“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.
I’m still having loads of fun with my leather peacock feather designs. Shown here are two new leather cuff bracelets featuring carved peacock feather designs with real body feather accents. They’re embellished with vintage glass cabochons and fine seed beadwork.
The one to the left is done in an emerald green, and the overall design is a tad simpler. The one below is done in a shimmering olive green, with more elaborate shaping and beadwork. Both close with button loop closures, so they’ll stretch from about 6.5″ – 7.5″.
Hera’s Cuff – to be listed soon
There are a few more peacock designs on my work table right now. I’m excited to see how they’ll turn out. Hopefully I can squeeze in some studio time and get them finished up soon!
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!
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 embroidery over hand felted wool by Andrea Adams
I realized this morning that I made this announcement on my Facebook fan page, but I did not cross post the information here: My vintage bead and cameo website is live!! As I mentioned in this post, the vintage cameo site has been in the works for quite some time, and it feels so good to finally have it open to the public (thank you again, Julia!). I still have many more products to add (tons of vintage and antique seed beads, as well as more cabs, Swarovski and old nailheads & sew-on’s) but for the sake of my sanity, those products will be added slowly over time. Even with so much to add, there’s a lot of great stuff there, so go have a look around – you’re sure to find something to tempt your inner magpie! And while you’re there, please check out the customer gallery. I am blessed with some amazingly talented friends and customers, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy their incredible artwork.
Next up? My original site, Beadmask is getting a complete overhaul. Now that the vintage jewelry supplies have their own site, I can turn the Beadmask site into a portfolio of the things that I make. At the moment, it just has a few items and it funnels you to my Etsy shop, but that’s just a stopgap while I work on the new and improved version. Hopefully, I can complete that before the New Year — wish me (good) luck!
Now that my mask making mayhem has quieted down a bit, I’ve been able to turn my attention back to completing the vintage bead & cameo site. Building this site has been a labor of love on so many levels. First and foremost, I really hate coding. I’m not a dumb girl by any stretch of the imagination, but HTML, CSS, java and the like just make my eyes glaze over. Add to that a litany of computer woes that has been almost laughable — at least, if you have a very dark sense of humor. And let’s not forget the sheer minutiae of researching, photographing, editing and describing thousands upon thousands of itsy bitsy beads; plus the agony of having all of that data lost in a computer crash shortly before I was ready to launch. I’ll stop before this rant reaches the point of no return, and simply say that it’s been a long road. A very long, dark road…
The past three weeks have found me alternately re-counting every bead, cabochon and rhinestone that I carry — or holed up at the keyboard, with my eyes glazed over and a litany of expletives frothing from my lips. During this time I have avoided friends and family, not only because I can’t afford to get distracted, but because I’m just not fit for human consumption when I do this type of work. I expected today to be more of the same, but guess what? I had a paradigm shift! As I worked on the site I was reminded (yet again) of how grateful I am to my talented, beautiful and inspiring friend Julia Pretl, who designed my adorable new bead site. Yes, I am gushing and no, it is not over the top. As painful as this process has been, my agony would have been tenfold if it weren’t for her help. So a million thank you’s, Miz Julia. I appreciate you more than I can say.
Also, I was able to complete the preliminary work of loading and coding all of the product, and move on to something surprisingly fun: building the customer gallery! The images scattered throughout this post reflect the work of a few of my fabulous clients and beady friends (simply click on the captions to visit their sites). As I looked through these images, I was reminded of the creative and inspiring people that I’m able to connect with in the course of my work. It may sound silly, but beads have brought many beautiful friendships into my life. Somewhere in the midst of my CSS induced psychopathy, I realized how very grateful I am to do what I love for a living … yes, even if it means that sometimes, I have to write code. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. The site is (knock on wood!) almost ready, and I’m feeling particularly grateful for my amazing friends, talented customers, and good fortune.
In a previous post, I explained that The Bead Museum of Arizona is in danger of closing unless they get some financial help. We’re talking serious financial help. The numbers are somewhat daunting, but the Bead Community simply cannot afford to lose our oldest and only remaining bead museum.
The deadline for their fundraising goal is quickly approaching ($100,000 by April 30th) so I’ve posted a few benefit auctions to help out. You can access them from my eBay About Me page . Just scroll down to view my listings, and choose from the 10 or so listings that say “BMAZ Benefit” in the title.
These listings have low starting bids, which gives you the opportunity to get some great beads at a great price and contribute to an important bead charity. There are 2 lots of size 16/o vintage microbeads (one in a warm palette, and one in a palette of cool colors), several hanks of vintage seed beads and 2 assorted lots of vintage cabochons and cameos and West German glass stones.
The two auctions for stones and cabochons should be really fun. I plan to add more pieces to the lot as the bidding goes higher. So the more that people bid, the more cabs/stones the winner will receive! :o)
50% of the proceeds from these auctions will go to The Bead Museum of Arizona. As an added bonus, shipping is free. Please check them out, and bid generously!
(Note that ONLY the auctions that say “BMAZ Benefit” in the title will contribute to the museum – the others are my regular weekly auctions. )