Category Archives: brooch

Classic Turquoise Brooch

classic turquoise brooch

I just got back from spending two glorious weeks in England with my family and friends. After the few weeks I had had at work this was all I needed. To spend time with people I loved and leave all the drama behind.

I spend my two weeks stuffing my face with yummy food and running around London and Brighton in the cold weather wearing two coats on top of each other like a mad woman trying to see all of my friends and family. My whole body hurts from running up and down the tube steps and I feel a little bit sleep deprived but this is the type of pain that comes from having too much fun and that ain’t bad.

classic turquoise brooch

I had taken my laptop with me with the aim of updating my blog, but who was I kidding I don’t think I even turned my laptop on once while I was there and that’s a little bit shameful!

For the past few months I have been thinking more and more about making pieces that are more classic looking and wearable and as much as I love doing more elaborate pieces and using art images in my work, I know that I cannot in reality sell those pieces .so I have been aiming at making let’s say more sophisticated pieces that can be sold without any copyright problems and all those sort of things.

classic turquoise brooch

A few months ago as a thank you gift for a friend of my mom I decided to make a turquoise brooch. I love turquoise and as you have seen if you have looked through my blog, you see that I use them quite often. I needed to make something elegant and not too over the top but I didn’t want it too understated either. That is not me at all.

The turquoise cabochons are beautiful on their own so after doing a simple bezel I just needed something to add a little but of sparkle to the piece and then it would be done.

classicturquoisebrooch2

The swarovski crystal chain that I used is the most beautiful crystal chain that I own, I love this chain so much that it physically hurts me when I cut it up to use. I guess it hurts me because I can’t seem to get it anymore for the price that I got it for. I was lucky though that the lady that sold it to me on Etsy was kind enough to sell me some more from her private stash.

I find that when I use the chain in a piece my work is really done and I don’t feel the need to add more. So once that was added I finished off the piece with a simple picot edge.

classic turquoise brooch

My friend wore this brooch over a black dress at wedding and she got quite a few compliments which led to a few people asking me to make one for them and as soon as I get my hands on some of these cabochons I am going to start making more of these brooches to put on my Etsy shop. I hope you guys have enjoyed looking at this piece and I hope you are all doing well!

classic turquoise brooch


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Crystal Skull brooch

A friend of my mom had asked me to make a turquoise necklace and earring set for her and yesterday while I was there showing her the samples of the things I had made for her and she asked me why I liked skulls so much. I have thought about this so much, because I don’t like anything gory, or scary but I keep getting asked why I like things with skulls on them and I really have no answer for it.

I really don’t know why I like them so much. All I know is that I liked skulls way before I started worshipping anything Alexander McQueen makes with skulls. I find it a little odd that my family and friends prod me this much about my love of skulls saying weird things are but you are so normal why would you like skulls, as if people that like skulls are in someway abnormal! But I have stopped trying to explain why I like things with skulls on them. I think it’s a same as someone liking pastel florals. I don’t like floral patterns in general (unless they are very sharp and modern which is rare but it happens) but then I wouldn’t go around and say “seriously what do you see in florals, florals are frumpy!

But it’s a matter of opinion and taste and we are all entitled to them. But for this piece I had an agenda. I had been thinking about how feasible it was to make a bead embroidered piece while incorporating small cutouts in the process.

For this piece I went with an image by Tom Bagshaw titled “Lucky 13”. The beading design mimics the flourish that is drawn underneath the skull. I did a couple of sketches to get the placement and the sizing of the curlicue design right so that when the beading was being done it would look continuous.

I also had to plan out the size of the cut-outs to keep them to a size big enough where I could go in with scissors and make the cuts and have it make the impact I want as well as for it to be small enough to be cohesive with the piece.

As you can see it is doable but I did find it difficult to cut into the piece and be aware not to cut any of the threads. I took my time cleaning the edges and getting as close as I could to the edges when I was making the inside cuts.

Once it was done I drew the outline on my Ultrasuede so I could make the cuts before gluing the suede to my piece which made things a lot easier and only had to do a little it of touch ups to get just right.

To clean up the edges I went around the piece with size 11/0 seed beads but I used size 15/0 for the edges of the cutouts. I did a crazy stacked edging on the top part and if that wasn’t enough I went with a dangly Swarovski crystal on the bottom.

Even though I know skulls are not really something most of you guys are into, I still hope you enjoyed the piece! 😀

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Emancipation

I have been so tired lately and I blame the squirrels!!

So a week or so ago I started hearing these really weird sound echoing all around me which turned out to be some squirrels that have made themselves feel right at home just on my bedroom ceiling and are partying up there all night long, every night. good for them but not good for me!!

My eyes are closing as I am writing this but I decided to write a small post for two reasons: first, I don’t really like to ignore the blog specially now since it’s a brand new blog and it’s a baby and needs more attention and secondly I was told off by my mom for not having updated the blog for 3 days!! Now I don’t know about you but I loathe disappointing my mom more than anyone else!

This is a small brooch I worked on a while ago when I had absolutely no idea what to do. I kept wanting to come up with elaborate, grand designs and I couldn’t get a solid idea going so I went to the other end of the spectrum by going completely simple.

And apparently when I go simple I go really simple. I used an image from Natalie Shau called “ Released Time” and grey and red painting and hence the grey and red beadwork.the painting is breathtaking and I really suggest you visit her website to get a better sense of how beautiful and detailed her work is

The design as you see is as simple as it gets, the only new thing about this piece is the edge finish in which I used drop beads which give a fun effect and I wonder why I haven’t used this type of finishing on any other piece since! Hope you guys enjoyed this piece even though it’s rather plain and simple!!

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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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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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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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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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Skull and Rose Brooch

skull and rose brooch

I have been struggling lately coming up with designs for my bead embroidery. I have been sketching trying to come up with things but none of them really pulled me in to try and start a piece. So I decided to just start a piece and see where it takes me.

skull and rose brooch

I chose my favorite type of subject,” skulls”. This skull is a painting by Scott Sceidly called “Billie”.

If I don’t have a plan in mind I usually decide what to after my bezel work is done by placing different stones and cabochon around the piece to figure out the next step. Once I was done with the bezel I decided to add another cabochon to the piece but instead of putting it on the bottom where I usually do I decided it was time for me to shake it up a bit so I moved it to the side!! For someone who likes things to be symmetrical this is a huge step!!:D

skull and rose brooch

After sewing on a couple of rows of beads around the smaller blue goldstone cabochon and adding a few rows to the main cabochon, I still felt that the piece needed something to give it a little bit more pizzazz if you will!

skull and rose brooch

 

I added all the marguerites I had left over, around the piece, concentrating most of them around the smaller cabochon and the opposite side of the piece.

skull and rose brooch

skull and rose brooch

Now at this point I was really chuffed with the piece. it had exceeded my expectation more so because I had no expectations to begin with 😀

To finish the piece off I went with something a little different for the edge work by using different size of bugle beads on the edge.

skull and rose brooch

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