Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Bead, Book, and Bounce

The Bead, Book, and Bounce is a challenge that a group of us beaders participated in.  The group is called Operation Tackle That Bead Stash, although we usually do just as much buying as tackling. :)  The challenge was to make a box from Julia Pretl's book, Little Bead Boxes and review the book.

I've made boxes from Julia's book before, so I was really looking forward to making another one.  And after that huge RAW project that I did, it was nice to get back to peyote.  There's just something so satisfying about hearing the 'click' of the beads as they snap into place.

Julia's book is well-written, though I'd advise that you have some experience with peyote stitch before tackling it.  She does provide very clear diagrams and explanations for each step, so if you're an adventurous beginner you might give it a try.  She also provides word maps for each design.  If you've never used a word map before, you're in for a treat!  They make following the pattern so much easier, although I still used the graph for backup.

She provides 12 patterns in the book, for different shapes, sizes, and designs.  She also includes blank graphs for each shape so that you can design your own little boxes.  I got the design for my butterfly box from her website, where she provides additional designs.  If you buy a design from the website, you do need to also have the book, as all that is provided is the graph and word chart, no instructions.

I had an older edition of the book, with four boxes in it.  If you have that edition, do yourself a favor and buy the newer edition as well.  I did.  Julia has improved on some of the processes in the newer book, plus you'll be getting 11 additional patterns (one is the same).

Julia recommends using doubled thread, but I used Fireline.  I started with 6lb and then switched about halfway through to 8lb, because I didn't feel it was firm enough.  Also, I'll give you a big tip: Add the feet to your box when you only have about 3 or 4 rows of the sides done, otherwise it gets too difficult to maneuver the needle around in the box to add them.  Another tip is that even if you're an experienced beader, read the book through once before starting a box.  Some of it won't make sense until you actually have the box in front of you, but it's still a good idea.  You'll know where everything is and be able to refer back when you need to.

Working on the boxes does get a little fiddly and frustrating at times.  There are some spots (like the HEM) where it seems almost every time you add a bead you break one, and then have to replace it.  But all in all, I really enjoyed making my little box, and I enjoy looking at it on my dresser.  I plan to make a few more of them for holiday gifts.

Click here to read book reviews and see boxes from other members of the group.



Halinka said...

Fantastic ,triangle box.I am really impressed with it.Lovely colors and the beautiful pattern on it.It's even nicer,than the previous one,though,I'd say,each of them has got the special taste,mood and character,but both of them-as I've said before: remind me the Eastern,or Asian style,that's probably because of the use of Miyuki Delica seeds.
To Your previous kite: I'd add more green seeds-such specific one-like green grapes-if You found somewhere-the brown ones-of course,but they make the thing optically 'heavier'.
Warm,Warm Greets-Halinka-

Clair said...

Oh Cat! Your beaded box is truly wonderful. I love the butterfly design and the colours that you've chosen. Your photography staging is also a little swoonsome!

Thanks so much for joining in with this month's Bead, Book & Bounce. I hope you'll be able to join us for a few more x

Gemma said...

Fab review and I love your version of the butterfly box. Such yummy colours. After seeing your version in our fb group earlier I nearly bought myself that pattern from her website yesterday :o)

Anonymous said...

Oh that is so pretty! And a great review, thanks for the tips : )

Sarah said...

I love that snap too! Great review and a beautiful box!

Peapod Beads said...

This is a lovely box and well worth the awful hem problems. I think the sharp bends at the triangle corners may make this more of a challenge than the pentagonal one I tried, but this is going on my list of projects, as I love the design, and your photo is ace!