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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Poppy Pouch


 
Here's my Phase III Japanese bead embroidery project. It's taken 18 months to complete because it has been very much a background project while I concentrated on Japanese embroidery. As is often the way, I have focused on getting it finished because I wanted the frame for another project.

 
The first side was mostly completed last year. I tried to follow the JEC photo as closely as possible with the use of clear beads for highlights.
 
 
When it came to the second side I decided to use all red beads for the flowers and use the clear beads to show the leaves disappearing behind the petals. I'm not sure it altogether works and I think the shades of red supplied with the kit  are a little too close to get a real degree of shading. The shading is really achieved with the padding which is the real star of the show for this piece.

 
Here's a couple of close-up shots which show the padding a little better.

 
 
I demonstrated at a couple of shows with this piece.  Quite a few people said "How can you see to sew black beads on black fabric" but the most memorable comment was "Oh that pink blob in the centre is beads!" It wasn't meant as an insult, just must have the first thing that popped into the lady's mind. She stayed for a longer chat afterwards and did say some nice things afterwards.
 


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Beaded Owls


There was a bit of an owl theme this Christmas. I had seen a couple of examples of a cute owl design on some beading blogs. After some searching I found the instructions here. The instructions are in Italian, so the translate function in Word came in quite handy. For my first go at the design, I followed the instructions as written. The Swarovski components are an 18mm crystal moonlight rivoli, 8mm denim blue chatons and 4mm montana bicones. While shopping for supplies, I discovered an the online retailer Perles and Co, who have the most complete range of Swarovski elements I've come across so far. I think this may prove to be an expensive find.


 What I really wanted to do  was to make a brooch but I felt I needed to scale up the design. So this time I used a 27mm crystal Chilli pepper rivoli for the body, 10mm crystal red magma rivolis for the eyes and 4mm smoked topaz bicones for the wings. The most difficult part to scale up was the wings. If I had a bit more time I might have tried drop beads or magatamas. As it was I finished this brooch less than 24 hours before posting him off - amazing how a deadline can always get me focused on finishing :-)

Friday, 3 January 2014

Owl I want for Christmas


Our Christmas cake arrived a little late this year but it was worth the wait. For this year we did the "Owl I want for Christmas" design by Karen Taylor in the Winter 2013 issue of Cakes and Sugarcraft. Jen made the owls and I was responsible for the cake. Even Graeme got involved this time, "plastering" the butter icing - those DIY skills can come in handy in the kitchen too!

Rudolph's antlers proved to be a bit challenge. If you look carefully you can see he had a bit of an accident, so he had to be the first one for the chop! For the those of the non-squeamish disposition, here's what the owls look like inside.

 
The majority of the owls are Rice Krispies and marshmallow. There was enough of this mixture left to make 4 owls instead of the 3 in the magazine, so Jen improvised Mother Christmas herself - I love her mop cap.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Starry Night Bauble


This Starry Night Bauble has been making my sewing room  look festive for the last couple of weeks. After seeing the Spellbound Bead stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show, I decided to finish off the kit I started a couple years ago. I treated myself to the Swarovski ornament stand in November and it came in quite handy as a third hand while I was finishing off the stars around the bottom of the bauble.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Granada Pendant

 
 
One of the Christmas presents I received last year was Beaded Fantasies by Sabine Lippert. The first design that caught my eye in Beaded Fantasies was the Granada Brooch but I wanted to make it up as a pendant. So I had to work out how to add a bail to the design. For my first version, I improvised a right angle weave band. Here's how I attached it to the back.
 

 

For the colour scheme for this piece, I started with hand-dyed satin cord (colour #55) from Accent Bead, which I used for the Kumihimo braid and went from there. The components are a crystal gold shadow 14mm rivoli, copper 4mm bicones and bronze 6mm pearls.

I wanted my second version of the design to co-ordinate with the kumihimo braid I made for  Crystal Burst Pendant last year. I started with the green sphinx 14mm rivoli, which I already had in my stash then added topaz 4mm bicones and dark green 6mm pearls.


There are loads of examples of the Granada design on the web and I found this version which gave me the idea for the triangular bail. This was an interesting design to do and the back is almost as pretty as the front.



Monday, 4 November 2013

Another Beaded Poppy Brooch


Earlier this year I heard Pam Kirk,  the designer of the Beaded Poppy Brooch I made last year, was asking for beaders to make a poppy for a memorial wreath project to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the 1st World War, so I thought I would join in . The wreath will consist of approximately 441 poppies, which will be one poppy made for every member of the British Military personnel lost in the current Afghanistan conflict since 2001.  You can read more about the project here.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Bouquet from the Heart of Japan


My second Japanese Embroidery piece, Bouquet from the Heart of Japan is finished. It wasn't a design I would have chosen to do but I have grown quite fond of it over the 9 months I have spent stitching it.


As it is a phase 1 design there were quite a few techniques I had already learned on Hanazume. and there were plenty of new techniques as well.


 
My next piece is Sensu and I'm looking forward to getting started on it.