Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The daisy effect

The technique that I call the Daisy stitch, or "daisy effect", is one I learned ages ago from local elders. I have learned quite a few traditional stitches, and I am always amazed at the interesting effects that they make. This is one of them. The idea behind the daisy stitch it to position your beads in a way that utilizes the thread as part of the design. In this case, you use the stitch holding down the bead to make a directional look to the pattern. You'll see what I mean in the pictures :)

My supplies:

  • Big spool nymo in white - about an armspan or a little less. You can use pretty much anything you want to sew with that has a good contrast with the bead colour you choose. I personally prefer this effect in black, but I decided on white for the tutorial.
  • Your beading surface of choice - I like stiff stuff, and I used one of the scraps I keep just for this reason
  • A bead, cabochon, sew on crystal, or something of the sort, for the center of the flower. I used a cultured pearl that has a domed side and a flat side. You could even do a bead bezel around something for the center.. the options are endless.
  • A beading needle - I used a size 10 long beading needle
  • Seed beads - I used size 11 czech beads, in an ab matte purple. You can use any size, but the thread effect is easier to see and control with smaller beads.
  • Something to cut the thread - I have a thread burner for this, but scissors work too

This scrap of stiff stuff was more than enough for this small pearl. I actually ended up making two of these.

I figured about about the rough shape I was going to do, and when I did that, I put the pearl, flat side down, where the center of that would be. I secured the pearl with a metallic mint green 1-cut.

The 1-cut is a charlotte, and is even smaller than a 15!
When coming back up, I got my needle as close to the pearl as possible without scratching the nacre.

 I then grabbed an 11, and went back down away from the pearl, instead of along it. If you get your positioning right, when you pull your bead to the backing to secure, it should sit with the hole against the pearl. This is essential for the correct look of the thread in the later steps.

The next bead needs to go just as close to the pearl, as I am creating a ring around it. Spacing is important here. You don't want to crowd your beads.

 With all of the beads nestled hole to the pearl, it should look somewhat even and without gaps. Once they are all of the way around the center, you basically fold them down. The idea is to sit them on their sides, hole up. If you've sat them correctly, the line that the thread makes should point at the pearl.

The second row can get a little bit hairy for spacing, but once you get one or two on, it tends to get easier. You can do as many rows as you like, but I chose to do two. It's easier to figure out the correct placement if you're doing all rows after the first one, with the beads folded down.

I also put on extra bead opposite of each other to create an interesting silhouette. From here you would either add more rows, or trim and back and edge.

Thanks for reading! I hope that this helps you to create a daisy effect creation of your own!

PS. If you really want to get the daisy effect to pop, use an even more high contrast bead colour, thread colour, and backing combination than I did in this tutorial. I just did these ones up in copper and turquoise on black and they look amazing!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The making of a shibori silk beaded barrette

bezeling a teeny rivoli
 This barrette was an order for a friend of mine. I made two of them as close to matching as possible :)

I wrote up this tutorial because many people have been asking me for one centered on how I design my open concept shibori.

first arm of the cross
 The rivoli is a SS29 size in vitrial colour. I have a large stash of interesting colours of beads, and I happened to have some 11/0 delica beads in violet/bronze which went perfectly with the rivoli and the colour shift of the silk. When bezeling, I did the outside layer with the initial points for the cross so I could get the spacing right, because I hadn't done a cross before.

 I am not covering the actual process of making a beaded bezel around a rivoli in this blog entry, but you can find a good one here on youtube. I used a stitch that I kind of made up for the arms of the cross. I call this stitch cubic herringbone, but it's basically a take on tubular herringbone, done with only 2 sides. (I eventually plan on covering this stitch in a step by step blog entry, or a youtube video.) I used 3mm swarovski pearls in iridescent green for the ends.

all done the cross
 Normally I use fireline for bead weaving, but I ran out of it and so I used a violet coloured nymo. I am not a fan of weaving with nymo as it's difficult for me to keep the tension consistent with it, even with conditioning, and consistent tension is important with weaving.

finding the best spot
 I tried a couple of different placement spots and orientations with the cross, before tacking it down, as I was trying to set it up best for the colour and shine of the rivoli when worn. Once I found where looked the best, I started sculpting the ripples by tacking them down with beads and crystals in different areas. The colours of the beads and crystals used was chosen to pull colours out in different areas. Part of the art of using shibori silk to create with, is the placement of the pleats. You will see all types of uses with shibori, including grouping all of the pleats close together, and even folding/twisting them, but my preferred way is this way, which shows off all of the gorgeous colour play in both the top of the silk and the depth of it. All of the hand dyed and pleated shibori that I use, I buy from Lisa at Aria Design Studio on Etsy.

sculpting the ripples
 During ripple sculpting I don't work in a linear fashion, as the look of it changes and evolves with every place you tack down. Tacking and ripple placement starts first and foremost with the initial decoration, which is the cross in this case. From that point I push and pinch and try different placings for the waves to see what looks right, adding different sizes of beads depending on the height of the wave. I do tend to work in general areas, but even then sometimes I go back and forth from one end to the other. I use up a lot of thread this way, but I'm okay with that. Before I started the tacking, I trimmed the edges of the Stiff Stuff backing in a ripple effect, but I ended up trimming more during the tacking process as well to coincide with the placement of the ripples. I tried to use inspiration from the Aurora Borealis for placement, as this is what the colourway of this barrette reminds me of. :)

starting on the ends
 As I place the ripples I also fold the ends over and tack it down, using stitches and sometimes beads, but still paying attention to the look of the ripples. I used to do this while I was beading the ends and edges, but I found that very frustrating to do, so now I sculpt and then do the finishing beadwork after everything is tacked.

closeup of the end
 I used toho 11/0 beads in cornflower lined rainbow and purple lined light topaz for the edging and end work. I prefer to do the end work by sewing down each bead individually, as this gives me more control over the end result and placement. I have an affinity for lined colours, but lined colours don't work as well for embroidery as solid colours do, so I have a bunch of both. I alternated which colour I was using depending on where in the colourway of the silk I was edging.

almost done the edging
 I personally find that sewing down the final backing is best done while edging, so once I was done the ends, I positioned and attached the barrette on/with the backing, and then trimmed it to fit. I used ultrasuede to back it, with the "fuzzy" side out as this aids in the gripping of the hair when clipped shut, and the attaching of the clip is one of the few places in my creations that I use glue, as I find that the action of the use of a barrette stresses the thread too much without it.

all done the edging
 The edging was done with a 5 bead whip. This is my favorite style of edging, and takes much less time than my second favorites, which are brick stitch and picot. I tend to design not only with the end result in mind, but also with the cost in mind as I prefer to make things that are affordable for everyone, and not just for those who have lots of extra money for pretties. This of course ties in with the whole concept of "The longer it takes to make, the more it costs" as skilled labour is worth a good wage, and I insist on being paid for my time. Fortunately I'm also fairly fast ;)

curved to sit well on the head
 This barrette is a large one, done with a clip that will accommodate thick hair. One of the things I love about these clips is that they are big enough that I can make the entire barrette follow the curve, which I find really aids how it sits.

 I hope that this has helped you understand how to do a flowing shibori silk design, and I'm always happy to answer technique and questions. (I'm not always happy to be told that I should have done something differently, but feel free to tell me how you would have done it, I love a good creative chat.)

all prettied up
The final picture is a "prettified" picture done up in my home made light box and collaged to show both the full piece as well as different views. :)

The making of the green dragon's tears.

 This weave has a bunch of names, one of them being soumack, which is the name I usually use for it. I used 6 base wires in 20g and 26g weaving wire.
 I found that the eyes I got on etsy have this sealed backing that is made from paper that I have gouged before with my pliers while making, so this one I backed with copper sheet before I wrapped it.

I took some of the base wires and built a supporting frame for the eye with my signature curls.
 I brought the wires back over woven in a single double wrap, and added a bead with the weaving wire, and then brought the remaining wire back around the edge of the eye to hold it down to the back wires.
 I had extra wire sticking out, so I used it around the back of the framing wire as a frame and decorative structure.
 I then wove two wires together around the bottom of the eye to hold it down to the frame adding little curls for both decoration and added strength.
 I like to work with extra wire instead of cutting it off, so I added a green aventurine bead and another decorative wire across the top and bottom, swirls for extra security with the eye, and adding areas for loops for the bail and the amazonite dangles that I placed to look like tears.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Labradorite with a faceted peridot

Hello everyone reading this.. I have been silent on my blog for a while. This is changing though as I dive in head first with my online presence. What was I doing while I was not blogging? Well aside from my pretties, I was working on a youtube channel! It's been a heck of a thing, and I am learning how to uploaded and combine videos right in youtube.. how to section and do the little popup comments on the video.. and pretty soon here I will venture into trying to put music on. I don't think I want music for the entire video though, as people should be able to listen to their own.. and I have a unique taste in music LOL

So here is the link for my youtube channel - Yukonreddy

Since I am doing links.. here's a referral link to artbeads.com - and if you sign up for the crystal rewards points, we both get points :) I order from artbeads a lot, as they have $2.99 shipping to canada, and I am used to paying at least $10 to ship stuff here.. so, great shipping combined with rewards points and regular sales.. you can't beat that ;)

On to the pretties!

with curlies/start of the panel
As always, you can click on a picture and scroll back and forth for a better sense of progression. This banded labradorite has a lovely light blue flash.. it almost looks silver in some places, and on one side of the flash it takes on a green tone. I don't wrap shapes with hard corners all that often, but this one had been talking to my muse and I for a while while sitting on a tray on my desk. I eventually listened and broke out the copper wire.

I measured how I always do.. with the stone, all of the way around plus a little extra on both ends. I then wove a panel starting far enough down the set of base wires as to leave room to make a bail, weaving it the length of one side. I brought over a couple of wires from both the top and the bottom, securing the stone in place, and added a coiled coil opposite from the woven panel for decoration and security. Then I made a flat coil on the top to cinch things together a bit and hold the stone in place so I could work on the woven section along the bottom without having to hold the stone in at the same time.

panel finished, now for beads
done adding beads on bottom
I brought another wire over on the bottom and added decorative curls, securing to/around the back and sides as I curled. It was time for the base for the round faceted peridot. Using one of the wires I was weaving the panel with.. the "top" of the two.. top meaning closest to the stone or center of the weave.. I made a spiral setting for the peridot. A spiral setting done in this way is done by going all the way around and half again on a mandrel or round nosed pliers so the lip of the gem has a place to sit in. Then I continued the panel so it was slightly wider than the lab. The ends of the wires from the panel became more swirls and loops, and I used the beading wire and some of the base wires to attach various beads in various places. I actually went totally freeform on the beads and the swirls as I tried to let what was in front of me 'talk' to me and come together. 

back view of panel and swirls
There was some wiggle in the stone at this point, so I used one of the base wires that was left uncurled to push in and out of the rest of the wire and make loops that I could press onto the corners and edges of the stone, removing the wiggle.

Once I was done securing, I needed to figure out what was up with the bail. I usually do the bail last as that gives my muse and I the greatest option as to what to do with it and where to add beads or other decorative touches. This is also where I can correct visual symmetry by bulking up one side or the other.
bail time
The bail stumped me a little as I had a cluster of wires on one side, and usually I manage to have some on either side, but I used the initial securing wires and swirled and looped around them, feeding the wire in an out as I went so the bail would have a strong hold on the base wires. I then wove a 2 wrap figure 8 bail.. (which I think is my favorite look so far) finishing off with a 3 and 2 double wire wrap curled around the edges of the corner of the lab. Then it was time to deal with the leftover wires. I really hate trimming, so I end up decorating as much as I can with leftovers, or tucking and securing with them.
2 up 1 down..
We decided that I was supposed to use up some leftover weaving wire, so I put on another 3 and 2 double wire curled section with two wires, and a small section of coiled coil for the last wire. I secured this as I went, adding the third coil section of the coiled coil by hand in a sewing type of action so I could use the wrapping wire to secure to the panel as I went.
all aged and pretty

Once I was done, I originally wasn't going to age it, but this looked too shiney left all bright, so I aged and polished it to bring out the glow in the lab.

The beads I used were garnet, amber, tourmaline, amethyst, copper and swarovski crystal.

I attached a short video so that everyone can get a real time view of the gorgeous flash in this thing. :)

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Stainless steel wire.. ouch

I couple of days ago, a jewelry friend in a group I am in on facebook asked about wire cages. I decided to whip one up to show her how to do one in the crisscross style.

bottom view
 I should have picked copper or something, but the first thing I grabbed was the stainless steel wire in 24g. I have been thinking lately about unisex jewelry, and I really love the industrial and steampunk styles.. so that probably influenced my wire choice as well. I wrapped the center of the wire so that the stone would have something to sit on, and then I shaped that section to the cab.

I then pulled over the back two wires, to create something for the stone to sit on while I was shaping the crossing wires.
First crossing wires
 The crossing wires started with the front two, which are the bottom cross. I normally would secure them to the side frame at this point, but this wasn't working with the stainless, so I pushed the cross down a little further and tried to figure out where would look best on the pattern before I continued with the crossing.
second crossing wires
 The 'side' wires became the second crossed area. I then pulled out the back wires to the shape of the cab, and pinched in the top where I figured the bail was going to be. At this point I wasn't quite sure how I was going to make the cab stay in the frame because the back bits weren't holding it the way I figured they should. If I had done this in copper, I would have just squished them tight against the stone.
The back, first shot
 So I pulled the bottom crossing wires to the back, and did a swirly thing to secure them. Lots of excess wire sticking out yet! With the end of the swirly, I coiled a little bit around the two bail wires.

It was time to deal with the second set of wires. Oi.

over under crisscross
 I tightened the second wires, and tried to get them to sit where I wanted. Not an easy task with stainless!

The bail is also crooked still. Tweak.. tweak.. tweak..

front, after crystal
 I curled and twisted around the back wires a bit to get the two top crisscross wires to stay in place, and then I added a crystal and made a rose kinda thing around it. A rose is also harder in stainless.

While I was making the rose, the cab kept popping out, so I decided to pull in the sides on the back. I am glad to say it worked :)
the back, with the wibbles
While I was making the rose on the front, I also went around the back again a few times to make sure it wasn't going to wobble around.
almost finished
 I used my new looping pliers to make the bail.. widest one of this type I have made to date! I went around the back of the bail stem after the second time around the pliers, which seems to have helped with stability. There was some leftover wire, so I went around and around the bail until I decided it would look funny if I added any more, and I *gasp* trimmed and tucked. I know.. I know.. so out of style for me LOL

I think another reason I chose the stainless steel wire is because I just ordered this ball chain, with the idea of unisex jewelry.

All finished, with stainless steel ball chain.
Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Netting backed pendant

I seem to have lots of times that I misplace the label on things. This is one of them. I can't remember what stone this is, but it is gorgeous. My muse and I decided that this needed to be mounted in a way as to cover as little of the stone as possible.

First and second row
First I took some 18g sterling silver, and then I bent it around the stone. This took a little bit of tweaking, as my DS 18g isn't as soft as I think it should be. Once I had it lined up properly, I hammered the wire to elongate the bottom to create a frame that you would be able to see a little once the pendant was done.

I wish I had used 26g or 28g for the netting, but all I had was 30g. Let me tell you, the smaller the wire is, the harder it is to stop from kinking and breaking during the netting process. This was a lesson in frustration for me, but eventually I got it all lined up properly.

The netted frame
As I was making the first set of loops, I found that I had to hold down the previous loop to set them in the right spot. I also had to slide all of them around a little once I got to the top on the other side, to make sure that the spacing was even and that the next set of loops was going to look right. I then did a modified figure 8 to secure the bail wires together and solidify the netted weave. This of course meant I had to over under a little to get back to the starting point and start the next row of netting, but other than the sewing action (I prefer to weave on open wires) that I find such a pain.. the next few rows of netting were fairly easy.
time to secure the 22g
I then figured that the easiest wire I had to secure the stone onto the back, was the 22g fine silver I have. Originally I planned on bringing the netting up the stone a little and holding it in that way, but that didn't work out.

I secured the 22g on the frame (I always use at least 3 times around to secure) and then pulled it back and forth a couple of times, making sure that it was tight to the stone before going back around the frame to bring it back the other direction. This nice thing about fine silver is that it's sooooo soft! It is incredibly easy to form to something.

Once I was far enough down on the top to hold the stone in, I secured the fine silver to the other side, and trimmed it. Then I did the same on the bottom.
all done!
I pushed all of the wire down onto the stone with my fingers, and then decided that it needed to be just a touch fancier, so I gave them all a little bit of a twist with my chain nosed pliers. The bail I made by hammering it a little bit and then curling it around my stepped mandrel.

I am in love with this synthetic rubber cording I found at artbeads.com. I used argentium silver center crimp ends and a sterling silver clasp on the smokey quartz coloured cord.

Thanks for reading!