Shopping for beads is always fun and being able to go to a bead show adds to the fun. I recently attended the Greater Kansas City Bead Society’s annual Bead Blast. I have been before but this year I decided to take a Bead Embroidery class with a friend. Last year I made a bead embroidered cuff style bracelet after reading up on bead embroidery; the bracelet was my first bead embroidered piece. I took the Bead Embroidery class with the idea of learning additional bead embroidery techniques and increasing my beading skills. The instructor had taught at the Bead & Button show and this was a good opportunity to learn from a pro. The kits available for the class included a 25mm by 18mm semi-precious gemstone cabochon pre-glued to pre-dyed Lacey Stiff Stuff, Delica 11s color coordinated to the gemstone, size 15 seed beads, small square of light weight plastic, Ultrasuede backing material, combination pin/pendant finding, Fireline and Nymo thread, bead mat and needles. In addition to the kit the instructor provided an assortment of embellishment beads. I chose a Lapis cabochon kit. Below is a picture of my finished pendant/brooch piece. Due to timing constraints and other issues I completed my piece at home and used beads from my bead stash for the embellishments. The class was fine, even though I did not learn any new bead embroidery techniques I did enjoy the time spent with my friend.
After taking the Bead Embroidery class I did some more research on line looking for alternate methods for finishing the edges on a bead embroidered piece. I found Jamie Cloud Eakin’s book Dimensional Bead Embroidery. I really like this book. It is chockfull of information on bead embroidery techniques and what you need to know to create a lovely piece of bead embroidery, plus it contains information and instructions on 10 different edge finishing stitches. I used the “Crowns Point Edge” on my pendant. The first chapter shows and explains what tools are needed to do bead embroidery, basic bead embroidery techniques are explained and illustrated in chapter two, chapter three is on getting started and designing, and chapter four is on using components in bead embroidery. Chapters five through eight are devoted to the different stitches used in bead embroidery. Each stitch is illustrated and explained in a step by step format. The last chapter contains nine projects. The projects are also well illustrated and have step by step instructions. There are photos of finished pieces all through the book, plus a gallery in the back for inspiration.
The Beadwork Beaded Bead contest is a continuing project. The Beadwork pattern for the third bead in the series can be found on pages 20 through 22 in the June/July 2012 issue. The bead is the Stargazer Beaded Bead designed by Florence Turnour. I have made the bead as it was designed and also a smaller version. The bead, as designed, has a 1 inch diameter. Making the beaded beads is adding to my beading skills but I am disappointed to see the size of the beaded beads increasing. In the contest description you are suppose to make a piece of jewelry. In my opinion having such large beads limits the scope of the type of jewelry item you could make. I wanted to try making a bracelet; I would not put a 1 inch diameter bead on a bracelet. Below is a photo of the beads I made. The large bead is the beaded bead using the 4mm size foundation beads as listed in the pattern. The smaller bead is my version using size 8 seed beads for the foundation base.
In my last blog update I mentioned I wanted to try making a bracelet using the No Warp Ends method on my Best of All Loom. Below is a photo of the finished bracelet. I am testing Velcro for a closure on this bracelet to see how it holds.
I made another Right Angle Weave choker necklace based on Larry Linson’s original design. I decided to make a color matched bracelet. I used Right Angle Weave and the same beads to make the bracelet. I did not want to use the dangles on the bracelet because I feel they would tend to catch on things and cause the bracelet to break, but I did want to include the smaller beads in the design of the bracelet. The necklace and bracelet are pictured below.
I am heading back to my bead mat with more projects to do.