Nov 2, 2012

Humblebeads Bare Branches Blog Hop Reveal

 The Bare Branches soup sent from Heather Powers is possibly the most beautiful bead mix I've ever received, full of Humblebeads and beautiful Czech glass, crystals, & findings.

 Humblebeads are reflections of nature, and as I thought about honoring nature with my design an azurite cabochon stood out in my stash. The oval azurite complimented the colors of bare branches beads, and as a lovely gift of nature, fit the feeling of the jewelry. 

I wire wrapped the azurite in German wire, adding a wreath of beadwork, as well as sea glass, sari ribbon, rich brown suede, and leaves from the soup. A pretty turquoise blue Beadcomber clay flower beadcap added a nice touch.

I liked the effect, and decided to wire wrap the coin shaped Humblebeads focal too, and again, added beadwork. 

I'm so new to using sari silk, and uncertain how to use the material well as so many of you do! But I took a deep breath, and decided to create an adjustable clasp with sari silk, humblebead rondelles, and a teal crystal panda bead.

I added additional gemstones: jasper with bronze matrix rondelles and yellow turquoise rondelles. The colorway developed with brass, rather than copper. Antique brass findings and Czech Picasso glass looked nice with the wire wrapped focals.

 With a love for using color, I added teal findings and wrapped the brass, gemstone beads and Czech glass with turquoise Artistic wire.

 With an idea of being interchangeable, I used a teal lobster clasp as part of the design so either pendant could be worn.


I love to add strands of pearls to my necklaces, so I hand-knotted teal and cocoa freshwater pearls on silk, adding lobster clasps so the layer could be added to the necklace as one wished.

The pearls frame the Humblebeads focal beautifully.

And the pearls also add another style to the design by simply moving the sari silk closure forward.

The pearls move to the back of the necklace, and the length becomes longer. This is nice for hot Florida days to keep the sari silk lovely.

 In addition, the pearls can be removed again to be worn as a soft, silky double-wrapped bracelet.

 And the necklace can be wrapped three times to become a bracelet too!

The freshwater pearl strand also makes a lovely necklace on its own, working with or without the focals.

I can wear one focal and necklace while one of my daughters wears the others, or I can wear a necklace and a coordinating bracelet.

I found myself lovingly creating this jewelry, giving it time, enjoying the design process. This was a wonderful, gentle experience for me -- a healing time. 

The Bare Branches Blog Hop is another special celebration of "Bead Soup" (Lori Anderson) and I thank Heather Powers for so generously sharing with us a part of her contribution to the book, her beautiful "Bare Branches" bead soup.

I'm appreciative and honored, and I cherish Heather Power's Humblebeads and my new Bare Branches jewelry. Gracias!

The Bare Branches Participants:
Heather Powers
Andrea Ross
Erin Prais-Hintz
Cherrie Fick
Stephanie Haussler
Becky Pancake

Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!


  1. Breath taking beautiful! I love your creativity!

  2. Your pieces are gorgeous! I love how everything can be interchangeable and worn so many different ways. Wonderful job on enhancing Heather's beautiful focal beads.

  3. Oh Rita← Touch again to save your necklace is adorable-


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