Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Perseverence Pays Off... Again

You've probably figured out by now that I like to learn.

No, make that: I LOVE to learn. As I headed off to college, my Daddy told me that now I was going to learn how to learn... not just cram for tests and regurgitate knowledge into a blue book at the end of a semester. My task, from now on, was to teach myself how to learn so I'll be able to do it for the rest of my life. I'm so grateful for that lesson - it's been instrumental in shaping the way my life turned out.

In my quest for knowledge, I came across this little gem by beader extraordinaire, Lisa Kan. As I flipped through the book,

I turned to this page and knew This Was IT - my new learning project. This gorgeous lariat is an exercise in patience and perseverance. Getting the hang of the peyote-stitched leaves and right-angle weave flowers was not so bad,

but there were so many of them in the finished piece!

Each individual leaf and flower took 30 minutes, and that was working as fast as my digits could move.

Then there was the time it took to add each one to the fringe...

I did change the spiral rope from a triple to a single.

The instructions said to do a triple spiral and make it 50 inches long. WHaaaattt? That's crazy talk! I tried the triple spiral at the start, and it took one hour to do a single inch. No way would anyone pay for that amount of time, no matter how gorgeous the finished piece is. So, I made it a a single, and shortened it to 39 inches. It's plenty long, and certainly gorgeous.
When I showed the finished lariat to friends, one suggested that the clustering of leaves and flowers in the fringe is very effective, but it's hard to see the individual parts. She thought I should spread them out a bit and let each piece shine. Always up for a challenge, I set out to do this.

Because the leaves and flowers take so long to make, I wanted to be sure to make only the amount needed. Marble Man suggested I draw up a design, something I don't normally like to do. In this case, it was a great idea.

I started with a sterling silver clasp in the shape of two leaves. I always like it when a clasp fits the theme of a piece.

Now that I've planned my work, it was time to "work my plan"... one tiny bead at a time.

We're talking size 15 seed beads here, folks. I broke out my special glasses and magnifier for this one!

The nature of peyote stitch is to have alternating beads poking out the sides of the work. This made a very neat finish as I "married" leaves next to each other and then zipped them up with thread.

The finished necklace turned out just as neat on the back as it did on the front.

Final count: close to 26 hours to complete.

Lacy, lightweight, and very elegant. I'm so happy with the way this turned out.

You can find both of these pieces listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

Now... what's next?

copyright 2009 Shibori Girl


Snap said...

Oh, WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!! Stunning, amazing, wonderful!

ElegantSnobbery said...

I have absolutely NO words to describe my awe!! But my jaw has dropped to the floor! Stunning, Kate!

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

You are a wild woman! Those look terrific. I think all your bottled up creative energy (from nursing Oscar)is gushing out now. Way to go!

lori vliegen said...!!! okay, i'm off to pick my jaw up off the floor and realign all of my teeth now.....

it's gorgeous.....truly gorgeous!!!

hugs, :)))

Fete et Fleur said...

Once again pure magic from your fingers! Really Kate you are an artist par excellence!!


Andrea - Faded Plains said...

Yowza...that gorgeous!

Gabriela said...

Hello Kate,

These are beyond magnificent!

Looooooooooooooooooove them!

~ Gabriela ~

LW said...


What Stunning art pieces…
The colors are magnificent.

I am in awe of your work…


Fallen Angel Designs said...

That is so stunning, Kate!! It is absolutely one of the most eyecatching and beautiful pieces of jewelry I have ever seen! You are such a talent and a lovely person as well ♥

Christine said...

These are gorgeous!!