Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Little Beaded Boxes

I took a workshop with Julia Pretl last weekend at Bead Junction on Roncesvalles in Toronto. I commend Bead Junction for having a regular schedule of big name beaders.
Julia's little beaded boxes are amazing. I really liked them in her book, but "in person" they are truly petite sculptural wonders. We made a small triangular box with an interesting pattern. I learned enough to try some more boxes, and seeing the techniques demonstrated really helped. Although the diagrams in Julia's book are very detailed, it is still a complicated process, and very fine work using all delicas. I can;t wait to try the next one.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

This is a daisy chain technique from the Bead Stitching book. It is easy to work up, and looks great in the two colour pattern. I added square crackle beads to the chain on short bead v's.

Lace Agate Cobochon

Now that I know how to bezel things using peyote stitch there are many ways to use the technique. This is a lace agate. First I captured the cabochon with peyote stitch using a few rows of delicas then 15's. Then I added spikes of crystals and seed beads with size 8's as the top. I added a peyote strap on the top behind the spikes to hang this over an ndebele chain. The chain is a 6 bead chain with alternating delica then seed bead for each stitch. Start with a 6 stitch ladder to do this.

The technique was adapted from a pattern by Ann Benson from Bead Pattern Central. The pattern is called Kiwi Earrings. The instructions are great. These patterns can be downloaded right after purchase. www.beadpatterncentral.com

Clover Beaded Bead

I have learned so much by browsing French bead sites and have joined a few French forums. I am keeping my own little dictionary and am getting fairly fluent at reading bead patterns. A French beader (perleuse) called "Pencio" has several terrific patterns (schemas) that have been posted on the forum Iles Aux Perles.
This is my first "Clover Bead". It is worked in peyote stitch over a 1.5 cm wooden bead. The the outside round of diagonal embellishment is added. The center is not quite right - in looking at the pictures on Pencion's site there is often a little hole in the middle of the clover. I haven't decided what to use this one, I just like making beaded beads!!
Pencio's Site: http://pencio.chezblog.com/

Diagonal Peyote Necklace with Sunburst

I wanted to try diagonal peyote again. I have tried it before but it always seemed confusing. In the new book Seed Bead Stitching by Beth Stone there are some great examples of diagonal peyote used in interesting chains. This is a great new book with several interesting takes on standard techniques. After starting the necklace, I thought an addition of a flower would be good, so I used the technique from Beadwork June/July08 - Peyote Sunburst (It was on the Cover as well.) I used size 10 delicas for all, with a few smaller seed beads for the points of the flower. I am thinking of making some other attachments that can be interchanged. I added a 4 bead peyote strap on the back of the flower so that it can be slipped off the necklace.
The size 10 delicas are really nice to work with and work up faster than the usual size 11's. Also, the larger size makes a more definite statement visually with fewer beads (and shorter work time!!)

The diagonal peyote has interesting possibilities in terms of color use. The other technique I discovered is that you can work half of the chain, then work in the opposite direction, just reverse the colour sequence. The advantage to this is that you can work with a single thread without joins, just don't cut the thread when you start, leave the end on the spool. It took a while to figure this out, but it is quite easy once you get it!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

French Bead Sites

Over the holidays I had some fun time cruising the internet and looking at some off shore bead sites. I found some really wonderful sites in France, and had a great time trying to translate things. I liked them so much I have subscribed to 2 of them. They have wonderful patterns on them, and I am amazed at the professionalism of the patterns and the quantity.

Like Japanese sites, they use a lot of 2 needle techniques. I am slowly getting the hang of this, but it is still awkward. Bead-patterns.com has a good instruction sheet by Chris Prussing that I have found very helpful.

Take a look at a couple of these sites:
Les Perles de Frany has wonderful links to other sites in France and elsewhere.

See the Pumpkin Bead Pattern on this site:

Easy Necklace

This is a necklace from a pattern on the internet at http://membres.lycos.fr/perlesenchantees/gothika-gb.htm
I made it for my son's girlfriend Liana. It is really easy and can be varied considerably. I used czech seed beads and 4mm firepolish beads. Liana is a professional musician and has to dress up for concerts, so hopefully she can wear it!!
I love making fancy necklaces, but in our casual lifestyle today they are not always easy to wear.
The new book Mastering Beadwork by Carol Cypher has an idea that I find useful, it is to have a mantra that reminds you of the pattern. The mantra for this necklace was "4 on top, skip one, 5 on bottom, skip one". I am finding that writing this on th pattern sheets really helps when there is a gap between when I start something and the next time I work on it.