Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Kits for Telstar Necklaces

We put a new kit in the shop.  I don't often do kits that make a complete piece of jewelry, but here we have a necklace. 

It's a dainty yet casual necklace, the kind of jewelry that I like to wear: small, light, understated and goes with everything, and it has a lot of detail if you look at it closely.  This necklace kit features nine Mini-Telstar beaded beads, each measuring just 11 mm in diameter.
The Telstar Necklace Kit contains all of the materials you need to make the complete necklace, including bugle and seed beads to weave nine Mini Telstar Beaded Beads.  It's 21 inches long, but you can make it a little longer or shorter.
For stringing, there are Swarovski black pearls, sparkling black goldstone, purple amethyst, and various glass beads.  In addition to the beads, the kit contains a lead-free pewter clasp, sterling silver crimps, beading wire, Nymo brand nylon thread, and two beading needles. All you need is scissors, a piece of fabric to place your beads, something to crimp with, and a little bit of time for beading.  Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beaded Ethane Molecule with CSRAW

Yes, so I beaded ethane.   Okay, I beaded a model of an ethane molecule using cubic super right angle weave, attached via the corners of each cube. Ethane was first synthetically created in 1834 by Michael Faraday. This beaded molecule was created by me last week.
A single molecule of ethane has 8 molecules: 2 of carbon, and 6 of hydrogen.
I think my beaded model is something in between the "ball and stick" model above and the "space filling" model below, but a bit more ball and stick, since I added a round of RAW between the molecules to attach them together.
It has a nice symmetry.  The bead work is stiff yet flexible, and shows a variety of moods when posed. It has many holes as big as 2mm to string it.
Sometimes, it looks like a dog.
I think in this photo he's peeing or dancing or something.
At standard temperature and pressure, ethane is a colorless gas. The bead work is green, gray, black, silver and gold. Ethane is odorless, and so is this bead work.  Just in case you wanted to know how big my ethane molecule is, you can see that here.  This educational model is for sale. Click the photos to go to the listing. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cubic Super Right Angle Weave CSRAW

A few posts ago, I compared Pondo Stitch with Super Right Angle Weave (SRAW), and found that they create a similar flat structure of beads, albeit with very different thread paths.  Soooo, in the comments, Emilie had the insight to ask, "Have you done a cubic version of the super RAW?"  Indeed, I had not.  And always enjoying a good beading challenge, I made this.
It's a row of three cubes using cubic super right angle weave, or CSRAW for short.  I think I can pronounce that out loud.  Csraw. K-sssssssssssraw.

Here is one cube.  It has 4 x 6 = 24 black beads and 12 gilded red beads.
(Edited to add: I eventually realized with loops of 4 and loops of 6, this is a beaded truncated octahedron.  See the hexagons and squares in the illustration below.) 
When you add another cube, the new cube shares one face, or 4 black beads with the first cube.  Each cube shares 4 black beads with the cube next to it.  It's a little squishy, and it shows more thread than I like, but it has the nice property that even though it squishes, it likes to pop back into shape.  It has a nice springiness about it.
Noticing the 4 black beads on each face, I realized that you can add cubic right angle weave (CRAW), on any face of SCRAW.  Yup, CRAW and SCRAW play very well together!  Here is a square using SCRAW on the corners and CRAW on the edges, and embellished with silver seed beads to fill in the spaces.
The embellishment stiffens the weave significantly.  That embellishment is essentially what I show at time 2:50 in the video below on Cubic Right Angle Weave.
Now, if that weren't enough, there's more.  Because these cubes in CRSAW have extra beads, you can attach them by the corners, like this.
Each pair of consecutive cubes shares 6 beads instead of 4.  That's 3 purple beads and 3 golden beads shared by each pair of cubes. 
And there's even more, but I got to save something for later, right?  Okay, I'll leave you with two last photos.  Here's what I had for Thanksgiving dessert.
And this.  My sister made these delicious delights.  The candied cranberries were my favorite... super tart and just a little sweet.
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Felt a Nice Pair

Since I know you love me mostly just for eye candy, I'll give you what you want most. I know that I did this before, but this time, I've got better photos. 

A nice pair. When you have two, it's twice the fun.

A new position.

New Kits for the Rivoli Urchin Pendant

The Rivoli Urchin Pendant reminds me of a jewel encrusted sea creature.  The green, blue, and black stripes remind me of a Halloween or circus costume.  The color combination includes purple amethyst, aqua, blue, bronze, and a pretty green Swarovski rivoli crystal in the center. It contains over 500 glass beads, each one woven precisely into place.
This pendant is 1 1/2 inches (39 mm) wide and 5/8 inches (15 mm) thick. Its size makes it suitable for a focal bead on a necklace. A web of beads on the back allows you to add a cord or a medium sized chain and wear it as a pendant.

This pendant is now available as a very limited edition kit.  I can't source all of the beads, so they'll be sold out soon.  The pattern sold with this kit (or alone) includes all of the instructions for making the Rivoli Urchin pendant, as well as the complete necklace.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pondo Stitch vs Super Right Angle Weave

I'm in an on line beader's group and Beki Haley posted a comment saying that she was "pondering Pondo stitch."  I looked at this set of instructions from Bead-ah, and found a stitch that seemed to resemble what I call Super Right Angle Weave (SRAW), like I used to make this bracelet.

Here's the basic SRAW with size 11/0 and 8/0 seed beads.
Here's my Doceri video explaining how to make this exact patch of SRAW.
Looking at Bead-ah's step photos, I immediately noted that the thread paths between Pondo and SRAW are very different, and so are the boundaries.  In search of more photos of Pondo stitch, and I found this nice summary of Pondo Stitch from Cook on Strike. There, I also learned that Pondo stitch is also called African Circle stitch.

I was still a bit confused as to the difference between Pondo and SRAW, so I picked up some seed beads to figure it out.  Here's what I learned.

Of all of the instructions I found, I preferred Bumble Bees Beads PDF file for Pondo Stitch.  Even though the instructions are in Japanese, the illustrations are good and and pretty easy to follow, and I prefer a good illustration to photos and videos of people hands actually weaving the weave. 
Here is my patch of Pondo stitch made with size 15/0 and 11/0 seed beads, before I stitched around the edge.
Here is the same patch of Pondo after I stitched around the edge. (Sorry, I flipped it over.)
Here is a patch of SRAW made with size 15/0 and 11/0 seed beads in the same configuration as Pondo stitch.  This is slightly different from what I did in my video because I switch the small and large beads (see the blue and green patch above).  And of course, I wove a differently shaped patch.
The most obvious difference between the two stitches is the edge.  Pondo has a picot edge, and SRAW has a flat edge. 

In the interior, however, they look the same.  In fact, I can create a fabric just like Pondo, by starting with super RAW and adding picots around the edges.  The resulting beaded fabrics will be identical.  

1. The orders of the thread paths between SRAW and Pondo are different, that is, you make these two stiches differently. [Edited to add: In Pondo you cross the threads as part of the stitch, as you do in brick stitch. SRAW has no crossed threads.]
2. Pondo forces a picot edge, whereas SRAW creates a smooth edge. If you want, you can add a picot edge to SRAW to make it look like Pondo.  [Edited to add: You could make Pondo without a picot edge and it would look like SRAW.  The picot edge is an optional addition to both stitches.]
3. The interior of Pondo and SRAW are the same.  In other words, aside from the differences in (1) and (2), they create the same beaded fabric. To the untrained eye, these bead weaves look identical.
4. You have the ability to make both stitches with decreases, but how to do increases in Pondo Stitch is a little less clear to me.  I'm sure there's a way, but I haven't worked it out. 

Thanks Beki for the distraction.  I'm going to go be useful now.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ionic Pentacluster in Beads for the Math Nerd in You

This beaded bead is the pentacluster (5-dipyramid) versions of the Ionic Polyhedra.  Its shape reminds me of a space ship. 
I named the series "Ionic" because the columns of seed beads topped with drops remind me of the Ionic columns of the ancient Greeks, like this. 
The largest beads are super sparkly cubic zirconia (CZ) with tons of tiny facets.  Their colors of the CZs range through pale yellows and golden shades.  The CZs make this beaded bead heavier than comparable pieces of the same size.  The other colors include mostly silver and gold with a touch of gray and black.
This beaded contains about 400 top quality glass and metal seed beads that I wove together with a needle and thread.  Although this bead is hollow, it is remarkably stiff.  This piece is a real jewel.  
This piece is for sale.  Click on the photos to go to the listing.  If you are a bead weaver, I have a pattern for sale for a version of this and other Ionic Polyhedra beaded beads, so that you can learn how to make your own.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rivoli Urchin Pendant

The Rivoli Urchin Pendant reminds me of a jewel encrusted sea creature. I got a little carried away on the colors for this one.  The purple and black stripes remind me of the socks for a Halloween witch's costume.  The color combination is feminine without being dainty.  It includes purple, orange, pink, and bronze, including a rose pink rivoli crystal in the center. It contains over 500 glass beads, each one woven precisely into place.

This pendant is 1 1/2 inches (39 mm) wide and 5/8 inches (15 mm) thick. Its size makes it suitable for a focal bead on a necklace. A web of beads on the back allows you to add a cord or a medium sized chain and wear it as a pendant.

This pendant is for sale.  Click the photos to go to the listing.  To learn more about how to make your own Rivoli Urchin Necklaces, visit

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ionic Polyhedra: New Kits in Lime

We've got new kits in the house! May I present to you, the Ionic Polyhedra Beaded Beads in Lime.  The beaded bead kits include enough beads to make all four beaded beads shown. 
From left to right. the beaded beads are the Mini Ionic Octahedron, Ionic Pentacluster, Ionic Cube, and the Mini Ionic Cube.  Since the mini octahedron and mini cube contain exactly the same beads, you can pick one and make a matched pair. 

Yeah. Beads.

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