Thursday, December 18, 2014

'Tis The Season . . .

Freeform bead embroidery that I did a while back - I'm sharing again in the spirit of the season, so go over and pick up a Christmas cookie (or two) and enjoy the eye candy that follows.

I began this project with a flat-backed ornament. Then I went to the craft store where I purchased craft felt (stiff and about 1/8" thick, a perfect embroidery base). I glued the big fellow down and went in search of beads, buttons, trims. As an equal-opportunity bead artist, I use plastic, glass, buttons, beads, anything left over from another project.

Using a variety of beading stitches (mostly backstitch and couching), I started adding beads. Usually I'd start with a focal bead or button and then surround it with more.  And more.  I tried to fill up all the spaces.
Emmy thinks I am preparing treats for her, and she waits patiently.
But I continue snapping pictures:
By the way, this is a good place to use those old earrings you saved somewhere. If you can't stitch them down, you can glue them down, or you can use tiny beads to encircle them and hold them in place.

When you have finished all of your embroidery and you've filled all the spaces (so the craft felt won't show through), select some seed beads and backstitch a row or two around the entire project. Trim the felt as closely as you can without snipping bead threads. Use a Sharpie pen to color the edge of the felt that shows (if needed).
Next I purchased a wooden plaque at the craft store and some acrylic green paint (I just like the color green...).
I painted the plaque, glued the finished bead embroidery in place, and then I signed the back -- you can see how long I've had this one!

Of course, bead embroidery is addictive enough that you can't stop with just one - it would be like eating one "M" from the bag of M & M's.
So I found another little porcelain cabochon (a large button will also work). What you want is a "focal". I found Her Majesty and threaded my needle again!
I'm not sure where I found that little crown (probably in the "Don't Ever Throw It Out; You Never Know When You Might Need It" box that I have). I think it's from 1950, or thereabouts. 

Here are a couple more detail photos:
Some of these beads are from a bead show; a lot of the little flower and leaf beads are from (press Czech glass - lovely stuff!), and the most fun was the little running shoes and her little dress-up heels. Her purse is also a glass bead, but I've seen handbag buttons at the fabric store, too.
As with the Santa embroidery, I found a wooden plaque and painted it; trimmed the embroidery panel and colored the edges with a Sharpie.
Bead embroidery is my total hobby - a great way for me to relax. But I love my JOB, which is designing and writing about Brazilian dimensional embroidery.  And that's my next project.  Months ago, I promised to write about a new wisteria technique that is perfect for other embroidered flowers, too.  I'll try to focus and do that next.   Focus ...   Focus ...  Focus....
Oh, wait.  I need to speak to Santa first!  I need Stuff.

P.S. By the way, if all of these pictures (15) don't show up for you, let me know (email). Blogger has missed me because I've been away so long, and they just don't know what to do with all of my goodies...