Monday, July 30, 2018

A chenille stitch rope necklace - a tutorial


For my next beadwoven rope project, I chose to use chenille stitch.  I haven't really used it a lot, but I knew that it worked up fairly quickly into a rope that held its shape with no need of a core, and yet was soft enough to curve nicely.

It turns out that it's just about the perfect stitch for a pretty rope!  I'll be doing this again for sure.

There are several places you can get instructions for chenille stitch if you are not already familiar with it.  The way you'll use your needle is similar to peyote stitch, but there are two different rows that will alternate with slightly different thread paths. I made a rope slightly larger than the one in the sample at the link above.  Here's how I did it:


1. I start with a core of 8 size 11/0 seed beads (color A - shiny black) and make a loop.  Tie it, leaving a tail of at least 8 inches.

2. Add 4 size 11/0 seed beads (color B - matte teal), one between each pair of As.  Step up through first B added.

3. Add 8 color As, two between each color B.  Step up through first A added.

4. Add one B between each pair of As, as in step 2.  Continue alternating the two rows.

5. At each end, add two small loops with seed beads (shown below).  Look at the instructions for my herringbone stitch rope from last week to see how these loops are used for finishing off the necklace.





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Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Autumn or Fall? How about both!?



Here we are only HALF WAY through Summer, and already the Fall ads and clothes and colors and everything else are out in the stores and in front of my face constantly and I think I'm going to scream because life is going too fast...

Stop!

Ok, Fall is actually my favorite season, even if I can't remember whether to call it Fall or Autumn.  Which do you prefer?  I picked Autumn for my Pinterest board on Autumn Style - 2018, but I picked Fall for my crafty board called Fabulous Fall.  Because I like to have it both ways!



Don't forget to go follow my boards!  There's lots more over there :-)



Monday, July 23, 2018

Twisted herringbone rope necklace - a tutorial



I decided my next rope necklace would use herringbone stitch and a smaller size of seed beads.  Size 15/0s were a bit too small, though, so I settled for size 11/0s.  Next, I needed to decide how much of a twist!  The "secret" to creating a twist in herringbone is to stitch back up through more beads than you stitch down each time you take a stitch.  For example: you are adding two beads with each stitch.  You stitch down through one bead in that column, and back up three beads in the next column to begin your next stitch.  After a few rounds, you'll see the twist begin.


I found a lovely pattern, very simple to do, in the book The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells.  She suggests alternating round seed beads with cylindrical ones.  You can see what happens!  Isn't that pretty how the cylinders recede?  I used round Czech size 11/0 seed beads and size 11/0 Delicas.

Start with a ladder stitch and put together as many pairs of Delicas as you want for your rope.  I used 4 pair of bronze colored beads.  I stitched a couple of rows of straight herringbone stitch, alternating the beads, and then began the twist portion.  I didn't bother to count and step up, just kept stitching in a spiral.  As I approached the other end, I began to taper down to end with just Delicas again.

 

At each end, I stitched two little loops that a 18 gauge wire would fit through.  I cut about 3" of wire, formed a simple loop with my round nose pliers, and slipped on a cone, a small metal bead, and turned a wrapped loop.  To one loop, I added a lobster clasp.




This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique and Amazon

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book review: Woven in Wire



Did you read Sarah Thompson's first wire book, Fine Art Wire Weaving?  If so, then you'll be completely thrilled to see that she has a second, more advanced book out: Woven in Wire.  May I just say...Oh. My. Gosh!  Sarah is a master, and she is a true artist.  These are challenging projects that are not designed for beginners, but even if you are a beginner, you're going to at least want to see this book for examples of what to strive for!  I was totally blown away by the beauty, complexity, and power of Sarah's art work.

Ok, so let's just get this out there again so no one will be misled: to master projects like these will take a LOT of practice.  This is not a book of easy afternoon or weekend projects.  The two main focus points of Woven In Wire is dimension and symmetry: adding depth through sculpting and careful precision in design.  But more about that later.

Sarah starts off with a discussion of tools, and though you won't need an entire room-full of them like with some art forms, it's important to have excellent tools in order to go beyond beginner work, especially in your pliers and hammers.  For materials, Sarah prefers pure silver and copper round wire in dead soft, though she lists and compares other wires as well.

On to techniques.  There is a detailed discussion on weaving properly by hand, including the all-important hand position in order to not end up damaging yourself over the long haul.  Sarah covers straightening wire, creating various basic shapes, hammering, creating points, filing, torching, adding beads, patina, and polishing.  Then she covers, in great detail, the three basic weaving styles that she uses for most of her pieces: figure 8, modified soumak, and the lashing weave.


Following the basics (which are basic, but not simple!), Sarah turns to the projects.  The first chapter of projects teach sculpting the wirework by hand or by tools.  There are two pairs of earrings, a ring, a clasp, and two bracelets in this chapter.  My favorite is the clasp called Tempest, which is shown above.  Gorgeous, huh?  I would never wear that clasp in the back, I can tell you that!

The next chapter has 5 projects and focuses on mastering symmetry.  There are 3 pendants, a pair of earrings, and a bracelet.  The last chapter has 2 super-challenging projects that combine some of the previous components in complex and layered ways.  Just in case you thought you'd mastered it all, you now find out that there is an entire world of exploration yet to go!  And isn't that what you want in a technique book?  To be able to go beyond just what's inside of it?

You won't be disappointed!



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Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Embellished peyote rope - a beading project


Last week I showed you my first beaded rope of the summer, a pretty variant on Russian spiral.  This week, I've got a plain peyote rope that I embellished for some extra fun.  It was super-simple, and you could make it in any color and size of seed beads that you want!  Just use all the same size, and as many colors as please you.

I chose size 11/0 seed beads, and worked with purple iris as the base rope and matte copper as the embellishment beads.  I chose to slide it onto a black cord necklace with a clasp already attached.  So easy! 

1. String on 12 seed beads and make a ring.  Leave a 4 to 6" tail to weave in later.  You will be adding 6 beads in each round of peyote stitch: pick up a bead, skip a bead in previous row, stitch through the next bead in previous row.  Repeat around and "step up" through the first bead added in each row to start the next row. 

2. When the rope is as long as you want it, weave your thread end back into the work on both ends. 

3. Measure to find the center of the rope.  Measure out from there to find where you want to start and end your embellishments.  This is assuming that you don't want to do the entire length of the rope, which is also fine!


4. With a rope of 12 beads, you can choose to add 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 rows of embellishments.  Stitch up through a bead, and add an embellishment bead in the "ditch" between that bead and the next one in the same peyote row.  Here is a super good picture of it if you aren't sure what I mean: stitch in the ditch

5. When finished, I simply slipped my rope onto the black cord necklace. 


This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Russian spiral rope necklace - a quick beading project


I have an extremely busy summer ahead of me, including lots of things that have nothing to do with beading, jewelry, and art!  So I decided a few weeks ago that my summer project was going to consist of a series of beaded ropes that I could work on a little bit at a time without having to figure out what I meant to do next each time I pick them up!



I started with a Russian spiral variation that was taught in the June issue of Beadwork by Carol Ohl.  You can find instructions for plain Russian spiral at this link, but I like Carol's version better since you can get almost a plaid effect with it.


I used size 11/0 seed beads and size 15/0 seed beads for the rope.  When I got is as long as I wanted, I narrowed both ends slightly with size 15s and slipped the rope onto a cord.  As you can see, I used 18 gauge copper wire to wrap the ends of the cord around the closed rings for an S clasp.

Easy-peasy, a little at a time, finished!



This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Beadwoven flower pendants from dagger beads


I don't often make pieces using other people's instructions, but I had to make an exception for this pretty little pendant that Nora Toth designed for the June 2018 issue of Bead&Button!  Above on the right is the one that I made following her instructions, but then I decided to change it up slightly.  I didn't really like how the back row of daggers was covered, even though it does make the flower wonderfully full.  So I made a second one, shown on the left, using shorter beads for the top row.  Since the leaves that I used were thicker than the daggers, I used only one bead in each top spot rather than the two that the original directions call for. 

Either way, the pendant is very pretty.  A few weeks later, though, I ended up reworking the blue one, as shown below.  I would recommend pips, leaves, or chilis for your top row of petals if you want to make it like I did.   



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