Monday, 4 July 2011

It Takes Two (Post 47)

Hello and Welcome

A very big welcome to Jenn, of Leftsox who has recently joined us.  Jen is a fellow beader and has sculptured some lovely pieces, whilst also raising 4 sons, a daughter and 2 dogs .... amazing!  Where do you find the time?

Its Handmade Monday No. 23; hosted by Wendy, its a place were you will find a lot of talented like-minded folk.  You too can be part of it if you would like to.  Pop over and take blog hop, guarantee you'll enjoy it.

OK, what have I been up to ... aside from a short break, which I must admit was just perfect!

Dalmation Nugget Twist

I can finally reveal my 'nuggety' necklace that I've been working on.  Which is based on just TWO STITCHES; spiral chain and russian spiral.  The stitches that I very recently came acquainted with.

I used Dalmation Jasper nuggets, metallic grey twisted bugle beads and red and black glass seed beads.

I created little bugle spiral cages and between each a cluster of nuggets; and to keep the theme I finished with the necklace piece in red/black glass beads.  Its interesting to note that the neck piece is the same stitch that I used on the the nugget twist.  Surprising how a different texture can change the look - well it surprised me!

(c) Charters: Dalmation Nugget Twist
I'm really getting used to doing ball cluster and loop clasps, which finished this necklace just nicely.  

Of course, I couldn't stop there - and created matching earrings.

(c) Charters: Dalmation Nugget Twist

In The Pink

Remember my very first spiral chain?  

It was a very delicate pink/green one that I made into a bracelet and very ambitiously I was making a peyote clasp for.  Well, perhaps a little too adventurous for me just yet.  

So, that too ended up with, you've guessed it - a ball cluster and loop clasp.

I thought perhaps a pair of earrings, but not too sure on whether that was a right decision?  They have been labelled as 'sea horses' ... 'the cheek of it'!!!

As you can see I'm keen to add my own stamp to my jewellery and I was very lucky to receive some beautiful bead weaving books for my birthday which I'm hoping will give me a greater insight to working in 2D and 3D.

I'm still picking up basic stitches at the minute and have had a frustrating couple of days getting to grips with one in particular!

Brick Stitch - aka Comanche Stitch
Its a stitch that was used for centuries by Native Americans for amulet bags etc.

This is a very strong stitch which is used in particular as a base stitch for 2D and 3D work, so I've been really knuckling down trying my utmost to learn it. 

Now this is where being left-handed has caused me to get a little mixed up.  But ... never one to give up easily, after 2 days it finally all came together.  This was, to me, amazing! To those of you more experienced, it is probably a simplistic stitch.  I was beginning to think I must be 'really thick', and I can't tell you how many times I've started the technique, only to rip it apart.

I used various books and online tutorials to work it out, each one being 'not quite' legible (to me anyway).  Then ... I don't know why, but I GOT IT ... that's a great feeling.  More so because without Brick Stitch, the chance of doing multi-dimensional work was looking slim.  

And here you have it ... a pair of tear drop, (sort of - I had thought they were going to be diamonds ... or do I mean they should have been?).  Made with a red seed bead with a hint of gold/purple, (I know you can't see it in the piccy but its a very shiny pretty colour).  These were just a 3-row foundation which decrease by one stitch each row.  Turned upside down to complete the 2nd half.

Just the beginning, and more practice definitely needed!  But, hey ... I can do brickstitch!!!  Yippee ....

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'