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 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$6.71
Time Remaining: 4d 4h 15m
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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 2h 25m
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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: 22d 6h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $3.85
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Peacock UNF Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.75
Time Remaining: 4d 4h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $1.75
144PCS Peacock Green Glass Rhinestone Rivoli Crytsal Stone 93159
144PCS Peacock Green Glass Rhinestone Rivoli Crytsal Stone 93159
$10.07
Time Remaining: 27d 18h 27m
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144PCS Peacock Blue Glass Rhinestone Rivoli Crytsal Stone 93168
144PCS Peacock Blue Glass Rhinestone Rivoli Crytsal Stone 93168
$10.07
Time Remaining: 28d 14h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $10.07
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: 20d 15h 6m
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925 STERLING SILVER EARRINGS RIVOLI CRYSTALS FROM SWAROVSKI PEACOCK EYE 14mm
925 STERLING SILVER EARRINGS RIVOLI CRYSTALS FROM SWAROVSKI PEACOCK EYE 14mm
$21.26
Time Remaining: 1d 22h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $21.26

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 Light Grey Opal F 14mm Rivoli Stone
Swarovski 1122 Light Grey Opal F 14mm Rivoli Stone
$1.49
Time Remaining: 8d 4h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $1.49
Swarovski 1122 Moonlight F Various Sizes Rivoli Stone
Swarovski 1122 Moonlight F Various Sizes Rivoli Stone
$1.49
Time Remaining: 10d 5h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $1.49
Swarovski 1122 Saturn GF 14mm Vintage Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Saturn GF 14mm Vintage Rivoli Stones
$5.85
Time Remaining: 14d 2h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $5.85
Swarovski 1122 Moonlight F Various Sizes Rivoli Stone
Swarovski 1122 Moonlight F Various Sizes Rivoli Stone
$5.35
Time Remaining: 10d 5h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $5.35
Swarovski 1122 Fireopal F 14mm Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Fireopal F 14mm Rivoli Stones
$1.57
Time Remaining: 5d 5h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $1.57
Swarovski 1122 White Patina F 14mm Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 White Patina F 14mm Rivoli Stones
$1.39
Time Remaining: 27d 10h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $1.39
Swarovski 1122 Egyptian Summer Moon F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Egyptian Summer Moon F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.75
Time Remaining: 4d 3h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $1.75
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
Swarovski 1122 Mystic Fire 14mm Crystal Rivoli Stone Unfoiled
$1.93
Time Remaining: 4d 3h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $1.93
Swarovski 1122 Amethyst F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
Swarovski 1122 Amethyst F Various Sizes Rivoli Stones
$1.31
Time Remaining: 5d 39m
Buy It Now for only: $1.31
Swarovski Crystal 1122 Rivoli Fancy Stones 14mm 2 Pieces Sunflower F
Swarovski Crystal 1122 Rivoli Fancy Stones 14mm 2 Pieces Sunflower F
$3.39
Time Remaining: 8d 10h 1m
Buy It Now for only: $3.39

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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!

Beautiful unique khaki picture jasper 4585 Cts oval CAB cabochon 40X30MM 08
Beautiful unique khaki picture jasper 4585 Cts oval CAB cabochon 40X30MM 08
$4.99
Time Remaining: 2d 2h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2782
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2782
$4.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 13h 49m
Mw DESCHUTES PICTURE JASPER Oregon 54 x 27mm Cab Cabochon
Mw DESCHUTES PICTURE JASPER Oregon 54 x 27mm Cab Cabochon
$8.00 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2d 11h 42m
ONE 15x10 Kite Picture Jasper Quartz Doublet Top Facet Cabochon Cab Gemstone
ONE 15x10 Kite Picture Jasper Quartz Doublet Top Facet Cabochon Cab Gemstone
$9.99
Time Remaining: 6d 11h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2777
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2777
$3.99
Time Remaining: 5d 13h 54m
PICTURE JASPER SPHERE MINERALS CRYSTALS GEMS CAB
PICTURE JASPER SPHERE MINERALS CRYSTALS GEMS CAB
$9.99
Time Remaining: 6d 16h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
PICTURE JASPERTUMBLINGLAPIDARYCABNATURALROUGHSPECIMEN 17+POUNDS
PICTURE JASPERTUMBLINGLAPIDARYCABNATURALROUGHSPECIMEN 17+POUNDS
$40.00
Time Remaining: 12d 10h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $40.00
Scenic Collector Quality Owyhee Picture Jasper Designer Cab Eastern Oregon
Scenic Collector Quality Owyhee Picture Jasper Designer Cab Eastern Oregon
$24.95
Time Remaining: 2d 13h 3m
N Nevada Owyhee Picture Jasper Agate Cabochon Cab Great Wire Wrapping Pendant
N Nevada Owyhee Picture Jasper Agate Cabochon Cab Great Wire Wrapping Pendant
$14.95
Time Remaining: 4d 18h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $14.95
One Pound 2 Ounce 32 Ounce Mozarkite Picture Jasper Cabochon Cab Rough PJ7
One Pound 2 Ounce 32 Ounce Mozarkite Picture Jasper Cabochon Cab Rough PJ7
$29.99
Time Remaining: 7d 1h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $29.99

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