Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Success and Necklace Thirty

Necklace A Day Designs

I can hardly believe that November is really ending, and I didn’t miss a single necklace! It’s so exciting to be presenting the final design in my Necklace A Day challenge.

There were many times when I thought that I was going to fall too far behind to finish. I had to get used to the idea of blogging in the afternoons instead of first thing in the morning, so that I could stay caught up on projects and photographs.

Of the 30 different necklace ideas that I jotted down back in October, only six of them had to be bumped. Most of them I declined making because they were just too complex to make in a short period of time. I had so much fun trying out simple designs, like Y pendants, to stay on track.

Celebration Rainbow Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

I finished off my Ring A Day challenge with a rainbow palette, so I thought it would be fun to make it a tradition! For today’s necklace, I wanted to make a rainbow of beaded flower beads, but I didn’t have enough 6mm rounds in the same style to make them look consistent. I don’t mind having different seed bead finishes in one piece, but I didn’t want to combine flowers with druk and fire polish centers.

Then I remembered that I still had most of a packet of black and white druks, and inspiration struck! I created nine different colored flowers with black and white middles, and strung them with more druks, black seed beads, and translucent white pinch bicones.

This design challenge was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it. I’ve been able to try out so many techniques and materials, and finish projects that have been on my to-do list for a long time.

To share the joy of this journey's end, I’m trying out the coupon codes at ArtFire, and having a celebration sale. All of the designs I created this month - minus the two I kept for myself - are 15% off. And, to say thank you to all of my readers for sharing this journey with me - and my subscribers who stuck it out through the steady stream of posts - all of my tutorials are on sale, too! Buy any tutorial, and get a second project of equal or lesser value from the same category free!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and BigHugeLabs.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bead Wish List: Primary Colors

Have you ever wondered why most colored Christmas lights come in strings of red, yellow, green and blue? Red and green are obvious of course, and yellow could represent gold. Those three together make a cheerful holiday palette.

Blue can be a holiday color, when paired with white, or metallics like silver and gold. But when red, yellow, green and blue are together at the same time, it doesn’t usually give a Christmas vibe - until they’re all lit up and dancing around the branches of an evergreen tree.

For today’s bead wish list, I went on a hunt for some deliciously colorful beads with primary color combinations. They might not be festive, but they are gorgeous!

Fire Designs Vibrant Bead Mix

Fire Designs Hand Blown Glass VIBRANT Mix
from ArtBeads.com

Rainbow Disks Lampwork Beads by Linden Avenue Designs

Handmade Lampwork Rainbow Disk Beads
by Linden Avenue Designs

Multicolor Molded Kancamba Trade Beads

Multicolor Molded Kancamba Trade Beads
from Rings & Things

Czech Glass Bead Mix

Colorful Czech Glass Bead Mixture
from BeadsDirect

Swarovski Elements Bicone Mix - Gypsy

Gypsy Swarovski Elements Crystal Mix
from FusionBeads.com

Millefiori Glass Bead Chip Mix

Millefiori Glass Bead Chips
from Fire Mountain Gems

Murano Style Glass Donut

Murano Style Glass Donut in Blue
from AuntiesBeads.com

Wild Night Out Lampwork Focal by Burning Scentsations

Wild Night Out Lampwork Bicone Focal
by Burning Scentsations

Today’s necklace design started with another fantastic creation from Burning Scentsations. I’m very fond of tree silhouettes, and as soon as I saw this focal bead, with it’s combination of blue and chartreuse, I had to have it.

I love the weight and texture of a handmade lampwork bead. I wanted to do something really special with this one, without overshadowing it with lots of elaborate beadwork. I hoped to mimic the colors and shapes, while enhancing the slightly aquatic, or oceanic quality of the design.

Summer Storm Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

Along with cobalt and chartreuse seed beads, I used mother of pearl chips and black-flecked aqua fire polish beads to bring out the beachiness. Black magatamas add a little texture within the coralled leaf fringe.

If you have time to take a closer look at any of the beads in today’s wish list, I highly recommend taking a stroll through Burning Scentsations. The beads are exquisite, and the customer service is extraordinary. Plus, there’s nothing like a one-of-a-kind focal to inspire a wonderful necklace!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Guests

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Collections: Christmas Baking

Last week I asked readers to share their ultimate beaded Christmas treat ideas, for a chance to win a copy of my newest beading tutorial - beaded strawberries.

The winner is RuxyPixy, who chose either chocolate Santas, or cozonac - a traditional Romanian bread. Though the name might not ring a bell, most of us are probably familiar with at least one Christmas treat similar to cozonac. It’s a little like banana bread or fruitcake, and reminds me a lot of Oliebollen - Dutch dumplings with raisins or dried fruit.

With a craving for holiday baking, I went on a treasure hunt to find some delicious, fragrant and downright yummy handmade creations. Here’s what I found:

Christmas in the Kitchen ArtFire Collection

Pistachio Cream Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

One of my all-time favorite holiday goodies is actually a newer addition to my must-have Christmas fare. A very good friend makes the most delicious, creamy pistachio cake with pudding and an almond crust. It’s so delicious, I could eat a whole pan. In fact, I once ate an entire cake to myself over the days between Christmas and New Year's.

So, for today’s necklace, I tried to recreate that sweet and nutty goodness. I used an assortment of pale, dusty green beads - shell coins, druks and seed beads. For a little color I added some antique brass Swarovksi pearls, then finished the palette with ivory 8/o seed beads and crystal AB fire polish rounds. I’d say it looks good enough to eat!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Necklace a Day - Twenty Seven

Black and Neon Bead Palette

Sometimes it’s fun to throw caution to the wind, and use color palettes that are way out of our comfort zones. If we’re lucky, we can create something amazing, but we always learn a thing or two about our ability to play with color.

Today’s necklace started with a pretty dichroic glass pendant in orange, green and light blue. With the black background, choosing a palette to compliment the pendant wasn’t that easy. For every option, there was a 50/50 chance that it would go horribly wrong.

In the end, I decided to try and mimic the colors of the pendant exactly. Luckily, I had just the right seed beads to do it. I started with 8/o seed beads in chartreuse and light blue, then added some in hematite. I wanted to add another layer of even deeper black, so I also grabbed some matte 8/o hexes. For orange, I picked 11/o seed beads in luminous sherbet.

Space Graffiti Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard

Instead of making a beaded bail for the pendant, I stitched it to a V-shaped St. Petersburg chain. I think the color and bead combinations turned out great. Although the beads don’t match exactly, the beadwork sort of contrasts with the pendant in an interesting way. One seems very industrial, the other more mystical. And now I feel a little more acquainted with color than I was before.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Necklace a Day - Twenty Six

Rocky Purple Bead Palette

The necklace I was going to share today has been postponed. It was nearly finished when I noticed a huge stitching error that could not be ignored. And since I didn’t have enough time to take it apart and start over, I had to come up with a new design and fast!

I already had a purple tagua slice on deck for later. It’s the last color in my stash of tagua and all I needed was a palette to use it with.

I really like orange and purple together, almost as much as I like stretching combinations to the far edges of the color wheel. Something told me to pair the bright purple up with rich browns, and I’m glad I listened!

I pulled some purple fire polish, vintage beads in dark topaz, some caramel seed beads and fuchsia 8/o‘s for accents. I wanted to start by making a bail for the pendant, and this is where my luck came back to me. It wasn’t until I sat down to start stitching that I noticed how big the hole in the pendant was - too big even for a 6/o seed bead to cover.

Beach Rubble Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard

So I mentally scanned my stash, trying to come up with a suitable cover or cap. I remembered my slowly dwindling collection of mother of pearl chips - many of which are wide and flat. I picked out two pieces that were just right and got to work.

I incorporated more mother of pearl into the design, and ended up with a great seaside piece. I love how it has a great ocean vibe without a hint of blue or green. Now to fix my blundered necklace!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading

Inspired Beader: Lavender Field

Colorido Long Crochet Necklace by Lavender Field

Every now and then, I come across a design that makes me say “Wow!” That is the reaction I had after seeing the amazing crochet jewelry at Lavender Field. The artist, Victoria, creates amazing sculptural crochet jewelry with a flair for color.

Inspirational Beading: How did you first get into jewelry design?

Victoria: I guess by simply following my instincts and just doing what I was naturally attracted to. I just simply stumbled into it on my way to discovering my innermost creativity. I always believed in following my instincts, because I know they lead me into what's best for me.

Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first crochet project?

Ochre Autumn Crochet Bubbles Necklace by Lavender Field

Victoria: Well I remember the first crochet necklace I made. But I didn't really sit down to design it. I was simply playing around, making loops in different colors and then when I put them all together I thought to my self "wow, that looks nice", and then that's when I decided to turn it into a necklace. I never sold that specific one because my daughter liked it so she kept it for herself!

Inspirational Beading: Where do you like to look for new inspiration?

Victoria: I think that color must be my single most inspiring source. I am so attracted to colors and color combinations. I can't think of life without color and I love being in colorful places.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite color to work with?

Victoria: Yes, I find that I'm naturally very attracted to green, but in general I just love all colors. Even if there's one that I don't find particularly attractive, once you combine it with another color that compliments it and gives it some dignity, then it suddenly becomes a beautiful color.

Squared Crochet Necklace by Lavender Field

Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?

Victoria: Whoever finds my work inspiring. But I would like to give the message to aspiring artists to believe in themselves and don't be afraid to show your true colors. We are all so unique, so I believe there is no need to copy other people. Just be your own unique self and people will eventually admire and respect you for that.

More About Victoria:

I have a Bachelor of Arts from University of Houston, Texas. I'm forever a learner, and I have an insatiable urge to create, create, create stuff with my hands.

My style is very unique as I don't follow any trends, but actually make my own. And even though I find inspiration in colors and other things I consider beautiful, my jewelry is 100% a product of my own imagination.

Melia Crochet Bib Necklace by Lavender Field

My creations are not your usual, boring crochet, but on the contrary they exude a great sense of uniqueness in their color combinations and styles which you won't find anywhere else!

You can learn more about these designs at Lavender Field on Etsy or here: Bold Statement Jewelry Using Crochet. To get the latest news, follow Lavender Field on Twitter or check out Victoria’s blog, This Way Handmade.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Lavender Field

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giveaway: Beaded Strawberry Tutorial

Chocolate Strawberry Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard

Today’s necklace-a-day design is a recreation of my Promise of Summer pendant. I’ve been meaning to make another variation on the beaded strawberry, and this time I paired it with yummy chocolate browns. I was also able to use up the last of my Fire Designs cane glass, which is a big relief. They’ve always been one of my favorite bead styles, but I never know what to do with them.

While I was creating this pendant, I took some step-by-step photos and put together a brand new beading tutorial. I think these strawberry beads would also make fantastic Christmas ornaments, so I’m going to give away one PDF copy of the tutorial to a lucky beader!

How to Enter:

If you would like to try out my Beaded Strawberry Bead Tutorial, just leave a comment on this post and answer the following question:

If you could recreate any holiday treat with beads, what would it be?

If you don’t have a Blogger account with email enabled, be sure to include a contact method, such as a link to your shop or website, or a spam-free email like beadlover AT yourmail.com

One winner will be drawn at random on Sunday, November 28th.

Strawberry Beaded Bead Tutorial Giveaway

Thanksgiving bonus:

The last person to comment today will also receive a copy of the beaded strawberry tutorial! This bonus round will close at Midnight EST tonight, but you can still comment until Sunday for a second chance to win.

Good luck, and happy beading!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Evening Couture and Necklace Twenty Four

Say what you will about the fashion industry, it is certainly hard not to look at all of the amazing designs that grace the runway each season. Whether the clothes are avant garde or ready to wear, the colors, silhouettes and textures are always intriguing.

I think if money were no object, I’d fill my closet with one of a kind designs from my fellow handmade artists, but I still love to gawk at high end fashion and get a glimpse of what the upcoming trends are. Recently I was mesmerized by a spot about Zac Posen on Fashion Television.

Zac Posen Spring 2011 Look Book

Although the designer’s Spring 2011 line didn’t enchant all of the critics, I couldn’t take my eyes away. The colors and shapes are stunning, with lots of oranges and reds with black, and smart angles stunningly paired with soft fabrics. And the feathers? Not too much, and not to little!

Zac Posen Spring 2011 Look Book

I’m not often inspired to create a piece of jewelry after seeing runway clips, but this evening wear really got my attention. I wanted to transport some of the colors and shapes into a necklace right away.

Wood Wedge Bib Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

I started with some wood beads with a fun flower pattern in red and brown, then added some tan Picasso finish E beads. I used these to stitch a triangle weave wedge, then added straps with modified right angle weave.

Once again, the finished piece doesn’t have the slightest resemblance to my inspiration, but I’m still really happy with the way it turned out. The beads and the stitches together have this ugly-pretty quality that I really like. Plus working with larger beads is such a nice change of pace. You get twice the texture in about half the time.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Zac Posen

Favorite Techniques: Metalwork Repoussé

Acorn and Oak Leaf Amulet by The Leafylady

Today my guest, Kirsten of The Leafylady, shares the inspiration and skills behind her beautiful sculptural jewelry designs.

Inspirational Beading: What is your all time favorite beading or jewelry technique?

Kirsten: It's hard to decide. I like the techniques of chasing and repoussé the best. I can create life-like relief images from sheet metal, without casting or clay.

Inspirational Beading: How do you first learn to use this technique?

Kirsten: I taught myself when I needed to make some bas-relief faces for a sculptural piece. Later I had the opportunity to watch a Japanese artisan work. I couldn't ask questions because of the language barrier, but I watched attentively and learned enough to progress in the technique.

Bronze Dragonfly Cupboard Pull by The Leafylady

Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with this technique, which one is your favorite?

Kirsten: There are so many favorites. If I had to pick a favorite, I would choose this bronze dragonfly on a leaf. There is a gallery or set of my chasing and repoussé work on Flickr.

Inspirational Beading: Can you share any tips for getting started with this method?

Kirsten: I like the book Chasing & Repoussé by Nancy Megan Corwin. To get started, I'd suggest taking a class. An advanced metalsmith could probably teach his/her self with some tips from a book. A beginner or intermediate metalsmith would benefit from some hands-on instruction.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite material to use it with?

Kirsten: 18k gold is my favorite, but it’s not so affordable. Right now, I enjoy working with sterling silver.

Inspirational Beading: If someone had to choose to learn only one technique, would you recommend this one?

Chased Bronze Heart Pendant by The Leafylady

Kirsten: No, I wouldn't recommend this as the primary technique. It's an advanced technique with specific applications - making images or textures. For a primary technique, I'd recommend that an artist choose to learn forging.

Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best place for beginners to learn this technique?

Kirsten: At a week long intensive workshop hosted by a craft or jewelry school.

You can see more of Kirsten’s design and get the latest news on The Leafylady’s Facebook page.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Leafylady

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Necklace a Day - Twenty Three

Dark Woods Bead Palette

Before getting this Necklace-a-Day challenge under way, I went on the hunt for some fun, affordable lampwork focals to use, and I wasn’t disappointed.

One of my finds was an adorable focal bead in jet black, with a 3-D flower design. I loved the shapes of the coiling vines and leaves against the black background, and just had to have it. The shop, Dana Creates, also had some nice lampwork spacers in olive green, so I made it a set and started planning a design.

When I got to see the flower bead in person, I was so tempted to save it and make a ring with it instead. It is just so cute and delicate looking. Because it’s so tiny, I didn’t want to overwhelm it with other beads and complex stitching, so I used my new favorite Y necklace blue print.

Dark Woods Lily Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard

I used jet black seed beads for the base, and added hints of brown and green with accent beads. I wanted to highlight the little orange stamen in the flower, so I also used vibrant orange hyacinth crystals.

I was worried for a moment or two that it would all look Halloween-y, but the brightness of the orange, paired with the earthy greens had the effect I was hoping for. The little lampwork bead is like a perfect bloom emerging from a dark corner of a forest. I can almost smell the moss!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beading Tutorials: Beaded Jewelry Cones

Amber and Blue Bugle Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

Today’s necklace-a-day design features a favorite color combination - amber and dark blue. I have nearly half a pound of these fantastic metallic orange bugle beads, and decided to make a dent in the stash by creating a multi-strand necklace with them.

Since giving up on metal findings like eye-pins, I’ve had to take a different approach to multi-strand, and usually finish designs with herringbone tubes that make way to beaded clasps. It’s a lengthy process, and although the results are worth it, I’m not often up to the challenge of making these pieces.

Apart from quick beading, the thing I miss most about the traditional multi-strand technique is making my own jewelry cones to cap the strands. Because I was once limited to the small selection of findings at my LBS - which was actually a hobby/model train shop with a modest beading section - I came up with these little beaded cones to better match my designs.

To create a beadwork jewelry cone:

Begin by making a two-bead ladder ring as if you were starting a herringbone tube. You will need to make sure that it is long enough to wrap around the ends of your project, so it’s best to make these cones when you’re ready to assemble all the components of your design.

Ladder Stitch Tutorial How To Stitch a Beaded Tube Base

Weave through the tube to secure the thread and exit from the top. Add two beads using brick stitch: pick up 2 seed beads, and bring the needle under the nearest bridge of thread, moving towards you. Pull the thread snug so that the new beads click into place along the top of the ring.

Stitch up through the last bead added, being careful not to pass under the bridge thread. When you pull the thread snug, the beads should remain secure on the beadwork.

Tubular Brick Stitch Tutorial How to Stitch a Beaded Jewelry Cone

Pick up one bead, and bring the thread under the next bridge thread in the ring. Pull tight.

Continue adding beads using brick stitch until you reach the first bead added in the round. Use ladder stitch to weave the first and last beads together, then exit from the top of the ring and add the next round of brick stitch.

Tubular Brick Stitch Tutorial How to Make a Beaded Jewelry Cone

To make the tube into a cone, you will need to occasionally decrease the number of beads in each round. To do this, simply skip adding the final bead, and use ladder stitch to fill in the gap as before.

You’ll usually want to make sure that the cone has a nice, smooth shape, so stagger the decrease rounds, with at least one "full" row between each. Keep track of how many beads you add in each round - sometimes rounds will get shorter on their own due to bead size or tension. The more rows you add, the taller the cone will be.

Decreasing Tubular Brick Stitch Beaded Stringing Cone Tutorial

The cone is finished when the top ring is small enough to fit underneath a spacer bead, which will sit between the cone and the eye pin loop. Four beads in the top row is a good place to stop if you're using small beads, and works great with matching 6/o seed beads.

Cone Shaped Crystal Artemis Beads by CRYSTALLIZED Swarovski Elements

The best thing about making your own jewelry cones is that you have a nearly endless supply of components that can exactly match some of the beads used in your projects. I like to make them in an accent color, and use a spacer bead in the main color for a fun contrast.

If you like the idea of having a colorful finish to multi-strand necklaces, but want to skip the bead weaving, you can get crystal cones in lots of different colors. The Artemis Bead by Swarovski Elements has a small dome at the bottom, so it can easily cup a round bead. Use a large-hole bead and you can hide your threads and eye-pin in style. They're so pretty, they almost make me want to go back to eye-pins.

Happy beading!

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Rings & Things

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Collections: Christmas Colors

Last week I asked readers to share their favorite holiday color palettes for my Christmas bead giveaway. The responses were great, and almost have me wishing it was time to haul the decorations out already.

The winner of the Christmas beads giveaway is Marsspyder of Spyder Jewels. Her favorite holiday scheme is red with gold, with blue or green and gold making runner up. So, I went hunting for some festive gold and jewel tone designs as a little preview to holiday glam.

Touch of Gold ArtFire Collection

Winter Wonderland Necklace by The Sage's Cupboard

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and shared their favorite holiday colors!

Blue and silver was a popular choice, and makes up the palette of today’s necklace. After working with some leftover Swarovski golden pearls, I was really in the mood for more of these ornament-like baubles. I paired some midnight blue pearls with lots of cobalt, white and silver to create a shimmery necklace for the holidays.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Artfire.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Necklace a Day - Twenty

Nanaimo's First Snow of 2010

Winter has officially arrived on the West Coast. Everything outside of my window is covered with a soft blanket of flaky white snow, just waiting to melt and refreeze again. I’m sure that I’m not the only person who is ready to take back everything I said about the heat this past summer.

In this part of the world, winter is a funny time of year. No matter how long someone has lived here, they always seem utterly shocked when the snow comes, as if they were expecting the rain to go on forever. There are never enough snow plows to go around, and you can forget about finding a sidewalk that has been courteously shoveled. West Coast winters are a pedestrian’s nightmare.

Summer Birthstone Pendant by The Sage's Cupboard

Although I do love the look of a fresh layer of pure white snow, it is still the symbol of many long, cold and slushy days ahead. So to cheer myself up, I’m looking back on summer.

Today’s necklace is the summer version of my new seasonal birthstone pendants. The beadwork is done in a sunny golden topaz, with bicone crystals in peridot, ruby, alexandrite and emerald.

Welcome, Winter! So glad you only come around once a year.

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading

Friday, November 19, 2010

Favorite Techniques: Netted Fringe

Blue Velvet Wrap with Bead Fringe by Goblins' Market

No matter how many beading techniques we learn, there will always be one or two that we return to again and again. Perhaps they have a look or feel that we really enjoy, or work well with our favorite beads. Sometimes the best stitches are the ones that we can just sit back and weave with ease, and they are the ones that make beading a relaxing pastime.

Today, my guest is Virginia of Goblins’ Market, who shares the origins of her favorite beading technique.

Inspirational Beading: What is your all time favorite beading or jewelry technique?

Virginia: It is so hard to choose a favorite. I love to make netted beaded fringes on scarves and I love to work in circular right angle weave.

Inspirational Beading: How do you first learn to use this technique?

Virginia: I worked out netted fringe on my own but learned the stitch I use to create a foundation row from a Bead & Button magazine in the early 1990's. I learned circular right angle weave from a Marcia DeCoster article in Bead & Button several years ago.

Crystal's Sumptuous Scarf by Goblins' Market

Inspirational Beading: Of all the creations you’ve made with this technique, which one is your favorite?

Virginia: I think my favorite creation so far is a scarf I made for a friend's daughter last spring. It was made with an orchid purple silk/rayon velvet that I dyed and overdyed myself, and edged with a gorgeous netted fringe. I used some yummy green table cuts for the fringe finials.

I really enjoyed working with such rich colors on that sumptuous velvet surface. I also really enjoy knowing that the recipient will value this scarf for a long time - both as a gift from her dad and something hand made by me. I hope her daughters will enjoy it as much as she does! I love to work on custom orders - especially when they involve both fiber and beads!

Inspirational Beading: Can you share any tips for getting started with this method?

Virginia: When working with a beaded fringe, it is very important to have a sturdy, well spaced foundation row. I'm working on creating a tutorial to offer in my shop on creating a foundation row - I may get it done by January 2011. (And that may be a very optimistic estimate!)

The foundation row secures the fringe to the fabric and is the basis for the spacing of your fringe. Getting that on neatly is the first important step. The next challenge with beaded fringe is to work with a fairly long thread and to remember to tie off often. The length of thread I work with is often prone to tangling, especially since I work with a doubled thread for strength.

Circular Right Angle Weave Bracelet by Goblins' Market

Be patient. Never tug on a knot. Use your needle to loosen knots. Go slowly and work in a position and place that allows you to see your work clearly. Eventually you will find a way to hold the thread apart from itself with your fingers as you stitch. This will help you minimize knots and go faster.

I always tie off after every third section of netting or after every 4 or 5 single strands. This minimizes bead loss and re-working time if the unthinkable happens to your scarf and the fringe gets broken. I also always include a small vial of repair beads for these velvet scarves. They may travel a very long time in their lifetimes and I want their owners to be able to easily find the necessary beads for a repair, should that ever be needed.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite material to use it with?

Virginia: Silk Velvet! I also put simpler beaded fringes on some of my other hand painted and dyed scarves but velvet and silk dupion are the only fabrics I've worked with so far that really can carry the weight and luxury of a full netted fringe really convincingly.

Silk Scarf with Bead Fringe by Goblins' Market

Inspirational Beading: If someone had to choose to learn only one technique, would you recommend this one?

Virginia: I would recommend that they learn the foundation stitch. Once one has learned to put the foundation row on neatly and without significant trouble with tangles, they will have worked with the beads and the fabric enough to begin making intuitive guesses about how they can add onto and embellish that basic foundation. The foundation row lends itself very nicely to peyote stitch - I have added solid peyote strips to the bottoms of scarves instead of dangling fringes in the past to very good effect! - and to many variations of fringes.

Inspirational Beading: In your opinion, what is the best place for beginners to learn this technique?

Virginia: I am a "manipulative" and visual learner, so learning from illustrations in a magazine works well for me. (That's a good thing because we live very far from any large city with an active beading guild!) Anyone who is an auditory learner should look for a teacher, a class or a guild to learn from.

Beaded Gerbera Daisy by Goblins' Market

I occasionally teach a "Beading on the Fringe" class on applying fringe to a scarf or ribbon; some of my students pick up the techniques just by looking at my illustrations. Others need to see me walk through the steps several times and still others need me to talk them through it step by step. It all depends on how your brain processes information best.

Recommend sites for fiber arts and more:

Stitchin Fingers
Pin Tangle
ArtCloth Studios

Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and Goblins' Market

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Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Inspiration Topics

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