Looking back, I started weaving this bag on August 2, 2012. I shared the first idea and stages, here on my Blog. With a few distractions here and there, I can say this took about a month to complete, only four weeks. It was an enjoyable time for me. I love having something 'going on', so I can pick it up any time, keeping the stride of creativity open.
Below is a final assembly of the strap using 4mm and 6mm Obsidian beads, sterling bead caps, sterling seamless beads and my beaded bead, beaded tube and netted section. I threaded these onto a braided wire, checking for a comfortable length, every few inches. The strap is then secured using a 'closed' jump ring and a sterling bead crimp, the correct size to handle the thicker jewelry wire. If you haven't seen a 'Magic Crimper' before, look one up. I like how it forms a "small silver bead" instead of a "folded over crimp". You can see this better in the second picture down this post.
Any time I am securing a handle to a beaded bag, I prefer to attach a good, large, strong sterling lobster claw clasp. There can be many reasons to want a change of handle. This will allow an easier way, without having to resew or fill surrounding beads with thread.
You can also see, in the picture below, how the lobster claw clasp is connected to two 'closed' jump rings, also secured to a small beaded epaulette. I shared this design idea two other times, Robin Robert's Cell Phone Bag and "A Glorious Day". ("The Glorious Day" cell phone bag was made in 2010. It is still in use today, never had a problem with not being lined nor the strap being over stressed!) My design idea, for the epaulettes, is to afford a more secure attachment. This epaulette itself is sewn, through the bead bag panels, on all four sides. This relays the stress points to a wider area and not just where the strap is secured. It works wonderfully, especially for a well used beaded bag.
You can also notice a small 'drop' accent, added to the base point, of each epaulette!
Originally, when I started out designing this Baltimore Bag, I worked out many 'fringe' design ideas. When it came to adding one, I decided a fringe would make the bag too 'formal'. Since my theme is sports related, on one side, and casual dining, on the other, I decided to make a cleverly designed base.
The netted theme, of the strap, was carried out along the wide base. The width also lent itself to the wide side panels, added first. I also think it matches well with both panels.
Finally, some over all shots of the finished bag, "A Baltimore Bag":
SIDE ONE: A bead graphed portrait, or rendition of a caricature by Rick Wright, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens Football Team!
SIDE TWO: The claw of a Blue Crab, also accented with an overall photo of a 'Baltimore Steamed Crab'!
Because I weave on the loom, everyday, I always have a loom warped. There will be more beaded pieces to share! My thoughts, however, are taking me into a direction of being more intense with 'creating bead patterns from photographs'. To tally up all the emails I receive, converting a photograph to a bead pattern is the most requested form of help. Pattern programs leave so much more to do, then just 'click and weave'. Let me warp another cuff and think about how to share such help :D