I very much enjoy using the pretty threads and other materials for needlepoint that weren't available to us in the decade of the 70's - and also the imaginative things we can do with them. What I like doing most, however, is creating what I call "special effects with simple materials."
These napkin rings that could be lengthened and made into bracelets were shown a while back on my Freebies - (the pattern for them is there), and were inspired by my daughter's love of emeralds, and also the fact that her husband's birthday is in April - fortunate for her!! I thought jeweled napkin rings would be a festive touch for a birthday dinner.
Anyway, the first picture is showing the DMC cotton floss, worked in a tent stitch with 4 plies, on the WARP threads only, leaving the weft "dips" for inserting the beads. The tiny little diamond chain from which the emeralds are suspended, was placed on the canvas carefully, to make sure there would be only one warp stitch in the configuration of the little diamond shape - and of course the very very small one only has one stitch, which is weft to accomodate one bead. (a sparkling, hexagonal Sundance bead - crystal clear size 14 in the #250Hex)
The next picture shows the beads in place on some of the jewels. I used green beads that aren't "hex," as I didn't want the sparkle on the emeralds. While it's great on the diamonds, it's too much for the green stones.
This effect of nothing more than Petite Very Velvet, Kreinik #12 braid in 002V, and Sundance beads makes a stunning effect, yet is so simple - no fuzzy or glittery threads and no decorative stitches except the long-armed cross stitch I like to use at top and bottom, as it makes the edges fold over nicely - and is pretty in this braid.
I also put little single bead "jewels" suspended from the edges. I used the clear beads with green floss, but am not really happy with the look - so I tried a green bead farther down the row, and it's great! Out come the sharp scissors.
The diamond chain bracelet has a great effect with the two colors, I think. n this one, I'll use the clear hex beads at top and bottom, but will apply them with blue floss on the top, and green on the bottom. This makes sense. The detail of the diamond bracelet is showing where the weft threads were left bare for bead insertion.
When drawing this onto canvas, one would take care to make sure the square cut ones have five WEFT spaces, and four WARP spaces. The diamond shapes have 9 weft, and only 4 warp spaces. If attention is given to these small details, it makes the work easier. All it requires is a little experimenting on scrap canvas.
There's still time, as these are small, to even make jeweled bracelets for holiday parties - or sew them onto the cuffs of an evening jacket - lots of possibilities here. Do experiment - and with other motifs, too, than jewels.
ADDENDUM: I failed to mention that this technique for using beads (the simple way) is explained in detail in Chapter I of my book about using beads with needlepoint. I've divided it into two chapters for the downloadable e-patterns, or it's also offered as a coil bound "workbook." You can see it at Elegant Whimsies - my web store.