Sunday, November 1, 2009

How to Make Beadwoven Stars of David

As you may see from previous posts, for the last 3 months I have been working on variations of beadwoven Stars of David, all based on Gwen Fisher's "Archimedes Star Bracelet" from the Fall Beadwork.

What I'm going to demonstrate for you today is an easy version that makes the GREATEST earrings. Here's a pair I have in my Etsy shop, "Prophecy." Start making some and let me know what you come up with!

Okay, so here are the supplies:
2 tubes of Size 11 Miyuki or Toho seed beads, a base color (A) and an accent color (B)
1 Nymo Size B beading spool of thread in a corresponding color
1 pack of beading needles
1 piece of wax

NOTE: Miyuki and Toho are the best for these, because they are uniform and have large holes, perfect for multiple thread passes. You can use normal Size 11s, as I have in this demo, but you may have trouble fitting the thread through more than once and a bead may break if the hole is too small. "Prophecy" is made with Miyuki, while the demo below is made with plain ole Size 11s.

Thread the needle, wax well and thread on 18 beads in base color A.

Insert your needle at the beginning again and pull through a second time, making a circle with your thread.

Tie a square knot (left over right, right over left) securely.

Go through a couple of beads and pull just a little - you want the knot to go into a bead and disappear, but not so tightly that you can't get through the bead again.

Pick up 5 beads, 2 in accent color B, 1 in base color A, 2 more in accent color B. Skip 2 beads in the circle, and sew through the 3rd circle bead, making a loop.

Repeat all around the circle, making a total of 6 loops.

Make a second knot, and go through a couple more beads, tug tight.

Go through the first loop again, but only go through the accent color Bs, skipping the base color A one altogether. Continue around following your previous path, skipping the A beads in the loops, tug and see your loops go from roundish to pointy. Repeat with the other 6 loops.

Knot the threads again, go thru a couple more beads, tug tight, and trim.

You can then open a jump ring and put it in the top bead, to hang onto earwires, chain, leather or a beaded strand. It's up to you!

Try this with different kinds of beads or crystals, vary the colors, use tubes instead of the B accent beads, let me see what you make! You can also join the stars together for bracelets, kippahs, necklace assemblies, pendants. I would think the sky is the limit!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Created an Etsy Treasury

It is full of the amazing handmade items from my brothers and sisters at Team EtsyChai. There's so much energy in the New Year!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Diane Fitzgerald Triangles

Okay, guys ~ This fall I seem mesmerized by seed bead Stars of David. This will be my third pattern, from a wonderful book by Diane Fitzgerald entitled "Shaped Beadwork." She insists you start with simple 2D shapes, and so I have followed directions to do her first project, a simple triangle. I got ambitious after that and linked them together to make these.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Finished Kipoh and Some Other Iterations!

So, this is how it came out. I also have done them in white/gold, teal/brown, and light pink/hot pink. Cool, huh? I sew in a plastic comb that pretty much disappears into the hair and keeps the kipoh on.

I wondered, could I make some other things too? Like, for example, star earrings? I did both six and five point stars.

And this last, a different stitch for a necklace for my friend's daughter who just started 8th Grade at Jewish Day School.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Runneth Out

Darn, I've run out of "Sand and Sea" Mix from Twisted Sistah. So, while I am waiting for Leslie to send me more, here you go with the same idea worked up in my very first seed bead purchase, some tiny (size 15?) frosted variegated beads in fuscia/purple colors. In these pictures you can see how I am thinking about it. Obviously a kipoh needs to curve a little to fit the head, so I am dreaming about loops, picots? We'll see when I get to it. This construction is about 2 inches in diameter. Well the first three stars are around 1 inch, when I got it built out a bit it is about 2 inches.

How did I get into Beadweaving? If you said "because you're not a pit bull," you'd be right! I wear lipstick and I'm a soccer Mom! Above see a tiny purse-sized beading kit in a Chinese small-item container. This is 4" in diameter and about 1-1/2" high. It has my current project and all the supplies for it, and is perfect to take out to the soccer field with a water bottle and a beach chair.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Seed Bead Kipoh

It's been a year, and I've been through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. My prognosis is good. I've grown my hair back and regained most of my energy. And, minus one boob, look pretty cute if I may say so myself.

Beading kept me feeling optimistic through this whole process even when I wasn't doing it. Things sat on my bead table, patiently awaiting time when I was able to return. If you've been over to my Etsy shop (link at right->), you've seen some of the new stuff I've been selling.

I want to focus over here on PROCESS, because it's so interesting. Also, when I see all the things my fellow artists have created, I always go WOW, how on earth did she make that? I also imagine her process as immediate, sort of she had an idea, and POOF, the piece is sitting there. Or, that the piece was conceived in her imagination, and in a linear, step-by-step process the piece was made to fit her idea.

Well ~ I'm not at all like this. I am currently working on a new idea for a kipoh. This is a little cap made for a Jewish woman to wear while praying. The traditional men's cap may be black or colorful, but the modern Jewish kipoh for women is feminine, sparkly, lacey, full of beads or embroidery, in other words, it's a palette for creativity! I've been struggling with colored wire kipot, because the beads don't fit through the wire very well for me, and also the color tends to chip off the wire. I prefer Artistic Wire - this is wire with a vinyl coating and has a very nice feel. But I know some artists who just beat the pants off me with the wire kipoh concept, and I'm ready to try something else.

Okay, enter Beadwork's Fall 08 issue. Lo and behold Gwen Fisher has an Archimedes' Star bracelet that to me, a Jewish girl, looks like interlocking stars of david in a strip. I'm thinking I've gotta try this in the round, one star and then the others circling it, in essence, a kipoh.

First I tried it with pearls, because Gwen's directions call for two sizes of seed beads and of course while I have a whole box of seed beads I don't have the right sizes in harmonious colors (!!!) Pearls of course have small holes and don't tolerate multiple pass throughs. (One day I'll talk here about my ladder stitch peas bracelet and how to make this over, what a disaster.)

I have these amazing beads from Leslie at Twisted Sistah Beads (see link at right->), who I first met at the Bead Expo in Allentown's Fairgrounds two years ago. She has put together these Miyuki bead mixes - well, she has either mixed them or got them as mixes - in size 10 triangles - woo ee! So I put together two of the colors (well, really three, if you can see the subtle shading) from Sea and Sand Mix in Gwen's pattern and here is where I am so far ~