Thursday, September 15, 2011

Starting Two-Beat

I really hate it when I read a set of beading instructions and I just can't picture how the piece comes together. I really hate that. And that's how I was feeling as I read over the instructions for Two-Beat, the next project I decided to tackle. I read about making the base, adding the bumps, adding the chain...and I just could not picture how it was all supposed to come together. I looked at the picture of the finished beaded beads attached by links of chain...and I could not figure out how it was going to work.

So, I just said, to hell with it, here we go.

I started with the size 11 beads because I didn't think I wanted to attempt this with the size 15s before I knew what the hell I was doing! And sure enough, the bead came together! I was envisioning it all wrong, and it took me a grand total of about five minutes to finish this bead.

Cutting the chain took me a little longer. Believe it or not, I had a heck of a time cutting that tiny little chain into three-link sections. My huge cutters made it hard to nip off the chain at every fourth link, but I discovered a new use for my bead scoop: scooping up the tiny little bits of chain that soon littered my work surface. Yikes.

After finishing that first beaded bead, I thought I'd make the toggle clasp so that I could easily figure out how many beaded beads I would need for the bracelet. So I took out those fun plastic rings that I found at Michael's over the weekend and the size 15 seed beads and started to stitch tubular right angle weave around the ring.

Wow. It has probably been way too long since I tried to do something like this with size 15 seed beads. Or maybe it was just the Full Moon Effect making me nuts, but those first few rounds were like dental-chair torture. Beads slipping everywhere, needles stuck into fingers... Yeouch! But after I got into a rhythm, it went surprisingly fast.

For the toggle bars, I found that I could cut up my trashed (bent) beadmaking mandrels and they would make perfect bars to bead around. I really loved using those heavy duty cutters and then the sanding machine to smooth the ends out. Something satisfying about using machinery like that. Makes me feel sort of...industrial?

How many more of these toggles do I have to make? Ha! I knew this was going to be a learning experience, and so far, I've learned that I need to do more beading! I'm almost dreading making those other beaded beads with the size 15s. Sooooo tiny! What's happened to me? I never used to shy away from using those little beads!

Still waiting on my order from Fusion Beads, and this morning I went ahead and ordered all the rose montees and chaton montees that I need for every project in the book. So there's no turning back now!

Once the stuff from Fusion Beads gets here, I'll have everything I need to make High Style, Night in Tunisia, Groove (earrings and a matching ring) and Nightingale. Five projects that worked out to about twenty bucks each for materials. Not bad for handmade jewelry, eh?

Time for lunch. More beading tonight, if I can get Colden to bed at a decent hour and without too much fuss! Bedtimes have been absolute torture lately. And even when we can get him to go to sleep, he wakes up every 90 minutes and cries for milk and juice. I hope this is just a phase and that he gets through it quickly, because I need some sleep. Again.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Oh I think I am going to love watching you create the projects in this book and learning lessons from you! Thank you so much!