Our first project was Retro Daisies, designed by Janice Chatham, and published in the April 2012 issue of Bead and Button.
This is yet another project I wouldn't have started without our Beading Babes group. The bracelet is very cute, but the combination of cross stitch and brick stitch around the components would have driven me away.
As much as I don't like making multiple components, the daisies worked up quickly and were easy to make in front of the television. (My husband and I had been watching back episodes of Eureka when I made these.)
The base of the bracelet also worked up quickly. I had to make the base a bit longer than called for in the pattern because I used size 15 seed beads instead of charlottes. I whipped up an extra few flower components and I was in business.
I made the base long enough to overlap about a half inch and sewed on a snap. I like the way the snap is hidden in the bracelet.
Our second project was the Ripple Effect Cuff, designed by Sherry Serafini, and published in the June 2011 issue of Beadwork Magazine.
I was really excited to try this because I had never tried bead embroidery before. I started looking for a cabochon and found this awesome daisy by Tracee Dock, of The Classic Bead. (You should really check out Tracee's etsy shop, by the way. Her work is amazing.)
I cut out my bead backing, found my adhesive, closed my eyes for a minute, and dove in. I really liked the embroidery flowed together and really set off the cabochon.
My version isn't exactly like Sherry's example. My cabochon was a bit larger, so I used 8mm honey blue tiger eye discs as the center of my ripples. The 15 seed beads were, of course, dwarfed by the discs, so I used 11s.
The bracelet ended up a bit bigger than the example. I tried to compensate by using a different edging technique I found in Jamie Cloud Eakin's Dimensional Bead Embroidery.
I learned a great deal while finishing this bracelet--especially what *not* to do. I cut the backing a bit short and wasn't able to secure it to the leather in a few places. The edge beads are a bit too close in a few places (mostly where I started the edging).
I was happy to see that my technique improved as I went along. If you look closely, you can see a difference between early and later stitches in both the ripples and the edging. If I hadn't invested so much time in this bracelet, I'd be tempted to redo it. Instead, I'm just going to say that the early stitches add "character." :)
I absolutely love Tracee's pendant and I *adore* the pearl bezel that Sherry designed.
We were all very excited to try a soutache project. Karyn chose Soutastic Soutache Earrings, designed by Amee McNamara, and published in the June 2012 issue of Bead and Button.
I honestly thought I would be able to sit down and stitch these babies up in an hour. It's an *earring* project! As you might have guessed, that didn't really happen. Soutache is another one of those things that takes practice and patience.
The initial sewing wasn't too bad, but I couldn't figure out how to do the edging and make it look, well, "finished" to my eye. I put the earrings down for a while and only picked them back up a few days before the deadline. I re-read the instructions and plunged in.
I have no idea why it took me so long to finish these. The edging went quickly and looked beautiful.
The earrings were not my style, so I linked them together and added some chain .. instant bracelet.
Our last project was Josephine's Collar, designed by Jill Devon and published in the June 2012 issue of Beadwork Magazine.
This was probably my favorite project in this round. Bead weaving is my first love and while I enjoyed soutache and embroidery, I was happy to start on the beaded squares and circles in this necklace.
I wish I could say the project went without a hitch, but, like most of my projects, I encountered a slight problem. The pendant took me a few tries because the bezel was a bit different. Two sides build up from the same row on the base. This may not sound like an issue, but it was terribly hard to get my needle through the right beads. I ended up modifying the order of the rounds to make it work for me.
That said, the rest of the necklace was glitch free.
I really liked adding the ribbon to the beaded components. The small ring of beads around the ribbon is a genius idea.
I love this necklace. It really is a show stopper. I find myself reasoning that it *totally* works with jeans and a t-shirt just so I can wear it from time to time.
I could also envision a simpler version with only a pendant and the silk. (Actually, I found a smaller helios pendant and will be trying a simpler version soon -- stay tuned.)
If you would like to see even more versions of these projects, please check out Karyn's blog, Releases by Rufydoof for a full list of participants.
Karyn, thank you again for putting this together. The projects were so much fun and I had a blast trying some new techniques.