Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anatomy of a Beaded Braided Bracelet

Tried my hand at beading a bracelet, braided, no less! It was a stretch of my very very basic beading skills. I've only made two pairs of earrings and constructed a very basic chunky necklace and bracelet, but this was so beautiful, I had to try it! We had a class at the RV resort, and the lady teaching it, Linda Breitner, was a very patient lady. I figured if she was willing to offer it and didn't put any skills limitations on it, I was in! Here she is showing us her "wild and out there" necklace jewelry that she was experimenting with.

Well, the class started at 2:00 and was to go till 5:00. At 6:45, I was still struggling to get the bracelet finished. My aging eyes started getting tired and a little blurry at seeing those little tiny crimp beads, and I felt all thumbs as I struggled to get my fingers into tiny little spaces. Stringing the first three strands was easy!
Second three strands not too bad....
And actually, the third set wasn't too bad either....
The hard part was getting the right type of beads on each strand. I accidentally strung two larger type bead strands side by side which was not a good idea in the end....Now for the braiding....
You have to keep the strands very flat as you go and they seemed to want to twist in different places while you braid. The other trick is getting the beads strung so all the strands are the same length as exact as possible. You have to keep the beads pushed up against each other as you go, also. The most difficult part was putting the end tube crimp beads up against the findings, getting the wire backed through the beads without twisting the strands you just braided! 

It was a frustrating project for me, as my skills just weren't quite good enough to manage all the manipulating of the findings, closures and tools...I needed more practice to do this kind of project, but Linda was so patient, she kept me from giving up. She actually had to finish the end of the bracelet for me, as we ran out of time with another group coming in. My strands weren't all the same length, and so we were under pressure to GIT 'R DONE! Thanks, Linda!

Here's a beautiful bracelet another gal did in teal....The colors are much more beautiful in person.
Got to practice this one some more...I really want to get it right! I'd definitely take more classes from Linda...she is so patient and gives you how-to sheets with photos to help you if you want to try and make another one. I think I'll need to put her on speed dial, if I try again! Until next week....

                                           Jeannie and Lyle

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