The beading log I'd hoped to keep didn't work out. Needless to say the last couple of beading posts were a result of my frustration with a certain brand of beads and their inexact sizings. And I'm nothing if not exacting. Noting the other information, like what size needles, thread, and beads go together is helpful, but more something that can be summed up at the end of a project. Like now :)

First up we have the aforementioned Square Stitch[1] bracelet. I didn't like the design in the book[0] so I changed it a little. Inspired by my favourite terminal colours I went for green-on-black, with just two kinds of beads; the green metal-lined rounded cubes, and the plain glossy black seed beads. And because I spend a lot of time typing I've found bracelets can often get in the way or hurt, I want all mine to be as thin as possible. So instead of large round beads I've used flat diamond beads.

The seed beads are size 11, and two fit side-by-side to each of the cubes. Black Nymo thread, size D (0.012" diameter), with size 10 beading needle. You make each panel individually, and then string them together. You start in the middle (with the green beads) then add five rows, then start decreasing by two at each end. Repeat for other side. Make three, and two half panels. String together with the diamond beads, measure for fit, adding extra rows to the two half-panels as needed. Attach 5-bar clasp. (This is all the instruction given in the book. I attempted to Square Stitch it in, but don't think it worked too well. Will have to look up how to do it properly.)

Pictures )

Second we have a simple little bracelet that uses both Ladder Stitch[2] and Brick Stitch[3], and isn't actually in the book. Black Nymo thread, size D (0.012" diameter), with size 10 beading needle (two needles are needed for doing the clasp). The bugle beads (~6mm) in gunmetal gray are done first in Ladder Stitch to the desired length. Then the black glossy size 11 seed beads are added as a trim. I started at the bobble-clasp end, worked down one end in Brick Stitch, added the loop-clasp end, then worked back up the other end in Brick Stitch.

I like this bracelet, the metallic bugles catch the light and seem to have a thick black outline as if drawn, kinda unusual. Yet it's very light and thin, and was made without any findings.

References )
Carrying on from a previous post, I continue my adventures in beading. Most recently I have discovered that choosing the right beads is very important. For example, I read the instructions, I went and got seed beads. It says size 11 is standard, and this box doesn't list a size, so must be 11, right? No. I picked up a box of Craft Factory seed beads. They are very, very irregular. I had to pick up and drop beads to try and make them fit into the square-stitch piece I'm doing. Then I ran out, so went to get more. The only ones I could find this time are pictured right (no name). But just look at the difference! These ones are very regular, lead to a more even, smoother piece, and are just so much easier to use! So, learn from me. If you need consistently regular shaped beads, spend the time to find them, it's definitely worth it!

The difference is clear! )
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To distract myself from the frustrations of trying to learn beading stitches I found a nice straight-forward project, made simply with basic stringing. Project is the Skull Lariat from The AntiCraft.

I couldn't find any skull beads, so I got Russian Doll beads, that are a bit bigger than the ones in the project. Which had holes too big for the head pins so I had to buffer them with other beads. And I only used six instead of eight. And the large beads I used are smaller than in the project. And mostly, I made the plain seed-bead stretch too short, so my lariat is a choker, or I can wear the strands regular like tied around each other and then it reaches to my waist.

But yeah, if you're making this, don't get impatient like me and make sure the back piece is as long as you want it. Also, doubling up the thread probably would have been a good idea. But otherwise, fun, and quick! I can see myself making a few different variations of this.

My shorter than expected lariat )
I don't know how it happened, but I've never learned to bead. I have played with metal and wire-wrap jewellery, just never beading. Not even bead-looms, which are apparently things children learn to use the world over. So, I'm endeavouring to correct that oversight. I picked up The Beader's Bible in a local shop (at nearly three times the cost that Amazon has it, eek), and am using it to pick up the basics. It's a beautiful book, lots of helpful tips and instructions. But, there are very few projects, it's more of a reference book to use when other projects don't explain what a specific stitch is, or how to do it. I'm making up projects, making simple chokers and bracelets as a way to practice the various stitches. But progress is slow. Which tends to be the case when learning something new. So I'm going to keep a log of things I try.

Log )
I actually thought I was getting something else when I ordered this from MakerShed. Don't ask me how, but what I saw in that photo was three large round beads, with surface mount LEDs inside, covered with, and strung together with a kind of crotchet. What it actually is is a cuff of satin and netting, with regular, small, LEDs under three pieces of (flat) beading work. Not to my own personal taste, but weirdly it is growing on me.

Details and pics )

Overall this kit took me 9-10 hours (a third of which I spent on the beading alone), which is quite good value in my opinion. And overall it's a good idea; the light from the LEDs is diffused and refracted through the translucent seed beads. Also, I like the idea that an item can look good in both day and night, without having to sacrifice one. A good exercise.
Was reading a webcomic one day, and saw an ad for geeky jewelery, I followed the link and wound up on Esty. So I've finally signed up. And today as I was browsing I was struck by the 'I can do this' bug. A couple of hours later I've made my first ever anklet, and a bracelet, while the glue was drying.

Ta-da! )
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