Monday, March 17, 2014

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge: Day 17...

The prompt for Day 17 of the Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge was to learn a new bead weaving technique.  It just so happens that earlier this month, I got an email from Beading Daily featuring a new-to-me stitch called the Chenille Stitch.  The article was written by the very talented Jean Campbell and in the post, she actually writes about how it was new to her during a teaching engagement at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  CLICK HERE to see the post and how-to instructions.

The stitch is a hybrid of herringbone and netting and creates a beaded rope.  On my phone, all I could see were the photos (sans diagrams) and the written instructions.  Try as I might, it just wasn't clicking.  I couldn't get the beads to lay right and it seemed too loose.  Obviously I was doing something wrong.

I was actually working on the project while I was at the shop and in my haste to pack a customer's order, I accidentally tucked it in with their purchase... needle and all!  Luckily they found it (and returned it) and no one got jabbed.  I did take it as a sign to set it aside and approach it at a later time with fresh eyes.

Even though I had thrown in the towel and waved the white flag, I got curious about where in the instructions I had went wrong.  My piece and the piece in the picture did not look alike!  When I looked up the post on my computer, the diagrams showed up.  And that's when the lightbulb blinked on!  Aha!  I got it!  Sometimes it just takes one drawing to make everything clear.  Even though it's exactly the same material, shifting the presentation ever so slightly allowed me to process the information.

With my newfound understanding, I decided to whip up a project.  As with some of my other challenge pieces, I intended a much larger finished project, but due to time constraints, had to think outside of the box to speed things up.  With that said, what started out as the beginning of a bracelet, morphed into a beaded ring.  To form the Chenille stitched portion, I used size 11/o seed beads in turquoise-lined, light topaz-colored seed beads with a luster finish and matte antique rose-colored seed beads with a gold luster.  The cool thing about this ring is that the colors look completely different under different kinds of light.  Sometimes the turquoise is more prominent, and sometimes the topaz is brought out more.

To turn the beaded rope segment into a ring, I strung it on a piece of Soft Flex beading wire strung with size 11/o seed beads.  (I tried to string it without the core of seed beads, but it was too loose feeling and I felt like I was crushing the tube when I put it on.)  I also added a little bling with a Swarovski crystal double AB finish bicone, flanked by two African copper spacer rings.

I think it turned out pretty awesome considering that I had almost given up on the Chenille stitch!  Now I'm dreaming up all kinds of creations!

If you're interested in participating in the challenge, CLICK HERE for the full calendar.

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