Thursday, August 29, 2013

Beaded Bead Necklace and Earrings

I stitched up some beaded beads (in 2 different sizes) using champagne freshwater pearls, denim blue Swarovski crystals, blue and bronze seed beads, and Picasso blue Czech glass:

blue and bronze beaded bead necklace and earrings

I like the way they look with Vintaj Natural Brass, so I used that for the chain and earwires.

This particular beaded bead is fully reversible: it looks identical on each side. I am still having a little issue with the term "beaded bead", though, as this is the second beaded bead I've worked with that doesn't have holes for stringing. For this one, I stitched seed bead loops for hanging.

blue and bronze beaded bead earrings

blue and bronze beaded bead pendant, on Vintaj Natural brass

And look: I figured out how to get one of those artsy, out of focus jewelry porn shots that are so prevalent on Etsy:

out of focus jewelry porn

The earrings and necklace are available separately in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beaded Beads with Long Magatamas

Long Magatamas are interesting little beads - they have a neat shape, and are often used to provide texture to patterns, but they flummox me a little. They are highly directional - if you don't pick each one up with the same orientation, your finished piece can look very "disheveled".

I used Magatamas to create a kumihimo necklace a few weeks ago, and have been looking for other ways to use them in my beadwork.

Yesterday, I started playing with some Magatamas, and found I could use netting to create beaded beads with them:

 Beaded Bead with Long Magatamas and 11/0s (netting)

It may not look like much in this picture, but after I made a few more, and strung them into this bracelet, I really like the result:

Beaded beads made with Long Magatamas (netting)

I separated each Long Magatama beaded bead with 10mm Swarovski crystals, which are each bookended with square textured and domed bead caps.

This bracelet is now available in my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

All Peyoted Out

Yesterday I finally finished the peyote bracelet that has been bedeviling me for most of the summer:

Royal Ruffles

This is from Hannah Rosner's Royal Ruffles pattern, which I purchased on impulse back in May, because I wanted something new to do.

This peyote pattern is very similar to several I have purchased from Carol Dean Sharpe, like her Corrugated Ribbon Cuffs, in that all are even count peyote patterns that rely on changing bead shapes and sizes to give texture to the design.

The distinction with the Royal Ruffles is that the 11/0 triangles are positional - they must point one way for the "peaks" and another way for the "valleys" of the ruffles - and while I understood this thoroughly and completely, accomplishing it was another matter entirely - which resulted in this on my first attempt:

I don't know if you can really tell, but my ruffles aren't lining up correctly, because I didn't have the hang of how to make the triangles behave. I kept stitching, and decided (because this was days and days worth of stitching by this point) that I would just live with it. But then my OCD kicked in, and after I reached the point in the pic above, I ripped the whole thing apart, and declared that no 11/0 triangle would get the better of me!


As soon as I started over, I instantly saw the answer to the triangle issue, and it was (almost) smooth sailing from then on. Except for 2 things: about halfway through, one of the triangles apparently cut the Fireline (even though I was working with it doubled, to prevent this), and the whole bracelet ripped apart along the row where the Fireline tore, just about 1.5 inches from the beginning, so I had to take apart the whole piece that had torn off, and basically start over again.

And then, just when I was almost done, I spotted a wayward triangle atop a peaking ruffle, about 3 ruffles back, and I just couldn't stand it, so I ripped out 3 ruffles (during which I had restarted my Fireline twice, so that was extra fun), and started forward progress. Again.

The ruffles make this bracelet want to rotate:

You may have to click on the pic to see, but when you pull on both ends of the bracelet, the ruffles open up while the bracelet rotates - as I was stitching (and stitching, and stitching!) this bracelet, I kept draping it on my wrist while expanded, and mulling over the idea of wearing it like this (like in the pic above). It sure would have saved me a lot of stitching! (including that last do-over, because I never would have had to kept stitching to the point of that mis-directed triangle!) - But, try as I might, and I tried many, many times, it just wasn't comfortable to wear this way, so I kept stitching. Can you see that the bracelet is already 11 inches long, and I haven't added the clasp loop?

Several times over the course of making this bracelet I just had to take a break from it - after several days, the repetition just got boring. Some customers had asked me to teach them odd-count peyote so they could make a bracelet in the August 2013 issue of Bead and Button, and since I had never done odd-count peyote, I decided to teach myself by making the same bracelet - and here it is:

Another view:
This was a fun bracelet to make, but again, lots and lots of stitching. Note to self: do NOT take a break from peyote to stitch more peyote.

Back to the ruffles:

Here is the almost finished bracelet, ruffles contracted, next to the ruler:

I love this button I found to match the bracelet:

And here are my 2 summer peyote projects side by side:


I thought I would be bead-woven out, and could get back to some metalsmithing, but I still have the fever, and have already started something new!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tangle Tuesday

I have been crazy busy, but took time this weekend to tangle:

Some of the tangles I used here include:
  • wavy
  • bunzo
  • bubbles
  • pawn bridge
  • unyun