Valentine’s Day was definitely not a part of our tradition in Eastern Europe. I found it sappy, even fake when I first heard about it. It seemed nothing more then another reason to spend money on unnecessarily gifts. Pink hearts, Cupid and overweight doves… Definitely not my cup of tea!
15 years later: we are married, had our ups and downs, and both of us are passionate not only about each other, but also about our careers. My two jobs (beading and doing guided tours in Amsterdam) and his dedication to computer science and his company doesn’t leave us with a lot of free time. Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit down and enjoy a dinner together (which I didn’t have to cook and after which he doesn’t have to do the dishes)? No kitschy postcards or Celine Dion-songs. No big gestures and love poems. Just talking about our favourite memories, planning new adventures for the future and enjoying each other’s company.
Should we maybe celebrate Valentine’s Day, for the first time in our life? If yes, then should I wear something special? I already made a list of the best Valentine’s Day-jewellery to choose from, just in case 🙂
I love a lot of different kinds of beads, however, my favourite designs are the ones featuring cabochons. Debora Hodoyer did a great job with turning a Swarovski rivoli into a heart-shaped pendant. You can make it vibrant like Debbie did with the neon pink Superduo beads or you can choose a romantic colorway, too.
I know that there are beaders out there who are not the biggest fans of Right Angle Weave, Cubic Right Angle Wave and Prismatic Right Angle Weave. I have to admit, that they can be challenging to understand at first. But did you see these cute hearts designed by Cindy Holsclaw of Bead Origami? They are definitely a good enough reason to give RAW, CRAW and PRAW one more try!
Aurelio Castano is the master of jewellery design. He started to work with classic jewellery making techniques, but nowadays he is dedicating his talent to the art of beadweaving. Together with Edwin Batres he is designing beautiful beadwoven pieces under the brand ‘ACL Patterns and More’. The ‘Forbidden Love Bangle’ is a clever design: it reveals the little hearts hidden on the sides of the bracelet when you turn it sideways!
Heather Kingsley Heath is the designer who invented and developed one of the newest beading stitches, the Albion stitch. One of my goals for 2018 is to push myself to learn new techniques, and my friend Marie recommended me to get Heather’s book. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to bead a design from it yet, but even looking at the pictures got me convinced, how awesome Albion stitch is! The Albion heart designed by Heather is just another proof, that I definitely have to try it, and the sooner the better 🙂 The colourful beads give the Albion heart a boho look, but I bet it would look great in a classic black and silver or black and gold combination, too!
Would you like to give something special to your other half? Katie Dean’s Beaded Heart Box is the best possible way to gift-wrap a Valentine Day’s surprise. It requires patience to build a bead box like this, but it’s definitely worth it. Thanks to the button Katie designed the top is attached to the bottom of the box, so the gift is safe inside!
Helena Tang Lim’s ‘Intertwined’ are two cool beadwoven hearts joined together. They can be elegant and stylish or funny and casual – it depends only on your colour choices! You can make the two PRAW hearts in the same colours or you can choose a different shade for the small and the big one. And the result? It can be a pendant for yourself or even a gift to your loved one, if you make the hearts into a key fob. The interlinked hearts will always remind your partner of the special day you spent together when he/she received the gift!
Gwen Fisher of Bead Infinitum designed a heart using only seed beads. Even if you don’t have the special bead shapes on your hand at the moment, you can still bead a Valentine’s Day piece of jewellery by following Gwen’s tutorial. It shows you how to bead hearts inspired by tatting and lace in two different sizes. It’s up to you how you assemble the components into a delicate, elegant bracelet, pendant or even earrings!
Do you plan to enjoy something really special on the 14th of February? Then a cocktail ring hiding no less then six Swarovki hearts is the way to go! Apollinariya Koprivnik’s ‘Flower ring’ is a luxurious piece with a lot of bling, since besides the little hearts you will also need some Swarovski bicones and a 14 mm rivoli cabochon in the middle.
Another special piece from the atelier of Edwin Batres and Aurelio Castano is the Korazón pendant. The heart is beaded entirely from Swarovski Elements bicone beads! You can be among the first to wear it (and bead it) ever, since the tutorial has just made its debute!
How cool are these ‘Anatomical hearts’ by Nepinka? Let me answer this: VERY, VERY, VERY cool! If you would like to stick to your casual style, but still wear a special piece of beaded jewellery for Valentine’s Day, then this is the way to go! Nepinka (Olya) designed several different versions, all available in her brand new Etsy shop.
Recently I received a big package of Amos par Puca beads. If there is a bead looking like it was made for Valentine’s Day, then the Amos beads are the one 😀 A pair of Amos side-by-side looks just like a cute little heart, and the ‘Amore Mio’ bracelet is packed with them. Every motif is featuring three little hearts. You need only some Japanese seed beads and a bunch of Swarovski bicone beads to bead this elegant bracelet, perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond!
Which one is your favourite Valentine’s Day design? Did you make or do you plan to make a special piece of jewellery for the 14th of February? Tell us in a comment!
P.S. The beautiful dark fuchsia heart-shaped cabochon on the cover image is available here in a very limited amount.