07 Aug

Urban Stripes and My Own Long Rope


My surgery is now in the past and the staples come out next week and I’m back at work.  I finished the long Black & White and Red long rope necklace.  It even made its public debut to ooooohs and aaaaaaws and comparisons to snake skin.  I was surprised to find that bead crochet is like riding a bike, once you get it, you have it even if you don’t use it for a long time.

The urban stripes string along is moving forward as well, just finished the third section.  I’m just over half way through my stash of matte black though, and am thinking maybe I should order more.

27 Jul

Judith Bertoglio-Giffin’s String-Along

Judith Bertoglio-Giffin is hosting a fabulous bead crochet string-along called Urban Stripes – the result – a 42 inch bead crochet rope.  Have a look here – http://beadline.blogspot.com/2011/07/urban-stripes-crocheted-rope.html

She so inspired me that I couldn’t wait and started one of my own:

I decided on black and white with red accents.Still have a long way to go, but suddenly, Judith delivered the first section of her Urban Stripes early and I faced the dilemma of choosing a palette.

My palette goes back to my childhood when we used to go downtown to Eatons to see the Christmas windows. I picked a matte black ground like pavement and a series of iris bright pastels that remind me of the lights in downtown shops and the bronze of the hardware on those magnificent old doors.

Not knowing what Urban Stripes is going to be, I may regret my selections, but for now, I’m happy with it.  So, I started crocheting:

22 May

What Beads to Use?

The question of what beads to use comes up often in the groups as it did in my shop.  So I started this project where I was going to replicate the same pattern in different beads.  Unfortunately that fell by the wayside, but I thought I’d post the bit I did complete.

This was one of the first peyote stitch pieces I did.  Quite a few years ago now.   At the time it was impossible to find Delicas in my area and someone suggested working with 2-cuts, so this piece was done in Czech 10/0 2 cuts.  The following picture shows the exact same pattern, bead for bead, worked in Delicas side by side with the 2-cut piece.


Here the difference in the 2 beads is obvious.  The 2 cuts (on the left) are edgier and I wasn’t careful enough with culling so there are irregular beads scattered throughout the piece.  The Delicas on the right are regular and fit beautifully next to each other with no gaps.  Also note the size of the completed piece.  The Delicas result in a rectangular piece, the 2-cuts come up square. The two pieces feel totally different, the 2-cuts are scratchy and rough and don’t ‘flow’;  the Delicas are slinky and fabric-like.

I haven’t reproduced the sunflower piece yet with seed beads, but here is another amulet bag I made using Mill Hill seed beads.  These are actually more expensive than Delicas.

Look at the gold areas where there is the most definition.  You’ll see there are gaps between the beads because they are rounded not cylindrical like the Delicas.  The edges of the bag aren’t straight either because the beads are round and the waviness increases as the piece gets bigger and translates into a wavy edge.  You can adjust for that by perfecting your tension, but I didn’t understand that when I made this piece.  This bag has a nice feel to it, but isn’t slinky and sleek like the delicas.

Choosing the beads to use for a particular project is part of the fun of beading and I don’t believe in following rules, but personally I don’t think I’ll invest the time involved in weaving a peyote stitch pattern in anything but Delicas (or equivalent) with the exception of 3D pieces where there is increasing/decreasing.

20 Apr

Easter is Nearly Here

Finally got my new blog set up after dithering about using the Artfire blog associated with my shop or setting up a WordPress blog here.  Well, WordPress won out.

Things have been pretty much one disaster after another around here with the worst being coping with  a broken arm, but even casted I managed to finish a commission choker for a lovely lady with a special occasion.

Pearl Choker

So with that project complete I needed some creative time and in the spirit of the season launched headlong into beading easter eggs.  These little monsters suck up a full day each to make, but they are so, so addictive.

Beaded Easter EggsThey are each a confection of Czech firepolish glass, Swarovski crystal and permanent finish galvanized Miyuki seedbeads.  Too late to post in my shop this year, but yummy to look at.

Emerald Beaded Easter EggGarnet AB Beaded Easter EggMarea Beaded Easter Egg

Time to stop playing and on to taxes.  ugh!