Bead Embroidery

Beading, Then and Now

I was trying to clean up/out my jewelry-making area, and in the process, I came across some of my very early work in different areas.  I found some necklaces from when I first started beading; some of my initial tries at viking knit, early bead embroidery and then wire weaving.

I sat down and stared at the pieces (conveniently ignoring the piles of beading supplies I was supposed to be cleaning up) and then picked up some of my more recent examples of each jewelry style.

Wow.  Big difference.

Jewelry Upgrade

The jewelry got me to thinking about how far I had come in many of my techniques.  And when I stared at my current work, I wondered where I'd be a year from now, five years from now, etc.

The way I see it, jewelry is just as much about the journey as it is the destination (i.e., the completed piece).

Save Some Pieces of Your Jewelry!

No matter where you are at in your jewelry journey, same some of your pieces -- especially some of the first pieces in a new technique.  Put them aside to look at later, so you can see the progress you have made!

As you'll see in the following video, some of my first pieces in a new technique aren't exactly stellar.  Yours might not be either, but practice is how we learn and grow.

Then and Now Video

So, here's a video that shows some of my jewelry from when I was starting, and more recent pieces in the same technique.  You'll see the evolution of my work, and some of the items I'm just starting to learn more about.

So....hope you enjoy the video!

Shibori Silk Cuffs, Part 2

Shibori Silk BraceletI started talking about my venture into shibori silk bracelets in another post, and so here are a couple more photos of my bracelets.

First is a bracelet where the silk forms less of a design element, in favor of rivolis and drop beads.  This bracelet is more textured than the other bracelets.

I also added sequins to this bracelet, as well as some of the Czech Superduo beads.  Glass pearls of various sizes and seed beads make up much of the rest of this bracelet.

I also used a wider color range on this bracelet -- green to pink to purple to amber.

Whisper of MidnightIn contrast, the next bracelet is monochromatic.  The silk was supposed to be more of a contrast, and when it turned out to be less so, I decided that a pallet of gray might be in order.

I had some of those fun peacock rivolis, and figured that they would be a great addition to the pearls and silk.  The peacock rivolis have a more subdued color flash, which gave the bracelet a little hint of color.

Any more to display?  I have some in the works, with different color combos.  Some with dichroic cabs, some with rivolis.

And...I am also working on an ebook that will feature a project made with the shibori silk.  😀

So meanwhile, hope you like these photos, and happy beading!!!

4 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
4 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$7.50
Time Remaining: 28d 21h 12m
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2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$3.85
Time Remaining: 27d 1h 6m
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Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$7.45
Time Remaining: 8d 23h 2m
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Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.95
Time Remaining: 8d 23h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $1.95
4 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Foiled 1122 Rivoli Stone Beads 14MM
4 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Foiled 1122 Rivoli Stone Beads 14MM
$7.99
Time Remaining: 25d 9h 53m
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STERLING SILVER EARRINGS WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI CRYSTAL PEACOCK EYE 14mm
STERLING SILVER EARRINGS WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI CRYSTAL PEACOCK EYE 14mm
$20.25
Time Remaining: 6d 6h 16m
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STERLING SILVER CHAIN NECKLACE WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI PEACOCK EYE 14mm
STERLING SILVER CHAIN NECKLACE WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI PEACOCK EYE 14mm
$18.98
Time Remaining: 6d 6h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $18.98

Bead Embroidery and Shibori Silk

Gypsy's SilkWhen I took the Shibori Bracelet class from Sherry Serafini in Feb 2013, it opened up a new world for me, bead-embroidery-wise.  I never really thought about using fabric as part of the design before, at least not this way.   So Sherry, thanks again for inspiration!

The bracelet I made during the class I ultimately christened "Gypsy's Silk" -- it's the purple bracelet on the right.  It's a wide cuff, to make full use of the silk, which was dyed in purples and greens.

I used some of the polymer clay cabs I made as part of the design, plus lots of bling-y beads like sew-on flatback Swarovski crystals, and some dichroic cabs that Sherry had for sale.

Shibori Silk BraceletOf course, these bracelets are like potato chips -- I couldn't make just one!

The next bracelet I made had a more monochromatic look, as the Shibori was in medium shades of blue.  There wasn't enough of a contrast color-wise in the silk, so I made do with pleating and crystals.

This one is much narrower than the one I made in class, but it's still an imposing bracelet.  Especially since I added a small fringe as the edging.

Aurora's JewelsSo what to do next?  I got some silk in shades of copper and pink, and it was a beautiful color shading.  I liked the silk so much that I did more pleating.  But anchoring those pleats?  That took a little more trial and error.

I used some rivolis this time, so instead of using a lot of crystals this time, I used more glass pearls.  One of my new favorites is the new 2mm glass pearls from the Czech Republic, which come in a wide variety of colors.

And yes, I've made even more, which I will show in other posts.  😀  I've used more of the Swarovski rivolis in the other bead embroidery bracelets with the silk.

You can find the Shobori silk on Etsy, which is where I got most of mine.  There are lots of different color combos.

The thing to keep in mind about the silk -- if you have rough hands or fingernails, they will snag the silk.  For the most part you can cover snags with beading, but it's sad when you snag it when you are pretty much done.  So be careful, and make sure your hands and nails are smooth.

12 swarovski square rivoli stones14mm vitrail medium 4650
12 swarovski square rivoli stones14mm vitrail medium 4650
$11.99
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 45m
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
$1.89
Time Remaining: 8d 21h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $1.89
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
$3.65
Time Remaining: 8d 21h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $3.65
Swarovski 1122 Heliotrope F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Heliotrope F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$2.50
Time Remaining: 10d 2h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 Sapphire Shimmer F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Sapphire Shimmer F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.95
Time Remaining: 9d 13m
Buy It Now for only: $1.95
Swarovski 1122 Heliotrope F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Heliotrope F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$9.25
Time Remaining: 10d 2h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $9.25
12 swarovski rivoli stones14mm unfoiled crystal AB 1122
12 swarovski rivoli stones14mm unfoiled crystal AB 1122
$11.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 45m
12 swarovski square rivoli stones14mm heliotrope 4650
12 swarovski square rivoli stones14mm heliotrope 4650
$11.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 5h 45m
Swarovski 1122 Crystal Matt F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Crystal Matt F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.85
Time Remaining: 8d 21h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $1.85
Swarovski 1122 Sapphire Shimmer F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Sapphire Shimmer F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$7.15
Time Remaining: 9d 13m
Buy It Now for only: $7.15

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Bead Embroidery Bracelet – Where’s the Party?

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!