I wanted to try out a new bead technique. So I choose the “Contemporary Corsage” pattern from Beadwork’s April/ May 2011 issue. It is a cuff bracelet that uses bead embroidery, and peyote stitch (to secure the rivoli). Beadwork magazine rated this project 2 out of 3 beads. Accordingly, two beads means “Designs for an intermediate beader, a beginner ready to expand skills, or an advance beader looking for a project that won’t take weeks to complete” (pg. 95 on April 2011 issue). This is pretty accurate. I really didn’t have any problems with this pattern and I probably fall somewhere between intermediate and beginner.
I just followed the material list in the instructions. I didn’t even use half of the beads I picked up for this project. The un-used beads from the material list include bead A, bead D, bead E, bead G and the 3mm bicones. I think I picked up 10 grams of the cylinder size 11 beads. Instead of using the white I had originally planned on for the petals, I switched it to the size 11 delica beads. To be honest, as I was putting this together, I think the pattern is overdone. There were just too many competing details. I ended up leaving off the picot fringe around the center crystal just because it looked like it would be too much. The bio for the designer did mention that she had designed jewelry for Steven Tyler, so maybe I should have expected it to be over the top? I haven’t done anything else from this designer so I am not sure if that is just her design aesthetic. Definitely read the instructions and decide what you want.
The one part of the directions I don’t like is for the 3mm pearls on the flower. The instructions say to randomly place the 3mm pearls throughout the flower. But look that the picture, I don’t think those pearls were “randomly” placed. Also, there is no count on how many pearls to randomly place. Some of the pearls are needed to edge the cuff part. So if anyone decides to make this, definitely consider doing the cuff part first so you have all the 3 mm pearls to randomly place over the flower without short-changing your cuff part. I still ended up with extra 3mm pearls after doing the cuff part of my bracelet.
The pattern does say to glue the flower to the cuff then stitch it down. I found that I had a difficult time trying to get the needle to pick up just a little of the suede on the cuff. So I tacked down one end along the edge of the cuff instead.
I plan on using the flower part again to make a brooch. I think the flower would look lovely on a coat or jacket.