My latest bead embroidery bracelet is called "Where's the Party?", and I made it in honor of my upcoming class with beading guru Sherry Serafini (of course I had to name drop, LOL). Seriously, I do have a class with her soon (end of February), and I wanted to wear something interesting to the class.
Speaking of which, I took a class with her last year, for an over-the-top collar. No, I still haven't finished that one yet, but I have done two cuffs so far -- the one above and one called "Harlequin's Romance". But last year's class only whetted my taste for the two I am taking this year. Interestingly enough, they are both cuff classes...so who knows what I will come up with afterwards!
Freeform Bead Embroidery
My first love is freeform jewelry making -- wirework, lampwork, beadweaving and naturally, bead embroidery. I am not sure if freeform attracts me because I an slightly dyslexic, or that I have never been one to color within the lines. Maybe somewhere in between?
So, want to know what went into "Where's the Party?" I started with the gorgeous dichroic cab from ebay artist Carolyn Relei - Releidichroics (I adore her work!) The cab gave me the ideas for what colors I should use, as it has blue, green, teal, copper, gold and s smidgen of violet.
As for seed beads, I have a mixture of matte, "regular" and metallic, in sizes 6, 8, 11 and 15. The shapes are round, bugle and matagama. With a smattering of cyclinder and peanut to round things out.
I was dying to try out some Swarovski flatback crystals...so I did! I used both the regular round and a rectangular bead -- almost emerald shaped.
And I didn't want to leave out Swarovski crystal pearls, some Czech rounds and whatever else my fingers could grab, LOL.
If I Could Do Anything Differently...
I might have made it a little narrower, which means that I would have had to pick another in my stash of dichroic cabs -- the cab kind of dictated the width. But I'd still use a dichroic cab as the centerpiece.
Also, I wouldn't have taken so long to complete this! I started maybe 6 months ago and just got around to completing it yesterday. Meanwhile, my beads went all over the place, never to be found again so my two sides are a bot different -- I had to do some substituting when I couldn't find my original sizes and colors. (Watch, I'll find them later today...)
But I do love freeform, and I have come to love cuffs. Now all I need to do is get started on a tutorial. I do have an idea percolating in the background for a design.
Gonna run; catch up with you again after my class!
Color has always played a big part for me, when it comes to needing inspiration. I love looking at other people's jewelry designs, and they do inspire me. But I am also aware that, aside from some relatively common designs, I can't copy them. But I can use them as a base and take them further.
Anyway, sometimes it works wonderfully well; sometimes not so much. And I had the same problem with my lampwork for a long time until I finally hit my "look".
So lately, I have been trying to come up with some new thoughts. I have a another class with Sherry Serafini coming up, and I want to be able to stretch myself a little more this time.
Since color speaks to me, I turned to kaleidoscope designs. And I am here to share some with you, hoping that you will also find your own "ah-hah" moment.
Creating Kaleidoscope Designs
I did design all the kaleidoscopes you see on this post. And interestingly enough, they all originated from my beads and jewelry. Sometimes you can tell right off; sometimes you have to look really hard before you see the beads. And some, like the one at the top of the page, you just have to take my word on, LOL.
Before you think I am some sort of wizard with the above (talking about making these with my beads and jewelry), please note that I used photos of my beads and jewelry to use as a base for my "colliding color" designs. I wish I could say that I was talented enough to put each piece together, but alas; I used the magic of digital photography.
So while I can claim that I made the beads and jewelry behind the photos, and I can claim I created the kaleidoscope look via digital magic, I did not actually sew these designs (well, the ones that look like they have beads, anyway).
One thing I have a tough time with is with combining colors so that they look good together. A lot of times what I think will be really cool ends up looking like mud when I see the project as a whole. But with these renderings, I came up with some neat combos. Hmm, maybe I am not as bad as I think I am when it comes to color! I just need to be a little more balanced I guess.
Anyway, I set up a page called Kaleidoscope Designs From Jewelry that you can take a peek at -- pretty much just all photos!
Enjoy, and may you be inspired!
If you like making viking knit jewelry, I've got something new for you. After working on it on and off for several months, I finally have a new ebook called Viking Knit Jewelry Embellishments.
For those of you who have been following me, you know that along with sparkly things, I also love viking knit jewelry. But after awhile, I wanted something more than just a chain. Or a chain with a few beads strung onto the end.
That's when the idea for this ebook was born.
In the Land of Viking Knit...
There are several tutorials around for how to make viking knit jewelry (mine included), but not much on really embellishing...a lot of embellishing. And at first, I was kind of at a loss.
So, I started playing around. Adding beads within the knitting, wondering if I could make a two-tone knit, what would triple knit be like. Not to mention all those bits an pieces of chain from other projects. Too short to use in much of anything, but to much to simply throw away. What to do with them...
Plus, I had been experimenting (mostly successfully) with colored wires, and I wanted to liven things up by using them in my work. So I had to learn early on how to straighten kinked colored wire so that it wouldn't flake on me.
Anyhow, I came up with what I hope is a lot of good information and several projects that you might like to try, if you want to take your viking knit jewelry to the next level. And here's the link to click for Viking Knit Jewelry Embellishments.
Hope you enjoy it!
I took a class with Sabine Lippert a couple of weeks ago, and she did inspire me to try different techniques with rivolis. I never thought that chatons could easily be used with beadwork (that they were too small), but her class changed my way of thinking. Not to mention all the jaw-dropping-gorgeous examples of her work that she brought in for display!
(In case you don't know, Sabine is the author of the Beaded Fantasies book on Amazon. And yes, I have the book myself and got Sabine to sign it.)
This is a big piece of jewelry! The entire project had this as the center of a necklace that would please the most bling-seeking person, but I decided to stop with just this portion. The center rivoli is 18mm and the front center rivoli is 12mm. The rest are 8mm rivolis and chatons.
Even Teacher Needs Lessons
While I don't really need any lessons in right angle weave or cubic RAW, I went to this class to soak up new ideas, and new ways of putting beads together to form jewelry. So even a teacher like myself needs to have lessons at times.
I have to say, Sabine is a wonderful instructor! She doesn't get over here to the States very often (she lives in Europe), but if you ever get the chance to take a class with her....grab it! I got the chance to sit with her for a bit and talk one-on-one about some of her pieces and the thoughts behind them as she designed. One bracelet had me drooling; while much of her work is very ornate, the bracelet was very tailored, but with loads of rivolis. A perfect blend of elegant bling!
Inspiration? Oh Yeah!
Since getting back from her class, I have been experimenting with different designs with rivolis and chatons. Some of them I look at and wonder what I possibly could have been thinking, while others I ended up liking.
This one to my right is kind of straight-forward in some ways. It's got RAW and peyote bead weaving, along with some other stitches thrown in for good measure.
The rivoli itself is only 14mm, so it makes for a nice smaller pendant. Put it on a 16 or 17 inch chain and it sits nicely at the base of your neck, shining bright.
I was able to use some of my size 15 charlotte beads (the silver around the rivoli). They are kind of tough to use because the holes are so very small, but in the end, it was worth it.
To the left are some other designs I dreamed up. While none of them turned out like I had originally envisioned, they have possibilities. I used a lot of bronze-colored seed beads, while gives these a more antique-y look and feel.
I think I'll try the design I used in the one at the top, with a different color scheme. I want to alter the design a little, so there is no telling what the "new and improved" version will look like!
That's it for now. Have a great day (or evening, depending on the time you are reading this) and catch you later!