Beads and Butterflies

Alison's Crafty Adventures

Tree of Life necklace November 9, 2011

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 8:59 pm
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The Tree of Life is a concept that’s been featured in myth, folklore and religion literally all around the world. Since ancient times, people have used variations on the theme. Connecting all things – the realms of the spirit, the physical, the divine and the mundane – the roots of the tree and the branches touch all things and bring them together in harmony.


In the 13th to 6th century BC, the tree of life decorated fortresses and the armor of ancient Armenians which is not surprising since it symbolized immortality. The tree of life is also in the Bible’s Book of Genesis and was a part of the old Norse religion. More modern uses of the symbol include the tree of life in science (phylogenetic tree) which is used to depict evolutionary lines and the anatomical term arbor vitae (Latin for tree of life) for the branching tree-like appearance of the brain’s cerebellum.


I used this tutorial for my necklace, which has very detailed step by step instructions and pictures, but there are lots of other pictures out there as well.


Tree of Life necklace


Birds nest necklaces October 6, 2011

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 2:37 pm
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This is one of the crafts I’ve seen on Pinterest and actually made (as opposed to the many more crafts I’ve pinned and not yet made!). The tutorial I used is here, but the basic premise is to thread your beads onto the end of the wire, wrap the wire round the beads several times (it can be a bit tricky holding everything in place), then wrap the wire round the bits you’ve already wrapped and tuck in the ends. Then just add on a jump ring, or make a loop from the wire and thread your chain through that. I used a much thinner wire than in the tutorial (because it’s what I had) but I like how they came out. And the great thing about this craft is it doesn’t make if they end up looking a bit messy because they just look more realistic!


Blue birds nest necklace

Purple birds nest necklace



Purple balls and dragonflies September 26, 2011

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 2:33 pm

Just a couple of pairs of earrings I’ve made recently. The purple beads were left over from another project and had been waiting for me to buy some bead caps to turn them into earrings. I tend not to plan out my jewellery items precisely before I buy beads, I just see beads I like and buy however many I think I might need. So I’m always ending up with a small number of random ones left over. But I like the challenge this poses of using them for something else.

The dragonflies were upcycled (love that term!) from a rather ugly bracelet that was no longer wanted by a friend and donated to me to use the parts.

They are both available for sale in my facebook shop.

Purple earrings

 Dragonfly earrings


Shell earrings August 24, 2011

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 10:36 am
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Today I turned this...

...into these


Disc earrings August 11, 2011

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 3:18 pm
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I found these really nice disc shaped beads in the bead shop recently and made a couple of simple pairs of earings out of them. The black and white ones with butterflies on were for me, of course. The funky retro pink and brown ones I’m going to try and sell. I have them up in my facebook shop but that’s all for now. Need to work on the whole promotion/ marketing thing…

 Black and white earing

 Pink and brown earings


Necklaces I’ve made recently

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 6:21 am
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I’ve made these three necklaces in the past couples of weeks, all using different methods. The first two were for my two line managers when I left my job. They were both really lovely people and were often admiring things that I’d made and was wearing myself so I really wanted to make them both something. The third one was for my sister for her birthday.

Green beaded necklace

This first one was made using tiger tail which is a flexible beading thread made from several strands of wire twisted together covered with a nylon coating. I picked out the beads I wanted to use from my local bead shop and used some I had in my stash for the spaces in between. I really like the toggle clasp, it features a big leaf and a little bunch of grapes, cute!

Purple necklace

This second one was also made using tiger tail but I wanted the beads to have some space between them so I used crimping beads to hold them in place. These are tiny metal beads which you thread onto the wire to the position you want then squash them with pliers to fix them in place. I think it makes the individual beads stand out. I used a smaller silver toggle clasp for this one. The clasps are held on by making a loop in the tiger tail and securing it with another crimping bead, then using a jump ring to attach the toggle to the loop.

Cord necklace

This one was threaded onto a brown cord and again I wanted to give each bead some space so I held them in place using a simple knot. I didn’t measure out the gaps or anything, just judged it by eye to give it a more rustic, homemade feel. I used the same leaf clasp as on the first necklace (they came in a pack of 2!) but this time I just tied it on by knotting the cord.

I think they all came out really well, let me know what you think!


Beading October 26, 2009

Filed under: Beading — Alison @ 7:32 pm

Ok, so here are a few of the beaded jewellery items I’ve made so far and already had pictures of (if I can get it to work).

Some are also available for purchase on folksy!