Sunday, February 26, 2012

Making Progress, or Not

I have a list of notes for blog post ideas, one of which is the value of scissors.  If you have been following along, you know that I tried various designs before I settled on the red coral clover chain that I showed last week.  This week I started on the turquoise chain.  This did not require nearly so much testing, and what testing I did I did not photograph.  However, I was not paying attention and ended up with errors:
The error of my ways
I misconnected (yes, I know that is not a word) one connector and skipped another.  I have an excuse, I have a cold and my brain isn't functioning.  So, instead of scissors I tore out the last three links. 

I ended up with this:
Turquoise chain
I am happy with this, mostly.  It is not as elegant as my inspiration from the Elizabeth I Cuff Bracelet by the Peregrine Beader.  I am okay with that, because this is not an elegant necklace. 

This turquoise chain will be paired with the red coral clover chain I showed off last week:
Red coral clover chain and turquoise chain side by side
In turn, these will be paired with my inspiration, a slab of turquoise:
Turquoise and two chains
The design is beginning to take shape:
Turquoise Slab Necklace layout
This week we will have a February 29th enjoy your leap day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clover Chain

It takes about 8 to 10 minutes to make each clover.  I have 13 clovers. 

Clover Chain

I am happy with the way this turned out.  The thread is only visible under a magnifier.

Clover Chain up close

 It lies nicely. 

(Thank goodness for grammar check.  My Mom has tried to teach me the rule for lay, lie, laid but it just does not stick.)

It did take quite a few hours to string the chain together.  In order to minimize the thread and have the bead butt up against the coral bead I needed to employ a two needle technique.  One needle just did not work.

Most of the Coral and Clover chain
Next I need to work on chain two for the turquoise slab necklace. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Need Motivation?

Then you should read this post by Sara Rosso titled: Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success: A Manifesto.  It is a long post, with no pretty pictures of jewelry or beads, however, it is a great motivational post.  It is about trying, it is about failure if you don't try and sometimes if you do.  It is probably what you need to hear often.  It is about taking a risk.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More Sample Pieces

Have I ever mentioned that I am a slow beader?

Have I ever mentioned that I only bead on Sundays?

During the week between working and commuting I have about 1 spare hour at the end of the day which I spend reading instead of making jewelry.

On Saturdays I shop.  I begin with a run to the West Side Market (think spectacular inside farmer's market) the grocery store (they do not sell chips or Lean Cuisine at the West Side Market) Target, where paper products are cheap, Einstein Bagels- for my daily breakfast fix.  I do laundry.  I clean.  I cook dinner for the rest of the week.  I clean again.  Sometimes I can even squeeze in a short nap in the afternoon.

Sundays I read, bead, and write a blog post.  Thus, my progress is slow, but it continues.

Today I stitched test pieces for one of the chains for my turquoise slab necklace. 

My first test piece used silver beads to join the woven piece.

Chain joined with silver Delicas
My second test piece used this great shaped and carved coral bead.

Test chain, made with size 10 and 11 Delicas and a size 8 Czech seed beads, with carved coral bead.

Here they are side by side.
Test chains for slab necklace side by side.

I am going to go with the coral bead between the woven pieces.

This test piece is the right lay-out but is not what I want in my finished necklace.  I was not successful at was making this one long chain.  I tried a several methods of weaving the pieces together with a single thread and did not like the results.  There is too much thread showing on the silver beads butting against the coral bead and they do not lie correctly.  I am going to have to weave each individual clover piece and then join the pieces together.  I am hoping the top and bottom beads are stabilized by being a part of an individual piece with a knot in each.  I am not happy that the finished piece is going to have that many knots- or to my mind that many points of potential failure. 

Yesterday was not spent shopping, cleaning, and cooking.  Yesterday I went to the Intergalactic Bead Show and picked up some new 8 mm turquoise rounds for the necklace.

8 mm turquoise rounds and slab turquoise

The turquoise slabs are somewhere in between blue and green turquoise.  I think the beads I picked up yesterday are a good color match.

One more picture of the turquoise rounds; it is a bit off center but for some reason I liked this picture.  I think it is because I really like the detail on the piece of slab turquoise.

Slab turquoise again and 8 mm round turquoise beads

Hmm... I wonder how many of those little clovers I am going to need for this necklace?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Had This Vision

I am absolutely sure you have run into the issue where your vision of what the finished piece should be doesn’t quite work with what you have.  I run into this issue regularly with regard with three pieces of design:
1) color, I never have quite the match that I want,
2) size, the beads I have are never quite the exact size I need, and
3) structure, my engineering never quite matches what I envisioned. 

For my turquoise slab project I envisioned a traditional southwest color scheme: turquoise, silver, and coral. 

The turquoise rounds I own are mostly a bit too blue.  I am going to a bead show next weekend and I will look for a greener shade of turquoise rounds. 

I also just ordered a batch of silver delica beads from Joan Painter.  If you need delica beads in 10’s, 11’s, and 15’s and like buying from small business owners I recommend Joan.  Her website is not the latest and greatest.  You need to read the fine print to know that you get 20% off of the listed price.  Be sure to allow for a few days for her to get your order together. 

My vision: the slab will sit on one side of the necklace, with three ropes of differing seed bead designs.  These ropes will be reduced, probably by triangle shaped cubic right angle weave on the other side, to a single thick seed bead rope to go around the back of the neck, clasp, and then connect to the top of the slab of turquoise. 

To that end, I have been making test pieces to join together for one of the three ropes. I have picked two designs out of the six test pieces that I like.  

The six test seed bead pieces to compose one of the ropes. For more photos see my flickr photo stream
One of the other ropes was going to incorporate these beautiful sterling domed beads.  However, this is where structure is playing havoc with my vision.  The sterling domed beads are a bit to large to allow the other two strands to lay properly; or they will be if I make up one of those strands using the test pieces I worked up above. 
All the bits and pieces.  Click on picture for larger view.

*SIGH*  I love my vision with the three varied seed bead ropes.  I also love my vision with the domed sterling beads which  I bought specifically for the slab turquoise. 
I think I will need a second necklace with a different structure.    It is all because I had this vision…  you know how it is.

Now off to make tomato sauce.