Saturday, 7 August 2010

Crystal Bracelet

This is a lovely little bracelet from a pattern by Cathy Lampole that works up quickly and is a great gift.  I wanted something for my niece who just got married.  She is very stylish and her style is more tailored and modern (as opposed to frilly and girly), and the design of this fits the bill perfectly.
The pattern is from Cathy Lampole and can be found on this website under patternless kits and by designer Cathy Lampole  Buy the Kit 

 (Sorry, I tried to put in the direct link but there is some php thing going on that I cant seem to do this).
I tried another clasp with a circle and bar on it but there was not enough slack to get the bar through, so I ripped that one off and used a small magnetic one that works easily and looks delicate.   A technique that I highly recommend is to use a different thread in another colour for your clasp.  That way if you have to rip it out or replace it you don't ruin the whole piece.  I was thankful I had done this when I realized I needed to redo the clasp. 
Beads:  Size 2 bugles, 11's (Japanese - I used the new permanent finish which are a smidge larger than regular 11's), 4 mm Swarovski's.
I like this so much that I think I will have to make one for myself next!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bracelet with Rivolis

This is the bracelet I made from the recent article in Beadwork by Melanie Potter.  As usual, Melanie's patterns are excellent, and this went together easily.  I had trouble finding 8mm rivolis, but finally found some acceptable substitutes in Chinatown at Arton Beads.  Unfortunately I did not buy enough of them, so I adapted the pattern to have less rivolis and I added embellishments using a size 8 bead in the middle surrounded by 13mm charlottes.  The final bracelet is really nice, I may try another one when I can get enough rivolis the next time I am in Toronto.  Instead of the 2mm bicones, which are also pretty hard to find here, I used five 3mm bicones around the edge. The clasp is just a loop of peyote that fits around one of the cabochon settings. 
Overall, a great project with much potential for variations. This would make a terrific gift for someone special.
See Melanie's other work at her website
I was fortunate to be able to take several of Melanie's workshops at Bead Junction in toronto, and she is an excellent teacher.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Grenada Pendant

I have been visiting the website Try to Be Better for some time now.   Sabine Lippert has a wonderful design sense, and terrific patterns, and some of them are even free.  I purchased this pattern, called "Grenada" from her internet store (Link is here) The pendant is the pattern.  The pattern uses 6mm pearls, delicas, 15's, drops, and 4mm crystals. The bail not in the pattern but is just two triangles woven together at the top with a row and a half of right angle weave with delicas. 

The technique for this pendant is really interesting and goes together really well.  It is basically a version of right angle weave, and the embellishments of the crystals and 15's seed beads are done right as each motif is woven.  Sabines patterns are very well explained, and most of them are also available in English.  There are several free patterns that she also has on her website.  I highly recommend a visit to Try to Be Better

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Spanish Stars

We are planning a trip to Spanish speaking area soon, so I have been researching some Spanish bead blogs. There seems to be communication across Spanish and French sites, and I found this one through my favourite French forum Ile aux Perles.  A great Spanish  site that was referenced recently in Ile aux perles is called Quienlodira Creationes.  This is a well developed site and includes both examples of projects and some patterns.It also gave me a chance to practice my very rusty Spanish.  After cruising the site, I found a very attractive star necklace, and then made several other visits until I found the pattern.  To save you some time, here is the link to the pattern, but please make sure you look around this blog, it is lovely and artistically presented with many interesting pieces.  Website: Quienlodira Creationes
I did have the link to this pattern, however this website has changed so you will have to look through the main website.  

The little star was made directly from the pattern for the most part, but I added a round of size 15 beads to surround the pearl in the middle (I added 9 beads on each side, then went through again to solidify the circle).  The larger star is my adaptation in which I added a few more rows to the star, and also some silver peyote and 4mm firepolish to the back.  I added a back loop so that this can be put on a chain. I will update this post later to when a finished piece is ready.  The stars are really fun to do and work up very quickly, I highly recommend this pattern. 

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Seed Bead Fusion Project

I have admired the work of Rachel Nelson Smith for a long time, and was very pleased that she has now written the book Seed Bead Fusion. The book uses a combination of diagrams and photos to explain the techniques. Many of the projects use the technique that is in her well known and very sculptural cuff bracelet.

The first project I made was a small “bede” which gave me the chance to learn the technique in which the right angle weave areas are then built up using peyote technique. Understanding where the colours will end up is a challenge, but after the first experiment I was ready for something larger. The picture is of the project called “O. Bernstein Component Necklace” p. 84. This worked up very well, and I made it into a pendant. The chain is simply three strings of size 11 Japanese seed beads put through a glass bead at regular intervals. Like the cuff, this pendant is very 3D and I plan to make a few more in other colour schemes. It can easily be made in an evening, and I would like to try a thicker chain compliment to the pendant.
And yes, I made the bear during my miniature bearmaking era from several years ago.