Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bead-embroidered Fairy Cuff

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I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted! I've been so busy. We are traveling to visit family quite a bit this summer, and between trips I'm fighting the horrible drought that is threatening to kill our yard. Seems I'm constantly dragging a water hose around, trying to rehydrate plants. Please please please let it rain soon!

During the hottest hours of the day, I've been staying indoors learning a new beading technique -- bead embroidery -- and I'm addicted! A new book by Sherry Serafina started me down this beading path. This book is gorgeous and worth checking out, even if you don't bead. Sherry Serafina's work is incredible eye candy! I love the freedom of bead embroidery. You can plan your project in advance or just go with the flow and see where your design takes you. Basically, you stitch individual beads onto a foundation (very heavy Pellon interfacing for this project). My first project was a bit too free-wheeling and I wasn't crazy about the end result. I'm vain and so won't post photos of that "less-than-success". But I learned a lot which I applied to this second project, a cuff bracelet for my daughter:
My daughter loves fairy images and all things Celtic. The focal piece is a fairy art print under a glass cabochon that I bought from an artist on etsy.com -- Glass Art Cabochons.
The band is a Celtic knot pattern, found free online, which I worked in glass Japanese seed beads.
The closure is a brass button that I bought at my daughter's favorite knitting shop -- Knitche in Downer's Grove, Illinois. I think the brass color is just right with the colors in this bracelet: After completing the beading, following instructions in Sherry Serafina's book, I trimmed the foundation, leaving a narrow border, and then stitched it onto a backing. The backing I chose here is brown ultrasuede, so the bracelet feels really good on the wrist.

If you click to enlarge the pictures, you will see my biggest mistake -- I failed to color the Pellon foundation before stitching on the beads. Enlarged as these photos are, you can see the white foundation, but it's really not noticeable on the bracelet itself. Still, next time I'll remember that additional step.

I hope my lovely daughter likes her bracelet. But if it's just not her style, she knows she can give it back to me without offense -- Anything beaded is definitely my style!