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Ways to use Deer hide leather lacing


Single strand bracelets

Deer Hide Leather

Deer Hide leather is a fabulous new lacing material that is just so versatile for jewellery making. The lace is ethically sourced and available in a wide range of colours. I’m getting ready for summer, inspired by the beach and seashore, making two pretty bracelets using sand and stone blue shades available from I-Beads. You can learn how to plait with 3, 4 or 5 strands below and make yourself a pretty wrap bracelet. Instructions for the jump ring weaving bracelet follow at the end.

Deerskin cuff bracelets 1

Three different techniques


As well as these two easy to make bracelets you can also buy a pattern for this beautiful multi strand cuff bracelet from my ETSY shop.


The deerskin is very soft and plaits beautifully – so don’t stop at the usual 3-strand plaiting! It is just as easy to plait with four or even five lengths to make different widths of bracelet or cuff. Secure the leather at one end with tape or pin to a cork or macramé board. You will need an extra 1/3 to 1/2 more on each strand than the finished length to plait.

Plaited Wrap Bracelet

Use 10mm ribbon crimps to finish the ends of the three strand plaiting. Add an initial charm (from I-Beads) with jump rings and add a lobster clasp. Plait approximately 31cm to wrap around twice, or 46cm to wrap three times round your wrist (17.5cm standard size).

Three strand plait

  1. Lift the left strand over and place in between the other two strands
  2. Lift the right strand over and place in between the other two strands
  3. Repeat taking the left over, then the right keeping the plaiting compact
  4. Continue until the plaiting is the length required – tape at both ends to secure

Four strand plait

  1. Lift the left strand over the first and under the second strand
  2. Take the right strand under the strand that has just been woven across from the left
  3. Repeat lifting the left over the first and under the second strand
  4. Repeat taking the right strand under the strand just woven across from the left
  5. Continue until the plaiting is the length required – tape at both ends to secure

Five strand plait

  1. Lift the left strand over the first strand and under the second strand
  2. Lift the right strand over the first strand then under the strand that has just been woven across from the left
  3. Repeat lifting the left over the first and under the second strand
  4. Repeat lifting the right strand over the first strand then under the stand just woven across from the left
  5. Continue until the plaiting is the length required – tape at both ends to secure

Use these 25mm or 43mm magnetic clasps from I-Beads to finish the wider plaiting and make a quick cuff bracelet.

Jumpring weaving

Why not make this quick and clever idea? Use 8mm jump rings to weave two strands of deer hide lace to make a simple bracelet and finish with these cord ends.

  1. Take one strand of leather down through the jump ring from right to left
  2. Take a second strand up through the jump ring from right to left
  3. Slide the first ring along, begin again taking the top strand up through a jump ring
  4. Take the second strand down through the jump ring – you can see the leather is woven in opposite directions through the rings
  5. Slide the rings along so that they butt together and then repeat from step 1
  6. Continue until the weaving is the length required. Trim the leather and attach the cord ends – add a little strong glue into the hole in the cord end not on the leather
  7. Add a small jump ring to both ends and a large lobster clasp to finish.


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Win tickets for the Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh

The Knitting and Stitching Show is coming to Edinburgh for the second year at the end of April. It is a fantastic event, so if you have never been, do come along as there is so much to see and do. As well as the usual sales stalls there are fascinating things to see including the Textile Galleries,  Craft in Action and the Butterfly garden as well as dozens of workshops. And once again I’m teaching several classes over the four days do take a look and if you’d like to try do book following the workshops link below. You can see below that these are quick projects that you should be able to complete on the day. As always my aim is to design pretty projects that are easy to learn that you will love to make.

This year I’ve also got a stand near the Learning Curve area so do come along to say hello at E48 where I’ll have some ready-made crochet jewellery, macramé and crochet jewellery kits all with Swarovski crystals and a selection of crystals for sale. If I’m teaching in the Learning Curve you’ll get the chance to meet my daughter Ashley who is coming up from Lincolnshire to help.

Fabric flower tag

Ticket Competition

I have two pairs of tickets to give away so I’m running a fun competition. One of my workshops is this beautiful vintage tag embellished with ribbon flowers and Swarovski crystals and pearls. I’d love to see your ideas using ribbon. Ashley and I will choose the most innovative/fun entries and send out a pair of tickets worth £26 or £32 on the door.


Put your photos on my Facebook page and I’ll add to this blog post as well. You’ve got until Monday 6th March at 15.00 to post your pics!

Click on the link to read more about each project and to book via the Knitting and Stitching Show website for any of the  workshops I’m teaching.



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What crystals are heart shaped? Your guide to Swarovski Hearts.

Let your heart shine

Every Valentine’s Day hearts become the motif of the moment but it is a incredibly beautiful shape to design with any time of the year.  How many different heart shaped crystals do you know about?  I’ve had a look see and decided to show you some of the different heart crystals available from Swarovski to help in your designs.

Bollywood Swarovski Heart necklace

I used two sizes of heart shaped fancy stones to create this fabulous necklace.

Fancy stones

These no-hole crystals have matching settings and you can order either with or without holes and in a range of finishes and in ‘Breaking news’ Swarovski have just added round stone settings to their range!

Settings with holes allow the DIY designer to make fabulous crystal jewellery without using a soldering iron. You just sit the stone level in the setting and bend the lugs down with pliers.

Wiring jewellery, like this fabulous Bollywood style necklace, is one of my favourite techniques and one that you should be able to do too. In this necklace the cupchain is wrapped with wire and then attached to the floral centre piece. The heart fancy stones are wired into the cupchain to create the beautiful flowing shape. Detail Swarovski Heart Fancy Stone

What crystals are heart shaped?

Plenty of crystals to choose in a range of heart shapes too! My favourite are the sew-on stones, perfect for that quick, easy to wear bracelet using macramé or switchback braid.

Check out this link to Beads Direct and Jilly Beads who both have lots of heart shapes.

  • Pendants made up to 37mm, these generally have a hole at the top, though one style has a heart shaped hole. Available in a range of shapes.

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-13-27-22‘Devoted 2 You’ heart pendant available from I-Beads

  • Sew-on stones  easy to use flat back foiled crystals that have a hole at both sides. Perfect for stitching onto a backing or attached with jump rings to designs.


  • Be Charmed pendants – beautiful charms and pendants with tiny Swarovski crystals embedded into clay.


  • Flat back crystals – available in hot fix or plain these little heart crystals are perfect for embellishing clothing. Try placing the hotfix on a bead shaped from Fimo and bake in the oven to stick.


  • Buttons – beautiful heart shaped buttons are perfect for making a fastening for macramé and other styles of knotted jewellery. They also look stunning on an embroidered design.


Be inspired and buy some Swarovski Hearts for your next jewellery project!

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Checking for errors…

It is perhaps inevitable that mistakes creep in to beading books as there are so many diagrams to check and double check. One error (see below) in a diagram flagged up when my Knotting and Braiding Bible was translated into French recently but over the Festive season I got a lovely message from a lady in the US telling me that she had found errors on two diagrams in the spin-off: The Beginner’s Guide to Kumihimo is available as an e-book and a physical copy.


16 strand round braid

I tried out the two patterns for 16 strand kumihimo last night and thought she was right initially but I felt that I wasn’t concentrating (watching TV at the time!) so I started again and was relieved to find that the diagrams are both correct!







Rounded flat braid


This is the error on page 34 (p118 in the original paperback) – the instructions are correct but diagram 3 should look as the dark lines shown.


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Perlen Poesie Starlight

Starlight Necklace

Design for Perlen Poesie December 2016

It seems such a long time since I made this pretty necklace for I-Beads to feature in this month’s issue of Perlen Poesie but it has just been published. Inspired by I-Beads Celestial Skies Competition I chose beautiful dark blue seed beads to create the stars in Right Angle Weave that surround the bezelled Swarovski Rivolis.  I also amended the star design slightly so that you can make a pair of earrings to match.

Published in English too…

The magazine is published in English as well as German and is available on subscription from the Perlen Poesie website.

Starlight necklace

Starlight Necklace made using beads from


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Christmas in a spin

Beaded Christmas decorations

Every year I make some decorations for my tree and this year I’m making a few of these seed bead and pearl decorations to match my current colour scheme.

Christmas bead spirals

Christmas bead decorations

These designs are from my book Simply Sparkling Christmas Beading and are very easy to make. The delica spiral is worked on a bead loom using 0.4mm wire instead of warp threads with 0.2mm wire to weave across. The pearl spiral uses a thicker  0.7mm wire with bell cone findings to hide the ends.

  • Begin in the middle of the wire warps and shade the beads gradually
  • Shape the end by shortening the rows by one bead at a time
  • Turn the loom round to complete the other end
  • Make a hanging loop with delicas and sew in the wire tails
  • Wrap the beading around a wooden spoon to shape


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Macramé meets Gender crystals

Macramé gender symbol bracelet

Swarovski Gender Symbols on a macramé cuff bracelet

Swarovski gender symbols

These new crystals from Swarovski seem to be a bit like marmite – you either love them or hate them. I personally love the shape of the crystals and find them very inspiring to work with. The macramé designs were commissioned by Swarovski to showcase innovative ways to attach the crystals. On the cuff bracelet and earrings, the macramé is completed before the crystals are stitched in place; the crystals are added into the pendant design as you go.Macramé gender symbol bracelet flat


Swarovski Gender Symbols attached to the macramé as it is worked