Monday, April 25, 2011

Nine of Twelve

Page Nine of twelve pages of Knotgarden - complete!

More or less, anyway, as they beadwork and specialty stitches are nowhere near done.

Still, only 3 more pages of cross stitch to do on this project...unbelievable!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Amethyst Bracelet

My first attempt as seed bead stitching. The larger stones are 4 mm amethyst beads and the pattern is a freebee from Bead and Button. If you click on the picture, it will come up much larger.

I've been reading a lot of beading blogs and forums online lately to try to learn, and along the way I picked up the little gem that the Fireline 6 lb sold in sporting goods stores is the same Fireline 6 lb that is sold for beading...but it's about 1/3 the price if you buy it in a sporting goods store. You have to buy a much larger spool, but it's all good - I won't run out anytime soon and it's not large to store.

This was surprisingly easy to do, but I do have a lot of experience reading various craft patterns and doing different types of embroidery. Once I got in the groove, it only took about 2 hours or so to complete.

I have my next seed bead project planned and it will incorporate some of my beloved pearls (if I haven't mentioned it, I'm obsessed with pearls), Swarovski crystals, and Delica beads. I am waiting for a few supplies I ordered online.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And one more....

Last one, for now anyway.

I have to rework the earrings...I like the design but the execution isn't as smooth as I'd like.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Close ups of the mixed jasper set

Per a friend's request, close ups of some of the jewelry I posted yesterday.

The necklace:

The pattern is quite random, which works really well if you have some consistencies. Each element is separated by six stone chips, and each round polished jasper is flanked by silver beads.

Another close up:

And here's the bracelet:

Just a simple stringed bracelet of the polished round stones alternating with silver beads. I picked up some memory wire today so I should be able to make a wrap bracelet that matches the pattern of the necklace later this week.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ribbons and Seaweed

It's Mermaid week, so I've been working on Queen Mermaid, slowly but surely. I finished her arm, but was focusing on filling in the cascading ribbons and the seaweed. I'll probably finish off that one batch of seaweed before putting her away until next month.

QM is getting close to getting finished, isn't she? Once I get all the stitching done, there's a TON of beading to do on her. They really are all over her, and I have found that I've missed a lot of stitches since the beading has really broken up the stitching in a lot of places. I'm filling those in as I notice them, but I expect when I start beading I'll find a lot more and have to fill in.

I'm debating if I want to work on another project for a week or so or just go straight back to plugging on at Knotgarden.

Exploring a New Craft

Because I don't have any other projects to keep me busy, right?

Over the years, I've played around with making my own jewelry - quite a lot as a teenager and less so as an adult. Still, I love beads and it's fun to mess around with such things, so I've been working a little more towards learning proper techniques and such lately. I thought I'd share two recently finished projects.

This first set uses deep red beads alternating with small silver beads. It's a simple, chunky design that is actually quite striking. I don't think I managed to really capture the depth of color of the beads with this picture, which have slight variations to them. You can see towards the change in pattern at the back of the necklace where I ran out of the silver beads and just filled in with the red ones. It works! I've since found some more of those beads but I don't think I'll bother to change the necklace.

The next one was just finished this morning and the camera definitely does not do it justice.

The necklace is an infinity style - no clasp, no beginning or end, just a few strategically placed crimp beads to hold it together. It's a mix of different jaspers, blending chip stones with 4 mm, 6 mm and 8 mm jasper rounds with silver beads and a few pewter beads for some visual interest. It's 75 inches long, so I can wear it as two long loops, three shorter loops, or as a four-strand choker with the use of a clasp. I really love this piece - the stones are gorgeous and interesting with all their natural variations. (Yes, Michelle - this WAS inspired by that fab pearl necklace I have been drooling over!)

The bracelet shown is one of several that I'll be making. I need to get some memory wire so I can make a multistrand style wrap bracelet with the rest of the chips. I also think I'll probably use the rounds mixed in with pearls using a pearl knotting technique I want to practice.

So that's it for now. My next project will be an adventure in seed bead weaving - just gathering materials for that and then I'll have to find a block of time (ha!) to work on it. I picked up a couple of seed bead books to teach myself, and I'll probably take a class or three at my local Potomac Bead Company when I can fit them in my schedule.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Welcome April!

I guess the fool is on us, eh?