Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crystals and pearls

I have found - and saved - quite a few ornament ideas on Pinterest. By far, I have gotten the most repins of the Forget Me Not Beaded Ornament Cover. This spring I decided I should buy the pattern and make it as part of this project.

I started it last week but needed to order more 3mm pearls to finish it. The pattern calls for 70 of them but it actually takes 90. I sent the designed that correction along with 2 others where the diagrams don't match the photo and/ot written directions. It is nonetheless a beautiful design and I am very happy with it.

I don't have a lot of yellow in my ornaments, and yellow flowers are some of my favorites, so I thought that I would use Sunflower Swarovski crystals and white Swarovski pearls. I put it on a lovely matte chocolate ornament ball that I got years ago. I also shortened the dangles by one 4mm pearl/seed bead section - mostly because I goofed on the first one.

I have a couple of tips for this design. The flowers are very fiddley. For me, they flopped around and the petals twisted until they were all attached to other parts of the ornament. Part way through the 10 flowers, I changed to doubled thread. That helped some. I was using Nymo B, probably not the best choice. I think Fireline might have helped to stabilize them better. I also went through the center of the flowers and the connection between them a second time I wonder if there would have been an alternate construction where I could have made the collar around the top and added the flowers (or some of the petals of the flowers) instead of starting with the whole band?

I also have a few tips for beaded ornament covers in general. I find it easiest to work on these while they are on an ornament ball. But, the beads scratch up the ball and remove the finish. I keep one ball that I use to work on all my ornaments. I put the ball in a teacup from a Chinese tea set. That helps keep it contained and stable, making it easier to work on. I also leave it there when I'm not working so it doesn't get tangled. In fact, the ornament I finished two weeks ago sat in the teacup for years the the beads in the cup under the ball. Easy to find the supplies that way! My one caution for this cover is that it has to be put on the actual ball you want it to end up one before tightening during the last step. Once that is done the ball is in there for good.

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