Happy October! Welcome to this month's Designer Spotlight!
I have quite a treat today, as I have not only one but TWO amazing designers to introduce to you! Kitty (left) and Jennifer (right) O'Neil have been using Halcraft Collection's Bead Gallery beads for years.
Together, the O'Neil sisters are the powerhouses behind Running with Sisters, a crafting and decorating blog that enables them to share their skills and insights with other passionate crafters. You can find them on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, as well.
Not only have Jennifer & Kitty created designs with Halcraft Collection Bead Gallery beads for us this month, but they've also done their magic with two how-to videos!
Read on to learn more about these two lovely ladies, and scroll on down for a second video tutorial to create a matching turquoise and pearl necklace!
When did you first start beading, and what drew you to beading in the first place?
We’ve always been into making jewelry. We do all kinds of crafts, but making jewelry is our favorite. We love how shopping for beads is so inspiring and we get a lot of our design ideas directly from the beads. We love the creative activity of beading. And we figured out early on that when jewelry making is your craft, you end up with more jewelry!
What is your favorite project that you’ve finished recently, and why is it your favorite?
It’s funny, but we always love our latest project. We really get invested! Right now, our favorite is a Three-In-One Wrap Bracelet made of Halcraft Collection's purple Imperial Jasper, freshwater pearls, and copper filigree beads. It’s a single string of beads, but by changing them every few inches, it looks like three stacked bracelets. Love that! And the beads themselves are so pretty, they do a lot of the work.
For the step-by-step instructions to make your own, go to https://runningwithsisters.com/three-in-one-wrap-bracelet/
Do you have a jewelry business? Where can we find you online?
Our main business is teaching jewelry making through our videos. Our specialty is teaching beginners how to make pieces that look like they bought them at a boutique. We found our calling in teaching online, and we have hundreds of jewelry tutorials on our blog RunningWithSisters.com and our YouTube channel. We thrive on sharing our love of beading with others, and getting to make videos together while we craft is such a blast. It doesn’t seem like work at all!
What are your favorite beading techniques and materials?
Bead stringing, wirework, and bead weaving are all such favorites of ours, we can’t pick just one. We love the simplicity of bead stringing -- that you can take three seemingly unrelated bead strands and turn them into a gorgeous necklace. And wirework seems magical to us. You take plain wire and a bunch of loose beads, and with just a few simple techniques, you can really make something that looks and feels so artsy! And we love the relaxing quality of a good bead-weaving project. So nice to sit down with pretty bicone crystals and seed beads and stitch away. Plus those pieces are our favorites to wear!
What techniques would you like to learn?
We’d love to learn more bead-weaving patterns and master some new tricks for our wirework. We've looked at the other designers in the Designer Spotlight and their wirework is so gorgeous!
What are some of your favorite beads or components on the Halcraft Collection website?
We love interesting pieces like the Rhinestone and Pearl Rosette Connector. You can use one interesting piece like that to select all the other elements for a design. It’s an instant idea board! And we love Halcraft’s natural gemstones, like Moonstone Luster Teardrops, Green Agate Nuggets, and Lapis Lazuli Chips. The colors are so rich, and the tiny imperfections of natural stones are so lovely mixed in with shiny metals and faceted crystals. We’re partial to gemstones and sparkle!
Where do you get your beading inspiration? What most inspires you?
As sisters, as well as business partners (and best friends!), we shop together a lot! We use outings like a trip to an art fair, Nordstrom's, or even HomeGoods as a chance to get ideas and brainstorm. And when the outing is to a bead show, the ideas really flow. We always take notes while shopping and even do sketches.
If you had room for only two tools in your bead kit, what would they be?
Jennifer loves wirework and travels with a set of round-nose pliers and wire cutters. And Kitty absolutely loves bead weaving, so a pack of beading needles and teeny-tiny scissors are her go-tos.
What jewelry trends are you excited to incorporate into your beadwork?
Right now, we’re all about the Boho look, mixing in gemstones, leather, and tassels. We’re especially into making wrap bracelets that bring different bead shapes, materials, and colors together in a new way. They’re wearable no matter what you’re style!
Click on the image to the right for step-by-step instructions to make your own!
Kitty & Jennifer both live in the San Francisco area with their hubbies and cats.
When they're not crafting or shooting how-to videos, they make jewelry!
They enjoy learning different techniques and always seem to be making jewelry gifts for family and friends.
They’re almost always wearing a necklace or earrings that one made for the other!
When they're not making jewelry, they travel a lot; and when they're home, they like to go for nature walks and bird watch. Kitty is an avid birder, and Jennifer likes to photograph the birds, so every outing is an adventure for us both!
Are you interested in being in our Designer Spotlight?
Join our Beaded Jewelry Facebook group today and tag us in your projects on Instagram with @halcraftcollectionbeads, #prettypalettes, #beadgallery!
We choose a new designer to spotlight each month
and would love to celebrate you!
Molly Schaller loves beading, knitting, gardening, bookbinding, and being with her family and pets. She’s always on the lookout for new ways to express her creativity and help others learn ways to tap into their creativity as well!