Monday, April 25, 2011

Of Beads and Delicas

Dear people,

I'm afraid I've been so hooked on beading that I had no energy for my little pouches. I'll be honest. I've never had any interest in making jewellery until a few weeks ago. When anyone talked to me about beads or chains or crystals, my eyes would glaze over. One big reason for my turn-off is my skin sensitivity to certain metals. I'm guessing nickel. Plus I'm quite anti-rust.

Beading with thread and beading line is right up my alley. There is very little contact with metal and my skin likes beads.

Last week I went with Vivi on a beads shopping expedition. Shopping with Vivi is an eye-opener. She takes you to the best beads shops. If you've worked with beads before, you'll know that there are endless kinds of beads available. I really had a tough time deciding what to buy. In the end, I was quite prudent - investing in some delicas and some accent beads. Btw, delicas are very pricey!


The problem with beads is you always have to buy more than you need. Because they're so tiny, you can't count them. You buy them by the grams. I had leftover beads from my necklace and I decided to use them to make a spiral rope bracelet. As I have more grey delicas now, I used them for the spirals with the teal being the core beads. Core beads is really just a term to indicate the beads which create the structure for your project. This little bracelet took up fewer beads than I had expected so I have more leftover beads to deal with!


I finally completed my Quadruple Helix Necklace - um, make that bracelet. Making this bracelet was a torture. One reason I liked the spiral rope technique is that you just let gravity create the tension needed. All you need to do is hold the spirals in place. The Quadruple Helix technique is the complete opposite. You have to work againist gravity much like pulling the thread like a pulley till it reached the top and then you have to nudged the thread in between the beads.

I googled for a tute to make this bracelet but I came up with zero results. Anyway, you're better off not making this bracelet/necklace!



Like bags, one similar consideration for jewellery is closure. For the Quadruple Helix Bracelet, I used the bead and loop closure. Not exactly my preferred choice for closure but it's a technique which I need to learn.


As I do not have much beads supply, I decided to go thru' my drawers to see if I have anything I could use. I was delighted to discover that I have a small packet of these brilliant blue seed beads. I estimated I could use them for a simple bracelet. This bracelet is made simply by stringing the seed beads in threes and then criss-crossing the beading line in the 4th seed bead. For this bracelet, I decided to use Fireline beading line which is really strong because unlike the other bracelets and necklace I had made, there are very few reinforcement loops.


One very critical component of making bracelets is you need to be precise in your measurements. As I am making the bracelet for myself, I need not take care of lengthening.


I don't like my bracelet to be too loose so I had to work out the length of the closure really precisely. Isn't the toggle clasp darling?  See the little bronze delicas crawling all over the blue seed beads? These are anchored to the blue seed beads. The yellow tubes are cylindrical beads which I found in my stash. I'm not fond of them because they are not uniform in size. So you have to sift thru' them which is really awful seeing how small they are.

One thing I learnt from making this bracelet? Seed beads (the blue ones) have very small holes. This means you can't have your thread go thru' them too many times. Which is why I used Fireline as your needle won't piece the thread.

I'm told that the next step for me is to pick up peyote stitch which is a technique to "paint" a canvas with beads. I've been watching a few tutes on youtube and it doesn't look too hard. More later.

This week I'll be making my next Amy Butler sew-along project and I dunno, maybe another beaded project?? See ya.

7 comments:

ZiaMaria said...

very nice!

Bethany said...

I like those but I'd never have the moxie to attempt it. And that toggle clasp is adorable!!!

tamdoll said...

Wow. This is really amazing. You have quite the talent for this beading! Right away when I saw the bright blue bracelet I noticed the bronze delicas all over the place - it looks so nice how it twines all over. Fantastic! I can't see what you make with the leftovers from the first project, too. Earrings? A button? A brooch?
My hands are itching to stitch something now!

Little Blue Mouse said...

They're all really lovely.

*Tea said...

these are fabulous Jane! wow, i am really amazed! love the blue and white spiral one!

Relished Artistry said...

Oooo, Jane, it looks like you've found another calling!! How beautiful! Beading is indeed addictive, I know. It sounds like exploring this new avenue of creative expression could be right up your alley!! Awesome!! Good luck!!

fialka012 said...

❤ ✿ ❤

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