Each month, we choose projects from beading magazines such as Beadwork or Bead and Button, or a project from a designer website. Everyone creates from the same project group, and we compare notes/problems/solutions as we work.
Please feel free to join in on the fun!
Here are the projects I completed this go-round:
1. Button-up Bracelet by Leslie Frazier from Beadwork Dec 2012.
This is considered to be an intermediate project, and is done for the most part in RAW.
I chose this one because I love bracelets (pretty near instant gratification!), it looked pretty, and I was interested to work with the peanut beads.
The bracelet was, for the most part, very easy to complete. I would say it's more of an advanced beginner than an intermediate project. I had very little difficulty following the pattern and didn't really find any errors in it (this is unusual!).
The experience with the peanut beads....hmmm...
The metallized beads I used for the bracelet base (see below) were fine to work with, and produced a bracelet that has substance and heft and a great feel on the wrist. The matte finish mauve beads were a whole other story. They did not play well with one another; the finish seemed to prevent the beads from sitting properly without being forced into place with each stitch. Frustrating to say the least. I also ended up having to order more of the matte beads, because the cull of unusable beads was MUCH higher than the norm, and much higher than the cull from the shiny beads.
Tip: if you love one of the matte finishes in these beads, be prepared to spend extra time with them, and order 10 grams more than the pattern asks for.
I have noticed that there are at least two different manufacturers of these beads; mine were ordered from Fusion Beads, and of course I have no idea who is the manufacturer as that information is not provided.
The "flower" on this bracelet is interesting; in the magazine picture, it looks like a flower. My finished product bears only a slight resemblance to a flower, and I followed the instructions exactly. I think the magazine pic is just a particularly poor one.
Tip: If I do this a second time, and I probably will, I will use one of two options:
-use the flower from the pattern in Beadwork, but UNembellished (stop at the end of Step 3); this will give you a flat circular peyote piece which spirals in the two colours. I loved the look of it with the angular bracelet.
-use an alternate flower, probably from HERE, which contains some particularly pretty ones. I'm sure there are tons you could find on Pinterest as well.
Speaking of the flower...the only problem I had with the instructions was in getting the flower attached to the bracelet band. How you're supposed to do RAW with good tension, in a space between two items you're drawing firmly together with it, was beyond me. Could be just me. I did my own thing, and it worked fine.
I do LOVE the closure on this one. It works great and is neatly hidden by the "flower". I will certainly use that again.
So, here's Lori's version of "Button-up Bracelet":
2. Royal Chains Lariat by Kelly Wiese from Beadwork Oct 2009
This project was time consuming but fun, fun, fun. I loved the opportunity to try out several different new (to me) stitches, and doing the stitching was very Zen. It's not a quick project, as the lariat ropes are looooooooong. I plan to do another one, in my favourite at the moment colours of silver and purple. Next time, I will likely replace the size 11 beads in the embellishment ridge with 2 mm crystals for a little extra sparkle.
Tip: My thread of choice is normally Fireline, but do NOT use it for this project. It will create a rope that is far too stiff and doesn't flow nicely. I used Nymo D. Be SURE you wax it....WAX not Thread Heaven...especially for the Chevron Chain, or you will have problems with your tension.
I devised a hold on the chain as I was working on it that finally worked for me to control the tension; I held the last stitch between the thumb and forefinger of my non-dominant hand, and used the fingernail of my dominant hand to work the stitch firmly together once the beads were in place. Waxed thread will more firmly control it once stitched.
The chains, once joined, create a rope that is about 3/4" wide, with an embellished ridge of pearls and seed beads, and varied fringe tails. I think you could easily double or treble the "base" chains to create a very pretty, delicate bracelet as well. I'll add that one to my list of projects I'm going to try out. *g* I'd probably add some fringe tails to the closure as well.
Here is Lori's version of Royal Chains Lariat:
Detail of the closure:
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