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!!!

2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$3.85
Time Remaining: 22d 16h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $3.85
4 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
4 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$7.50
Time Remaining: 24d 12h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $7.50
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$7.45
Time Remaining: 4d 14h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $7.45
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.95
Time Remaining: 4d 14h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $1.95
STERLING SILVER EARRINGS WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI CRYSTAL PEACOCK EYE 14mm
STERLING SILVER EARRINGS WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI CRYSTAL PEACOCK EYE 14mm
$20.86
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $20.86
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: 21d 1h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $7.99
STERLING SILVER CHAIN NECKLACE WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI PEACOCK EYE 14mm
STERLING SILVER CHAIN NECKLACE WITH SWAROVSKI Elements RIVOLI PEACOCK EYE 14mm
$19.56
Time Remaining: 2d 6h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $19.56

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.

2 Bermuda Blue Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Bermuda Blue Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$2.95
Time Remaining: 11d 13h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $2.95
4 White Patina Foiled Swarovski Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
4 White Patina Foiled Swarovski Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$5.15
Time Remaining: 10d 12h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $5.15
4 Mint Green Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
4 Mint Green Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$4.50
Time Remaining: 13d 15h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $4.50
2 Aquamarine Glacier Blue Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Aquamarine Glacier Blue Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$3.75
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $3.75
4 Ivory Cream Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
4 Ivory Cream Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$4.50
Time Remaining: 6d 17h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $4.50
4 Vitrail Light Foiled Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
4 Vitrail Light Foiled Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$4.80
Time Remaining: 21d 8h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $4.80
Genuine 1122 Swarovski RIVOLI Shaton Round Stones 14 mm Various Colors 1 or 2pcs
Genuine 1122 Swarovski RIVOLI Shaton Round Stones 14 mm Various Colors 1 or 2pcs
$2.69
Time Remaining: 19d 19h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $2.69
6 Ivory Cream Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
6 Ivory Cream Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$6.50
Time Remaining: 6d 17h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $6.50
2 Ultra Pink Coral AB Swarovski Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Ultra Pink Coral AB Swarovski Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$4.35
Time Remaining: 28d 10h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $4.35
2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
2 Crystal Peacock Eye Swarovski Crystal Rivoli Stone 1122 14mm
$3.85
Time Remaining: 22d 16h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $3.85

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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!

18 POUNDS ASSORTED OREGON PICTURE JASPER CAB ROUGH WHOLESALE CLOSEOUT SALE
18 POUNDS ASSORTED OREGON PICTURE JASPER CAB ROUGH WHOLESALE CLOSEOUT SALE
$54.99
Time Remaining: 8d 12h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $54.99
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
$46.00
Time Remaining: 10d 17h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $46.00
Natural Picture Jasper Oval Cab 30mm x 40mm Please see Description
Natural Picture Jasper Oval Cab 30mm x 40mm Please see Description
$5.51
Time Remaining: 8d 14h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $5.51
PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U1758
PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U1758
$3.99
Time Remaining: 2d 58m
BOX OF PICTURE JASPERLAPIDARYCABNATURALROUGHSPECIMEN 16+POUNDS
BOX OF PICTURE JASPERLAPIDARYCABNATURALROUGHSPECIMEN 16+POUNDS
$45.00
Time Remaining: 16d 22h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $45.00
Red Flowering Plume Oregon Owyhee Picture Jasper Slab Cab gem
Red Flowering Plume Oregon Owyhee Picture Jasper Slab Cab gem
$5.25
Time Remaining: 1d 16h 58m
Stormy Seas Owyhee Picture Jasper Slab Cab gem
Stormy Seas Owyhee Picture Jasper Slab Cab gem
$6.50
Time Remaining: 1d 16h 58m
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
$42.00
Time Remaining: 27d 21h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $42.00
DIG N UTAH POLISHED SLAB DESCHUTES PICTURE JASPER CAB DISPLAY F 898
DIG N UTAH POLISHED SLAB DESCHUTES PICTURE JASPER CAB DISPLAY F 898
$30.00
Time Remaining: 13d 22h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $30.00
ABSTRACT TREE PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U1749
ABSTRACT TREE PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U1749
$5.51 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 48m

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