Sunday, 9 April 2017

Red Butterfly

It's been a bit of a marathon of going around in circles but the first butterfly for my Phase 4 Japanese Embroidery piece is finished. It's taken well over a year to get this far. I stalled a bit last year but a new year's resolution to get it going again has paid off. This is the first of 3 butterflies - the marathon will continue for some time to come.  I have a trip away coming up at the end of the week so I am very deliberately stepping away from this piece from a couple of weeks. Hopefully I won't have too much trouble getting going again when I get back.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Making Waves

My current Japanese bead embroidery project is the JEC Wave Handbag.  The design comes in 2 parts. A larger piece which forms the bag back and flap, and a smaller piece which forms the bag front. Even though I am treating this as a background project, I've made reasonable progress over the last couple of months, finishing the outlines on the back and flap. The entire design will be blue iris triangle and seed beads. The original JEC bag had hex beads instead of the triangle beads, so I know my bag will look slightly different when it's finished. The triangle beads form a new clean line when they are couched down but I'm not sure how they will look when 2 lines are side by side. I am imagining choppy seas!

I've come to conclusion this is not going to be a very photogenic project. The blue iris beads look lovely close up but they come out very dark in a photograph. My camera phone automatically brightens the shot if I don't take the picture quick enough. If I take the picture too quickly the auto focus doesn't have time to work. I will probably need to ask Jen to take some pictures with her proper camera when she's home for Easter.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Springtime Garden Necklace

I like the way beaded kumihimo ropes can be used as base for embellment. One way to achieve this is to use 2 hole beads, superduos  amd lentils in this case,. leaving 1 hole clear to add further beads once the rope is finished. The pattern for this necklace is Springtime Garden Necklace by Julia Hecht from the April '16 issue of Bead and Button magazine. I mostly kept to the same colour scheme but ended up changing the leaves to turquoise because I couldn't get hold of bronze leaves. The leaves are shiny on one side and matt on the other, so I was careful to keep them facing the same direction.

Recently I have been finishing my kumihimo necklaces with acrylic magnetic clasps. They have strong magnets and come in a variety of colours and sizes. Originally I found them in the US and then last year I discovered Robin's Beads in the UK was carrying a reasonable selection, so I made sure to stock up.

I ended up making this necklace twice. My first attempt was very twisted and wouldn't sit straight. It took me 6 months to persuade myself to undo it and have another go. On the second attempt I stopped the cords walking around the kumihimo disk by returning them to the start position after every move. There was still a slight twist but it was much better. When I wear it, the leaves lift up a little on my collar bones but I think that would always be the case and I'm probably the only one that notices it. I guess I must prominent collarboes