It's a bit late at night to be taking photos but I couldn't wait to get these on here.
This is really just a practice set as they are my first so I am on a learning curve.
To make the beads, I used three strips of polymer clay in red, white, and blue.
After conditioning them, I had three 'sausages' which I laid side by side, and then twisted them around like a stick of rock. I just kept going until I got a pattern I like. I rolled then into different size balls, and laid them one at a time on a tile, placed a piece of perspex on top, and rolled each one around with the perspex and they turned into bicones. I pushed a needle through each one - which is a bit tricky with cone shaped beads then cooked them for half and hour on 130c
Unfortunately I managed to split one of the earring beads by trying to make the hole a bit bigger for the wire. I hadn't taken into account that the polymer clay shrinks when being 'baked'. I made another earring with the only other bead I had of similar size - but the shape is different. You just can't get two beads exactly the same shape when you roll by hand! It's not an exact science - so I'll have to find out how to do it properly.
I needed the practice at making a strung necklace and bracelet and wiring the earrings - so this might not get worn!
I am 100% certain that I will look back at this and cringe, but I do think that it's important to keep your first efforts at anything, then when you progress you get the satisfaction to see how far you've improved.
I have not improved however, making polymer clay mosaic tiles with the air dry clay! The don't have the finished texture or the deep colours of the clay you bake. I have stamped them, and rubbed them with Rub and Buff. I have tried painting them, and using mica powder, but I just can't get the quality of finish I am searching for.
I'll just keep practicing for now before I post any pictures.