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The Design Gallery

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About this design:

I like this piece because I think it reflects the essence of my design style nearly perfectly. Simple, graphic, direct, with just a touch of luxe.

In order for the beads to lay nicely, I made it a very close-fitting choker--more like a collar. So it may not be for everyone. :)

By the way, it was surprisingly difficult to make! The copper rectangles are hollow, about 27mm long. I'll be darned if it didn't take me 15 minutes sometimes to guide a wiggly .018 beadalon wire from one hole to the hole on the other side. It was hit or miss. Tried a couple of different techniques and none worked best. Has anybody figured out a strategy on how to work with beads of this type without resorting to joining them with looped wires? I think the charm of the piece is due in part to the way the beads butt up one another and I don't want to lose that feature. I thought of super gluing the Beadalon wire to a straight piece of heavier wire, then snipping the glued end off when it was finished but there must be an easier way!


Brushed copper rectangles, silver-finish "cratered surface" discs, copper jump rings and clasps.

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Chicky Suz aka Susan Z
    Chicky Suz aka Susan Z says:

    This is awesome!! They make flexible beading needles with extemely long eyes, you can thread the wire through and the needle goes through the beads easier than tehe wire

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    B Stafford says:

    Very Rich, and classy! Love how you combined the texture with the metal contrast! Have to say, I will be adding this to my FAV! Nice!!

  3. FaeryGoth Chick
    FaeryGoth Chick says:

    stunning! love this :-)

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    Luv2bead - Little Chick says:

    So cool! It must be lightweight!! I know what you mean with the hollow beads!!! It happens all the time! LOL :D

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    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    Super Luxurious! love this. Beading needles. Michaels and on the web they are about 3 inches long some of them I think I saw some at local bead store. You worked to hard but it was worth it.

  6. Arja A
    Arja A says:

    With three word: I want this!

  7. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Thanks for the kind words and thoughts, ladies. Do you bend and pinch the wire through and over the eye of the needle? Tie it?

    But I’m not sure a flexible beading needle is the solution. I think flexibility may actually be the problem–I need something that’s straight and stiff and easier to control once it “disappears” inside the bead. Do beading needles work that way? Sorry for the dilettante questions. :)

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    Science Chick Runs Sibes says:

    Gorgeous. I love the elegant simplicity of this design.

    With hollow beads like the ones you used here, I sometimes take a fine wire, make a loop, insert the beading wire and crush (gently) the loop so that it holds the beading wire. This works if the hole in the bead is large enough to allow this homemade “needle” to pass through.

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    Vampire Chickie Ravin says:

    Fave!! This is stunning!! And I was going to tell you the exact same thing Runs With Sibes did, good minds heh, she just beat me to it…I’m slow….lol :D ♥♥♥

  10. Chicky Suz aka Susan Z
    Chicky Suz aka Susan Z says:

    You can just thread like a regular needle, it is stiff enough…..

  11. Chicky Suz aka Susan Z
    Chicky Suz aka Susan Z says:

    or, I like the “homemade ‘ needle, I might try that!!

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    Kimberly f says:

    love this piece simple, yet elegent. I too know what you mean about the hollow holes beads. Make you wanted scream. smiles.

  13. Diane Cauley
    Diane Cauley says:

    Wow. I have had this problem before and just a really steady hand kinda like drawing blood or throwing a dart works for me. so….OMG this is amazing!

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    D D Mystic Chick says:

    wow! very cool!

  15. Harmony on Strings
    Harmony on Strings says:

    Nice mix of metals!

  16. Carola
    Carola says:

    Very contemporary.

  17. KittyMom Linda
    KittyMom Linda says:

    I could never wear this if its a collar type, but I would wear it as a headband or something. I would find some way to use it – its GORGEOUS. I still can’t get over how much your taste in jewelry is like mine! This is GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS.

  18. Elaine aka Belly Chick
    Elaine aka Belly Chick says:

    I love the contrast of the shapes and metals…stunning!! :-D

  19. Steph
    Steph says:

    Very lovely, I could picture KittyMom Linda wearing this as a headband and blinding people when the sun shines on it. All your stuff is great and I know what you mean with the hollow beads, It takes a little patients.

  20. Sandra Martinez
    Sandra Martinez says:


  21. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Thank you, ladies, your support means so much! As simple as it is technically, I am especially proud of this piece, (a) because it took a lot of patience, which is something I struggle with, and (b) because it really seems to get at what I strive for when I design.

    So how did I get so lucky as to fall in with such a nice group of people?

  22. Lynn g
    Lynn g says:

    WOW this is so rich and fabulous…

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    Faithful Chick aka Faith says:

    I think this group is sort of like vegetable soup.
    The more you add to the mix and the more variety you add and the longer you cook it The More You Gotta Love it. Yummy
    All ya Gotta Do is add love love, All ya gotta do is Love.
    Soup doesn’t sound very special next to fancy dishes; but oh my goodness when you taste it it is hard to stop eating. (Sort of like Beading)

  24. KittyMom Linda
    KittyMom Linda says:

    Faithful Chick – I think your analogy is great. I’m running it off and putting it at my work area. Thanks – TO EVERYONE!

  25. Lynn Eileen Chicky LE
    Lynn Eileen Chicky LE says:

    Susan, this is another stunner! I love the colors and the contrasting metals! I also struggle at times to “thread” my wire through beads — it can drive me crazy at times!!! 8O

  26. WireWrangler
    WireWrangler says:

    Hey Dok!
    This one dropped me in my tracks, a signature piece indeed. Very striking!
    A superb example of contrast on many levels, shapes, metals (combining two different metals, warm and cool colours), and the most outstanding example of contrast is with the contrasting textures.

    On your problem, I am assuming you are using 49 strand? If not, I would definitely use the highest number of strands available because metal beads notoriously wear on the beading wire. Usually with metal beads there is a large enough hole to use the 0.24 size, which I find works just fine because it holds well while stringing without the need to use a needle or home made needle. The drape that you desire, flexibility, will also be maintained.

    Thank you for sharing a marvelous design.

  27. Bella Chick aka Chill
    Bella Chick aka Chill says:

    Classic beauty…refined and striking at the same time! Love it!

  28. Dragons Chicky
    Dragons Chicky says:

    Just plain beautiful in a classic way! :)

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    Dora H says:

    Very Classie, I’ve gotten good at picking out your design by pics now…This is gorgeous :)

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    Cotopaxi Chickie Sue says:

    All of my adjectives have been taken above, but I love this, Susan! I love the warm/cool look of copper and silver together anyway, but the textures you’ve mixed are simply fabulous!

    I’m with Sally on this one – .024 49 strand wire would be the best with this, and would stand up straight enough to thread through fairly easily….

  31. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    I used .018 because my wire guards can’t take any thicker wire. I should probably buy some larger wire guards. :) Thanks for the advice everyone!

  32. WireWrangler
    WireWrangler says:

    For me, it can be annoying, challenging, frustrating, whatever….so many things linked to other stuff..size of wire to size of components to size of tools, different metals, different tools. I wonder if this is a form of 6 degrees of separation, twice removed?

    If you are going to purchase new sizes of the guards anyway, have you ever considered French wire? I know its’ use is for pearl strands, however, I like it instead of the wire guards. I find that the French Wire, French Bullion or Gimp gives a really pretty, completely enclosed and clean look at that last connection. It comes in different widths and in silver & gold, I like the real deal not the plated.

    One last thought, this is one time that I will use glue, coating the end of beading wire, or any floppy material will stiffen it when dry to a nice substitute needle. Then I just whack it off before finishing.

    As Dora has said, you have a distinctive style.
    I look forward to seeing your designs.
    Thank you!

  33. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    I’m not familiar with French wire or bullion or Gimp–are they all the same thing? I will have to do some research. :)

  34. Jewelry by Shannon
    Jewelry by Shannon says:

    Can you please tell us where you purchases the silver and copper beads? They are beauties, as is this design. I want to wear it to work tomorrow!!! SLS

  35. doktordesigns
    doktordesigns says:

    Dear friends of Lima Beads,

    You may have noticed (and wondered why) I rarely answer the question, “Where did you get those beads?”

    Please understand that it doesn’t have to do with worrying that people will reproduce my designs–I know the beaders here are way more creative than that. It’s out of respect for Lima Beads. I figure they create this wonderful forum for us, where so many of us take pleasure and inspiration, and I don’t want to promote THEIR competitors.

    In my ”real life” I work in brand marketing so I guess I am extra sensitive to this stuff. Creating online communities is costly for companies and I’m just trying to be brand loyal to Lima Beads by encouraging business to stay right here.

    That being said, the non-Lima beads that I use come from mainstream online sources (mostly Ebay) and “big box” crafts retailers. They’re not hard to find if you do some specific keyword searching.

    I hope you don’t all think I am a total b***h now. I don’t mean to be un-helpful or stingy. I love the members of this community and love this space and would hate to alienate anyone.

    With apologies,

  36. Happy Chick aka Harriet
    Happy Chick aka Harriet says:

    Gorgeous!!! Straight to FAV!!! :D I do enjoy your style, and sympathize with the difficulties of stringing certain beads. The metal hollow mesh ones can be an exercise in frustration, too. LOL
    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments on this one…lots of good ideas and info. Sally, as always, you give such good insight and information. And I am proud to be in Faith’s “Soup”. LOL
    Susan, I have the same issues about promoting other sites or venues. I usually just mention my local bead store (LBS) or only refer to chain stores for things Lima Beads does not stock. That is getting less common because Lima is stocking so many nice things for us now. ;)
    I truly enjoy our community here at LB and, like Susan, I guess I am a little protective of it. So whatever you are Susan, I guess that makes two of us, and you need no apologies to me.

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