Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shop Talk: Artistic License

I mentioned in my last blog that I am working on a project with a friend from Israel. She sent me a stash of beautiful handmade buttons, and I'm getting to work on creating bracelets for each one. The next bracelet was designed to bring out the cross-hatch pattern in the button (left). The button is such a rich color with the black and gold tones. I decided to use one of my favorite patterns. It normally calls for only one "S" stitch across the top, but I added a second to bring out the cross hatch.

I'm always playing around with recipes in the kitchen, and I have a tendency to do exactly the same thing with a beading pattern. Once I've mastered it ... I take a little artistic license to the colors, the sizing ... and well pretty much anything I can tweak as long as I don't lose the general integrity of the piece.

The first version I made of this bracelet (right) I tried to stay close to the pattern. The central bead in the pattern was a green turquoise with gold bead accents. So I guess on second thought, even with this one I took some artistic license because I thought the green on green color gave it depth and the pearls added just a bit of elegance.  I laughed when one little girl commented on my post to Beading Daily, she said she thought it looked just like a caterpillar.  I do have to agree with her.

The two bracelets certainly have their own style. The cross hatch (above) and rich colors has almost an Elizabethan look to it. I do love how the cross hatch stitching completely changes the focus of pattern. I think this version is growing on me. 

One thing that consistently brings a bracelet together for me is the button.  I actually tend to design around the button -- to bring out the colors, shape or style.  I have a huge jar of buttons that people have discarded, and I've collected through the years.  I have one or two of each button, and while that isn't enough for sewing it is a wonderful variety for beading!  

My friend's buttons have found a very good home. I am a self professed button collector.

To give you a sense of the versatility this pattern has, I've posted a few of the versions. I have used different colors, bead sizes and top stitching.  It amazes me how different each one looks.
1. black banded agate rounds, onyx rounds, Miyuki seed beads, Beauty Button 
2. amethyst rounds, crystal gem cuts, mat Miyuki seed beads, antique silver button
3. adventurine rounds, grey freshwater pearls, mat Miyuki seed beads, antique button
4. rose quartz rounds, red freshwater pearls, mat Miyuki seed beads, rose button
5. black banded agate rounds, freshwater pearls, mat Miyuki seed beads, antique button
6. adventurine rounds (2 sizes), mat Miyuki seed beads, freshwater pearls, pearl button

I discovered this pattern a few years back in Beadwork Magazine. The pattern is called Crystal Helix by Barbara Falkowitz. This particular edition is probably one of my most used pattern books.  The pages are dog eared and I've got sticky notes all through it. 


Anonymous said...

Oh wow! Amazing bracers. I love the first one . And your buttons are so... inspiring... Ive already see what I could do with some... Need to check my sew-trunk, maybe I have at least one like yours.
Oh, number 2... and 5! I cant decide which one is my fav. said...

Those are really pretty. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

Ashley said...

Those bracelets are beautiful!



Therese's Treasures said...

These bracelets are beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing your next creation with the buttons you received.

Christine Altmiller said...

these are gorgeous~i love the bold colors and how they can be everyday or dressy. i am leaning toward buttons a lot more now too. i acquired so many and need to use them and they are so beautiful. they really do finish off a piece nicely.

LINDA said...

Cute bracelets! Beautiful! <3


Linda from

Plami said...

These bracelets are so beautiful! You're very talented!

Thank you so much for the sweet comment on my blog! It means a lot to me!


AntiquityTravelers said...

Thanks all for the lovely comments ... thank you for reading the blog! Hope to see you back soon!

Miss Val's Creations said...

These are gorgeous! It is amazing how colors, beads and buttons can give the same pattern a different look! I am loving number 5 with the cool beads!

Kaya said...

These are so lovely and so wonderful! They are modest but extremely beautiful. And colors are truly reach and vibrant. You are an excellent artist and designer.

Have a beautiful and creative week!

Lori said...

Love your blog! So nice to be able to follow you on the new Linky tool. Stop by and follow back so we can stay connected. Lori

Americana Lady said...

Can you tell me which Beadwork Magazine this pattern came from? I am trying to hunt the pattern down. Thank you.

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