Tag Archives: Swarovski

Maleficent Bracelet

Disney sure knows how to do a villain properly, especially female villains! They are all so beautiful, regal and well villainy!!!

I love maleficent and out of the older Disney movies sleeping beauty is my favorite , my all time favorite is the little mermaid but that’s a different story! So I was very surprised to read that the sleeping beauty was one of the least successful Disney movies!

When I first saw the series of work done by Tom Bagshaw inspired by the Disney villains I was instantly in love.The painting inspired by Maleficent is called “Evil Intent” and I really wanted to do something special with it and since my first exercise with a fully beaded bracelet went really well I decided that this was going to be another bracelet piece.

I glued on my cabochon onto black Ultrasuede that I had roughly stitched to Lacy’s stiff stuff and started to do the bezel work around the piece. I work really quickly when I feel secure in my colour choices and the pieces that I do that are darker tend to go a lot smoother and faster since I tend to second guess my choices less when it comes to using darker colours.

I was sure of a few things in this piece: I really wanted to use crystal chains, and I really wanted to use these new nail head beads that I had just ordered off Etsy.

After I was done with the beading around the focal point I went on a little scavenger hunt for the next pieces. After laying down a couple of different pieces onto the piece I finally went with two large round cabochon and two smaller blue goldstone cabochons.

Once all the beading was done I checked to see if the piece would fit around my wrist. But it was way too small. I didn’t want to add anymore stones cause I thought it would an overkill to have yet another type of stone added to the work and I didn’t have anything that was smaller that the blue goldstone cabochon that would go with the piece. So after a little bit of thought I went with more of the nail heads to get the length I needed for the piece to fit my wrist.

Once the piece was done I glued it on to another piece of Ultrasuede and cleaned up the edges by doing a sunshine edge. I have to say that sewing through the 3 layers of Ultrasuede and Lacy’s stiff stuff really does a number on the fingertips! To finish off I went with a simple tube bar clasp for closure.

I have to say that I have done a couple of pieces that I like but this is the one piece I have done up to now that I am really proud of. I had this bracelet on when I had to go for a doctor’s visit and I found it intriguing that one of the nurses that worked there though the piece was scary. Now I don’t see the piece as anything remotely scary as she put it but she was wearing hello kitty scrubs so I am guessing that out sensibilities fall on different ends of the spectrum. So what do you guys think ,is this piece scary!!!!?

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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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

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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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

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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Red Lotus Brooch

 red lotus brooch

Now that I am looking back at the pieces I have been making this past few months and writing about them in detail, I am amazed to see that I have chosen one artists work more than any other to do beading around and that artist is Natalie Shau.When I choose the image for my focal piece I don’t pay any attention to whose work I am necessarily choosing, I go by the gut feeling of maybe the image can inspire my beading,
 The works of Natalie Shau I have done beading around have all been different from each other but I am guessing that the underlying feeling of the pieces is something I am inherently drawn to and that’s why I have probably done 6-7 pieces around her paintings.

red lotus brooch

The image in this brooch comes from an album art she has done for “the cradle of filth”. I couldn’t find a title for this painting anywhere but the woman in the painting looks very medusa like even though the hair is not made of snakes, but I guess that’s what it reminds me of.

For the beading part of this piece I wanted to go with something grand, something that resembled royal crown jewels to be more specific. The image is so disturbing that putting it in a classy jewel setting was odd enough for me to be interesting.

 red lotus brooch

I looked at a lot of crown jewels and simplified some of the patterns that were used in them and came up with some designs.  I was settled on a design that most resembled a lotus flower shape and  I drew it on my backing and started to fill it out. I used mostly the lazy stitch to cover the piece (because of the small spaces and the odd angles I had to fill out) except for where I was sewing definite bead lines where I used the trusty two-bead backstitch.

red lotus brooch

Once the edges were cleaned up, in order to make the design more reminiscent of crown jewel-like designs I used some crystals and fringe beads to act as accent drops from the points I had created in the shape to complete the look.

red lotus brooch

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:


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Golden Cicada Bracelet

Golden Cicada Bracelet
I have been wanting to a completely bead embroidered bracelet ever since I started doing bead embroidery but I though the task was too daunting. There was just too much to consider from foundation, what sort of beads to use, how to finish the piece off and everything in between and I didn’t think I had enough skills to get me through the whole thing.
I kept running different scenarios of what kind of bracelet I wanted, what colour I wanted it to be and all that, and how it should be put together in my head but I really had no idea if my theories would work. I used to do that back in school whenever I had to tackle a new garment pattern. I would analyze everything in my head before getting into it and cutting the fabric and seeing how it would react. No matter how thorough I was in my analytical thinking before my practical work, something would always surprise me when I got to actually see the pattern all the way through.
   Golden Cicada Bracelet
 I knew that the best way to know if my way of putting a bracelet together would work was to actually make one and see. Worse comes to worst I would have to take all the beads off and do something else.
For foundation I measured my wrist and then cut a piece of Lacy’s stiff stuff foundation as well as the Ultrasuede I use for my backing and stitched them roughly together. The reasoning behind this was so that if there were gaps in between the beads the black Ultrasuede would be a better option to show through instead of the white fuzz of the Lacy’s stiff stuff and also the black would make the colours on top look more intense.
       Golden Cicada Bracelet
           Golden Cicada Bracelet Front
Golden Cicada Bracelet
The whole basis behind the design of this particular bracelet was the fact that I really wanted to use some of these crystal and pearl chains that I had just purchased. Everything else in the bracelet from the cabochons to the rest of the beads were chosen to correspond in particular with the pearl chain. I introduced the crystal chain to the sides of the beadwork because as always I wanted more sparkle. As I always say more sparkle is always better 😀
   Golden Cicada Bracelet
I really took my time with this piece and took it one step at a time. I chose a picture by Derek Nobbs who does these very interesting paintings most of which have a skeletal figures in them and you know how I like skulls. This painting is called “Cicada King”. If you are interested in the artist check out his work at http://dereknobbs.com/
 Now I have no love for bugs and insects usually but this painting came closest to the colour scheme I was going with and I also thought it would be an unusual centerpiece for a bracelet that I knew was going to be very elegant and ornate.
           Golden Cicada Bracelet
Golden Cicada Bracelet Detail
Golden Cicada Bracelet
I did my bezel work, and then added my beloved pearl chain followed by another row of gold beads. Then it was time to start the sides of the bracelet. I rummaged through my stuff and found these smaller crystal cabs that gave off the most beautiful sparkle. You can see different hues of pink ,gold and little bit of green and magenta, which really picks up on the colours in the cabochon. For continuity I did a simpler variation of the bezel work I had done around the main cabochon around the smaller cab followed by a row of size 8 frosted white beads stacked with a size 15 gold seed bead. Once I was happy with this side I did the same work on the other side.
     Golden Cicada Bracelet
This was as far as I had planned but when I put the piece around my wrist it was apparent to me that I needed to add some other element to the side and I did have these flat back pearls which went absolutely perfectly.
   Golden Cicada Bracelet
I have to say I never thought a piece could go so smoothly. It just felt like everything was falling into place, I had all the pieces that could go together well and I have to say out of all the stuff I have made up to now, this piece really was a joy to work on. Even the marguerites, which were added as somewhat of an afterthought to cover the Ultrasuede that was showing through a big gap between the beads, worked out well.
   Golden Cicada Bracelet
I really wish all pieces worked out as well as this one did for me. After the main part of the beadwork was done I cut around the piece, glued it on top of another piece of Ultrasuede and did a sunshine edge all around the piece. I attached my toggle clasp and did a picot edge around the main cabochon and the piece was done.
Golden Cicada Bracelet
         Golden Cicada Bracelet
Golden Cicada Bracelet
LIST OF MATERIALS USED:
 

 


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Crystal Macrame Bracelet

crystal macrame bracelet

So this is going to be a very quick post!Every summer I go in search of dainty bracelets to wear stacked on top of each other. I love the way some people have an innate ability to mix metals and friendship bracelets and make it look really cool. I for one have never been good at passing that sort of style off but that hasn’t really stopped me from attempting to mix up different bangles and friendship bracelets especially now that I have started making my own stuff.

I started with the simplest of things .a simple bracelet with a macramé knotted sliding closure. The whole purpose behind this bracelet was to learn the macramé knot, which was something I knew nothing about.

crystal macrame bracelet

I chose a beautiful swarovski crystal as my focal point, the thinnest cording I could find and some size 8 seed beads to make this bracelet.

I looped two long pieces of cord around the crystal and then slid on my beads which was believe me the hardest part of the process as the hole inside the bead was not big enough to accommodate the double cord but luckily the beads were not that uniform in size so every so often I could find one with a larger whole that would let both cords get through. I also put a little bit of glue on the ends of the cord so they would be stiffer and act as a needlepoint so that they would slide through easier.

crystal macrame bracelet

When all the beads were strung I started on my macramé knot. The first few times I tried it the knots kept twisting and I couldn’t figure out why but I finally found a great set of instructions online that told me what I was doing wrong and after that the knot proved to be very easy.

To finish it off I cut the extra cord, added a small seed bead to the end of the cord and knotted them and voila the bracelet was done!

LIST OF MATERIALS USED

2MM UNWAXED GREY CORD

20MM VITRAI LIGHT SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL COSMIC RING

GREY SAGE SEED BEADS SIZE 8


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Claudia Brooch

 

Claudia brooch

I have been obsessing somewhat over Lori Earley’s drawings and my mom has been asking me for a while to make a brooch for a friend of hers.

My mom understandably wanted something that suited her friend’s style and personality and to be honest girly, hearts and flowery stuff are not my style. I like skulls and leather and creepy art like Michael Hussar’s drawings and apparently I am the only one around here that appreciates that sort of things cause every time I wear one of my pieces someone comments on how scary they are!! Oh well what can you do.

Out of all the pictures I had printed up for my cabochons “Claudia” was the least cynical and my mom approved of the picture so I started off the beading.

 Claudia brooch

 

“Claudia” is a graphite on paper sketch so obviously the fact that picture has no colour meant that I didn’t have any colours to try and match my beading to but I wanted to keep the whole thing soft and feminine so I went with the classic silver lined clear beads all the way around the cabochon.

I have to say that a pale cabochon and pale beading did not equal an interesting piece and I didn’t think it would when I was doing it but I was trying to rein myself as much as I could cause this piece wasn’t for me and I tend to go a little crazy with my bead choices sometimes.

 

Claudia broochClaudia brooch

In the end I can say I really tried to keep it simple but I just couldn’t leave the piece, as it was cause it was just plain boring and Claudia deserved better.

I fished out all the larger beads I had in the black and grey family and stitched them on top of the beading that I had already done. it brought a little bit more contrast to the piece and it made it all the more tactile .

Claudia brooch

 

I did a simple clean edge around the piece and the piece was finished in no more than a couple of hours!!

 

Claudia brooch

LIST OF MATERIALS USED:

 

 


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