Tag Archive | Seed beads

The Designing Process

il_570xn-1050051277_g9yxThings are still hopping in our bead shop, and while we’re busy with that, I thought I’d share another of my original designs with you.

When I’m not teaching art, or working on my books (yes, I’m a published author, too), or travelling, or being involved with the day-to-day routine of life, I find inspiration to create from the world that surrounds me. Last year, I designed an easy beaded Christmas ornament cover that proves to be a huge hit with my customers time and again.

Just like with anything else, designing a project is easy, and it’s not. The Beading Muse was kind to me with my Noelle Christmas Ornament Cover project. One evening, I was organizing my Czech glass beads and came across some pretty pink ones I forgot I had. I paired them with some green ones, and liking the combination, it was natural for me to accent them with some silver lined seed beads and a few larger black beads. They looked good on the beading mat and would look even better as an ornament cover.

The color combination may seem unlikely Christmas colors, but my thinking is that if you like it, it works. For example, I’ve seen Christmas trees decorated with all purple – ornaments and lights – and though that’s not my preference, it works for others. Anything goes.

So, I settled into my studio, dug out a clear, round ornament, a needle, scissors, and Fireline ® and got to work. After a few tries and a few restarts, I was on a roll to creating this ornament cover. The picture of how it should look was in my mind; I didn’t even sketch it out first, as I usually do, for each method is different in creating something.

This particular project turned out well, in spite of all the backtracking and a few restarts. The trickiest part was actually taking clear photographs of the steps, then adding diagrams to each to show what needs to be done to create a pretty finished piece. Lighting was key to producing clear images, of course.

As I mentioned earlier, this became my most popular ornament cover tutorial to date. It takes little time to make and can be made in your color combination. Several of my students and customers shared pictures of their finished ones, which I will share here at a later date. Their color combinations are creative and pretty!

If you’d like to learn more about my tutorial, CLICK HERE.

Happy Beading!

©Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

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Desert Song

DesertSongWrapBraceletBySusanMarieMolloyPhoto3The new Diamonduo beads arrived in my studio a couple weeks ago, and this past week found me doing more design work.

The Diamonduos are approximately 6mm x 8mm and come in a large amount of colors. For my new design, I chose the coral color.

A few mint-colored beads in my supply room caught my eye, and I coordinated the duet of coral and mint with antique gold. Laying all the beads together on the studio worktable, the first thoughts of a soft desert song floating on a breeze came to mind – thus, this piece’s title, “Desert Song Wrap Bracelet.”

As I worked the beads, this project seemed to be (subconsciously) inspired by the many creations of Deborah Roberti of Around the Beading Table. She creates down-to-earth tutorials that can turn any creative artist’s head. You can see her work and shop her tutorials by clicking HERE.

As with my “Queen Twosret” wrap bracelet, “Desert Song” has a beaded peyote stitch toggle clasp. The look is clean, yet elegant.  Depending upon the piece, I would rather have a beaded clasp than a metal one.  Again, it depends on the piece.

The tutorial is now available in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique. Click HERE to read more about it, purchase it, or request one made just for you by me.

In the meantime, listen for that soft desert song wafting in the warm desert breeze.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Peeking into Queen Twosret’s Jewel Box

QueenTwosretWrapBraceletTutorialI admit it: I am a fanatic for anything ancient Egyptian, and have been as far back as I can remember.

This week, I obtained some of the new 6mm pyramid beads. They are half the size of the similarly-shaped studs, and much more versatile for my type of creations. This summer I’ve been designing many new projects, and wrap bracelets are just one type.

I took the pyramid beads and combined them with other specialty beads in roughly the same sized category, added seed beads, and I came up with an easy to make wrap bracelet. I enjoy making my own beaded clasps, too, which is what I did for this project.

I used beads in traditional ancient Egyptian colors, and the piece feels like the Pharaohs had an extraordinary influence on this! The blue is like the prized lapis lazuli they used in their jewelry; the precious gold they prized for its flash; the reds of ochre and jasper; the black of the Nile’s rich silt; and the stripes on their headdresses when I created the clasp.

I named this piece “Queen Twosret’s Wrap” after the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Seti II’s wife. Two colors of seed beads are used to give a striped appearance between the larger beads. It adds a little something special, don’t you think?

The tutorial is available now in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique (click HERE to purchase).

Beads are from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery (click HERE for fabulous, high quality beads at affordable prices) .

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

The Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet as Art

PlumBracelet2

Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet by Shoshin Arts

A couple of weeks ago, I finished a single peyote stitch bracelet, and immediately knew that since I enjoyed making it so much, this was going to be my “Summer of Peyote Stitching.”  Well, it appears so.

My friend, Deborah Wear-Finkle is a talented artist, an intelligent woman, and a lot of fun to be around.  She expanded her creativity recently by opening her own Etsy shop, Shoshin Arts, and offering some of her original peyote patterns, among other delightful items.  Her Japanese brushwork-inspired bracelet, “Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet,” was my second peyote stitch work I tackled this past week.

(As an aside, I like things Japanese:  I enjoy reading about their history, politics, culture, and art, and savoring the cuisine.  One of my cousins spent her childhood living in Japan, and in college one of my Bachelor of Arts degrees focused heavily on the Japanese political system, art, and history.  So, this bracelet was one of those excited “I want it!” things.)

Deborah’s pattern calls for 8O round seed beads, but I took my version in a different direction by using 11O Delicas (cylinder beads) instead.  I liked how theses beads make the plum branch very delicate-looking, and the overall look is smooth.  Seriously, I am delighted at how delicate the branch looks, with that almost-paint-brushed-look about it.  Yes, to me it looks like Sumi-e, or Oriental brush painting.

Additionally, it made for a much smaller (4” x 5/8”) piece, and stiffer, too.  I was pleased with my result, although since the piece was about half the length it should be for a bracelet, I was going to stitch more rows to add to the length.  Then I thought I’d add tassels and make it a bookmark.  Then my husband, Gene, suggested I add a beaded loop to one end and hang it as wall art.

Brilliant!

I did that.  I added a row of peyote stitches for the loop, and hung it.  It’s a simple, delicate, and an interesting piece of wall art that reminds me of my friend each time I see it on my foyer wall. 

Here it is on my foyer wall. The wall color maybe isnt' the best against the piece.

Here it is on my foyer wall. The wall color maybe isn’t’ the best against the piece.

You can purchase Deborah Wear-Finkle’s Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet tutorial/pattern at Shoshin Arts through Etsy.

I like it!

I like it!

© Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Designer Showcase: Deb Roberti

My version of Deb Roberti's "Maya Band" bracelet.

My version of Deb Roberti’s “Maya Band” bracelet.

One of the beading designers whose tutorials I enjoy is Deb Roberti from Around the Beading Table.

What I like is her uncomplicated page layouts, clear directions, and detailed drawings of each step. You don’t have any questions where you are or where you are going in completing your piece.

One of my all-time favorite patterns of hers is “Maya Band” bracelet. I made a few, and they proved to be a popular gift, too. With each bracelet, I added 4mm crystal rose montees in the center of each “flower.” Not only does it add a touch of sparkle, it will hide that a-little-too-much-space-in-the-center-of-each-flower problem, if your beading goes that way.

You can find her tutorials at Around the Beading Table. Her prices are reasonable, and from time to time, she will offer free ones, too.

I recommend you add her designs to your beading table.

I obtain my beads for this and many other Deb Roberti tutorials from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery.

©2016 Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

What’s in a Name

Here we are at the beginning of a new week, and noticing last week went by fast. It definitely was a busy one at my studio.

I held another class. It was a basic needle weaving session using the gourd, or peyote, stitch. This was a new stitch for a few of my six students, and a nice refresher for others. We used one of my own earring designs as a starting point.

This stitch has been around for millennia, and goes as far back as ancient Egypt. I grew up knowing it as the gourd stitch; at some point beaders today more commonly use the term “peyote stitch” instead. What is interesting is that the term “gourd stitch” derives its name from American Indians decorating gourd containers, and “peyote stitch” is derived from American Indians decorating decorative objects used in their peyote ceremonies. Nonetheless, it is the same basic stitch.

I like it for its simplicity and versatility. When I create something using only Delica seed beads, the piece turns out smooth, flat, and slinky. I have modified patterns by using various sizes of seed beads, the most well-known of these is the Cellini stitch. It’s peyote gone ‘round and ‘round with a lot of interesting bumpiness!

We had fun at my class, and we learn from one another. I hold the belief that not only can experienced beaders share their knowledge and talents, but novice beaders bring a lot to the table, too. They see things with fresh, new eyes. And sharing and discussing some background history about the art of beading keeps our conversations between us beaders delightful and positive – and it makes it so much more enjoyable to want to learn more, and to return to my studio to learn and share even more.

©2016 Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Tip: Doing Test Runs with Thread

I believe that all of us who are beaders have had short pieces of thread that wound up being too short for any project, yet too long for our sensibilities to allow us to throw them out. So there they sit, in little piles on our studio tables or stuffed in a drawer like abandoned birds’ nests.

We had that happen to Gene and me. Although Gene may have a tendency to eventually throw out an odd length, I, on the other hand, will hang on to pieces seemingly forever, so there are always snippets available around the studio.

A couple of weeks ago, Gene came across a pattern for a necklace that he wanted to make. He chose his initial colors and placed them on the bead mat. After moving little piles of Super Duos and seed beads around, then replacing and rethinking colorways, he believed he finally had a good esthetic combination.

But why take a fresh length of thread and potentially ruin it if the colorway really doesn’t look good and the piece needs to be dismantled?

Gene took a leftover piece of beading thread and stitched a few inches. Well, the colorway wasn’t right – the seed beads looked washed out against the darker Super Duos. He dismantled the sample.1

On his next try, and using the same scrap thread, the colorway proved just what he wanted. It was a go, and he cut a fresh length off the spool. The project turned out well.2

This tip to use scraps of beading thread will also work if you want to practice a stitch before beginning your project. In the past, I ruined many feet of thread because I didn’t have the foresight to do a little practice work on a scrap.

It’s well worth it.

Do you save scraps of beading thread? If so, how do you re-use it? We’d like to read your ideas.

©2016 Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.