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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.

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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


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

 

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Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

Evil Eyes

Evil eyes

I know I have been MIA for a while and I tell you why. I had never ever in my entire life ever wanted to work in retail. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I just have bad feet and a bad back which means standing on my feet for a long time is a pain in the bum! Literally! But jobs in fashion are hard to come by and so when the opportunity for the retail job I have now represented itself I jumped at the chance. And as luck would have it we were allowed to sit unless we had customers which worked out absolutely perfectly for me but this past few weeks we had an outpost in another part of the store which meant that we were each standing on out feet for hours on end with no relief.

I think I have mentioned how much I loved my colleagues but this standing around for hours each day was enough to test the boundaries of all our friendship. We were all tired, cranky and mad at our manager for not helping us out .so when we were finally thrown out of the outpost space and had to go back to our little salon in the store we were all so happy we nearly did a little jig.

So with the long hours and the aches and pain behind me I can resume somewhat of a normal life and that in turn means getting some content on this blog.

Evil eyes

I have a colleague who is probably one of the funniest people I have met in a long time and he is always telling me the weirdest stories about his life and let me tell you he has lived a life. I keep telling him I should start writing a book about his life so we could get rich and be done with this daily routine.

Evil eyes

A while back he told me a story about how he had an evil eye necklace, which was given to him by his mom. Apparently he drove his mom crazy so she would give to him and she kept saying that she would give it to him when he was older so he would be able to take care of it. And lo and behold he got it when he was older and he went and lost it!  He said he has been searching for another evil eye piece so when he asked me if I could make him something with an evil eye on it I said sure!

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I didn’t want to do any bead embroidery because to be honest I didn’t know how to keep a bead-embroidered piece masculine. So instead I decided to do a thin peyote stitch strap that resembles a watchstrap so it can be a bit more on the masculine side.

I had bought two different colours of delicas because I could not decide which one matched the colour of an evil eye better so of course I ended up making him two sets of bracelets one thin one with the darker delicas that I liked more and for the lighter colour beads he requested a thicker bracelet which I tried to talk him out of because I didn’t think the proportion of the eye that I had to the thickness of the bracelet would work but it was his bracelet in the end anyway so I made him what he wanted!

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As far as I know he has worn the thicker bracelet once or twice since I made it for him in early December but the thinner one has always been on him! He says it has given him good luck and I say it is all in his head and it’s probably because he really does seem to believe in the whole evil eye thing!

 

 

Evil eyes

 

 

A couple of days ago he asked me if I could make him an adjustable eye bracelet using some beads he had seen me use on another bracelet. For the life of me I could not understand why someone would need so many eye bracelets but well to each their own. I did tell him that by the time I am done with this job and it’s time for me to move on to a permanent job he would be covered in eyeballs!

Evil eyes

 

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For these new bracelets I used blue wax cording which I just ran through the beads. I put a little bit of glue on the end of the cords to make them stiffer and to stop them from unraveling too much when I was pushing them through the beads. I also decided to use these new flat evil eye beads that my mom had sent me in the bracelet, my only issue with them was that they have a little it of glitter around the pupil part of the eye but I was able to find one that had a little bit less glitter that the rest which I didn’t think would look too bad on a man’s bracelet!

Evil eyes

 

Evil eyes

All in all I have to say I like these bracelet and I ended up making some for my other colleagues in different colours too but I have to say making beaded pieces be masculine is hard to do. Or at least it is for me! I am still not sure if I was able to produce a masculine piece with these, but I am hoping that these pieces come across as a little bit less girly as my other pieces at least!

 

evileyes


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved

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The First Bead Embroidery Attempt!

Working with colour has never been in my comfort area. I find it hard to visualize the end product when I have to work in colour and that doesn’t give me the confidence I need to start a piece of work. That was probably the whole idea behind why I chose to do my final collection in tones of silver/grey and black. I knew I could make it look good to me and at that point that was enough to give me confidence to see the whole project through and most importantly feel good about what I was doing and really believe in it.

So to get started in learning to bead embroider I ended up eliminating the challenge of dealing with colour and opted for variations of grey. I had a few different shades of silver beads and honestly I couldn’t decide the order in which to use them. Also I was too excited and wanted to use them all at once. After gluing on my cabochon to my backing I arranged the different beads I had around the cabochon to give me an idea of how to start. After changing the position of the beads I ended up with this sequence that I was happy with:

I followed the instructions form the Beadaholique to get the first row going and I also did a bezel row on top of the first row using size 15 delica beads. After that I was really hooked, I kept adding one row after the other. As I said before nothing is more relaxing to me than hand sewing!

My aim when I started this piece was to turn it into a shoe brooch. My mom had seen some cute rhinestone shoe brooches in shops but when she went to buy them they were all missing a couple of rhinestones so I told here I would make her a pair. But in my over zealous attempt to get this bead embroidery journey underway I made the piece a little larger than in should have been if it were to function as a shoe brooch. This piece measures 6.5×6 cm and I was too proud of my first piece to start taking it apart! Here is the look at the finished bead embroidered piece:

Here is another view:

Now all I all need to do is figure out how to use this piece!!!

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:

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Filed under bead embroidery