Barbara’s Blog – BBD Art Jewelry

Just in Time!

The Holidays are drawing near and if you’re in need of a quick project or a gift for friends who love to bead, I have just the thing! Tucked inside one of my handmade envelopes are six colors of Japanese 15/0 seed beads and a cute little stainless steel spoon that is so perfect for gathering up errant beads! A tutorial with three patterned design color charts, step-by-step instructions, and photos for creating fast, easy to make Tube beads that can slip right onto the top of the spoon’s stem accompany this kit. The spoon measure just 4.5″ in length and is shown next to a standard tube of Delica beads for reference in the fourth photo. Tube beads are so versatile and can be used as spacer beads in bracelets, necklaces, and brooches as well! This is a great gift for beaders and bead aficionados alike! The project is suitable for those with of all levels of beading experience.You can find the beading kit and tutorial in my Etsy shop.  

Good Medicine!

I’ve recently started designing a new beading project, but it has been very slow-going for me while my left hand is on the mend and stiffness in my right hand is hindering my activity as well (glovelettes are a god-send for achy joints!).   On the bright side, I received good news last week from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads…my “Geometric Staggered Warped Square Bracelet” won a Gold Medal Award in the 2018 Seed Bead Jewelry Contest.  Accompanied by a merchandise gift certificate, it is just what I needed to put a smile on my face!  Timing of its arrival could not have been better.  After all, shopping for jewelry-making goodies is the perfect activity while I rest my hand! Incidentally, you can find the tutorial and beading kit for this design in my Etsy shop!

Good News!

My carpal tunnel stitches come out next Thursday and I’ve been given the green light to start beading again, albeit in moderation…fifteen minutes at a time with a rest period of an hour in between.  No marathon beading for quite a while, but I’m thrilled to be able to pick up needle and thread again! I’ve decided that tube beads are the perfect project for the time being as they work up quickly and can be used in numerous projects. And they are the perfect vehicle for testing various pattern designs! I intend to chart these designs as I go along…I think a fun tutorial will be the end result.  Stay tuned!

A Bit of Freedom…

Hurrah!  My cast has been removed!  For the past week I have literally been unable to do anything with my left hand. Although I enjoyed the respite for a while, the novelty of having free time to read, sleep, and watch DVDs was wearing thin for someone who constantly works with her hands! Stitches will be removed in a week or so. This splint is now my 24/7 companion for the next three weeks until I see the hand surgeon and get the okay for resumption of daily activity in my studio. I’m glad the splint is black…beige splints aren’t my thing. Besides black goes with my wardrobe, which is predominantly black and when I look down at my hand it’s not a stretch to think of Karl Lagerfeld’s fingerless glove-clad hands!

Do You Remember This Piece?

The results I’ve been waiting for are in!  I entered my “Fleurs et Papillons” Bead-Embroidered Cuff in the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads 2018 Creative Clays Contest last February and this past week the package I had been eagerly awaiting arrived! Inside was my cuff, two photos, and a gift certificate award! Hot dog! With hand surgery scheduled this week and no beading or other work allowed while my hand heals, I’ll be perusing the FMG online catalog and shopping for jewelry-making goodies! BTW…you can find the kit and tutorial for this design in my Etsy shop!


With all the trials and tribulations of this past week, it has taken longer than I hoped to finish my latest design, but I’m pleased to announce that my “Geometric Square Diamond and Isosceles Triangle Components” Drop Earrings tutorial and beading kit are now listed in my Etsy shop!  I’ve worked these earrings in two colorways; the “Sun Goddess” tones features rich deep reds, golden-yellow, frost orange, and turquoise Delica beads with a brilliant deep “Siam” red Swarovski crystal rivoli. The “Azure” colorway is composed of teal, lime, violet, green, and deep blue Delica beads accented with a multi-colored Swarovski “Paradise Shine” crystal rivoli. The “Azure” earrings shown at right in the above photo use exactly the same colors, but I changed the color order in each row just for fun. Of course, you can use an identical color order for both if you wish and if asymmetry isn’t your preference you can certainly create two Square Diamonds or two Isosceles Triangles…the choice is yours!  And instruction is included for making small (34mm), medium (38mm) and large (42mm) earrings. I’m definitely going to enjoy wearing these!


This has not been my week!  I’ve been designing a new geometric components project and tutorial that I find most enjoyable, but it has been slow-going because my Word for Mac software program, which I have used exclusively for every tutorial I’ve written (fifty-three to date!) constantly freezes and crashes! Apple sent a notification several months ago stating that as software updates occur, eventually only 132 bit programs will function and 64 bit programs will become obsolete. That could be contributing to the problem I’m having as several updates have occurred since that time. After spending two days trouble-shooting Word, I gave up and am now editing the tutorial using Pages. Being a novice to Pages, I am gradually learning how the program works and I do hope to have the tutorial finished by the end of the week. To make matters worse I have a severe carpal tunnel problem with my left hand. The numbness, tingling, and pain are now so advanced that just taking a break from beading, typing, and any other task that aggravates the condition no longer offers relief. I’m scheduled for surgery on October 23 and  will be confined to resting my left hand for a solid two weeks if not more before easing back into tasks that require use of my left hand. I had surgery on my right hand in 1986 and it rectified the problem. I’m hoping for equally successful results this time. Fingers crossed…wish me luck!

Today’s Agenda…

I’ll be back to beading tomorrow…I’ve been working on a design utilizing geometric beaded links, but today I need to create polymer clay sea-themed components for an order that just came in. It’s a pleasant diversion as I haven’t worked with polymer clay in a while (or metal for that matter!). The days just seem to fly by and I seldom accomplish everything on my “to do” list. I simply can’t fathom how some people complain of boredom. I can only surmise that they have no interests or passions to pursue.  I know of one person who enjoys reading, but has interest in nothing else…I can’t imagine being immersed in only one activity! I realize that I am so fortunate to be a “multi-faceted” individual and therefore am never bored. There are enough hours in a day for me!

Geometric Beaded Links…

This is such a fun way to play with color and imagine the design possibilities! Geometric beaded link components can be used so many ways…small links for earrings, larger links interlocked in chain-like fashion for statement necklaces and bracelets, or even a pin-back added to wear as a brooch! Several super large links to slip over one’s wrist and worn as bangles are what I want to tackle next!  I can envision several colorful really large links of different shapes stacked upon my wrist!  Worked with Delica beads, these links are extremely firm and will not collapse.  I’ll be working on tutorials for various linked projects over the coming weeks…stay tuned!


Now that I’m caught up with replenishing beading kits I once again have time to bead! Presently, I’m experimenting with Geometric beaded link components that I’ve so far worked in oval, rectangular, and square shapes. They are surprisingly firm and will definitely not collapse, which makes them ideal for use in bracelets, earrings, or even long necklaces! I’m using Delica beads for these and I love the way each bead “snaps” into place as I pull the thread taut! For this purpose, Delicas create firmer structures than seed beads. I’m having a really great time experimenting with the different shapes and sizes. And, of course, it’s double the fun when I have a cat keeping me company! Today, Cooper is helping me choose beads…he has a real eye for color!

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