Thursday, January 28, 2010
"Where Are MY Bottles?"
You are my witness. Two days ago Tessie said that I should practice on one of the large bottles that I got at the antique mall, before starting hers.
This is as far as I got. I started a collar around the bottle of choice. Then I got distracted and worked on a cabochon for a while.....That's when she caught me.
She pointed at my bottle and exclaimed, "You aren't even working on the practice bottle. You are doing something else entirely!" Then, "Stop that right now! If you aren't going to practice, then you should go straight to covering one of my bottles. Let's start with the one for swamp water."
I was having fun with the cabochon. Then I stopped having fun, with her bottle.
Come to find out, the shape of this one was strange and it was more difficult to cover than I thought it would be. Besides, the beads that I had chosen were boring.
I started it with a collar of antique gold #14 beads, leaving a tail about 5" long. I strung an even number that would fit around the neck. I went through all of the beads again for strength and tied a knot.
Here you see the start of the second row of Peyote stitch. That's the pale green that you see. I string through one of the gold, put on a green, pull it up tight, skip the bead that is directly above it and go through the next one. I kept doing that until I reached the starting point. Then I went through the gold bead and stepped down by going through a green bead. That set me in place to do the next row.
If I kept doing just that, the tube that I was creating would go straight down and not work on the pudgy bottle. I had to do a row of increases. That consisted of adding one single bead and then two. Alternating between those, I increased the number of beads in a row by half. I needed a pretty sharp flair to fit the bottle.
Each bottle will be different, so this isn't really meant as a tut. There are lots of places on the net that will teach you how to do Peyote stitch. Just Google Peyote stitch instructions or something similar and take your pick.
Anyway, I took the bottle with me to the Wednesday Witches mini meeting in the afternoon.
I kept going and kept disliking it more and more. It was too dark and dreary. If I covered the whole bottle, nobody could actually see what was inside.
By the time I got home, It was about 3/4 covered and I really didn't like it.
Tessie took one look at it and said, "It looks like my Aunt Fern's funeral urn! Yuck!"
I guess that gave me the push that I needed to take most of the beads off and start over.
This morning I took all of the beads off, right up to the collar. Then I decided that netting would be better than Peyote stitch, because it would allow one to see what was inside.
It is still a bit boring. I just used antique gold, with shiny gold at the intersections. I may go back in and put something bright in at the top of each diamond shape to liven it up.
Tessie agreed to pose with the boring jug if I would let her have the beaded mat as compensation.
Did you know that the Victorian ladies made mats like this for their tables? They were evidently all the rage in the 1860s. I have Peterson's Magazine for women in bound volumes for 1860 through 1865. There are lots of needlework patterns in them, including several patterns for beaded mats. They used beads about the size of our plastic pony beads to make them. Sorry. Once again, I got sidetracked. Back to the subject at hand.
As you can see, I am almost to the bottom of Tessies's first Swamp Water Jug, as she calls it. If I don't stop writing and finish beading it, she is going to start harassing me. I would rather bead than be harassed.
See you tomorrow.
P. S. Kim asked about my beading surface. It is a piece of one of those old velour"velux" blankets from the 80s and 90s that are kind of on a net/foam foundation. They work wonderfully for beading. They can be cut to any shape or size and the beads don't sink down into the fabric. When you go to pick a bead up with a needle, it is much easier because the texture of the blanket is like a very stiff velvet and the beads kind of "float" above it. it is soft but extremely thick. The beads don't bounce around on it like they do on regular fabric either. I think that there are places in the beading world that sell mats made out of this fabric, but they seem to be a bit expensive. At least they were the last time I checked. I cut it to fit in an old picture frame.