Tag Archives: skulls

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! 😀


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, bead embroidery, brooch

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


Posted by Mana © BeadFeast. All Rights Reserved


Filed under accessories, brooch