Do something everyday that can’t be undone.
– The Mother’s Almanac
Now that I’ve wrapped up that purse, I’ve moved on to some smaller projects. Nothing kickstarts a project like a new, inspiring focal piece. I got this lovely one from my friend in Hawaii, Patricia Larson. Her lampwork glass pieces are unique and so colorful. I’ve collected a few beads that Patricia has made, but this is my first cabochon.
I originally wanted to use this cab as a focal on a cuff bracelet, it looks like it’s going to be a little big for what I want to do, so a necklace it will be!
I’ve been having fun with a few smaller collar designs thanks to my daughter’s inspiration…basically she told me what to do. I doodled a bit and put down a few stitches and promptly took them out. Finally, I came up with something that made me happy. For this one I’m keeping it simple and working with shapes more than color.
When I teach or just get together with a bead group, the topic of color choices usually comes up. It can be the most daunting part of any project. I think I’ve covered this in a previous blog but, it bears repeating.
For starters, I begin by rounding up anything I like that might work in the project, you can narrow down your choices as the project gets underway.
I have a little formula that helps keep a project from getting too disorganized.
#1 – Pick your focal.
#2 – Pick your secondary beads – smaller than the focal. Larger pearls and fire polished beads are great candidates.
#3 – Seedbeads – I start with three colors in the same family, usually 15s. Pick a matte, colorlined and irridesent. Think monochromatic. Add an 11 seedbead to vary the size and an 8 as a stop bead.
#4 – Toss in a couple of crystal colors. Vary the size, 3mm and 4mm.
This should give you a good start. For beaders new to embroidery, I recommend avoiding very shiny beads, especially black beads. If you aren’t sure how a bead is going to look before you stitch it down, put several on a thread and lay it next to the focal or another row of beads. It’s hard to judge bead color when they’re in the tube. Sometimes I stitch a few sample rows in a 1” square just to see what they look like next to each other.
Contrary to my quote at the beginning of this post, I do undo things…at least when it comes to beading.