a learning experience


Rypan Designs seems to be taking over my entire beading life. Since they seem to be pretty good, maybe that's not entirely a bad thing. I just finished making this vintage-style bracelet based on one of their kits. The kit uses size 8/0 seed beads; I used size 11/0s because I tend to use size 11/0s for everything. It makes for a narrower, more delicate chain. Arguably I could have stuck with the 8/0s and made a wider chain that probably would have suited me better, but I liked the smallness of this when I was done.

The black beads in the photo aren't really black. They're clear but very dark brown and kind of remind me of Coca-Cola. I meant to buy black and at first I wasn't sure about the choice, but in the end it somehow makes things more vintage-y and I like the effect, especially since the petal beads are matte and the centres are metal-lined.

This is the first time I have worked peyote stitch and gotten it to wind up looking like peyote stitch, instead of a very sloppy and ill-formed herringbone stitch. Making the side petals (the parts of the daisy that stick out from the main ribbon of stitching) work took about eight tries, but eventually I was able to form them consistently.

I seem to have a thing for beaded daisies at the moment. I'm currently working on a modified version of a Bead & Button download (first search result; it's a subscriber-only download, sorry), using those size 11/0s instead of the 15/0s the pattern calls for. The photo will probably be up eventually. The current bracelet-in-progress has a ladder-stitch base of bugle beads. The daisies float on their centres above the base, which makes them sort of bobble-headed, but in a nice sort of way. I'm looking forward to seeing how the finished product works out. The thing about working these daisies is that you have to expect and welcome some variation into each motif — unlike other stitches, it doesn't work if things are too uniform. Which is good, because the inexpensive beads I insist on using won't give uniform results no matter how well I stitch them.