Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Work in Progress: Spiral Daisies

As promised I have moved on from herringbone fringe necklaces, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up on fringe yet. Not only is it really satisfying to make fringe, but I’ve been in the mood to use up not just my favorite accent beads, but some of the less-than-versatile Czech seed beads as well. One of my goals for this year was to be a little less picky about culling Czech beads, and fringe gives me the freedom to just go ahead and use seed beads that are just a little bit wonky.


I really wanted to try out some of the millefiori beads that I picked up at a thrift store about a year ago, so I started with a strand of black rounds with a daisy motif and worked up from there. A spiral rope lariat would allow me to incorporate a daisy pattern while also using up a hank of green seed beads that has been sitting in my stash since making the blue-green ombre project from Ancient Worlds Modern Beads. So far things are going really well, and I can’t wait to get started on the tassels.


The Egyptian stripe necklace from last week turned out really nice. I was worried about the pattern being a bit much, but once it was complete and the accents added on, things really came together. I tried something new for the fringe this time around, and matched the top of each loop to the beadwork base. I’m not sure if I love it completely, but it may come in handy for future projects without so many colors in play.

What are you making right now?

Mortira

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bees Heart Honey Necklace Tutorial

It’s the first day of September, which means that no matter how many more sunny days we may have to look forward to, it’s officially time to say goodbye to summer. With help from the Monochrome Bead Box from Blueberry Cove Beads, I decided to create a pretty necklace with a hint of summer colors, inspired by bees and honey.

Bees Heart Honey Necklace Tutorial

This asymmetrical design is super easy to stitch, and you can create it with just about anything that you’ve got in your stash. You’ll need two focal beads of similar shape and size to get the effect – otherwise you can mix and match any seed beads and round beads that you’ve got on hand. I’m using a pair of faux lava rock hearts from the Monochrome Box in black and white; accents of yellow and topaz bring out the summery honey bee vibe. Have fun experimenting with different palettes of your own!

Materials:

About 4 yards of Fireline or your favorite beading thread
2 x 18-25 mm focal beads
2 8mm rose beads
11 6mm druks
22 5mm howlite beads
44 size 8 seed beads (yellow)
26 size 8 seed beads (black)
4 grams size 11 seed beads
Button clasp of your choice



Bees Heart Honey Necklace:

1. Attach a stop bead to a 2 yard (1.8 m) length of thread, leaving a 10 inch (25 cm) tail. String on one 11/o, one 8/o, one 5mm, one 8/o, and repeat. Add one 11/o, one 8/o, one 11/o and one druk. Slide all of the beads down to the stop bead.




2. Pick up 7 size 11/o seed beads, and pass back up through the druk again. Pull snug to form a loop of seed beads around the druk. Repeat to add a second loop.

3. String on one 11/o, and one 8/o, followed by the same pattern from step 1. Repeat until you have 4 looped druks.



4. String on one 11/o, one 8/o, one focal bead, one 8/o, one 11/o, and one rose bead. Add two loops of seven seed beads around the rose.

5. Repeat the pattern from steps 1-3 until you have added 3 druks. Add one 11/o, one 8/o, one 11/o and the second rose bead. Add seed bead loops to the rose.


6. String on one 11/o, one 8/o, and the second focal bead. Add one 8/o bead, then repeat the pattern again until you’ve added 4 more looped druks.


8. Pass back through the first 2 seed beads from the set of 10. Continue through the 8/o, 11/o, and druk and pull snug. Weave around the loops in the druk and retrace the thread path to secure the button. Weave any remaining thread into the beadwork, tying 2 half-hitch knots, and trim.



9. Remove the stop bead from the start of the necklace. Pick up enough seed beads to form a loop around your button. Pass back through the first seed bead again, and through the following beads to the nearest druk. Retrace the thread path to add strength to the loop, then weave in any remaining thread and trim.



Happy beading!

Mortira

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Work in Progress: Nefertiti Stripes

My adventures with stripes and fringe are still going strong, and projects are chugging along at a much better pace. I had thought that I would want to try a new project once the latest necklace was complete, but I was still really in the mood for fringe, and herringbone necklaces are just the most satisfying way to use it right now. For the new necklace, I had a craving to do something a little more Egyptian, so I put together a jeweled palette. I was a little worried at first that the pattern would end up being too busy. I think once the entire piece is complete and the fringe is added it will come together just fine.



The last necklace turned out great. I hadn’t given any thought to accent beads when I chose my palette, and it turns out that the only thing I had in my stash that would match with the opaque colors was African Christmas beads. This is perfectly fine by me! I had fun picking out just the right beads to use and putting on the final touches.



What are you making right now?

Mortira

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bead Color Ideas: Sunscreen Hues

There are so many different ways to find color inspiration in the seasons, and many of the ones we turn to again and again are natural. For summer this might be the colors of the beach, summer fruit, or even a purple-and-gray thunderstorm palette. Then again, traditional and nostalgic color palettes are pretty inspiring as well – like the red, blue, and white of a rocket pop. This summer, I wanted to explore some colors that would bring to mind some of the best things about getting out in the sun, and perhaps the scent of coconuts.

Kids Sunblock Bead Palette Idea

The first palette was so easy to create. Nothing says sunscreen like aquatic blues and yellows. For this Kids’ Sunblock trio I used canary yellow, transparent capri blue, and opaque turquoise blue. It’s fruity and vibrant, and definitely has a beach feel to it. I would love to see this palette in something with lots of exotic, playful fringe.

Suntan Oil Bead Color Idea

Next I went in the opposite direction and concocted a trio for lovely coconut scented Suntan Oil. I started with opaque terracotta, though I would have loved to use some transparent rootbeer as well. Next I added smooth orange luster and lustered pearl cream. This palette has so much warmth. I think it would look great in a spiral design, particularly a double spiral rope with lots of chunky accent beads.

Sport Sunscreen Bead Color Idea


Finally, I combined both of these palettes for a final trio inspired by everyday Sport Sunscreen. This time I went with the transparent rootbeer and opaque patriot blue, finishing with a dark Ceylon cream. This palette is more shea butter than coconut, and would be perfect for a geometric cuff or perhaps a colorblocked rope.

What colors and scents make up your favorite summer inspirations?

Mortira

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Work in Progress: Ongoing Stripes

I have been enjoying my summer down time immensely these past few weeks, just working and relaxing – and getting lots of beading done. I have definitely found a good groove with working multiple projects at once, and giving myself permission to pick up whichever one I happen to feel like working on at the moment. It also helps that I have a great series to watch to keep me coming back to my workspace. Star Trek: Voyager got me through the coconut necklace, the last mini collar in my scrapped challenge, and the new stripe necklace.

Coconut Dagger Necklace

Mini Chevron Collar


It was a treat to finally complete the fringe necklace. I picked a fun assortment of beads for the strands, including a couple that I purchased while on vacation. I couldn’t resist popping in to the bead store that caused a lot of confusion for me last year. It’s still the same, but since I didn’t pick up any of the bone beads last time, I decided to give in just for fun. I only spent $1.50, but I felt happy about adding something to the design that I didn’t have on hand before.

Olive Fringe Necklace


I’ve decided to continue working with stripes for the time being. Looking back, I realized that no matter what type of project I’m working on, if it has stripes – particularly black and white ones – I never get bored or feel like the project is taking too long to complete. I’m usually pretty content to keep stitching stripes. The new necklace will be another herringbone rope with fringe, which will give me a chance to play with lots of different accent beads. I find that this is a great way to keep from getting a creative block – there’s very little commitment to using a mix of lots of different beads in small quantities.

Stripe Herringbone Necklace in Progress


What are you working on at the moment?

Mortira

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