Beadweaving with Gemstone Chips
I like experimenting wtih non-seed beads for bead weaving, so I was intrigued--and a little frustrated--when I saw the photo for this week's free project, Net Full of Gems by Linda Richmond. As you can see, the white necklace with seed beads and white gemstone chips is on a white background, making it difficult to see the stitches well. Luckily, the directions are clear, though I wondered about the "small" gemstone chips listed in the materials section. How small is small?
I decided to make a couple of samples of the first few rows with dark colors and two different sizes of gemstone chips. (I used the recommended Delicas for both.)
As I suspected, the size of the gemstone chips makes a huge difference in the look of this necklace. I prefer the fuller look of the larger amber chips. (Plus, I liked how it worked up more quickly than the turquoise piece.) I was surprised that I liked the copper and amber combination. Before I tried it, I assumed that it might look best to match the seed beads and gemstone chips, as shown in the original necklace photo. What do you think? If you try this week's free gemstone jewelry project, I'd love to know what materials and colors you decided to use.
Why Beaders Love Netting
According to Diane Fitzgerald, author of Netted Beadwork, netting is popular for several reasons:
- it requires fewer beads (and thus is lighter-weight) for the area than other types of beadwork
- it works up relatively quickly
- it drapes beautifully
- it allows the underlying surface to be seen through the open spaces
If you love netting or want to learn more, check out Netted Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald. It begins with a section on netted beadwork from around the world, including a mummy from 700-675 B.C. with a blue netted beadwork on top of the shroud inside the coffin. Also included are 18 projects, including the pretty pink Double Layer Netted Bracelet pictured here.
New Free Project
Net Full of Gems
by Linda Richmond
Create this easy netted choker by working the body of the collar first, then the decreases at the ends. Although the technique is relatively simple, the results are stunning. By varying the number and size of the gemstone chips and seed beads, you can create many versions, from a choker that hugs your neck to a long elegant rope of gems. This project from Beadwork magazine will be free for a limited time.
Michelle's Tucson Blog: Today's my last day in Tucson. If you haven't already, check out Michelle's First Trip to the Tucson Bead Shows for photos and notes about new beads, trends, and other finds.
Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.