Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Pattern - Sea Serpent

I offer you a whimsical sea serpent attacking a viking ship. "Why?" you ask. Because my niece and I have been reading the Hiccup Horrendous Haddack III books by Cressida Cowell. For those of you who are not familiar, the first book in this fun series inspired the Dreamworks movie How to Train Your Dragon.



The books are a fun romp through viking times with dragons, pirates, Romans, and fart jokes. My 7 year old niece and I started reading the books shortly before the movie came out and have been slowly working our way through the series. I say slowly because I can only read with her about one night a week and because the books are a little hard to find at my local library (they are British and had a lower print run in the US apparently). On the most recent book, the little vixen got tired of waiting for me and finished the book without me! How rude.

Anyway, enjoy the pattern. It is suitable for a ring, or could be expanded for a thin bracelet. Could also be adapted to a pin, or a hair barrette... let your imagination run wild!

Quote: This is Berk. It snows nine months out of the year, and hails the other three. What little food grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here, even more so. The only upsides are the pets. While other places have ponies, or parrots... we have dragons. - Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III - How to Train Your Dragon (film)
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lusciously Random

I decided last night that I wanted to make a ring using a strawberry sead bead mix. The mix has some lovely colors ranging from a dark burgandy to a light pink. When thinking about how I wanted the ring to look, I really liked the look of all the beads just piled together.


The randomness of the mix appealed to me. So, the question then becomes: how to create a random design?

First, what is random?

1. proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.
2. Statistics . of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.
3. Building Trades .
a. (of building materials) lacking uniformity of dimensions: random shingles.
b. (of ashlar) laid without continuous courses.
c. constructed or applied without regularity: random bond.

Second, how to acheive random on purpose? My plan was simple. Take my pile of mixed beads, poke my needle in, whatever bead stuck was the bead I would use. The problem came when five times in a row I stuck my needle in and came out with the same light pink bead. Something in my mind insisted that in a random pattern you wouldn't have the same bead next to itself five times. See, my mind wants random to be like the shuffle feature on my mp3 player, where the same song is never played twice in a row. Turns out, that's not really random.

After I thought about the nature of random and what I really wanted of this ring, I decided to treat the process the same as I treat my Kareoke Revolution song selections... random with right of refusal. This means I poked my needle in but if I thought I had too much of that color bunched together, I tried again... and sometimes again.


Overall, though, I think I am happy with how the ring turned out. Very vibrant and fun, and while not 100% random, asthetically pleasing. I shall have to purchase more seedbead mixes. They are a good way to experiment with different color combinations. And they are just fun!
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Thrift Store Catch of the Day!

SAM_0508 by sallaevilincarnate
Fish! a photo by sallaevilincarnate on Flickr.
Today is the first day of Spring Break in my neck of the woods, so I was out and about with my seven year old niece, Molly. We went to a thrft store where she found a copy of Inkheart for $.99 and I found these wonderful fish beads!

The fish are currently strung with some cheap plastic pearls on what appears to be sewing thread. Not sure what I will do with these lovely fishies, but they do beg for something special. The cost for five cool fish? $1.99.


I also picked up an 18 inch strand of wooden beads in tones of pink and peaches. Mostly spheres, but about six .... well, the are square in the middle and triangular on each end... irregular polygons is what my friend Matthew declared them. Anyway, they are cool. I think I will try doing beaded beads with some and something as yet to be determined with others. Should be fun!

Quote: Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931)
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Pattern! Lacy Ring

lace_ring by sallaevilincarnate
lace_ring a photo by sallaevilincarnate on Flickr.

So I really like how this ring turned out. The wonkyness of the top beads gives it a very lacy, feminine feel.

Step 1) Complete the center section of even count peyote (pattern on the left). Keep beading in the same pattern until it will fit around your finger comforably. If possible, try to get to a length where the pattern will match up when you connect the two ends. Zip closed.

Step 2) Weave through the ring until you can exit from a black edge bead. Pick up two white beads and enter back into the same black edge bead you exited from.

Step 3) Weave over to come out of the adjacent white bead. Go through the nearest of the white beads you just added. Add a new white bead, then go down through the second white bead from the previous step and then through the the white bead below it.

Step 4) Weave over to come out the next black edge bead.

Continue steps 2-4 all the way around each side of the ring adding thread as needed. When done, weave the ends of the thread into the beadwork to secure.

Quote: The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Dorothy Nevill

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