|Playing with bead selection for a new bracelet.
I'd originally planned to put together a series of posts on the basics of freeform peyote, but as often happens, life got in the way. Talking with my husband this morning, I wished that I'd managed to start earlier, as now that we were halfway through the challenge it's seemed a little late. He disagreed, saying that it's never too late. So I'm writing this post because he said I should.
Starting a new project:Step 1: Choose your beads and color scheme. Above, I used the large stone bead in blue and cream with veins of sienna to help guide my color selection. Not all of the beads shown above will make it into the final piece, but I like having options. My plan here is to make a bracelet.
The Starting Row:
Starting out, I measured about a teaspoon each of a number of my seed beads onto my beading mat and added a few of my smaller accent beads. I then strung my initial row of beads, adding a loop that fits my button just a little bit loosely at the end.
The working length here is just over eight inches. Note that I didn't try to use all of my bead types in this first pass. There will be time to add more later.
Stitching Back along the Length
Coming off the loop, I began stitching back along the length, simply matching the bead types and colors in each section. I stitched through the larger accent beads, and through my focal stone bead (isn't it pretty in this picture?)
Finishing this Row
Here's the bracelet as I finished this first row of peyote stitch. Again, I simply matched bead types and colors, and stitched through the larger beads.
A quick view of the turn around. In the last pass, I added beads along the top edge, now I'll add them along the bottom, working in a circular fashion around my center line. Working both edges; first one, then the other helps keep the piece balanced and my focal bead centered.
The Next Couple of Rows
Next, I start moving colors just the slightest bit, like the size 11 seed beads just starting to encroach on the size 6s on the left hand side of my bracelet. Note that I used two size 11s to span the space of one size 6 to keep everything laying smoothly.
I also added bridges working around the smaller accent beads. And I peyote stitched around the bead loop. The right hand side of the bracelet has six rows of peyote stitch in the photo above. Then I ran out of beading thread, so I wove both thread ends into the body of my work (removing the stop bead from my starting end) and took the picture.
Between the previous picture and the one above, I focused most of my attention on the left hand side of the bracelet.
Continuing to build my initial blocks color, I dragged one color into the next over several rows. This is my preferred method of changing colors as I think it gives a more natural, organic flow to the piece, but that's totally an aesthetic choice. If you like hard edges between color blocks, go for it. (That style often reminds me of Gee's Bend quilts).
Middle left, I introduced a new block of cream as a shorter bridge around an accent bead, then used it as part of the longer bridge around the top edge of my focal, changing to antique bronze a third of the way. I also turned the inner right bridge into a twist, anchoring the twist in place by stitching along the new edge.
And in the lower left I added a bridge of blue matte seed beads and one of the dyed shell accent beads.
At this point, the initial color blocks are well established, and it's simply time to continue building along both the top and bottom edge.
My plan is to continue this show and tell next week, with additional pictures of how this bracelet develops. I'd love to hear what you think - was this useful?