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BOOK: Adventures with Broad Collars by Bette Kelley

This book includes basic technique instructions for making Egyptian-style beaded broad collars, and 12 intermediate project based on these techniques.

Price: $21.95

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Adventures with Bead Collars
Adventures with Bead Collars
Bette learned the basics of the techniques from Virginia Blakelock and Carol Perrenoud of Beadcats in 1992, and was inspired to make a series of collars using the techniques. As she describes it:

My broad collar format is loosely based on the Egyptian style with additional influences from the Americas and the Victorians. Working within one confined format continually challenges my creativity by allowing unlimited possibilities for color, texture and structural variation, as well as the inclusion of non-traditional techniques. The ladders, the basic structural component I use, are made using the same technique developed by the Egyptians 5000 years ago



Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • General Information (Supply List)
  • Read This or Weep!  — Basic Broad Collar Guidelines
  • Basic Setting Up
  • Basic Technique/General Skills
    • Ladders — Option 1
    • Ladders — Option 2
    • Ladder Layout Instructions
    • Connecting Multiple Rows of Ladders
    • Ladder End Thread Placement
    • Netting First Row with Picot Edging Options
    • Netting 1st Row and Flat Edging Start
    • Connecting Flat Edging
    • Netting 2nd Row
    • Netting 3rd (and subsequent) Rows
    • Attaching Netting to a Lower Ladder
    • Finishing Details
    • Braiding with Seven
    • Problems? The Doctor is In!
    • Pictures of Finishing Findings
  • The Projects
    • Photographs
    • Alice in Springtime
    • Carmelita
    • Split Rock
    • Tea and Crumpets
    • Byzantium
    • Blues for the Nineties
    • Ice Storm
    • Somber November
    • Glacier Lake
    • Ancient Alchemy
    • Aurora
    • Into the Woods

Bette’s writing style is very personable and easy to read. She provides stretching exercises dotted about the text and in the chapter “The Doctor is In!” to encourage you to stay limber.

The Basic Techniques/General Skills chapter will teach you everything you need to know to complete the collars. It describes how to make the bugle bead ladders, the netting sections and the fringe. It also describes how to finish the findings and the tie for the necklace.

There are 5 different types of necklace styles. The first project in each style has it’s own special additional instructions to describe the unique portions of the design.

Each project has a full supply list and a necklace diagram.

In addition, the book has full color pictures of each of the 12 projects, so you can see exactly what the design looks like.

Excerpt : Introduction

Greetings and welcome to the wonderful of broad collars!  I’ve been a working artist most of my adult life.  The essence of my artistic philosophy is that “Art Saves Lives.”  I believe that if we surround ourselves with beauty in all facets of our lives, the quality of our lives will increase and the world will become a better place.

I am fascinated by the challenge of taking something flat and making it fit something curved. The neck area fulfills this requirement nicely as well as presenting the perfect arena for my collars!  My broad collar format is loosely based on the Egyptian style with additional influences from the Americas and the Victorians.  Working within one confined format continually challenges my creativity by allowing me unlimited possibilities for color, texture and structural variations as well as the inclusion of nontraditional techniques.  The ladders, the basic structural collar component that I use, however, are constructed using the same technique the Egyptians used 5000 years ago.

Color is always the driving force behind my artwork. I view myself as a translator of the world I see into color schemes. I continually try to capture the “essence” of a place I’ve been, something I’ve seen or felt, and express that essence through color.

I was introduced to the basic techniques in 1992 as part of a class taught by Virginia Blakelock and Carol Perrenoud and I’ve been experimenting ever since.  Through this book I hope to share with you what I’ve tried, learned and invented.  So come along for the ride.

This book contains 12 projects in 5 different styles, including directions for the infamous 3-D fringe.  A general technique section is followed by the specific projects.  I hope you have as much fun making your collars as I have creating mine.  Feel free to improvise!

My three goddesses of stretching, Fifi, Babette, and Dottie, have consented to make guest appearances in this book.  Look for them and their helpful hints about stretching scattered throughout.

Bette Kelley
Yellow Springs, Ohio
June 2001

Excerpt: Basic Techniques/General Skills

Broadcollars are composed using several basic techniques, in endlessly new and different combinations.  This section is comproised of one-page diagrams and verbiage devoted to teaching you these basic skills.  You will be referring back to this section during the construction of the projects

Excerpt: Problems? The Doctor Is In!

Beads too full of thread? Yes they will break and this is the voice of experience! Carefully move the thread over to the next available bead by carefully weaving your needle in and out of the ladder threads or the ladder/joining threads.  Keep the tension even to loose so the shape of your collar won’t distort.

Broken bead? First scream really loud — foot stomping is good.  Walking away is good. Now that you’re calm — you are calm, right? – carefully, ever so carefully crush and/or remove the remaining bead/corpse.  Find a replacement bead.  Stay calm and keep breathing. thread up a needle either with a new thread –Grrr, another end to weave in– or locate a layabout thread nearby and move him into position.  If your thread is new, start at some distance and weave your way over to the “empty” spot, insert the bead, and continue the piece or bury your thread — whatever is more appropriate.  If the “newly deceased” had been full of thread, make sure the “new-improved” bead sits on top of the formerly encased thread.  When finishing up the collar, these exposed threads will either need to be Fray Checked or glued to reduce abrasion

Running out of thread? Find a good place to start and stop.  This is more important than “wasting” 8 inches of thread.  My favorite place is the top of a ladder not to close to an edge. (Those places need to be saved for tying off and burying.) Start the new thread next door so that at the end these threads can be knotted and buried.

Thread too short for burying down? Here are 2 “tricks” and a last resort.

  1. Push the needle partway down the chosen burying bead, then thread it and continue pushing it down.  Here is a good place to use hemastats or needle nose pliers to pull the needle out
  2. Push the already threaded needle, eye-end first, down the desired bugle.  One hopes it will unthread in the middle of the bugle, while you continue gently pulling it down.

Last resort — Fray Check or glue the thread and carefully clip when dry.  With luck, the stiffness will at least slow down gravity. Hmmmmm — wonder if this works on aging bodies?

Excerpt: The Projects

The following projects began life as collars created during my stint on the high-end craft fair circuit.  I have grouped together similar styles, but in my inimitable way, each has some variations.  They generally proceed from easier to more difficult, but all are on an intermediate construction level.  This section begins with a color photo of each project.  I describe the inspiration for each piece and the construction steps.  A color chart, listing bead colors and sizes, plus thread and backbar specifications, is next.  It is followed by techniques specific to each style.  Feel free to improvise or call for help if need be. Always remember, “How hard can it be?” Enjoy and remember to stretch.

Back Cover Description

Bette has been beading for 25 years and is knows as an amazing colorist. Her collars are in the personal collections people throughout the United States, Canada and England. She travels extensively to teach and has been published in Bead and Button Magazine. As a gallery artist, she was featured in two of Linda Fry Kenzle’s books “The Irresistible Bead” and “Dazzle: Creating Artistic Jewelry and Distinctive Accessories.” She also is a contributing artist in Valerie Hector’s book “The Art of Beadwork.”

$21.95 + $5 shipping and handling

Price: $21.95

Errata for the book

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