Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Prong

I love being a Starman Trendsetter.  I love seeing the new beads before they come out, designing with them, and dreaming up fun new things.  It is a great thing for me for inspiration and to boost my creativity.  The new Starman beads being released in conjunction with the BIG Tucson show includes two that I am totally enamored with, the CzechMate 2 hole Cabochon and the Prong.  I love them.

Having said that, I do get it with the new beads.  They are coming out like dandelions popping up on a summer lawn.  A couple are ok but a whole field of them?  Not so much.  As much as I love new beads, I do hear the comments from students and customers......enough already.  And the poor store owners!!  The internet stores have it easy compared to a physical store front business.  If money were not the issue, space certainly will be!  Which of the many new beads will be a one night stand vs. a keeper that will continue to be requested by customers?

And another thing, the new beads seem to be published in the magazines with designs using them nearly filling some issues.  They are fun, but these new 'beads de jour' releases are a bit overwhelming.  I have heard more than once that people want to see designs with what they have, not have to go on a hunt for yet another new bead.  So I get it, I really do.

Now the Prong...  Sometimes I am a tad lazy.  I want to quickly get beyond the cabochon focal of a bead embroidery piece to actually get really creative.  Working with peyote using seed beads slows down that process.  There is nothing wrong with it.  I admire those that love doing it.  It just isn't me.  Enter the Prong.  This little tooth like bead, which is sort of like a half a Crescent, is perfection.  

Gone are the days for me to just stare at my stash of cabochons and think that I should do SOMETHING with them.  I can quickly capture the cab and move on.  I'm sure that there will be abundant uses in bead weaving for this little gem as well.  But on my bead table it will be frequently used for a cab capture.

What I have learned in the process is to back stitch with the prong and a seed bead alternating.  I have used both size 11 and size 8 seed beads with equal success.  After the first back stitch row I have found the second row around works best with another seed bead sewn down on the foundation between the butts of the Prong bead  all around.  The seed bead will fill the little space between the Prong beads from butt to butt.

From there you can do anything your heart desires for your bead embroidery piece.  Consider using the other newly released CzechMate bead, the Cabochon by Starman.  Like other beads in the CzechMate system of beading, the holes are aligned to other beads, brick, tile, crescent etc. facilitating bead weaving.  They are a great little add on for your bead embroidery as well.  Yes, there are similar beads out there that are 2 hole cabs but the color scheme used by Starman will be best when using beads from the same manufacturer.  And the little dome of this bead does add some great texture.  It is a CzechMate bead and for that desired texture I am sure you will see bead weaving designs popping up soon as well.

When you have a chance give the Prong a try.  This piece is called the Lazy Lacy Cabochon and the project sheet is available free.  It will not include step by step instructions for stitches like back stitch, edging or the bail but it talks about what I did with a couple drawings and pictures.  It is very simple just to inspire you to give these little gems a try.  It is available on my web site to print.