Monday, October 24, 2011

More about how to learn PEYOTE STITCH

So many people have contacted me lately with the desire to learn peyote stitch. Perhaps it is the release of the new emag Fabulous Peyote Stitch with Crystal Accents.  Who can resist adding crystals to a stitch so wildly popular?
Everyone wants to learn!

Peyote stitch is sometimes called the gourd stitch. It is considered a Native American technique but is found in many other cultures around the world. Why is it called "peyote?" Wiki says the gourd stitch was traditionally used to decorate ceremonial objects in rituals involving peyote mushrooms, sacred rituals. That's all I know about it except it has to be THE most popular bead stitch of all time.

There are many version of peyote stitch, most commonly even-count peyote and odd-count peyote, referring to the number of beads per row. There are design advantages to which one you choose. Look at my original You Tube video for even-count peyote here:

It gives you some idea of how I teach; I draw the diagrams for you, and it has become my signature method. Since these original Doodlebead videos were made I've had my lessons from the TV show Beads, Baubles, and Jewels made into commercially produced DOODLEBEADS DVDs. These have much cleaner videos, but these originals remain my favorites. I made them using iMovies, and they were indeed to impetus for the product that became the DVD. :-) I hope to do more, with music of course. Edutainment, that's what the world needs!

You can buy my Doodlebeads DVDs--there are two volumes so far-- and I suggest Volume I to start. Along with the videos you will have access to printable diagrams as PDFs so you can follow the video while looking at the diagram I use in the tape. Go to my Sleepless Beader Etsy shop:

In case you are really new to bead stitching, there's also tubular, circular, and multi-drop versions of peyote and about every other stitch. So think how many things you can create even if you only know one stitch, such as peyote. It's rather exciting.

Also, using Delica or Toho cylinder beads gives peyote that perfectly flat fabric many beaders admire. Try Delica size 10s--they are a bit larger than size 11 and should make it easier on your eyes, and help enable your success. And remember to keep your thread tension snug and consistent, that will also help your work turn out best.

Happy Beading!
PS: Thanks to Joy D. for inspiring me to get this post out there.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Playing with Beadalon Rubber Tube

For my Oct 6th appearance on Jewelry Television, Beadalon asked me to design using their 1.7mm rubber tubing, in both black and frost colors. Slender as a flower stem but very durable, the tubing is hollow which means WooHoo! You can thread through it with beading wire or Artistic Wire (less than 20g) and it cuts like buttah with a scissors, snips or craft knife. Was I a happy camper! (Y'all know I love the look of rubber in jewelry designs!)

Since lots of people ask about how ideas come about for my finished work, I'm sharing some of the constructions I played using the tubing. 

My first idea was to cut black and frost tubes into pieces and string them with 4mm round Swarovski Siam crystals, for one of my fave combos of  red and black and white. I curled .015 beading wire (same way you do with curling ribbon) to give the strands movement and more body. This necklace is unfinished. I think it will succeed if there are tons more strands for a more substantial presence, and, having (for the moment!) a limited supply of the tubing, I moved on to a new direction.
Having a pile of cut pieces of tube leftover, I took beading wire--not curled--and crisscrossed through the tubes and crystals in a traditional netting stitch. The only diff here between beadwork netting and this is that I strung the pieces of tubes instead of beads between the junction crystals. I'm not quite sure yet how to give this a polished finish as a piece of jewelry but it sure looks unique around a glass holiday ball or votive.
Here I strung doubled over lengths of the frost and the black tubing through a pendant bail, which I taped to a table on a wire. I strung one of the new Swarovski silver lined big holed beads intending eventually to do some sort of weaving with the tubes, as in those lanyards we all made as kids. (With gimp, remember?) I still need to work out that process.
Grabbing a handful of the tubing inspired me to work with it in bunches. I cut pieces into varied lengths, strung them with beading wire, and crimped more Siam crystal rounds on each wire end. I simply took Beadalon crimp beads (not tubes) and squashed them flat with a chain nose pliers. The crimp beads are small enough to be innocuous yet add a touch of silver.

Here's how I wired the crystal-tipped tubes together so I could hang them from a pendant bail. Totally easy!
More multiples of tubes, wired with beading wire and crimped onto a slide multi-strand clasp. I attached a pendant bail at the center of the tubes.

Here's the finished pendant, using stacked turquoise donuts and a whirl of tubing wired with Artistic Wire.

Using the frost color tubing seemed perfect with Beadalon's SP Quick Links and chain. I strung short lengths of the tube on eye pins with Swarovski Comet Argent Light 4mm bicones, and used simple wire wrapped loops to space the embellished eye pins along a lovely rolo chain. This necklace sparkles big time! So – the discovery I made in this play time with rubber tubing was that it can look dazzling and elegant, as well as industrially chic.
Do you think?