Sunday, November 23, 2014

Back To Basics! Simple Bead Strand Necklace

I can’t believe my last post was over a year ago! I can’t say I’ve been busy but I definitely haven’t been making jewelry as much I’ve wanted to over the last year. My day job has become a lot more demanding and my creative juices have a really taken a hit but I’m hoping to turn that around. What better way to do that than to just make a simple strand necklace! I’m not kidding, this took less than 10 minutes to make. I dusted off my tools and grabbed some bead strands I purchased at my local bead store. I’ve always wanted to do a Native American-type of piece and this one comes pretty close for me with the turquoise-like crystals and the deep red rondelles. I threw in a sterling silver leaf pendant and toggle clasp and I was so happy with the finished piece that I even wore it to work the very next day! It’s a chocker style necklace but comfortably loose. I just ordered more crystal beads in the hopes to make more of these simple beauties!

Rachel Graham simple easy bead strand necklace
Now lets hope I keep this going!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pick Up Sticks Earrings

Pick Up Sticks earrings Jill Wiseman beadwork swarovski Rachel Graham
Yet another project I finished a long time ago and didn’t post!  Shame on me :(  Anyways, these were tricky but very fun to make when I got used to the design.   It’s actually just a very simple cubic right angle weave but the small beads (size 11/0 seed beads) made it a bit tricky to see where the thread needed to go next. 
The design is a variation of Jill Wiseman’s “Pick Up Sticks Bracelet” featured in this years Beadwork June/July issue.  Seeing the cute and sparkly beaded “sticks”stacked together looked so cute I immediately thought of slender earrings with Swarovski bicones (of course lol). I followed the pattern closely but I added size 15/0 beads between each right angle unit to cover the exposed threads.  I honestly don’t like the look of exposed threads in any piece I make.
Here’s the materials I used:
Size 11/0 rounds seed beads – Nickel Plated
Size 15/0 round seed beads – Nickel Plated
3mm Swarovski Bicones – Indicolite AB2x
1 pair sterling silver ear wires
Pick Up Sticks earrings Jill Wiseman beadwork swarovski Rachel Graham
When I tried them on, I fell in love with how delicately they shook and they didn’t have that “bulky” look that I was afraid of.  I imagined wearing these out with my hair up in a curly messy bun but before I could, my aunt bought them from me lol!  It’s all good, they look better on her XD
I’ll definitely be making more of these but I’m short on color ideas :(
Until next time :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bright Native Loom Bracelets

native metallic loom bracelet anabel campbell
I made these bracelets almost a year ago and I have no idea why I’ve never posted them!   My first attempt at loom work was a disaster and it was almost an entire year before I attempted it again.  I had purchased a simple bead loom at my local craft store and followed some simple instructions from the manual but I quickly gave up and let it collect dust.  Until one day I came upon a photo of Anabel Campbell’s Navajo Loom bracelets.  They were so gorgeous with their metallic pastel colors that I couldn’t resist trying one more time.  Of course, I needed a refresher course on loom weaving and after a while a discovered the best looming tutorial: How to Work with a Bead Loom.  This video tutorial covers everything from how to get the freakin’ string on the darn loom and how to finish the bracelet!  Before finding this video, I only found tutorials on how to string on the beads but never anything too detailed that a beginner like me was looking for.
If your looking to start looming always remember to not pull the thread tight at any time, even when finishing the threads off.  In the vid tutorial, she specified not to pull tight since the piece would tighten up over time.  Of course, I didn’t listen and next thing I knew I had a crooked warped bracelet :( So I tried again, without tightening the threads and I was happy to see the piece lay flat and flexible.
For the beads used, I always recommend size 11/0 delica seed beads.  Rounds are great but they aren’t always consistent in size and shape so your piece could look a little uneven.  The exact types of delicas I used are all Galvanized delicas from  They have a gorgeous metallic finish and the color lasts for a long time, unlike other simple non-galvanized delicas.
I hope to make another loom piece soon but I really want to attach it to a leather backing.  If anyone knows a great tutorial for this, please let me know!
Here's the charts for both bracelets :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“Masca” Earrings - Design by Alondra

Masca Earrings beaded crystal Rachel Graham

It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything new! Work has been crazy and has taken so much of my energy :(  All I’ve wanted to do the last few months is sleep!  But then I kept on running into awesome and gorgeous tutorials and jewelry designs on Pinterest and I realized I needed to dust off my beading desk and do something…..anything!

I decided to make these pretty little earrings from a design on called “Masca” from Alondra’s blog.  It’s in Spanish but the graphics were really easy to read :)

If anyone needs any help reading the pattern, just let me know and I’ll be more than happy to help you out XD

P.S – If anyone knows where I can find 39ss (8mm) crystal chaton montees please pleeeease let me know :)  They were really hard to find! I managed to get them off Etsy but I’m hoping to find a site with more colors :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Swarovski Beaded Heart Pendant

Swarovski Crystal Astral Pink heart beaded bezel pendant necklace by Rachel Graham

During one of my impulse buys from, I had bought a giant 28mm Crystal Astral Pink Heart Pendant that I had no idea what to do with.  All I knew at the time is that I wanted it.  Close to 3 months later I was exploring Youtube for any new beading projects and I came upon this one:

 TUTORIAL: Incastonare un cuore Swarovski da 28mm

The obvious downside is that the tutorial is in Italian but I didn’t let that stop me from trying to do it.  It actually wasn’t that difficult to make out what Valentina was doing and when in doubt, I just paused the video and compared my piece with hers to make sure I was on the right track.  If anyone wants to try it, let me know and I’ll be happy to help you through it  :)

After finally finishing the beaded bezel and successfully installing the heart, I finished the design with some 3mm Crystal Bronze Bicones around the entire piece to add some extra sparkle.  I will admit that I wish I had used a more vibrant color for the bicones but I’m not complaining.

After finishing the entire pendant,  I couldn’t make up my mind on what material to use for the necklace.  I was thinking about ribbon but I didn’t have any on hand.  Gold chain seemed a little odd to pair with the beaded bezel so I landed on using 3mm brown suede cord which worked wonderfully :) 

If you’re thinking about tackling the Italian tutorial, here’s some tips that I can offer:

  • The total amount of size 11/0 delica seed beads on the first row of the beaded bezel is 72.
  • Use the thinnest thread possible.  I made a total of 3 beaded bezels before I finally got a good stitch that wasn’t too rigid.  I recommend Size O Nymo Thread or 4lb Fireline.  Anything thicker than that will result in a very stiff beaded bezel that will be almost impossible to pass through once you start adding the last rows of size 15/0 seed beads as there are many.
  • During the video, keep close attention to the beads that she skips while making the bezel.  Due to the pendant being a heart shape,  she managed to create a bezel pattern that fits perfectly around the shape and accentuates it.  For example, if you look closely at the bottom point of the beaded bezel on the top photo, you’ll notice it has fewer beads than the other points around the bezel and yet the entire beaded bezel is symmetrical.

Materials used:

-4lb Fireline

-Size 12 Beading Needle

-Size 11/0 Delica seed beads in Galvanized Champagne

-Size 15/0 Round seed beads in Transparent Dark Amber Gold Luster

-28mm Swarovski Heart Pendant in Crystal Astral Pink

-3mm Swarovski Bicones in Crystal Bronze

-3mm Brown Suede Cord, approx 32 inches

Swarovski Crystal Astral Pink heart beaded bezel pendant necklace by Rachel Graham

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Industrial Chic Bracelet from Beadwork Magazine

Industrial Chic Bracelet Callie Mitchell Beadwork magazine swarovski crystal

This bracelet was definitely the most time consuming that I have ever done……. it took almost 3 weeks to finish!  To be honest, there were times that I wanted to throw it in the “Take-Apart” bin and just move on to something else but just looking at Callie Mitchell’s Industrial Chic pattern in Beadwork Magazine gave me the motivation to keep it going :) 

If anyone is inspired to make this bracelet, please take note of one very important thing……use identical size 8/0 beads for the base!!  I wish I knew this before I started the first bracelet base :(  I was using some leftover beads from my Mom’s stash and while going through them, I realized how many were warped, broken, or just flat as lentils!  I didn’t think much of it at first but then I realized how much time I was spending just looking for the next semi-normal shaped bead that I could pick up next.   So finally I just gave up and ordered some awesome Hematite Toho beads from  When I got the package, I was so thrilled to see that all the beads in the bag were almost completely identical and then it was easy-beading from then on….at least as far as the base goes.   Oh and one last important thing… prepared to break a lot of needles :( There were many areas that were so tightly woven and “crowded” with other beads that I couldn’t weave easily through without breaking the needle tip.  I’m not sure if I’ll do another like this again but I am pleased with the finished piece ;)

The supplies I used are almost exactly as what was listed in Callie’s pattern but I’ll include exact colors and such:

  • Size 12 beading needles
  • 6lb Fireline thread – Smoke
  • TOHO Metallic Hematite Round Seed Beads 8/0
  • Silver Round Seed Beads 15/0
  • 4mm Swarovski Bicones:
    -Cyclamen Opal
    -Jet Hematite
    -Purple Velvet
    -Tanzanite AB
  • 3mm Jet Hematite 2x Swarovski Bicones

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Crystal Astral Pink Flower Ring!!

Swarovski Crystal Astral Pink 10mm Heart pendant ring chibistar88 rachel graham

      Swarovski Crystal Astral Pink 10mm Heart pendant ring chibistar88 rachel graham

I’m obsessed with Swarovski’s new color, Crystal Astral Pink!!  The honey-colored crystal is even more vibrant with a gorgeous hot pink iridescent coating giving it a special effect that I’ve never seen before!  I’ve always loved making these flower crystal rings but when I finally received my package, I swear I finished this ring twice as fast as it normally takes!!  I couldn’t wait to wear it lol XD.

Check out my previous posts for my other Crystal Flower Rings :)

Wanna make this ring yourself?  Take a look at Kelly’s FREE tutorial on Youtube! I had originally purhcased a PDF tutorial from Ety to make this ring but over time, the seller suddenly stopped offering the tutorial so I couldn’t recommend it to others anymore :(  Suddenly, I accidently came upon Kelly’s Youtube tutorial and I couldn’t believe how similar it was to the tutorial I bought!  The finished result is exactly the same but the steps were slightly different from what I had learned :)

Kelly used slightly larger components in her video however I used the following materials to create this ring which is roughly 1 1/2 inches wide:

  • (6) 10mm Crystal Astral Pink Heart Pendants
  • (6) 4mm Mocha Bicone Crystals
  • (6) 4mm Clear Bicone Crystals
  • Size 11 Chocolate Silver Lined Round Seed Beads (less than 1 gram)
  • .10” Clear Illusion Cord (about 3.5 feet”)

Check back soon for more crystal jewelry creations!