Ribbon Bracelets

Throughout all of my years of playing with seed beads, one of my most favorite off loom stitches is herringbone weave. Also known as Ndebele stitch, it is the traditional beading stitch of the South African Ndebele tribe. They create the most amazing beadwork in colorful, geometric patterns which they also paint onto their houses. I imagine a beautiful village full of vibrant color and pattern where women sit in a circle and bead together.

With this stitch, pairs of beads are woven in such a way that they stand in a v-shape next to each other, creating a very strong fabric of beads. I just love the feel of this bead “fabric”.

In my playtime with this weave, I created these bracelets that remind me so much of colorful ribbon. They feel wonderful encircling my wrist and are a great way to showcase a special bead or button as part of the clasp.

For my bracelets’ clasps (in the order above), I used a beaded Swarovski rivoli, a stamped and gilded polyclay button and my version of polyclay faux turquoise. For my faux turquoise version, I used Tory Hughes’ faux amber technique (from her book “Polymer, The Chameleon Clay“) and just used turquoise-colored clay instead. A simple peyote stitch loop completes the clasp.

I used size 11 seed beads woven with 6 lb. “smoke” Fireline thread and to create interest, I inserted size 6 beads down the middle length. I love the idea of embedding beads with this stitch and would love to explore this idea further by placing the embedded beads in a random pattern. Does anyone know how to do free-form herringbone? That’s another idea I’d like to play with.

Tomorrow morning I travel to Michigan to visit my family so there won’t be a Saturday Morning Tea post this weekend. I will rejoin you the following Saturday to share a cup of tea once again. During my time in MI, I’m looking forward to another trip to Beadhaven in Frankenmuth. Their seed bead selection is beyond fabulous! Oh joy!

Have a wonderful week, dear friends.


9 comments on “Ribbon Bracelets

  1. amanda says:

    I love the blue and purple one!

  2. artandtea says:

    Thanks Amanda! That’s my favorite, too. 🙂

  3. Bobbie says:

    Those bracelets are so full of color,Karen. Beautiful! I love the closures you chose for them too. The only herringbone I have done was the time you showed us how to make herringbone earrings. I loved those.

    Have a wonderful time in Michigan with your family. I know you will have a ball at the bead shop.

  4. Dora Arsenault says:

    Gorgeous, Karen ! Have a wonderful time in Michigan, can’t wait to see your goodies from the bead store !

  5. artandtea says:

    Thanks Bobbie! For those of us still into beading, we’ll have to have another beading day one of these days!

    Thanks Dora, I’ll have to post some pics!

  6. Amy Crawley says:

    Lovely bracelets Karen. I’m always in awe of artists who do bead work, especially yours. It is one art form that I can’t get my hands to cooperate with. Nice job on the polymer focal buttons too. Have fun in MI. Enjoy the homemade noodles at Frankenmuth.

  7. Judy Shea says:

    GULP! Nuff said.

  8. artandtea says:

    Thanks Amy and Judy! 🙂

  9. […] herringbone stitch, one of my favorite beading stitches. You can read my thoughts about that stitch here. I beaded a 6-inch length of tube, played with some ideas, none of which inspired me and then that […]

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