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Friday, September 18, 2020

A Tale of Four Bails

EDITED TO ADD: I am having a 20% off sale on the tutorial for this project this weekend, Sept 19 and 20.  In fairness to those shopping for the tutorial because of the sale, I am posting the new kit at 8:00 am, since I feel the need to tell those buying other kits that this one exists.  If you want one and did not get one, I will make more this week.  Sorry for my change of plans! 

I have a new colorway for my Fall Flame Leaf kits.  I wanted to capture the full color of the Sugar Maples, and ended up also realizing imagery of the Forest Fires on the West Coast in this 2020 edition.  I think this particular color scheme is especially dramatic worn on black clothing

I have added this colorway to my tutorial and if you have an older edition and want these color names and numbers, please just Convo me on Etsy and I will send the new version along to you.  I also found an F near the end of Row 4 of the original tutorial that should have been an E.  So amended, AND corrected.  

As most things Pandemic, this was a little struggle.  I made four leaf samples to get one I liked, and them also created 4 bails to find one that supported the rope and leaf without taking too much focus.

Here are the leaf efforts.  I wanted to use silver-lined beads for their luminosity, and found many I liked.

I saw a little pink in the leaves I was collecting as models, and used a Toho #2226 Raspberry Silver Lined (Raspberry Fade above) at the very edge in my first sample.  But it was a dyed bead.  I rarely have trouble with those, but in this case, the color rubbed off, leaving silvery blue glints I kinda liked, but I worried about long term wear and durability.  So I switched to a Matsuno #638JS Silver Lined Rainbow Ruby, which had the blue and pink flashes I liked in the original.  I thought it looked BODACIOUS! But the work was extremely curly, given the larger size of those Matsuno beads with the tiny shiny black Miyuki Delicas I was using for the vines and edges, the Matsuno beads really pushed forward, both visually and physically.  That leaf was amazing, but more challenging to bead and very curvy indeed.  So I thought I would switch to Miyuki beads for the entire project., but the yellows (Lemon-Lime above) were a little too lemon-lime yellow, and the orange and flame red too close to each other in hue.  So I thought I could switch to Toho shiny black edges and veins, but I needed wholesale quantities and could not find them at my local supplier.  So I switched to Toho Jet Black Matte for the veins and their Semi Glaze Black for the edges and Went back to some of the Original Matsuno colors I loved, with a Miyuki Ruby AB E bead, and finally!!!had a leaf I thought was good.  

Let me say right now, if you like the Bodaciousness of the Matsuno S/L Rainbow Ruby, just tell me, and I'll replace the Miyuki beads in the kit for you with the Matsuno.  I have made the kit I think it easiest to bead and representative of the results I was aiming for. 

 I really like the matte black beads over my original shiny choice.  It looks all the more like flames and forest fires to me, and that seems so right for this year.

Now, about those 4 bails.  Most of the other kits have a rainbow finish Aiko or Delica as their bail, and some have a mix of beads.  My first two guesses for the bail failed to belong to the work in any real way.  I used both colors in the original sample, one in the first few rows and the second in the last few, to equally poor results!  GAH!

Then I tried a black matte bail.  It became complete focus of the necklace to my eye.  Nope.

Then I mixed Delicas in the B, C, and D colors of the leaf.  This was a step in the right direction and seemed a part of the whole.  You could choose to do it with the kit as provided.

My final bail choice was to take the three BCD colors from the leaf and organize them into a gradation similar to the leaf.  I felt like it pointed at the leaf, and put the focus where I wanted it.  I have included a closeup photo of this work in the kit, and I was not super strict with where the beads went exactly, just tried to put as close to the same number beads of each color in each row as I could, given row counts.  The color shift is subtle, and gently random, but I really felt it was a good solution to the problem.

The pile of beads purchased and not used is ridiculous.  BUT I am at peace with what I have to present and that means more to me than anything else.  I might also feel a new beaded Autumnal Bag coming on.  I might need all those rejects after all!  I am so spoiled by the two great Twin Cities Bead shops Bobby Bead and Stormcloud Trading.  Thank you for being here!

Kits for the new colorway will be available in my Etsy shop tomorrow, September 19th, probably 10:00AM CST.  I doubt there will be a huge rush, but if I am wrong, I can re-kit fairly quickly, now that all the hard work is done.  Stay safe, my beady buddies, and enjoy this beautiful autumn! I'll drop in a link tomorrow for the kits, and if you want the updated tut, just convo me and I'll be sure you get a copy.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Back In Stock Fall Flame Leaf in "Singe"

Yup.  Singe is back in stock.  It's been a long time since this one was available.  Find it here in my Etsy shop:

I was planning to restock this using the new Toho Permanent Finish gold beads, but Covid seems to have robbed me of that opportunity.  There are few to be found and the kit requires 11 grams.  So it's back to the original 24k gold finishes.  This makes it a more expensive kit that the others, but honestly, it is also REALLY elegant in person!

I love the rope in particular with the real gold shimmer guiding the eye through all the color transitions.

I have also made one change in the leaf beads.  I was never best pleased with the D bead, which was a soft gold transparent rainbow bead.  It's the one next to the smoke topaz at the edges of the leaf above.  All the other beads have a silver lining and this one did not, so I have replaced it with a silver lined topaz, which has better presence and punch.  You will have to take my word for it, since I did only a scrap of sample to be sure I would approve.

I have been spending my energies on finding a new colorway for this fall.  And yesterday, I thought I had it.  But when I finished the first half of the leaf, I noticed the Raspberry finish was rubbing off the bead, leaving some pale pinks and some flat silvers.  GAH!

See the Raspberry beads near the black edge?  See how some of they are pale pink?  There's one at the bottom center that has lost almost ALL of its color.  Sigh.  I looked the bead up on my favorite Toho suppliers website, and sure enough, there is a color stability warning.  So I have made another choice and a new sample is underway.  But I think you can see where I was going.  It screams October to me, and I think it will be good worn on black.

Yes, I do still have other design ideas, but the fall Gem and Lapidary Workers show was again cancelled like the spring one.  Until I have better access to unique and beautiful component shopping, I am kinda stalled.  Plus every other bead I decide I need seems to be impossible to locate.  SO... hang in there.  I am not done with beads, but the struggle is real, as they say.  If everything goes well and nothing is impossible to buy, this kit should be ready for next weekend.

OH!  And the 12mm Pearl Acorns are back in stock.  They went fast!  THANK YOU!! That tutorial is also half price again for this long weekend, through Monday.  I bet you know how to get there, but just in case: