Book Review…Books I own

Because I live where I do I don’t have access to art classes so I have to learn techniques from books.. I have a nice collection of beading books and I thought it would be fun to do my own little review for people who are interested.

I love flowers and if you do too Diane Fitzgerald’s The Beaded Garden is a good book to get . 

This book has taught me new ways to use basic and advanced stitches such as peyote and herringbone and reinforced skills like following patterns,increasing and decreasing and so on.

It is a good book for beginners and more advanced beaders as well.  The instructions are clear and well presented.  I have made versions of several of the flowers and each one has come out well.

Here is the prototype pansy cuff bracelet I made today…I need to tighten the stitching on top right hand  petal where you see the gaps and tweek a few other spots and it will be finished.

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Learning new things is fun…

I get easily bored so I am always looking for a new skill to add to my crafting techniques.  The newest new technique is Wire Filigree…

Wire filigree is an airy wire wrap pattern.  I will say it is not a beginner’s skill; as with everything I learned this the hard way.  This is not for wimps[lol].

After hours of practice and many feet of wire I have learned a few things.

1. I will need a lot more practice before I make anything worth keeping.

2. I really need to find a tutorial rather then just trying to figure it out as I go[ duh]

3. need to work on making neater wraps.

4. it’s fun and I’m gonna keep on practicing…

Here is a couple of practice pieces that suck less then the others.100_9155

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I taught myself something new

When I feel uninspired or unfocused I find the best cure is to teach myself something new to spark my creative energy.

I have been wondering what new thing I wanted to learn and I thought why not take an old skill and use it in a new way.  Ages ago I used to do basket weaving like a lot of other people in the 70’s [yes I’m old} and remembered I really enjoyed it but quit because I was a young single Mom and to broke and tired to keep up with it.  So yesterday I was wondering how it would look if I took a basic weave pattern and used wire instead of  reeds.  And after working out in my head some of the ways to go about it I gave it a try.  Guess what it worked and my first try doesn’t look 1/2 bad.  The weave needs to be tighter and more even but with a better vice and a little practice that should be easy  to do.

The pattern is pretty and it’s a very sturdy bracelet I wore it last night and so did my 3yr old granddaughter and it held it’s shape really well.  And the most important thing is that it was fun and something new to help my creativity.

If you want to see a closer image of the bracelet so you can see how pretty the pattern is just click on the photo to enlarge.

 

I would really like to know what you do when you are in a creative slump.

DIY How I made a bead embroidered cuff bracelet part 3

I am very happy I finished beading the cuff bracelet this morning.  Now I will show you the final steps.

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Now that I have finished all the top beading it is time to start trimming away the back ground material.  It is important for this design to cut as close to the beads as I can without cutting any threads on the back.  I always get nervous at this point because once I start cutting there is no going back if I don’t like it.100_7007I stop several time while cutting to wrap it around the brass form to make sure I like the shape it is taking.

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All trimmed now and I like how it is fitting around the form.

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next glue bracelet to cuff form and then glue a backing to cover metal and stitching to create a clean back of bracelet.  I use little clips to secure it till the glue dries.  When everything is dry I them trim the backing flush with the front.  I am almost done.  The only thing left to do is edge the whole piece with a nice edging stitch and some beads to hide the rough edge  It is important to use very small stitches so they show very little.

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and Tada you have a cuff bracelet!  I hope you enjoyed reading this 3 part DIY on making a Bead embroidered cuff bracelet.  Now it’s time for me to start figuring out what my next project will be.

DIY Bead embroidered cuff bracelet part 2

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Here you can see the progress I have made on the bracelet.

1. I stitched down my Mom’s vintage bugle beads and topped the with some of the purple beads used in some of the bezels.

2. I bezeled one of the tanzanite crystals and have glued down the other.

Next I’ll bezel the other crystal and then pick some beads to fill in the rest of the design.   I am considering letting some of the plum backing become part of the design; it is such a pretty color and the backing has a nice texture.

I also need to think about the finished shape of the bracelet; do I want it to have straight sides or maybe wavy sides? I have never made a wavy finished one but I am kind of leaning that way I think it would compliment the oval and round shapes that are emerging in the beading.  I’ll know for sure as the beading gets further along.

Now it’s time to go back to beading so I can share more next post. TTFN.

Learning new things is fun

I have always found that the best way out of a creative slump is to teach myself something new. 

As of late I have been dealing with some health issues and that has put a strain on my energy and creativity.   I don’t have much control over the health stuff it is in my Dr’s hands but I do have control over my creative mind.  I have decided to pull up my big girl panties and take control of what I can and get on with it……..

My friend Moe can tell you I am not much of a wire worker.  For some reason I find it a little intimidating so I force myself to incorporate wire wrapping into some of my projects.  My skills are very basic but every time I master a new wire skill I feel happy and it sparks my creativity.

Yesterday I was determined to make a basic wire wrapped ring; and guess what it wasn’t as hard as it looked….

Here is my first one………..

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not bad for a first try and it is surprisingly comfortable and fits perfectly.  So I tried another……

100_6944100_6945100_6942 There it is on my hobbit hand; the wrap is much neater and it fits great too.  Now that I have the basics down it is tine to start adding some creative flair to the basics.

I do a 10 day craft show every fall and I think it would be great fun for the people to pick their own bead and watch while I make their ring for them on the spot.  I have until October to perfect my skill set for it and come up with some pretty designs.  I have ordered some more wire and will get to practicing when it arrives.

I felt much better after playing around with the wire and felt a little of my spark come back……….yeeehaaaa!