Thursday, 30 August 2012

Something else to bead....a needlecase!

My jewelry drawer is getting overfull, even though I give a lot away, so I was looking for a new beading opportunity.  I had seen some cylindrical wooden needlcases in the past, and finally found some to buy.  I found several delightful patterns by Beth Murr at her website Until We Bead Again .  On her site are also links to YouTube videos for construction, and they are excellent.  After ruminating over which of the lovely designs I would do from her 12 pattern package I purchased online, I chose the merry go round case. 
The basic construction is cylindrical peyote, and the challenge on this when using a diagram is that the start point travels sideways as you bead due to the step up.  Beth also has a great video explaining how to mark the diagram.  The pattern is flawless and I found the beading really fun as the picture emerged, I couldn't wait to finish it!
My case turned to be a little shorter than the pattern, so I just left out a few rows that were not critical to the design.  I suspect my case is metric sizing, so beware of this.  The other little discovery was when I got to the top.  I started to bead and realized the beads were not fitting, then remembered a line on her site about looking for flush cases that did not need to be sanded.  So, I got out sand paper and sanded down the sides so they were flush with the base. 
The tops are beaded seperately then zip stiched to the sides.  I think it would be possible to do the beading all is one piece, but maybe the cylindrical shape is more challenging to do that way.  Since then I have been looking at other needlecase designs, and there are several other designs available.  Have some fun and do a google image search ans see all the cases you find.  One other construction note, she does not bead the bottom, but I did because I did not catch this in time.  Mine stands up ok, but I think I won't bead the next bottom as the flat wooden bottom is more stable.
Anyway, please take a look at Beth's lovely designs, and try this for a fun diversion and great gift idea. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

My beaded bead kick continues...

I'm still on a beaded bead kick, and here are a few of my latest.  In the first picture the round beads are an adaptation of La Boulette by Flymouche, available on her lovely blog: Flyblog .  It is very difficult to get exactly the right size wooden beads, so I find I have to adapt and sometimes add a couple extra rows.  I usually end up putting a bead cap or other bead to cover the hole, so it is really not that critical to cover the end completely.  Having said that, it is also important not to crowd the beads too much, or you get bulging.
The starburst is a new pattern by Cathy Lampole called Flower Power, available on her blog:  That Bead Lady . This pattern went together quite nicely, and it is quick, so I think these would make great gifts. It is really fun to vary the embellishment.  I made two different version of this in about an hour. I'm not sure what I will make with these, but I am learning that if you make the beaded beads in a common colour palette there is hope that they wont sit permanently in a jar on my bead shelf!

The next batch is a design by Puca, Les Perles de PUCA a link to where to purchase the pattern, a site called Dawanda is on her blog.  Puca has some really interesting designs.  I also purchased her pattern for a pin cushion (porte aiguille) and it is darling.  I'm not happy with the form I made it on, so I will post it when I have refined it. These round beads were on 20mm wooden beads, and went together really easily.  They are a little larger, so I think they will each be a focal bead on a necklace.  Stay tuned to see what I end up making!

Monday, 6 August 2012

La Premiere in Pearls

My original design for this little motif described in the previous post was done in pearls. This is such a quick and easy motif, and it really has some body so it is not flimsy like some simple motifs.   The pearl version using 6mm pearls very flat.  The version with doughnut crystals in the previous post cups more like a flower.  Here are a couple pictures of the pearl version. 

The green example has a little margarita crystal added.  The bottom is three 4mm crystals.  The pink has a cone bead added for the accent.  The proportions of the actual motif are better than the picture, my angle of the photo must have been a little skewed.  The back has a simple little addition so the motif can be threaded through a ribbon or other string of beads.
I feel I have been so fortunate to have been given patterns by so many talented beaders, especially the many French bead blogs which I have followed for several years, improving my French at the same time.  So, here is my first pattern, and it's free!! Comments appreciated.
La Premiere Pattern by Shelley, Riverlea Beads

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Beginner's Bracelet.

I needed an easy project for a workshop I am doing for some friends who have never beaded, but they sew.  I find people who sew pick up beading fairly easily, probably because they can manage a needle!   I decided to use size 8 beads for a simple 8 stitch peyote band, then add a motif.  I used a combination of matte and AB beads in the same colour, and it worker quite well.  After trying a couple patterns for a motif and deciding they were too hard for beginners, I developed a motif on my own, and made my first original pattern in Word. Now I'm trying to figure out if I can attach as word or Pdf document to this blog. As soon as I can figure that out I'll post the pattern.
Guess what, I think I figured it out with the help of the internet.
The pattern should be here.

Pattern for La Permiere, by Shelley, Riverlea Beads
Please let me know how you like the pattern.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Peyote Instructions

Although peyote is a basic beading stitch, it takes lots of practice in different manifestations of projects to gain true mastery over all of its forms and capabilities.  In this post I have collected some links to the best descriptions I can find of the techniques needed when constructing a beaded peyote bead. Personally I find I learn best by seeing the animation, having picture references, and trying samples as I go, but everyone has different ways of individualizing their learning.
Animations are a great way to understand a stitch.  Here is a link to some animations for basic flat peyote.  It is really important to understand the flat peyote first, and the concepts of up "up beads" and "down beads":
Silverhill Designs: even and odd count flat peyote animation
Click the triangle on each little screen to start the animation. There are also links to some nice but fairly easy patterns.
Here is a good flat even count peyote diagram from Suzanne Cooper, who has an excellent website with lots of free patterns and instructions:
Suzanne Cooper's peyote diagram

A step up is used in tubular peyote.  Tubular peyote is the stitch used for some beaded beads and for amulet bags. Here is a picture of that the step up looks like: From About website
Below is a picture of a step up in action as the last bead is added to a row.  Basically to do a step up you go through 2 beads:  the usual "up" bead to create the last stitch, then through the first bead you added in that row.  When learning step ups it is much easier if you use different color beads until you learn to recognize the pattern.  Occasionally missing the step up is a really common mistake, even for experienced beaders.

Finally, below is a link to a video showing tubular peyote and a step up.  There are also written instructions in detail below the video. Tubular video
If you are doing a larger project based on tubular peyote, this free tutorial from i-beads explains how the starting point moves diagonally across the beading chart.    There is also a good chart for a step up in step 5.
peyote tutorial from i-beads.

So, I hope these links will help increase skills and comfort level with tubular peyote, and a successful beaded bead. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Beaded Beads and I'm Beading Again

I didn't bead much this winter because I got hooked on machine embroidery and was also back to my porcelain doll reproductions, but I seem to have the beading bug this summer  and will  do some posts again. There are so many wonderful bead blogs that mine seems pretty ordinary, but I was astounded the last time I checked my stats, so I guess I have a few readers.

I love doing beaded beads and recently offered to teach one for my beading group.  I have made many beaded beads but often just end up throwing them in a jar, because although I enjoy making them I just don't always get around to making something with them.  My challenge to myself was to create at least one usable item from some of by beaded beads as one of the things I showed the group.

I have taught beading informally to friends over the years, but until I started in this beading group my beading social networks were mostly the internet and beading books and magazines.  It has been great to meet with others who like to bead. For the workshop, I developed what I thought was a reasonable set of  instructions for a beaded bead with a wooden internal centre done in circular peyote.  Well...... je me trompe!!

Although these little structural wonders are fairly easy once you get the hang of them, for the type we made knowledge of circular peyote, and of how peyote works in general is really important.  After a few minutes into the workshop I realized that this foundational knowledge was needed (and in my instructions I had assumed people had circular peyote experience), so unfortunately I think some people left a little frustrated.  So, I stewed over what to do, feeling I had let them down (and remember that my professional expertise was as a teacher, so maybe I had really lost it!!)

So after getting over my ruminations of what had gone wrong,  I redid my instructions into what I hope is a "teaching" set, where more detail is given and things like step ups and reductions are explained.  I also am making a larger set of teaching beads (I might even use straws and yarn!!), so I hope to have more happy campers when we meet next week.

The brown beads above were made from a pattern on  Flymouche's blog called "La Boulette" and her French instructions are terrific if you understand circular peyote.  Here is a link to her site FLYBLOG.  The pattern is in the archives for August 2009, but please have fun looking at her wonderful blog.  The necklace is what I made for my challenge.  The central bead is from Beadwork beaded bead #2 in the "Cluster Beaded Bead" by Gwen Fisher, April May 2012 issue.  It is really nice.  A little complicated, I think I have way more thread because I got mixed up and had to get back to the right node a few times, but this is the second one I have made and I really like it.

In my next post I will add some links for my bead group about circular peyote and step ups.