I have been wanting to a completely bead embroidered bracelet ever since I started doing bead embroidery but I though the task was too daunting. There was just too much to consider from foundation, what sort of beads to use, how to finish the piece off and everything in between and I didn’t think I had enough skills to get me through the whole thing.
I kept running different scenarios of what kind of bracelet I wanted, what colour I wanted it to be and all that, and how it should be put together in my head but I really had no idea if my theories would work. I used to do that back in school whenever I had to tackle a new garment pattern. I would analyze everything in my head before getting into it and cutting the fabric and seeing how it would react. No matter how thorough I was in my analytical thinking before my practical work, something would always surprise me when I got to actually see the pattern all the way through.
I knew that the best way to know if my way of putting a bracelet together would work was to actually make one and see. Worse comes to worst I would have to take all the beads off and do something else.
For foundation I measured my wrist and then cut a piece of Lacy’s stiff stuff foundation as well as the Ultrasuede I use for my backing and stitched them roughly together. The reasoning behind this was so that if there were gaps in between the beads the black Ultrasuede would be a better option to show through instead of the white fuzz of the Lacy’s stiff stuff and also the black would make the colours on top look more intense.
The whole basis behind the design of this particular bracelet was the fact that I really wanted to use some of these crystal and pearl chains that I had just purchased. Everything else in the bracelet from the cabochons to the rest of the beads were chosen to correspond in particular with the pearl chain. I introduced the crystal chain to the sides of the beadwork because as always I wanted more sparkle. As I always say more sparkle is always better :D
I really took my time with this piece and took it one step at a time. I chose a picture by Derek Nobbs who does these very interesting paintings most of which have a skeletal figures in them and you know how I like skulls. This painting is called “Cicada King”. If you are interested in the artist check out his work at http://dereknobbs.com/
Now I have no love for bugs and insects usually but this painting came closest to the colour scheme I was going with and I also thought it would be an unusual centerpiece for a bracelet that I knew was going to be very elegant and ornate.
I did my bezel work, and then added my beloved pearl chain followed by another row of gold beads. Then it was time to start the sides of the bracelet. I rummaged through my stuff and found these smaller crystal cabs that gave off the most beautiful sparkle. You can see different hues of pink ,gold and little bit of green and magenta, which really picks up on the colours in the cabochon. For continuity I did a simpler variation of the bezel work I had done around the main cabochon around the smaller cab followed by a row of size 8 frosted white beads stacked with a size 15 gold seed bead. Once I was happy with this side I did the same work on the other side.
This was as far as I had planned but when I put the piece around my wrist it was apparent to me that I needed to add some other element to the side and I did have these flat back pearls which went absolutely perfectly.
I have to say I never thought a piece could go so smoothly. It just felt like everything was falling into place, I had all the pieces that could go together well and I have to say out of all the stuff I have made up to now, this piece really was a joy to work on. Even the marguerites, which were added as somewhat of an afterthought to cover the Ultrasuede that was showing through a big gap between the beads, worked out well.
I really wish all pieces worked out as well as this one did for me. After the main part of the beadwork was done I cut around the piece, glued it on top of another piece of Ultrasuede and did a sunshine edge all around the piece. I attached my toggle clasp and did a picot edge around the main cabochon and the piece was done.
LIST OF MATERIALS USED:
- 40x30MM GLASS DOME CABOCHON
- 14x10 FACETED CRYSTAL AB
- 7MM GLASS BASED PEARL
- 3MM WHITE PEARLS
- 4MM TRANSPARENT GOLD FACETED GLASS BEAD FROM THE BEAD GALLERY
- 14PP SWAROVSKI PEARL CHAIN
- 3MM SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL AB CHAIN
- 6MM CRYSTAL AB SWAROVSKI MARGUERITES
- FROSTED TRANSPARENT WHITE SEED BEADS SIZE 8/0
- TRANSPARENT SILVER-LINED GOLD DELICA BEADS SIZE 10/0
- OPAQUE CREAM LUSTER SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0
- DARK SILVER-LINED GOLD SIZE 11/0
- 24KT GOLD FINISHED SEED BEADS SIZE 11/0
- GOLD METAL ROUND SEED BEADS SIZE 15/0
- CREAM LUSTRE SEED BEADS SIZE 15/0
- 24KT GOLD PLATED TOGGLE CLASP
- LACY’S STIFF STUFF
- BLACK ULTRASUEDE
- FIRELINE 0.006 IN CLEAR
- E-6000 GLUE
- CRAFTER’S PICK THE ULTIMATE GLUE
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