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View Full Version : "progress report" on my first attempt at a garden bracelet


Shirley C.
04-13-2004, 01:23 AM
i'm trying to get ready for kate mckinnon's class in august, so i figured i'd try out one of her garden-style bracelets. i did the base bracelet, and just finished up the first pass at adding "stuff". i feel like i have 10 thumbs! i am not used to sewing beads onto strung beads, and i just about gave up on this project. right now, it looks like a tangled mess - maybe i should add it to the fiber art project. :D but i'm going to finish it, by golly. (dag nabbit!) i've made several mistakes that i'm quite aware of, but at least i'm learning stuff. i just hope that when i do take kate's class i don't learn that EVERYTHING i did here is wrong. :rolleyes:

here's a picture of the base bracelet right after i added a few goodies, then another picture after i finished the first pass of additions.

TheBlueBetween
04-13-2004, 01:29 AM
Hi Shirley - it looks great so far! The colors are great and the first picture looks just like a Kate picture.... But the second one doesn't look anything like how I do it, 'course I never took a class on making them either. I'm worried about all the strings you have to weave back in eventually - I hope you have enough room in all the beads for all that weaving. And then if you had lots of those strings, I guess it would look kind of interesting with them all hanging out as if it were a fiber project! Can't wait to see what it looks like done :)

WillowMajestic
04-13-2004, 01:33 AM
I just tried a couple this afternoon!! I can certainly say that is was quite a different experience! I am really trying to get a feel for asymmetrical work and find that this process adapts itself well. But then again, the only person who has seen what I finished is my DH .. not sure that qualifies as a pertinent testimony :p

Regardless, thanks for sharing your update Shirley! :clap:

Kari

Emjay
04-13-2004, 08:04 AM
I took a class from Kate last fall and we did not get to these. Too much time with a modified shag pearl bracelet and PMC. I tried to make one at home, and just became frustrated--thread and I don't get along. However, my friend made me one for my birthday--it's fabulous and plush!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Apr-2004/11303-iukgt.jpg

LLane
04-13-2004, 10:11 AM
WOW.... good luck Shirley..... I can say that as of today..... (might have to change it later but) I will NOT be trying one of these bracelets!! :D If you aren't getting it...... I would be in BIG trouble!! :D

I'm sure the finished project will be terrific!

Peace,
Lois

artbabe21
04-13-2004, 10:22 AM
Shirley...you're doing just great and it's looking really good! Any special tricks for those of us who'd like to try one also? Love how your beads relate yet are different.....a good way to use up extra beads!

Emjay...this is a gorgeous bracelet...do they get heavy? It must feel so different on your wrist? I wear several silver bracelets w/no dangles so that would have a whole different feel.

debkauz
04-13-2004, 11:06 AM
I think it looks great! It's a bit 'catapillary' with all the threads but they will get woven in. I like the colors, too. I think it's going to feel great on. I'm a pretty tactile person and love things like that to do touchy-feely with. You're doing a fine job!

Deb

Beads-Me!
04-13-2004, 11:10 AM
Looks good so far girlfriend.... Her bracelets take longer but are worth the work! I don't know if I'll ever go back to single strand bracelets..... Please post a picture when you're done!

Charlee
04-13-2004, 11:58 AM
I think it's lovely! :clap: I really want to make one of these, but have never done any beading with thread. I've read instructions but feel like such an all-thumbs, clueless wonder that I haven't tried one yet. I know - big chicken. :rolleyes: I'll get it together and try one soon - I'm gathering beads and supplies for one.

Charlee

jacki
04-13-2004, 02:18 PM
I hope you keep posting progress pics :) This will be fun to watch!
I really like the color palette you are using, Great start :D

I think I'm with Lois on this one, :D

Shirley C.
04-13-2004, 03:07 PM
thanks for all the comments and support!! by the time i hit the sack last night, i had exhausted my supply of 4-letter words. :D

if i can pull this one off, i've got my supplies gathered for 2 more. one is red, blue, and dark moss green. the other is olive, coral, and bits of blue here and there. we shall see...

maybe another picture tonight. gotta have outpatient surgery this afternoon, but that'll be a piece of cake.

jean, that bracelet of yours is absolutely wonderful!!

Amaris
04-13-2004, 03:28 PM
Shirley,

I've been wanting to tackle one of these, and I haven't had the nerve. Keep posting these pics -- your progress is encouraging. I think I may just make a base a few inches long and play with it now that I've seen "step-by-step" work. I can always take it out (or ask my mother-in-law to; she likes doing stuff like that) and start over!

Keep up the good work! I'm almost envious that you get to take a class.

lisilk
04-13-2004, 06:43 PM
Shirley,

Looks so time consuming but the finished products are worth the effort. Yours is coming along beautifully. Please do keep posting update.

Jean, lovely gift. I was wondering the same as artbabe21, are they heavy ? Comfortable ?

Cheers,

Li

Emjay
04-13-2004, 07:13 PM
Not heavy at all. But, then I'm used to wearing cuffs, bangles or several strung bracelets at once!

Shirley C.
04-13-2004, 09:33 PM
i just finished a segment of pass 2, so i figured i'd take a "scanner" break. wow, this is a chore! (at least it is when you have 10 thumbs...)

here's a picture of the end that i just finished. i don't think i'll add another pass to this part of the bracelet. then again, who knows how i'll feel when i get to the other end. :D

i'll work on it some more tonight - now i'm determined!

artbabe21
04-13-2004, 10:01 PM
Absolutely gorgeous!! You can teach the class! How about doing a step by step article for WC! on this method? Any interest?

TheBlueBetween
04-13-2004, 10:03 PM
It's going to be fantastic! And maybe this will be your last pass - it looks like it will be full enough if you want it to be done at that point :)

TurtleBay Jewelry
04-13-2004, 10:09 PM
I too have been wanting to make one of these, but not with as many seed beads as the traditional ones featured in Bead and Button, etc. However, I'm literally clueless on how to do it. Anyone point me to a tutorial?

~D.

TheBlueBetween
04-13-2004, 10:19 PM
Kate McKinnon's book has one but there are some pictures here to get you started as well. Basically you just make your base bracelet on SoftFlex or whatever then sew on the rest with thread. I use Fireline.

http://www.katemckinnon.com/kitpix.html

artbabe21
04-13-2004, 11:18 PM
Basically you just make your base bracelet on SoftFlex or whatever then sew on the rest with thread. I use Fireline.


Hi Pam...I am familiar with SoftFlex, how is Fireline different? :confused:

TheBlueBetween
04-13-2004, 11:29 PM
softflex is what I use for the base bracelet - Fireline is for bead weaving (well it's really for fishing) but it's great for beadweaving and for "sewing" on bead embelishments. It's super strong and knots well too. I use it in all my peyote tubes and am using it in my freeform under the deep blue sea project.

artbabe21
04-13-2004, 11:38 PM
thanks Pam...is Fireline available through most jewelry suppliers? :)

TheBlueBetween
04-13-2004, 11:48 PM
I have seen it in some bead stores but the best place is a fishing supply or walmart.

http://tinyurl.com/yvlwk is a good source - you would want the smoke not the flouresent orange color and I like the 6lb test for most stuff - it makes several passes through little seed beads. I've heard of people stringing lampwork on 10 lb test, but I have not tried that - I like softflex for that.

artbabe21
04-14-2004, 12:06 AM
thanks again...I appreciate the weight & why not buy it locally if you can?

sassybird
04-14-2004, 01:31 AM
This is looking really good, Shirley. I have two friends that would flip over this work.

Shirley C.
04-14-2004, 01:53 AM
step by step... inch by inch...

another little chunk of the bracelet. i don't like the gap where the ceramic bead is, though. i should have put a seed bead or two between the leaves and the ceramic bead. i'll have to figure out something to do here...

thanks again for all your comments - you folks are keeping me going!

...How about doing a step by step article for WC! on this method? Any interest?
cathleen, i'm using kate mckinnon's book to do this. it just wouldn't be ethical for me to post these instructions anywhere. but pam has provided a link to kate's web site. sorry... :(

and now that my eyes are about ready to fall out of my head, i'm going to get some zzzzzzzz's. night, all!

Backyard Beads
04-14-2004, 09:38 PM
Well I LOVE it .....the colors are fabulous. Don't give up!

Shirley C.
04-15-2004, 02:47 PM
here's another progress report - i'm getting there! i work on it a bit at a time, then go do other stuff. like right now - going out to the torch after i have some lunch.

TheBlueBetween
04-15-2004, 03:15 PM
It's beautiful!!! :clap: :clap:

artbabe21
04-15-2004, 03:16 PM
Bravo!! It's looking so gardeny! It takes a lot of beads too!

Shirely when do you do any housework? You sound like me, after lunch I will paint,etc!! :) I KNOW, what's housework! My hubby is still stunned I like to stay home so much!! Play time!!

TurtleBay Jewelry
04-15-2004, 03:25 PM
Ok, I'm so not doing a garden bracelet unless Shirley gives me a tutorial first. I don't have the patience for all the fine fringe that so many of those style bracelets have, but I really like the way Shirl's is shaping up. It's definitely more my speed.

Help me Shirley! I'm garden fringe bracelet challenged!

:p

~Danielle

TheBlueBetween
04-15-2004, 03:37 PM
Ok, I'm so not doing a garden bracelet unless Shirley gives me a tutorial first. I don't have the patience for all the fine fringe that so many of those style bracelets have, but I really like the way Shirl's is shaping up. It's definitely more my speed.

Help me Shirley! I'm garden fringe bracelet challenged!

:p

~Danielle

That's one of the beauties of the garden bracelet - you can put whatever you want on it - doesn't have to be all those tiny seed beads that I love :) It's kind of a bead soup. If you don't have Kate McKinnon's book, I highly recommend it - not just for the garden bracelet, but her shag carpet of pearls and some good PMC instructions... and just some basic advice for sewing with beads and how to finish that kind of jewelry.

Shirley C.
04-15-2004, 03:41 PM
...It takes a lot of beads too!

you wouldn't believe how many beads i have. i've been a "hunter/gatherer" of beads for the last 8 years. all the beads in this bracelet were either my lampwork beads (only 3 of those) or beads that were in my stash. this is a great way to use them up!


...Shirely when do you do any housework? You sound like me, after lunch I will paint,etc!! :) I KNOW, what's housework! My hubby is still stunned I like to stay home so much!! Play time!!
housework? bbwwaaahahahahahaha! anyone who sees my house wouldn't believe that i don't have 2 full-time jobs that i go to every day. we don't have dust kitties, we have dust rhinos. i just love that "lived-in" look. :D


and yes, danielle, get kate mckinnon's book! all the info you'll need about doing this style of bracelet is in there. it's very tedious, but i've gotten to the point where i'm not swearing anymore - i'm really enjoying it!

Shirley C.
04-16-2004, 01:14 PM
wow, this project has taught me a lot! the biggest thing i've learned is...
don't do this kind of work without really good lighting!

i looked at it this morning under the skylight in the kitchen, and ugh! there are threads where there shouldn't be threads.

here it is - all that's left is to add a clasp. but today is a torch day, so maybe tonight i'll clasp it.

thanks for all your kind words about this piece. it was a struggle for me, but you folks really did keep me going. in fact, i think i'll start another one. last night i bid on a bunch of flower beads on ebay (my flower collection is rather small). oh no, another addiction! hi, my name is "shirley"... bbwwaahahaha!

beclectic
04-16-2004, 01:31 PM
wow, this project has taught me a lot! the biggest thing i've learned is...
don't do this kind of work without really good lighting!

i looked at it this morning under the skylight in the kitchen, and ugh! there are threads where there shouldn't be threads.

here it is - all that's left is to add a clasp. but today is a torch day, so maybe tonight i'll clasp it.

thanks for all your kind words about this piece. it was a struggle for me, but you folks really did keep me going. in fact, i think i'll start another one. last night i bid on a bunch of flower beads on ebay (my flower collection is rather small). oh no, another addiction! hi, my name is "shirley"... bbwwaahahaha!

That bracelet came out great! Is that a little humming bird bead?

Congrats, on finishing this piece and letting us all share your ups and downs. I think we all learned a lot about this technique.

Your thread is one of the things that inspired me to suggest the Lush Garden Exchange project. I'll be submitting that to Li tomorrow for her comments and then I'll submit it officially either tomorrow or Sunday.

Shirley C.
04-16-2004, 01:37 PM
...Is that a little humming bird bead? ...
thanks, barbara! yep, it's a hummer. i've got a few of these in my bead box. it's been so much fun raiding my own stash - haven't seen some of these beads in years!

artbabe21
04-16-2004, 01:37 PM
there are threads where there shouldn't be threads.

This is SO beautiful!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Do you weave the threads back into the beads at the ends so they aren't clipped off looking?

Shirley C.
04-16-2004, 01:39 PM
...Do you weave the threads back into the beads at the ends so they aren't clipped off looking?
thanks, cathleen!
there were thread ends at several points in the bracelet - either because i ran out of thread, or the thread knotted and i had to clip it. i knot the bejeepers out of the ending thread, then weave it into the triangle beads that are part of the base bracelet.

jacki
04-16-2004, 02:43 PM
It really turned out great :clap: :clap: (there was never a doubt! :) )
And I've learned that I dont have the diversity in my bead cupboard or the time!!! to take on something like this.
Are you going to keep it for yourself?
I hope you will continue to share progress pics on the next one:D
This type of work always amazes me, and yours is really beautiful. I'll bet it feels great too.

Charlee
04-16-2004, 03:09 PM
Stunning! :clap: :clap: :clap: Love the addition of the wee hummingbird. :)

Please keep posting your progress when you start another.

Charlee

TheBlueBetween
04-16-2004, 03:20 PM
It's very beautiful! Wait till you start wearing it and everyone starts commenting on it!

:) Pam

Beads-Me!
04-22-2004, 06:58 PM
Shirley - it turned out beautiful as all of your jewelry does! Watch out - they can be very addicting. Though I've been having fun with a variation on Kate's bracelets. And now I can't stop making Stephanie Sersich style bracelets and now today playing with ribbon! Such a journey we're all on.....

lisilk
04-22-2004, 07:11 PM
Wow Shirley ! You have the paitience of a saint. It's just beautiful. :clap: :clap: :clap:

DonnaBee
04-23-2004, 11:41 AM
It's YUMMY! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Gosh, I love the colors together...

Shirley C.
04-23-2004, 12:35 PM
thanks again for all the compliments! i have to say, i really like the colors in this piece. i have a bangle in very similar colors. i wore the bracelet and the bangle (on the other wrist) last saturday to the monthly meeting of the sgb norcal group, and the response i got on the garden bracelet was... "wow, how un-shirley is that?!"... "that is so NOT shirley"... "gosh, how different for you". :D :D :D

nobody thinks of me as a "floral" froo froo sort of person - i'm a jeans and t-shirt, organic, down-to-earth, chunky big jewelry kind of gal. or at least i used to be... bbwwaahahaha!

here's the finished bracelet, and the bangle in similar colors.

DonnaBee
04-23-2004, 12:41 PM
OH! The two together!!!! oh MY! These are absolutely to die for...

gypsysoul
04-23-2004, 01:12 PM
thanks again for all the compliments! i have to say, i really like the colors in this piece. i have a bangle in very similar colors. i wore the bracelet and the bangle (on the other wrist) last saturday to the monthly meeting of the sgb norcal group, and the response i got on the garden bracelet was... "wow, how un-shirley is that?!"... "that is so NOT shirley"... "gosh, how different for you". :D :D :D

nobody thinks of me as a "floral" froo froo sort of person - i'm a jeans and t-shirt, organic, down-to-earth, chunky big jewelry kind of gal. or at least i used to be... bbwwaahahaha!

here's the finished bracelet, and the bangle in similar colors.

Shirley, they are both gorgeous! I'm sitting here looking at one of your amazing "bronze age" beads that I am so fortunate to own, and I think the garden bracelet is very "you". The colors are right on. I think the bracelet is quite organic--it makes me think of the seashore in the fall. Yummy!

Paula

Emjay
04-23-2004, 10:04 PM
They are both beautiful, but I am CRAZY for the bangle!!! (says me the bangle-maker). Good job on both.

TheBlueBetween
08-15-2007, 06:20 PM
bump for susie