Wednesday, July 27, 2011

St. Petersburg Openwork Leaf Tutorial

You can see a couple of them in the photo of my Spring Garden bracelet in my ArtFire studio and in an earlier post here.

Size 11 round seed beads – less than 200 – Main color
Size 15 round seed beads – less than 100 – Contrasting color
Note: I prefer the look of round beads for these leaves, but you can use whatever you like. Substituting, hexes or charlottes will give your leaf a little bling and matte beads will result in a more natural look.
Size 12 beading needles (2)
Beading thread – You’ll need about a yard (36”) for each leaf.
I use Fireline crystal for light colored beads and Fireline smoke for darker beads. (If in doubt, go with the smoke.)
Thread burner (optional)

PT – Pass through (in the same direction you were going)
PBT – Pass back through in the opposite direction
PUT – Pass up through
PDT – Pass down through
M – Main color, size 11 round seed bead
C – Contrasting color, size 15 round seed bead

Let’s Get started!
1. Begin by threading a needle at each end of your thread.
2. String 6 Ms and 1C and move them to the center of your thread.
3. Using the right hand needle, skip the C and PBT the 6 Ms. The first pass is in red, the second in blue.
4. Skip the C and the first 2 Ms and PUT the next 2 Ms again (green). The last 2 Ms will sit beside the beads you just PUT as if to ladder or square stitch them. From here on you will need to be sure your stitching is snug, with no obvious thread showing between beads.

5. Pick up 1 C and (purple) PDT the 3 Ms on the column directly below where you just came up. You will come out between the first and second M strung (first inside picot made).
6. Pick up 1 C and PUT the 2 Ms beside where you just came down. You will come out at the top right corner of your work (first outside picot made).
7. String 4 Ms. PUT the first 2 strung (yellow). New beads 3 and 4 should sit beside beads 1 and 2 as if to ladder or square stitch them as in step 4. Remember to keep the square formed by the 4 new beads snugged down against the outside row of the square below.
8. Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 until you have 7 outside picots, not counting the C at the very beginning.

9. String 8 Ms on one needle (aqua), PDT the C picot and the 2 outside Ms on the opposite side. PUT the 2 inside Ms (purple), the C picot and the the next 4 Ms to end at the center.
10. Pass the other needle BT the 8 Ms just added (aqua), the C picot and the 2 outside Ms on the opposite side. PUT the 2 inside Ms (purple), the C picot and the next 4 Ms to end at the center.
11. Use one needle to string about 16 C for the center vein; PDT the center column of beads where you first started stitching. Starting with the first M (orange), PBT the center column and the last 2C just strung.

Note: You may need to adjust the number of beads in the center vein to create a straight vein down the center of the leaf. Use however many seem to fit.
You may also need to adjust the number of beads going from the center vein to the inside picots as you work back up to the top, or if your stitching is slightly tighter or looser.

12. String 2C, PUT the first inner picot bead on the opposite side, back through the 2C just strung and the next bead of the center vein.
13. Repeat step 12 until you have joined all the inside picots.
14. Pass your needle up and over the thread holding the 8 beads across the top. PDT the center vein, through the C at the top of the center column (down at the bottom where you started) then back up through the center vein.
15. Tie the two thread ends together in a surgeon’s knot and trim.

HEY, you have a leaf! Congratulations!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Challenging Events

An Ohio Beaders Challenge is not a contest or a swap. Rather, it is a call to members to engage in a jewelry making related undertaking that is a personal test of one's abilities or resources and is demanding but stimulating to those engaged in it. The purpose is to stretch your creative limits and encourage you to make something you may not make otherwise. Challenge photos from our most recent challenge will be posted soon in the Ohio Beaders Showcase. Photos from past challenges are already there.

The challenge, "What Was Old is New Again", ran from May 15 to July 15, 2011, and our pieces had to be made during that period with photos and descriptions of the completed pieces turned in by July 15th – no “dog ate my homework” stories accepted. ;-D For this challenge we could make jewelry, accessories or home d├ęcor but the focus of each piece had to be something at least 20 years old, although the supporting beads or wire could be new.

When my mother passed away, I found a 3¼” long, vintage "Evening In Paris" perfume bottle from the 1950s among her toiletries and immediately knew it had to be the focal element of a piece of cobalt and silver jewelry. Then when this challenge came up I knew just what I wanted to make.

The cobalt colored Swarovski crystals and silver lined cobalt glass seed beads are perfectly set off by the silvery palladium plated glass seed beads and the hand crafted Bali Silver clasp. There is actually some perfume left in the bottle, so I taxed my engineering skills to devise a method of attaching it in such a way that you can still remove the lid if you want to.

Right now the theme for our next challenge is being chosen, so stay tuned for more challenging events...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Festival News

Today I went to the Youngstown Festival of the Arts where my friend Frances (Bebop Beads) had a booth and won the Best Fine Craft award. Nice going, Bebop! The festival was interesting - there were exhibits and performances from different ethnic groups, good music, good food, fine arts and crafts and quite a few jewelry vendors. You can see some pics from the festival here or here although there aren't any pics of jewelry booths.

I wore my bronze beadwoven bracelet and earrings
and got quite a few compliments on them. I wore my new butterfly necklace too (last post) and got even more compliments on it. I like the combination of wirework and beadweaving so I guess that's the direction I'll be taking with most of my new work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Evidently people are liking my work because it's been included in 2 more collections. I love butterflies and both of my butterfly necklaces have shown up in recent ArtFire collections - first the beadwoven one last week and my newest one today. Here's a pic of the new one...
and here's the other one...