Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Woven Bracelet

This is a beautiful new bead-woven bracelet, available in my Etsy shop ( ). I enjoy tackling new patterns and stitches, and this one proved to be a bit of a challenge!

After stringing a row of core beads on SoftTouch, the beadweaving began. The base is multiple rows of size 11 seed beads, for which I chose seafoam green, one of my favorite colors. It took a couple of days to get all these rows laid down, what with having to deal with all the knots (I hate having to restart thread in a project, so I tend to use a really, really long thread!)

Once the base is finished, a sort of modified brick stitch is used to create a fringe (seen in metallic pink on this bracelet). This was where things got complicated. The opposing peaks of the fringe had to face opposite directions so that when the Swarovski crystals were sewn in, they would meet correctly. Not fun! Not only that, but the fringe had to be reinforced - meaning I had to go through all the 11s twice, so that they would stay on top of the seafoam green beads, rather than dropping below the thread bridges.

Now it was time to add the crystal embellishment. I had chosen beautiful sapphire satin Swarovski bicones, and I think the color combination is gorgeous. Each bicone was attached to the opposing fringe tips by going through these 11s for a third time - getting tight in there!

After embellishing, the bracelet was crimped, and a sterling silver toggle closure was added. The bracelet is surprisingly supple, for as many beads and stitches as it contains. And it surely sparkles!

I would be happy to re-create this bracelet in other color combinations, and to any length desired - just contact me through my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let's Meet Bailey

Bailey is my 8 year old golden retriever, and my (almost) silent partner. He gets quite vocal if there are squirrels in view, dogs barking on TV, or people walking by on the street outside the front door. He also issues throaty growls when he wants to go outside. Not in a mean way - in an "I have needs, too, way." Otherwise, he is a perfect gentleman, and the best dog in the whole world.

Sometimes he just cracks me up. Last week, he plucked this almost-empty popcorn bag out of the trashcan when I wasn't watching, and proceeded to get it stuck on his head. I couldn't grab the camera fast enough to capture that moment, but 30 seconds later he jumped on the bed with the bag, and went to town!

He is incredibly sweet and smart, and now has his own blog: so pay him a visit over there, where he promises to be a better blogger than I am!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Here's What's New

Happy New Year!

I decided to try a new beadweaving stitch called netting. I had never even heard of this stitch until the Etsy BeadWeavers November monthly challenge featured this stitch - I joined the group too late to hop on board that month, so I began my own personal netting challenge the week before Christmas. I found a couple of tutorials that were of limited use - it was like they assumed prior knowledge of the stitch in order to understand their instructions! So instead, I just followed the complex diagrams in the pattern, and 2 weeks (and over 120 hours of beading) later, this was the result:

This gorgeous cuff bracelet is 2.25 inches wide, and fits up to a 7.75 inch wrist. It's available in my Etsy shop right now. I probably will never do this stitch again, so this is a true one-of-a-kind for me! This just took waaaay to much time!

Here are pics of the Christmas commission I mentioned last time:

I think they're fabulous!
The colorblock herringbone bracelet I posted last time sold within 48 hours of being listed on Etsy! Very exciting! I am designing some new patterns now, and will be making some more herringbone bracelets soon.
Check out my websites - lots of great stuff! And I am always happy to take custom orders, too.