Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Meet Octavio - or how to take a design further

or how to take a design further.

Tulip Tassel and Mermaid Tail
When I showed my "Fishtail" cord ends in a group on Facebook, a lovely friend, Susannah Thomson, asked "Mermaid Tail?"... Oh my! that was the name it had to have! So now, the set of beaded beads is called Mermaid Tail. You can make wonderful cord ends, perfect for purses or bags. They complement pendants beautifully (I like them dangling on my back), and can also become earrings, or beaded beads (spacers).
Little Mermaid

Of course, I had to make a Little Mermaid using a bigger beaded bead for the body, and slightly smaller ones for the tail. I used a sweet little "Leilani" doll head that I got from the lovely Siân Nolan from the UK.

The Mermaid Tail instructions do not include how to make the Little Mermaid doll. The tutorial is only for the Mermaid Tail. However, you certainly may try to make your own version, so here are a few hints and tips - play to see where you can take it. This is valid for Octavio too.

Side view of the body and tail
As you can see from the picture left, the forms interlock well (the number of rows, together with information about the bigger bead, is mentioned in the tutorial,). The torso is beaded around 2 mother of pearl round beads added on the inside, between the top points. I used 15/0 and 11/0 to cover them. Then the tail was added, then the head and then the arms. The arms are made of two tiny petals (3/5 and 5/5 - as explained in my "From Petal to Pod" tutorial).
The bottom is left open to put her on a stick for display.
She lives among my plants together with a fairy and her new friend, Octavio.

Three Wing Scarf Ring
'Enhanced' Parrot Earrings
Original Parrot Earrings

I made a beautiful "Three Wing Scarf Ring", one of the upcoming projects with "Waves" start, in yummilicious fruit colors, to match one of my favorites scarves, and of course had to have assorted earrings. The pair on the right is a pair of Parrot earrings, with 3mm Firepolished beads added. Less rows are beaded, because these pretties tend to curl a lot more than made only with seed beads, but are the same length.

After I finished the tut for the Tulip Tassel - a pretty bell-shaped flower that is really lovely as home decor or pendant -, I had to make Octavio. Because even before I finished the first flower, the shape said "Octopus" to me. Yes, really. Like "I am an octopus. Make my arms too!" I promised that I'd make his 8 arms.

Octavio the octopus
Each time I took a break from tutifying, I beaded. And after 8 endless arms, which took at least 8 hours per, and a lot of fiddling to find the best thread path, I am very proud to present you Octavio the Octopus.
Octavio the Octopus
His body is a nearly finished Tulip, his arms are made with Herringbone stitch, for which I used the same beads as the tulip to create the curl (approx. 64-rows). After 40 rows, I made 3 x a slight increase, a 15/0 between the size 15/0 and the 11/0, after 9 rows an 11/0 between them, and after 9 other rows pairs of 15/0 between them. I decreased the other end to make pretty, thin points. For the suckers, I added ivory Miyuki spacer beads in the 2 available sizes and Czech "O" beads (all ~1mm thin!) using size 15/0 seed beads.
Seeing that my thread got caught by them at every stitch, I'd think twice before beading the suckers before attaching the arms to the body.

I added 2 "Chili" beads to form the beak.

After a bit of testing what the best thread path would be, I added the arms to the tulip in one go, by continuing the peyote sequence as much as possible, together with a few ladder stitches to fill gaps. I made a central component (two Preciosa Chili beads wrapped in a 1-by-2-drop peyote band, 16-count to have 8 intersections, filled with 8 size 11/0, onto which I added 8 Diamond Weave units). To connect the arms to these units, I mixed stitches (herringbone & peyote), short for every even numbered arm, and 4&5-drop herringbone stitches for every odd numbered arm. I took out the harmony ball that I had put inside the body when I realized that the beak could hide partially inside. I didn't join the sides of the arms - that would freeze the shape too much. A few more O-beads to fill the remaining spaces and voilà, Octavio was born.

Again: this is not a post to encourage you to buy the Tulip tutorial to make Octavio - rather the contrary. Please don't buy the tutorial for him, it is a tutorial for a pendant, a flower, or whatever you want to make with it.

Octavio is a much more difficult project, and even more difficult to tutify.

.. but I included his color chart & graph in the tut for the obstinate, never give-up beaders among you who surely may try, (and I will love to see your Octavio if you succeed to make one!)

Point of one arm
8 arms done

Connection of the first arm

short herringbone stitch
long herringbone stitch

More O-beads added on the inside

Thank you for reading me


Happy, happy beading!


  1. You have skills :) Thank you for helping us all understand. This article is a keeper.

  2. Est-ce que vous allez faire(et vendre )un tutoriel plus dtaillé pour faire cette pieuvre ?...Elle est vraiment magnifique !

    1. Bonjour et merci pour votre gentil commentaire! Non, je ne vais pas faire de tutorial plus détaillé pour faire cette pieuvre - je l'ai faite pour montrer comment il est possible de partir d'un modèle comme la tulipe cellini et d'en faire autre chose.

  3. Dear Cath, this is a Master Class! Bravo!!!


Your comments are welcome!