My first gemstone tree

Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke
Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke

When I lived in Florida I was part of a beading group which met every Thursday. It was my first experience working with beads – and being with others who beaded and shared their talent.

Jerri Heer, along with all the other amazing work she produces, teaches how to make gemstone trees. I bought one of her smaller kits to try my hand.

I chose gold wire and amethyst gemstones. The package was a brilliant surprise – it contained just about everything I needed to make the gemstone tree, including a twisting tool, toothpicks, wire, gemstones and a lovely stone base. The only thing I had to supply was patience, and glue!

Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke
Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke

This encourages me to continue on and make a larger gemstone tree for a complicated piece I am working on…….

If you would like to make your own tree, Jerri Heer not only has the kit but she has an excellent tutorial video available for free on her Etsy site Nature’s Arts.

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Beaded Bead Necklace

Beaded bead necklace. Beadweaving - seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds.
Beaded bead necklace by Rose Rushbrooke

Back in 2012 Beadwork magazine celebrated their 15th anniversary by presenting a challenge. They offered 4 months of beaded bead patterns and we had to come up with our own colour choices and design a piece of jewelry using the beads. The original piece I created was VASTLY too complicated and was basically a mash up of a needlecase necklace and this beaded bead necklace.

Eventually the penny dropped and I realised I needed to simplify the necklace – which I did – and it’s a better piece for the reduction.

Made with seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds. The chain is in herringbone stitch and woven with cobalt delicas. I love the contrast of the bright blue with the warm browns and creams of the beads.

Here are close ups of the individual beads:

Beadweaving - seed beads and semi precious rounds. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Beaded bead 4 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 3 - seed beads, pearls, and semi precious rounds. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 3 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 2 - seed and tila beads. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 2 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 1 - seed beads and a crystal center. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 1 by Rose Rushbrooke

I didn’t win a place, not surprisingly seeing as the original necklace was totally over-worked, but in its simpler version I bet I would have!

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Margaret Scoville Challenge 2017

Every year the Portland Bead Society holds a retreat. Usually at Cannon Beach in Oregon. We also have a bead challenge.

Orange You Blue by Rose Rushbrooke
Orange You Blue by Rose Rushbrooke

Last year I entered my Orange You Blue necklace. This year I entered a piece I like so much I’m going to work on it some more and you’ll just have to wait until it’s finished before I put it online (PS. I did win second place!).

Here are a couple of beaded goodies I particularly liked. And if you would like to see more you can go to the Portland Bead Society Artists page and have an idea of what we get up to.

Turtle by Pamela Jensen
Turtle by Pamela Jensen
The Animal Within by Linda Olsen
The Animal Within by Linda Olsen
Rabbit by Anna Chase
Rabbit by Anna Chase

I particularly like this rabbit necklace by Anna Chase. It’s very subtle and needs looking at. She made the brown shaded polymer beads herself.

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Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace

Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace by Rose Rushbrooke
Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace by Rose Rushbrooke

I love unexpected surprises when I wear jewelry and having the clasp in front is fun. This Burgundy and olive necklace has a spiky focal made with a glass spike, seed beads and Swarovski crystals. It’s fastened with a snap clasp.

Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace unsnapped. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace unsnapped by Rose Rushbrooke

Here it is unsnapped.

Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace showing chain. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace showing chain.

The diamond shapes in the chain give it a nice textural effect. The necklace is 27 inches long from end to end when unsnapped.

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