Creating Beaded Jewelry to Express Love and Appreciation

Mother’s Day may be a “Hallmark” holiday but it sure is a great time for many of us to take pause, make beaded jewelry (or something meaningful to us) to gift in an expression of our love and appreciation, letting someone who’s touched our life know they are special.

Last year’s gifts
I’m blessed and surrounded by wonderful female family members and good friends. I’m thankful to be able to make gifts for them and thankful they appreciate receiving them! Last year, the gift was a bracelet made with a combination of WireLace®, Simplicity magnetic clasp, and Swarovski BeCharmed big-hole beads.

Wirelace and Swarovski BeCharmed bead bracelet - design by Linda Hartung

Wirelace and Swarovski BeCharmed bead bracelet

Linda Hartung, owner of Alacarte Clasps created this design and offers the instructions on how to make this pretty bracelet on her website: www.alacarteclasps.com.

In addition to the WireLace bracelet, I included a matching Swarovski chaton and cup-chain bracelet. These bracelet are quick and easy to make – but don’t tell anyone!

Swarovski crystal and chaton cup-chain bracelet; silver oxide cup-chain; crystal silver night chatons

Swarovski crystal and chaton cup-chain bracelet; silver oxide cup-chain; crystal silver night chatons

How to Make a Cup-Chain Bracelet 
In case you wanted to make one of these Swarovski crystal bracelets, too, here’s a quick how-to on setting the chatons into the empty cup-chain bracelet:
Set a chaton into a cup-chain setting.crystal chaton set into the cup-chain setting. Silver oxide cup chain bracelet; air blue opal Swarovski crystal chaton

Use a pair of pliers (or even the back of a spoon), to press a prong toward the chaton.

Using pliers, press a prong toward the chaton. Silver oxide cup chain bracelet; air blue opal Swarovski crystal chaton

Turn the setting and press a second prong into place. I prefer to work the next prong moving diagonally from the first, so I set them equally, keeping the stone straight in the setting.

Using pliers to set the 2nd prong, working diagonally from the first. Silver oxide cup chain bracelet; air blue opal Swarovski crystal chaton

Repeat to press all four prongs toward the stone then ensure the stone is secure and the prongs flush (you shouldn’t feel anything poking up that might catch on a sweater). If needed, press on the prongs a little more firmly.
all four prongs set, securing the chaton in place. Silver oxide cup chain bracelet; air blue opal Swarovski crystal chaton
Repeat until you’ve set all the stones – done!

Special gifts given and received
I asked a few ladies in the office what their favorite Mother’s Day gift was (whether they made or received). Here are a few of the responses.

Megan Lenhausen shares this special gift

Megan's gift to her mom, sharing her thoughts on always being connected no matter how far apart they live

Megan’s gift to her Mom

My mom is my best friend, and it’s hard because we live in different states! I made her this framed picture of two pieces of a map, representing each of the states we live in. I made a dotted line to connect our cities. I wanted her to know that however far apart we may live, she’s always in my heart!

Mallory Leonard shares the story behind this cherished necklace

Mallory Leonard's cherished handmade necklace

Mallory Leonard’s cherished handmade necklace

Stringing editor Debbie Blair has become a dear friend. My first Mother’s Day as a mom was last year, and it was a very special day, made even more special by a sweet gift from Debbie. She saved the first baby photo my husband emailed to friends and family after the birth, and transformed it into a charm by pasting it to a small bezel and covering it in resin. Debbie made a second charm displaying a red heart and then attached the two charms to a simple chain for the most wonderful necklace I own – my very favorite. I keep the note she wrote in the jewelry box along with the necklace. In it, she wrote, “I added the heart because, before your baby was born of your womb, he was born in your heart. And, as a mommy, you will always carry him close to your heart, even when you are apart.” I love wearing this necklace and will never be able to express how much it means to me! It was an amazing gift, truly from the heart, in more ways than one.

Lindsay Jarvis shares the thoughts behind a gift made for her mom

Lindsay Jarvis' crocheted shawl for her beautiful mom

Lindsay Jarvis’ crocheted shawl for her beautiful mom

My wonderful Mother, Moana lives in New Mexico, where light layers are essential! She is also very sensitive to animal fibers on her skin, which is something I must always take into consideration when I search patterns and corresponding yarns. I just fell in love with the wispy and flowing Buttercream Shawl by Annette Petavy from Interweave Crochet, Spring 2014, and was excited to see the majority of the yarn used was linen. With only a small portion crocheted in a very soft mohair blend that wouldn’t touch the neck, I thought it would be a perfect present for my mother and a great way to incorporate luxurious animal fiber into her life while still being comfortable. I decided to crochet the shawl in the same yarn, switching the colorway to a rich brown linen and paired with a creamy vanilla mohair. The new color combination inspired me to call it the “Toasted Coconut Shawl.” It’s been at least two years since then and my mother just loves the shawl and says it’s perfect for New Mexico!

To my Mom: Mom, stop reading here or you’ll spoil the surprise!

Through the years, I’ve done different things to express my appreciation to my Mom. This year, she’ll be getting a gift to help support her re-emerging love of beading, rather than a finished design I’ve made. And it’s been really fun shopping for her. Here are a few of the things I know she’ll get lots of use out of. A Judi Patuti bag, Tulip beading needles, and a Tulip beading awl.

Judi Patuti bag, Tulip beading needles, Tulip beading awl

Judi Patuti bag, Tulip beading needles, Tulip beading awl

I’ve also added in a copy of the latest Favorite Beading Stitches issue as I know it will inspire her to bead even more.

Beadwork magazines, Favorite Bead Stitches issue, 2016

Beadwork magazines, Favorite Bead Stitches issue, 2016

My guess is she will love the Botanic Gardens bracelet for it’s colors and width, but might think it’s too hard (you can do it, Mom!).

 

 

Botanic Gardens Bracelet by Svetlana Chernitsky 2 different two-hole shape beads stitched using netting and fringe

Botanic Gardens Bracelet by Svetlana Chernitsky
2 different two-hole shape beads stitched using netting and fringe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“O” So Charming Bracelet is my hands down best guess as to what she and my favorite ladies on the Eastern Shore will start bead weaving next. (Ladies, let me know if I guessed right.)

"O" So Charming Bracelet, by Megan Milliken; triangle-weave bracelet using seed beads and O beads

“O” So Charming Bracelet, by Megan Milliken; triangle-weave bracelet using seed beads and O beads

What is your favorite Mother’s Day gift? Was it one you made or received? And have a “next on your beading mat” design, please comment and let us know!

Happy Beading and Happy Mother’s Day to each of you special women,

blue_tammy

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