Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday: Bead Weaving!

Welcome to another Work in Progress Wednesday!

Ever since I discovered Karen Williams of Baublicious and her amazing freeform peyote beadwork, I've been itching to give it a try. After struggling to make more beaded button rings like the one in this post and declaring dramatically that I was done with beadweaving and would never try it again... I started work on a necklace.

(To be fair, I waited an entire day before I started it. How's that for resolve?)

(Here's what it looks like so far!)

It turns out that freeform beadweaving is perfect for me! The improvisational nature makes it a lot of fun and less headachy than circular peyote because it doesn't matter so much if the piece behaves itself. It can be crazy and wavy, and it actually looks better that way.


(Here's a closeup of a beaded section.)

I plan to use the two strands with one of my beaded-embroidered focals. Maybe a beady heart? One that's a little less complicated than the ones I usually make so that the weaving can take center stage.

It was so much fun to work on this one, I decided I needed another one in blues, greens and purples.



(And here it is!)

(And here's a closeup.)

This one is far from finished, but I love the direction it's going in. I may add a bead-embroidered focal, I may add some sequins or buttons, and I may do something really fun... like add some colored copper wire. Only time and my mood will tell!

The verdict? I must continue to experiment with this fun, fun technique. One day, when I am not Dirt Poor, I will have to buy Karen's book. Until then, I'll have to play around and see what I come up with.

Thanks, Karen, for being such an inspiration! And thank all of you for reading, for commenting, and by stopping by Karen's blog to shower her with compliments.

Have a sequintastic day!

26 comments:

  1. Isn't it fun to play around with a new technique? You're making some very cool pieces here. I can't wait to see how you finish them.

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    1. Playing with new techniques is my favorite part of making art! :)

      Thanks, Janet! There are so many possible ways I could go with these... I can't wait, either.

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  2. Way cool! The last time I thought about peyote stitches, I had made one for a dread in my hair!! No more dreads, but those necklaces are a nice option. :)

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    1. Thanks, Annie!

      I'd never thought of beaded hair accessories like that, but that must have been cool. Reminds me of when I did one of those spiral staircase wraps... but did it in my hair. My best friend at the time spent hours undoing it. ;)

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  3. Isn't freeform fun!? I love it and you can use so many different beads and sizes. You can even use sequins!!

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    1. It is SO much fun! I already have another color combination in mind.

      I can't wait to explore all the possibilities with sequins. *Drools.*

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  4. This looks complex, don't know how you keep it straight. xox

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    1. Ha! Sometimes I don't keep it straight, but the beauty of this technique is, you can pick up at any point and things will still turn out OK. :)

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  5. Freeform freeform, another convert to freeform! I just knew you'd enjoy it! I think of your bead embroidery as quite improvisational, so I'm not surprised you enjoyed this! And I love your pieces! Especially the coloring in the first, it reminds me of African textiles.

    And thanks for the shout out!

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    1. A devoted convert! I already have another project in mind. It's taking all my energy not to start it now, when it's 1:18 in the morning.

      I'm so glad you like the pieces! That means a lot, coming from the freeform expert. Also, you're totally welcome -- I love your work. :)

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  6. Ooh that looks tricky but impressive! I like the controlled randomness vibe.

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    1. It's surprisingly easy! I think it's the lack of planning that makes it that way -- that, and the fact that "mistakes" can make a piece look cooler. :)

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  7. Look at you, going all freeform! Isn't it a blast? And I like your phrase "crazy and wavy"... From now on, I will no longer refer to myself as "out of shape". My hips are freeform!

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    1. Freeform figure! I love it. I have freeform hair. :)

      It really is a blast. And it's so nice to have some interesting necklace strands to incorporate into bead embroidery pieces!

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  8. Woah, that looks hard! Love the first one with all it's wiggles!

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    1. It's easier than it looks. :)

      Thanks! The first one is my favorite so far.

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  9. So much fun! Very cool. I love to take my "junk" jar of seed beads and use those to create a wild piece. haven't done that in awhile. I'm thinking I am overdue.

    thanks for the video suggestions :)

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    1. Thanks! :)

      Ohhh, I hope you do make a wild piece. Now I want to make one with my junk-jar of beads, too.

      And you're welcome! One of these days, I hope to be covered in snuggly puppies like the man in the second video. So darn cute.

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  10. This looks great. I'm a beginner and I'm noticing that all your beads are very consistent in size, mine aren't. Is that because mine are cheap (they've been accumulating from here and there, unused for a long time) or do you have to pick and choose?

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    1. Hi there!

      If you're getting seed beads from craft stores like Michaels, then yes, it's because they're less expensive. I'd say, see if there's an actual bead store in your area -- and if there isn't, go to my Bead Embroidery Resources post and check out all the awesome seed bead suppliers.

      That said, even the nice Japanese (Miyuki brand) seed beads can vary in size, and you will have to pick through them a little bit, depending on the batch. For bead weaving this can be annoying, but for bead embroidery this is actually good -- you never know when you'll have an add blank space to fill!

      I hope this helps. :)

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    2. Yes, it helps alot, I thought it might be me but now I know it's not.

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  11. Your beadwork is always so beautiful!

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  12. Amazing work you do! I don't have the patience for such intricate work. Wish I did. You inspire me to try it. Love trying new techniques. Looks like you're having lots of fun.

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    1. Thank you, Denise!

      One of the best things you can do if you find you don't have the patience for the smaller beads is to set up your beading studio in front of your computer screen and watch some good movies. I love Hulu for that. And if you're not a movie/TV person, try listening to your favorite music or a book on CD. These things will make the time fly!

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  13. Wonderful explorations.
    Greetings,
    -Eva Maria

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