Angel Bead Tutorial

Here is an easy tutorial for bead lovers, including new beaders.   I made all three bead angels in less than 10 minutes.  You can find all the supplies at


Bead Caps in either silver, copper or bronze;

2 inch sterling silver head pin;

Sterling Silver curved tube bead with ring;

Angel wings in either silver, copper or brass

6 mm Spacer bead in silver, copper or brass for halo

4mm and 6 mm Swarovski Crystal bicone for head and inside the cone, or;

Variety of 4-6 mm pearls to use for head or at the bottom inside the cone;


Round Nose Pliers; and

Wire Cutter


Instructions:  Let’s begin!  Lay out all your supplies and decide what metals you wish to combine for your angel.  Once you have laid them out, simply place them on the sterling silver head pin in this order:

This illustration also shows you the order of what goes where:

Once you have done this, your next decision has to do with whether you want a long wire or a short one to dangle it from your necklace (or pin, bookmark, etc).  Notice the varying lengths of wire in this photo:

What you plan to do with the angel dictates how long or short you have your wire.

On this bead angel,  I have left the wire long since I haven’t yet decided what I will do with it.  This is a good tip if you are making them as presents.

In bead angel 2, shown below,  I have cut the wire shorter.  This angel, I plan to dangle off of a metal bookmark.  I do have a free Bookmark Tutorial if you want to make your own.

This angel would look great combined with one of my metal bookmarks:

Additionally, you can buy a pre-made bookmark, too, from or at your local bead store.

Next picture, notice that Bead Angel 3 has the shortest wire showing of all three angels:

Instead, I used the round nose pliers to make a built-in “eye” or loop ring to attach to the silver curved tube bead ring, shown just above the angel.  If you do not know how to do this, please watch and follow this video on making loops with wire.  Now, to finish this gift, all I have to do is add a necklace and I am done.

I made a necklace for Ramona, my DMIL as a gift.  She called and told me that all her friends at her church loved it.  This necklace makes a wonderful, one-of-a-kind gift for friends and family.


Remember, you can substitute any supplies you have on hand already.  Here is a lovely angel made by Kathy Jasper.  She made this after I posted my illustration above the other day.  Notice how by using different materials, you get a unique look:

If you enjoy and use this tutorial, please drop me a comment or message like Kathy did.   Thanks to Kathy for sharing her angel, btw!

I have a large number of free tutorials besides this one.  My tutorials cover a wide variety of arts and crafts, too.  I have a Tutorial button at the top of this page just above my Blog Header illustration if you wish to visit.  In the meantime, enjoy the Holiday Season!!  Hugs, Carla

Cool Finds for Mixed Media Artists!

I have long been a fan of metal artist, Susan Lenart Kazmer.  Her work with metal, resin and found objects are simply unique with a high “cool” factor!  Here is a picture of a classic SLK charm bracelet from the cover of her book, which I own:

Now, you can create her look yourself with many charms, pendants and findings found at your local Michaels Craft Store under the label, Industrial Chic.  Here is a sampling of products:

If you are into this look, now it can be yours for a low price!  I bought about 20 pieces from the collection at 50% off last week, so look for when Michaels runs another sale.  I paid $4 per charm pack or pendant.

Other News:  The countdown has started for my next sailing adventure.  This time, Joe and I are bareboat chartering with talented mixed media artist, Lori Seavey-Christian and her husband, Larry Christian.  Lori and I have been close friends for several decades.  You might recall my past “Carla & Lori’s Creative Adventure Weeks” where Lori and I get together, take over her Living Room, and just create!

Lori & Larry do not sail, so Joe and I are planning to make sailors out of them.  We thought heading back to the BVI would be an excellent place to introduce them to chartering.  Besides, I love the snorkeling there, and visiting all our favorite places again.

I will make a report after we come back.  For obvious reasons, I do not want to advertise the dates we will be gone, even though I have someone to come house sit and babysit the pets when we do this.

Knowing that I needed to find my 1)snorkeling gear, 2)sailing gloves, 3)swimsuits, and other gear;  I decided to clean out my closet.  I don’t know about you, but my house is really clean, EXCEPT for my closets.  You know it becomes bad when your master walk-in closet is no longer a walk-in.  So, fueled with coffee, I decided to tackle it.

Hours later, I had about 6 bags of giveaway or throwaways.  I did find all the items on my list above.  Now my closet is a clean and tidy again, just waiting to slowly revert into its former state.  It is inevitable, so I just learn to appreciate order while it lasts.

I challenge all my readers to think about cleaning out a pantry, drawer or closet.  Nah…. on second hand, I challenge you to just create something.  It’s a lot more fun!  Cheers, Carla

Feathered Fibers on the Web

I thought I would share some sites which posted something about my blog, my work, or had something nice to say.

First up is Dorothy Miller’s blog, where she has a post titled, “Taxes, yuck! Carla Barrett, YEAH!!!”  I am so glad I ranked higher than taxes, whew! that is a relief!  Anyway, Dorothy drove many hours to attend one of my classes in Northern CA, and she talks about her experience prior to class.

Dorothy’s next post after taking my class is titled, “Carla Barrett”s Quilt Whisperer Class.”  She talks about her experience both in and after class.   I invited her home with me to show her some tricks in person.  I warned her my studio was a mess, but she didn’t mind and even took a picture of what my studio looks like after I finish a big product.  LOL

Next Feathered Fibers mention is on Barbara Chainey’s blog.  Barbara blogs about the post I recently wrote about her stencils and work.  While you are there, be sure to check out the stunning corded and quilted quilt she shares…  inspiring!

Vicki Welsh mentions my recently finished guild quilt on her blog, Field Trips in Fiber. Vicki compiles all the interesting items she comes across on her internet blog feeders into a weekly column called “Field Tripping the Web.”  As an FYI, Vicki also makes and sells some wonderful soap, which I use all the time.

Cold Feet Quilter, Deb H., mentions one of my many tricks for working with wonky quilts on her blog.  Deb, I hope you found it useful!  In case you were wondering, Deb lives in Alaska and also does fiber art.

Judy, from the Apron Strings blog,  took up one of my challenges and converted thrift store sweaters into useful, decorative items!  Here, she made her husband felted wool slippers and a camera case.  In this post, she made a cute Tea Cozy.  Kudos, too, for Judy’s wonderful tutorial on how to make felted wool mittens.  Terrific job, Judy!!

Talented Machine Quilting Teacher, Kim S., mentions on her blog both my Quilt Whisperer Class and my Quilt Whisperer Yahoo Group.  Thanks, Kim!!  By the way, if you want to talk about quilting design and life, you are invited to join my Yahoo Group.  The link is above.

Craft Detective shares my free Copper Bookmark Tutorial and even shows a great picture that looks based on my Tutorial.  Great job!:

Timber Hill Thread’s Angie has lots of visuals on her post where she mentions dusting off her bamboo tablet and practicing what she learned in my Quilt Whisperer Class.  She even shows off a QW example I did for her in class.

Emma from Sampaquita Quilts in Australia says that I inspired her gorgeous feathery design.  Thanks, Emma, you did a fabulous job.  Be sure you look at her quilts while you are visiting her site.  Good stuff!!


Thanks for all the links!!  Hopefully, this helps to share the love back at some recent sites linking to me!!   If anyone blogs about me, my work, or my blog, please drop me a message so I can return the favor.

Regards, Carla

Crystal Silver Chainmaille Necklace

I have been experimenting with creative ways to use my ArtBeads Swarovski Crystals.   This is a work in progress, but my first thought was a chain maille, crystal combination.  So step one was making the sterling silver jump rings with my jump ring maker, then adding them together to make the bottom part of this necklace:

Carla chaincrystal necklace

Notice the peridot colored 4mm faceted bicone swarovski crystals?  They are peeking out from the inverted roundmaille pattern and add just a touch of color to the piece.  I found the sterling silver twisted chain while cleaning out my studio, so I thought it would maintain a neutral appearance- allowing the heavier bottom chain maille  & crystals to be the focal point.

If you don’t happen to have a jump ring maker lying around your studio, ArtBeads does sell jump ring maker supplies18g sterling silver jump rings 6mm in their online store.  Plus they have a nice selection of pliers, too.  My favorite brand is Lindstrom.

I first made a pendant to match the piece, but then discarded it.  I am toying now with another pendant, also playing with a fiber crocheted section to counter balance whatever I do below the chain/crystal section.  This may or may not work.  I will let you know.

My own style of jewelry is rather minimalist, so I wore the necklace above around town the last few days as is (like the photo above).  I prefer the shiny look- as opposed to oxidizing it  or adding a patina to change the metal appearance.  I loved wearing this necklace, as is, so it will be interesting whether I end up leaving it with a minimallist look, or change it up.

Thanks to for choosing me for their Blogging Designer Program.  It has been fun to make a jewelry piece out of the challenge supplies.  Keep watching, I may have another Swarovski crystal project in the works.

Hugs, Carla

Quilted Beaded Bag with Copper Turtle!

Remember that cute copper enameled Turtle pendent I showed off a few weeks ago?  I  designed a cell phone purse around the pendant that showcased both my quilting and  beadwork.  Here’s a close-up:


The  enameled copper Turtle is from my favorite online beading site,    This bag was made to fit my iphone, here they are together:


The only step I need to finish is the strap.  I’m torn between making one out of fabric, or weaving one out of fiber and beads.

How did I make this functional-yet decorative bag?  It started with the teal focal point pendant.  I next chose beads to complement and match the pendant.  I used my own freeform beading tutorial to complete the beading.

Next I auditioned quilted fabric to see what would look best with the piece:


This green  quilted fabric was discarded- primarily because it matched the teal turtle pendant too closely and minimized the importance of the copper enamel piece.   The background behind this pendant needed to be  either a dark neutral or other color which would showcase the pendant.

So off to the quilt store to find the right shade.  I finally settled on the dark brown / black batik with a matching green batik fabric used both inside the bag and as binding on the edges.  This color combination allows the pendant to be showcased.

Next I quilted it on my longarm quilting machine, using teal thread, then cut out my bag pattern.  I bound the edges with the interior green batik and stitched it together.  Last step was sewing on the freeform beaded embellishment.

As mentioned, I will design the straps next.   It has to be comfortable to wear, so I will probably use fabric  to construct.


Last Product to Share:  I also received this delightful Poppy canvas on wood pendant from, too:


Poppy art on Canvas Pendant

I liked it because it reminded me of my poppy quilt.  The canvas art is, in fact, titled, “Poppies,” and is by artist Charlie Clingman.  It has a very nice silver bail, too, to attach to a necklace, or whatever I end up doing with it.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these new products.  I love playing and designing with newer items that come on the market and sharing them with you.

Regards, Carla

Creative Adventure Week, Part 1

I’ve been promising a report and pictures from my visit with Lori, so here is part one.

After a 6-7 hour drive south to Manhattan Beach, CA, I arrived to Lori’s full of creative energy and excitement! After unloading the car, which was stuffed full of artistic supplies, fabric, metal art tools, sewing machine, etc, Lori and I headed over to nearby Torrance for a side trip to visit my father, who had been discharged from the local hospital.

Note: My father, Carl, is now back in Missouri and feeling better.

Day 1 was spent shopping to gather more supplies for the week.  We hit the bead store, JoAnn craft store, Radio Shack, etc. for supplies, then spent the rest of the day making jump rings in my new jump ring maker, then working on chain maille bracelets:


Day 2:  We met up with friend and talented artist Capril to hit a fabulous swap meet (Roadeum) to gather more supplies for the week.  This swap meet has lots of garment district cast offs, remnents and it is a treasure hunt for creative souls!

We came home, then painted huge pieces of canvas using the principle of layering.  Here is what my canvas looked like:



and here is Lori’s:


and what she did with a piece of it:


Lori later attached her handle.  What I loved about this project is that we have different styles, yet both turned out terrific!  We also finished our chain maille bracelet in the evening.

Day 3: We continued to add paint layers to the canvas, tumbled the chain maille bracelets with steel shot mix to make them smooth,  etched copper to make into charms,  and started our little purses to hold our iphones.  Here are mine, two colorways to match different outfits:


And this one is to wear with my brown toned clothing:


A quick note about my iphone above.  That one is my new iphone as I accidentally misplaced my last one.  This one has 3G technology and I love it even more!!  I made my iphone bags so I don’t lose it again!

Hmmm….  shall I make a tutorial when I can find the time?

To Be Continued….   This takes you through Day 3 of my visit.  I skipped over the laughter, the yummy food, and how warm and inviting that Lori and her family treated me.  They always make me feel like a family member when I visit.

Hugs, Carla

Semester is Finished!

This morning is my last class of the semester, so I have been busy getting my portfolio ready to turn in.   We have to show the instructor the metal art created, plus sketches of each project:


Here is a silver necklace that was simple, yet I will wear it more than some others:


Still no word on the missing batting.  I will ask Joe to go over and see if the tenant/pitbull owner is home.  That way, I don’t have to subject myself to seeing the place…. or getting bit!  LOL!

Speaking of Joe, he is safely home from India.  I was a bit nervous after all the terrorist activity there recently, and with India and Pakistan making threats of war against each other this past week.  It is good to have him home again.

Enjoy your weekend!  Carla

Wire work

In preparation for turning in my metal portfolio for the semester, I have been finishing a few more items.

After my wire crochet experiment the other night using 28 gauge copper wire, I decided the weave was actually a knit, similar to a viking knit, but different.  Here it is using a 24 gauge wire, before compacting it using a wooden drawplate:


Then I finished 2 more chain maille bracelets out of copper wire.  Thanks to Faith, who made me the copper jump rings used to make these:


My last picture features a leaf that is a wire formed design. You then press a sheet of metal over the wire using a hydraulic press to create the design.  Here I have it temporarily on my previous wire knit:


Hope your December day is beautiful where you live.  Check out my sunset last night from out my front door:


Hugs, Carla

WIP report

Time to share some of my work in progress.

Yesterday, Faith came over to work on our homework.  Of course, we got sidetracked, so we went shopping instead!  One of our stops was to my favorite bead store- the one with the infamous bead box that you can dig through for hours.  I bought silver wire in various gauges, I hope to make a new project after I finish my final class homework, that it.

Faith had a birthday the other day and so I am making a freeform crochet scarf in these colors for her:


Then I have another friend’s birthday coming up, so I’m making her this one, too.  I would say these are my favorite colors at the moment:


Since this is a WIP post, I will show you my last 2 metal art projects to turn in next week- both are from silver:



And here is an asian motif from the kimono quilt I’m currently working on:


The next two pictures are not WIP, but thought I would show them nonetheless.  Check out this delightful mini quilt, it was in the bag from Barb.  I’m hoping that was intentional and I get to keep it- LOL!:


Last up, I bought these outside the store from a charity to support Project Linus, which is a worthy cause:


What are you working on???   Hugs, Carla

Copper Bookmark Tutorial


I’ve decided to do a series of easy to make presents to give away this holiday season.


First up is a copper bookmark and this is a beginner project.  No metalsmithing or metal arts experience needed.  Best of all is that most of the supplies are available at your local chain Home Center or hardware store- or in your husband’s tool chest:



Hammer- any inexpensive household hammer will do

8 gauge solid copper wire- I found mine on large spools in the electrical section of Home Depot. They sell it by the feet.  For a more expensive gift, you can purchase 8 gauge sterling silver  wire from Thunderbird Supply.

Hard surface such as an steel bench block, anvil, or, in a pinch- concrete.  If you want to buy yourself a bench block, I bought mine from Contenti Jewelry Supplies here.

Bastard File- 6 inch  Hmmm… don’t ask me why it is called this, it is basically a flat file. I found mine in the tool section of Home Depot.

Sandpaper- I use a variety of sandpaper grits, pick one that is fine and very fine.

Wire cutter- to cut the wire into 8 inch pieces.  You can also have the hardware store employee cut it as well.  I borrow my husband’s 🙂

Hole punch- I picked mine up online from Contenti.  I also have a set of inexpensive metal hole punches from Harbor Frieght.

Beading pliers, jump ring, beads, fiber, or other embellishment for decoration.  You can get these from any craft or bead store.

Safety googles


Let’s Begin!! This project only took me about 10 minutes to make.

Step one:  Using the wire cutter, cut the copper wire into approximately 8 inch pieces.

cut-the-wire1 (click to see larger image)

Step two:  Take the hammer and pound the top 1/2 inch of the wire to a flatter shape that looks like this:

flatten-end1 (click for larger image)

To get a flat even surface on both sides, you strike the first side with a few blows from the flat side of the hammer, then turn it over and strike the metal a few times, then repeat this process.

file1 (click for larger image)

sand2 (click for larger image)

Step three:  File both ends  of the copper smooth, then create a hole for the jump ring in the top flattened section.  The easiest way is to use an inexpensive metal hole punch tool like this and then sand/file any sharp edges smooth:

hole-punch1 (click for larger image)

Step four:  Now to bend the wire into the desired shape.  I bent mine around a small diameter round shape that was around my house.  I hold on with one hand, keeping the flat section parallel to the floor, and form the wire around like this:




Step 5: I do the same thing to create the wavy shape of the long wire side:


Step 6: Time to pound the metal wire flat on the long side using your hammer and hard surface to flatten the bookmark.  Be sure to leave the candy cane top round, so follow the diagram to know where to begin striking with your hammer.


As before, you pound one side to flatten down the length, and then turn it over after a few blows in each area and strike along the back side of the bookmark you are flattening.  I keep turning it over, back and forth, so that I flatten both sides evenly.

Step 7: Double check you do not have any rough places on your bookmark.  if you do, then use the  file and sandpaper to smooth.

Step 8: Almost finished, all you have to do is add your jump ring and beads or fiber like this:


And the finished project after adding your favorite bead, charms, recycled jewelry (old earrings, small pendants, etc) to complete this project:


I do hope you will take the time to try this project.  You could easily make gifts for teachers, friends, neighbors for a very small price.  Besides bookmarks, you can also make Christmas Tree ornaments.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, then be sure to check out my free tutorial page here. Happy Holidays to you!

Regards, Carla