OTTBS have announced a new monthly challenge called “Bead Book and Bounce”. Each month the OTTBS crew will select a popular beading book and everyone is invited to join in by choosing a project from the book, with two months to complete their chosen design. The nice thing about this challenge is the flexibility – you can make the project ‘as is’, or make any adjustments to the colours, beads or the basic pattern. The first book is “Bead Romantique: Elegant Beadweaving Designs”, by Lisa Kan.
In “Bead Romantique”, Lisa Kan pays tribute to the timeless, elegant designs of the past. Inspired by history but with a touch of contemporary style, Lisa’s book is full of romantic yet sophisticated beadweaving designs. This book isn’t aimed at the beginner beadweaver, but that said, her instructions are well-written, detailed and easy to follow with ample illustrations.
The hardest part of this challenge was deciding what to make. I was immediately drawn to the Netted Rivoli Chain earrings (which I’m sure I’ll make at a later date), and I also liked the Ndebele Twist Band with Flower Centre, Black Lace Lariat (although I’d never wear it), the Medici Rhinestone Necklace (which is fit for a Queen) and the Victorian Diamond Cuff. But, in the end, I took my inspiration from the simple yet stunning V Scallop Necklace. I used the basic design with a few modifications to come up with my own elegant and feminine bracelet design.
My bracelet follows the original necklace design, it’s still on a RAW (right angle weave) base, but instead of stitching cubes into the exposed corners, I’ve added an additional seed bead. I’ve also used two rows of Swarovski 4mm crystals (albeit different colours), rather than one row of freshwater pearls, and I added the scalloped fringe on both edges rather than one. The idea of creating a reversible design by beading the back on the opposite diagonal is a great idea, and this would add serious weight and substance to the necklace design, but, for a bracelet this just made it too inflexible. I’ve retained the original clasp and button closure to keep the ‘old-world’ vintage charm.
I used Size 11 Miyuki seeds beads in Matte Metallic Patina Iris and Matte Salmon Pink, Swarovski 4mm bicones in Fuchsia and Violet Champagne and a vintage Lucite Purple button.