Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Learning Bead Embroidery and Kumihimo

I have been beading for a few years and I love to capture stones in a beaded bezel.  Making the chain is part of creating a necklace so learning some new construction techniques have been part of the challenge.  Viking knit has been my favorite for a while, but this year I added Kumihimo.  Loving it!  Simple tools and not hard to learn.  Beaded Kumihimo is relatively quick and makes a colorful and comfortable necklace from which to suspend your beaded pendant.  Bead embroidery has really been catching my eye lately.  The way the beads are sewn to a background makes it possible to add all types of elements, textures, and borders.  I started small with a quartz beach stone and learned many lessons on this first piece.
The chain is hand beaded, incorporating the same beads as the pendant.
The second piece was made with a half of a Thunder Egg or Septarian Stone.  The stone is asymetrical and it took me a while to work through this piece.  There is a row of freshwater pearls and a nice sort of scalloped border on this pendant.  The chain is beaded kumihimo worked with size 8 seed beads.
The third bead embroidery necklace was made with an ammonite fossil.  I found these stones at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, they have boxes and boxes of interesting rocks and fossils.  This necklace has a row of faceted carnelians which work so well with the color of the stone.  The pendant is hung from a strand of stone and glass beads that balance out the weight of the focal.
Here are a few pics of some of the beaded kumi necklaces that I made. Being unable to master bead crochet, Kumihimo feels like a gift!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Nuno Felting for Fall Shows

This fall I spent some time making larger nuno felt pieces using a collage technique.  The design possibilities working with multiple types and textures of silk is energizing and intriguing.  What has been working well for me is to do the piece in stages over the course of a few days.  Walking away and then looking with fresh eyes allows the project to evolve from the initial idea into something more complex.

This piece was inspired by the fall wildflower colors of Late Purple Asters and Goldenrod.  I used upcycled printed silk and hand dyed silks, silk devore and other bits and pieces from my stash. 

  The red and black wrap was made with an upcycled blouse.  The piece has an interesting asymetry and a black frog closure.

I wanted to make a garment that wasn't a simple wrap, this vest is the result.  The printed silk came from an upcycled blouse and other bits of hand dyed silk from my stash. Whenever there is a pot of dye going I like to throw in a piece of silk so I have lots of colorful bits to work with. 

This wrap started with a beautiful crinkly silk dress from the thrift store.  Ribbon and yarn, and other hand dyed silks add lots of color and texture.  The dark blue piece with the white flower sprays is an ancient piece of cotton voile (I think) from a dress that belonged to my grandmother. The fabric wasn't very strong anymore, but the felt fibers stabilized it beautifully.  I had almost tossed the dress a while back, but it is now safely in my stash for future projects.

The purple and gold wrap and the red and black wrap have been sold.  The teal wrap and the vest are still available in my Etsy Shop