Welcome back to another fun-filled week of snark, beading, sarcasm, snark, – oh wait, I already said that one, didn’t I? This week I have been BUSY!!! My BFF/Sis is getting married next weekend to the 2nd greatest guy on the planet (the actual greatest guy is MY hubby! lol) and I am doing all of hers, her daughter’s, her Mom’s, and her sister’s jewelry for the wedding. On top of this, I still had my regular orders to complete, and several challenges to work on or complete by deadline. Like I said, BUSY!
I also have been cruising through Jill Wiseman’s book, “Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches (Beadweaving Master Class Series)“ and trying out a few of her projects, some of which are being done for the wedding. I am having an absolute blast working her projects! The first one I attempted was the “Bali Dreaming” bracelet, which is done in tubular peyote and RAW. I love how she incorporates both techniques, so that the beginner beadweaver can learn how to do both.
For my bracelet, I used 11/0 opaque black seed beads to do the tubular peyote rope and 3mm silvery bling-bling firepolish crystals to do the wrap-around in RAW. For the wrap-around, you just sew all the crystals for the specific number of RAW rows specified in the pattern. As per my usual though, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly as written, lol. In the magnetic closure/clasp, which is cleverly hidden inside the ends of the rope, instead of using the 4mm round magnetic clasp that Jill used, I used an extremely large ball magnetic clasp, so I had to adjust my peyote stitching to fit. I also did not use the specified number of crystal rows in the wrap-around, because I didn’t have enough of them, but I made it work! Even the newest to beading beadweaver can do this one, provided they have watched one of Jill’s technique videos available HERE.
Yesterday (and both days before that, lol), I worked on flat spirals with the help of my friend and fellow beader, Eva. I enjoyed that stitch so much I ended making two for myself, one to wear as an “everyday with jeans” sort of bracelet, and one to wear specifically with my branded “Becca’s Beaded Bangles” shirt. Love, love, love the flat spiral stitch! Thank you Jill Wiseman for introducing me to it!
For the far left blue bracelet I used 6mm firepolish in an ice blue matte finish, 8/0 dark blue iris hex beads, and 11/0 galvanized blue slate seed beads. For the pink and black, I used 6mm jet picasso firepolish, 11/0 galvanized rose seed beads, and 4mm mirrored hematite with this really funky cut to them. In both the middle and the far right bracelets I used 6mm firepolish in a denim AB finish, but with the middle bracelet I used 11/0 beads in blue-gold luster and aqua lined 8/0 hex beads, while in the far right one I used 8/0 denim seed beads and 3mm ice blue frost firepolish crystals.
As far as the wedding jewelry goes, well, you’re just gonna have to wait until next week for that one, cuz no way am I posting it here before the actual bride sees it!
This week I also posted my first submission to the Potomac Bead Company Design Challenge 2016 in their Facebook group, which can be found HERE. My first submission was a bracelet done in RAW, and seeing it, do you understand why I named it “Penny Pincher?”
In this bracelet I used copper DiscDuos, an exclusive new two-hole bead that can be found at Potomac Bead Company. I also used their exclusive Metallic Transparent Montana blue 3x4mm crystal rondelles, copper O-beads, matte green iris superduos, pinch beads in California gold rush, and 11/0 blue gold seed beads. I had a blast doing this bracelet, and setting up the pictures with the money was just as much fun! I’m currently working on my next submission to the challenge.
Last week I mentioned that this week I would be bringing you some beadwork from beaders around the globe. This week I bring you April Zobel, from across the pond in the United Kingdom! She is a multi-talented bead artist who does UH-MAZING things with bead embroidery! As I have mentioned in past blogs, I am a member of a group on Facebook called the Bead Journal Project, where every month to two months, we submit something as part of a theme for the year in beading or that touches us in a significant way for that month.
This month, April submitted a piece based on her family tree. She is using geneology as her theme for her BJP for this year. Introducing her Elizabethan 10 x great grandparents, John & Martha Knapp. she said she “was inspired to research them after seeing a photo of their memorial brass (taken by my distant cousin) which I want to see for myself before long. It is fascinating to have some idea of what they looked like. John Knapp died on 2nd May 1604. He was a merchant and portman of Ipswich in Suffolk. His wife, Martha, bore him 4 sons and 8 daughters. I’ve tried to interpret their clothes from the brass engraving (and from a drawing of it which was done I think in the 1800s). John was my March project and Martha was planned for April, but I wanted to post them together.”
April also says, “I’ve gone back a long way too, but sometimes it’s the closer stuff that it’s amazing to find. I’ve researched way back and it’s fascinating – like a history lesson – but I’m also doing in depth research on my paternal grandfather who was killed in World War I. I’ve found some very moving stuff. Over several years I’ve taken photos of things and places connected with my family history. The idea of creating an artistic family tree has been brewing for some time, but it would be quite an undertaking! I was looking for an idea for this year’s BJP and suddenly thought why not give it a go? I now review my research on a particular artifact each month and create a unique piece of beadwork. Ideally I want to work from my own photos of things I’ve seen, but that’s not always possible. I’m choosing at random – just what appeals at the time I’m ready to start the next one! I usually work on ultrasuede and use all kinds of beads from 15/0 upwards. I hate patterns so it’s all done by eye from the photos. I just love painting with beads. This project has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone as I usually tackle wildlife. As you know, beading takes a lot of time and I try not to look at the clock and feel guilty about what I should be doing!”
I find that kind of detail and time into something not only beautiful, but a learning experience in more ways than one! Thank you April! I have some more Bead Journal Projects I will be sharing with you, so stay tuned!
That about wraps it up for this week. As always, I appreciate your comments and dance a little sidestep whenever my phone chimes with one, so please do! Also, don’t forget to find that email subscription box so you can get my snark delivered FIRST in your email each and every single posting! You never know when I might throw a curve ball and post one that isn’t on social media and is just for you email subscribers! And just one teeny tiny more thing: I need all the help I can get to keep this page running. I have a Paypal donation box setup for you kind people who appreciate my rants and snark. Your money goes directly into my web fees and your payment information is safe and secure through Paypal. I do not see it, nor does my web provider. I thank you in advance.
Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!