When I looked up what people were making with tulip beads I found lots of lovely tulip earrings with brass and painted brass beads. Most of them had the little tulip bead hanging down so I figured I would do something cute and make a regular “up” tulip for my example pair.
Below the cut I’ve included the simple steps for this little pair of earrings. Some version of this would be sweet with the crocus beads I make as well. And I probably WILL go do a little fancier version with bead caps and crystals, too.
These are the picture steps on how to make a small sculpted bead from a cane slice. I use backgroundless canes for most of the beads I do like this but this method works for the canes that need backgrounds – ie: all the fancier flowers!
Once you have the shape, use a toothpick or sculpting tool to trace the veins in the flower or add other detail. That way, once you’ve baked the slice you can stain it a little to bring out the pretty detailing. Don’t forget you can put the hole in now or drill it after or add a small jump ring to back of the flower to make it into a charm.
I am a messy person. Sometimes this gets in the way of actually getting things done and I get frustrated. Over the years I’ve picked up tools and tricks for keeping the chaos to manageable levels. Housekeeping has benefited a LOT by having an older child and another adult to help. Even though we’re all a little messy, when we all do a bit the house stays reasonable.
In the studio, it’s just me and I cycle from chaos to just a little cluttered about every 6 weeks. One part that drives me nuts is how messy my clay table gets. Part of that is the fact that some production scraps are good to use immediately (or almost immediately) in other projects like swirls, scrap mokume gane or new colours. So, I’d leave them out on the table knowing that if I boxed them up I’d have a “look what I found!” moment six months later. Someone said: immediately separate them by colour value in bowls. So I figured, why not. It has made a difference. I may end up with a few bowls on the table or shelf but at least it’s not scattered.
Drilling beads and other dust making work is another bane. I drill on my “dry” table, on a thick plastic mat. This works fine but makes for little curls of clay and dust EVERYWHERE. And since I suck at keeping that table clear I need some strategies here too. I’m thinking a larger mat, that I could roll up when not in use and stash in the corner or a tray to hold most of the crumbs. Probably enforcing the clean table rule would help too as there’d then be less pieces getting dusty.
Years ago I wrote a post about what you could make with one ounce of polymer clay canes to illustrate that it didn’t take much of an expensive supply to do fabulous things. I guess this would be a similar example with six beads.
You see, my mainstay in my bead shop is little six bead sets. Using the six art beads I made a simple Y necklace, a bracelet and a pair of earrings. My style is fairly low key but by adding more spacers, another layer of chain and a few danglies you could have an ornate show stopper for not a whole lot more in cost.
When I made this necklace, I needed to figure out a way to get the flowers to sit flat and not dangle around like they do for most of the pieces I make with this type of bead. I still wanted to be able to use the pretty stacked seed beads on a headpin for the center. Nothing if not picky huh?
My solution ended up to make it a wrapped figure eight loop in the back. Still using a two inch headpin, instead of a single loop, make a double one and bend it so it lays flat, parallel to the bead. I still had space to do a wrap at the top of the link, which keeps the bead from flopping around. Now the flower is ready to be added to your chain. One the white flower necklace there are little three or four link sections of chain in between each flower.