Fire and Ice Agate Beads

This new necklace was created by Nancy Donaldson in my studio this week.  I asked her to take a look at all the gorgeous new Fire and Ice Agate beads in my studio and she could not resist creating something special.  The Fire and Ice Agate beads are all different.  Each bead has a unique pattern created by the natural explosion of white in the agate.

Fire and Ice Agate Oval Dyed Carnelian

Fire and Ice Agate Round Facetted Dyed Topaz

It had not occurred to me to mix and match colours.  The carnelian and topaz looked wonderful together.  She did some simple wire wrapping to create the focal piece.

Here is a closer look at her links.

She used antique copper Fancy Chain to finish the necklace.

Trend Alert – Are You Seeing Butterflies?

Left to right:
Leigh and Luca scarf, Brian Atwood Shoe, Sophia Webster boot
Alex Bittar brooch, Erickson Beamon necklace,
Erickson Beamon necklace, Tabitha Simmons shoe, Mattijs Necklace

I have been seeing butterflies everywhere I look right now.  Have you?

Entire butterflies, parts of butterflies and wings are constantly catching my eye.

They are being cut from so many different fibers and materials.

Naturally I am very interested in seeing anything that is jewelry related.

John Paul Gautier, Valentino, Valentino

The fashion imagery from Paris last week inspired me to take a closer look.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Isn’t this a showstopper?

Simple, elegant, collaged, photographed, beaded or metal.  No matter how butterflies are featured they are a wonderful addition to a design piece.

Butterflies also appear throughout the John Bead catalog.  A simple search request for butterfly gave me dozens of categories to choose from.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

Swarovski Beads, flat backs and pendants in dozens of colours and sizes.

Charms and pendants in various metallic colours.

There are butterfly trims.


You will find butterflies made from gem stones and pressed glass.

Metal blank butterflies are ideal to stamp words onto.

 There dozens of gorgeous sequinned and beaded motifs.  Costume designers love these.

You’ll even find butterflies in our craft area.  These are made from foam.

Day of The Dead Ornament

Okay, not every ornament has to have a traditional white, green and red Christmas theme.  Many people use ornaments at different times of the year and I could not help but think that this one would be a fun one for anyone celebrating Day of the Dead…or perhaps you just has a good sense of humour.

What makes these ornaments so easy to craft are the snowflake frames in the John Bead catalog.  I used our semi precious skull beads 10mm with some brightly coloured wood beads.  The yellow tassel was just the perfect finishing touch!

All you have to do is load your beads in a pleasing arrangement and twist the end of your wire frame to keep them in place.

It looks just beautiful on my tree!

Fire and Ice Agate Beads – Blue Sky

The stars of this necklace are the extremely beautiful Fire and Ice Agate beads.

Blue Sky is available in three sizes 10ml, 12ml, 16ml,  I simply strung them all to create this necklace.

The beads really require no additional embellishment.  I made this shell pendant myself and it went so well with the colours that I added it.  I also included two of our new white tassels to balance the necklace.

The tassels are also new and available in so many great colours!

My last step was to select a closure and I chose this new hook and eye set.

Warped Elegance – A Fernando’s Atelier Necklace

This is another of the wonderful samples you can see in person the John Bead showroom.

The agate slabs are beautifully showcased!

Design title: Warped Elegance Necklace

Mood: Summertime, wedding on a beach, art exhibition opening

Skill level: Intermediate

Duration: Aprox. 2 ½ hours


4 4mm dark indigo bicone crystal beads by Swarovski Elements

2 6mm dark indigo bicone crystal beads by Swarovski Elements

22 ss12 denim blue flat back chatons by Swarovski Elements

12 ss16 denim blue flat backs chatons by Swarovski Elements

17x7mm glass red azuro peacock daggers

4 hexagon black azuro peacock beads

two teal blue agate slabs pendants

two 29mm plain silver 24ga star blanks by Metal Complex™

two gunmetal clover crimp ends

4 silver-plated wire guardians

4 silver-plated crimp tubes

4 silver-plated 4mm sparkle crimp covers

1ft 7strands .015’ blue Beadalon® stringing wire

1 ft 1mm clear stretching cord Elasticity

4 silver-plated 8mm round jump rings

1 set of gold-plated Kumihimo findings

ft of 1.5mm white Dazzle It™ rattail cord

ft of 3 mm red/blue Dazzle It™ rattail cord

E6000 glue

GS hypo cement


Metal Complex™  hole punch,  Side cutter,  Flat noseRound nose


1. Follow the package instructions to create a 18 inches Kumihimo braided necklace using 1.5mm white and 3mm red rattail cords by our Dazzle It™ line.

2. Use gel glue to secure gold-plated Kumihimo tube ends finishing off with antique gold-plated set of toggle. Set necklace aside.

3.  Cut a 5-inch piece of stringing wire.  String a crimp tube followed by a wire guardian and then back through tube. Crimp tube using standard crimp tool and then cover it using a crimp cover, and then trim short end of wire.

4. String components onto stringing wire as follow:

3mm bicone, hexagon peacock, 6mm bicone, peacock hexagon, 3mm bicone

Finish this section on same fashion done on the opposite end. Create a second beaded section like this and set them aside.

5.  Open a 6mm jump ring and then attach to hole of one agate slice followed by a beaded section done on steps 3-4, and then close jump ring gently. Repeat with second agate slice and set them aside.

6.  Use punch hole pliers to create a hole at the far end of one of the points of a silver star blank making sure the hole is centered. You can use a sharper pen to create a dot so pliers can be placed right on top of it.  (use our picture as guidance)

Repeat the same to punch second star blank.

7. Randomly place small dots of gel glue on top of star blank and then begin gluing crystal flat backs immediately after. You can glue ss16 stones in the center and use small stones to ornate the points of the star.

Cover surface of second star on same fashion and set aside.

8. Find the center of your braided necklace, and then fold a four inches piece of red rattail. Pass it over braided section and then passes both ends over its circle and pull both ends down, leaving one cord ends smaller than the other.

9. Slide one of the tips of the cord ends to crimp cord making sure loop is facing outside end of cord. Gently squeeze the sections of back tube of crimp end using flat tip end of standard crimp tool. Trim any excess of rattail cord flush with squeezed section.

10. Open a jump ring and then attach to one agate dangle made on step 5 and then close it gently. Repeat the same to add second agate dangle to other end of rattail cord.

11. Place a double overhand knot at far end of a 10 inches length of a Elasticity cord. Begin feeding 80 red azuro dagger beads onto the cord.

12. Wrap one of the ends of stretching cord 3-inch away from center of necklace (use dangle as your start point). Place a tight double knot around this section, and then start wrapping daggers and stretching the cord to create exposed spaces throughout the area but still leaving the Kumihimo visible.

13. Add a dab of stringing glue on top of each knot placed on each end of stretching cord. Let it sit for few minutes and then trim excess.

14. Open a jump ring and attach one start through wire guardian loop on the bottom of each final ends of beaded section of agate dangle.

Designer’s tip:

* You can edit this design incorporating only the agate slices dangles to its middle section.

* Or you can also cover the entire braided necklace with stretched dagger  strands or reduce it to only middle section without agate slices.

* For ultra glamorous look try a black and silver Kumihimo version covered only by metallic daggers from end to end. That will provide you a strong subtle version of the design with a dramatic allure.

Fernando has created many pieces of jewelry which are displayed in the John Bead showroom.  Some of these designs appear in our catalogues and may have been published.  For those of you who can’t visit in person we will have a regular post on this blog giving you a closer look at the finished jewelry.  Fernando has written all the instructions and is sharing them with you. Welcome to the series we call: Fernando DaSilva’s Atelier. 

New Fire and Ice Agate

The new Fire and Ice Agate Semi-Precious Facetted Dye Beads are stealing the show on this new necklace.

This necklace uses three of the new products we launched this month:  Fire and Ice Agate beads, Faux Suede Tassels and Fancy Chain.

The necklace really just made itself.  The

The carnelian agate colour really caught my eye.  It has wonderful rust and white colours running throughout the bead.  Each agate colour comes in three sizes:  10mm, 12mm and 16mm

My colour choices for Fire and Ice are gorgeous!

I used red and white faux suede tassels.

I had several options for my chain.  This is our new Fancy Chain collection.

Three strands per side of Fancy Chain gave this necklace a very rich and finished look.


Crystaloise Necklace – Fernando DaSilva Atelier Project

This is the Crystaloise necklace designed by Fernando Dasilva for John Bead.

Fernando has created many pieces of jewelry which are displayed in the John Bead showroom.  Some of these designs appear in our catalogues and may have been published.  For those of you who can’t visit in person we will have a regular post on this blog giving you a closer look at the finished jewelry.  Fernando has written all the instructions and is sharing them with you. Welcome to the series we call: Fernando DaSilva’s Atelier. 


8 light Azore 8mm crystal bicone beads

1 oval 3o x 40mm  African turquoise  bead

3 round 10mm African turquoise beads

4 round  8mm African turquoise beads

4 round 4mm African turquoise beads

4 facetted square 16mm African turquoise beads

4 smooth square 18mm African turquoise beads

11 ball head pins

19 oval jump rings

12 pre-cut pieces of  3 ½  inches of dark chain

11 pre-cut pieces of 1 inch of the same chain

3 ft silver plated German style wire

Tools:   Side cutter,  Flat noseRound nose


1.  Feed one round turquoise bead onto a head pin and make a simple loop on top of bead. Trim excess wire. Make ten more of those using all the round turquoise beads left and then set them aside.

2. Cut a 3 inches piece of silver plated wire. Use round nose pliers to make a wrapped loop (two turns) at one end and trim excess wire. Feed one crystal bead + square 17mm turquoise bead + another crystal bead. Make a second loop at the opposite end and then trim excess wire. Make a second link alike, set aside and call it “link A”.

3. Repeat previous step to make one similar link using one crystal, followed by one 16mm facetted turquoise and then another crystal. Make a second one and set aside. Call it “link B”.

4. Continue working on same fashion as previous steps to make one link using one crystal bead, one 17mm turquoise, followed by another crystal bead, one 16mm turquoise and then another crystal bead.  Make a second one of this and set aside and call it “link C”.

5. Cut a 4 inches piece of silver plated wire. Make a wrapped loop at one of the ends and then string on one crystal bead, oval large turquoise bead and then another crystal. Make a second wrapped loop at the far end and then set aside.  Call it “link D”

6. Begin assembling links and chain sections following given pattern.

Oval jump ring + two long sections of chains + oval jump ring + link C + oval jump ring +  two long sections of chains + oval jump ring + link A + oval jump ring + two long sections of chain +  oval jump ring + link B + oval jump ring + two sections of chain . Repeat on reverse from here and attach both ends of last section of chains to first oval jump ring.

7.  Carefully open central jump ring and attach link D to it. This is the focal point of your necklace.

8. Open loop of one of the dangles made on step 1, add one small pre-cut piece of chain and close it gently. Make ten more of that and set aside. Those will be the “fringe” of your tassel.

9. Open oval jump ring and add one by one all the eleven chain strands made on step 8 and then attach to bottom loop of link D.

Your necklace is ready. Enjoy it!