Saturday, March 30, 2013

Miriam's Garden

This piece is based on the Carole Horn Neptune's Garden bracelet from the December 2011 Bead & Button.  I used the size 8/0's listed in the magazine for the diagonal peyote base, rolled the edges, added three Czech floral buttons for the closure, and then went all Miriam Haskell adding beaded flowers and leaves until I had a corsage bracelet.  I think this piece went from being Neptune's Garden to Miriam's Garden.
The 8/0 peyote base is very supple even though I stitched it with 8 lb. Fireline.  It was easy to add the embellishments to the base because of the large 8/0 holes.  I tried to get a good balance between matte and shiny beads.  I even found a spot to add a pearl.
loops on the right for fastening to the three floral buttons at the far end
looking into the garden

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Star light, star bright

preview: a big pile of the work I photographed this morning
I finally got out the camera and the light box this morning and took some pictures.  Above is a preview of some of the blog entries coming soon.  Today I''m sharing the gold and blue piece.
A few years ago I caught a glimpse of Gwen Fisher's Archimedes Star, but I didn't have the pattern.  Beadwork recently had a 50% off deal on back issues so I grabbed the Aug/Sept 2009 issue.  I have been reading Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance and am currently enamored of the gold and anything color combination.

I ordered a great cache of gold beads in all sorts of sizes and finishes to see what I liked best for various projects.  Here I combined some Preciosa Ornela champagne gold 11/0s with tiny 13/0 one-cut rocailles and Japanese sky blue lined transparent light peach 11/0s.  I've linked my sources and bead colors because I buy completely on-line.  Perhaps once a year I get to a bead store and am able to buy seed beads, but mostly the stores I come across do not have the selection of seed beads I need.  So I thought I would help out my fellow on-line buyers with the details.  I can't tell you how many times I've ordered what I thought to be the perfect colors only to have something completely unlike the picture show up in my delivery.  Don't I wish I had sample cards!

Although the pattern called for Japanese 11/0s and 15/0s, I decided that the smaller size of the Czech beads would be offset by the 13/0s. This worked out fairly well although the sky blue beads would have been easier to work with if they had been smaller Czech 11/0s  as well, but in the end the piece is still very pretty.  I like the antique feel the one-cut 13/0s give to the piece, but if I made another one I would use all Japanese or all Czech round beads for more modern, clean lines.  I think the key to bead selection for me is to have opaque beads for the star and have jewel-like transparent beads fill the points.
I used Fireline and a size 12 needle and was able to make many passes through the beads.
try this modified right angle weave