometimes known as spacers between larger patterned beads to break them apart.

Use jump rings between beads to separate and add dimension.

Use crimp beads along your wire or thread to stop a bead from sliding and leaving an empty space on either side of a larger bead.

Tip: Take time to play around with the spacing of your design. Consider using different sizes of beads if you are using plain beads or use different sizes of the same bead.

Color and pattern is important when planning a layout. There is no hard rule that jewelry pieces should coordinate or even contain multiple shades of the same color. However, many designs are a mixture of just 2 or 3 colors.

Tips for blending colors:

Look for the accent color on a bead in your pattern, then select plain beads to inter space. The idea is to break up the design and keep the patterned beads from overwhelming the finished piece.

Use neutral colors such as white, black or gray throughout your pattern. The idea here is if the finished layout looks too dark or all the same color, using white beads will lighten it up quite a bit. If the piece ends up looking to light, add some brown or black beads.

Use the color wheel to assemble your colors on the beading board.

Tone and saturation of the colors you use also play a part in the finished piece. It is possible to combine several different shades as long as your saturation (how deep the colors are) remain the same.

Reference used: Beading: One Day Beading Mastery written by: Ellen Warren

Article written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

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A Few Helpful “Physical Health” Beading Tips

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Of top priority for all beading projects, “first make yourself comfortable.” Making sure you are comfortable before starting helps to assure no aches and pains when you are finished. You will also need to use good lighting. I find this being able to “see” is an absolute necessity. Gather up all you need right from the start of the project.

Sitting: How you sit for long periods of time will ultimately determine how you feel at the end of the project. Your posture is important. Be sure you don’t have to lean toward your work. If you will sit at a table or work with materials on a trap sitting on your lap, you will find this helps alleviate fatigue and injury.

Your chair should have good back support. Use a cushion in the seat and back of chair if necessary. If you choose to sit on a stool or a low back chair, you might end up with a backache and even worse some kind of back injury.

Never sit for long hours working on projects. Take breaks frequently. Get up, shake your hands out, bend your fingers back to stretch them out, walk around a little bit and if you want actually do some stretches geared toward people who sit at desks and work. I have found some excellent reports on stretching through the Harvard School of Health website. I do a full routine of stretches daily, which is recommended to maintain good flexibility in all joints. Rest your eyes by focusing on other things besides the project at hand. Always stay hydrated. I keep a jug of water by my side at all times. It is easy to forget to drink water when you get busy. If you keep a jug of water by your side at all times, it is easier to stay hydrated. Just take a few sips at a time if you cannot tolerate drinking many ounces at a time. This works best for me.

Resting your eyes is very important. Jewelry making can be very tiring on the eyes. And of course as we age, this can get worse. Investing in magnifying light is what I plan on doing next. Even wearing jeweler glasses has occurred to me at sometime in my future of jewelry making. Take frequent breaks looking up and away from your projects. Simply looking across the room, focusing on other objects can help alleviate eye fatigue.

What is the absolute most important tool in your jewelry tool box? No. It is not your pliers. It is your HANDS. Long periods of jewelry making time can cause your hands to become sore and tight. Stretch your fingers and hands frequently as you work and try applying hand cream at the end of your projects. I am so guilty of not doing this. I need to take more time to stretch out my hands as they do get “tingly,” from long periods of time on the keyboard, jewelry making, even holding onto the treadmill as I exercise causes hand fatigue for me. This is one area of my body I neglect more than any other area.

Do you ever find yourself getting so caught up in jewelry making that you forget to get up and stretch out everything that becomes tensed up and tight? Try setting an alarm on a clock or your phone to remind you every so often to take a break.

Honestly, my greatest problem right now with bead work is “magnification.” I plan on searching for tools to help magnify objects. It is easy to lose bead regardless of how well you are set up or how well you can see. It is much easier to lose beads when you absolutely cannot see them on the board, or you cannot see where to place your jewelry components through the tiny holes on the beads. I might have to write another article about the devices I find to help me with magnification. I know it has got to be a problem for others as well.

These are just a few helpful physical health tips for bead jewelry artisans. Happy Beading, and please visit me at my Etsy shop:


Taking Inventory of Your Jewelry Collections

Would you like to know what type of jewelry works for you and what type of jewelry does not? Do regular inventories. Start by grouping your current jewelry collection. Once this is accomplished you will be able to see exactly how much and what you have. You will be able to see similarities relating to the current pieces of jewelry you have as well.

Does your current collection follow the same style or several styles? Is your current jewelry collection more along the lines of artistic, modern, contemporary, traditional or vintage? In these groups of current jewelry pieces you will be able to pick out whether or not you lean toward silver or copper jewelry findings, handmade jewelry or mass produced jewelry, diamonds and emeralds or colored gemstones.

These groups will allow you to be more aware of what works for you and what does not work for you. You can get rid of pieces that you rarely wear or perhaps start wearing pieces you rarely wear but were not aware that you actually had them. You can group your jewelry according to style or item such as bracelets with bracelets, rings with rings, or everything that is vintage in one group, everything that is classic in one group, and so on.
These groups may also help you to coordinate jewelry with outfits. Don’t worry about specific rules you may have read elsewhere or someone else told you. Be true to yourself and wear what you like to wear. You can combine fine designer jewelry with fashion jewelry pieces. It is okay to wear a good quality not so real ruby ring with real ruby earrings. It is okay to wear copper jewelry findings with silver pieces and blend colored gemstones just however works best for you. Have you not seen women wear two tone metal bracelets, earrings and necklaces? I have no problem seeing this. To match everything up perfectly is not necessary unless you want to match everything up perfectly. Wearing mis-matched jewelry pieces is actually “chic.”

Grouping jewelry together also tells you what needs to be cleaned, or items that need to be fixed or thrown out. You might find that you wear certain pieces not because of the match to your outfit but for sentimental reasons instead such as a favorite heart charm necklace given by someone you love dearly. On the flip side of that you might jewelry you have not worn in a long time because it is jewelry from a past relationship you want to now forget. In other words, taking inventory gets you closer to your jewelry collection in a way that is not possible any other time. Move negative feelings items out of your jewelry box so they do not negatively influence the good feelings of your more positive pieces of jewelry.

Now…make some lists. First, make a list of jewelry pieces that are of greater value. Yes, this is a crucial part of taking inventory. Now is the time to think about whether or not you have jewelry that needs to be insured in case of loss or theft. On your second list, make this your wish list. List all the jewelry items you would like to acquire to go with whatever pieces you now have. Put this second list in the jewelry box. If you run across the piece in a magazine or somewhere on the internet, cut the picture out or print the picture from the computer and store it in your jewelry box. This action will help you to remember what you would like to purchase, have made for yourself, or even make yourself if you are a hand made jewelry artist.

The wish list helps you to concentrate upon future jewelry buying. While you were grouping all your jewelry pieces you discovered a fabulous single strand of a pearl necklace that once belonged to your Aunt Clara, now deceased, and left to you as a keepsake. If you love the necklace, maybe you should find a pair of earrings to match it. A wish list can also help you to drop out hints about the pieces of jewelry you would like others to gift you to add to pieces you already have.

Give your jewelry groups a good looking over. Are there pieces that can be taken apart and made into other pieces of jewelry or recycled somewhat. Now…another important goal in taking inventories of your jewelry collection is to try and build a jewelry ensemble that coordinates easily with any outfit, that is, if you are a person who coordinates outfits to jewelry, and not the mis-match type. You can even group things together by seasons. There are some types of jewelry or colors in which looks better in some people’s opinion in spring and summer than in fall and winter.
Taking inventory also helps ensure you have jewelry items that correspond to each other rather than a pile of mixed up items in which regardless of how you look at things, you still can’t make heads or tails out of it all. There will be items in the collection you just don’t want anymore and items in the collection in which you can recycle into updated pieces, items you can re-sale, items you can give away, items to take to the Goodwill Store. You might even find a few gifts for someone out of your own collections once inventory is done.

An inventory of your jewelry collection is a helpful tool in evaluating what needs to stay and what needs to go, what goes with this or that. Inventory time will teach you a lot about yourself, how much money you have wasted, and how much money you have saved, and how to avoid the same mistakes over and over again. Doing regular inventories of your jewelry collections is a very important process to any jewelry collector that needs never to be neglected. In other words, take inventory, you will be so glad you did.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings:

Meet Changchang

dangle earrings changchang

I just love this little petite pair of earrings!

The focus point is a 10 mm Chinese glass porcelain round bead. I used 2 different design beads having about the same colors of a rose pink, some green and purple, Chinese flower design painted onto white. I added 3 mm black, fushia, crystal clear and champagne bicone glass beads with some tiny clear spacers in between here and there. The hook is antique bronze french fish hook. I wanted these earrings to reflect a “vintage/antique” period of time although all beads are NEW beads by using the mix matched color of beads and the antique french fish hook. The head pin is silver. I think the combination does create somewhat of a vintage/antique look. Anything vintage or antique changes colors over time and I feel the different color combinations in these earrings helps to create a vintage/antique look, which is a basic theme to most of my earrings creations.

I have added these to my “Carmilita’s Chinese Porcelain Dangles” collection of earrings. Each pair will have a Chinese female name beginning with the letter “C”. This pair is named: “Changchang,” which means FLOURISHING. Wear this pair of earrings and think the word flourishing to give you luck in the area of your life in which you wish to flourish. I do not guarantee this will happen, but just for a FUN kind of thought or game to play with yourself whenever you put this pair of earrings on.

They were created by hand and with great care. I have one pair. They should last you as long as you take good care of them.

Purchase ChangChang here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Jewelry Tips for Buying, Making and Wearing Jewelry

Short on cash and wanting to buy new jewelry? You can create your own much more cost effective than purchasing at retail prices. Bead earrings, bracelets and necklaces are easy to create. Practice yields excellent results. You will soon be so in love with your own jewelry designs, you will forget all about purchasing at retail prices again, and have much more color coordinated jewelry as well.

Lamp work beads are truly unique beads to work into jewelry pieces. Most lamp work beads are made by hand and customized precisely. If you are looking for something unusual and very different purchase some lamp work beads and begin crafting handmade jewelry.

Have you seen the add-a-pearl and add-a-bead necklaces and bracelets? Give a gift your friend or family member can continue adding their own choices. Start them off with a basic chain or bracelet with a pearl, bead or charm to coincide with the occasion. Each holiday, birthday or special event thereafter give those same people an additional charm or bead.

Here is a tip I bet you never thought of. Beeswax is great for calming down frizzy twine you might work with to make handmade jewelry. Rub a little beeswax on the twine for a smooth look and better manageability.

Have you eyes set upon a particular wedding band way over your budget? Buy something within your budget with a jeweler who provides buy-back programs and trade it in for the one you most want at a later time.

Shop for sales when shopping for jewelry making supplies. Many craft and bead stores offer discounts and sales sometimes up to 50% off. When you see the sales stock up on staples like buddy braids, specific types of beads, headpins, eye pins, even storage boxes go on sale from time to time.
Jewelry chosen properly will enhance your look. You want to choose jewelry pieces that complement your total look rather than overpower it.

Wondering what kind of jewelry to give your wife or girlfriend for special occasions? Consider the lifestyle or hobby of the person you intend to buy for. Does she dress conservatively with traditional classic clothing? You might decide to buy her a pair of diamond stud earrings, or a simple chain necklace. If she enjoys change and is constantly changing her look consider purchasing interchangeable pendants, stones or beads for a jewelry gift.

You can even select jewelry pieces that represent different emotions. It is said green colored gemstones represent growth and vitality. You might think about giving this color of jewelry to an expectant mother or a high school student graduate, even a college graduate.

It is said that white stones like opals, pearls and diamonds represent a sense of purity and peace, which is probably why engagement rings are usually diamonds.

If you make jewelry consider buying jewelry findings, fasteners, beads and other supplies in large quantities. Most craft jewelry retailers offer good discounts on large orders. Purchase pieces that can be used in a variety of designs.

Some jewelry makers like to recycle older vintage pieces of jewelry such as bracelets and necklaces using the beads for new designs. Go to any thrift store or Goodwill store and look around for older pieces of jewelry to find some great bargains on vintage beads to make new jewelry pieces.
Always keep in mind the brand name jewelry is not necessarily the best buys. The majority of people won’t even recognize the brand when you wear it. Put on a necklace, earrings or bracelet that really stands out on you and enhances your appearance and you will most likely get more compliments than for a brand name piece of jewelry that is just “blah-looking,” but from some brand in lines of jewelry or a particular retail outlet. I have seen some of the worst looking pieces of jewelry that come from a brand name retailer and some of the prettiest from a non-brand source. Of course, it can work either way.

These are just a few tips about buying, making and wearing jewelry. There are many, many more.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

Meet Charis:


Charis is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Victorian Collection of dangle earrings. Charis dangles from the hook 2 inches. She is elegant and regal looking.

I assembled Charis from an earring kit.

Materials Used:
2 Gold Plated Dangle Earrings
2 Gold Plated Filigree Drops
6 Gold Plaed Headpins
6 Gold Plated 5 mm Jump Rings
2 – 6 mm Gold Plated Scallop Bead Caps
2 Clear 6 mm Crystal Bicones
4 Turquoise 6 mm Round Czech Fire-Polished Beads
2 Pink 15 x 10 mm Crystal Teardrop Beads

Charis’s Price: $15 (includes shipping)

Purchase Charis from this website and receive a FREE gift in your package.

Charis arrive to you ready for gift giving or for your own personal handmade beaded jewelry collection in an organza bag, wrapped securely and placed within a bubble envelope.

See more bead jewelry selections here: Carmilita’s Earrings

Purchase Charis here: Carmilita’s Earrings