Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wishy Fishy bracelet and earrings

I am this close to being done with that triangle bracelet.  Do you see how close together my fingers are?  I am at the same place I was last night, but I have figured out the clasp attachment.  There was a lot of discussion, tearing apart, and experimenting.  All that's left is to stitch half a triangle on one side and two or three more on the other, and it's done.  Tomorrow.  It will be done tomorrow.  Of course, as I'm writing this it's technically tomorrow, so that gives me some leeway.  :D

But that doesn't give me a topic for tonight.  Fortunately I had some new beads that were just begging to be used.

I love when bead stores give you a free gift with purchase.  It could be a whole goody bag or just a tube of beads.  It doesn't matter.  It's nice to get something for free, but it's also a good way to experiment with beads you may not have thought to buy on your own.

One of the free tubes of beads I got from Knot Just Beads a few years ago were "Beads the leaf outta me":

They're pretty, but I'm fond of buying single-color, single-shape, single-size beads.  Not only are these different sizes, shapes, and colors, but the holes aren't even in the same places.  Some of the holes are front to back, some are left to right, and some are top to bottom.  It's chaos!  Oh - there are also yellow and brown beads in here, too.  ::shudder::  I don't buy many yellow and brown beads.  Steve loves yellows and browns and those sorts of colors, but I love purples (big surprise there), blues, pinks, and greens.  Mostly purple, though.  :)

Somehow I ended up with a few tubes of these leaves.  Oh - I just looked it up.  She gave them away in different goody bags for events I went to.  The upshot was that I had a lot of these leaves and needed to do something with them.

I played around with them and the spiral stitch and ended up with my "Falling Leaves" design:

This design teaches spiral and how to adapt the spirally bits (that's the technical term) based on what kind and size of leaf you have.  You can easily adapt it for different types of leaves or other beads.  (If you'd like to purchase this tutorial, send $7 through PayPal to with the note "Falling Leaves tutorial", and I'll e-mail it to you!)

Since I had such great success with the leaves, I'm more comfortable with bead mixes like this.

The most recent giveaway that Knot Just Beads had was on Good Friday.  Since eating fish is a big Catholic tradition on the Fridays during Lent, Kim had a "Fish Special": a free tube of "Wishy Fishy" beads with purchase:

Since the fishies are on my usual purple background, you know I took advantage of this fish special.  Each tube had one large fish and quite a number of small ones.  I picked through the tubes and found this one with a yellow-green large fish that I thought was cute.

At this time I'm not planning a new design for the fish (I have my hands full right now with unwritten tutorials), but I wanted to do something special with them.

The first thing I did was make a pair of earrings that kind of look like they're on the line:

The blue beads are meant to be bubbles, and the silver bugles are the fishing line.

As I was making the earrings I had an idea for the bracelet.  I was going to put it off, but I knew that tomorrow I'd be working on the triangle bracelet, and I need to get back to knitting the baby pullover I'm testing.  I also didn't want to wait because I wasn't sure if what I wanted to do was going to work.

I wanted to simulate air bubbles coming up from the mouths of the fish (I have no idea what the possessive plural of "fish" is - fishes'?).  I also wanted to use a more conventional technique than stitching or working with wire like I did the last few days (the wrapped-loop necklace and bracelet).

I grabbed beading wire (the kind used for regular stringing), crimp beads, and my Xuron 4 in 1 Crimper.  I cut a piece of wire about 12 inches so I'd have plenty to work with.  Although I did have enough, I would have felt more comfortable with another 3 inches or so.  I got twitchy for the last two fish.

Here's the final bracelet:

Between each fish is a loop of seed beads.  I strung three small seed beads and one bigger one.  Holding the first two small beads tight against the fish, I looped the wire around and went through the second one again.  Once that was tight, I added one more small seed bead before adding the next fish.  Now that I'm looking at it again, the bubbles could be coming out of either end of the fish.  Oops!  Do fish fart?  Next time I'll add a few more seed beads before the next fish.

The bubbles like to move around, but when the piece is worn, for the most part they stick up like they're floating to the surface.

I think it's super cute.

Here's a zoomed out shot of the bracelet:

(There's nothing like using a piece of wire to put a bracelet on and seeing your pudgy hand in pictures to make you want to eat rice cakes for every meal.)

I have enough fish left over to make a necklace, but I'm not sure this technique would work for a necklace.  I may have to break out the needle and thread and make one using the same technique as with the leaves.

Have you done any experimenting with free-with-purchase beads?  I'd love to see what you've come up with!  Send a picture or three to, and I'll blog about it.

1 comment:

  1. Love the Wishy Fishy mix. I don't have a pic but I did take a whole tube and added them to a charm style bracelet. It is very dangly and fun to wear. I call it the "back to school" bracelet since I used the whole tube.. uh hum... I mean school of fish.