Saturday, May 14, 2016

Updating a Design

There is a box in my studio that is full of beadwork....designs that for one reason or another didn't make it to a tutorial or finished jewelry.  I call these pieces my 'Set Aside Designs' fellow designer Helena Lim noted....SAD very true.

They get set aside for a variety of reasons.....sometimes in sheer frustration because a key component gets discontinued, or they just seem to be missing something or while I like some of it I hate the rest of it.  They don't get pulled apart because there is something I feel will be interesting if developed.
Of course I then forget about them.

I recently opened the SAD box and looked through it....the piece that jumped out at me shouting for it's chance at a makeover was this one.  I called it 'Sunset Pearls' back in 2009/10 when I created it. 

It didn't really do it for me....some things I loved, some things not so much.
What I loved was the way it wrapped around the it had a life of it's own, I like the idea of encasing pearls and I loved the graduated coloring.
What I didn't love was the seed beads....I try to love them but I'm a Delica girl through and through. I also didn't love the amount of pearl showing....I wanted to see more but going bigger meant the bracelet would be very deep and clunky. 

I've also learned a lot about beading since I made this and have developed my own style so the challenge I gave myself was to bring this up to date....Mikkify it so to speak :)

How Do You Do That? keep what you like and you get rid of what you don't...simple :)

Problem 1: One thing I didn't like was not seeing enough pearl.
Solution: Actually Swarovski solved this one for me with the introduction of their coin pearls.

Problem 2: Seed beads. 
Solution: Easy....Delicas, even better Duracoat Opaque colors of THE yummiest yet!

Features to Keep.

First: The way it wraps around, the structural base.
This was easy all it took was adjusting the bead count in the base.

Second: Graduating colors.
This may not be so noticeable in the new version because I kept graduating colors but used them differently. The pearl became the darkest shade, the beads around it the mid shade and the color in the wings used the lightest shade.  This created a nice depth in the design.

New Features.

Hooked on geometrics is the best way to answer this one. Having just completed the Mardi Gras bangle I saw how I could incorporate a smaller version of the wings to create a geometric ruffle effect. Plus it would intensify the architectural aspect of the bracelet which is something I love and am known for...structure.  The structure is so intense on this the bracelet forms a 'D' shape and stays on the wrist without need for a clasp....though I will be adding one as soon as it arrive, we want to be sure it's safe. 

I've been wanting to develop some 'D' bracelets/bangles for a while as they are so easy to wear....the flat side going on the inner wrist making it much more comfortable to rest your arm on a's a little thing but little things make me happy.

Anyway...there you have it. Old design reinvented and with a new name 'Cathedral Windows' because the shapes remind me of my quilting days.

I decided to write this to encourage you all to dig through your SAD designs and give them new life...if you listen hard enough you will hear them screaming "Do me!"


  1. What a brilliant update!! I love this idea.

  2. Are you still beading? I read your Climb out of the Abyss and want to know that you are healthy and functioning well. And your creative side is still bombing you with ideas to create.

    1. I am beading up a storm actually :) I was very ill for a chunk of time and couldn't work (was actually bed ridden) but came back in March last year. My store is full of all sorts of goodies that have been getting a lot of acclaim


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