Wednesday, July 25, 2007

And the bead(ing) goes on...

I am having the BEST time with Julie Cloud Eakin’s “Beading Around Cabochons” book! I have been sans inspiration for so long that it’s great to feel the creative fire roaring again. I can’t say enough about this book – it’s taken my bead embroidery skills to a whole new level in less than a week. I find her cab beading technique to be far superior to the technique I had been using previously. By not using peyote stitch for the bezel, you get a much cleaner, more tailored design and the beauty of the cab takes center stage.

OOOOHHHH…and I just realized I can adapt these new techniques to my cuff bracelets!

Woo hoo!

It’s also been great to expand my edging technique repertoire. Previously, I had always used a picot stitch and been pretty happy with it, but Eakin’s book opens up a whole new world of edging and embellishment possibilities. The fabulous array of photos is a big help, too.

To help get the “fire” lit, I also picked up Sandra Wallace’s "The Beader's Color Mixing Directory." I don’t have any formal art training (unless you count that time I failed 7th grade art class and my parents made me drop it so it wouldn’t ruin my GPA any more) and so my knowledge of color theory is pretty much limited to “blue and yellow make green.” Even the kid has passed that stage in pre-school. I want to become more sophisticated in creating my color schemes as well as have the ability to branch out from my “safety” zone of cool, ocean-based colors.

This book was a great place to start on my expanded color journey. Not only does Wallace do a great job explaining basic color theory, but the color “recipes” she provides are extremely helpful for someone like me who wants to be more adventurous with color choices, but isn’t sure where to start. I’m using her “Rose Garden” recipe for my second pair of beaded cab earrings.

About the only drawback I’ve found to using this book is that if you want to re-create a recipe or project exactly (which is what I usually do when I’m first exploring new ideas in cooking OR in beading – follow the directions exactly the first time til you get it down and THEN experiment) it can be difficult if your LBS is way low on seed bead stock.

Which mine was this weekend.

Which put a HUGE crimp in my creative plans.

I mean, really, how can you let your seed bead selection get almost totally picked over? How can you run out of size 11 plain black or S/L gold for heaven’s sake? Those are like so totally BASIC!


Anyway, I soldiered on despite the supply issues and produced my first pair of beaded cab earrings using the new techniques:

Not quite the color scheme I had in mind when I started out, but I had to improvise and I think they still turned out rather well. Finding matching sets of cabs for earrings (same size, color and dome slope) can be a challenge as well. All four of these cabs are red agate and I picked them up at a bead show a while ago after spending an hour picking through the cabs to make matching pairs.

Coming tomorrow - new bead pics!


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