Good Thing I Learned Brick Stitch

I saw this project I want to try, and I need a peyote bracelet base. I start it in my old standby, tearose, (which I always forget it doesn’t look quite as good strung as it does just all together in a pile. Then I remembered I’d started (and gave up on) a different project in this same color. So I dug it out. The one I’m doing now has four/eight rows, the old one has three/six. But I can add another row using brick stitch!

…and I’ve just now realized I need to add 2 rows….Oh well.

This is me adding another row.

 

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Beading OCD

I spent the last four days (well, my free time, besides work and some housework) re-organizing my beads.

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I have 8 trays, each with 4 square slots and one long one. So, not counting the long ones, I have space for 160 different colors. I have 32 empty slots, which means I have 128 different colors so far.

And I moved almost every one. Some more than once.

See, I have a few colors that have matching colors in different finishes. Like transparent red, transparent red matte, transparent red matte rainbow, and transparent red rainbow. So I put all of the transparents with matching ‘others’ in one tray (plus the staples, gloss black and gloss white), then put their matching transparent mattes in the same slots in the next tray. Then, if I had any more matching ones, in the next tray. See in the pic, how the orange in one tray has a matching one in the one next to it?

Then I made a tray for the other transparents.

Then the remainder of the transparent mattes.

Then the color-lined and silver-lined in another.

Then the opaques.

Then the lusters, the ceylons and the metallics.

Not only did I have to move the beads, I had to remove its corresponding identifying sticker. Which did not really wish to come off. Then I had to make new stickers, and  put them on before I moved on to the next color, or else I might forget.

I almost dropped an open tray on the ground, which gave me a mini-heart attack.

Am I going to have to start all over when I get more colors?

I’m already thinking of moving the metallics…

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Why would I wear that?

I was at Target the other day and I saw this:

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I thought, “Hey, that’s cute. I could use that for beading stuff!” Sure enough, it’s just big enough to hold everything I’d need for one project:

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I figured I’d keep this in my purse, in case I get bored somewhere and wish I could do some beading.

The only thing is, this was in the feminine hygiene aisle. Why? It’s a ‘napkin’ holder. It came with a tampon, a liner, and a pad. I think I threw them away, as I don’t use that brand.

It also came with a bracelet. (I can’t find it, I must have thrown that away as well, though I did have it in my mind to take a pic to post here.) Why would you include a bracelet? Am I supposed to want others to know…you know? Maybe it’s to warn others? “What’s her problem today? She sure is moody. Ohh, she’s wearing that bracelet. Best tread lightly around her.” Or, “Look at her bracelet. Eww, gross, we know what’s going on down there.”

I’m not ever going to wear it.

I wish this case came in purple. As I wish most things did.

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One Resolution Down!

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn a new bead stitch. So I did. Although technically, it’s the same stitch, just done sideways. But the way to do it sideways is in no way similar to the way to do it the other way.

Ok. This is peyote stitch, which is what I normally do:

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And this is brick stitch, what I just learned:

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See? They look the same. Only sideways. So why would I bother learning this stitch?Hmm, dunno. I just saw this and thought I would try it. And it’s different from peyote…Plus, it’s doing it with a twist, which I don’t know if you can do with peyote stitch.

My first four attempts had me undoing it each time. The first time, I tried with my small beads, but it wasn’t working, so then I tried with larger beads. Something still wasn’t working. I thought maybe it was because I’m left-handed, so I flipped the first image. Nah. So I searched Youtube and found this video. Ah, there you go. I just needed to figure out how to do the base row properly.

My first attempt turned out ok, but I don’t like the larger beads, so I did another in the smaller beads I’d originally started with. This is what I got:

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Don’t know what I’ll do with these two pieces. Maybe I’ll make another green one and make earrings. The other one, I dunno. I have to remember that transparent beads make the best stuff, unless you actually WANT your project to look like it was made of beads.

All in all, meh. I prefer peyote stitch. You just pick a bead up with your  needle, and go through another bead. Brick stitch, you pick up a bead, go under some thread, then back through the same bead, which is not all that simple to do, as the bead hasn’t been tightened down, and tends to escape your needle. Plus seeing the thread you need to go under is more difficult than seeing the hole of the bead you need to go through.

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Beaded Bengal

This was my first major project. And also the first big project I actually completed. I have several cross-stitches that are only partly done. I must have a bit of ADD; I get bored halfway through something and quit. I did take a break halfway through this project for a few months to work on something else, but I came back eventually. 

I got this pattern from this site. It didn’t turn out as wide as the picture, but that’s fine.

Here is what the pattern itself looked like:

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I tell people it looks like a cross-stitch pattern, and that’s also how you read it-there’s a key that matches all the symbols to colors, but in a peyote stitch, you work in rows, whereas in cross-stitch, you work each color around a fabric base. In peyote, there is no fabric base, just string. I highlighted sections and had the pattern laminated to help my eyes differentiate rows better. The lamination was so as I completed a row, I could make a dot on each square with a marker, so I knew where I was.

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(Also, painted nails pick up marker when you drag them across markered surfaces, even if it’s dry, both the polish and the marker. Unpolished nails do not have this issue.)

This is a picture of the bead tray, with all the beads together with their corresponding symbols and color number. I believe there were about 24 colors.

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Starting the first 3 rows of peyote stitch is pretty difficult, especially such long rows-they tend to twist around, and then they’re not in the right order. So how did I remedy this? I made a base row:

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I made it two colors because the pattern was 2 pages wide, and peyote stitch is worked left to right, then right to left.

First row all lined up:

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How it looked after 10 feet of string:

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Then another 14 Feet:

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After 13 more feet it started to take on a bit of shape, at least to me, not to anyone else:

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13 more feet. My what big teeth you have! This was the point where people started making guesses.

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Then I aggravated people by starting a new section, as the first one was becoming difficult to hold:

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This is what it looked like if I just put the pieces next to each other:

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At this point, I took a 2 month break to do something else. Then I came back to it:

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I got halfway done, and sewed the pieces together:246766_2050123941073_3943156_n

Then I started the second half, and did 20 feet. The very top row has the first blue beads:

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I was excited to reach a color not a shade of black or white:

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Hmm, I don’t seem to have a pic of a strip with the eyes. This is the last row! Looks pretty similar to the first row. In fact, it looked so similar that I’d originally posted this pic up there as the first row. Fixed it, though.

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Waiting for the very last bead:

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Very last section:

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All done and framed!

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My pile of trash:

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Misshaped beads, string snippets, and various trash. The bandaid there is not because I injured myself while beading, though I’m sure I stabbed myself with the needle several times, but to help prevent injury. In tightening the string, I would wrap it around my finger and pull. Well, after a while, the string thinks your hand is cheese and wants to cut right through it. So, I’d put the bandaid on my finger where I normally wrap the string. I had tried this years ago while beading with wire, but the bandaids I used just got all gummy, and got the wire gummy. Then my cousin mentioned that her mom wouldn’t let her get these Star Wars bandaids, so I got her some and sent them to her at college. I don’t know what led me to try one, but they work so incredibly well. They are Nexcare waterproof bandaids. No, I don’t usually get the Star Wars ones. I did, however, write to the Nexcare company, asking them to please make a box of only one size, as I could only use the one size, and most people also only use one size, and have a rare need for the other two. Whatever, not like they’ll listen.

Other tools used: tweezers, for pulling cat hair out of stitches. Sugar likes to lay in my lap, and running the string over her fur results in fur in the stitches. Also, Vaseline’s Total Moisture lotion. It absorbs very quickly without leaving your hands feeling slick. This is important, as trying to pull a needle through a bead doesn’t work well if you don’t have a good grip on it.

I broke At least one needle and 2 beads during this project. Well, 2 beads that I couldn’t easily replace. It would have caused me to undo several rows. Fortunately, I could semi-easily put another in its place, I just had to sew back through that row and add another. UN-fortunately, this left the string that had been hidden by the previous bead exposed. But only on one side. So, the two beads that I had to re-sew, I made sure that the exposed string was on the backside.

I ran out of one color bead when I only needed 4 more! Good thing there was a similar color I could use instead. There was also this other color that was apparently painted, and after a while the paint rubbed off, exposing the color underneath, which was not a base color like, hmm, say, white, but blue. Whatever. Once I finished the project, I emailed the pattern-maker and told her all about my experience with the whole project, and about the color rubbing off. She said she’d adjust the pattern. Otherwise, she was pleased to hear about my experience.

I began this project in December, and finished in July. I took a 2 month break, then another 2 month break later, so I guess this took around 3 months?

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Everything But the Kitchen Sink!

My newest project I created, I think, for the sole purpose of actually selling. I saw a similar bracelet here and thought, “Hey, if I make this in primary colors (plus green), it would make a good Awareness bracelet!”

So here it is.

This bracelet has every kind of peyote stitch there is. It is mostly even count two-drop, but there is also an instance of single odd-count. (There should have been two, but for some reason I couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it again.) There is also increase and decrease, which the first time ’round was pretty simple, and I was fairly pleased with myself for mastering it so quickly. The other times, it was not so simple, and I’m not quite sure why.

I think I’m going to re-do the whole pattern and make each little tab and cutout the same. Or mostly the same. Definitely the missing parts and sticky-out bits the same. I’m also going to try a different set of colors. These were transparent, and while the green and blue look awesome, the red and yellow seem a bit dark to me for what the pattern’s supposed to accomplish. I have opaque red, blue, and yellow, but I don’t have an opaque green yet, so I’ll have to find/order some. I don’t usually like the opaque colors-I call them “Crayola colors,” But I think they may work here.

As you can see, the two outside yellows on the bottom look a bit strange, and that’s one of the things I intend to correct next time around. I also need to add another 2 puzzle pieces, because I seem to have made the pattern to be me-sized, which will fit no adult, apparently. Although, it did occur to me that maybe I could start a trend where autistic children wear these so we can identify them and treat them with more grace and patience than other children. Though, maybe we should just treat all children that way and labeling them with arm-bands seems a bit Nazi-ish. Hmm.

Anyway, this is where I wish I had a real copy of the pattern program I use, instead of the free trial. Because I have to re-do the entire pattern now, instead of just editing the one I have, because the free trial doesn’t allow me to save the patterns.

So, if you know anyone who may wish to have this bracelet, in this color scheme or in other colors, direct them here!

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Cherry Blossom Bracelet

This is my second bracelet project from Mikki Ferrugiaro. Her patterns can be viewed and purchased here. (Hey! I figured out links!)

I changed the color scheme a bit.

It was supposed to have black leaves, and green where the gray is on mine. I thought that was a bit weird.

It wasn’t until I began working on it that I realized it was odd-count peyote stitch. While not difficult, it does add an extra step to every second row, and therefore takes a bit longer. It took me several days to complete this, but partly because I’m trying to be a better housewife, and made up a list of different things to accomplish every day before I can bead. Also, the  book I’m listening to while working is not good at all. So why am I listening to it? It’s the last in a series of otherwise pretty good books.

I also figured out how to do a different closure. Not those frustrating tubes again, but a beaded bead, which was so much easier.

It still is too big for my hand. A bit better, I actually have to push it over my hand, instead of just sliding it on, like the last one. At least it won’t accidentally fall off if I fling my hand too vigorously.

Do here is the finished project:

I may re-work part of it, that 4-petaled flower in the middle looks really weird to me.

Body Count:
Broken Needles: 1
Broken Beads: None
Stabbed fingers: 1
Cats yelled at for walking across my beads/strewing them across the floor: 1

 

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