Tag Archives: green

Vintage Green Earrings

When I first decided to do bead embroidery it was all because of a video on Youtube by Beadaholique. I didn’t know anything about bead embroidery even though I had done a lot of just random beading at my fashion jobs .i really didn’t have a clue where to start so I went ahead and bought the stuff that was mentioned in their video plus some vintage German cabochons that they had on their website. I loved the German cabs I got from there specially the green and purple ones I had purchased. Since they only had a limited number of cabs left and these were vintage stones I decided to go ahead and buy out the rest of the green and purple cabs that they had in stock. i am so glad I did because they haven’t restocked these cabs again and I haven’t been able to find them anywhere even though I have been looking constantly.

Out of the two cabochons I would have to say that the green one that I have used in this piece is my favorite but I had the hardest time matching any colour bead to it.

The cabochon has a unique teal/turquoise colour and I have quite a few different beads that fall in that category but none of them looked anything special next to the cabochon. None of them added anything to the piece and I thought maybe I was going about this the wrong way.

The cab has a nice shine and effect to it and the beads I was testing around it, all had different shiny effects on them and so maybe that was the problem. Too many different finishes were clashing with each other.  I went with a matte finish bead in the end that was close enough to the main colour of the cab.

I think the matte effect of the bead helps in that they make the main cabochon stand out even more. But I needed to use another type or colour of bead to make the piece more dimensional and interesting and none of the blues and teals were doing that so I decided to see if metal colours would work.

I don’t have an innate way with colour and matching colours is my main headache when it comes to any type of designing whether it is beadwork or if it is fashion design work. So after doing little samples with gold/silver and bronze, I settled with bronze and loved how the piece turned out.

For the edge I did the all too popular picot edge but I really though the piece deserved a little bit more so I decided to experiment with filling out the space between the size 11/0 beads of the picot edge.

I was going for a rounded effect at first. I found out that adding four size 15/0 seed beads between each size 11/0 beads would just lie flat .in the next step I added five which I found with a little but of manipulation would make these pointy shapes and I was really excited about so I scraped the idea of having round loops around the earrings and went with this pointy edge.

I was going to keep these earrings for myself but I decided to list them on Etsy and I was glad and really surprised when they got sold. Good thing is I still have a few more of the main cabs left so I can make more of these if I ever wanted to!:D

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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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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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A Turquoise Bracelet

A Turquoise Bracelet

I have wanted to do a bracelet for a while. To be honest I held back from making one because I thought the project would be too big for me. But rings and bracelets are probably the two types of accessories I tend to use the most so I said to myself that when I find a picture or a stone that I would like as a centerpiece, I would make myself a bracelet.

A Turquoise Bracelet

A while later while skimming through some art magazine, I came across the works of Spanish artist Fernando Vicente. I knew immediately that I had found what I was looking for to use in my bracelet. Going through Vicente’s work, I was amazed at what I saw. His anatomy paintings are just ingenious and I had a hard time choosing which image to use as my focal image. They are just all so beautiful and to make it even better they are already drawn inside a circle, which means no cropping!!!

A Turquoise Bracelet

I settled for this image, which is called “Presentimiento” from his “Vanitas” collection. I like that the work is somewhat eerie but it still looks so beautiful.I made the cabochon and did a simple bezel around it. I used some of the beautiful turquoise seed beads but since I didn’t have enough for all three components I was making I had to alternate it with the green faceted beads from the bead gallery, which was lucky because it added a lot of sparkle.

A Turquoise Bracelet

The focal points in the two side components are from these stud earrings that I just cut the backs off. I used the same design that I had done to go around the element to make the piece cohesive.

A Turquoise Bracelet

After that I had to figure out how to connect all the pieces together. I wanted a three-strand bracelet but the spacer and the clasp that I had on hand had 5 holes in them so I just had to make the adjustments to be able to use the pieces I had. After everything was connected together I did a picot edge around all the three pieces so that they would have a nicely finished edge.

A Turquoise Bracelet

LIST OF MATERIALS USED

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