Saturday, December 26, 2009

bling!


Usually I don't like beadwork that is too over-the-top. I admire the artisanship that goes into making elaborate neckpieces (if it gets big and artistic-looking enough, it's a "neckpiece," not a "necklace"), but I wouldn't want to wear them.

The Ice Blossoms bracelet (sorry, subscriber-only) is about as rococo as I would ever want to get with jewelry I would actually wear. Even though I decided to use cheap acrylic crystals instead of the Swarovski ones called for in the pattern, the thing is still plenty heavy and drapes nicely on the wrist. The original pattern calls for seed bead fringes around the centre stone in each main motif, but I thought it was ornate enough without them.

I've been making so much stuff in my usual blacks, reds, and purples lately that I decided to branch out a little and make the bracelet multi-coloured in lighter colours. I like the results, but would also love to see it done in more Gothic colours: all jet black, or dark red crystals with amber seed beads. It would probably look good in the cobalt blue that's currently popular too, or the earth tones that are popular in the beading world right now.

The thing I like the best about wearing the bracelet is that the big main motifs are flexible, so they curve to fit your wrist. This is a lot more comfortable than a similar bracelet would be made of same-sized pieces of metal.

Most of the beading is a variation on right-angle weave. You backstitch your way through making different loops, and then frame them in more beads to stabilise the loops and keep them all on the same horizontal plane. The blue beads closer to the clasp were not in the original pattern; I added them to make the bracelet a bit bigger (normal-sized bracelets fit my wrist exactly with absolutely no ease).

I found these ornate toggle clasps for $2.50 for ten clasps. They go great with the ornate style of the bracelet.


More beading stuff

I finally found a way to get seed beads back into their bottles without losing half of them into the carpet. Teaspoons are too big for the job, but if you can find a little souvenir spoon, they work great! They're small enough to fit into the standard medicine-bottle style of seed bead containers, but big enough to scoop up a decent amount of seed beads at once:
Finally, a reason to collect those spoons.

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