Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Bead, Book & Bounce blog hop: Lisa Kan's Bead Romantique

This is the first Operation: Tackle That Bead Stash 'Bead, Book & Bounce' blog hop. The book -'Bead Romantique' by Lisa Kan (Interweave Press, 2007)- was chosen following a poll of members to see which books we had in our libraries. We then had the option of joining in by making a project (any) from the book, or another project from the same author in a magazine or on-line. We then were asked to write a mini review on our experiences with the project.

Without further ado I'd like to share this project by Lisa Kan 'Petit Fiore'

The project is not in the book, but was published in Beadwork Magazine 2008, I thought I'd like to give it a try as it is very pretty. The base is lovely, modified right angle weave in 15s and 11s, and also charlottes (size15) I looked at the pattern and although the instructions didn't specify, decided that Japanese charlottes would be best in this. I'm glad I did as the design requires several passes in the base and Czech charlottes would have been murder. Then you move on to the embellishment layer. This was where I had problems, the flowers are multi-layers of picots/loops, with a Margarita set atop the centre. According to the instructions it is added after the initial round of petals, but I found it then got in the way of subsequent rounds of picots. The second flower I made was done differently, by adding the Margarita after the loops and I felt this worked slightly better. For me, this might have been easier had the 'common beads' been a different colour to help locate them. I don't think they would show much (if at all). When I get round to the next flower I shall give it a try and see. I am going to finish this, but it is definitely a project for 'fresh eyes' or maybe just younger ones, not for a doing at night, after work, with a headache!

My top tips for this are:
1) Get good quality size 15 beads and Japanese 15 Charlottes
2) Change to a finer needle for the flowers, the base is quite firm and will not accomodate a thicker one.
3) Use 4lb test fireline for the embellishment layer for the same reason. It doesn't matter so much in the base.

I would not say this is an easy project for a beginning beader, but this is mostly down to the small beads, and tight corners. An intermediate beader would enjoy the challenge, and would be able to make adaptations as I have done. The idiosyncrasies of Beadwork magazine's hand drawn diagrams makes them slightly confusing but with the written instructions it is easy to work out.

Lisa's book was already on my shelf and I have previously used the netting bezel on Rivolis for little Hair ornaments. I added some 4mm bicones in the 'gaps' of the netting.

I still aspire to making some of the other projects when finances allow (some of them do require a large number of Swarovski/Czech firepolish/freshwater pearls!) The next on my list is Quatrefoil Renaissance bracelet, if I can find the right sized brass filigrees, as I think I have the other components.

Have a look over on OTTBS for other blogspots with this book for inspiration


  1. Loving your bracelet so far. Sorry its being fiddly. Hope you manage to sort it out as it looks like its going to be amazing. Thanls for the tip about using Japenese charlottes- I would have assumed Czech! (Not that I have that issue of beadwork but seeing your lovely WIP I think I might need it). Cute hairslide too

  2. I really love the colorway you chose for that bracelet, Catherine!! I made one of those, and I ended up using a little 3mm crystal in the middle of the flowers as I liked the delicate look more, but yours look fabulous. Can't wait to see your next project from the book!! I never tried that one... and my book is out on loan... ;)

  3. Thanks for joining in with the very first Bead, Book & Bounce. I love the little hairclip that you've made by adjusting one of the patterns. Hope that you manage to sort out your bracelet, as I agree with the others - it will look stunning once it's finished!