Exploring Spiral Stitch and What’s New, a repost from AJE

I thought I’d share this post with you here on my personal blog, in case you didn’t get to see it on the AJE blog.

It’s just been too cold to make beads in my basement, so I have been
concentrating on making beaded ropes with spiral stitch.  In addition,
I’ve been exploring texture within the spiral stitch rope and using
different clasps.  I thought I’d show you some of my experimentation

The very first spiral stitch rope I worked on is in the larger photo – I
used an awesome cab by Diana Ptaszynski, and the colors I used were
perfect!  I then made spiral stitch ropes to go with my own ammonite
cab, my own lampwork heart bead, and ceramic pendants by Diana and
Lesley Watt. I love how they all turned out. They were all made using
only size 11 beads in two colors, with the exception of the one I made
with my lampwork heart – I used one single color on that rope, and
although it’s hard to see, the beads have a really great rainbow effect.

In this photo above, you can see what pattern you get when you use only
size 11 seed beads.  This is pretty basic, easy to stitch up, and fun to
do.  You can get a lot done in a short period of time!

I decided I wanted some more texture in my spiral ropes, so for the next
two pendants (from White Clover Kiln) I used size 11s as the base row,
and used a pattern of a 15, a 15, an 8, a 15 and a 15 for the spiral
row.  I also used buttons for the closures this time, instead of toggle
clasps. The first button was a sort of flower pewter design that matched
the pendant, and the second button was an antiqued copper button that
matches the color in the pendant perfectly!

 In the photo above, you can see the texture that the different size beads lend to the design.

These two photos are closeups of the pattern of beads and the texture. 
You can achieve awesome looks with this pattern – imagine how many
combinations of bead colors you could use!

I think right now, this is my favorite pattern for spiral stitch!

Finally, I used a base row of 8s and a spiral row of 4 11s in this
example that was my CoM for February from Melissa Meman.  I love the
colors I used, and I love the angelite I used to accent Melissa’s
wonderful copper clay pendant.  However, the stitch of using 8s and 11s
is too loose for me; I maybe have a control issue, because I just can’t
stand the looseness of this pattern.

The spiral row just doesn’t lay nicely on the 8s based on the pattern of
three size 8 seed beads and four size 11 seed beads.  This pattern was
learned from Jill Wiseman’s Beaded Ropes book – I think it would be
better if I hadn’t followed the directions exactly and instead of going
through three size 8 beads whenever I was stitching a new row, I should
have gone through 4 size 8 beads.  I think that would have made the
stitch tighter.  I’ll try that if I ever do another rope in this pattern
of beads.

Finally, I made some clasps and bead caps the other day, so I thought
I’d show you a photo of them!  I was pretty happy with the way they
turned out! These are the bead caps – I made them out of the cutout
section of the clasps!  I textured them, punched the holes, dapped them,
antiqued with liver of sulpher, and then tumbled for a couple of hours.
I love the heft and richness!  I will be making more for sale in my
etsy store.

I was clasp deficient, so I made some copper clasps.  I punched them out
with my pepe disc cutter, punched the middles out, textured, dapped,
antiqued and tumbled.  The toggle bars are made from FREE 12 gauge
electrical wire I got from Jason from a job we were doing – I formed
them, hammered the ends, antiqued and tumbled these as well.  I love how
the hammered ends look.  Two sizes will also be available in my etsy
shop too!

And finally, my next project – this clasp held an envelope together on a
card Jason got me for Valentine’s Day!  It’s all the more special
because we were in Sint Maarten when he gave it to me (Dutch side).

And here’s the necklace I made with it! I used some of my favorite
beads, turquoise teardrops, turquoise tubes and freshwater pearls,
separated by silver beads.  I used two figure 8 connectors to connect it
to the heart. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out! 

Thanks for stopping by today and seeing what I’ve been up to since I
haven’t been making glass beads.  Are you learning anything new?

Susan Kennedy
SueBeads Etsy Store
SueBeads Web Site
SueBeads Blog

Beading Back in Time Blog Hop!

I’m part of a new group, Beading Back in Time, and today is the reveal for our blog hop challenge!  This quarter, our challenge was Pre-Human.  Make something from or with something that applies to the pre-human period in Earth’s history!

Here’s what I made.  I used one of my own Ammmonite Lampwork cabochons as the base.  I chose colors that I felt went well with the focal.

 I did a beading around a cabochon bezel and learned how to do a picot edge!  I was quite happy with myself!

 The spiral rope is made with matching beads, the clasp is bronze by Saki Silver.  I did a simple loop bail to attach the ammonite cab to the spiral rope.

Check out what the other members of Beading Back in Time made for this quarter’s challenge!


Works in Progress…do you have them?  I rarely do.  I rarely make jewelry anymore, and when I do it’s usually one at a time, and there are no works in progress.  But lately (and I mean since before Bead Fest) I haven’t felt too creative on the bead-making front.  And now that I’ve had a little time over the holidays, I decided to get my creative juices flowing in a different way.  I have really become interested in all things bead weaving and seed beads, so I’m working on some little projects right now.  My CoM from December was this little spiral rope number:

I had tried to work on a Russian spiral, but with the white, it was too hard to learn.  So I did just a regular spiral rope.

I also made this spiral rope for this focal I made that I absolutely LOVE (it’s really hard to photograph the colors in these seed beads, but they are awesomely rainbow):

And this one is actually for reveal later, but I’m still showing it, cuz I loves it! I learned to do a picot edge here.  And I’m really into these brass toggles by Saki Silver.

Here are some other things I am working on right now, and I
always get stuck having to order more beads because unbelievably, my
seed bead stash is quite small compared to other people I know!
This one is going to be for my mom.  I will attempt Russian spiral
but will probably go back to simple spiral on this one, since I’m not
using three different color combos.  The sweet pendant is by Mary Welsh
Hubbard (White Clover Kiln).

And this great tree man cabochon is by Jenny Davies-Reazor.  I picked very autumnal, contrasting colors to use on this one. I still don’t have the design in my head right now, just the colors I want to use.

Another gorgeous cabochon by White Clover Kiln.  I love the colorway on this. I am waiting on size 8 beads to go around the outside.  And I may actually add some other things as well – it’s to be written!

 My grandfather passed away last week, and he lived in Florida.  It was a dismal time here for weather, so Florida and my grandfather got me thinking color, so I started working on this one.

I did a small picot edge on it, as well.  But now I wish I had added more beads and more color to the outer edge of the piece.  I’m going to make a spiral rope with all the colors of the beads used, so I made a sample piece (with different colors because yes, I’m waiting on beads for this too!) to see how it would look.  I think with the colors I’m going to use, it’s going to look awesome!

I also had this great idea for a polymer buddha pendant I have from Barbara Bechtel, and guess what?  I’m waiting on brass chain for it too.  Hopefully today is the lucky mail day for me! I’ll be wearing them together, and probably add a third necklace with just a plain charm on it. 

So how many W(s)IP do you have?  This is a record for me, I believe!  Thanks for stopping by!