Category: bead embroidery
|“Dream Garden” necklace © Andrea Adam 2014|
“Dream Garden” bead embroidered necklace with vintage glass cabochons. Many of the beads and stones feature an aurora borealis coating. This finish creates beautiful play of light effects, which lend an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
This is an original design, and it will not be repeated. I’ll probably play with the theme again in the future, using a similar neckline and garden elements, but this combination of stones and colors will not be reproduced. If this piece speaks to you, you can find more pictures and purchase info here 🙂
|Bead embroidered cameo necklace © Andrea Adams 2012|
I’m still trying to participate in NaSeBeMo. I say “trying” because I have not been able to bead every day as I had hoped. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I have had a TON of custom work this month, so most of my creative energy has gone to that.
Still, I’ve made a conscious effort to get in as much beading time as I possibly can. While I have not been able to bead daily (which is the goal of NaSeBeMo) I have managed to do a bit of beadwork at least 4-5 days a week. This is significantly more beading time than I have had all year. Hopefully I can continue in this vein.
Most of my projects have been small ones. I took one evening earlier this month, and glued a bunch of cabochons down to a beading substrate. I mean a whole bunch… there are vintage glass stones, old Swarovski, and an abundance of jaspers and agates. This prep work has made it possible for me to work in a bit of bead embroidery whenever I have a spare minute or two. Many of the stones will decorate my leatherwork, while others will be bases for me to build into more complex jewelry pieces.
|“Lunar Eclipse” labradorite necklace © Andrea Adams 2012|
In addition to the smaller projects mentioned above, I’ve completed the two necklaces shown here, as well as an assortment of earrings and bracelets. They’re all simple pieces, but it feels really good to be getting back into the habit of beading again.
Another factor in all of this is that I recently got glasses. I have needed them for some time, but kept putting it off because the adjustment period is so intense for me; as a self employed artist, I really can’t afford to have impaired vision for an extended length of time! I’ve been wearing my new glasses for 3 weeks now, and I still have some rough side effects (dizziness, nausea, headaches) but it is getting easier. So while the transition phase is slow and uncomfortable, I expect a long term benefit to my beading practice. I am already noticing a huge improvement in my vision, which should make beading a lot more enjoyable 🙂
|Mosswood beaded cuff © Andrea Adams 2012|
My NaSeBeMo project for November 4th was this beaded cabochon cuff, which I’ve dubbed the “Mosswood Cuff”. It features a larger moss agate cab, cut by Shawn Lockheart. The cab is set in a beadwoven bezel of glass seed beads, and accented with raw emerald, faceted tiger eye and moss agate beads.
The beaded stone had been sitting in my UFO box for some time because I was undecided about whether it should be a necklace or a cuff. Last night the cuff idea won out, so I added the gemstone accent beads, stitched it down to the ultrasuede and did the edge stitching to finish it off.
|November 2nd seed beading efforts|
Now that Halloween is over, I just want to hibernate with my beads for awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mask making and leatherworking in general; but the pace of Halloween can be very intense for me, and usually once it’s over I find myself drawn to the slower more meditative pace of beadwork. With that being said, this post from Dulcey Heller about NaSeBeMo seemed too timely to ignore. The premise is similar to that of NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) in that participants are encouraged to practice their craft every day for one month. I think that NaNoWriMo has a specific goal for how many words one should write, whereas NaSeBeMo is a bit more open ended — the goal is simply to bead every single day during the month of November.
|November 3rd’s beading efforts yielded this dragonfly slide|
In a sense, I am starting from behind since I didn’t even learn about it until November 2nd; but that’s cool, I’ll just extend my commitment by a day and strive to bead something every day from November 2nd- December 2nd. My first two days worth of projects are relatively small, but they were still very satisfying. On November 2nd, I bead embroidered 2 cabochons, one was used on the blue birch leaf hair slide shown here, and the second was used on the leather owl feather that is sitting next to it (this will be a component in a larger project).
My beading projects for Nov 3rd included the bead embroidered beetle wing on the dragonfly barrette shown here, along with the some nominal beading on the maple leaf slides shown below. In the realm of seed beadwork, these are small simple projects, but I’m happy just to be beading again! I still have quite a few custom orders for masks and leathercraft that require my attention, but I should still be able to carve out a little time for my beads each day. Hopefully I’ll be able to “ramp up” from little projects such as these, and on to more ambitious efforts once I clear out some of my commission work.
|Nov 3rd beaded maple leaf barrettes|
Jennifer VanBenSchoten’s recent blog post on the subject gives some very practical tips for participants. The first idea is my favorite. She suggests finishing up UFO’s… that’s bead jargon for “unfinished objects, and I have plenty of those flying about. I’m hoping that this will motivate me to finish them off as I ease back into the practice of beading more often. Wish me good luck!
Beading for a Cure Auctions are up!
BFAC is a very special charity that was created in memory of bead artist Layne Shilling, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in 2002. Each year, the proceeds from this challenge are donated to help fund cancer research. You can read more about it on their website.
I have participated for the past two years, and I am signed up for next year too. My entry for this year’s challenge is the cuff above. It is included in this week’s auctions, which end Saturday April 7th. I strongly encourage you to bid — not just on my piece, but on all of the beautiful entries. And if you’re not able to bid this week, don’t worry — there will be more listings every week through April 28th. You can view some of the other entries, along with the auction listing schedule, on the BFAC auctions page. There are some spectacular contributions this year. Please check them out, and consider supporting this special charity.
Finished my BFAC project!
This is my second year participating in the Beading for a Cure project. I had all sorts of elaborate ideas, such as a beaded leather purse, an ornate headdress, or possibly another mask; but when it came down to it, I was in too much of a time crunch to be able to do any of those ideas justice. In the end, I decided to keep it simple.
The end result is the 5th bead embroidered filigree cuff in what will be a series of 6 (cause I only have one more of these filigrees left ;). I will probably continue to play with this style, since I really enjoy it … but as the components change, so will the overall look.
I really like this year’s colors — they’re sort of a mix of earthy and watery tones. To me, this blend feels playful, yet grounded. Interestingly enough, I use a lot of these colors in my work — but not typically together in the same project. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they work together
As to the shapes, I really loved the matte metallic swirly bugles — which is saying a lot, since I’m not much of a fan of bugle beads. I also really liked the Swarovski “lochrosen” (sequins, basically) that were included, but I was not as fond of the cubes or long magatamas. They were maybe just a bit too angular/odd shaped for my style of bead embroidery. Then again, I bet the geometric mathy types just ate them up! 😉
It was fun to play with colors and shapes that I might not have chosen on my own. I do wish that I’d used them in a way that pushed my limits a bit more, but again, there was that whole time crunch issue. As it stands, I’m satisfied that I was able to complete something for this special charity. I do hope it helps to generate a bit of attention and funding for this worthwhile cause!
Adventures in Negative Space
Apparently, I’m still on a cuff kick. I’ve made a couple new ones since my last cuff post, and I have more in the works. Not that I’m cranking them out or anything. If you’ve ever done beadwork, you know — it is simply impossible to “crank out” quality beadwork.
These are a bit simpler than my filigree cuffs. I’ve been using them to explore my aversion to negative space. To be clear, it’s not that I dislike negative space… it’s just that when I get in the beading groove, sometimes it’s hard to stop myself from filling everything up with color and texture.
So I’m consciously trying to leave some open space with these. It amuses me to notice how challenging that can be. It takes conscious effort for me not to bead every square inch of the cuff!
I suppose that I’m improving, though. This brown and green cuff is my second attempt at deliberate open space. The smaller purple & teal cuff below was my first try, and as you can see, the ends are really the only areas that leave any open space.
The one that I’m still working on is primarily open space, with just a beaded focal and edging. I like it, but I’ve got the nagging feeling that it isn’t finished. Once I complete the edging, I’ll post a picture here and on my facebook fan page. It might be interesting to see what kind of response it gets. Maybe that sense that’s it’s incomplete is just a manifestation of my compulsive desire to bead everything? 😉
Bead Embroidered Filigree Cuff #4
|Filigree Cuff #4|
I’ve just completed the fourth cuff bracelet in this series, and I think it is my favorite thus far! Like the others, it centers around a vintage brass filigree, which is encrusted with vintage west German glass stones, Swarovski crystal, fire polish and Japanese glass seed beads. The inside of the cuff and the centerpiece are lined with periwinkle colored ultrasuede, and the outer edges of the bracelet showcase metallic bronze leather.
The colors include matte metallic shades of peacock, olive-y bronze, purple and metallic bronze.
|Filigree Cuff #3|
I never really set out to make a “series” of these. I made the first one in 2008, at a point when I was using a lot of these old filigrees in my beadwork (I’ve also done barrettes and necklaces in this style). I really liked it, and the response from my customers was extremely positive. People started commissioning me to make them in specific color schemes.
Obviously, these are variations on a theme – but each one has a different color scheme, and utilizes a unique combination of vintage glass beads and stones from my collection. So they’re of the same family, but each has its own character.
|Filigree Cuff #3|
As I mentioned in my previous post, beadwork tends to be very meditative for me. As such, I often lose my sense of time when I am beading. I hadn’t been charging too much for these, because it seemed like they work up so quickly (in as much as beadwork ever works up quickly).
I made a point to log my working time on this last one, and I was quite surprised by how long it actually took! To be fair, I think #4 took longer than the others (I did quite a bit of “rippit” stitch 😉 but all the same, I realized that these pieces have a much greater time investment than I’d originally thought!
This newest variant is listed in my Etsy shop, and when I get a spare moment I will add it to my website as well.
Sadly, I only have a few more of these filigrees left, so I won’t be able to make many more of these cuffs. Bums me out, since I am really enjoying this series. I suppose that’s a good thing though – it ensures that it will be a limited edition series.
And of course, if I really want to continue with this style after I’ve used all of the brass that I have, I can probably find some more old brass pieces. Doubt I’ll find more of the same style, so the new cuffs will have different shaping … but that’s a good thing 🙂
Bead Embroidered Holiday Card
I forgot to post this earlier … It’s the image that I used for my Christmas – Solstice – Hanukkah – Kwanza- holiday cards last year. They weren’t mailed till New Year’s Eve (I blame the flu bug that had a death grip on me for most of Dec.) but I know that the recipients felt the love and intent behind them, so I’m okay with that.
At first, I was less than thrilled with my dove (I think she looks a little more like a hummingbird 😉 but now I like her in spite – and because – of her imperfections. I may even make this an annual tradition .