Monday, 11 February 2013

OTTBS: Bead, Book and Bounce- The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving

This post is a little delayed. Blame illness and blogger playing up, sorry!

The fourth book in The OTTBS Bead, Book & Bounce (info about our book review projects can be found here) is The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells.
I have had this book in my collection for many years, possibly since it first came out. I bought it because I loved her previous book, Creative Beadweaving. Despite the fact that I've owned it for about 10 years I haven't actually done a lot from it! Naughty Gemma! Its not because I don't like the book though, its fab.
The chapters in the book are: beaded beads; chevron chain; crocheted ropes; herringbone stitch; peyote stitch; and spiral rope. I find it a little odd that beaded beads comes first as some use peyote which you're not officially taught about until later but it was fine for me as I had learnt about the various stitches in her previous book.

When flicking through the book for BB&B I decided quite quickly what I was going to make. When I first got the book I made a couple of bracelets using the instructions for the 'Zigzag necklace' by Rebecca Peapples. I made them with cheap bugles though so they only lasted a few minutes before cutting through the thread. Its always a project I meant to return to. Other things I had previously done from the book were a couple of 'Rainbow necklaces' by Carole Horn. I made them with 15s, delicas and 11s. I ended up making 2 to save a friend from snaffling mine! Here's a pic of my 'Rainbow necklace' made quite a few years ago.

I also used the instructions for the twisted herringbone rope in 'Choker with a secret' by Leslie Frazier to make a pen. I can't find it at the minute but basically I just covered a refill with the tube. This book is where I first learnt about twisted herringbone I think and there are recipes for a few other twists that I would like to experiment with.

So, on to my new version of the 'Zigzag necklace'. I love the used of short and long turns in this pattern to create the zigzag shape, its really clever. I have changed the pattern slightly. Rebecca used 2 drop peyote but I've used 3 drop. There's a bit in the valley of the zigzag where the pattern puts one bead behind an identical bead. I've just used 1 bead here rather than stacking the 2. I used 15s rather than 11s and the accent beads I've used are 2mm firepolish. I found it very handy that the graph is provided as well as the diagrams as I used it to colour in my pattern. The diagrams are really easy to follow. To be honest I didn't really read the instructions, it was clear enough from the diagrams!

Its not quite finished. I was delayed a little while because I ran out of the firepolish then illness has wiped out my beading mojo somewhat. I haven't decided yet whether its going to be a bracelet or a choker. Its currently bracelet length. I also need to decide how I'm going to close it. Rebecca uses a button and loop for a clasp but I'm not sure I want to do this. I quite like the thought of making it look seamless but not sure how I'll achieve this. Pondering required! Here it is so far anyway.

Whilst waiting for more firepolish to arrive I decided to have go at some beaded crochet. I first found out about beaded crochet from this book and really wanted to have a go. I must emphasise that I was not able to learn it from this book. I tried several times and always ended up in a mess. I eventually learnt from a workshop over at Stitch'n'craft. Now I know though I thought it would be great to have a go at some of the projects in here. I was visiting my parents for New Year and as this involves a 3h40min train trip it seemed an ideal project to take with me. I strung up the beads whilst at my parents and crocheted the whole bracelet on the trip back. Its the Eye beads pattern by Martha Forsyth, Pat Iverson and Kathryn Black. I decided to use just 3 colours rather than 7.

I did make a stringing mistake, which I didn't discover until I was stitching it up. Its not majorly obvious though so I decided to leave it. Its a 72 bead repeat so I was bound to make a mistake somewhere, I'm surprised it was only 1.

I really like the spiral in Three bead spiral bracelet by Carol Wilcox Wells so this one needs to be added to my ever growing to do list. That and some beaded beads. I think this book was probably the first place I'd seen them. I've dabbled a little but don't think I've actually made any from this book yet.

I do like this book but I think I got more benefit out of it because I'd read her previous book. Whilst I was not an experienced beader when I first bought my copy I think I was more able to access it because I had some idea about what I was doing.

Pop along to the OTTBS blog to see what others thought of this book.

The current BB&B books we are working on are Japanese Beadwork by Sonoko Nozue and Beaded Fantasies by Sabine Lippert. I own both and haven't done anything from either so I hope to continue to join in with this project assuming my mojo returns. Hope you can join in too!


Sunday, 3 February 2013

January Crafting

Happy February lovely readers. I hope you are all well. I've been somewhat under the weather myself but nothing serious, just hanging about and leaving me with no energy which is somewhat annoying. Ah well, never mind.
I did a little crafting in Jan but not a huge amount due to aforementioned lurgy. Just not been in the mood for the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately I can't show you all I've done yet though. One is a present and another is for BB&B (hopefully revealed in a few days). I can show you a pendant I made for someone as sort of a commission after she saw a pendant I made some time ago on my facebook page.
Here it is. Its a resin pendant with dandelion seeds, approx 2 inches across. I made the mould for it as I didn't have anything big enough using "vinamold". Great stuff that can be melted down and reused.
I have also been doing the earring challenge again. Readers from last year may remember that I was attempting to make a pair of beaded earring a week for all of 2012 as part of an OTTBS challenge. I did not succeed! This year I am not going to limit myself to just beading, hopefully there will be some beading, resin and silver work as a minimum. Unfortunately I am ALREADY behind. Oooops! I'll catch up when my energy returns but here are the 3 pairs I have made so far.
Almost everything in the first pair, including the fab instructions for the beaded beads, came from Pam Gordon of Westcoast Gems and Beads. The instructions and most of the beads came from Westcoast's 'beads of the month' Feb 2013 kit.
The second pair are stud earrings made from resin and tiny watch parts.
The third pair are resin and dandelion seeds.
The first 2 pairs are not for sale, the third pair should eventually go in my folksy shop, should I ever get it up and running again! If you want them though, the easiest way to get hold of me is probably via my facebook page.
I think that's everything I can show you at the mo. Hopefully February will be a little more creative.