Thursday, 29 December 2011

Post-Christmas beading

I hope the Seasonal festivities left you rejuvenated and ready to go in 2012!

Once the preparation was all out of the way, I enjoyed seeing family and friends, and apart from a heavy cold (me) everyone seemed fit and healthy. Before Christmas, most of my beading was intended for presents with the exception of the Dragonfly necklace. I stocked up on some bead goodies in order to use the break productively. As I had to clear my beading table this meant smaller projects which could easily be contained in a case, and worked on without a large table surface.

My first project was Debbie van Tonder's Seahorse chart from her Etsy shop which requires only three colours of delica beads and is worked in even count 2-drop peyote. It was great fun to do even though charted designs are not my usual choice. I finished it with a Sterling silver sliding clasp:

My next project was a kit I ordered online on the 21st December and received the next day, perfect timing! The kit is from Heatherworks and is a little dimensional piece in the form of an owl. I thought the kit was well presented and the instruction booklet was pretty good too.

I think you might struggle a little if you were not familiar with all the stitches (peyote, netting, herringbone, RAW, and Albion) and working at this small scale can be quite tricky once the owl takes shape. My only real quibble is that the instructions for the eyes ask for an initial round of 11 silver beads in size 11, which were not supplied in the green colourway. I substituted the size 15 silver, but then had to alter the stitch counts to fit the central pearl. The outer round is to be 16 size 11 beads so several increases are required. I ended up swapping the pearls for slightly larger ones, making the inner round 14 beads and increasing twice, though perhaps an initial round of 16 size 15 followed by 16 size 11 would have been easier. I might experiment with this... The diagrams for the head show an initial round of 8 beads rather than the 4 stated in the written instructions (I followed the written version). Here is the work in progress:

The Owl is stuffed with wool, and once assembled is about 5cm tall:

 How cute is that? I will probably gift it to my Mum, as she loves owls!

Overall I am really happy with my Post-Christmas projects, thanks to these rather fabulous designs from Debbie and Heather

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