Every spring tadpoles appear in puddles and small pools and gradually turn into frogs. As a child growing up in Australia, I loved watching their metamorphosis. I am still intrigued by frogs, and I wanted to design a purse with a stylized frog design. So my artist friend, Karla Englehardt, and I graphed a frog for an odd-count, flat peyote bag.
We used flat peyote to eliminate a bottom seam, and odd-count allowed us to center the frog motif and create a symmetrically decreased triangular flap. The purse is suitable for beginning to intermediate headers. But a number of special touches add interest for most levels of bead workers: I used Jack Frost™, a hydrofluoric acid solution, to etch the background beads so the jewel-like shiny beads of the frog stand out against the muted background. The reined fringe along the sides is an effect I've never seen before-a large bead at the base of each fringe holds it firmly in place so it covers the seam and doesn't droop. I approached the design of the strap as a true necklace that would accentuate the mood of the bag. The purse is also larger than any I've seen-3 in. high by 2'U in. wide. It's not quite tall enough for a credit card, but I'll remedy that on the next one. Feel free to revise my pattern to make your bag bigger if you wish.
The purse body is a single long rectangle, approximately 7 in. by 21/. in. (16 x7cm), worked in odd-count flat peyote stitch. Many people avoid this stitch because figuring out how to add the last bead on the odd-numbered rows can be tricky. However, the method shown below is easy and foolproof. I'll also show you a new kind of horizontal fringe. For flat peyote technique, see "Basics," p. 5.
O Thread the needle and then cut a 1 yd. (,9m) length of Nymo. Tie a temporary stop bead to the end of the thread and leave a 4-6 in. (10-15cm) tail. The stop bead holds the beads of the base row together (remove it after working a few rows). 0 Using the chart on p. 78 as a guide and starting with bead 1, string the 45 beads of the base row (rows 1 and 2) as indicated by the numbers. © Working from right to left and reading the chart from right to left, pick up the first bead of row 3. Pass the needle back through bead 44 on the base row. Pick up the next bead of row 3 and pass the needle through bead 42, and so on.
Q The major obstacle with odd-count, flat peyote is that at the end of each odd-numbered row, there is no bead to which you can anchor the last bead. For row 3 only (all the others are easy), you need to bring the thread through a figure-8 pattern to anchor the last bead, as follows: Pick up the last bead of row 3 and take the needle through bead 1, up through bead 2, and down through bead 3. Then come up through the next-to-last bead of row 3, back through bead 2, then 1, and finally around the edge and through the last bead on row 3. Begin row 4. © Turn the beadwork over so you can keep working from right to left, but read the chart from left to right on even-numbered rows. You'll have no trouble anchoring the last bead of all even-numbered rows. 0 From row 5 on, anchor the thread at the end of odd-numbered rows by
looping around the edge thread between the two rows below as shown in photo a. Then come back through the end bead (photo b). Continue until approximately 6 in. (15cm) of thread remains.
O To join the old working thread to a new length of thread, tie a knot in the end of the new thread and zigzag through the woven beads, coming out the same bead as the old thread in the same direction. Gently tug the knot into a bead. Using a square knot, tie the threads together as close as possible. Complete a few more rows with the new thread. Then zigzag the tail of the old thread into the beadwork. Finish beading up to the flap.
O To begin, either zigzag the thread over to where the flap begins or start a new thread. Weave the first 13 rows of the flap in odd-count peyote © Decrease the flap edges by stopping one bead short at the beginning and end of each row, looping the thread around the edge thread between the two rows below, as shown in photos c-e. Add the last bead on a decrease, bring the needle through the last bead on each of the two rows before (only one row on first decrease) (photo c). Loop the thread around the threads below the second bead (photo d). Then turn the work over and bring the needle through those two beads again (three
• 2 hanks transparent multi-colored "tortoise" amber (don't use the darkest amber beads) OR use 1 hank very pale amber, 1 hank light amber, and 1 hank medium amber
• hank transparent dark green
• 190 opaque dark lavender
• 112 transparent light green
• 28 metallic copper colored
• 60 size 89 seed beads, medium amber
• assorted larger beads
• Nymo D or B beading thread, beige or white
• beeswax or Thread Heaven
Optional: Jack Frost"* hydrofluoric acid to etch the amber and lavender beads to a matte finish (available at bead stores: or use a less hazardous product called Glass Bead Etching Creme available from Arrow Springs, www.arrowsprings.com, (800) 899-0689)-fbllow safety precautions seed beads for the first'/. in. (6mm) of each fringe.
© Take the thread back through all but the end bead, including the obscuring bead(s). Bring the needle under the side seam threads from back to front of the purse (photo h).
© Bring the needle back through the obscuring bead (photo i) and string the second fringe. Go back into the same obscuring bead, coming out toward the front of the purse. Bringing the needle through both sides of the seam for each pair of fringes centers the obscuring bead over the seam. © Continue fringing until the sides are covered. For an ethnic look, vary the fringe ends by using unusual beads and by stringing some fringes with pendant ends.
O Braid three strands of seed beads, including one strand of size 8° seed beads and hang them from the bottom
First choose obscuring beads wide enough to hide the side seam. Most of my obscuring beads are a stack of two to three contemporary metal heishi beads from Kenya (I also used a few other miscellaneous beads to get the varied, ethnic look I wanted). In this method, two short, approximately 'A in. (1.3cm), fringes come out of each obscuring bead, and the obscuring beads are strung along the seam with their edges touching. O Working from the top, anchor the thread so it comes from the far side of the seam, passing under all the seam threads and out the front (photo g). String the obscuring bead(s) and the beads of the first fringe. Use small thread passes through them) and through the last bead added (photo e). Pick up the first bead for the next row. Continue decreasing until one bead is left. Then zigzag back through the beadwork and clip the thread.
Fold the starting edge of the purse up so that points A and C meet points B and D on the chart on p. 78. Starting at the top, align the beads of each side and weave the sides together. Work from top to bottom then back up to the top. Sew under the edge threads (photo f), rather than whipping over them, to keep the seam from being too tight and puckering the side. Knot the ends, together; repeat on the other side.
corners of the purse, like a swag, coming out of large obscuring beads (I used small glass donuts). Hang a charm or dangle from the swag's center with a wrapped loop (see "Basics"). I used a dragonfly assembled with beads and wire.
© String a bridge of six size 8" seed beads between the front and back edges of the purse between point E and F and 6 and H on the chart (photo j). This allows the purse to open wide and centers the weight. Anchor the bridge securely and sew back through the beads once or twice. You attach the strap to the center of the bridges. © Pick a length for the necklace/strap and lay out the beads. Use doubled thread (heavy single thread is shown here for clarity) and knot securely to the center of one bridge. Glue the knot with GS Hypo Cement. Begin stringing with a bead cap placed so the cap covers the knot. When you finish stringing the necklace, end with another bead cap (photo k). Bring the necklace cord through the bridge, then back through the bead cap and the end bead. Knot between beads (photo I, p. 77). Go through a few more beads and knot again. Glue the knots and trim the tail. - Nicolette Stessin
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