Sunday, December 26, 2010

Adios to Christmas Gifts

Now I can put up photos of gifts that went out this year. I've been waiting, because I have a question about the last one.  Reading a post about the gift you're being given is the modern digital equivalent of finding your packages hidden in your mother's closet and very carefulllllly peeling off the tape to see if you can get a peek. Not that I ever did that. Mom. Really. Never.

I was amazed that these first two fit their recipients so well. My husband and son were chivvying me that they were way too small. Ha! They fit perfectly. So there. 

I made a simple peyote stitch cuff for my niece. The size 6 blue/plum beads worked up quickly, and then it cried out for some gold edging. I happened to have some huge 16mm glass beads in almost exactly the same iridescent color, so they became the double buttons. I have found I intensely dislike working with elastic thread, but sometimes, ya just gotta. I had some smaller beads in a matching tone, and did the loops in those, with elastic. Apparently I like this color, because I have a lot of it, in a lot of sizes.

The cuff looked totally elegant on the Niece's wrist. Much better than just this photo could express, actually.   I struggled with the elastic loops, though. If anyone has a hint or two on beading with elastic, especially the knotting and making it stay knotted part, I'd appreciate the help. Honestly, what a hassle!

Next, a gift for the Niece's mother, my sister-in-law. She is a tiny person, and so a bracelet that worked up to fit a tiny wrist. This started with the small netted rope portions, and then I came up with a way to join them, using lustered black/green triangle beads. So the bracelet is flexible enough to bend well, and somehow she wore an outfit on Christmas day that matched the bracelet perfectly. She does love earth tones. 

I sent my sister the hematite netted rope bracelet I'd done a while ago.  I haven't heard from her yet if it arrived in time. I hope so.

No, it's not all bracelets all the time. I sent my dad this ornament. I'd begun it a while ago, but didn't get the inspiration to finish it until last week. I dug out the green dyed shell spear beads, and fringed them around the bottom. This was another use of the dreaded elastic. I made the bottom of the edging from elastic thread so that it will slip on and off any 4 inch glass ornament. If it arrived broken, it wouldn't be a tragedy, or require re-sewing to get it on another ornament. Fortunately, it arrived intact and my dad called to say they loved it, and had hung it in their lanai. Overlooking the alligator pond. In Florida. We can't all have white Christmases.

It was incredibly difficult to get the photo of the ornament. I took 18 pictures, and only this one was anywhere near focused. And it's not perfect. The shiny surface of the bulb got in the way, not to mention you can actually see me taking the picture in the reflection!  And I didn't clear out the work area to take the photo. I was a bit rushed getting it all ready to ship.  My camera is still making me crazy. 

But yes, the last one was a bracelet, for my mom. This too is netted rope. I wanted to try some smaller beads to net, so I used the same size 6 blue/plum beads that were used in the Niece's cuff. 

Netting such small beads (also beads that weren't perfectly spherical) made a little bit of a lumpy piece. These seed beads don't nest together the same way spherical beads do. The lemon-lime netting was fun, though.

Now for the question. In my limited experience, I haven't seen anyone link together sections of netted rope with exactly this technique. Has anyone else? It's an adaptation of the netting stitch, and lends itself to a lot of variations. Would a tutorial be interesting to anyone? I'm not going to bother if everyone says, "oh yeah, I've seen that lots of times."  I liked doing it because it allows the use of the netted rope without having to have zillions of the larger beads and making the same solid rope every time.  I used the same inter-connecting technique on the sister-in-law bracelet above, so you can see that it works up in many different ways.

I guess this is an extension of the discussion on the Etsy Beadweaver's list lately on inspiration, plagiarism, and original design. Is something you think you invented really original? How do you know without extensive research??

Any thoughts on the matter are much appreciated.


  1. You have a very lucky family! Beautiful things all.

  2. Thoughts on your question:
    Because the technique you have "discovered" is unique, (I not seen it before), a tutorial would be welcomed. However I am of the opinion that a guide on just the technique alone may not be as sellable as one showing a step-by-step completed project. In the description you can explain how useful and variable the stitch/methods are in making one's own creations.

  3. Lucky, indeed! I'm going to shoot some more photos of the piece, and then I'll be able to brag some more. Thank you, again!