Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First cuff

I'm trying to branch out a little. I ordered this 6 inch by 1/2 inch brass cuff blank from Beyond Beadery to try my hand at beading one up.

My first thought when I opened the package was... "Oh, they're so small". I promptly began searching my stash for a suitable cab to use in my experiment. I came across this pretty tiny glass heart cab that looks similar to an opal. Away I went, measuring and cutting.

For the base I used a piece of Nicole's Bead Backing - it's the only stabilizer I have found that is already colored (or dyed). It's similar to Stiff Stuff or the Pellon I've used on all of my Bead Journal pages. I measured out the length of the cuff on the foundation (it's dark purple) and beaded within the lines, not so hard - it's not a huge surface so, the beading did not take too long. I incorporated bugle beads, a couple of Swarovski crystals, a few tiny nailheads, size 8/0 and 15/0 seed beads and a few cube beads. I like it more each time I look at it.

Prior to beading from one length to the other I started by gluing the heart cab onto the foundation material using E-6000, then captured it with about 4 rows of even count peyote stitch.

I had some light purple ultra-suede for the inside of the cuff.

Here's what I learned while working on this one... I could have left a bit more of the foundation material in place - I didn't need to cut it so close to the beading. When sewing the backing on, there were a couple of spots that felt like trying to squeeze into jeans that are too tight - I had to work a little too hard to get the needle through the foundation, past the cuff and into the backing. So, next time - I'll leave a little more of the foundation on the edge all the way around.

Next thing I learned - I pull my thread kinda tight while beading and that tends to shrink up the foundation some - making it shorter on the ends. On the next cuff, I will allow more foundation at each end for shrinkage. And I do believe there will be several more of these. I have 9 more 1/2 inch blanks and I just ordered a few 1" blanks.

The edge is what really finished this off nicely in my opinion. I used size 11/0 beads and the basic bead edge as described in Beading Around Cabochons by Jamie Cloud Eakin.

I took many photos, but just couldn't do justice to the colors in this bracelet - so I've added a few that I thought came the closest.


kelly m said...

nice cuff! Thanks for the step by step, I have a few of those blanks waiting for some beads.

Hélène H said...

Oohh it's wonderful !

I've been wanting to try my hand at a cuff for months - thank you so much for the precious tips :o)

tangled stitch said...

Wow it's really beautiful and your first try at a cuff? Keep it up it's really beautiful. Colors are wonderful too.

Nancy K. said...

Wonderful job and thanks for the tips. I have been wanting to do one also and while I do not have a metal base, I just picked up some in leather, so we will see how that goes when I have time to get to it. Your tips will definitely help.

Grace said...

Hi all - so glad you like it! A really fun and somewhat quick project, I highly recommend trying it yourself.

There is a similar project with detailed instructions in The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini. Get it if you haven't already - some great projects with step by step instructions as well as some AMAZING eye candy througout the whole book.

KV said...

You did a wonderful job on this cuff, Grace. Having made six of these for Xmas gifts over the past two months, I fully understand your comment about not cutting too close to the foundation and ultrasuede!

Kathy V in NM (who can't post photos yet on her blog since the kids visit it!)

Anonymous said...

Lovely cuff Grace! I tried my hand at the beaded cuff bracelet but cut my fabric way too close and the stone I picked for the center was too large and didn't curve so it is being taken apart. Maybe I'll try the cuff challenge in my yahoo group

Beadily yours
Susan Feldkamp

tammy lang said...

oh grace how beautiful!!!
all the colors and beading are gorgous-and the heart is stunning!!
yet again you have blown my socks off :D
thanks for sharing your tips-
something like this may just have to go on my 'to do list'
have a great day

Pat Winter said...

It is very beautiful.

Grace said...

Thanks friends!
Kathy - I look forward to seeing what you've created in the way of cuffs.
Susan - would love to see yours too.
Tammy... you too - what's another project on the 'to do' list???
Pat - always so nice to see you here!

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman