Thursday, July 26, 2012

Moving on to Battle round 2!

Paisley Garden Boho Beaded Bag
The votes for round one of the Battle of the BeadSmith have been tallied and 40 exceptional works of beaded art are moving on to round two.  It took me a couple takes to realize that my Boho bag MADE IT TO ROUND TWO!!!  OK, so I realize that it's easy for me to say this since I am moving on in the competition, but I seriously did not expect to.  If you read my previous posts about the Battle, I'm pretty clear that I was thrilled to be an "also ran" or cannon fodder or whatever else equates to loser among so many of my beading idols.  One of whom GoodQuillHunting I was paired with!  You can view her amazing necklace "Wango Tango" here on her blog.  So stay tuned!  And if you haven't yet, treat yourself to a gallery of some of the best beaded art you'll ever see at the link above for the facebook group.  Go to the photos section.  Here is a picture of the fabulous "Wango Tango" by Christina Neit - GoodQuillHunting.  Yeah, I do you choose just one?!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pucci Collar Redux

Pucci Inspired Bib Necklace by Beadn4fun
I've been "seriously" beading for about 10 years now.  And in all that time, this Pucci Inspired Bib Necklace is the piece that has garnered the most recognition for Beadn4fun.  I created this wonderful piece of wearable art for the Etsy Beadweaver's March 2011 Challenge "Fashion through the Ages". Having been born in the 60's, I remember the Flower Power Generation and the bright groovy colors and designs that were so popular in the 60's-70's so I used Pucci, one of the most iconic fashion designers of the time as my inspiration. 

I was beyond thrilled when I was contacted by someone wanting to purchase this piece at long last!  I've sold dozens of pieces from my Etsy shop and on my own, but never a "big" statement piece like this.  I guess I even wondered if there was a market for such a thing and whether I could play in that market.  But of course it couldn't be a simple as someone loving and buying the piece as is, no muss, no fuss, cash in hand.  Toss in a language barrier from a customer half way around the world, and the difficulty I have in taking a firm stand on my art and its worth...and I had a bit of a panic.  She said she wanted the necklace "lengthened" and I said easy peasy how long do you need it (assuming she meant around her neck).  Well after a couple art sessions where we sent drawings back and forth, I finally figured out that she indeed wanted the front bib part of the necklace or "the drop" longer.  A total of 10" instead of 6".  Yipes. 

 It took me the better part of an evening to figure how I might acheive that and how much I would charge to make that significant a change.  And that was only after I allowed myself to think it was OK to basically make this finished piece into something completely different.  Well, I knew I had to take the backing and edging off to start with.  
Then I drew the addition onto a piece of stiffened felt (my bead embroidery medium of choice), and began beading the addition using all the original colors (size 11 Czech opaques) in the same patterns.  With that finished I needed to join the original backing with the new backing and complete the beading to make it look seamless.
There was only a small gap between the original and the addition, but that was easily covered with more beading.  Then I recovered the entire back with a layer of interfacing and tan ultra-suede and did the edge beading (a variety of a brick stitch with size 8 white beads). 
I had originally had a beaded "chain" for around the neck, but I needed to make it just a little more substantial for all that extra weight.  So I redid the single chain into a modified right angle weave triple "chain" and reattached it to the closure I had made and the edge beading on the bib.  
Pucci Inspired Bib Necklace Redux!

And with a huge sigh of relief, I created a pair of earrings to match.
So my Pucci Inspired Collar has been transformed and is making its way to Saudi Arabia to a happy girl who I shamelessly tried to set up with my still single son.  I'll keep you posted!  On the collar, that is.  ;~)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Battle of the Beadsmith Update

At long last I can reveal the piece I created for an incredible challenge called "Battle of the Beadsmith". 80 talented beaders from all over the globe were asked to push the boundries of their beading. To see the mindblowing beaded art created for the battle, check out

I have honestly been amazed at the generosity, camaraderie, support, friendly and witty banter, and all around just plain niceness of all the competitors. We're all humans...and artists at that! And I count so many of the competitors among my bead goddesses and gods that I am beyond overwhelmed at being included. And seriously, creating and finishing my Boho bag, while one of my favorite creations to date, quickly took a back seat to admiring all the immense talent and fabulous beaded art showcased here.

Paisley Garden Boho Beaded Bag

Inspiration: "Boho" is an abbreviation of bohemian, meaning someone who doesn’t conform to society and is often focused on art; someone who wears unique clothes and holds art as their focus above all else. Boho-chic is a fashion style drawing on various bohemian and hippie influences with flowing lines, flowers, fringes and freedom. My Paisley Garden Boho Beaded Bag embodies the spirit and style of Boho. Paisley prints figured prominently in the fashion of the late 60’s and early 70’s among the “hippie” generation, as did anything “flower power”. The lush fringe on the bag is also a throwback to the leather vests and bags of that time that sported fringe from every seam. Using freeform bead embroidery gives this beaded bag a casual feel but is just as comfortable with jeans and a tee-shirt, a peasant blouse and layered skirt, or the perfect little black dress.

Purse Details:
Approximately 100 total hours
Material is cotton broadcloth backed with heavy interfacing
Bag is 7” wide and 8” tall and 3” deep. Weight 14oz.
Fringe hangs down 2.75” Total drop with fringe 14.5”
Purse strap is embellished peyote 1.5” wide and 14.5” long.
Purse charm with lampwork bead doubles as a bracelet and creates a sweet tinkle.
Antique brass magnetic snap closure.
Bead materials: Miyuki 8/o seed beads in silver-lined bright green and iris purple for strap. Swarovski 3mm bicone crystals in olivine, Czech crystals in purple, Czech glass purple dagger beads. Czech glass seed beads in silver-lined olive, light green, deep purple and lavender rainbow; opaque sky blue and lavender. Miyuki 8/o seed beads in Iris purple and matte purple. Fresh-water pearls in white, olive green and iris purple; glass pearls in purple and sky blue. Swarovski rivolis in purple (1-18mm, 2-14mm) and olivine (3-12mm) and a purple “mountain jade” cabochon.
Stitches include peyote on bezels and strap, fringing, cubic right angle weave on bracelet/charm, backstitch embroidery and stack-stitch on bead embroidery.
Bag is completely hand stitched together with a contrasting fabric on the gusset and lining. Thread: cotton for seams, nymo and 4lb Fireline for bead embroidery.

 I have wanted to create a beaded purse for the last year after drooling over the fantastic work of Jo Browne, Nancy Dale, Triz and other artists. When the Battle of the Beadsmith came up, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to push myself to make that bag. I found some fantastic paisley material that I fell in love with and took my cue from the colors and shapes in the material. What I love most about bead embroidery is that I can let it tell me where it wants to go and what shape it wants to be. I didn’t set out to make this shape purse, but that’s the shape it became. Part of me really wanted to do an elegant clutch type evening bag, but this Paisley Garden Boho Bag and I are thrilled to be just what we are!