Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Charm School Week Four: Beadwork

Serenity


Oh, I meant to post this a lot sooner today but my life conspired against my sitting down to write...*sigh

But, here I am, introducing "Serenity" -- my fourth Summer School Charm -- which is a bit ironic since I've felt anything but serene these last two days trying to catch up with everything after vacation. And no, after that great week, I'm not complaining...

I know I said I was going to cover stumpwork this week but I had a bit of a problem when I forgot to take my book to the beach with me. Well, I made do with what I had in the bottom of my travel bag... So, this week's charm is from the book, The Beaded Garden by Diane Fitzgerald. It's such a great book, in fact, my beading friend Dot Lewallen has also been using it for Summer School too!


This week I used the instructions in the book to make these tiny little blue bell flowers. The first two I scrapped because my tension wasn't tight enough -- it's a little challenging to hold those teeny tiny flowers. I used 15/0 seed beads for the final three. The book recommended I use cylinder beads (like delicas) since their uniformity of shape makes the herringbone stitch look like the herringbone pattern...

Unfortunately, I only had 11/0 cylinder beads which made a flower that was too big for what I wanted. So I switched to 15/0 seed beads and I was very happy with the result.


This week I also learned how to use a dremel drill to drill small holes into seashells which allowed me to use this beautiful scallop shell as the backdrop. My husband had to order drill bits small enough and I was delighted to successfully put a hole in a shell--see it??


This was my first power tool in Summer School -- maybe I should call it Summer Shop. Do they even still have "Shop" in High School?

I wanted a more textured look than beads alone could give me so I took apart a few flocked forget-me-knots, removed the stems and stamens, attached a bead and a beaded stem, and added them to the flower arrangement.


Here's what I learned this week:
  1. I've been using short, size 11 beading needles for my bead embroidery. I found a longer, smaller size 12 beading needle was much better for bead weaving. You experienced beaders out there probably already knew that!
  2. I found that using a thicker beading thread helped to keep friction on the inside of the bead hole which helped to keep the tension tighter. I moved from a size 0 Nymo thread to a size D. (Note: Thanks to Timaree for pointing out that I used size B thread -- I had an unmarked spool and am always confused as to which is smaller B or D -- now we know, it's B...)
  3. I learned you have to put a lot of pressure on a drill to make the hole -- no pressure, no hole...and definitely wear safety glasses. There were lots of bits of shell flying around!
Forgotten book and all, I'm really pleased with this charm. I think I love the scallop shell the most -- I can see all kinds of beautiful things nestled inside a scallop shell now -- wouldn't it make a cozy bed for a fairy?

Stay tuned for next Tuesday's Charm School where I will be trying my hand at stumpwork.

And thank you for all the kindness about my vacation photos. It's going to take me a few days to get caught up on my blog log. *smile

17 comments:

Lisa said...

Such sweet little bluebells! Love the scallop shell as the foundation for this ~ just lovely!

Camilla La Mer-Art Dolls said...

Susan...I covet power tools! Thanks for sharing your experience with the dremel! I can't wait to drill holes someday...Your charm is charmingly beautiful. So delicate with a combination of texture...AND holes!!! Thanks for sharing your lesson.

Much love,

Camilla

Vicki W said...

Serenity is the perfect name for this beauty!

Judy S. said...

It may not be stumpwork, Susan, but it sure is pretty! And what a fun thing to do with your scallop shell.

zees5 said...

OOPs, I gave away a Dremel drill back before I knew what one was and b4 crafting and now with 3 kids I can't afford one. Drat! That pendant is stunning. So beauuuuuutiful. izazbz at yahoo dot com.

coral-seas said...

Another lovely project. I love the dainty blue bells.

The scallop would also make a lovely bed for a mermaid, or is that too obvious!

Ati. Norway. said...

Looks lovely Susan, so nice and delicate.
I see you have had a terrific week on the beach with your family, great!

Carol said...

This is my favorite charm so far. Its so pretty and the blue and pink flowers are such a compliment to the shell. I thought the shell was highly appropriate for this week since you just spent a week at the ocean. So what's in a name anyway! When you look at it, you sure feel serene!

Beautiful. I have a feeling that next week you are going to make me feel sorry that I loaned my stumpwork book and will never see it again.

XX,
Carol

beadbabe49 said...

What a lovely charm!

(just a note on drilling with your dremel...if you put a small piece of masking tape over the place you want to drill your hole, it will cut down on flying shell chips...)

Mary Timme said...

YOu did well for having forgotten your book. I've found the same with Dremel drills. Lots of pressure. I first used a Dremel for sanding my dogs toe nails. Works like a charm.

Those flowers look impossible and I never use size 0 thread for anything! It breaks on me and frays if you breathe on it. I don't even use size B, but always size D and I use a long (2 1/4") japanese needle size 11, but more like a size 10 in the States, for beading everything. I just won't use anything else unless I have to and if 15's don't fit to go through it I toss them. Simplifies everything that way.

Marty52 said...

This is just plain cool, Susan! So delicate... I love that you put everything into a scallop shell. I may have to check out my hubbie's dremel tool.

pam ehlers stec said...

Ohhh...how pretty this is, Susan! It's so delicate and lovely. I recently made some pom-pom flowers from The Beaded Garden. I used size 15 beads too and really liked how they turned out. Your charm makes me want to try my hand at those little blue bells. Your charms have really inspired me. Thanks for sharing them!

freebird said...

That is a super charm! Are you saying you used size D thread in size 15 beads? I can't weave my ends back in if I do that. Did you drill the shell under water?

I think you really were creative with this and it is just beautiful. So feminine too.

Wanda said...

At first I didn't quite get it...then I did...those bluebells are all beaded!!!! WOW!! Yeah, okay, sometimes it may take me a while. This is beautiful. I am so jealous of your new power tool. I love tools...I want a workshop. Things are surely back to normal now, and if not...you'll get there!

Chris said...

How lovely!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Exquisite, Susan.
You are so incredibly talented...and you make it look so easy....

CREATIVE MIND said...

Oh Dear! this is Lovely..So beautiful :)

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