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!!!

Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$7.45
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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: 23d 18h 58m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$1.95
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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: 22d 3h 45m
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925 STERLING SILVER EARRINGS SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI CRYSTAL PEACOCK EYE 14mm
925 STERLING SILVER EARRINGS SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI CRYSTAL PEACOCK EYE 14mm
$20.70
Time Remaining: 3d 5m
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CHAIN NECKLACE SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI PEACOCK EYE F 14mm Sterling silver 925
CHAIN NECKLACE SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI PEACOCK EYE F 14mm Sterling silver 925
$18.11
Time Remaining: 2d 23h 54m
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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.

Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$1.05
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$7.45
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$1.85
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$6.50
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$7.65
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$1.55
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$3.75
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$5.25
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$4.60
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
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Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
Swarovski 1122 14MM Assorted Colors and Effects Rivolis Stone
$4.60
Time Remaining: 17d 19h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $4.60

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Cabochons for Bead Embroidery, Part 2

I mentioned previously that I was going to go shopping again for cabochons for bead embroidery.  Well I did, and now I'm going to share some photos with you!  Keep in mind that the photos are of the "naked cab" and aren't beaded as yet.

Jasper, O Jasper

I got two different kinds of jasper (a semi-precious gemstone).  I adore jasper because the colors and patterns can be out of this world!

The jasper cab shown at the right is called Owyhee picture jasper, and with good reason!  These jaspers tend to resemble landscapes, and the this one is no exception.

The photo doesn't show it as well as I'd like, but when you hold this in your hand, it looks like a hillside, with a tree on the right hand side.  As soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to have it.  And it was a great deal, too!  I paid around $3, and got free shipping.  The cab is roughly 40x30mm in size.

The other jasper I snagged is called Pilbara Hill Jasper (on your left).  To me, it looks like a kind of sunrise or sunset (haven't decided which yet).

This one is also 40x30 mm in size, and I paid a bit more for it, seeing as I got into a bit of a bidding war for this cab.  Still, I paid less than $7 and got free shipping so as far as I am concerned, I am very happy.

Now you'll notice that both of these cabs are in earthy kinds of colors -- shades of beige, rust, tan, with a little gray thrown in as well.  Alas, I have yet to see any picture-type jasper than is in anything but these earth tones.  And even though I don't generally wear much in the tan/rust color family, I plan to get more clothes so I can proudly wear these!  🙂

How Ya Doing, Ruby?

The next cabochon for bead embroidery I won was a ruby in zoisite cab.  Yes, it's real ruby, but of course not gem-quality since it's so occluded.  Still, the contrast of the rpink/red of the ruby against the greens of the zoisite.  For the life of me, I could not get a good picture of this cab -- it is much more vibrant than it looks in the photo to the right.

The size of this cabochon for beading is roughly 30x20 mm, maybe a shade bigger.  I paid considerably more for this one -- $12.50 -- but still got the free shipping.  I really liked the cab, so I think I got a good deal on it.  It has so many possibilities for bead embroidery!

If you decide to go ebaying (which is where I got these), keep in mind that if you are looking for free shipping deals (and there are quite a few), it may take some time for the cab to get to you.  For these particular cabs, they came from either Hong Kong or India, so it took a good 3 to 4 weeks to receive them.  I have received them faster (sometimes as soon as 10 days), but you should expect 3 to 4 weeks.

Well, time to get these cabs onto their backing so I can bead them!

Owyhee Picture Jasper Designer Cab Cabochon OWPJ1
Owyhee Picture Jasper Designer Cab Cabochon OWPJ1
$16.95
Time Remaining: 10d 22h 13m
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34ct Natural Best Grade Landscape American Picture Jasper Oval Cab U70
34ct Natural Best Grade Landscape American Picture Jasper Oval Cab U70
$3.99
Time Remaining: 4h 32m
Sonora Dendritic Picture Jasper Designer Cab Cabochon SON01A
Sonora Dendritic Picture Jasper Designer Cab Cabochon SON01A
$12.95
Time Remaining: 10d 22h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $12.95
57ct Natural Best Grade Landscape American Picture Jasper Pear Cab U80
57ct Natural Best Grade Landscape American Picture Jasper Pear Cab U80
$3.99
Time Remaining: 4h 33m
52ct Natural Best Grade Landscape American Picture Jasper Round Cab U91
52ct Natural Best Grade Landscape American Picture Jasper Round Cab U91
$3.99 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 33m
Deschutes Picture Jasper Collectors Cab 29mm x 39mm
Deschutes Picture Jasper Collectors Cab 29mm x 39mm
$58.00
Time Remaining: 10d 7h 27m
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FOUR 12mm Round Center Drilled Picture Jasper Cab Cabochon Gem Gemstone pjc18
FOUR 12mm Round Center Drilled Picture Jasper Cab Cabochon Gem Gemstone pjc18
$7.59
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DJM Mexican Scenic Landscape Jasper Cabochon Picture Jasper cab
DJM Mexican Scenic Landscape Jasper Cabochon Picture Jasper cab
$24.00
Time Remaining: 29d 16h 5m
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DJM Mexican Scenic Landscape Jasper Cabochon Picture Jasper cab
DJM Mexican Scenic Landscape Jasper Cabochon Picture Jasper cab
$24.00
Time Remaining: 29d 16h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $24.00
18 POUNDS ASSORTED OREGON PICTURE JASPER CAB ROUGH WHOLESALE CLOSEOUT SALE
18 POUNDS ASSORTED OREGON PICTURE JASPER CAB ROUGH WHOLESALE CLOSEOUT SALE
$49.99
Time Remaining: 9d 15h 3m
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