Saturday, February 23, 2013

Freeform Peyote Challenge

Karen at Baublicious and Mandi at Bead Circle put out a challenge for freeform peyote.

The rules are pretty simple: anyone can join - whatever your familiarity or skill level with freeform peyote. Well ok, 'check' since my skill level is ZERO. 

I've never done this before because, well it scares the pants off me. It is uncomfortable for me to think that I just stitch willy-nilly ... really? No pattern? So I just change out beads as I go? I'm kinda an organized person, so this just feels super uncomfortable.

But I tell you once I started to bead, it was surprisingly easy. I always do peyote horizontally across the pattern. But when I realized that freeform you flip it to a long vertical lead ... well that just made so much sense to me. This stitched up so much faster than I expected. 

Once I had a substantial band I went back through it and kept adding embellishments  I didn't like it at first as it looked like a patchwork quilt. Note to self: must try not to be so organized next time. However once I started to add fringe here and there, a few top beads ect, it started to come together for me. I have to thank Karen and Mandi for the push to finally try freeform! Here it is, my first freeform peyote project! 

This is a hop, so please check out all the other beaders who created their own peyote pieces:
Mandi Ainsworth - Adventure Guide                      Nancy Dale
Karen Williams - Adventure Guide                         Judy Riley
Bobbie Rafferty                                                 
Natasha Wiegelman
Sarah Meadows                                                  Pam Chesbro
Katherine Gale                                                  Stephanie Woods
Mandy Duffy                                                      Romana Tschunko
Leanne Kirsch                                                    Bette Greenfield
Jean Hutter                                                       Mary Harding

Melody Marie Murray                                          Shirley Moore
Marj                                                                Sally Russick
Therese Frank                                                   Tanya Goodwin 
Christine Altmiller                                              Lea Paličková
Ivona Šuchmannová                                           Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten 

Kay Haynes                                                       Jane Kettley
Tammy Bowman                                                SaraBeth Cullinan
Alisa Lehman                                                     Tami Norris
Lori Callahan                                                     Julie Schmidt Bowen
Tami Norris                                                      Tammi Clapper


  1. Missed this challenge! Would have loved to participate... Free form peyote suits me as I hate following patterns! Great first piece!

  2. Very adventurous, love where it took you.

  3. This is quite lovely. I've only done one freeform piece and I loved doing it.

  4. You did a great job Cynthia! Would never know that this was your first piece. The colors you chose are so soft and soothing. This was really the band width I was going for..mine just had a mind of its own! :)

  5. this piece is so tranquil and lovely. it has a great flow. Zero worked really well for you! look where you are now...beautiful!

  6. Fun design and colors! My type-A personality would have a hard time with freeform!

  7. It's like looking into the Caribbean, beautiful combo of colors. For a first try you aced it!

  8. Hard to believe this is your first foray into freeform! Lovely.

  9. First time?!?! well now that is impressive! I think our brains are quite alike :) I always say "I can't do random" I always try to organize random defeating it

  10. Freeform gives me hives just thinking about it! That's way out of my comfort zone! Your bracelet turned out lovely though!

  11. Freeform peyote is something I have always wanted to try but have been intimidated by it. Like you, I struggle with being symmetrical and organized. Your piece is awesome!

  12. I think your bracelet came out beautifully. I like the light airy quality to it and the colors are so warm weather. Great piece. Would never know it was your first time.

  13. Your bracelet is gorgeous. I love the colors and the embellishments you added. They seem to bring all the colors together.

  14. You are not alone Cynthia! More than a few first time Freeformers were put off by the lack of organization, pattern, etc. required to do this technique, myself included! Your bracelet turned out beautifully and I'm glad you enjoyed the process. I did too! I think this is a technique that has limitless possibilities and I'm so happy I joined this challenge. It really was the kick in the pants I needed :D

  15. I had to laugh at your description 'adding beads willy nilly'. We freeform beaders aren't -quite- that bad; as you discovered there is method to our madness. And quite a lot of zen to be found.

    So glad you decided to give it a go. And actually, I like the combination of areas of patchwork with more organic sections.

  16. You underestimated yourself -- your skill level was nowhere near zero, even if your experience with freeform may have been. And now that you've jumped in with such a beautiful result on your first try, I can't wait to see where you take this technique. It really is a blast, isn't it? Hooray, you!!

  17. I love the expression willy-nilly, hehe. So glad you jumped in and just went for it even tho it felt uncomfortable. Now you have a beautiful first piece! Also, I love your blog header :)

  18. I am always amazed by the first-time free formers who create the most fabulous pieces. I think yours is a beautiful piece with calming water colors.

  19. This is so pretty! I find this very interesting!

  20. I know what you mean about having trouble getting comfortable with the chaos that is freeform. You did a great job with it!

  21. Beautiful Cynthia! Sometimes is it best to not overthink a project and just go with the flow. It worked for you. :)

  22. Oh, I so relate to all of your thoughts, Cynthia.
    Your bracelet came out beautiful, though! I love it!
    Great job!

  23. What an interesting design!

  24. Hi Cynthia,
    I know just what you mean Girlfriend, about being way to organized for freeform, but like you I just shook off the formality and went for it. I love your bracelet and the colors you chose I can not wait to see another one from you. I also found the more you do the less restraint you become.

  25. Beautiful colours, I really like your willy nilly design. Glad you took the leap of faith!

  26. Awesome job! Seriously. :)

    When I did my first freeform piece, it was a little strucured/organized, too. I've found that with more experience and experimentation, I've gradually learned to put the "free" in freeform.

    You're off to a terrific start, so I bet the same will be true for you.


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