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 volcano 4650
12 swarovski square rivoli stones14mm volcano 4650
$11.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 5h 26m
2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$3.85
Time Remaining: 25d 11h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $3.85
2 Bermuda Blue Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Bermuda Blue Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$2.95
Time Remaining: 14d 7h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $2.95
4 Peridot Swarovski Crystal Foiled 1122 Rivoli Stone Beads 14MM
4 Peridot Swarovski Crystal Foiled 1122 Rivoli Stone Beads 14MM
$4.50
Time Remaining: 1d 21h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $4.50
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
$2.15
Time Remaining: 7d 8h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $2.15
2 Purple Haze Foiled Swarovski Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Purple Haze Foiled Swarovski Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$3.95
Time Remaining: 3d 15h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $3.95
Swarovski 1122 Peach Melba F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peach Melba F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$7.15
Time Remaining: 14d 9h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $7.15
Swarovski 1122 White Patina F 14mm Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 White Patina F 14mm Rivoli Stones
$1.55
Time Remaining: 15h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $1.55
Swarovski 1122 Water Lily F Various Sizes Rivoli Stone
Swarovski 1122 Water Lily F Various Sizes Rivoli Stone
$5.15
Time Remaining: 6d 13h
Buy It Now for only: $5.15
Swarovski 1122 Heliotrope F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Heliotrope F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$9.25
Time Remaining: 8d 12h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $9.25

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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!

Color and Kaleidoscope Designs for Inspiration

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).

Color Inspirations

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!

Viking Knit Jewelry Fans, It’s Finally Here!

Three of the projects in Viking Knit Jewelry Embellishments.

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!