Thursday, January 29, 2015

Working away at Black Lace Lariat... In the pub!

David and I are in the pub in Bridgewater and I'm working on my project. I always like to bring some kind of handwork with me and this is my current obsession :)

I'm on my 26th unit of the main necklace and considering my options. 

Shall I keep it as a Lariat or make it a long necklace with a tassel focal?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pattern Review: Beth Duo Earrings by Beth Clark

Linda over at Linda's Crafty Blog posted about a pattern she'd been trying to track down, and the end result is that the designer posted the tutorial! You can buy the pattern from Beth Clark's Artfire shop.

It's a pretty pattern and a great one for Superduos. (The earrings above used 30 purple and 12 black Superduos -- great for using up odds and ends of colours!) I found that I needed to use tight tension throughout and reinforce the work as I went because the first earring was a bit floppy until I restitched it. The second one worked better because I reinforced all thread paths.

I really like the shape -- I like the slightly cupped nature of the earring and really like the use of Superduos -- the pattern really makes the most of them.

I just stitched the pattern for the second time, using copper and black Superduos, and left out the 11/0s in the first circle, which was one of the things Linda suggested. It does make the earring flatter but the most important things is that it seems a bit more stable without the 11/0s. Or maybe it's just that I'm getting the hang of it :)

Beth also offers 5 other cute tutorials through her Artfire shop -- check them out!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black Lace Lariat update and Art Deco Bracelet finished

Here's where the Black Lace Lariat stands this afternoon.  I love it!  It's so pretty. It's also the perfect project for picking up, doing 10 minutes work and putting it back down.

There are three sections to this necklace -- the large elements shown above, a smaller section with small elements separated by black faceted teardrops (which I'm waiting for) and the tassels. I decided to start the tassels.

Below you'll see the start of the tassels. I used 8/0 beads for the peyote base of the tassel instead of the 11/0 triangle beads the pattern calls for.

I finished the Art Deco bracelet last night. Really pretty.

I made the band of the bracelet out of 11/0s instead of the 8/0s the pattern calls for because I didn't have enough 8/0s. I will make this bracelet again using 8/0s. My herringbone on the band is also not perfect -- I did get confused at a couple of points, but that's my unfamiliarity with herringbone not a problem with the pattern!  Next time will be perfect :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pattern review: Art Deco Bracelet by Smadar Grossman

This is a review of Smadar Grossman's pattern for her Art Deco Bracelet. It was published in the Dec 2013/Jan 2014 issue of Beadwork or you can purchase the pattern as a download on the Interweave store.

I think I just needed a break from all black beads :)  I had noted this pattern in the Beadwork issue when I read it -- it appealed to me because of the combination of shapes -- so when I was looking for a palate cleanser from the Lace Lariat, it just jumped out at me.  The central motif (shown above) isn't hard to make but I found it fun, and a nice change. I can see from the pattern that quite a bit of herringbone awaits me in the next steps :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Making progress slowly on the Black Lace Lariat ...

I've started modifying the pattern for the Black Lace Lariat slightly to reduce the cupping of the floral element.

For step 5, instead of putting 5 13/0s between each picot (which makes the outer circle of the floral element) I'm using two 13/0s, one 11/0 and 2 13/0s. The element cups slightly but it's much flatter and I like it better!

In the photo above the closest (end) element was made with 11/0s in the middle of each section of the outer circle -- the one next to it was made with all 15/0s. I like the fact that the closer element is noticeably flatter. I'll keep doing them this way, and put the five more cupped elements in the centre of the necklace so they'll fall at the back of my neck and be less visible.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Working on Black Lace Lariat by Lisa Kan

I downloaded the beading book Bead Romantique by Lisa Kan a few weeks ago from the Interweave store and this project immediately caught my eye.

It's the Black Lace Lariat and I love it! It's inspired by Victorian mourning jewellery made of Whitby jet (one of my favourite stones) and I can't wait to finish it.

If you don't want to buy the whole book, not to worry, you can just buy this pattern as an instant download.

It calls for three full hanks of 13/0 charlottes, which are seriously the smallest beads I've ever used!  They're (surprisingly)  quite a bit smaller than 15/0 Japanese seed beads, that's for sure.

It also uses 11/0s, 3mm round fire polished beads and small daggers. (It also calls for 11/0 triangle beads which I only noticed today, so I'm going to pretend I didn't see them and make that bit with regular 11/0s :))

It took a few weeks for all my supplies to arrive, but the last thing I was waiting for, the charlottes, finally arrived today and I made a start.

Each of these floral motif elements has come out slightly cupped for me -- I was worried that I was using too tight tension (and indeed you shouldn't use terribly tight tension on these) but I can see from the photo of the finished project that they're slightly dimensional there, too.

I'm loving the intricacy of the piece as it grows -- it's quite unlike any other piece I've worked on.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Pattern review: Diamond Montee bracelet by Potomac Bead Company

This is a review of a free video tutorial by Potomac Bead Company for their Diamond Montee bracelet.

I didn't have any 20SS montees so I made it with some Chinese crystal cubes I had bought last year because they were super pretty :)  I had been looking for a pattern to use them in, and this seemed like it would work well.

I'm really happy with the bead combination -- I had a couple of false starts while I sorted out the best combination:

11/0 medium bronze (I used these instead of the 15/0s the tutorial suggests)
8/0 matte bronze
Opaque green lustre picasso Superduos
4 mm Chinese crystal cubes

This is an easy pattern -- basically it's a slightly fancy right angle stitch -- and it works up quickly. I did find that the patterns seems to zig and zag a bit as you can see in the photo above -- it doesn't bother me, but it was probably due to my stitching it like RAW.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pattern review: Country Girl Tila bracelet by BeadsMadness

This is a review of the pattern Country Girl Tila Bracelet by BeadsMadness on Etsy.

I went looking for a pattern to use up some of the many Tilas I have :)  I found this, and it's my new favourite Tila pattern! I found it stitches up quite easily and I think the result is quite attractive.

For this version I used:

Matte cream Tilas
Green SuperDuos
Black 11/0
Yellow Gold 11/0
Pearl Ceylon 11/0

I like the way it goes together. You have to watch your tension pretty carefully, though.  It's made with a double needle technique, passing back and forth, adding rows.