Sterling Silver Peridot Crystal Necklace

I wanted to share with you my silver peridot crystal necklace featuring a  sterling silver leaf  pendant with crystals.  This is a spring project using jewelry supplies from

Necklace by Carla Barrett

I decided to bead the necklace using high quality delica seed beads and crystal accents.  In the end,  the simplicity of the necklace complements the lovely pendant.

For this project, I started with my focal pendant, the sterling silver leaf.  This leaf is gorgeous in person and is certainly well made.

Then I made a matching beaded necklace using size 15/0 delica seed beads and Swarovski  3mm bicone peridot crystals. This was woven using Fireline and a sized 12 beading needle.  I used a tri-stitch with the delica beads, then came back and stitched on the crystals.

For the closure, I used a sterling silver lobster clasp and a locking jump ring for the opposite side.

This project is an easy one- as I wanted the sterling silver leaf to be the focal point.  Thanks to for providing many of the supplies for my design.  I am a blogging Designer for, and thus want to provide full disclosure of this relationship.  They have been wonderful to work with and I also want to thank them for donating beads for my beading and quilting class at MQS recently.

Hope you enjoy this simple, but lovely, necklace.

Regards, Carla


Freeform Purse Kits

I quilted a very large piece of fabric to make up kits for students in my freeform beading class, and silly me- I forgot to leave enough unquilted fabric so I could cut all the binding fabric strips.  I was about 1/4 yard short.

I ran back to the quilt store and of course, the large bolt of batik was long gone!  No other fabric worked.  Finally, I just started over with about 9 yards total this time.  So, this morning, I requilted all the fabric for the kits, cut out the purse patterns, the strips for binding and the handle, too.  The project uses fusible fleece, so I cut that, too.  Whew!

Some oops are just fortuitous!  In the end, I much prefer the fabric choices of the 2nd purse fabric.  Perfect for the project, too.

Now I have the fun job of organizing the beads for the project.  My order from arrived, and the beads look wonderful!  Thanks to Reyna at ArtBeads for assisting me, and also this terrific company donated items for the kits and my class doorprize, too.  Thank you!!!  I continue to be amazed by everyone I interact with at this online company!

That’s it for today…  Grandson Jack is coming over so we can have some fun time with him!  Enjoy your weekend!  Carla

ArtBead Challenge

Today, I am pleased to reveal my finished design for my latest Challenge.  I have shared previously that I am honored to be a part of their Blogging Designer’s program where I get to try out new items and then review them on my blog.

This time, I got to select from a wide variety of Cubic Zirconia products to base my design on.  I chose a variety of Cubic Zirconia beads to showcase, including this lovely cubic zirconia pendant which became my focal piece.  Here is my inspiration piece:

Here is a picture of my main focal pendant up close:

Cubic Zirconia  Faceted Twist Oval Drop- Peridot

Review:  I am not usually a “bling” person, but I love mixing shiny beads with matte beads and fibers in my work.  I loved what I chose and as always, the fast delivery service I received from  I continue to be impressed with this company.

The quality of the Cubic Zirconia Peridot pendant was exceptional.  You can tell this from the images above.

How I made this project:

My inspiration was the peridot pendant.  Coming from a quilting and fiber background, I decided to stay true to my art and incorporate fabric into the design.  Here is the batik fabric used, which also inspired my color pallette:

I  braided the batik fabric with some matching yarn to get the base fiber necklace form.  This was scaled to just slip over my head, so no clasps were needed.   I next decided to tie the ends together and make a tassel out of fabric, yarn and beads.  My lovely peridot pendant rests on top of the tassel with just enough contrast to stand out and catch the eye.

I have included some peyote stitched beads above the tassel and I am now finishing the project by sewing on some peridot crystals I have on the necklace strap.  This will bring some more visual interest to the strap as well.

I hope you enjoy this project, I know I have.  Thanks to for providing free-of-charge the peridot pendant for my honest review.  Please note that I have not been paid to write this by, and I have complete freedom to create my design and discuss how I like or did not like the product provided.

Coming News… I will be having a blog giveaway soon, so keep watching!

Regards, Carla Barrett

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

Pearl Pendant

I finally finished my pearl project, I am pleased to report!  My challenge was to create something original with this lovely strand of pearls I got from ArtBeads: Pearls

I decided to make a pendant piece which I could wear this winter:

CarlaPearl Pendant

The finished pendant necklace just glows with ambient lighting.  I used just five of the pearls as my focal point for the pendant.  3 strands of Japanese delica beads surrounding each pearl to add interest, and the peyote stitching adds to the overall piece, as well as functions as a beaded bail.  I purchased a strand of smaller olive pearls to use as the necklace.


This is a beginner’s beading project, by the way.  All you need is a quick lesson in flat peyote in order to create it.  There is an elegence in the simplicity of the pendant, I believe.

Longtime Blog readers have noticed that I support the last few months.  That is because I am honored to be a part of the Blogging Designer’s program for the ArtBeads blog.

My first Project I designed for this program was the quilted and freeform beaded bag with the lovely copper enamel pendant.  My next project will feature some Swarovski Crystals that I showed the other day.   I love the challenge to create something original using a variety of materials.

Keep watching to see what I make for my next ArtBead challenge!  Hugs, Carla

See what Arrived?

It has been awhile since I shared some lovely beads…  My current project is using these lovely olive pearls from my favorite online bead store-

I found these lovely pearls at

I found these lovely pearls at

I  LOVE this color and I can’t wait to use them in a project!  It looks very rich in person, too.  In case you wanted a strand for yourself, I found the Olive Pearls here.

ArtBeads also have other pearl colors, and even a few mixtures.   How many other bead lovers are out there? LOL!

My new philosophy:  Do something creative each day.  Today I quilted, and spent time designing with my bead stash.  What did YOU do creative today?  C’mon, I really want to know!

Postscript:  OK, I followed my own recommendation and did some retail therapy again at artbeads.  I promise to share when it comes.

See you on Monday.  Another trip to Tahoe- which is less than an hour away from Feathered Fibers Central.  I will take pictures to share…  it is a beautiful location.  Take care, Carla

Head’s Up!

I am in the process of making a few more freeform beaded bags similar to this one that I’ve shown before:


The company that makes that gorgeous copper enameled turtle,, is having a once a year Blowout sale where they put about 2,000 items on sale for $1 each here starting tomorrow 4/20/09 for 1 week.  I received an email from VP Steve Groenier, and he says some items go for 60% off and many items go fast!  Since I know you all love beads as much as I do, I thought I would tip you off.

PS: I just placed my order and I was bad in a good way!  Just doing my part to stimulate the economy!!  LOL  Carla