Sunday, 22 June 2014

Draping in Freeform Designs

I know I have touched on the importance of fit in freeform before. Freeform is not unlike working with fabric, it needs to sit in a way that best highlights the work. When I get to certain point in my design. Generally as I am starting to think about length and fit, I use draping techniques to ensure it sits correctly. The good thing about starting with a minimal base of peyote or no base at all is that you can go and zip up or add to sections that take away from the drape. I often hold my work up in front of a mirror but if you are lucky enough to have a bust or sewing form this is a great way too. If I am making a piece for myself I use a small bust with pins but this is not substantial enough for every body type.

As can be seen by this beautiful Zac Posen design, the way something sits can make or break a piece. Take my own current work in progress. You can see by simply pulling it together or pulling it out the drape changes.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Importance of Being Original

I recalled an interview with Heidi Klum, discussing a necklace she loved and wondered if this was her own brand. During a google search, I came across this story: Heidi Klum Law Suit. Although most handmade jewellery artists are truly small fry, every business has the potential to take off, imagine if your design took off then you had to end it all. Design is a funny thing, not unlike academic writing, ideas are merely a conversion of a collection of inspirations and experiences. However, most designers have experienced the customer's request for a knock off. Some design concepts are so popular or generic that this doesn't matter. Although, most of us will take a style of popular jewellery and change it to suit our own signature. Isn't it more meaningful and special to own an original or one of a kind than something everyone else is wearing.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Long and Lean

Like clothes, different necklace lengths, shapes, and sizes suit different body types. However, there is one style that I think looks nice on small and large frames alike. Rope length which is 40 inches in the imperial system. This style lengthens a shorter body as it draws your eye up and down the body. It also draws the eye in and detracts from larger frames. The only body type that may struggle with this length is those ladies with a larger bust as they tend to catch on a breast. This can be solved though by cinching it in the middle. As a shorter woman I wear this style a lot and without fail get a lot of compliments. For the designer this style can be a fun way to use up beads and does not require a clasp.

Today I created two rope length necklaces both using saved up bead soups. All beads were too special not to use but there wasn't enough for a design featuring just a single style of bead. 

The first one is Pink Lemonade. A pretty array of pink toned beads, freshwater pearls, glass beads, shell beads and crystal. 

The second is Green Berry, a yummy pallete of purples, blues, blacks, and green. 

Both are available in my Etsy store. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

My first Etsy item has been listed

Just a quick note to share an exciting milestone. I finally bit the bullet and listed an item on Etsy. I was going to wait until I built stock but that probably result in me never having the confidence to just do it. I might not sell anything but I made the first step.

These covered cabochons are up for sale

They are so sweet and so much fun to make. 
The listing can be found here:
The Cedar Beader on Etsy

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Moving forward


The BSBP (see my reveal post here) has provided me with a lot of confidence to move forward with my jewellery making. I received some wonderful encouragement from all the participants and the compliments on my wirework really spurred me on to experiment more with wire. I also received some good advice froma friend who told me that she loves my large art pieces by that there was nothing wrong with scaling things back and exploring the possibilities of popular and saleable items. I will always do one of a kind but I did a bit of a search of "popular" to see what would appeal to me. As an avid fan of Revenge I see that the infinity symbol trend is still going strong. I wanted to incorporate this into something but didn't want it to be really obvious. I decided to do a copper wire prototype and this is what I came up with. I really enjoy working with wire. It's complex enough to stop me from getting bored but simple enough to do in a day. I wore this yesterday and I feel I've come a long way since I first tried wire. It fits, there are no sharp edges, it sits well and I like it. I might make a similar one in silver but of course it will look different. I am in between working on a really large freeform design. If I can manage to stock up on a few designs of bracelets and necklaces I may take the next step of booking a stall at the school markets. I will see where my crazy life takes me. 

Saturday, 10 May 2014


The day has come to reveal my BSBP pieces. This is a first for me and I was very fortunate to be paired with Agata who has similar colour tastes to me. Although I chose seeds I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to use wire and chain. I still designed freeform pieces because I like to show a bit of me in every piece I do. I do think my pieces look fairly beginner and did somewhat deviate from my original plans but I love them none the less. 

My main piece is a freeform beaded pendant incorporating many of the beads that Agata sent. I had originally had a very spherical concept true to my inspiration (Davinci's Demons) designed but it was all too bulky and the star was much more suited to a flowing design. The wire wrapping was a huge challenge and I had to try to make the colours gel with the clasp. This is very true to Clarice Orsini's style in the show, she wears a layered necklace with lots of different elements so I have named it Clarice.

The next challenge I set myself was a wire bracelet. I kept adding and twisting and adding until I was happy with the end result. I love this and have worn it every day. This reminded me of a hair piece full of beautiful flowers, something that Vanessa Moschella, a free spirited character would wear. Hence this piece is called Vanessa.

Last but not least are the earrings I designed. My one issue with these earrings are the wires are a different colour. I want to be able to wear them as I love them but I cannot tolerate base metals in my ears so sterling it is. They are something that Lucrezia would wear. So they are to be named Lucrezia I hope I have done my beautiful soup from Agata justice as she has done with mine.

There is just one thing left to say and that is a HUGE thank you to my swap partner Agata and the wonderful Ms Lori who despite challenges was able to put together this wonderful party. Also to everyone who has supported me behind the scenes.

Please don't just stop by my blog, check out the host Blog: Pretty Things and all the wonderful links. Please don't forget to see what Agata did with her soup at Inaurem.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

BSBP and the Liebster Award

I was expecting to post some pretty raw designs today for the BSBP. However, sadly our host Lori is unwell and she's had to postpone. I don't think any one is bothered by the one week postponement as it gives us all a chance to refine our designs, hopefully Lori is well soon. 

I was browsing Bloglovin' as I often do on a Saturday morning and saw my name and a link to this blog on the lovely Bead Recipes. The talented Melissa has nominated me for something called the Liebster award. The Liebster award is a chain letter designed to bring new visitors to small, unknown blogs. “Liebster” is a German word that translates to “dearest”, “most favourite”. 

You must follow the rules below to participate:

  • You have to link the person who nominated/tagged you.
  • You have to answer the 11 questions your nominator asked you
  • Pick 11 bloggers whose blogs have less than 200 followers, tag them, and don’t forget to inform them about it.
  • Come up with 11 new questions for the persons you’ve tagged.
So, here are my questions and answers:

Dog or cat?
Dog, definitely dog :-). I have three, two Border Collies named Milo and Scooby and a Labrador named Luna. 

Dark chocolate or milk?
Dark chocolate seems to sit better in my tummy. 

What’s your favourite time of year (season or holiday) and why?
Spring, when It's not too hot, here in Queensland it is generally September, October around my birthday.

What’s your favourite recipe? Link to it if it’s online!
Mainly my favourites of my mums that I know off by heart, egg and bacon pie is my all time favourite to eat and cook. 

Where in the world would you most like to travel?
I have never been out of Australia and dream of the Greek Isles. 

Name three books that you really really enjoyed reading.
Just three? The Potato Factory, 'Tis, The Hunger Games are amongst my favourite but I love to read. 

If you could travel in time, which period would you most want to visit?
I would go back to my time in country Victoria, when I was 12 and 13. Although there were so e tough times then they were amongst the most fun moments of my life. 

What’s your favourite gemstone?
I'm partial to citrine. 
When was the last time you dressed up in a costume? And what did you wear?
I think it was 2 years ago and it was a pirate wench. 

What craft or technique would you really like to learn?
Knitting, I've tried and tried but I'm not so good. 

Do you live close to where you grew up, or far away?
Far away. I was born in Kalgoorlie in WA and we moved a lot after leaving WA in 1989. 

OK so I might be breaking the rules, just for now as I haven't time to pull up more blogs that I don't readily know but I have added my friends, family, and followers that I would love to see develop their blogs more and I shall add to the list over the coming week before the BSBP reveal.

Nominator: Melissa from Bead Recipes
Ana from AC Beads
Molly from Beaute Beads
Danielle from Cilla & Mint
Lori Finney from Using My Beads
Lorelle from Beady Art
Nan Smith from Nanmade

Here are my questions:
What is your favourite movie?
Who inspires you the most in your creative endeavors?
Where was the last place you danced?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What colour are your eyes?
How many pets do you own?
What are your biggest phobias?
How would your best friend describe you?
Are you loud or quiet?
Do you do sport, if so what?
If you could only eat one food for a whole day, what would it be?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Inspiration for Bead Soup Blog Party Revealed

I can't reveal my design for the BSBP yet but I can reveal my inspiration. I have been watching the new series of Da Vinci's Demons. Last night they opened up a device that I don't remember the name of but it is a compass that helps navigate the seas and it is reflective of Da Vinci's, Vitruvian Man drawing. The stars sent to me by Agata really compliment this theme.

In addition to the shapes in this show, I really like the opulent jewellery worn by the characters. Along with layered necklaces, characters such as Lacrezia Donati wear shoulder dusting earrings. I have not created many earrings so I think that they will be a nice challenge for this party.

(Photo source:

Thursday, 20 March 2014

My Yummy Soup is Here!

I have had a rough couple of days with my son so it was a welcome distraction when my soup arrived from Agata today. She was stressed about what she sent me but she didn't need to be. I loved every bit of the soup I got and it will force me to keep to not go off on a crazy tangent. I tend to over improvise at times which often results in an over complicated design that does not get finished. I have ideas swirling through my head but let me show you what she sent:

The whole yummy soup with all the elements and a lovely letter

Close up of all the elements. I love every one of them. I am quite smitten with the stars. I have some ideas of how to use them and I think this piece will be all for me too.

I was also lucky to receive one of Agata's beautiful bead crocheted bracelet. Her speed and ability is awe inspiring. I also love the little charm, she makes them herself and the colours match so much in my wardrobe. I am wearing it now.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My Soup Landed in Poland

International postage is unpredictable at best, the lovely Agata from Inaurem has received my soup. Apparently 100gms of seed beads came as a bit if a shock to her heeheee. I partly sent that much because I'm an indecisive Libran and partly because I really have no clue how many beads are required for crochet. I wanted her to have the challenge of combining many colours but wanted to keep true to the colours we both seem to adore. 

Pop on over to the lovely Ms Agata's blog because her photos are way better than mine. Here is what I sent her. A Jasper focal (I believe it is porcelain Jasper) from far North Queensland. This was my basis for my soup, I picked this out first and built from there. I knew I wanted to add some pink as I had seen a bit of pink on her blog but not a lot. I went for more mauve/purple hues though as I had the most to match those and I'm not a big bright pink fan. I got a huge stash of pearls and knew that these ones would both blend (white/cream) and pop out of the design (dark blue). I wanted the blue to enhance the mauve qualities of the soup. I made the clasp as I was not satisfied with any in my stash. I also added the ceramic button as another clasp choice.  I added some bits and pieces to make sure she could do more than one piece, given the amount I gave her. Thankfully for her the rules don't require her to use everything so there are lots of options. 

Monday, 10 March 2014


Every now and then I go a little nuts and become addicted to making something or to a certain technique. At the moment it is beaded circles. I'm not even sure what I'm going to make with them yet but they look gorgeous. I have provided a little sneak peek below. It'll probably be a present so I have added a filter in case the future owner stops by.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Hint hint hint

So we aren't allowed to reveal our soups for the blog party yet but lots of people are doing pixelated photo hints. Here's mine. I put it in the mail this week, I'm not sure how long it will take for it to get to Poland so I guess I'll have to be patient and wait to see what Agata thinks :-).

Friday, 7 March 2014

Capture a Cab Without Backing

I was told I capture cabs in an unusual way so I thought I would give a quick tutorial (for advanced beaders) here.

First I string enough 11 delicas (or seeds) to go around the cab, there must be an even amount of beads and a little lose is better than too tight. Then I pass through the beads and peyote.

Keep the tension tight

Peyote until you have enough of a strip to cover the height of the cab, if you have worked a tight tension, you should have a slight cupping effect. Change to the opposite side of the ring that you have been working on and switch to size 15 seeds. work in a slightly looser tension and position the cab into the bezel before you end the peyote.

Once you have positioned your cab and finished your first row of 15s, turn the work cab side down and work one more row. 

Turn it back and work rows of 15 seeds until you are happy with the end result. The below picture is a completed one. I probably could have pulled the tension a little tighter on the seeds. I cannot readily find 15 delicas but that would undoubtedly give a cleaner finish but I like the contrast between the delicas and the seeds. This method frees up design ideas, by not having to use the Stiff Stuff and Ultrasuede, double sided designs become possible.  

(oh and I am aware this is a different cab lol)

Monday, 3 March 2014

Exciting Times


I have been working on something but it will remain a secret for a little while. I got my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Agata from Inaurem, she is all the way over in Poland. We've had some lovely chats via email and we have learnt that we have similar tastes in colours but very different skill sets. I am looking forward to a challenge and had a lot of fun making up my bead soup. I have provided her with a little challenge but have made sure that she is able to use the materials. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Bead Soup Party

Pretty Little Things
A friend, Melissa suggested I give this a go. I think I will as it will be lovely to see some of my pieces that I have never got around to using, used by another talented beader. Now to decide on my bead soup to send and sign up in time.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Purple Starburst

Another more dainty ring added to my repertoire. This one uses silver seed beads and Swarovski bicones and a rondelle. It has a netting edge to make it appear more whimsical.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Cedar Beader Brand

I am currently building up my business as a small hobby business. I have not contributed to this blog for a while and I don't plan to make items available through here. I am practicing and improving my skills and developing a small stock of patterns and go to designs as well as my one off freeform pieces. I will be more active in the near future so watch this space.

For now here is a new prototype for a ring I created. If you are interested in seeing it become a pattern or buying it as a custom made piece. Please inquire through my Facebook. I am happy to share patterns for a small fee and ideas here but I ask that you please respect my work and try not to reverse market what you see. I draw inspiration from others but never take their designs as my own. I have also worked really hard on developing my branding and the image here is one that represents my Photoshop skills as they stand.