Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Springtime bracelet giveaway

The original bracelet - pretty beads!

New version - longer beaded part, and now with toggle clasp
The box of purple beads I used to make the "springtime" necklace now had quite a few odd purple beads left over - a lot of them were one-offs. At this stage (a year ago) I really wasn't very confident with any design that wasn't strictly symmetrical (actually, I'm still not very confident with asymmetrical designs!), so this one took well outside my comfort zone just because of that. I also had some bugle beads which I had never worked with before. So they all came together in this multistrand bracelet: which was the first time I'd tried multistrand stringing.

You may be spotting a theme here, and possibly, in retrospect, this was trying too many new things at once. One problem was that the strands ended up being too short, so I attached them to two oval links and then attached those to a lobster-claw clasp. But I hadn't banked on three strands being heavier than one, so the bracelet, when worn, always ended up with the clasp / jump rings / links on the top of the wrist and the beads underneath. But the whole point was that the beads were pretty and I wanted them on the top!

I did get compliments on the colours of the bracelet, though, so recently I decided to re-string it rather than waste the pretty beads. I decided to simplify it a bit by taking out the extra small beads and crystals I'd interspersed amongst the bugle beads, and added extra bugle beads to make the beaded part longer. This time, I had the idea of "notes on a stave" so tried to stagger the beads a bit more systematically than the more random design I'd used before. And instead of a lobster clasp, since making the original version of the bracelet I'd picked up some flower toggle-clasps cheap from a woman who was winding down her jewellery business due to finding employment elsewhere, and decided that they would fit with the general springtime theme.

One thing I didn't see coming was that some of the beads had holes bigger than the diameter of the bugle beads, so they slid over the top of the bugle beads, a bit like in a Pandora bracelet (man those things are popular - I saw someone else wearing one today at work). This sliding-over-the-bugle-beads wasn't a problem in itself, but meant that the bracelet ended up shorter than I'd planned - thankfully it was still just long enough to fit around my wrist, although it's quite a snug fit now (at least this means it doesn't swizzle round anymore!). Another thing that didn't go quite right was that I forgot to avoid adding big beads too close to the toggle-bar end of the bracelet - however, luckily it's still possible to do the clasp up.

So I'm now quite pleased with the finished result, and the main problem is that my own wrist is just slightly too big for it! So if any small-wristed readers of this blog would like to have this bracelet - please just comment here, or send me a message, and I'll send it out to you! First come, first served :-)

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