Saturday, 24 March 2012

Caution, Excited Beader!

I am soooo excited! In a few days I'm heading off to Edinburgh to take a class at the Scottish Bead Shop in Haddington. Jo and I are flying up and spending time enjoying the hospitality of fellow beaders! Best of all there will be a group of 6 (maybe more) of us internet buddies taking the class. I must just be sure to bead at least as much as I chat. This is the Class project, and the teacher is the Great Huib Petersen, on his European tour! Can't wait, and probably won't sleep much from excitement

Another nice thing that happened this week, is that I was asked to test a tutorial for the lovely and extremely talented Nancy Dale of NEDBeads. It is a Right Angle Weave variation bracelet, and is embellished as you go. It uses the new Preciosa Twin beads (or as my friend Mary likes to call them 'otter snouts') as well as 4mm bicones, and is lovely to work. If you can't wait until this pattern is released, maybe you could try the 'Labyrinth' tutorial, which Nancy already sells on Etsy (click here!) which is a good warm up for the new design, using some similar ways of joining RAW units. Here is a pic of my (not quite complete) version of Labyrinth:

I wanted to tone it with the Cubic RAW necklace I made with some lovely picasso finish rondelles from Beads and Babble. I love the selection of beads in this shop, and just received an order of the new Czech spike beads to try Helena Tang's Points Boheme earrings. You can tell I am an Etsy Addict!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Cuff fun

Cuff style bracelets have long been a favourite project, as they give me plenty of space for design play. I managed to get some lightweight aluminium cuff blanks from Fantasybeading on Etsy, and decided to make a slightly different cuff.

I had a gorgeous patinated brass butterfly and thought it would make a lovely centrepiece, and some pressed glass leaves in a similar colour. Initially I thought I'd embroider around the butterfly, but it looked really nice against a scrap of old gold Ultrasuede, so decided to keep it simple. Because of the 3-D nature of the blank, I first 'filled' the body cavity with a rolled piece of Ultrasuede glued in position. I let that dry, then glued it down to the piece of Ultrasuede. I didn't want to rely on glue to hold everything in place, so I stitched strands of tiny size 15 seedbeads in several of the grooves on the butterfly to anchor it more securely. I then stitched  a few Czech rondelles and Swarovski sequins/lochrosen in a curve on either side of the centrepiece, and attached the leaf beads (as these had two holes I could keep them firmly in position with a couple of stitches). Finally I stitched the gold piece to the backing, with which I had covered the cuff inner surface. I held the stitched piece in position with small squares of 'PeelnStick' double sided tape from Thermoweb and finished the edges with brick stiched triangle beads, in aqua I/C gold.

Sometimes, less is more, and I am really pleased with this cuff prototype, it is light and would be nice to wear through Spring and Summer. What do you think? And what other stampings could I use for this kind of cuff?
Heres the side view, a few sequins go a long way!