Thursday, October 16, 2008

Experiment: Witchery

I start feeling quite comfortable with peyote stitch. The next project is the result of my crazy experimenting with peyote in its free form. I called it Witchery.

It is inspired partly by Pratchett's Nanny Ogg, partly by the witches in Stardust movie. While making it, I was thinking of an old witch. She was not evil my witch, that's for sure. She was perhaps quite a rich lady one day (rich enough to afford silver Delicas to embellish her gown). One day she was young and perhaps even beautiful. Who knows, maybe she got poor with age, or perhaps she just stopped caring about her look. Freeform peyote has allowed to create a feeling of those torn rugs she was wearing. Original lace is still there in some places, I mimicked it with pewter Ornela beads and some netting as well as accented with Delicas here and there. I have interchanged portions made of fine matte opaque black Tohos (representing velvet, I'd say) with really rough cheep and uneven MingTree seed beads, representing poor attempts of my witch to fix the dress.
The cab in the middle is what remains of her glory. Or, perhaps, all her power is in that stone? ;)
Well, those were my thoughts when I was making the piece.

On the practical side of this project: it took me two days to make the cab setting. I made it over and over again until I was satisfied with the look.

OK, it was a stupid idea to make it in peyote, RAW would be a much better option, I admit it. Live and learn! :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sitting tight in the swamp

Seed beads do not let me go. I just want to learn more new stuff and make more beaded things! Start thinking about Etsy, will see about that. For now, I wanted to learn how to make the beaded cabochon settings without glueing them first on the Stiff Stuff. For the necklace below I have used stones that I have got from FiremountainGems. They came among assortments, therefore I am not really sure about what sort of mineral they are. My guess is that it might be dyed red agate, since carnelian is usually a bit more reach and deeper in color. I called it October. The pictures are taken by a friend of mine, her camera is waaaaay better than the one I've got. Guess, it is going to be my next big investment.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Looking for the ultimate seed beads and some autumn inspiration

Now it is getting serious. I have ordered color samples for Jablonex from StarkDesign (see link to the left) and our FiremountainGems order has finally reached Sweden. Now I have got Toho, Matsuno, Delicas, DynaMites, Jablonex, Ming Tree and Guttermann to play with...

Short summary so far: Jablonex beats them all when it comes to embroidery, it looks like. There were many more Tohos that did not want to pass through my needle, than Jablonex. Delicas are fun to make details and cabochon settings with, but I did not like them in embroidery. Toho size 15 galvanized gold has lost all coating already after two (!) days of wearing the piece, however larger sizes were still fine after two-week test of constant wearing. No changes in any of copper-coated seed beads of Toho, regardless the size. Next time I will try Jablonex supra gold, the distributor claims it is way more resistant.

After choosing the beads more carefully, I have come up with the following creation. Presenting proudly - September.

The central piece is embroidered with Toho sizes 15-6, Matsuno and Delicas, as well as the strange size 9 rocailles that one can get from Panduro hobby (made in Czech republic, but not Jablonex), and Jablonex Evergreen mix (Zionesse, SE). The rope is made in tubular peyote with green Tohos and Jablonex Autumn leaves mix (StarkDesign, SE). Fringes are sitting on a net of size 9 Panduro seed beads, their bases are made of DynaMites 11° (matte root beer) as well as Jablonex Tortoise Matte mix, and I have used Jablonex Autumn leaves for the tops. The form of my fringes is secured with copper-plated Tohos 15°. Here is the close-up:

The piece is inspired by work of Varvara Konstantinov, but I wanted to bring some personal touches to it (and I have never done anything like this before), as well as I wanted to re-discover the fringes-on-the-net technique by myself.