Monday, April 20, 2009
Flower Power Bracelet - Day Two
I've made and sewn the flowers to the bracelet base and now I'm ready for the embellishments/fringe between the flowers. I like my fringe to be very generous and varied, so the first thing I do is start gathering the beads I need. I use a lot of different beads--flowers, drops (all sizes), pearls (top-drilled and keishi), petals, lentils, cubes, triangles,gemstone chips, metal rounds, charms, margaritas, crystals, and on and on. Since I usually repeat the same beads between each flower, I throw at least seven to twelve of each choice into the mix. Then I stir them all up together like I have done in this photo. I have a good mixture of texture (crystal to matte), color (light to dark), and size. Double-click on the photo to see all the different possibilities and the proportion of each.
The fringe is placed through the center bead in the three-bead peyote base, working fringe on both sides of this bead. My reasoning for this placement is as follows: the fringe is supported by the beads on either side of the center bead and the center bead is full of thread so the fringe thread won't be rubbing against the beads (one very good reason why fringe thread breaks). I usually use one color of 15/0 beads for the fringe. For this bracelet I was going to use a light blue, but realized that it wouldn't do anything for the pink to violet flowers, so I switched to a 15/0 cut silver bead.
I bring the thread from right to left through bead #1, string on seven to nine 15/0 beads, a flower bead, a 2mm crystal, skip the crystal and take the needle down through the flower and the 15/0s and back through bead #1. Put on seven to nine beads, a disk bead, a spacer, a 2mm crystal, skip the crystal and come back down through the 15/0s before taking the needle through bead #2. This is the principal thread movement, but sometimes I move to the next bead and sometimes I put two fringe through one bead. The diagram seems to suggest that there are beads on both When the bracelet is worn, these fringes fall and fill in the middle area, but if there's an apparent gap, I will often have one fringe with four or five beads on either side of the focal bead straddle the middle bead as shown.
Here are some other favorite fringe choices. The first is two chicklet or nibblet beads with a 2mm crystal between them. I skip the chicklets and come back down through the 15/0s, snugging up the chicklets to place them side by side. I've used a disk bead on some of the fringe with a spacer and a 2mm crystal on top. Another favorite is stringing three magatamas (large drops) on the end of the line of beads before coming back down.
One other technique of mine as stated in the first paragraph is to repeat the beads I use in each segment (the portion between the flowers created from beads). While I don't put these in the same order, I do place them on opposite sides of the middle bead. You'll see a keishi pearl on the top of one segment and on the bottom of the ones on either side. This is especially true of any beads that I've used as an accent, such as the fuschia keishi pearl in the finished bracelet. It's a subtle way of directing the eye across the entire bracelet.
After I've finished all the fringe, I have one final area to complete. I turn the bracelet over and finish the two ends of the peyote by placing some type of picot along the edge, usually the one I've used here. This is an 11/0, a 4mm fire polish, another 11/0. I bring the needle up through the first edge beads, place the three beads on the needle and go down through the next bead. Up through the next bead, add the three beads and go down through the next. This final row hides the threads along the edge where I've made my knots and adds more support to the fringe.
And finally, the finished bracelet: