Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Fairy step one - where to start?

So after having announced my idea; how to go about choosing which project to start with?  Lots of my beading buddies have been making the Granada Brooch (page 115 of the book) and although I really want to do this one it didnt make sense to start there.

Should I just start at the beginning of the book and keep turning the pages? Rejected this idea for two reasons; firstly if I did that you would all know which project was coming next and secondly I dont have any pearl drop beads!  I have skim read a few of the projects and pearl beads feature in a lot of them - guess I will need to go shopping soon.

So even with all that said I could only ever have started with one project anyway and that's the Queenie Bracelet (page 48 of the book).  My FB buddies will understand this choice.

Sabine uses fireline for her projects and this is something that I always use too.  So if you dont have any fireline head down to your nearest fishing tackle shop and get some.

Having rummaged through my box of Rivoli's; the first thing that was apparent was that I dont have many same colour sets of 7 x 14mm rivoli crystals.  Ho hum...........Only had 7 black rivolis and started the project using those but then stopped halfway through as didnt like the overall look.  I therefore had to improvise a little as you will see from the photos.

Onto the project and one slight problem with the project is that the list of supplies doesnt say what size crystal bicones to use so on my first try of the bezel I used size 3mm and then tried 4mm.  It actually doesnt matter what size you do use as the bicones are not the beads that secure the rivoli in the bezel but checking the project photos I think Sabine has used size 3mm.  I had to use 3mm fire polished as I dont have many 3mm bicones.  I think the bracelet looks fine with this small change.

The bezel is quite simple to make but I had a time of it trying to get the rivoli to stay put whilst I was tightening the stitching.  It kept wanting to pop out and did a few times.  Arggghhhhhh! I found that by 'pinching' the beads between my fingers as I tightened helped with this.  Can you see what I mean in the photo? (excuse the nails - manicure long overdue).

This is step 4 of the project.  I actually went through the beads more than the two times called for in the book as I was terrified of the rivoli popping motion.

In step 5 Sabine instructs to add four size 11 beads as an inner layer - however I found that I got a better result using just an additional three size 11's.  Not sure why this is really as I did use good quality seed beads - maybe something to do with my tension.

Also note that in step 5 the project mentions a bead 'outlined in green in figure 3' - in my copy this bead isnt outlined unless I am colour blind which of course is a possibility but you can still work out what Sabine means anyway.

And here it is; the finished bracelet.  I think I would like to make this again but using 7 different coloured rivolis - need to order some 3mm bicones first though (unless someone would like to donate some?).

What do you think - did I do it justice?

What should my next project from the book be?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

First fairy steps on a magical journey

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass

I read this quote on another blog a few weeks ago and it really struck a chord in me.   My beading mojo comes and goes but mostly stays gone so I do what I bet most of you do when that happens - you buy more beads hoping for inspiration!

Well enough of that - I have decided to set myself a beading challenge and I am really excited about it.  There is a book that has been causing a bit of a stir in my beading circles - Sabine Lippert's 'Beaded Fantasies'.  Its a wonderful book filled with all the bling a girl could wish for.

My challenge is this: I am going to bead my way through this book one project at a time and will blog about my experiences as I go along; searching for beads, mishaps, etc.  What do you think? I contacted Sabine for permission and she thought it was a great idea so I am all set.

I do want this to be an interactive challenge though and would love to hear from you which project you might like me to tackle first / next. 

Wish me luck.....................................and watch this space!

ps - I can swim!

pps - latest designs from me:

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