Change Up Your Beads with Marcia DeCoster

Over the last few months, I’ve shared snippets of my Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW) journey on BeadingDaily. I’ve been having a ball and learning lots. I’ve even made a few designs I kind of like, and designs I definitely know I will work hard to perfect  (aka rip apart and redo!), and some I can’t wait to expand upon.

Cubic Right Angle Weave beaded beads used in a pair of earrings that also feature the new Swarovski crystal radiolarian pendant.

Cubic Right Angle Weave beaded beads used in a pair of earrings that also feature the new Swarovski crystal radiolarian pendant.

I learned CRAW before but found it a bit more than my brain could digest or translate, and so, I put it on the shelf for another time. After reviewing Marcia’s Cubic Right Angle Weave: Fundamentals and Shaping video, I was not only hooked into trying this stitch again, I was successful! A lot of this was due in part to trying the stitch using larger beads. Haha – brilliant! Thanks, Marcia! Trying this again, with larger beads, was so much easier than trying to learn the stitch following a pattern using 15/0s.

I have since progressed from weaving larger Swarovski crystal bicone beads to size 8/0 seed beads. I thought for sure it was too soon, and working with the smaller beads would be too challenging for my brain. Well, to my surprise, it was not only possible but in some ways, easier.

Wire framed cubic right-angle weave open square, by Tammy Honaman

Wire framed cubic right-angle weave open square, by Tammy Honaman

Looking at other artists’ CRAW work, and their use of different beads, I’m inspired to keep going. I will also keep trying all sorts of ways to take this one stitch, and stitching CRAW using different beads. For instance, take a look at these three different designs made using CRAW with slight modifications and different beads: 

“Pick up Sticks” bracelet, by Jill Wiseman. CRAW and Peyote Stitch

“Pick up Sticks” bracelet, by Jill Wiseman. CRAW and Peyote Stitch

 

“Symetrie Bracelet,” by Lisa Kan. Art Deco inspired, symmetrical CRAW with triangle beads worked into the design.

“Symetrie Bracelet,” by Lisa Kan. Art-deco inspired, symmetrical CRAW with triangle beads worked into the design.

 

"Ridgeback Bangles," by Karin Salomon, a rope of cubic right-angle weave embellished with a  pattern of seed beads

“Ridgeback Bangles,” by Karin Salomon, is a rope of cubic right-angle weave embellished with a pattern of seed beads

It’s not always easy to see your way through a new stitch or pattern using the beads called for, let alone being able to “see” it done using different beads. When you can and do though, it’s greatly rewarding. So, when you’re ready to try, where do you begin? As I say to my Mom, “just try it.” Use an 11/0 instead of a 15/0, or use blue and green instead of red and gold. When you do, just know if you change the size, you need to adjust the amount of rows you’ll need, or keep in mind the overall dimension of the design will be different, along with some other considerations you may need to make depending on the stitch. If you choose to work crystal beads into the mix, you also need to change up your thread. And always remember, it might not work the first time but that doesn’t mean you should give up!

I actually use this advice no matter the medium or class I teach. Learn the technique then use it as the foundation. Keep the original “formula” in mind so you can appreciate a greater success rate when you start experimenting with things other than what the instructions for the design called for.

This is all easier said than done, I know, so how wonderful that we now have Marcia DeCoster back to lead us down the path of changing things up. Marcia is offering her knowledge, advice, tips and tricks in this great new LIVE webinar: “Variations on a Theme Exploring a Reusable Threadpath.” In this upcoming webinar, Marcia breaks it down for us and shows us the ideas and thoughts that led her to explore variations of a thread path, while creating this amazing design “Journey.”

"Journey," by Marcia DeCoster. A bead experience that yielded a magnificent design.

“Journey,” by Marcia DeCoster. A bead experience that yielded a magnificent design.

Marcia shares, “by re-using the same thread path with different beads and different counts, we can free ourselves up from learning the thread path and concentrate on how to make variations.” I so cannot wait to learn more from this amazing woman! I hope you’ll join me in the audience.

Have a favorite variation of a design you’ve created? Please share your journey and images of the outcome at BeadingDaily.com.

Happy Beading!

blue_tammy

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