The Challenge, Barrel Weave

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I decided to skip the next weave in the book, the european 4-in-1. Although it is a nice looking weave I don’t see any jewelry project I’d like to use it for. For this kind of wide weave I much prefer the dragon scale weave which will probably be the last weave I will learn.

So instead of the 4-in-1 I picked the barrel weave. I got a kit and instructions from UnkamenSupplies on Etsy.

At first I had real problems figuring this one out and I found the instructions to be a bit unclear. It would have helped a lot if in the pictures the newly added ring would have been of a different color. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at and I thought, who is the sadist who came up with this weave?!
But after I figured out I had to add in the new rings from the back, it all made sense and I finished this lovely pair of earrings in rose gold.

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I ended up liking this weave so much I looked through my stash to find some small jump rings I could use to make another pair of earrings. I did find some dark copper jump rings but the weave turned out a bit loose so I decided to add in another jump ring “through the eye” for a total of 2 instead of 1. I guess the aspect ratio wasn’t ideal and I don’t know if this could technically still be called a barrel weave, but I like the result and I’m happy with the earrings.

barrel2

The Challenge, Spiral Weave

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Next in line for this challenge is the Spiral Weave.
I skipped right to the double spiral and made these earrings. They turned out to be a little heavy, there are 18 brass rings in each earring plus a little glass drop, so since these pictures were taken I have removed the ear wires and plan to replace them with a different kind of ear wire that balances better. The earrings aren’t that heavy you can’t wear them, they just tend to tilt forward.
I think this is a pretty and fairly simple weave.

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Double Spiral Weave

The Jens Pind Linkage is another 4-in-1 weave in the spiral weave family.
I bought this kit from UnkamenSupplies and made a nice chunky bracelet. Unlike the earrings this is super lightweight since the jump rings are made out of aluminum. The kit came with a starter tail but I it confused me more than it helped so I started fresh. This weave is a little more difficult but once you get started it makes sense and it seemed like it was impossible to get it wrong.
I think this weave is really pretty.

Jens Pind Linkage
Jens Pind Linkage

The Challenge, Byzantine Weave

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The first weave to master in my chain maille challenge is the Byzantine weave. And I believe I have done just that. It is really very easy to weave and yet the result is so beautiful. I have only made earrings with this weave so far but I would like to make a bracelet using the byzantine rose weave.

The problems I encountered had nothing to do with the weave itself. I just don’t have the hang of how much force I must use to open and close the jump rings. Sometimes the weave just goes flying across the table when one of my pliers (almost always the one in my left hand) slip off one side of the ring, usually leaving a nasty scratch on the finish of the ring.
DSCN1398With the thicker gauge rings it proved really hard to get a nice and seamless closure without marring the rings since it takes a bit of strength to open and close those rings.
But unless you go in for a closer look you can’t tell there’s a tiny nick on a few of the rings. The open space between the rings bother me more and is easier to spot from further away.

Hopefully these problems will go away with practice.

DSCN1479The Rainbow Spiral Hoops earrings aren’t made with the byzantine weave but I couldn’t resist buying the kits for them. The weave in this is just like a mobius flower, like the little rose on the ends of the byzantine earrings.

The instructions and materials for all of these earrings can be purchased from UnkamenSupplies. Or you can buy the finished earrings from me. 🙂

Next up is the Spiral and Jens Pind Weave.

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A New Challenge

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A year has passed since I started this blog and the 12 month challenge of completing every project in a beading book. My choice of book and challenge was
Little Bead Boxes by Julia S. Pretl. I enjoyed the challenge and I love the pretty boxes that came out if it.

Now it is time for another challenge.

This time I have decided not to pick one specific book but a specific jewelry technique that I don’t already know. The Little Bead Boxes are all made with peyote stitch which I had already mastered prior to beginning the challenge. So this time the challenge will be of technique rather than time.

This years challenge will be Chain Maille.
I really love the beautiful jewelry that this technique produce and I really look forward to learn all the different weaves.
I have made a list of weaves that I want to learn and with help of this book; Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop – Techniques and Projects for Weaving with Wire by Karen Karon, I have found the order in which to learn them.

My main source of inspiration comes from Unkamen Supplies. I love, love, love the designs that they come up with so I have placed an order of a few kits for earrings made with the Byzantine weave, my first weave to master.

DSCN1359I have also purchased a set of pliers from Unkamen Supplies that came with a sample of jump rings and wire. I was so eager to start that I made a pair of earrings with the random color jump rings I got for free. There wasn’t enough of any one color so I had to make a mix of yellow, green and pink. They look a bit clowny but I had fun making them. 🙂
The design is this one.

The challenge will begin as soon as my order arrives, probably sometime next month. Hopefully it won’t get stuck in customs which will force me to pay 20€ for them to release the package to me, as was the case with the pliers.

See you soon! ♥

The Challenge, Box 12

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Shinjin – Little Bead Boxes – Julia S. Pretl

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Box #12 is called “Shinjin”. This is the last of the square boxes and the final box of the book. It was a pleasant box to bead due to its tiered structure. No problems to speak of except perhaps for one broken needle.

The colors I chose are completely different from the ones listed in the book but I really like the dark reds I used for my version. I also added 15/0 seed beads to the edges of the roofs and lid even though it is not specified in the book, if you look closely at the photo in the book you can see that this is what Julia did so I decided to do the same. It gives the box a more polished look. 

I’m happy with the box and I am also happy to be done with this challenge. It has been mostly fun and I very much look forward to Julia’s next book of beaded vessels. ♥

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12 Little Bead Boxes (with my engagement ring for scale)

Materials used:

  • 8 mm Bronze Bohemian glass pearls for the feet and misc. red glass beads for the finial.
  • Dark Bronze 11/0 seed beads
  • Dark Bronze 8/0 seed beads
  • Ceylon Color-Lined Blush 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0256
  • S/L Glazed Dk Cranberry 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #1685
  • Matte Op Currant 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #1584
  • 6 lb Fireline, smoke

# broken beads 0
# broken needles 1
# broken threads 0

The Challenge, Box 11

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Tomcat – Little Bead Boxes – Julia S. Pretl

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Box #11 is called “Tomcat”.
My thread tension wasn’t great when I was working on this box and that made the sides of the box a bit uneven. I suppose I was a bit tired and like with the previous shapes third boxes this was a big one and they tend to get a bit boring to bead, even though this is just the second square box.
It is pretty enough but it is not one of my favourites and I wont make another one.

I used the same colors as listed in the book except for the blue background and the green eyes.
The white matte beads caused a bit of a problem in the corners, one bead broke so I had to replace it and then the replacement bead also broke. Very frustrating. The third bead broke when I was stitching the feet on.

Just one box left to bead now.

Materials used:

  • 11×7 mm Red Carnelian Czech Fire Polish Glass beads for the feet.
  • Opaque Terra Cotta 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads
  • Matte Op Cream 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0352
  • Lt Caramel Ceylon 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0205
  • S/L Light Bronze 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0181
  • Dyed SF Tr Berry 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0773
  • Matte Tr Root Beer 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0769
  • Matte Op Sea Foam Luster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0374
  • Matte Tr Dk Emerald AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0859
  • 6 lb Fireline, smoke

# broken beads 3
# broken needles 0
# broken threads 0

The Challenge, Box 10

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Tempest – Little Bead Boxes – Julia S. Pretl

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Box #10 is called “Tempest”. This is the first of the square boxes.
I decided to go with a completely different color palette for this little box since I have already made a small blue hexagon box. I think it turned out awesome. I like the gray-scale for this pattern.
The box was not challenging at all but I have had a lot of practice leading up to the square boxes so perhaps it would have been a different story had I started with it.
The base wouldn’t stay completely flat as you can see by the lid. Julia’s box lid is a little flatter than mine, most likely due to my tension being fairly loose. 

I’m happy with the box and I enjoyed making it. 🙂

Materials used:

  • 8 mm Black round glass pearls for the feet and a squared lampworked glass bead for the finial.
  • Jet 11/0 seed beads
  • Black 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0010
  • White 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0200
  • Matte Op Ghost Grey AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #1598
  • Op Grey 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0731
  • 6 lb Fireline, smoke

# broken beads 0
# broken needles 0
# broken threads 0

The Challenge, Box 9

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Dragon – Little Bead Boxes – Julia S. Pretl

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Box #9 is called “Dragon”. This is the third and last of the pentagon boxes. I liked the colors used in the book so I tried my best to use all the colors listed. I couldn’t find the dark purple but I think I found a suitable substitute. The white is also a different shade of white. Also, my dragon is facing the opposite way because I like to bead the sides of the box with the inside facing me.

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I made one mistake in the pattern but I discovered this so late in the process that I decided to leave it alone since the wrong color bead is on a corner of the box and replacing it would be very difficult.

I timed myself beading this box and it took me 16 hours to complete.
So that’s it for the pentagon boxes. I’ve enjoyed beading all three of them, 0 broken beads and only 1 broken needle. Good stuff!

Next up, the square boxes.

Materials used:

  • 8 mm Light Purple Silver round wooden beads for the feet and a Purple lampworked drop bead for the finial.
  • S/L Smoky Amethyst AB 11/0 seed beads
  • Matte Iris Teal 11/0 seed beads
  • Dyed SF Tr Dk Smoky Amethyst 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0784
  • Op Mauve AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0158
  • Matte Met Sage Green Luster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0373
  • Matte Op Golden Olive Luster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0371
  • Matte Tr Dk Emerald AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0859
  • Dyed Light Apricot S/L Alabaster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0621
  • White 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0200
  • 6 lb Fireline, smoke

# broken beads 0
# broken needles 0
# broken threads 0

The Challenge, Box 8

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Flower – Little Bead Boxes – Julia S. Pretl

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Box #8 is called “Flower”. Another favourite, this pentagon shaped box was really fun to bead. I worked on it a few hours every day since the beads for it arrived. I didn’t time myself but it took at least the length of 4 movies, 1 episode of Boardwalk Empire and the first 2 seasons of The Big Bang Theory to complete.
The word map in the book had a few errors in it, at row 10 of the sides of the box. Download and check the errata here if you have this book.

I only used 2 of the colors listed in the book but I still used 2 shades green for the leaves and I chose to make the flower on the lid purple instead of red/pink as in the book. I’m happy with the result except perhaps for the fact that the dark purple kinda blends in with he dark green of the leaves.

Materials used:

  • 8 mm Dark Silver Vintage Pink round wooden beads for the feet.
  • S/L Smoky Amethyst AB 11/0 seed beads
  • Matte Op Dk Grey AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0884
  • Pale Violet Lined Crystal Luster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0080
  • Tr Smoky Amethyst AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0173
  • Dyed Op Olive Drab 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0657
  • Spkl Beige Lined Chartreuse 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0908
  • Peach Topaz Gold Luster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0102
  • Dyed Light Apricot S/L Alabaster 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #0621
  • Spkl Antique Rose Lined Crystal AB 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads #1745
  • 6 lb Fireline, smoke

# broken beads 0
# broken needles 0
# broken threads 0