Sun, Oct 31st - 7:47AM
Farfalle Seed Beads - What to Do with Them?
Farfalle seed beads – what to do with them? These beads are also known as peanuts or bowties. They've been out for a few years, but I haven't seen too many designs that employ them. I've done a few things with them that I'd like to share with you.
Here's a bracelet that is bead crocheted with farfalle seed beads in a green metallic. I finished the ends with gold bead caps and then connected the beaded bracelet to a Stewart Abelman art bead. The farfalle seed beads gave the bracelet a very organic look with lots of texture. Because of the bead crochet stitch, you can roll this one onto your wrist.
Another bracelet employed the same technique:
Having done a few bracelets with bead crochet, I turned my attention to peyote stitch. I wondered what would happen if I used the larger farfalle seed beads with some 11/0 Czech seed beads. Using odd-count peyote, I did a section of black farfalle seed beads with crystal AB seed beads, and then switched to pink farfalle seed beads for the next section.
Alternating back and forth between the two colors of farfalle seed beads, I ended up with a bracelet with more texture than if I had used the same size 11/0 seed beads. The smaller 11/0 beads were tucked down into the beadwork, creating channels. The bracelet is a little heftier, but still quite flexible. Looking at the bracelet from the side, the crystal beads all but disappeared, and the colors of the farfalles were more pronounced. I liked the effect. Here is the bracelet, then a closeup of the beadwork from above, and then from the side.
Picture of the bead work from straight above:
Now, in the next picture, which I took from a side angle, the crystal AB seed beads recede into the bead work, leaving the color of the farfalle seed beads more pronounced. It's difficult to show this affect in pictures – you have to see the bead work itself. I would encourage you to give this a try, because the effect is really very nice.
I continued my work with the farfalle seed beads. I had a pin that I needed to finish. I wanted to put UltraSuede on the back, and then hide the edges so that you could not see how the pin was finished. I've used several techniques in the past with seed beads. With the new shape of the farfalle seed beads, I wanted to see the possibilities of finishing the edge differently.
Here's what I did: I knotted my thread on the front of the pin and went through the layers of Lacey's Stiff Stuff and UltraSuede to the back of the pin. Then I brought my needle back to the front of the pin picked up a black farfalle seed bead, a lime-colored Delica, and then went back through the farfalle seed bead with my needle and thread, sewing to the back of the pin and placing the thread in position to sew the next bead.
This made a small picot on top of the farfalle seed bead. I lined up the the farfalle seed bead so that one larger end was on the top of the pin and the other larger end was on the backside. I worked in this manner all around the circumference of the pin.
I did not particularly like the way that the beads looked around the pin. The beats were disorganized. This just didn't seem to go with the design of the pin itself. To straightened the beads, I decided to sew between the lime green Delicas, putting another lime green bead between the beads on the top of the farfalle beads. As I came around the curves on each end of the pin, I put two Delicas between the picot beads if it seemed that there would be a gap if I used only one.
By sewing through this outside edge of Delicas three times, the beads aligned, and I found that the top part of the pin had a very nice finish, as did the back side.The longer farfalle beads worked to my advantage to accomplish this. The pictures below show the pin, front and back.
I am calling this one "The Toucan", as when I look at this piece of dichroic glass, I see a bird. When I took a photograph of the front, I placed one of my lights so that it would give the bird an "eye". The cabochon was a gift from Mona Hair, and was one of her first pieces of dichroic art. I have a brooch converter, and so I can wear this pin as a pendant as well.