Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm calling this one "snow white" - all white and clear or clear silver-lined beads. This is my favorite so far.

Friday, March 23, 2007

This is for Allison. The base is a pretty deep purple but you can barely see it in the the picture. I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Two new bracelets today. Sean tells me that I need to learn more about color theory and when I look at Margie Deebs book "The Beader's Guide to Color" I can see what he means.
So far, I've just been grabbing whatever bead soup that's laying around. My next project, I'm going to try to apply some principles of color.
We'll see.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Second free-form bracelet

Another free-form bracelet. When I first looked at free-form, it looked hard to do, but I'm finding it rather relaxing. Just pick up a bead, stick it somewhere. Often the beads don't go where originally intended but slide off to one side or the other and always end up in the right place.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My first free-form project

I don't know why it took me so long to try peyote - and now I know I've been spelling it wrong - now that I have tried it, I realize how versatile it is and how fast it goes compared to square stitch of herringbone.
I have wanted to try free-form for quite a while, and now I see that peyote is the best stitch for it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Finished project and a free pattern

The picture doesn't do this bracelet justice. It's made with silver-lined beads and they are really bright and shiny in real life.

The pattern is free - just right-click on it and then save it to your hard drive. It's not a whole pattern, just the graph for the design on the bracelet, keep repeating until the bracelet is long enough to fit your arm. I made a buttonhole and beaded bead for a button, any kind of clasp would do.

If you want the word chart, contact me and I'll email it to you. Sorry I don't have a pattern for the beaded bead or making the buttonhole.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Learning Peyotte

The past few days, I've been learning peyotte. I tried peyotte early on, but it doesn't work well with round seed beads so I gave it up. Lately, the seed beads I've been buying are more like cylinder beads so I thought I'd give it a try.

I made the abstract pattern in BeadTool and it worked pretty well.

I had some problems with tension though and it started out really limp and fluid but later, I noticed my tension changed and it got very tight and stiff. I re-beaded the whole bracelet with tighter tension, but I don't like it that way, so I may just rip it apart and start over and try to make the tension even but looser.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Learning to blog

I'm testing MarsEdit for making posts without going to the webpage. We'll see how this goes. MarsEdit has gotten really good reviews, so I will probably buy it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I made a chain for this rock that I beaded around and want to add some color. These looked like the right color but when I poured them out and took a picture of them, I can see they're all wrong.

Then I poured out a few of this color and voila! what a difference.

Now I just have to decide how to embellish and I'm on my way.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Beading around a rock

The other day, the kids and I went to the Science Centre and I picked these rocks from a big bin on the counter.

I beaded around a couple of them to make pendants. Now I need to decide what to use for a chain.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Some hints about Fireline

I use 6# Fireline for almost all my beading. The only exception is when I put fringe on an amulet bag and want fluid movement of the fringe.

Many people complain that Fireline likes to knot and they get frustrated. At least some of the frustration is in misunderstanding what a knot is.

Fireline doesn't "knot", but it does kink and the kinks can get caught up in each other and you have what looks like a knot but really isn't.

The one thing you for sure don't want to do is tug on the mess from each end. All that will do is solidify the kinks and make them harder to open up.

You also don't want to start threading your needle through the mess in the hopes of undoing it.

So how do you deal with this mess? By preventing it from happening in the first place. Every time you exit some beads and before you pick up the next beads, run the length of the Fireline through your hand. The friction of running through your hand will create enough heat to straighten the Fireline.

Also when pulling the Fireline through your work, hold you fingers - the ones that aren't holding the work - so that the Fireline runs between them before it gets to the beads. This accomplishes two things. First, it will eliminate most kinks before they get to the beads and if there is a mess in the making, you'll catch it before it gets too close to your work.

If a mess happens - and we all get them - the first thing to do is stick your needle into a pin cushion and set the work down a distance away so that the mess is free between the needle and the work. Remember I said this is not a "knot" but just a bunch of kinks.

Examine the mess and you will see loops. The trick is to grasp a loop and gently push toward the "root" of the loop. You will see the loop back itself out through the mess and then you can go on to another loop. Usually it only takes a couple of loops to unravel the whole mess.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

This is how I spent my day. Brandon saw some of the other medallions that I made and asked me to make him a black one. The beads are all jet black although they look kind of rusty in this photo.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Photo bucket

Today I made a "photo bucket" for taking pictures of my bead projects. There are lots of tutorials for making a light tent and so on, but I don't have the table space for a set up like that. So what did I do?

The first thing was to cut a hole in the lid of an ice cream pail. The hole is just large enough so the lens of the camera will fit through it.

Here's a view of the pail with the lid on.

Then I cut a circle of Vellux to fit in the bottom of the bucket.

Here's the finished project. The lens of the camera fits down through the hole I cut in the top and since the camera is resting on the lid and not being held by my shakey hands, there is no need for a tripod. For light, I just set the bucket near a window and there is enough light. At night I will probably set a couple of small lamps near the bucket and experiment until I get the right amount of light.

This is the first picture I took using my new photo bucket. I only needed to crop it in Photoshop and reduce the size.

Pretty proud of myself.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

This Canadian Twist bracelet is made with beads from the new dollar store. It turned out quite nice and I like the colors.

Another medallion. The red beads are metallic and the whole necklace is kind of pretty if I do say so.