Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ornaments 2011 #1 'Egyptian Goddess' Tutorial

I'm very excited! This is my first tutorial that I'm sharing online. I've been making Christmas Ornaments for 5 years now, and this is the first that I've written down as I made it. Others were one of kind gifts that I didn't think I would want to repeat (or ideas from other people that I modified for my mini size ornaments). 

Total materials - For this ornament (a very mini 1 inch high ball) I used 2 different colors of size 11 seed beads, 5mm bugle beads, and 3mm cat's eye balls. Plus standard equipment - Needles, Thread (I used Nymo) and sharp scissors. 

Total time - 60 to 120 minutes depending on how fast you are.

Difficulty - Late Beginner to Early Intermediate - requires knowledge of ladder stitch, right-angle weave, and fringe techniques.
I like using AB finishes and metal lined beads for the maximum sparkle they add. Also if you're worried about color matching, finding a mix and then beads that accent the mix is an easy fix to color problems. It does add a little extra visual action to the ornament, leading the eye to solid spots (like the cat's eye beads) and to seeing an overall shape instead of individual parts, so if you want to see the pattern use a solid color instead of a mix.

For this tutorial, the mix is color A, the yellow is B, the bugle bead is C and the cat's eye is D. ^_^

First is the top ring. My ornament fit 24 size 11 seeds around the top, which actually gives me the number of sets in the Ladders and Loops band. I usually try to get a multiple of 4 around the top ring, since 4 is really easy to divide into smaller groups. Plus it provides the needed spacing for this design. There should be a little give (about a bead width) for your needle to work in and out of the top ring.

If your ornament is slightly bigger than mine, measure how many beads fit around your ornament top around the hanging stem. If it is more than adjust the Ladders and Loops belly band accordingly. For example, if your top fits 28 there would be 7 ladder sets in the band.

Once you know how many beads your ornament stem measures to, you're ready to start with the belly band (which should be made first).

Now for the Ladders and Loops belly band. String a B, C, 2 B's, a C and a B. Turn around and go through the first B so that you have two stacks of bead/bugle/bead. This is all done in ladder stitch. Go back through the second bead/bugle/bead combo and add in one last B,C,B so that you have three stacks in a row.

Add 5 A beads, a B,C,B and 5 A's. (Yellow Arrow) Go back through the B,C,B stack (Green Arrow), the upper loop (Red Arrow 3) and out of the B,C,B stack. (Red Arrow 4)

Repeat until you have 6 B,C,B, sets and 5 loops.

The 6th Loop connects group 1 of the bugle bead sets to group 6. The ring fits just under the equator of the ornament ball, to give the ornament just a little extra length.

 (Also the Ladders and Loops ring makes a really fun and interesting actual ring for your finger.)

Tie off the ends and weave them into the Ring. Set aside for a moment.

Tie the top ring onto your ornament remembering to put in the give.  My pattern was 1A, 3B six times for a total of 24 beads. (If your stem measures to a different number divisible by 4 then the pattern is the same, except for the total amount of 1A, 3B sets.) The connectors between the top ring and the belly band use Right-Angle-Weave or RAW.

The 1A (in the top ring)is the first bead in the 5 squares of RAW, a center A on the Loop of the belly band is the last bead in the connection for a total of 5 squares.

After you make the 5th square, weave your way back to the top ring and add the other 5 connections for a total of six connections.

(I've noticed that the RAW on the mini ornaments looks a little like lace. For an added effect, you can make another loop and add beads in between the side beads of the RAW loops. This pattern is really easy to customize. Don't be afraid to experiment once you have the basic pattern down.) 

The last step on the ornament is the fringe. The fringe is hung from the bugle bead sets. The first and third fringe strands are the same, the middle one has a few extra beads.

 For Strand 1- 10A, 1C, 10A, 1C, 5A, 1D, and 1A. Skip the last A and go back up through the strand, up through the bugle bead set and down into the middle bugle set.

For Strand 2 - 15 A, 1C, 10A, 1C, 5A, 1D and 1A. Skipp the last A and go back up through the strand, up through the bugle bead set and down into the last bugle set.

For Strand 3- 10A, 1C, 10A, 1C, 5A, 1D, and 1A. Skip the last A and go back up through the strand, up through the bugle bead set, over the loop and down into the first bugle bead set of the next ladder section.

Do this for all of the bugle bead sets. If it gets tight in the bugle beads never pull the needle with your fingers. This could bend the needle, break a bead or impale a finger on your needle. If your needle is stuck halfway through, get a pair of pliers and clamp on to the needle and gently try to work it out (going forward not backward). Using a thinner size of Nymo (like OO or O instead of D) or thinner thread of your choice can also help with space issues.

When finished with your fringe, tie off and weave in the ends. And Voila! your very own mini-ornament!
Tips and Tricks - It helps to measure the top ring first. Keep the ornament near so that you can measure the belly band against it. If you like the belly band higher on the ornament you can make the loops slightly longer (keep an odd number in the loops though) and the RAW connectors shorter. You can also hang something from the top ring in the spaces between the connector. I chose not to use the extra dangles off because I felt it cluttered up the overall effect. However, if you did not want to expose the ornament itself, charms would look cute in the spaces. Do not be afraid to experiment.

If you make an ornament using this pattern, don't forget to drop me a pic! (Faewren dot beads at gmail dot com.)

^_^ Copyright of this ornament pattern belongs to me. Please don't use this pattern to sell or teach without my permission. If you do ask for permission to sell, please give me design credit. ^_^

1 comment:

  1. Looks cute! Sadly, my cat would probably rip it off the tree and it would either break or hide underneath one of my couches. :-/