Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wading into the world of Beaded Embroidery!!

I have finally done it!! I have been wanting to jump in for a very long time!! I finally took the plunge after seeing some amazing cuff bracelets created by my dear friend Jean!! She has been doing bead work for years and does beautiful work! I would share a link to her work with you but she does not have a web presence!! BO HOO!!
I have long been following the INCREDIBLE WORK of bead artist Robin Atkins. She has a wonderfu web site and runs an amazing annual project called the Bead Journal Project.
When you have a chance, if you do not know Robin, you must follow these links to see all of her amazing bead work. I have been so inspired by Robin, her work and her philosophy of beading and artwork, that I decided that it was high time that I tried some bead embroidery.

Here is the result of my first venture.

Here is the piece before attaching it to the cuff form. I was not quite sure of the best way to get an accurate edge outline so the beads would rest right along the outer edge of the metal piece. I used purple felt backed with fusible interfacing so my stitches and thread would not pull through the felt. I stitched the beads on after placing and stitching the metal zippers. I was going to try to stick to a color scheme, but I remembered Robin's words " When you first start, pick beads that speak to you- a reason is not necessary, just use what you love!!" (That is a bit of a paraphrase but it IS her basic philosophy of beadwork.)

I found this wonderful read zipper on a wool jacket that I felted for other creative endeavors. I was about to cut the zipper just before the toggle and then decided that I really liled the design of the pull and the patina on the metal so I kept it for an added design element. I am so glad that I did!!!

In some cases I went a bit beyond the marked edge and I know that I need some guidance on my edging stitching!!! I really sort of winged that part!! I managed to cobble it together and I am thrilled with it. I am all ready to start on my next cuff. This one will have a theme- Beach!! I am going to use shades of white and cream and blue and then add pieces of wampum shell that I have been collecting over the years. I have started to focus on finding those pieces that already have wonderful holes and texture drilled into them by other sea creatures holes , so they are perfect for beadwork!! When I was younger and walking the beach, these were the pieces that I always discarde because they had "Yucky Worm Holes" in them that marred their surface!!! One really really can't keep everything!!!!

So stay tuned for more bead work!!

21 comments:

jewelrygirl said...

Just wonderful! I love your work. I have just started this blogging thing. I stumbled across you site. Totally awesome.

Judy said...

Elizabeth, That is lovely! You always amaze me...not that I am surprised that you can do these things, but that you keep doing the most beautiful stuff!

xo

Ingrid Dijkers said...

WOW! Pretty wonderful bead work. Can't wait to see more!
Best-
Ingrid

LostLuggage said...

WOW!!!!!! I L O V E THIS!!!

Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

Oh my! This is fabulous!!! So many beads!! Love the zipper, too!! Absolutely wonderful!!!
chris p

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Amazing! Keep going, girl. You are really doing great stuff.

Elizabeth

Belinda said...

Hi Elizabeth this is just gorgeous, I love it. Your creativity is so inspiring. I would love to give this a go, looks like so much fun. Belinda

Dot said...

This is so beautiful and bold Elizabeth! I feel happy looking at it.

I am sure you will get lots of comments on this beautiful piece of art!

Dot xx

Dave Robertson said...

Hi Elizabeth, what great work. Do you realize you could enter that into our upcoming design contest? Do think about it! :)

--Dave
at Rings & Things

MarysMadness said...

Fantastic work! Love the colors!

Robin said...

Well!!! This just totally makes my day!!! Elizabeth, this is no cobbling-together... your cuff is awesome! I love it that you left the zipper pull on the zipper, and assume it moves. I can never get enough of things that moove! Your colors are "happy" just like the bracelet! I'm so flattered by your comments about my work!

I also wish that fate had been nicer to us when I was teaching in Baltimore. If you want, I'll give you a couple of links to students in Baltimore who got really hooked on bead embroidery.

Marilyn Rock said...

What colorful detail! Beautiful!

Margarita Korioth said...

It is stunning!Lovely work.

Patti G. said...

ELIZABETH, every time I see something you create, you take my breath away! I just LOVE your bracelet! It is aaaaamazing!!!!! YOU are amazing!
As I browsed your recent posts, I fell in love with everything, from your darling beaded pin cushions, to Becca's sweet felted creature! What wonderful art my friend, and your studio..........wow, I want to come over! :) Your watercolor is gorgeous, congrats on it being hung at the show! JUST fantastic my friend!!!!!!!!!
Hugs,Patti

Mo said...

You continue to dazzle and inspire me. It's absolutely beautiful and so you! Now I can't wait to see the Beach one... Love & hugs!

Laura Krasinski said...

SENSATIONAL!!!! THAT IS ALL I CAN SAY....

Julie said...

Elizabeth, your blog has been an absolute joy to visit. Its my first time here but it wont be my last. Wonderful work!

Jacky said...

Inspirational beading Elizabeth, love how funky this piece is with its zipper etc. Simply encrusted with vibrant beads...beautiful cuff!

KF said...

WOW!

martha brown said...

This is beautiful, Elizabeth! I can really appreciate the time it took -- it took me 2 hours to sew just a few beads on one heart that I just made for a swap.

Jo Wholohan said...

oh my goodness, stunning, i do not think i would have the patience for this xx

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