Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Time To Stitch 3 Reveal

The lovely Therese and Christine have gone and done it again, tempting weavers with a challenge to learn or get reacquainted with some beadweaving stitches in the third Time to Stitch challenge.  This time around we were to make something with a spiral stitch (African helix, Russian spiral or Cellini) and something with a flat stitch (either brick or square). 
 
In my typical fashion, I made grand plans of an elaborate piece that would somehow incorporate all of the stitches.  But the reality of my schedule thought that level of ambition was friggin hilarious, so that plan was shelved for now.  However, I did manage to get a few things done, so settle in and wander down the beadweavy path with me....
 
First up was my brick stitch adventure.  This isn't a stitch I use a lot, and I wonder why not.  It's quick, it's easy, and who doesn't need a little instant gratification in their lives sometimes, right?  My plan was to make a brick stitch bracelet, adding interest to the basic stitch by using a variety of bead sizes.  I got through one sequence of the varied sizes, and realized I had a really cool ring staring back at me.  So I stitched it up and made another!
 

 
I'll probably go back and actually make a bracelet or two (or twenty) from this idea.
 
And it was then on to the spirals.  I'd done African helix and Cellini before, so I tackled the Russian Spiral first.  I queued up the video tutorial Therese and Christine had provided, and watched intently.  Several times.  And despite my careful attention, I ended up with a butt ugly mass of seed beads by about the third or fourth row, and I just could not figure out what was going on.  So I'd mutter a little curse, rip the ugly thing apart, and walk away.
 
Finally, with nerves firmly in hand, beads at the ready, and needle well threaded, I decided to take another swipe at it. This time, instead of trying to work alongside the video tutorial, I printed out a pdf of some instructions.

 

It still didn't work.  I was starting to seriously doubt myself here.
 
Until after the 4,000th time I was unstringing after it had mysteriously gone wrong AGAIN at some point during the third round. I looked at the instructions, and realized that the initial stringing pattern is two small, one large, etc...NOT, as I had been doing, three small, one large...
 
I hadn't felt quite so blonde in a long time.  I shared my experience with Christine, who'd expressed her own frustrations with spirals, and then finished the Russian Spiral, which you can see as the centerpiece here:


It looks innocent, but it nearly drove me nuts to get it going...

 

 
I did have moments when I thought this thing was going to kill me.
 
Then, just to convince myself that I could do a spiral stitch without losing the precious little that's left of my mind, I worked up a Cellini spiral.  I've done the stitch before, and both love it and realize that it is a giant time suck.  But I really wanted to work in the other color palette I'd selected, so long hours be damned, I jumped in. 
 
It was all good until right before I started weaving the ends shut, when the tube split right along the crystals.  Just like the shorts on a tourist who's had one too many trips to the buffet line before he bent over to pick up that dropped item, this baby split like the seat of a pair of too-tight pants.
 
Yes, I said some words that would have shocked my mother.  But I got it woven back together, and here's the final spiral:
 

When deciding how to finish it, I was trying all kinds of stringing patterns, but finally realized that it's a bold, substantial piece of weaving that needed a substantial necklace to balance it out, lest it look as oddly proportioned as an ostrich in ballet slippers:

I love Disney's Fantasia, and the dancing
animals always make me laugh



 So here's the final product, asymmetrial and bold:
 
 
Thanks to Christine and Therese, for stretching our skills, our imagination, and my patience.  And thanks to you for listening to my ramblings.  Now, treat yourself to some beautiful work by the others who participated:
 
 
Bobbie Rafferty  (you are here!)

18 comments:

Patti Van said...

You should write a book- your posts always make me giggle OUT LOUD! I was cursing along with you..and I do not even know how to bead weave! I absolutely adore all of your pieces, but those rings are just awesome! Beautiful job- and congrats on conquering your stitch!!

Mandy Duffy said...

LOL, you crack me up Bobbi! I think your pieces turned out beautifully, even if they did almost kill you! LOL still laughing.

AntiquityTravelers said...

I am so laughing at your spiral experience ... yep that was me with Cellini. I ripped that baby out so many times I lost track. I had to walk away or throw that thing across the room. And since needles were involved, I opted to step away from the bead table. For as much trouble as you say you had with Russian Spiral, you certainly conquered that stitch! and I really love the copper with blue ... I don't think I would have thought of that color combo, but it is gorgeous together!

Those sweet little rings are just wonderful! I really like that, and would never think to make a ring?!

But I am in complete awe over your Cellini ... the colors and the flow of it is stunning. What a striking piece you've made here!

Shirley Moore said...

Where to start? I had to open a second window, so I didn't miss anything in my comments. Love that little ring, now I need to make one of those! So glad you stuck with the Russian, cause that piece is awesome! Stunning colors, as always. It might have been easier for you if you had just used seed beads, but I'm so glad you used those fp, they really made it pop!
So, I was totally shocked about the tube splitting. Do you think it was the difference in size of the crystals? Or the crystals themselves? I've not had that happen, but now I'll know it can. Again, an awesome piece of jewelry there. (You are going to make me have to find new adjectives) Love those peekaboo round metal beads!
I love doing challenges with you, you are always such an inspiration!

NEDbeads said...

Oh my aching sides!!! You made me laugh so hard!! I am so sorry you had such a hard time with the spirals, but the way you've written it out is just so apt. I had some of those issues too, especially with the seat of the pants rip - my Cellinin ALWAYS breaks. I haven't been able to loosen up the tension enough so that it flexes even a little; I end up with a stick of beadwork, lololol!!! Your makes are beautiful, despite your tribulations, and as usual, I adore your color sense. :)

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

Just too funny! We would never know how bad it was unless you told us in your own terrific style. I LOVE your Cellini - the colors are so great. The Russian spiral is pretty wonderful too as a finished necklace. I love the beaded rings....a lot. So simple but just terrific!

Christine Altmiller said...

How you summoned up the strength to ever pick up a needle and weave again after the Cellini Split debacle is beyond me. I hope you at least did a shot of something to calm the anger. But I think we are all glad you moved forward, as this is a beautiful bold piece that needed to be made/worn/seen. Gorgeous! I really like the Russian spiral necklace that gave you a whole other kind of trouble. It is so pretty and everyday wearable. I wound up finding instructions in a Beadworks or B & B magazine. The written was an easier tutorial for me to understand than the videos. And the rings that decided not to grow into bracelets are so pretty! Your color choices make them both stand out so well. Thank you for plowing through and sticking with it! Therese and I are always happy when you are a part of these hops :-)

Kristen said...

Bobbie you blow my mind!!!!!! I love everything!

Therese's Treasures said...

Now that I have pick my jaw up off of my key board and have composed myself I can now comment. Girl I love those brick stitch rings and can totally see it in a bracelet. The Russian spiral is gorgeous. Sometimes the easiest stitches turn out to give us the most fits until the light bulb turns on. Oh I do not blame you for using such colorful language when your Cellini spiral split open I would have been sick, but the end results are beautiful and I love the Asymmetrical design.
Thank you Bobbie for joining in on mine and Christine's 3rd A Time To Stitch challenge I hope that you will join us for round 4.
Therese

Liz E said...

Your story about the Cellini made me laught out loud. I think I might have snorted too because I got a funny look from my husband. How you finished that beauty off though is no laughing matter, it's simply gorgeous.

BackstoryBeads said...

I had quite a time with Russian Spiral, too. It took me two days to figure out what I was doing wrong. But once you get it, it's just such a fun stitch, and I love how you combined it with larger beads. I thought it was my favorite piece in this hop...and then I scrolled down to your Cellini spiral. Oh my! Perfection!

I love that you found a way to combine both brick stitch's ability to be beautifully sculptural and surprisingly supple in the same piece. The rings are terrific and fun, and I hope you'll show us how you use the same techniques in a bracelet!

Gloria Allen said...

Such beautiful pieces. You have inspired me to want a Spiral Necklace too. Thank you. Love the whimsey in your blog.

Sweet Freedom said...

Just fantastic! Love the ring, the Russian spiral necklace is stunning, and so is the Cellini. I have a peyote bracelet that keeps splitting - and I have narrowed the culprit down to a particular "strain" of 11-Delicas (the silky satins) that just seem "sharper" than the others. They also seem to break more readily when I tug on them with my tight tension. They are my favorite colors/finishes among all the Delicas, but I will never by any more! :(

Love your pieces!

Katie N-N said...

I was laughing out loud reading your piece! You, woman, have a gift for writing as well as a gift for beading. And your pieces are gorgeous, even if they made you nuts. Thanks for the smile this morning!

Maryanne said...

I love your pieces, Bobbie! The spirals are great and I love your brick stitch rings!

Pepita said...

Huh, you made me laugh! You just perfectly described some of my feelings with the beginning of my Cellini spiral. I could never express it so well in English...
Let's go to your pieces now. I absolutely love the ring and I have to make one for me - what a great idea to combine different sized beads!
Your bracelet with Russian spiral is very lovely, but the one with the Cellini is gorgeous!!! I love the color combination and the stringing part. It's a real show stopper!

Sally Russick said...

LOL, Bobbie I too had moments when I thought that the weaving was never ending or just could get passed the second row of spiraling!
I always love your beadweaving, you have such a way with color and the composition of each piece! Beautiful!!!

Becky Pancake said...

Bobbi your ring is cool and very unique. I love those colors in the last piece. Good job for sticking to it even when it was tough.