Sep 302010

Herringbone necklace with beaded fringe

This necklace came about while I was playing around with colors that might go with copper and blue.  The supporting part of the necklace is done in herringbone stitch which also incorporates blue accent beads.  The question with fringe and the accent beads is always one of how much is too much.  So, the fringe is a series of variations and repeats.

Detail of the beaded fringe.

Apr 232010

zig zag necklace

This is one of the first necklaces that I made.  It is a pattern from “The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving” by Carol Wilcox Wells.  This is a wonderful book .  Using it I taught myself to do the flat peyote stitch that comprises this necklace.  There are two rows through the center of the necklace that are continuous.  The rest is composed of points made from increasing and decreasing as you work your way across the rows.  The result is that the necklace flows beautifully around your neck and across your shoulders, conforming to your curves and hollows.  It is very comfortable to wear.

An unintended result, that I discovered as I played with the necklace and how to wear it, was that it can be twisted, loosely or tightly, for another more multi dimensional  version.  The twisted variation is shown below.

zig zag necklace twisted

zig zag necklace twisted detail 2

Apr 112010


bronze and prickly

I started this necklace as variation on “Grey Necklace with Pearl Dangles”  shown in the first posting on this site.  I had a hank of incredible brown pearls that were and amazing complement to the light bronze bead I have used for the necklace base.  So, where are the brown pearls you might wonder? 

When you make anything, it is almost impossible not to have ideas for variations.  It is also utterly boring to do the same thing time after time, even if you are varying the colors.  There are always other new ideas flirting in your imagination and begging to be tried.  So, this started out similarly to the “Necklace with Dangles”, but I wanted to try something different.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the crimps in the previous necklace and I couldn’t find them in a gold-ish color in a small enough size.  So, I needed another method of attaching the pearls to the wires and then the wires to the beaded band, but first I needed a wire that matched the brown of the pearls, the bronze tone of the beaded band, and which was flexible enough to give the effect I was seeking.  I believe it took four orders of wire from various supplies before I finally found the color match I was seeking. 

 Now, having finally solved the wire problem, it was time to move on to the pearls.  With the large crimps not work well on single strands of wire, I decided to glue the pearls to the wire and then small beads on either side of the pearl wire to hold it in position on the peyote stitch band.  After about a week of gluing pearls to wires and wires to the beaded neckband I called it done and tried it on…disaster.  For whatever reason, the glue wasn’t holding and the everything was coming apart.  Clearly, I needed to strip all of the pearl and wire and start over. Happily, the glue was working so poorly it was quite easy to strip the pearls from the wires and the wires from the necklace. 

Well, by this point, weeks into the necklace, I was getting frustrated and cranky. Out of that ire an idea evolved.  Forget the pearls.  I was prickly, a veritable porcupine, the necklace would be prickly.  Slipping the wire through the band and doubling it gave the large crimps enough surface area to grip, so I was on my way. I still wasn’t fond of the look of the larger crimp.  However, in a happy convergence of need meeting tool, a new tool came on the market, which compacted the crimp into a small ball, resembling a bead.

So there you have it, the journey from “Grey Dangles” to “Bronze and Prickly.”

Ideas don’t disappear.  They seem to go dormant for awhile and percolate in my imagination. I still have the brown pearls, quite a few of them and I still love their color.  They made it into a pearl and turquoise necklace, but I am contemplating other possibilities.  Keep an eye out, they will show up here eventually.

bronze and prickly detail