Welcome to day 2. I’m going to take you a step further on your beading journey. So, I hope you are ready to do more to your project(s)…
Before we start, I want you to remember the Golden Rule…be kind to yourself! If you need to refer to other days, follow this link.
Now, let’s bead…
Well, here we go. It’s time to get beading for real!
Today, you are going to start making the centre for your flower. You are going to be twisting your wire.
So, if you need a reminder, just flick back to yesterday’s blog. But I’m going to take you through this gently.
I am also going to show you how to use your flat nose pliers to help with the twisting. If you haven’t got any flat nose pliers, don’t worry. You can just use your fingers.
Cut a 12” (30cm) length of the gold wire.
Thread on 1 yellow bead and pass it to the centre of the wire.
Fold your two wire ends downwards.
Now, take your flat nose pliers and use them to hold onto the bead (with your dominant hand).
Keep your non-dominant hand holding the two wires just below the bead.
Twist the pliers so you form about 3 neat twists in the wire, just below the bead.
See the photo.
Take your time and do this carefully.
Remember the advice about twisting? It is best to try and keep the wire ends slanting away from one another. So, they will twist evenly around each other.
If you have one wire pointing directly downwards and the other slanted away, then the slanting wire will twist around the vertical wire. This kind of twist is not so neat.
However, remember the golden rule! Be kind to yourself. You’re not going to get perfect twists first time. In fact, after 15 years of doing this, I don’t even get perfect twists every time.
So, if it’s not ‘perfect’ don’t worry. Nature isn’t perfect!
Add a new bead to one end of wire and slide it to about 1cm from the bottom of your twists.
Repeat the technique you have just used to make a second little twisted stem, holding your second bead in place.
So, your work should now look like the photo.
Note: it is fine to leave a small length of wire between your twisted sections, as you can see.
Repeat step 3 another five times.
You can add each new bead to either end of wire, so you don’t end up with one very short end and one long end. Try to keep things even.
You should end up with a piece like the photo.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will help you.
That’s it for today! Just put this little piece somewhere safe until you come back tomorrow.
I’m going to start you off nice and simply. So, we will be using the single loop technique to make the calyx (leafy bit!) for your strawberry.
I am assuming that you are happy with the single loop technique, but I have included some extra tips to help you.
Working with your wire attached to the spool, you should make a series of ten single loops. Each loop will contain 13 beads.
Form this line into a circle. Then seal the circle by weaving your end of wire over and under the base of each loop (just where the wire twists sit). You should end up with your two wires on either side of the circle.
Do not twist them together yet. Just set this little calyx to one side and relax… You’re done for the day!
Of course, if you want to make several strawberries, then you can make more sets of leaves now.
I think there are two key points to remember when you are making a series of single loops.
Firstly, you want the loops to be evenly spaced. They should sit fairly close together. But not on top of one another.
The way to achieve this is to take time when you make each new loop. Leave about 3mm (1/8”) between the bottom of the twisted wire on your previous loop and the point where you place your beads on the next loop. Use your finger and thumb to help mark this point. Take a look at the photo.
Secondly, you don’t want your twists to extend too far below the base of your loop.
To achieve this, you should only twist the minimum number of times you need to hold the loop secure.
Plus, if you try to keep the two wires you are twisting spread far away from one another, this will encourage the twists to sit tightly together. If you have the wires sitting too close together, vertically below the loop, as you twist, then the twisting is encouraged downwards. You don’t want this.
So, bear this in mind next time you are making single loops!
If you’ve got any questions, just leave a comment below.
Today, we’re going to start on the spiral. So, as before, you’ll get to see the stitch taking shape in diagram and in photo form.
Follow the instructions carefully. You can use the photos to get some guidance as to how to hold your beadwork. When you are starting out, this is one of the biggest first challenges. It becomes easier with practice. So, just be patient with yourself and remember the ‘Golden Rule’.
Start by checking that you are exiting from the right place in your work. Your working thread should be coming out of the third (A) bead.
Pick up 4(A), 3(B). Pass down through the 3(B) attached to your clasp, then on through the clasp and up through the 3(A) you added yesterday. Continue on through the 4(A) you have just picked up.
It is a good idea to repeat this thread path again to give your stitch a secure beginning.
Pick up 1(A), 3(B). Pass UP through the top 3(A) in your existing beadwork AND the (A) you have just added. Pull the thread tight to get the beads into place.
This is the most important step for getting your spiral. See the 3(B) you added in step 6? Well, you want to slide them to the left, so they are sat on top of the 3(B) that you added in the previous stitch (in this case, step 5). It is this action of ‘placing’ the beads that is going to create your spiral.
Well, that’s it! You’ve just learned spiral stitch… It really is that simple! So, now continue to repeat steps 6 and 7 until your beadwork is about 1/3 of the length you want it to end up.
So, if you are going to make a bracelet, you need to know how long you want it. Measure your wrist to determine the length. When you measure, make sure you think about how tight you want the bracelet to fit.
The length that you have measured is your finished bracelet length. So, how do you translate that into the length to bead?
Well, if you want a 9″ finished bracelet, you need to make sure the length from your clasp to the end of your beaded string is 1/3 of that, so 3″.
Hopefully that all makes sense. If you do have any questions, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
And I’ll see you tomorrow when I’m going to introduce you to the spiral stitch variation for this design.
Today, you are going to be making the petals that surround your centre. You’ll be happy to hear that you don’t have to learn anything new – you are simply going to be reinforcing what you learned yesterday!
But remember what I said about following the instructions carefully… Make sure you take note of my instructions about thread lengths and when to finish your threads off. If you forget, it’s not the end of the world, but it will make things a little trickier tomorrow!
Repeat steps 1-4, but use (A) beads for step 1 and then (B) beads for steps 2-4.
At the end of step 4, just unthread your needle and leave the working thread to use later.
Stitch in your tail thread. This is your first petal, so set it to one side.
If you need to refer back to yesterday’s instructions, you can follow this link – it will open in a new window. So, you can move between that window and this one to see what you are doing today.
Repeat step 6 five more times, so you will end up with a total of six hexagon petals, plus your centre.
That’s all for today. Make sure you keep these all safe and then tomorrow I’m going to show you how to form the flower…
Again, if you have questions, just leave a comment and I will reply to help you.