Jan Huling at the Hoboken Historical Museum

Jan Huling’s work is instantly recognizable – fully-covered objects, often quirky and always beautiful. Huling had the cover article of June/July 2011 American Craft, where you can read about her beading, starting with a kazoo.


If you live in the Hoboken, New Jersey area, you can see Jan Huling’s work on display at the Hoboken Historical Museum until September 13th. The Jersey Journal has a slideshow of her work if you’re not in the area. Enjoy!

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A meadow of daisies


I sewed a top out of this fabric, and decided I needed MORE daisies – so made earrings to accompany it. There’s a few Swarovski as the center, and some lovely petal clear ab beads from Beadcats. It’s fun to remember the projects for the original purchase; the petals were leftover from a commission I did quite a while ago, and the Swarovski were leftovers from a Beading for a Cure kit.

As always the problem with fiddling around to make something for a one-off project is making two the same; I was about 3/4 through the first earring when I had to stop to begin the second. I was afraid if I went much further, I wouldn’t know how to start. The petals stay mostly in place, and the face of the flower is about 3/4″ (22 mm).  I tried hanging them off a hoop, lever backs, and ear threads, but went back to my usual French hook.

I think a fun database would be of fashion trends. Enter, say, “ear threads” to learn that they were a minor fashion statement perhaps 10 years ago. They would have been fun style-wise for this earring, but the thread part is too long. I don’t know how I will ever use the one set of ear threads I purchased.

Anyway! Next project will be either another set of earrings (pretty turquoise cabochons are ready to go on my work table), or another attempt at a necklace I’ve been trying to make. I think my meadow of daisies is plenty full for now.

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A rose necklace


I finished a project, a gift for a friend. Rose luster, ivory, champagne ab and gold matte seed beads with ivory and round pressed beads. My own design with a mixture of techniques. The clasp is a brass magnetic ball clasp; I shortened the pink herringbone rope at each end to keep the spacing close to the same as between the elements. As always, the challenge of trying to smoothly integrate the clasp.


Pretty pink luster beads! Each element is 3/4″ (20mm) across, total length about 25″ (64 cm).

(Better pictures than last post, yes? I hope?)

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Crazy lace agate

crazy-lace-necklace-pendant Enjoy this beautiful stone – and ignore my lazy photography. This is a Mexican crazy lace agate cabochon, cut by my grandfather sometime in the 1950s to 1970s. I have several of the cabs he cut, but they’ve always been too special and limited for me to feel I could or should work with them, which is just silly. My grandparents were rockhounds, finding or buying stones, and cutting them into cabs. Grandpa did more of the cutting, and Grandma did more of the silver work. He did very good work, especially considering the tools available at the time. I have round, oval, and various shaped cabs (including a tiny cowboy boot), of all sorts of stone including Washington jade. My grandparents once found a jade boulder in a Washington stream they needed help to lift. Imagine!

I actually can, as I recently visited my grandmother (my grandfather died in 1979), and together with my aunt attended a rock show with several jade boulders on display. I took a closeup picture with my cellphone of one that had been polished, keeping its original shape and contours.

jade-boulderThis boulder was probably somewhere in the 400 pound range; the largest one on display was 500 pounds. This is the classic green that you think of jade. I bought a piece that weighs about 1.5 pounds at the rock show, a cut chunk of this green that I may just leave outside with some sandpaper to polish at leisure over the summer. The jade boulder my grandparents found was white. I have a pure white cab from this boulder, that Grandpa cut and has been set into a silver setting. As Grandma says, jade comes in every color.

Grandma started beading after I did, and she’s been beading her way around the cabs in her cache. My aunt does lovely wirework, and captures more of the cabs with wire. And all three of us bought more cabs at the rock show. Here’s my “Grandpa collection”: jade (including one from that boulder), magnetic serpentine, granite, Brazilian agate, dinosaur bone, petrified wood, Montana agate, turquoise, moss agate, jasper, chrysoprase, variscite, rhodonite, rhodochrosite, tiger iron, rhodonite, bloodstone, unakite, mariposite. My just-purchased collection is lapis, jade, larimar, turquoise, jasper, labradorite. I have a lot of beading around rocks to happily do! Grandma is 98, so I hopefully have a lot of beading time ahead of me, if genetics has anything to do with it.

Back to my necklace.


Again, apologies on the photo. Not posting because my current photography is sub-par has been one of my excuses. No longer. I like this simple chain and the visual weight it carries. The main bead is a size 11 cut, a lovely red-brown ab. In the bezel is a tiny bit of French pumpkin, and a nice Japanese matte white ab.

The finishing touch is the clasp.


I really like this. I’ve managed to get a really good circle that is two beads deep on the inner circle, and one bead on the outside. A future possible project is a “simple” linked chain. This may be the starting point for how I accomplish that.

I’ve been back beading regularly since April 22nd. I can be that exact as I’ve got a reminder on my phone set to “stop beading” to get to work; I’ve been getting up at 6am to bead. I go to work at different times, depending on the day, so that may mean 45 minutes of beading, or perhaps three hours of beading on a weekday (usually the lesser). I don’t turn on any electronics or music, I just sit down, turn on the lights, blink blearily a couple times, put on my reading glasses, and start beading. I’m only beading during this time, not pulling beads, not planning beadwork, not blogging about beading, nothing else. The benefits of the morning beading time are most importantly more beading, with a bonus of going to bed earlier too.

It feels like a true accomplishment, beading regularly again. Like many beaders, I have UFOs in the wings, and dreams of future projects beyond that (hello, linked chain). This is working for me. I have started sewing again occasionally, and I would like to find time for that as well. Also, weaving and truly learning to knit, and perhaps some odd crochet now and then. When to do these? I do not yet know, but perhaps I can figure that out too.

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Seed pods


I recently sent these off as gifts, and I think it’s safe to post them now; here’s a couple of my seed pods in shades of grey, intended as pendants. I had this design published in Beadwork Creates Earrings, and it was fun to revisit. I also recently made a starfish and mailed it off (also my design, also published) – and I forgot to take a picture!

I have been beading every weekday morning that I’m not traveling – I’m on week four. I don’t have a lot of time, so don’t have tons to show, but I am getting some time behind the needle. Now I would like to find some time to get behind the sewing machine, a book or two, my Weave-It loom, and sundry other things I’d love to make.

Meanwhile, my morning time is up, and I’m off to work! I have another piece of beadwork nearly finished, for myself this time. I’m contemplating two things: how long do I want the necklace, and the clasp! Always, the clasp…

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