Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Wow! 40 is a lot of squares!

My local resort has gotten 15+ feet of snow this March. Yay! But I do recognize the fact that not everybody wishes for 8 months of winter. By request, this week's square brings some sunshine:
It's practically pulsing with heat! And I got to play with some of those ideas from last week, hiding the concentric bands of color in a framework of that delicious orange, 1780 Flame On.  This is a wonderful color in many ways. It's color-lined, which means the core is white, with a layer of transparent orange around, and has an iridescent coating. What all that means is that while an opaque bead can mostly just reflect color, and a translucent bead is best at letting light through, which can make it look like a shadow in direct light, Flame On can do both. With the light behind it, the square glows wonderfully, and something about it even makes it look like there's some pink in there toward the outside edge, which there isn't. It's my favorite thing to do with this work, playing with the effects these colors have on each other and the way they can trick the eye. So that's why I don't do so much intense pixelated patterning. I really enjoy just pouring on layers of color to see what happens.

 As always, you can find the basic warped square pattern HERE. I am using size 11 Delica beads and edging with size 15 rocailles.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


The week continues the bevel idea from last week. I wanted a rich, graphic look so I went to my friends TARDIS and Kandi, as you've seen here before.

I love it! 

There is a beautiful richness to the red and blue together that gives it a real 'textile' feel to me.

Since the past few weeks have been about evolving ideas, I have a bonus square this week. I wondered how this would look with the red and blue 'radiant' stripes crossing the black and white bevels. I have played a bit with this before, in search of a plaid effect, and it worked pretty well:
But with the red and blue split up they lose their velvety richness. Even where they are stacked in the outside band they fail to blend as in the other square because of the white or black stripes. The red and blue seem to separate themselves into parallel stripes. However, I'm really happy with the way the black and white sections look. 

So maybe I will take this one back to the drawing board to try and take advantage of that effect--or to defeat it! 

We got 3+ feet of snow here at Tahoe last week...I know not everybody is energized by the prospect of more winter, so I'll suggest some hot color combos to substitute for red and blue in this one in case you're needing to bead up some sunshine!

How about:
724  Gojira and 798 Blue Dog, a beautiful rich green blend (see square 13 ExCatly).
791 Kandi and 795 Testy for a hot hot orangey red (used at the center of square 32 Bead Soup).
1202 Electrical Banana and 262 Absinthe (also in ExCatly).

I might even try three colors instead of two. I was hoping the blue and red 'radiant' stripes would be more directional against the bevels in my square, but it looks great with them more as fields of blended color. Three color blends are a real favorite of mine, I think of them as beaded tweeds. 

I'm surprised as I look back at the blog that I haven't used more of them here. Now that gives me an idea...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


This week's project was a great example of how these patterns tend to evolve for me. Last week I made the square with a sort of weathered-paint effect and wondered how that would look in metallic and neutrals. I had envisaged some sort of ancient/gilt/mirage effect.

It didn't quite turn out that way:
I mean, it's close, but there is much more contrast in my matte translucent neutrals than I wanted. It disrupts the overall effect. Partly I believe that's because the lighter one, 1286 Rear Window, has a matte iridescent coating that makes it reflect more light. I think I might have anticipated that, but you never know until you try. That's one of the fun/frustrating things about this blog project. Every square I make leaves me with a new set of questions. What if I just used one of these grays? What about the two metallic colors? I tried here using the darker one, 254 Bitchin Camaro, on the inner edges of the frames, and the lighter, 1852 Taint, on the outer, hoping for some dimension. The contrast in the grays is so distracting, though, that you really can't see that I even used two different beads there. 

And, really, for two beads you might grab when you want to use 'silver', they are very clearly different:

DB254 Bitchin' Camaro, DB1852 Taint

Now, I regularly have to get onto myself for being obsessed with subtle differences in the beads and how to use them, but LOOK at that! 

I have long favored Taint for its warmer tone, nearly gold, and what I feel is a richer look. But you can feel that rough texture when using it. Camaro on the other hand is super smooth, and true to that core it can look actually black in a composition. Useful to know! Wish I could find the pastel-color square I used it in wanting silver. It absolutely made a black stripe in it. 

So I was thinking about how to really show off that difference in a square and achieve the visual depth I had tried for in the sample. This is what I came up with:

Pretty cool! It definitely shows that difference. By the way, I used gray thread here, Hana's Pebble, to avoid having black or white affect the look too much.

To further illustrate the thought process here, even as I worked I questioned my choices:  I put the darker metallic with the lighter translucent and vice versa. Should I have used dark with dark, light with light? We may never find out, as I feel like that's too subtle a difference to justify a whole new post about, and these big squares really take some time. So it may be a while before I find out.--possibly a nice mate for a pair of earrings.

Meanwhile I started thinking about those sweet bevels and what striking geometry they make. And that will inspire next week's square!

Basic Warped Square threadpath pattern, as always, is HERE. Pattern uses size 11 Delica beads.

(Regular visitors will notice I didn't edge this one in size 15 rocailles, as is my habit and vast preference. I just couldn't decide what color to use!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


It was my intention to try another Pendleton square this week, but I was distracted by another idea.  I thought about how to disrupt the regularity of the beading weave, trying to create a sort of blurred but recognizable pattern. Like an old texture showing through weathered paint.

I really wanted more vibration in this design; I thought the green would show up stronger blended with my blues and give the colored sections a more graphic effect. I used Very Peri with Gojira, but think I should have gone with Blue Dog for my blue. Anyway, I do feel that the overall effect worked pretty well. There's a nice rhythm to the framing but it's just irregular enough to soften that brickwork of the peyote stitch.  The effectiveness of this 'blurring' made me think about mirages and how this would look using neutrals and metallic for a shimmery blur. So that will be next week, wish me luck!

This pattern would be another good candidate for Bead Soup usage. Use black or any color for the 'frames' and go for it! I have made the pattern showing just the black 'frame' beads to make that easier. And, I confess, because trying to chart the colored rows was seriously crazy-making! You can see here and there in the photo where there's a solid side of color, a couple in dark blue show up quite well. If you like that effect you can add a few rows like that too.