The Beaded ArtVenture Begins!

I'm starting off my ArtVenture with the first project in the book, Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells - pp. 36,37.  The designer is Wendy Ellsworth.  I can't show you the actual pages from the book here, or print out the instructions (for obvious copyright reasons), so I hope what I tell you about my experience will be descriptive enough that you won't feel you need to run out and buy the book to follow along.  Not that you shouldn't buy the book.  It's a pretty terrific book or I wouldn't be doing this.  Most beaders have a copy of this anyway - or so I'm told. Enough lead-in - let's get to the action.

My first step: look over the materials list.  Hoo boy.  Hex cut cylinder beads?  I'll be lucky if I can rustle up ANY cylinder beads, much less hex cut.  French-style barrette.  I have no idea what that is, but I know I bought a bunch of barrettes at Big Lots a few years ago, and I think I know where they are.  Leather strip, leather glue, bead glue - check, check and check.

French barrettes.

The barrettes I have on hand.

Close enough.  It sort of HAS to be.
I found a box with some tubes of Delicas and Toho Treasures - leftovers from a long-ago project . . . and none of them are hex cuts, but I don't think that's going to make any real difference.  There is a little problem, though.  The size is much, much different.  The finished size of Wendy's barrette is 3"x3/8"x3/8".  My barrette will be 1 7/8"x1 9/16".  Guess the design chart is out the window.  But that's okay - I'll just adapt Wendy's diamond pattern - make it a God's Eye.

I'll work a small piece of flat even count peyote and mount it to the barrette's face - looking over the instructions that would mean I don't need the leather or the leather glue.

Now I need to figure out how many beads wide and high.  I strung 32 beads and it looks like that should work for the width.

Drawing the chart was fairly simple - I have lots of colored pencils, and plenty of beading graph paper, thanks to the nice folks at the Black Giraffe.  And if anybody thinks following a chart is easy, even if you drew it, THINK AGAIN.  Especially if you're easily distracted or have too much going on at once (just call me Princess Short-Attention-Span).

Once I got to the center of the pattern, I realized it would end up with too many rows.  I pulled out the first few rows, and it evened up okay.

I like how this came out, and while it's inspired by Wendy's design, it's divergent enough to call my own.  But I love the texture and visual interest of free form peyote so much more than flat even count.  My next post will be my adaptation which will bear NO resemblance to the original and we'll compare and contrast.

Are we having fun yet?  


  1. Well my goodness, Morwyn, you don't let any grass grow under your feet, do ya?! (Could you have made that barrette any FASTER?!?!?) COOL!

  2. sweetpea - you made my morning! I really don't know how long that took - the time spent on it was broken up into about 20 parts over the course of a day and a half. But you give me an idea - maybe I should time how long these projects ACTUALLY take as "GTK" info (good to know) - Thanks!

  3. What a great post! I loved followibg the story of your barrette, can't wait to see your freeform version!

  4. Who doesnt have that book, to all readers "GET THE BOOK". I went thru an apartment fire, lost pretty much everything, but i kept my creative bead weaving book, covered with soot and water damage. The barette looks great. Can not wait to see what you next.

  5. Marvelous job, Morwyn! Enjoyed this post very much.

    Kathy V in NM

  6. @ Sarah, Jennifer & KV - Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and I'm so glad we're all enjoying the artventure!

  7. I love that you adapted the project to work with what you had on hand. I think it looks beautiful. I've thinking about doing a barrette and now I really inspired. Can't wait to see what's next on the "Bead ArtVenture"!


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