Saturday, February 8, 2014

January Endings and February Findings

Beading Resolutions
Making New Year Resolutions has never been something I have done, but this year I have decided to try making Beading Resolutions.

1. Use purchased tutorials to make some lovely pieces of jewelry.
2. Do more Bead Embroidery projects: 
     Trio Cab Necklace; Collar Necklace

3. Reduce my bead stash to make room for new beads.
4. Experiment with different stitch techniques.
5.  Incorporate some of the newer types of beads in my designs.

Two Hole Beads a New Style of Seed Beads

The latest craze to hit the bead market has been the two hole seed beads. One of the most popular two hole bead is the Tila or tile bead called Czech Mates. The Tila bead has a flat side and a curved side while the Czech Mates are flat on both sides. Using the Tila bead can be a challenge when trying to keep the curved side up and maintain consistency in the finished piece. I use the two needle approach in an effort to keep the curved side up and it does seem to help. The Twin or Super Duos are another type of new seed bead with a different type of challenge. The first time I used these seed beads I made a pair of earrings. I was not quite sure how to use them without having the thread show and decided to make the earrings in separate parts. Since then the patterns I have seen in the bead magazines show the thread running up the outside of the bead, which is something that runs contrary to the way I stitch. Definitely have to do more with the Twin or Super Duos and get a better feel on ways to use them. I recently purchased the Rulla seed beads; these beads look like half of a tile bead. I think these beads would be useful as a type of spacer bead or as a replacement for the Tila bead in some projects. Another new two hole bead is a round bead with the two holes offset and is being called the “Piggy” bead; it looks like a pig’s nose. I am going to work on my bead resolution #5 and try to do more with the two hole beads, but may pass on the “Piggy” bead.

The Super Duo earrings I made worked but it would be very time consuming to make a bracelet or necklace in the same manner. Here is a photo of the earrings.


I am amazed at how fast the Seedbeadersters Facebook group is growing. The group moved from Yahoo this past September with around 100 Yahoo members signing up for the Facebook group. In just five months we jumped to over 1,000 members and are still rapidly growing. The January project for the Seedbeadersters Bead-A-Long was to use the Tila or Tile beads. As inspiration I reworked my crystal and birthstone bracelet and provided a pattern for the members. We had some great projects as can be seen in this collage.

Here is a photo of the Crystal and Tila bracelet I designed and served as inspiration.

The February Bead-A-Long is Tubular Bead Crochet or Chenille Stitch. Based on photos of the current projects it looks like the Chenille Stitch is turning into a group favorite. Below are photos of my contributions.

Seed Beads and More

Is the Seedbeadersters sister group and it too is growing rapidly with over 2,000 members. Anita Adamson is the administrator of this group and she is doing a fantastic job. Anita creates “Challenges” for this group and the current challenge is Diagonal Peyote. Diagonal Peyote looks hard but once you get going it is not a hard stitch to do if you know how to do regular Peyote. To get the diagonal look the process involves decreasing at one end while increasing at the other end. A quick and fun way to learn this method is the Russian Leaf Earring video by Beading4perfectionist on YouTube. . The method in the video is one of the easiest I have seen for a Peyote start and I think a beginning beader would not find it too difficult to make the earrings.

One project that came to light in this Challenge was the Bargello or Flame stitch necklace designed by Rebecca Peapples from Bead & Button 2006 August issue. Another member had started working on the necklace and posted a photo of her progress. I was intrigued by what she had accomplished and decided to give the necklace a try. This is not a pattern I would recommend to beginning beader. Below is the photo of my necklace and I also made a pair of earrings using the Beading4perfectionist Russian Leaf Earring video as a guide.

Hot off the Bead Mat

Thought I would tackle number 4 of my bead resolutions and dug out my Kumihimo disk for a re-visit. I am not a big fan of Kumihimo; I have made a few bracelets using size 8 seed beads and 4mm rounds but trying to hide the knot of threads needed to hold the beading together can be a real challenge. This time I decided to make a necklace with size 11 seed beads. Sometime ago my friend, Saundra, gave me an Agate gemstone bead and clear Topaz seed beads. I wanted to use the gemstone bead as a cabochon pendant and the colors in the Agate were the inspiration for the colors I used in the necklace. I decided to use Pearl white, Topaz, medium grey, and yellow gold color which reminds me of the old bamboo fishing poles. I used crochet cotton thread and 44 inches of beads in each color; each Kumihimo spool held 22 inches of beads.  Having the four different colors of seed beads made it easier to keep track of where to start after setting the work down and picking it up to continue working. Kumihimo is not really difficult but you do need to know where you stop and start and to always make the turns in the same direction. There are some very good tutorials available on web and on YouTube. Here is a photo of my finished piece.

Next on the Bead Board
I have a couple of Loom projects I want to work on one is my own design and the other is a bracelet pattern called Mesopotamia by Caron Michelle (Beading Resolution #1).

Till next time,
Have Fun Beading

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