Monthly Archives: September 2012

Blue Dichroic Glass Brooch

Is it just me or has time started to fly super duper fast lately! it feels like this month whooshed passed me and it totally took me by surprise! As a whole September was a bit of a disappointment. I had plans to go back home and spent September emptying up my bank account in the bead stores of London and lounging the rest of it in Brighton with my cousin, but alas plans change and I am stuck in New Jersey! To get my mind off of things I am thinking of actually going to see a play up in New York called Grace with Paul Rudd and maybe just maybe get some retail therapy done in the bead stores of NYC!

But I digress. As I am sat here watching a marathon of Castle on TV I thought I would write about the piece that has been the main image on my page since I first started this blog about a month or so ago!

Most of the bead embroidery pieces I see are done around stone cabochons but as I have mentioned before I just haven’t been able to find nice cabochons and the ones that I seem to like are ridiculously expensive and that’s why I like making my own ones with art images. But a few months back again on one of my outings to Michaels I found these dichroic pendants which I thought would make a nice focal cabs for my beading. I bought a round one and an oval one, I would have got more but I didn’t know how hard it would be to get the bails off the cabs. The bail on the oval cabochon came off pretty easily, the one on this round one not so much. After a lot of huffing and puffing I managed to get the bail off without damaging the piece, which was a relief.

The good thing about a focal stone like this for me was that no matter what colour bead I chose to do around it would have complimented the plethora of colours that are visible in the dichroic glass in some way or another.As for the shape I opted for a beautiful pattern I had seen in the Dimensional bead embroidery book to make this stone pop as much as possible

Once the bezel was done I started adding other cabochons, the teardrop cabochons are actually jewel sticker pieces from recollection that I found in the scrapbooking section of Michaels.

I am thinking that maybe with the oval dichroic glass that I got I could make the same type of beading but make it into a headband. I have never made head pieces before so it might be a nice challenge!

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Ms.Pemberton Brooch

 

I love the days when I get home and I see packages by the door and you know those packages contain something you really really need!!! I finally got my threads and I have become a beading machine.

All the planning I did last week has really helped move things along. I had done all the sketching, I had chosen which cabochons would go with which design. I had even listed beads I wanted to use on the pieces.

For the first piece I am using another Lori Earley drawing and this one is called “Ms.Pemberton” .how regal is that!

I went with a sapphire blue and black theme. I did a stacked bezel around the focal image and then did a row of alternating faceted glass beads and swarovski pearls.

I wanted the next rows of beading to snake around all the new cabochon and larger beads that I was adding and that needed a little bit of planning as the inside row of beads becomes the outside row when it snakes around the smaller cabochons so in order to get it right I did both the blue/sapphire row and the black row at the same time.

I also used a Copic marker to darken the top two beads a little bit since they were transparent and against the backing they were looking more sky blue than sapphire blue. Colouring the backing and the backs of the beads helped make it a darker colour.

To finish off the piece I went for a free form stacked edge followed by a drop formation on the bottom.

 

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Queen of Hearts Brooch

Last week a weird thing happened to me! I ran out of thread! It is so weird for me to let this happen cause nightly beading is like my ritual so how I did not see that I was totally out of my favorite fireline thread is completely beyond me. So in order to not be completely useless I sat down the other day and decided to plan out some pieces while awaiting the arrival of the threads.I started by drawing some sketches out for some new brooches but in the end I couldn’t help myself so I decided to start a piece anyway and use the wildfire thread that  I have.

For the piece I went with another Natalie Shau cover art for the Cradle of Filth. The picture is of a woman in royal regalia holding what looks like a human heart! Nice huh!!

I too cue from the colours in the paintings so I went with dark red and gold and using an assortment of different crystals. Michaels had 50%off all the bead gallery crystal which means that I obviously went a little nuts in there and ended up leaving with a whole bunch of beads which are now all piled up on my desk but it also means that I now have a good collection of red beads.

I am always amazed at how a subtle colour difference or a finish of a bead can effect a piece so much.

The way I had planned this piece was to have a hole on top and have a dangling bead hanging in the space but I when I cut around the piece, the top part was just too thin and it made more sense to cut into the piece and try to connect them again with the dangling bead when the piece was finished.Because the top parts of the piece were so thin I did sandwich a piece of thick cardstock between the backing and the Ultrasuede to give the piece more stability.

Once all that was done I finished the edge of the piece with a sunshine edge. The small inside corners were a little tough to do but I am glad that it was doable. I finished off the piece with a pinkish/red Toho teardrop crystal bead which was the only thing I had in my stash and up close it actually doesn’t look as pink as it does in the photo, but maybe I should put in an order for a red swarovski crystal next time I am going to order things

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Maleficent Bracelet

Disney sure knows how to do a villain properly, especially female villains! They are all so beautiful, regal and well villainy!!!

I love maleficent and out of the older Disney movies sleeping beauty is my favorite , my all time favorite is the little mermaid but that’s a different story! So I was very surprised to read that the sleeping beauty was one of the least successful Disney movies!

When I first saw the series of work done by Tom Bagshaw inspired by the Disney villains I was instantly in love.The painting inspired by Maleficent is called “Evil Intent” and I really wanted to do something special with it and since my first exercise with a fully beaded bracelet went really well I decided that this was going to be another bracelet piece.

I glued on my cabochon onto black Ultrasuede that I had roughly stitched to Lacy’s stiff stuff and started to do the bezel work around the piece. I work really quickly when I feel secure in my colour choices and the pieces that I do that are darker tend to go a lot smoother and faster since I tend to second guess my choices less when it comes to using darker colours.

I was sure of a few things in this piece: I really wanted to use crystal chains, and I really wanted to use these new nail head beads that I had just ordered off Etsy.

After I was done with the beading around the focal point I went on a little scavenger hunt for the next pieces. After laying down a couple of different pieces onto the piece I finally went with two large round cabochon and two smaller blue goldstone cabochons.

Once all the beading was done I checked to see if the piece would fit around my wrist. But it was way too small. I didn’t want to add anymore stones cause I thought it would an overkill to have yet another type of stone added to the work and I didn’t have anything that was smaller that the blue goldstone cabochon that would go with the piece. So after a little bit of thought I went with more of the nail heads to get the length I needed for the piece to fit my wrist.

Once the piece was done I glued it on to another piece of Ultrasuede and cleaned up the edges by doing a sunshine edge. I have to say that sewing through the 3 layers of Ultrasuede and Lacy’s stiff stuff really does a number on the fingertips! To finish off I went with a simple tube bar clasp for closure.

I have to say that I have done a couple of pieces that I like but this is the one piece I have done up to now that I am really proud of. I had this bracelet on when I had to go for a doctor’s visit and I found it intriguing that one of the nurses that worked there though the piece was scary. Now I don’t see the piece as anything remotely scary as she put it but she was wearing hello kitty scrubs so I am guessing that out sensibilities fall on different ends of the spectrum. So what do you guys think ,is this piece scary!!!!?

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Alphonse Mucha Ruby Brooch

Writing about pieces that were done a few months back has proved to be rather a challenge. I have discovered that my memory is not as good as I think it was and recalling some of the details of how I made these earlier pieces is proving rather difficult! It’s a good thing I am writing about these pieces now rather than later. I am guessing in a few months I would have forgotten that I had even made some of these pieces! 😀

In this piece I broke away from just beading around the cabochon and ventured into actually beading a specific pattern around a piece.

The resin cabochon is a picture of Alphonse Mucha’s Ruby painting .if you look at the actual painting you can see that there are these V shaped tile works behind her head. Taking some inspiration from that I started looking for patterns online, I specifically started looking at Celtic designs since some of the elements of these types of designs creep into each other.

I tried transferring the Celtic designs on to the Lacy’s stiff stuff with a carbon paper but the results were not that great, I could just get a faint line on my backing, which wasn’t enough to help serve as a guide. I ended up putting the backing against the light and tracing the lines with a pen.

For this piece I started with the outside lines first (after the bezel work was done of course). When I started the beading I could see that the lines I had drawn were not all the same length and were not completely symmetrical and I tried to compensate for that by being as precise as I could by counting the beads I was using on each line and just trying to get the shape as symmetrical as possible without relying too much on the pattern I had drawn.

When the time came to fill up the empty spaces I knew that if I chose to do the 2-bead backstitch, the fact that the spaces were not all of the same size would just be magnified so after consulting the Dimensional Bead Embroidery book I decided to give the picot stitch a try. I mentioned in an earlier post that I am not a huge fan of this stitch cause I am not so much into the texture it creates, however for filling up small spaces it is perfect.

I wish I remembered how I actually finished the back of this piece since I was actually able to cover the pin with Ultrasuede in this piece. When I did my romance brooch, I used the same pin back with bail for that piece but I wasn’t able to figure out how I had attached the pin back to this pieces and cover it so  I ended up sewing the bail on top of the Ultrasuede which is not something I usually like to do!

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Portrait of Ira P Necklace

I have mentioned I am going back and posting my earlier pieces now that I have photos of them to share.The piece here marks my first ever attempt at making a necklace. I had made pendant like stuff but this is the first complete necklace .

I am not so much into ultra feminine pieces , I like things a little bit more edgy and to be honest the only reason I chose this Tamara de Lempicka picture was because I had a good lot of red stones and beads that would work with this piece and I was still trying to figure out my own style of doing things.

Looking back my earlier pieces I can see how simple they are but I also remember how hard they were for me to figure out at that point. The component making part was ok because I had some practice with the beading part but conneting the pieces together and making it into a functional piece was a totally different story ,it still is to be honest. I still struggle with attaching clasps and such and if I could find a class that taught the basics of jewelry making that worked with my schedule I would be the first to sign up!

This piece, apart from from the resin cabochon with the Tamara de Lempicka picture , uses two ruby red paua shell cabochons. After finishing off the components ,came the dreaded time of attaching everything together.

I believe I strung on the different beads a hundred different ways and in different sequences in order to get them the right length and have them lay in the way I was looking for. I am probably exaggerating by saying it took a hundred tries but it sure felt like it! It was enough to put me off trying to make another necklace for a while , this might explain why I have only made a handful of necklaces since I started beading.

When the stringing part was finished  came the next obstacle! Attaching the clasp! I went through the loop of the clasp with my thread a couple of times and just went down through the strung beads until I got to the first beaded component where I went through the beads with my string to make it as secure as possible. It was only a week or so back  when I was looking for a better way of attachhing clasps and looking at how other beaders are attaching their clasps that I was finally able to figure that there was a better, cleaner way of attaching clasps!! Oh well at least I know what to do from now on! 😀

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Leila Brooch

I do enjoy the darker side of things, but just so I won’t get too comfortable with things I try from time to time to do something a little bit more light and airy.

You can never go wrong with a Lori Earley painting. I mean no matter what you do around the piece; it’s going to look gorgeous cause her stuff are just beyond beautiful.

Leila is a beautiful blue-eyed, blonde girl and to complement her complexion I went with my trusted gold and pearl pallet. To me Leila brooch is the younger less sinister sister of the Ms.V brooch I posted a while back.

She has a softer look and she doesn’t have that evil look that I see in Ms.V’s eyes.

 After a simple bezel work, I went with a staggered pearl effect around the cabochon and then finished off the piece with an alternating stacked edge.

In order to compliment her cool tone and blue eyes I did use a gold amethyst colour bead very sparingly around the cabochon also the pinkish crystals used around the edge give a slight bluish sparkle which ties everything together very nicely.

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Faux Dichroic Necklace

I have finally been able to get my hands on pictures of my earlier pieces. Earlier this year my mom came to stay with me for a while to take care of me while I was recovering from surgery and any piece I made during that time that she expressed any interest in I would give to her, so I don’t have access to them with us living on two different continents and all.

But I was able to convince my photographer friend, Sanaz, to take pictures of the pieces saying it would be good practice for her as well: D

 faux dichroic necklacefaux dichroic necklace

Before I started doing beading I went through a resin and clay phase. After starting bead embroidery I started using clay and resin for making cabochon. I decided early on against clay cabochon as I just didn’t like the effect and glazing them was such a messy process that I gave up, but resin I like, except for the wait time.

Before I started putting pictures in resin, I started with glitter and then moved on to making these faux dichroic pieces.  Dichroic glass pieces are very beautiful but I haven’t been able to find them anywhere in shops. I am a bit hesitant to order these types of patterned cabochon online because the pieces are very different from each other, the picture on the website can be nothing like what you will end up getting. For this sort of cabochon I would rather buy them in person to choose the ones I like. Since I couldn’t find any I made the resin version.

faux dichroic necklace

The concept of this piece was to practice the bezel work around the cabochon. After gluing the resin cabochon on I sewed on a row of glass beads with a seed bead in between each in order to allow for me to pass the needle through for the next step, which was adding the gold seed beads. I added 7 size 15/0 seed beads onto my needle and went through each of the size 11/0 seed beads I had sewn in between the larger glass beads. After this stage was finished all that was left to do was to close the work, which was done by putting 4 size 15/0 seed beads on to the needle and sewing through the middle gold seed bead, and pull tight.

faux dichroic necklace

Had I not run out of pin backs this piece was destined to become another brooch but since I had, it was decided it would be best if I made this into a necklace.

I didn’t have any necklace making components such as clasps and other things so this had to be something I could slide on a chain or ribbon or cord.

faux dichroic necklace

I made some loops on the top to allow for a cord or chain to go through and finished off the edge by doing a picot type edge while using a larger rondelle bead rather than just seed beads.

 faux dichroic necklace

 

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The Sea Siren

sea siren brooch

I am obsessed with shiny, sparkly things and since discovering how flexible and easy to sew crystal chains are I have been incorporating them in almost all of the piece I make.

I love these chains, for me they are the solution to every beading problem I can come across. if I can not find a bead that I think compliments a piece I can surely find a crystal chain that could do the job.

I have posted a couple of pieces using chains but this piece here is the first one I made using a crystal chain (and bugle beads for that matter) which explains why I have only used a little bit.

sea siren brooch

I hadn’t used crystal chains before at all and I didn’t know if they would go around round pieces without getting too stiff or how they would lay on the piece. So when I bought my first piece I only bought a foot of it , thinking that would be enough to experiment with and if it wasn’t what I expected it to be then I haven’t really wasted a lot of money.

sea siren brooch

But when I first laid eyes on the chains I knew I would be hoarding them!! They are just amazing. I tend to go with 2-3 mm crystal chains and I prefer AB crystals, the problem I have is that the size and type of crystal I like is hard to find in a silver setting. Most of the ones I have found come in a gold setting which is nice but cannot be used in a predominantly silver/cool toned piece. For those I would need a silver chain to have it blend into the piece.

I started this piece using a cabochon featuring a book cover art done by Tom Bagshaw called “Forbidden Sea”, written by Sheila A. Nielson.

sea siren brooch

I planned this piece specifically with the chain in mind. I also wanted to try something else out. When I do a piece I do a bezel and then a couple of rows of beading around it but I wanted to see how a piece would work with just a bezel and no other beading and that is part of the reason why the bottom half of the piece has no beading around it except for the beads that finish the edge. I like the effect it gives but I specifically remember it was very hard to finish the edge off on that part because I had cut the material flush with the edge of the cabochon, which made it hard to put the needle through the backing and sew on the beads.

sea siren brooch

I kept the beading to a minimum; I added my chain and did one more row of beading to encapsulate the chain and I was ready to finish the piece off.

For the edging I used these wonderful bugle beads on the top and decided on a Swarovski crystal on the bottom connected via a bead chain to the piece.

sea siren brooch

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Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet Finished

turquoise and crystal bracelet

I was finally able to finish the large turquoise bracelet I was working on.and here is how the piece turned out:

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

The beading part went by quite quickly. After finishing the bezel and adding the crystal chain I added the two smaller turquoise beads to the side of the piece and a larger crystal cabochon in the middle and started filling the rest out with different types of beads I had pulled from my stash. I tried to incorporate some of beads that I hadn’t used before without going too overboard.

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

The part that took the longest for me was figuring out the fastening. I knew I wanted to make the beaded part big enough to cover only half of the wrist so that I could use chains to make up the rest of the bracelet. I bought a couple of different types of silver chains and decided on using the thinnest one I had purchased.

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

I haven’t had any jewelry making training and I am just trying to figure things out as I go along so it takes me a little while to come up with something that I feel I am going to be happy with.

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

For the clasp I had wanted to use a lobster clasp with a chain extender on the other side so that the bracelet would be adjustable but then I would have had to cut the chains really short which would have taken from the effect that the chains were making so I decided against the lobster clasp and went with a toggle clasp instead which made the bracelet tight enough that it would sit right on the wrist.

 Crystal and Turquoise Bracelet

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