Tag Archives: blue

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!

evileyes4

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!

evileye5

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

 

evileyes7

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


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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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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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A Desolate Brooch!

desolation brooch

Today my camera decided to give me attitude. No matter which way I turned it or how I adjusted the settings it did not want to take a good picture of this brooch and I am sorry the quality of these pictures are not that great.

desolation brooch

I work better with darker colours as I have mentioned before. I find that I am less critical of my work when I used darker colours and that is probably because my brain has been better trained to work with darker colours. But I don’t want all the pieces I make to look the same so I have been experimenting more and more with the silhouettes I was looking at ornate mirrors when I came up with the design for this brooch. Also the curves on the top part of the brooch go hand in hand with the design on the face of the girl in the picture.

The main image in this brooch is from a piece called “Desolation” by Natalie Shau. I am not sure what medium she has used for this piece. The woman looks too realistic to be a painting but there are some artists that you can’t really tell if their work is a painting or a photograph when you look at it. I am not sure if this piece is a photo ,a painting or is mixed media,  but the detail in it is amazing , but it unfortunately doesn’t come through in my pictures but you can see the actual picture here:  http://natalieshau.carbonmade.com/projects/3192174#22

desolation brooch

Usually when I do my beading I like to stick with the two-bead backstitch technique only because in my limited experience they give clean lines and I can cover the whole surface without leaving any gaps with this method. But I find it really hard to do the two-bead backstitch to fill in small spaces so after consulting my beading book  I went with a mixture of picot stitch and lazy stitch to fill the small spaces. As much as I like a picot edge I am not a big fan of the picot stitch. I don’t like the texture it creates (it reminds me of woolly carpets and I was never a fan of those either!!) but it is very effective in filling up small spaces and covering up the backing.

I did a sunshine edge all around so that I could do some edging but when I was done I just didn’t think I needed an edging but the top part felt really heavy and decorated compared to the bottom part of the piece so I ended up adding the dangling part to the bottom to balance the piece out.

 desolation brooch

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Blue Crystal Earrings

blue crystal earring

I love blue!! I mean I luhhhhhhhve blue! I think apart from black blue is the only other colour I am comfortable wearing and working with! I have accumulated a large collection of blue beads, stones and cabs within the past couple of months so I just really wanted to use them and since I have been working on making earrings I set out to make a pair of blue earrings!

blue crystal earring

Following up my theme of not being able to stop myself when choosing beads, I said to hell with it I am going to use any type of bead I want in these. Who knows it might even prove to be interesting.

 I had an idea of the cabs I wanted to use in this piece but after that I was clueless. I glued on my first cabochon, which was the lighter blue cab. And this cabochon is OMG beautiful. I can’t describe the colour but to me it’s the perfect blue and it has different hues of blue, navy, silver and green when the light hits it. its just a magnificent piece, too bad that it is one of those vintage pieces that is hard to come by. But I am keeping an eye out for these on my favorite websites.

blue crystal earring

After doing a row of variegated blue seed beads around the cab, I glued on my second cabochon, the small navy blue one with specs of gold.I had specifically bought this piece for another piece I was working on, but this cab came in a pack of four so I had two extra ones to play with and that’s how they ended up here.I decided from early on that instead of the smaller cab being on the top part of the earring I wanted to be on the bottom just so it would be different. I used the same seed beads I had already sewn around the oval cabochon to go around the circle one.

blue crystal earring

It was after this row that I went all crazy. I practically tried on every bead in the blue and silver colour family I owned which I had not previously used on any other piece to see which ones I liked. And because blue is a favorite colour I liked almost all of them. It’s a good thing that I ended up vetoing some because knowing me I would have ended up using them all on this earring.

 You can see the beads I ended up choosing in these pictures. But then when it was all done I felt the piece looked too flat and one-dimensional. I had such high hopes for the piece that I felt a little bit disappointed.

blue crystal earring

I went trough my whole stash to see what I could add to salvage this piece. That’s when I ended up using the swarovski marguerites to make the piece more interesting and bring in some different colours. But in the end the way to make anything look better is to add on some swarovski, I mean these crystals to me are like bacon, they just go with anything. I love these earrings now, they are about 5 cm long and the shape reminds me of those Russian nesting dolls or a ladybug for some reason and I think it’s just the cutest little earring ever.So I guess today’s lesson was: when in doubt add crystals!!

blue crystal earring

For some reason I could not get the lighting right for these pictures and I am not sure if these photos to the earrings justice but i really hope you can enjoy them.

blue crystal earring back

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Lady in Blue Dress Brooch

 

I have ordered so many pin backs that I have no choice but to keep making brooches But the time has to come to move on to a different colour! The colour of choice this round: Blue!!

After making the glitter resin cabochon I decided to make some more cabs but this time with pictures in them. If you have made resin pieces before then you know that you can’t mix resin for just one or two pieces. I made a small batch but I still managed to make quite a few cabs in one go.32 to be exact. the only thing with making resin cabs is the wait time and not knowing whether they will come out perfectly each time. I am a bit impatient and having to wait 24 hours to see if everything looks Ok is somewhat of a torture. And there is nothing more frustrating than going through all that and seeing specs of glitter that you didn’t notice stuck on the centre of the picture in the cabochon or seeing watermarks where resin has seeped through the picture.

The picture in this cab is a painting by Jon Whitcomb and is apparently called “ Glamorous blonde lady in blue evening dress” but I cannot be sure about that as I couldn’t find much info on this painting anywhere.

I kept the beading around this cab very simple. I did a peyote stitch bezel around the cab followed by two rows of size 15/0 seed beads and for a little bit of added interest instead of going all the way around the cab as I usually do I decided to use some of the other blue beads that I had just recently purchased from Michaels on the bottom part of the brooch. I used a two-bead backstitch all the way around to sew the beads on. After gluing on the pin back and the Ultrasuede backing I did a simple clean edge to finish off the brooch.

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