Sunday, August 11, 2013

Simply Soutache Braid & Fun

 Join Teressa from Simply Soutache  in some fun with braid. Teressa is running a contest for both novice and experienced Soutache Designers with gift certificates for 4 places. Here is the link for all the details of how to enter. Simply email Teressa that you are taking part, she'll send you the entry form, make an item and send photos by due date, they'll be posted on Facebook so everyone can vote on their choice. 
If you haven't already had a play with Soutache, this is an ideal time to try it out. Supplies can be purchased from Simply Soutache or from various other places.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Designer quest #26 Eureka Beads Beadingforumdotcomdotau

Well it's nearly time for the DQ26 to be revealed. the Beading forum has several designer quests each year hosted by different suppliers.

This time I chose the teal and brown pack

The pieces were much larger than what I'm been working with and the seed beads were size 6 also very large.

I had a few ideas floating around, one with wirework and the other soutache. As I have been doing quite a bit with Soutache Braid lately, I hunted out some colours and started planning.

I chose the flower focal with central hole and one of the set of large roundish ones at top. I also had a smaller one in my stash that matched. I stayed with the colours of blue and bronze. I built the bezel up starting with size 8 delicas then size 10 and 11's.

I wore this a few days ago, it has a heaviness but the softness of ultrasuede feels nice, very comfy to wear.
I had intended to do something else with the rest of the kit but time got away.
My pic has been posted on forum and they'll be opened for viewing later this week. It will be interesting to see what everyone has done with their packs.
There are prizes, but I enjoyed the challenge combined with the time cut off, so I'm happy with my piece.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Compare different sizes of Soutache Braid

Today I'd like to compare the different sizes in Soutache Braids.

I've been working with an imported to US braid from Ameerunswithscissors made from polyester (the blue ones) and a Domestic US braid from Simply Soutache polyestor or rayon, depending on the colour (pink ones).

The pink braid US domestic, is 2mm wide and about 1mm thick and tightly woven
The blue braid US imported, is  woven looser which makes it (or appears to) 3mm wide and about 1.5mm thick. (all measurements I've taken with my little metal ruler so not exact)

Both these braids are lovely to work with, but depending on the beads you use, what item you are making, or the look you want to achieve, if you have both types in your stash you may want to evaluate the size when making a choice in a project.

Finished dimensions of these earrings are
pink 2cm x 2.5cm
blue 2.5cm x 3cm

Although the difference between the braid sizes isn't much, it does build up, and combined with using different seed bead sizes, can make a difference between an item whose shape is defined, narrow and wearable to one which is plush, larger and may appear bulky to some eyes.

Other differences - the looser polyester imported braid snags easily on the needle or fingernails, the domestic tighter one is more tolerant and thereby easier to work with.

I started with the polyester, plush imported one. The extra size was easy to hold and manipulate. I've since used the narrow braid from Simply Soutache and Beadsmith brand and now much prefer these narrow ones, although it took a little to adjust whilst holding a work in progress.

My students have learnt on the narrow braid and have easily managed the braid, (nymo is what gives them problems).

Other braids and brands - I don't know how many domestic brands the U.S. has but the one I like and talk about here is from Simply Soutache

Here in Australia one of our suppliers has a brand which is narrow and hard, and I've used some from the fabric shop and like neither, I've talked about these in a prior post here. I haven't, as yet, used any from Europe but may try some in the future.

So what style of braid do you favour? Have you tried some of the different sizes and textures?

Let me know what you think!