Things I Have Learned So Far This Year

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January 2008

1.  Peyote Flat Even Count.  I took two peyote beading classes. Made a bracelet in each class. This was my first experience in “sewing” jewelry. In preparation for class I searched the net for peyote tutorials. I found several for the clueless, my level. The most helpful site was Michael’s Crafts. Their tutorial was animated and easy to follow. I picked up the stitch sequence right away and practiced before heading off to class. However, there was one glaring difference in the tutorial and the actual lesson. The tutorial illustrated a knotted thread which would make it impossible to unthread the needle to go back to the last correctly sewn bead to fix mistakes. I took apart the first bracelet to use the beads for another project. Here is the bracelet from the second class.

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February 2008

2.  Chain Maille. I signed up for a class to learn the technique of making jewelry from jump rings. Class was called Byzantine with Crystals. I made a very pretty bracelet out of sterling silver jump rings accented with Swarovski crystals. The process was fun and easy. I had never worked with a jump ring tool. It is metal and fits on the finger of your choice. It has several grooves for inserting the jump ring to open and close it. Step 1 in class was to open 100 jump rings. I found the tool hard to use and cumbersome. It did not fit properly on any of my fingers. My fingers were quite sore for several days after. BUT the tool works great for the function it was made for, once you get the hang of it. I will never again use two flat nose pliers to open jump rings.

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3.  Rivoli Bracelet. I took a class to make a bracelet made from Swarovski crystals called, you guessed it, Rivoli. This was another “sewing” class, not peyote but still done with needle and thread. The process of sewing around the rivoli, which does not have any holes for stringing, is called netting.  Netting is also one of the techniques for beading around a cabochon. Tiny seed beads are used to make the netting. Wanting it to be perfect, I worked very slowly. I only finished one half of the bracelet in class.  I need to finish it. It is really pretty.

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4.  Peyote Triangle Pendant. Though I have had two classes in peyote stitching, this design was new to me, so I signed up for the class. (Yep, I love taking beading classes!! I am retired.) The process to create the triangle called for “towers” and “overlays” and a brick stitch. All new to me. Here again, very tiny seed beads were used and the process was very slow. I was able to finish most of the pendant and will return to class this week to finish.  Seed beads are silver, black and purple with purple Swarovski crystals.  I am pleased with how it looks thus far. I will post a new photo when finished.

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5. Two Drop Peyote. I created a bracelet using a tutorial provided by one of my long time Internet chat buddies, Quilty Kiwi from New Zealand. She excels in beading and as you may have guessed from her on-line name, she is also an expert quilter. Before attempting this bracelet, I had only done regular peyote, flat even and odd count.  I had never heard of two drop peyote until seeing a bracelet made by Quilty. Following her tutorial, which was clear and easy to follow, my bracelet turned out beautifully. It is light peach and cocoa opal. Thank goodness for excellent instructions and diagrams.  Thank you, Quilty!! (Note: Original design found in Beadwork Creates Bracelets, “Lucy’s Purple” by Lucy Elle)

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6 comments on “Things I Have Learned So Far This Year

  1. Quilty says:

    I have never been so amused by someone learning to bead as Donna, and her journey from proclaimed cluelessness to the production of this lovely bracelet was just awfully funny. Five years ago she was doing everything imaginable to avoid beads. Now she is racing ahead, stringing them together with obvious talent.

    These are all lovely pieces, Donna. Well done. 😀

  2. Belinda says:

    Donna, you are doing great “sewing” beads. Don’t you think it’s time to get back to sewing some fabric? 😉

  3. Very good, Donna! Now…get out that wooden thread spool and make that beaded pincushion!

  4. don_mae says:

    Hi Ladies!!

    Quilty, I am clueless no more, thanks to your help. Thanks again.

    Belinda, yep, I do believe come April I will be sewing with FABRIC. I will sure hate to set my beloved peyote aside for 30 days. But I will survive!! (Isn’t that a song? LOL!!)

    Michelle, surely you can’t mean that wooden spool from 4 years ago. It has cobwebs on it. That will be attractive. Beaded cobwebs. Hmmm, gives me an idea. Hahaha

  5. Quilty says:

    Donna, just learn the knack of going without sleep. Then you can sew by day and bead by night… or vice versa.
    Yes, de-cobweb that wooden spool and get started. One day you will master that too. Then we really will celebrate your Coming of Age as a beadster!

  6. Belinda says:

    You’ll get addicted to sewing with fabric and have to take Quilty’s advice and learn to go without sleep–sew with fabric by day and bead by night, or the other way around. 😉

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