Category Archives: necklace

Lady with Dark Hair Pearl Necklace

Can you believe the weekend is over? I spent the whole of Saturday waiting for a package that never arrived and then after doing my weekly shopping I decided to go through my scrapbooking supplies and see what I could get rid off. Suffice it to say that by the time I looked through just half the stuff I had I was a little bit ashamed of myself for spending that much money on things that I don’t use. I love paper but I am no scrapbooker .I think I need to find a way of selling all the dies and punches and stamps I have accumulated in the past year. There is no point in them just sitting in drawers.

But before the weekend is over I want to at least get one post finished in order to achieve one positive thing. So this post is about one of my earlier pieces, which means it was done roughly 4-5 months ago when I was in my resin cabochon-making phase.

There are a few setbacks to these resin cabochons. First of all it takes a long time for them to get made and you never know if the finished product is going to come out perfect (without pesky air bubbles or watermarks) until it is all done and over. Another thing that can go wrong with the cabochons is the thickness of it.

For my pieces I used to do a thin layer, put the picture in let it cure for 12 hours and then add a layer of black. But after a couple of uses my molds became a bit lopsided so some of the cabochons were thicker on one side and thinner on the other even though I tried to get it as level as possible. This means that when it comes to bezeling the piece it would look weird. And no matter how much I sanded the piece I could never get it completely even which is why I ultimately switched to clear domes.

This resin cabochon was made using a painting by Harrison Fisher titled “lady with dark hair”. The cab that I had made was too thick so I had to come up with a way of covering the sides and at this point I was only doing stacked bezeling and hadn’t learnt the how to do peyote stitch bezel .so after the initial two stacked rows I decided to add the one thing I go to when I can’t find a bead that works: pearls.

I went through the size 15/0 beads and came out ever 8 beads to add a 2mm pearl stacked with a size 15/seed bead. Once I had gone all around the piece I only had to go through one of the size 15/0 beads on top of a pearl and start adding size 15/0 beads to close the gap between the beads and form a bezel around the cabochon.

After I was done with the main piece I made two other smaller pieces to match the main piece and I just had to connect everything together. I made a simple chain with the beads and pearls that I had used in the main pieces and attached a spring clasp. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to attach clasps back then and you can see that I have gone around the loop of the clasp with thread a few times to secure it on and I don’t like that I can see the thread .so next time I go back home to visit my parents I have take this necklace from my mom and fix the clasp issues.

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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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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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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Romance

 Romantic brooch

I had wanted to something with a more romantic feel for a little while. most of my bead stash consists of  darker colours and I am slowly adding to the variety so it took me a while to get enough pale/ pastel-tone beads together to get a romantic feeling piece done.

Romantic brooch

I looked through all the images I had gathered and I decided to use a painting by Mary Jane Ansell, a Brighton based portrait artist .she does amazing portraits, very expressive, the colours are very subtle so it was perfect for what I had in mind. This painting is called “girl with roses”.

Romantic brooch

The beads I chose matched the colours in the painting perfectly, maybe a little too perfectly. The thing is, the colours in the painting are very subdued and pale so using pale beads did nothing to really bring the painting forward in my opinion, but even seeing this I didn’t know what to do and how to make things better. I just kept going.

Romantic brooch

In an attempt to bring some colour to the piece I added some AB crystals around the piece. Also since I make a lot of brooches I decided to get these new pin backs with bails so the brooch can also be used as necklaces.

Romantic brooch

The thing is I am not in anyway shape or form at ease with using these sorts of colours so maybe I am just being too picky, but I have to be honest, this is not one of my favorite pieces. I would love to know to know what you guys think! What would you have done differently?

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The Eye Necklace

 

the eye necklace

One of the fun parts of making bead embroidered pieces for me is finding the focal image. Searching books ,magazines and websites for focal images has led me to discover some amazing contemporary artists. Artists whose work I would probably never have found had it not been for my bead embroidery obsession!!

One such artist is Naoto Hattori. A Japanese artist who I believe is now based in New York. Sometimes reading about all these amazing artists and finding out that they are based in New York or have exhibitions going on in New York makes me really want to drive down to the city more often. I just wish I were a bigger fan of the city. I really don’t understand why I cannot form the same emotional connection with NYC as I have with London!

the eye necklace

 

Most of Naoto Hattori’s work reminds me of Dali’s work. Maybe it’s because of the juxtaposition of elements; with larger pieces surrounded by random smaller objects or the dreamlike quality of work. Whatever it is the work is very captivating and interesting and also a little bit chilling.

The focal image I chose for this piece is called very appropriately “Inner eye”. To me it looks like an eye coming through the desert or very dehydrated greenish skin.

My first instinct was to make it into a brooch but then I thought well, it’s an inner eye and wouldn’t it be more appropriate if it actually lay on the skin. And since a headpiece for me would have been totally unwearable I went with the next best thing: a necklace!

the eye necklace

 

The way the necklace sits on the body makes it look like one has an eye growing out the middle of one’s chest and I like that. And there was a funny incidence where me and a friend were sat in a Pedicab up in NYC and the driver kept turning around to look at me and he finally broke down and said “it is so freaky ,that eye on your chest , its staring at me!” I couldn’t help myself I burst out laughing! Now I suspect that our driver was a little bit high which he denied but he was very amusing! And the way he described the necklace was perfect! To me the fact that he thought the piece was creepy was a compliment! 😀

 

the eye necklace

 the eye necklace detail

 the eye necklace

I did something different with this piece. I have been wanting to use bugle beads in the actual bead embroidered part of the work but the gap that is created by using bugle beads is something that I do not like and initially I wanted to use just bugle all around the eye after the bezel work was done, to kind of make it seem like rays of sun, to make its look like the “inner eye” was shinning through or something cheesy like that. But I just could not get over the gaps. so next best thing was to use it sporadically in the piece and fill up the spaces with seed beads so there would be no gaps. After the beadwork was done I added these unusual sequins that I have had for years which I really wanted to use in a piece and I thought well why not this piece!

 

 

the eye necklace

the eye necklace

For the chain I used a mixture of the seed beads I had used in the bead embroidery part as well as the gold bugle beads. The good thing about using bugle beads and other bigger beads is that they add length to the chain without having to use too many of the beads. Making a whole chain from just seed beads uses up a lot of beads and in the end is not as interesting as using a mixture of bead and it is also not that economical!

 

the eye necklace back

 

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The Evil Queen

the evil queen

A few months or so ago when I was stocking up on my reading materials when I happened upon this book called “Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen” that had the most amazing painting of snow white’s evil queen on the book sleeve. I should not have been surprised, I mean snow white seems to be everywhere right now; in movies, TV series and now books. It’s like she has been rediscovered again after 70 years.

I was tempted enough to buy the book just because of the cover but I am not a huge snow-white fan. To me it’s not the most interesting Disney cartoon. I am a huge “The Little Mermaid” fan, I think she is the best Disney princess ever but my mom would beg to differ. To her the best Disney cartoon will always be Cinderella!!

Disney really does have some gorgeous villains. For me Maleficent has to be the most beautiful but Evil Queen is a very close second.The cover art for the book only shows half of the evil queen’s face so in order to make a center cabochon for my necklace I made a flip of the picture in Photoshop and then connected the two pictures together to make her whole face.

the evil queen

Lately I have been thinking that there is probably an easier way to make my cabochons than pouring resin, which is extremely time consuming and the results are not always great. I finally decided to go with the clear glass domes. I wasn’t really sold on the idea of using the clear glass domes because I thought they would be too heavy for jewelry pieces but I was pleasantly surprised to find these glasses are extremely light. This method makes the cabochon making process incredibly fast and easy and I only have to wait a few minutes for the glue to dry and I am ready to start beading. No more hours of pouring resin and biting nails and wondering will they or won’t they come out OK. The glasses do give a little bit of a doming effect and make the picture look bigger but its not too much and it doesn’t distort the image.

the evil queen

I used a black and white palette again, only because it really complimented the picture and since she has purple eyeshadow on, I used hematite seed beads that have a little bit of purple to them. The frosted clear beads are from a shop in New York and they are just exquisite. They are beautiful and soft and I kept walking past them in the shop and in the end I just have to have them. The only downside is that I have no idea what they are made of and what they are called all I remember is that they were about 15 dollars a strand.

 the evil queen

For the bezel, I decided to try out some of the techniques that are in the Dimensional Bead embroidery book. The beadwork around this piece is a duplicate of a piece in the book, which combines what the author calls an outside window bezel and a wave edge.i tried to follow the instructions in the book exactly as they were but my piece didn’t look anything like what I was seeing in the picture and I really wanted to emulate the design in the picture. What I ended up doing in order to get my beading looking more similar to what I was seeing in the book was to add a clear seed bead in between each of the frosted clear beads so that the black row of beads looks as though its running in between the beads rather than sitting on top of them.

 the evil queen

 I didn’t have a clasp to finish this piece off so I made the necklace loop long enough that I could put my head through it but this method eats up a lot of beads and its just not practical. I need to invest in some clasps I guess and learn how to attach them 😀

the evil queen

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