Barbara’s Blog – BBD Art Jewelry

What Do These Earrings Have In Common?

My “Quadra Play” Geometric Triangle Drop Earrings share many of the same colors and design patterns…all are geometric beadwoven triangles, and the silver hoops upon which they twirl, swing, and sway are all the same size.  Have you guessed what else they have in common?  They are all the same pair of earrings! On each earring one side of the triangle is attached to another triangle of a different pattern or color combination. In the top left photo you see a Blossom design at left and on the other earring you see somewhat of a Pinwheel design. Because the colors used are the same in both earrings, they look wonderful together!  In the next photo, the opposite side of the earring shows the quasi-Pinwheel design and its mate is worked in the Blossom design, but I’ve added yellow beads so they look like a totally different pair of earrings! Because the earrings are placed on thin hoops, they can easily be switched out by simply removing them from the hoop and reversing their positions..what fun! And what fashion mileage! A tutorial is in the works and will be ready in the next few days along with earring kits.  I’ll let you know when they are listed in my Etsy shop…stay tuned!





Would you like a sneak peek?

Several months ago while on vacation I devoted time to exploring color and pattern design while beading triangles. I had planned to make a CGB-inspired Kaleidocycle with these, but then stashed them in the UFO drawer while I worked on my “Carnival” Geometric Beaded Beads Bracelet design. Now once again, I’m working on these triangles and as much as I like the idea of making a whimsical little machine that folds in and onto itself, I’d really rather make wearable art jewelry.  I prefer something dangling on my wrist or ears opposed to a toy-like object.  And frankly, repetition bores me so the idea of working twenty-four triangles in four pattern repeats is not something I look forward to at this time. I’d much rather make triangles in which each varies in pattern and/or color. This week will be busy, but I hope to have this project finished by next week along with a tutorial and kits…stay tuned!

What a mess this was…

This is the table on which I work with metal clay, polymer clay, and resin and for months it has been covered with all manner of paraphernalia that goes into the making of art.  There was hardly an inch of free space and no work could be accomplished on this table while it was in such disarray!  A special order for metal clay components was the impetus for taking the time to clean this studio and I must say, it is indeed a pleasure to once again see it looking so neat.  If only it would stay that way!  My beading table on the other hand, which is located in another area of the same room is next in line for a cleanup and fortunately, it isn’t nearly at the level of “disaster area” that the other was.  It will require a minimal amount of tidying up.  Next week I will try to find time rearrange the mess on my jewelry bench in the metals studio. Making art is a messy business!


It’s Been Ages, But…

Now that I’ve finished my latest beading project and tutorial I finally have time to replenish my stash of bronze metal clay “Urchins” and “Ammonites” (a special order for these was the impetus). This photo shows the bronze metal clay components in the pre-firing stage being tidied up and having their holes filed smooth. After sanding and refining their edges and bottoms as well, they will be put in the kiln for firing. Post-firing, they will be put in the jewelry tumbler for several hours, emerging with a lovely gold patina. While hunting through my stash for a packet of bronze clay I also discovered several packs of copper metal clay, which I’ve never used and hope to start experimenting with soon!

There are so many things I want to create and so many materials that I want to play with at the moment! I really want to get back into the metals studio and make more rings…a poison ring with a hidden compartment is an intriguing project! I have an idea for a polymer clay and beaded beads project in mind…I want to experiment with beaded hexagons and cubes and other shapes. And playing with stamps and decoupaging boxes and tins with paper intrigues me. As always, so many ideas and never enough time!

The Tutorial and Kits are Ready!

Some of you have been eagerly awaiting this bracelet tutorialand beading kitand here they are!  If you love color and geometric beading, this project is for you! Using twenty-nine brilliant and subdued colors of Delica beads, vivid 6mm Czech Druk beads, and seed beads, you’ll have fun creating geometric triangle, square, and pentagon components to wear as a bracelet. The pentagon-shaped clasp is especially fun to make…it’s a versatile design that you can use on many other beading projects! The easy to follow Step-by-Step tutorial is accompanied by large full-color process photos that show the creation of every bead shape from start to finish as well as using them to complete a fabulous bracelet…I think you will love this project!

The Kit includes:
*Delica beads in twenty-nine colors
*11/0 seed beads
*Ten 6mm Czech Druk beads
*6/0 seed beads
*Beading Wire
*Crimp Beads
*Easy to follow Step-by-Step tutorial accompanied by full-color process photos
*4″ x 6″ color photo of the finished bracelet

I’ll Bet…

You were wondering if I’d ever finish this project, right?  With summer obligations, dealing with a sick cat entailing visits to the veterinarian, and daily minutiae, I also wondered how much longer it would take. But here it is…a study in vividly bright as well as subdued colors all blending to make one very happy piece!  Delica beads in twenty-nine colors were used to creat each component! Composed of geometrically beaded squares, pentagons, and triangles, it reminds me of the myriad of colors one might associate with celebrations, circus wagons, piñatas, and the like.  Ultimately, I settled on “Carnival” as the title of this bracelet. Each beadwoven bead is separated by a colorful 6mm Druk bead.  I love these shapes…especially the pentagon-shaped clasp! I’m now in the midst of proofreading the tutorial, which I hope to have ready very soon…stay tuned!


I could have taken the easy and speedy path by using crimp covers to hide the crimp beads used in this bracelet project, but I was not at all pleased with the results. It may be a perfectly fine solution for some projects, but it detracted from the geometric beaded beads and toggle-clasp that I’ve put so much effort into designing. My solution…weave a geometric cover bead!  Because the holes in the beaded beads are too small to slide over the crimps, I began this triangle “cover bead” with extra beads. It will blend seamlessly with the other triangle beads used in this project because it will be the same size as they are. I truly had hoped to have the bracelet finished by now, but when designing one is exploring all possibilities and that process just can’t be rushed! So it will take a while longer, but will definitely be worth the wait! I’ll lose a few working days this weekend as I’m taking a workshop taught by Richard Salley…he’s a wonderful teacher!  I’ll return to the studio with fresh ideas and ready to finish the bracelet!

I’m Almost There…

Granted, I haven’t had a lot of time to bead lately. With our summer weather being so hot and humid, weeds have taken over and general summer chores seem to be never-ending. But, I’m almost finished with the geometric beaded beads bracelet that I started a while back and my next post will feature the finished bracelet! The clasp had been a conundrum for me…I was undecided as to whether it should be made from polymer clay or perhaps wire-worked. After debating this issue for some time, I decided a beaded clasp was the best option and one that would enhance the design most.  While pondering which type of clasp to create, I started work on the tutorial so hopefully, once the bracelet is finished it will not be long before the tutorial and kits are ready…stay tuned!


That’s an acronym for Dubuque Museum of Art. It’s an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution located in downtown Dubuque, IA. Several months ago I was invited to participate in the “Handmade Craft Invitational” exhibition running June 2 – September 9, 2018.  Having been in Ireland, I missed the opening, but I finally had a chance to view the show last week!  Wonderfully innovative and masterly works by twenty-two artists are on exhibition. I am honored to have three of my beadwoven wraps included in the show; “Loch Ness Sea Dragon“, “Sea Dragon Variation“, and my “Fire Dragon“, which is featured in the DuMA 2018 Summer Newsletter! Beading tutorials for all three designs are available in my Etsy shop. If you are in the area, do stop at DuMA and see the show!

In Progress…

I started working on these geometric beads several months ago and as often happens, they were placed in the UFO bin while I worked on other projects and then went on vacation.  I’ve decided that these multi-colored dimensional triangle, square, and pentagonal beads (each measuring just slightly under an inch in size and composed of eight to twelve different colors) will be used in a bracelet.  Brightly colored Czech 6mm Druk beads will be implemented as well.  At this point I haven’t decided on the clasp treatment.  I’m leaning towards creating a sterling silver wire-wrapped toggle-clasp upon which I may or may not float several color-coordinated beads. Or I may use polymer clay to create a brightly colored multi-layered clasp.  I’ll decide after I have completed all the beads.  When the project is finished, I’ll begin writing the step-by-step project tutorial.  I’ve already taken well over fifty photos showing the progress of a triangle, square, and pentagonal bead from start to finish.  When the tutorial is finished, I’ll be assembling beading kits…I’m guessing another three to four weeks will be required before the tutorials and kits are listed in my Etsy shop, but I guarantee the end result will be worth the wait!

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