Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Leopard Print Beading

I just listed this earring and pendant set made with my "picnic weave" but I think this color scheme looks more like a leopard print than a picnic blanket.

Although they look quite different, this weave is an easy variation of my Night Sky weave

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flower Ring Bouquet

If I had all of the time in the world, I'd make a large bouquet of beaded flowers like this.
This is a pile of Flower Rings made with the fringe method, a technique for weaving beaded beads that Florence Turnour figured out and showed me in 2004.  If you haven't tried the fringe method yet, check out this free beaded bead tutorial that Florence and I wrote together.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wonka of Wonderland Top Hat #5

Last night, I finally finished a custom order for another top hat.   This one is number 5. 
This photo above is now the logo for RWS Associates.  What these photos don't convey is how springing this hat is.  If you bend the brim, it will spring right back into shape. 
What you also can't see is that inside of the silk and cotton fabrics are stiff double buckram and wire, which together, give this hat its form.  Double buckram is two layers of cotton fabric with a thick coating of sizing.  Sizing is a combination of glue and stiffener that can be re-wet with water or steam to sculpt it.  When it dries again, it stays in whatever shape you left it to dry.  To shape this hat, I only used a bit of steam as the wire is doing much of the work.  I really love the sculptural possibilities of wire and buckram, but they require a very firm grasp when working with them, and sewing through the buckram requires strong fingers.   

I figured out that sewing cut up felted wool sweaters is much easier on my hands.  So, now I make top hats with felt, like this one.
They are so soft, cozy, and comfortable that I also wrote and illustrated a tutorial on how to make a top hat with felted wool sweaters.  So you can make one too.
Want to own one of my hand made hats?  See what hats are for sale in my Etsy shop. Thanks for looking!
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