Shimmer & Sparkle withSHAMBALLA BEADS
If you haven't heard, or seen a SHAMBALLA bracelet by now ... you've either been living on another planet, or locked in a very dark cupboard!
The cult craze for these macrame, disco ball bangles has become the must-have accessory for both men and women, with A-list celebrities parading them on their wrists. The reason for their popularity is in the clever combination of mixing sentiment and philosophy with 'bling' and casual style.
The word SHAMBALLA is mentioned in various ancient Buddists texts, referring to a spiritual zone or mythical kingdom that is inhabited by only the most enlightened souls. Buddists believe that there is a 'shamballa' in all of us, a special quality or intuition, that provides us with inspiration, meaning and direction, as well as inner strength and determination whenever we need it ... Therefore, wearing the bracelet is a perfect way to celebrate your individuality and spiritual growth, reflecting the holistic spirit of a centred mind, body and spirit inspired by these ancient Buddish traditions.
So, if you want to make your own personal version, you'll find lots of TUTORIALS on the web and an amazing array of Shamballa style beads. However, my personal preference of where to purchase these beads is without any doubt, from BEADS DIRECT! You are spoilt for choice on their site and not only that, they also provide you with free INSTRUCTIONS.
Recently, I was lucky enough to be approached by the lovely Claire Humpherson from Beads Direct, to do some brainstorming, on how I would integrate shamballa style beads into wire jewellery. Now, I never refuse a challenge! So armed with the selection of beads below,
(3 of them 14mm heart shaped and the rest, 10mm rounds) I came up with a few 'Shamwireballa' designs that I hope will inspire you all to pick up your pliers!
For this first pendant design "GUNMETAL GLAMOUR", I used the GUNMETAL SHAMBALLA HEART and 2 x 10mm SHAMBALLA style beads (... and a few black crystals, 0.8mm wire and some chain ... etc...).
Here's a close up, to show you
how the heart bead is threaded.
As it's drilled horizontally,
I've threaded and created side
links and then suspended the
wire hangers to the top and
bottom to provide elegance
and length to the pendant.
I also had a turquoise version of this HEART and tried another, much simpler design of suspension.
These heart beads are also great for making rings! Here's a version of my wrapped wire 'squiggle ring' with the GOLD SHAMBALLA HEART bead secured to the front.
Above, is another attempt at a necklace pendant, using the 10mm round beads in silver and gold. I found that apart from crystals, the sparkle of the shamballa beads also worked well in combination with pearls.
The beads just cascade down the centre of the necklace and add sparkle and movement to the overall piece.
You could also wire wrap them to form the centrepiece of a necklace ... to reflect the original chinese cord knotting of the bracelets. Instructions for this can be found on an old blog post dated Sunday 20th March 2011 ...
And finally, when you've just got one shamballa bead left in your stash ... looking all lonesome and left-out ... here's what you can do with it! Get some 0.8mm wire and a pair of round nosed pliers and have a play at making a curly-wurly chain links!
I HOPE I HAVE STIRRED YOUR CREATIVE JUICES TO HAVE A GO AT USING SHAMBALLA BEADS WITHIN YOUR NEXT WIREWORK DESIGNS!
Please feel free to share your Shamwireballa designs on my FACEBOOK page soon ...