I just completed a chart for the April Bead&Button online subscribers pattern. I love the challenge of creating a design that presents a recognizable image in a small area. After I finished graphing the pendant design on paper with colored pencils, I started to stitch the pendant. That’s when a really big design-reality check happened.
What looks good on paper does not necessarily work with beads. The first discovery was that there was not enough color contrast between parts of the design. So I changed the chart.
The next revelation was that if I used Japanese cylinders with similar finishes, the design looked flat and uninteresting. So I returned to our office bead stash and began pulling cylinders with different finishes and textures. I changed the chart again.
When I finished stitching the pendant, the basic design was similar to the chart’s first version, but I didn’t use a single bead I originally planned. My final result is much more interesting because it has variety — bright colors; matte, opaque, metallic, and textured beads (the hex-cut, metallic cylinders added a lot of sparkle); and contrast between the image and the background.
If you’re a Bead&Button subscriber, you can see my design after it goes online on April 1.
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