Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3-Drop Peyote Rocailles Bracelet in three sizes

I finished this bracelet just in time to give it to my mother-in-law for her 80th Birthday on Mother's Day.  She loves it.  I'm so glad that I found out she did not like the wider cuff style before I finished that project!

For this project, I used three sizes of Miyuki Rocaille beads. The smallest is 15/0, then the matte beads are 11/0 and the tiniest of the three are the 15/0 Rocailles.  I experimented a bit before diving in on this project, to see the best way to reduce and increase the sizes of beads.

I used a button to create the clasp.

And I stitched the loop out of the smaller 15/0 Rocailles.  I actually did three rows of 3-drop Peyote to create the loop. This is what gave me the idea for the 3-drop anklet that I just finished.

I used the size 8/0 Rocailles beads as spacers for the button, so the loop fits easily over the button and the bracelet is secure when closed.

This bracelet is simple, yet elegant.  She said I got the measurement perfect, as though I had measured her wrist and made the bracelet custom, just for her.  Of course it was custom, I just went by memory for the sizing!

Now, I'm off to do some more Peyote with my favorite DB551 silver plated beads.....

Happy Beading!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Anklet

For my last project, I finished the bracelet using Rocailles, increasing and decreasing.  I used the technique I perfected and highlighted in my 5/11/10 post.  I did not have time to get a photo, since it was a gift for my mother-in-law, but I'll get one soon.  In doing the bracelet, I got an idea for an anklet.  I've been thinking that I want to weave an anklet, not just string beads.  Finishing the bracelet with the loop for the clasp gave me the inspiration for a 3-drop Peyote anklet.

So, I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon working on my new project.  The weather was great, so I sat with my Hubbie on the deck and beaded.  I love the new bead mat trays.  You can bead virtually anywhere with one of these!

I really like the new DB551 Delica beads from Miyuki.  They are silver plated and are "anti-tarnish".  They have a special coating to help prevent tarnishing.

Since the beads have a coating to help prevent tarnishing, I want a similar clasp, so I'll use this Platinum plated clasp.

I'm using 4 lb test FireLine and my favorite Big Eye Beading Needle.

My trusty dusty stop bead.  I like to use one that is bigger than the beads I'm using and one that stands out.

Here is the first row of beads.

I went with my favorite 3-drop Peyote.  Here is the 2nd row.

Here is the 3rd and final row.

Here is the final piece.  It is really stunning to see the silver beads woven into Peyote.  The beads catch the light perfectly and this is exactly what I envisioned when I began my project.  I can see a bracelet to match on the horizon!

Happy Beading!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

My New Loom

My daughter is a typical representation of the new generation, she loves anything electronic.  She insists on opening herself any new cell phone or other electronic device so that she can savor the moment and the new smell......

My weakness is anything beading.  You should have seen me when I got the new 1.8mm Miyuki Squares in, I was so excited, I couldn't wait to use some to stitch together with a 3-drop Peyote.  As an online bead retailer I have an advantage or you might say disadvantage over other beaders.  I get to see all the pretty beads, but then I WANT all the pretty beads for myself!  LOL!

I have permitted myself to get a new loom, however.  As far as I'm concerned this loom is the best model available on the market now.  This design also won the K. L. Wells 2009 Design Award.  The loom comes in several sizes, but I chose the No.12.  There is one even bigger, the No. 16!  Here are the specs for the No. 12:  

Overall Size:
24" x 12" x 6"

Working Area:
10 5/8" Wide, 20" Long
170 Warps
Net Weight:
3 lbs, 11 oz

Design includes the following ingenious features:
Effortless warp/thread lock system

Warp/thread adjustable tension knobs

Built in folding stand for horizontal use

Built in tray to catch your dropped beads

Magnetic needle storage when you need to take a break!  

Built in thread bobbin storage

When it arrived I could not wait to unpack it.  I even photographed the event for posterity. LOL!

The loom was very carefully packed and all ready to assemble.  Here is the top end.

Here is the bottom end.

Here is a nice note explaining how the sliding warp bar works.....

Here is a note explaining why the loom is not ship already assembled.  Screws included.

There was even a magnetic screw driver to ensure that I have everything I need to put this beauty together.

There a lot of really nice touches on this loom.  Here is the magnetic needle holder.  I'll never loose my needle again!

Here are the Nymo bobbin holders.  

Here is the thread lock - making it easier than ever to securely string this loom.

This is the best feature of all.  A sliding warp bar - which allows you to adjust the tension as you work.  Nymo tends to stretch, and this loom can stretch right along with it......

Another nice feature is the stand on the back.  This is also set so that when not needed, it is held securely with magnets.  Nice touch!

And finally the full view of the loom.  Now I just need to decide what beading project will christen this beauty!

Follow up answer for the question, "Is it hard to use?" ~ No it is not hard to use.  With the new features, especially the adjustable warp bar, I think this is a very easy loom to use.  The craftmanship is excellent.  For those reasons, these looms are the only ones that I sell on my website.

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Create your own pattern - Free Form Beading

Beading is an art form.  Using this medium you can create exquisite pieces of wearable art.  There is no "wrong" way to bead, just as there is no "wrong" way to paint or draw.  You should let your imagination go unchecked and see what you create.  Think outside the box and don't be afraid to experiment!  

I recently experimented with 3-drop Peyote and Rocailles.  Before now, I'd only done weaves and loom work with Delicas, so I wanted to expand my beading repertoire and I wanted to create my own piece.  I wanted to play around with three different sizes of Rocailles, increasing and decreasing as I moved from one size to the next size.  I started out with size 15/0 Rocailles and 12 beads in an even 3-drop Peyote stitch.

When I increased to the 11/0 Rocailles I first tried to do 1/2 of the row at a time, but still keeping the 3-drop similar bead grouping.  This is not the look I wanted, it is choppy.  So when I increased from 11/0 to 8/0, I tried to soften the transition a little more....

For this one - I broke up the 3-drop in the transition row to have only one of the larger beads, in the center of the 3-drop.  This is still too much of a transition from one row to the next.  So for the migration from 8/0 back down to 11/0, I tried to soften the transition even more.....

The first row of the transition has one of the three beads with the new size, in this case the reducing 11/0 bead.  Then the next row, I use only one of the larger 8/0 bead and two of the 11/0 beads, to further transition and it is a much smoother transition.

Here you can see how much smoother the transition from 11/0 to 15/0 and back to 11/0 is when I do the moderated transitions like this.  It is easier to see too, because the 11/0 beads are matte and the 15/0 are shiny.  Now that I've gotten my technique down, I'm ready to stitch a bracelet!  Stay tuned for the finished piece!

So don't be afraid to experiment.  Just pick the beads that you like and see what happens.  You might have an idea in your head of what you think might work, like I did.  But when you put it to the test, you realize that adjustments need to be made - and the finished piece will be even better than you imagined!  

Happy Beading!