Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #28: Beaded Beads

Beaded Beads! My love and passion for beading is rooted in the amazement I have every time a pile of beads becomes a self supporting bead of its own! As you may know if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or this blog- is that I entered the Battle of the Beadsmith for the first time this year. I had planned to cover beaded beads as one of my posts well before I knew I was entering the battle and before I knew what I was going to make. My rookie battle piece is made out of a rainbow of beaded beads. Last year my entire year of blog posts was dedicated to beaded beads. I might have a beaded bead problem.... :)


Currently the voting for Round 1 of the battle is over. The winners of round one have been announced and Steven has paired up round 2. My battle piece did not make it past the first round, but I am still happy I got to participate. I love seeing all the creative ways people use beads! Click on over to the Facebook page Battle Of The Beadsmith: Official to see all the entries this year. There is eventually going to be a round 2 to vote on. :)

My Battle piece contains over 200 unique beaded beads, many of them similar to or derived from the beads from my blog posts from last year.

There are dodecahedron beaded beads like Beaded bead #1 from last year's project.
   
Some of the beads are made from SuperDuos like Beaded Bead #2 
  
There are a couple of Icosahedron beads like Beaded Bead #8
There are a variety of cube beads including those like in my post about Beaded bead #14

I am going to suggest if you want haven't made beaded beads, get on that and visit my blog posts from last year. I tried my best to find good affordable tutorials for the beaded beads and included them in my posts.  I also have two of my own beaded bead tutorials on Etsy. There are at least 5 beads in my battle piece that were based on my Duocube tutorial

One of the more common beads I made for my battle piece is a dodecahedron made from SuperDuos. Unlike the bead I made for beaded bead #2 last year, this one is made by only using one hole of the bead for the core. I took a few pictures to show what I did. If you are familiar with the construction of a dodecahedron this bead is going to be an easy one and you won't even need my pictures! If you aren't familiar- visit my dodecahedron beaded beads in my post Beaded bead #1 from last year's project.

Here's a quick and partial how to :)
Need: 30 Superduos and a small pile of size 11 seed beads.

Pick up 5 Superduos and create a circle. Tighten by passing through them again or tying a knot, whichever you prefer.
   

Pick up 4 beads and pass through the bottom hole of the starting bead creating a circle.
   

Continue through the next bead in line. Pick up 3 beads and continue through the last bead in the previous circle and through the starting bead and make a circle. 

Continue using the "bottom" holes of the Superduos to complete a dodecahedron. 

  

  



Reverse the thread path up through the "top" hole of the last Superduo exited. Add size 11 beads in between all of the "top" holes of the Superduos weaving around until all the spaces are filled. The core will be a little floppy at this point but will tighten up as the outside beads are added.


 

Voila- a beaded bead! Weave in any extra thread and done!



*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

September 21st: Flat Chenille

September 28th: Bead Embroidery

October 5th: Fringe

Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #27: Flat Spiral

Flat Spiral. I honestly dislike this stitch. I made a Flat Spiral bracelet I like using gumdrops and neon beads and still- no love for the stitch. It has floppy loops, it is difficult to keep the tension right and there are only so many times a bead can be passed through without breaking.




I know this is not like my traditional posts where I brag about the stitch, send readers to try it themselves and show how I do it. This is will most likely be the last Flat Spiral I do. I would rather spend my time brick stitching with 15's! I did go back and reinforce along the edge of my bracelet and connected the floppy loops.

If you really want to make your own Flat Spiral Google has the links to so many free tutorials!
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Battle Update! 

Voting for the first round is happening right now!!! The winners of round 1 group C have already been announced and the voting for the first round of groups A & B are ready! Voting for group B (my group) closes tomorrow. 

Visit the Facebook group: Battle Of The Beadsmith: Official to check out all the pieces and vote if you want to!

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

September 14th: Beaded Beads

September 21st: Flat Chenille

September 28th: Bead Embroidery

Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #26: Dutch Spiral

This week I went a little Dutch spiral crazy! It had been over a decade since I made my last one, and I didn't take pictures of everything I made back then.


My beady Facebook friend Nancy Dale started a group this year that has beading prompts (NEDbeads Monthly Beading Prompts) and the August prompt is Dutch Spiral. I didn't plan to have cover it at the same time, and I know it is the 31st, but better late than never! It also makes my blog a little easier :) As Nancy suggested in her group the blog Inspirational Beading has a great tutorial on how to start a Dutch Spiral rope. In her group there are prompts for all the months of this year, and a new one coming soon, click on over and check out it out. You can also find Nancy Dale on Etsy where her shop has over 20 beading tutorials!

I used the suggested tutorial to make my first Dutch Spiral, I used a Rizo beads in the place of the size 8s. It turned out looking alright, but wasn't the look I really wanted so I stopped and started a new rope.

For the second piece I used some old beads and a partial strand of faceted glass.. I had to stop when I ran out of beads (both glass and seed). I wish I had some more but I still like my little sample.

Did I mention that the seed beads were old? Here's the package...I think the Ben Franklin I bought these on clearance at closed in 2009. :( They aren't vintage, but they were old enough the plastic yellowed!

 I went a little overboard with the Dutch spiral -here is the last spiral I made this week. It isn't finished because I ran out of steam and didn't really think through how I was going to finish it. I will add it to the UFO pile and tackle it in the winter!



There are many other tutorials about Dutch spiral. A quick Google or a search on YouTube will lead the way. The best part of Dutch Spiral is the versatility, there are unlimited combos of beads and colors that make for interesting spirals. 

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

September 7th: Flat Spiral

September 14th: beaded beads

September 21st: Flat Chenille

Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, August 24, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #25: Pondo Stitch

Before I researched for this blog I didn't know anything about Pondo Stitch except that I had seen a project made with it in a magazine years ago (Beadwork- April 2007). I made these bracelets with my new found knowledge.  


In my research for this week I learned that Pondo, occasionally called "African Circle Stitch" has a rich history. Sue Mandel has a really great blog post with information on the traditional stitch. Sue and her friend Nick Kap worked really hard to discover the origins and history of the stitch. I highly suggest clicking over and reading her post about the origins Pondo. Nick Kap and Sue Mandel have included a pdf  in their blog about the traditional way to do Pondo.  Gwen Fisher also has a really good blog post about related bead stitches which has some great charts that cover many stitches including a great visual of the threadpath for traditional Pondo. 

There is more than one way to create the look of Pondo stitch without using the traditional threadpath.  There are many people teaching the varying ways while still calling all of them Pondo. The traditional way that Sue and Nick discovered is similar to brick stitch in that it uses the thread from an earlier row to add the next row. Pondo, like brick also requires good tension control to make the beads lay correctly. 

Honestly, I started my bracelets with the traditional way and didn't like the fact that no matter how much I adjusted my tension the "middle" beads didn't seem to have much reinforcement and flopped around. If this was the past and I was using traditional sinew or even a waxed thread with smaller beads I am sure that the traditional threadpath would be the best, easier, and quicker way. It is 2017 and I am using a single strand of Fireline.* 


found a video on YouTube by Bronzepony beaded jewelry that has instructions on one of the different ways to create the look of Pondo. This is the threadpath I used to make my bracelets although it is not traditional Pondo stitch. I want to make it clear that this is not Pondo stitch, it is a modified threadpath that produces the look of Pondo. Making it this way might be wrong* and nontraditional but the finished net feels more reinforced to me and I think looks better without floppy beads.

Knowing the history of bead stitches and the traditions of beadwork is important even if we adapt the way it is done for our modern materials. If we don't remember the past and give credit to those that beaded before us we negate the fact that beading is an art form with a rich and diverse history that should be celebrated. 

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

August 31st: Dutch Spiral

September 7th: Flat Spiral

September 14th: beaded beads

Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #24: PRAW

PRAW or Prismatic Right Angle Weave is constructed in the in the same way as CRAW because CRAW is PRAW! To be specific CRAW is PRAW4. The number represents how many sides the "prism" has. Because CRAW has four sides, it is cubic, so it gets its own special acronym... PRAW can have any number of sides.

For an example I made a three sided rope which is PRAW3. Here is the Bangle I made with my rope. I used 8's on the inside two rows (the pink beads) and black 6's across the top to give it a triangular shape. 


  
To make things even more confusing, I jokingly refer to PRAW3 as TRAW- "Triangular Right Angle Weave". I also say it in this loud Velociraptor kind of screeching. TRAW! TRAW! (think Jurassic Park)

Another example of PRAW is beaded bead #24 from last year  as it is made from PRAW5. 

I also made a six sided (PRAW6) as an example. It was quite floppy so I added support beads around it in a manner similar to bead #24
This technique can be done in any amount of rounds but for beading purposes I don't really know why you would do more than six around since it gets floppy.

I took pictures of my PRAW3 under
construction:

Pick up three beads and connect them into a circle (triangle)
   


Pick up three beads and loop around a foundation bead like you would if you were making a unit of CRAW.


Move to the next bead on the foundation row like you would if you were making a unit of CRAW

 Pick up two beads and go through the side bead from the first set of beads and the foundation bead that you started at in the previous step. This is the same as the second step in a CRAW unit.

Pass through the next bead on the foundation row and...

then pass through the "outside" bead of the first set of beads added.

Pick up one bead and pass through the bead opposite, like in last step of a unit of CRAW.

Repeat the thread path and pass through all the beads exiting the last bead added. Tighten up. this is one unit of PRAW, ready for the next unit to be built on top.

This is a top view. The three beads are the top beads of the three sides. If this were CRAW it would have four beads at the top.

 Repeat all the steps using the top beads as the foundation row for the next unit.

This is what it looks like after four rows.


Every row of PRAW3 will have three beads at the top instead of four like CRAW.

If you google Prismatic Right Angle Weave- or look for it on Pinterest, you will find more, I am not going to link to anywhere else since I made my own demo!
_________________________

It is official! My battle album has been posted so I get to share!
Here it is! "Rainbow Coral" because it is a rainbow, and it has the texture of coral. :)

 Currently all of Group C and most of Group B's albums have been posted (Steven is working backwards, not sure why, but who am I to question- since the album with my battle in it has been posted ;)! Voting for group C is also up and ready. Go to the Battle of the Beadsmith: Official Facebook Page and check it out for yourself.  
Anyone can vote if interested and the Battle page is Public!

Next week I will talk about Pondo Stitch- Honestly I have never tried it before and know nothing about it so wish me luck!

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

August 24th: Pondo Stitch 

August 31st: Dutch Spiral

September 7th: Flat Spiral


Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, August 10, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #23: CRAW Continued

Life is finally back to "normal!" I feel like I lost the month of June with my battle beading and then lost July catching up on all the things I didn't do in June. This week I am going to continue blogging about CRAW. Besides making ropes, which is all I really blogged about last time, the best thing about CRAW is the ability to create shapes with it! For example: LOVE!


Early this year Marcia DeCoster started a blog called Bead Love and shared her design of these cute CRAW letters that spell LOVE. Now that we are eight months into the year there is so much more CRAW on her Bead Love blog as well as designs from her and many other bead artists. Click on over and check it out!

I turned my LOVE into magnets for the freezer.

Bead honesty- to make these letters magnets, I took a 2015 magnet calendar that our car insurance sent us and cut it up to fit the back. I glued the pieces with a common "tacky" glue and they have been hanging out ever since!

Next week I will talk about CRAW's cousin PRAW (prismatic Right Angle Weave)

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

August 17th: PRAW

August 24th: Pondo Stitch

August 31st: Dutch Spiral


Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Monday, July 31, 2017

Battle Update and other stuff!

     I figured today is a good day to post an update since we are in the middle of International Beading Week! It is the first week of August every year and there is a Facebook Group dedicated to it with all the information you could want about it. This year it is from July 29th thru August 6th. Click on over and check out the group to see all the events and patterns that beaders around the world are doing for this week. Personally I plan to finish some pieces that I have started, start new things I have planned, and make gifts for friends & family!

     My big news is that my battle piece is done, and my photos have been sent to Steven! I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to participate in the Battle this year. I don't want to reveal any pictures until Steven posts my battle, but I want him to hurry because I am excited to see all of the entries this year. I am in Group B, battle #28 vs Graลผyna Antoล„ for those that are or want to be battle watchers
     Hopefully the posting of battles will happen quickly because I think what I made is awesome and want everyone to see it! ๐ŸŒˆ What rainbow? That rainbow? Nothing to see here, totally not a hint of things to come.... ๐Ÿ˜‰

There have been some great looking sneak peeks in the Battle of the Beadsmith group on Facebook. I shared a couple in the group and a couple on my Instagram @bethclarkart. This one is of Thunder "helping" me take pictures. 


Other than cat photography I did learn some things during my rookie battle. I learned that working on only one piece was challenging for me personally. I usually have more than one board with different projects or trials going on. I usually have pieces that I play with and things that need to be finished out and ready depending on what I feel like working on. My battle piece was planned out (mostly) and was the only bead project I did from June 2nd until I was done beading it!

I also learned that Tulip brand beading needles are by far superior to any other needle that I have beaded with in the past. I am not endorsed by Tulip, nor am I paid by any company*, I just need to say loudly that these needles are great. I started my battle piece with two different needles and BOTH of them are still working.
They do have a little more character than when they were fresh, but they are survivors and will bead again another day!

There are a couple other things I learned that I want to share but will wait until after the reveal since they are specific to the beads I used and might not make sense until you see my design....

Thursday the 10th I will start back to my weekly blog posts! I am going to get prepared for some more CRAW! Happy August!

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

August 10th: CRAW continued...

August 17th: PRAW

August 24th: Pondo Stitch

August 31st: Dutch Spiral


Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth

Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017 Thursday Bead Post #22: CRAW!

Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW) used to be a stitch that I avoided, but after years of beading I have come to love it. It is actually one of my go-to stitches if I can't decide what to do and just want to bead! I did make an adorable rainbow striped section of CRAW that I was going to photograph as an example for this blog... I put the strip safely on the table next to me... Early Wednesday morning my cat tried to drink my sweet tea with his feet and knocked it all over the table. My beadwork was one of many victims to drown in sweet tea :( It seemed less important to save the little strip than to save the table, the floor, my husbands computer mouse, and the tv remote! It was not a wonderful way to start my day: a sticky tea covered table and cat!

Luckily I love CRAW so I had some pictures to make up for the tea meets cat incident. For this blog I added some of my favorite pieces made with CRAW. FYI- the ones that aren't in my personal collection are for sale in my Etsy Shop ;)

 


 



There have to be a million different tutorials on CRAW. I had no idea until I Googled:  As usual I have narrowed it down to two that are similar to the way that I do it *(see disclaimer). While out there on the web I saw several "ways to do CRAW" that I didn't know existed and wouldn't suggest! Here are the pair that I suggest:

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When I planned for a year of blogging I didn't expect to enter or to be chosen to participate in The Battle of the Beadsmith but I did both! (if you have never heard of the battle- check it out directly from the BeadSmith at Helby.com or in the Facebook Group: "Battle Of The Beadsmith: Official". I have never participated before and want to devote as much time as possible (and I think I am going to need it) to making an awesomely amazing battle piece. I will be suspending my planned weekly blog posts until Thursday August 10th! I may blog here or there, but it won't be weekly or planned- most likely about how I am crazy for attempting this :) 

If you decide to follow this years battle, I am in battle group B, battle #28 vsGraลผyna Antoล„ from Poland. I am honored to have such an amazing battle partner! Her entry last year was gorgeous! It made it to round 7 of the battle and was amazing! If you visit the Facebook group and search for her name you will see that I have my work cut out for me!

*Disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with, paid by, or endorsed by anyone. By posting about beading and/or beading products I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I suggesting the way that I do anything or the products I use are the best/correct/only way. All opinions expressed here are mine, and aren't meant to be taken as anything more than an opinion or suggestion from some stranger on the internet ๐Ÿ˜€

Coming weeks: 

June 8th - August 3rd: Weekly blog hiatus for BOTB '17! 

I will be back to weekly blogging on August 10th with more CRAW!


Thanks for reading & Happy Beading -Beth