Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Little Triangle of Fun

I absolutely love the designs of Cynthia Rutledge, so was very pleased to see the article in the December / January Beadwork and the patterns for the cascading links bracelet (p. 81). I did not have the faceted zirconia beads nor the gold drops, but wanted to try the pattern, so I just adapted to what I could find in my stach (which is getting big enough for me to start my own bead store!). So, I made a little motif, then decided it would be a sweet little thing on a delica triangle base. I used a 8 mm pearl for the centre, the colour was not perfect, but ok for this little motif. I will try this pattern again with a faceted stone centre. I hope I can go to one of Cynthia's workshops some day when she is closer than the west coast.

Anyway, this is a really quick little tidbit, good for when you need a quick gift. I ended up finding some more drops in the local bead store, but hope I can eventually find some in my favourite 22L bronze colour which I love and which makes a great goldtone neutral.

Crystal Drop Necklace

I was in Cathy Lampole's store, That Bead Lady a few months ago, and she had a lovely necklace on display with terrific beaded beads, and the store manager A. explained that the design had been submitted to Bead and Button for publishing later this year. When the magazine came out, I recognized the beaded beads, but they had changed the design to an asymmetrical one instead of the balanced one Cathy had in the store. Frankly I really like Cathy's original a lot better, so it is too bad they did not use it on the cover instead of changing it. The beaded beads were what interested me most, so what I did here is make the medium bead and added a sterling silver bail as this was a Christmas gift for my daughter.

The instructions are in Bead and Button October 2009 (Issue 93) and as usual with Cathy's designs are easy to follow. I made the top beads go further to make the pearl in the interior less visible by adding a few more rows of reduced peyote, which worked well. The crystals are a dark blue (Montana) AB and compliment the silver well. I added three drops to the bottom, with sterling 22 gauge wire for the head pin.

This makes a really elegant beaded bead that looks great on it's own on a silver chain. I think I will make some more of these for gifts. The bail is Bali silver from Cathy's store, and really raises it up a notch, so the bail is well worth the expense.

Scallop Variation - Part II

For Christmas I gave my son a certificate for a necklace of his choice for his girlfriend. He really liked the one I made his sister (posted above), so wanted to pick out a new colour scheme. After messing my bead area up totally as he looked through all the colours of beads, we finally decided that the critical element that worked well in the original was the opaque colour of the accent crystals, so I made a red variation for L. Same technique, but I used a magnetic clasp, and varied the chain design a little.

Inspired to Bead Again

I have had a busy fall, including trips to San Francisco to visit our son, and then a surprise working assignment in the Middle East on a project that took me to the United Arab Emirates, including work and visits in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Dubai, a camel safari, and finally an evening in Oman. While this was all wonderful fun and very interesting, when I returned home I couldn't wait to make something and also to cook my own food. So, I have been busy trying out some new bead motifs and will be posting some new beadwork shortly. Also, for Christmas my daughter, who is a graphic designer, redid my food blog using a more sophisticated program so that she will no longer hear me complaining so much about how my picture layouts change when I post.

The picture is of Dubai, and I thought the mix of old boats and new buildings was very interesting. Now I will return to just beading on this blog.

Scallop Necklace Variation

I loved the necklace on the cover of Bead and Button's December 2009 (#94) issue, but it was really too elaborate for your average person to wear, so I adapted it to what I think is a really lovely little pendant necklace. I made the first one in my favourite delica colour, ( Code 22L from my favourite store for Japanese beads, That Bead Lady in Newmarket, Ontario) and an opaque turquoise AB 4 mm crystal.

In terms of construction, the scallop curve is a 4 bead ndebele chain in which 2 size 11 beads and 2 size 8 beads create a differential alignment, resulting in a very smooth scallop. The instructions say to go through each of the 4 colouns to set the scallop, and I found it is important to do that carefully and make sure you get each column or the scallop will twist. I followed the directions for one scallop, then added shorted twisted bugles. fort he top, I added a crystal to each side, with a potato pearl in the middle. I added a band of size 11's behind the pearl to make the front top crystals stand out better.

For the chain I used size 8's and 5mm faceted Chinese glass beads, with a small right angle weave accent in the contrast colour in size 11's. The chain is delicate and fast, so it makes a good compliment to the necklace. The fast part makes it good for gift giving too. I am not very tolerant of repetition, and really don't like making long complicated chains.