Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fairy Chrysalis Tutorial and Bead Soup Sale

Fairy Chrysalis Beaded Pendants
I recently updated an old tutorial on free form beaded pendants.  Ten years ago, I wrote instructions to show how to stitch a Fairy Chrysalis, a pendant designed to look organic and constructed from a wide variety of beads. You can read all about the tutorial here:

If you would like a kit to make a Fairy Chrysalis, then you should visit my Etsy shop this Wednesday July 19, 2017at 5 PM Pacific time. I will be having a big sale of kits of bead soup.  I hand selected each lot, and each lot of beads is unique. You can go to Facebook to tons of photos of all of the lots before they go up for sale, with sizes and prices.

Lot #1 has a crazy lace agate with crazy cool banding.  Red and earthy.

 Lot #3 has an amazing piece of orange bumblebee jasper. 

Lot #4 includes a very flashy labradorite.
Which looks really different under different lights.
There are lots more lots. To see the rest of the lots that I will have for sale on Wednesday, see this gallery on the Bead Infinitum fan page on Facebook:

Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Free Pattern for Puffy Heart SRAW and LOVE Letters

So, there's a blog called Bead Love...

It's a blog of inspirations on love and beads, and a group of about 50 of us bead designers are writing it, one post per week for over a year, until we have all had a turn.  
This week, it was my turn to contribute.  So, here.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Prismatic RAW Pendant with Etched Seed Beads

I'm absolutely obsessed with the new etched seed beads.  I can't stop looking at them, which is good, because it makes me want to bead things. Like my previous post, this piece is stitched with prismatic right angle weave and square stitch.  I also added picots so I could see the etched beads "end up" which, as you can see, is where most of their color is. When you hold this in the sunlight, those little ends shimmer with orange fire.
When I weave beads, I typically think about how I would explain what I'm doing, so that I can eventually write up a tutorial.  Unfortunately, that kind of thinking can really hold me back creatively because I don't want to try things that are too hard to document. The frustrating part is that I haven't beaded anything I like very much lately, at least not any new designs.  So, in the last pendant and this one, I've been slowly letting go of the idea of documenting my process. Instead, I'm just enjoying making and watching the design emerge in my hands. It's liberating, and even exhilarating, but it also makes a piece like this difficult to reproduce exactly. 

Thanks for looking.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Atomic Beaded Pendant

It's been a long time since I beaded a new design I like.  I hope you like it too. The technique here is primarily prismatic right angle weave (PRAW) with square stitch.
The mat beads are the new etched  beads that have been recently released on Planet Bead, and I absolutely love them! I want them all! You can't tell from the photos, but they shimmer and twinkle and throw off tiny flashes of aqua and purple. I'm having fantasies of selling off three quarters of my bead collection and stocking up on etched seed beads in every color. But in the mean time, I was able to squeeze a few new tubes into my bead box.  

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Atomic Shirt for a Man

I finally found something nice to make for my sweetie that he can use. This shirt is two layers of pure cotton jersey, stenciled with acrylic paint, and hand stitched with polyester thread. He requested an atomic symbol, like the one for the Springfield Isotopes baseball team on The Simpsons.
To make the shirt pattern, I cut up his old favorite t-shirt, traced it onto pattern paper, and added seam allowances. Then I made a rough draft t-shirt to test the pattern and used it to make a few small adjustments to the pattern. Then I cut this garment, which I consider a final copy. It should be a perfect fit. After trying to use other people's patterns and drafting my own, I have to say that starting with well loved garment is an excellent way to draft a perfect pattern that fits, and if you are willing to cut it up, you get to the right pattern easily without too many alterations.
Here is the rough draft shirt I made first to test the pattern before spending a lot of time on fancy embroidery.
The fabric had a flaw that I didn't catch until the shirt was sewn together.  So I added a star on the back to cover it up. 
Here is my sweetie's favorite cotton t-shirt (left), all worn out and sad. In blue on the right, you can see my new version. I changed the number because I cut a stencil and I didn't want to deal with the holes in the 8. Fortunately, he didn't care.
I learned the techniques for construction and embellishment from the books by Natalie Chanin. Her work is such an inspiration.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Victory Pod and Solstice Earrings

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you already know that I like earrings.  Here are my two newest pairs.  First, these are Victory Pods to go with my new shirt.

Second are a pair of Solstice Earrings in an analogous color scheme that goes from purple to blue, aqua, green and gold. That's more than half the rainbow. These colors make me happy.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Upcycled Freeform Cashmere and Wool Sweaters

I made a few sweaters last Winter and Spring, but somehow I forgot to blog about them, and now it's June. This post is totally seasonally inappropriate, unless you live in Australia. So, as you read this, pretend that you're Australian. I promise, it'll be worth it.

Sweater No. 13 Dusty Rose
This was a custom order for a friend who does a lot of needle crafts.  I wanted to make it especially detailed for her because I knew she would appreciate the effort.  So I covered the front of the hood with folded roses made from cashmere sweaters. 
Here's a close up of the roses before I added the buttons. To make the roses, I used classic "folded ribbon rose" techniques but with strips of sweaters instead of regular ribbon.

Sweater No. 14 Periwinkle
This was my first adventure in free-form sweater sewing. It's is all cashmere, mostly hand dyed.
I like the way the black seams make it look like stained glass.  It's available here:

Sweater No. 15 Black Berry
This was my second adventure into free-form sweater sewing.
I found that I could use the leftover scraps to make the hood.  I really love the way the lines and colors on this piece worked out.
This Black Berry Sweater is mostly cashmere, mostly hand dyed, and it's available here:

Here's a close up of the bobble at the end of the hood.

Sweater No. 16 Kelp Queen
I made this piece for myself... because... LIME GREEN!!!!
I had to dye almost all of the sweaters to get enough lime green.  Here's a photo of the hood before it was a hood.
When I first showed this photo, my friends said it looks like a landscape painting, like one by Wayne Thiebaud or this:

Sweater No. 17 Hot Pink, etc.
This was a custom piece for a good friend of mine, pure cashmere. She likes hot pink.  A lot. It's more purple than blue, as the photo suggests
Here's what the hood looked like before it was a hood.
Okay, that was way too much of a blacklog of projects.  I need to start blogging more.  Note to self.  Anyway, as always, thanks for looking.
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