Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Bracelet a Week: Trade Bead Medallions

African Christmas Bead Strands

Earlier this week I dabbled a bit with some new African Christmas beads, and made a set of tribal inspired rings. Once I got going with these little beauties, I felt ready to dive right in and make something with a little more kick.

I had already planned a new necklace design using the bigger strands, so I unstrung the smaller beads, which range in size from 11/o to 8/o. The colors are amazing, with lots of red and yellow, and plenty of striped seed beads, which are often hard to find on their own. The Bohemian quality is so inspiring, and reminds me of everything I love about beads.

Again I was reluctant to do anything too wild with these beads, since they are already so vibrant. So I paired them with up with simple black seed beads and druks. The Christmas beads are slightly irregular, and I needed a technique that would lend itself to various bead sizes. Brick stitch seemed like a great choice.

Trade Bead Medallion Bracelet

I started with a single medallion of circular brick stitch, then added two half circles to either side, and made a matching button. Regular flat brick stitch provides straps to connect everything into a simple and colorful bracelet.

I’m really head over heels for this design. I think the shapes work so well with the Christmas beads, and if I hadn’t made it about ¼ inch too large for my own wrist, I’d be keeping this one for myself.

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  1. Hi Mortira, oh my gosh that is beautiful the colors are so vibrant, i really wish i could learn to bead weave. have a godd weekend ttfn :)

  2. That's such a cool resolution- a bracelet a week. Your jewelry came out beautiful. I am not into bead weaving but I do bead knitting.

    You inspired me today. May be I should have a goal to make a bracelet a week too- since I have carried it already for the last two weeks in March. Thanks Mortira.

  3. Great job with those beads! I love circular brick stitch, too!

  4. That's beautiful! I love using the Christmas beads (and actually, whenever I put something in my Etsy store using them, they sell quickly, LOL!)

  5. WOW! I've never even heard of circular brick stitch. Now I have to learn it. This is just beautiful and so up my alley. Love it. Thanks.

  6. Thanks everyone! I'm so glad I could provide some inspiration. Circular brick stitch is definitely one of my go-to techniques. It works with just about everything, and can be used for a lot of different jewelry styles and components.

  7. Oh that is amazing and you really capured the feel and look of a fun bracelet!


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