Monday, November 30, 2009

Opal Collar, Step Four

Opal Collar Update
Originally uploaded by satyridae
All the opals are bezeled, or sewn into place using peyote-stitched beaded collars. I've added four amber beads that are shaped like flat discs. It's really hard to see because of the white backing, but three of the central opals now have a row of shimmery white beads around the outside of their bezels as well as a couple of sparkling crystal accents and a few gold beads.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Opal Collar Update

I hoped I'd be able to say that I had all the opals surrounded with cozy little golden bezels tonight. Alas, no. I do only have one to go, so I look forward to posting a real update, with a photo tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Opal Collar, Step Three and a half

An Even Dozen Opals
Originally uploaded by satyridae
I stayed up until after one making bezels. My dad says I was clear as mud in my last entry, so:

To make a beaded bezel around a cabochon, I first sew a ring of beads as close as possible to the stone using the backstitch technique. This is done by picking up three beads on the needle, sewing down past the last bead, then going back under the first bead and coming up again to sew through the last two beads. Once the initial ring of beads is complete, I go through all the beads one more time with the thread. This helps them to line up nicely. Then I work a row of peyote stitch on top of the ring of beads, which means I add a bead on top of every other bead. I continue to work in peyote until I think there is a tall enough collar to hold the cabochon in, then I do a final row of peyote using teeny tiny crystal clear beads. The tiny beads cause the gold beads to fold over and draw together like a drawstring, snugging the stone beneath.

Five more stones to go!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Opal Collar, Step Three

Four Bezels Complete
Originally uploaded by satyridae
Four of the opals are surrounded with peyote stitch bezels worked in size 11/0 Delica beads and tiny clear charlottes. The Delicas are 24K gold plated, and I think they really make the opals look even more full of fire than they looked on their own.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Opal Collar, Step 2

Opal Collar, Step 2
Originally uploaded by satyridae
Once the opals were laid out, I picked some beads that maybe worked with them and poured them out randomly. Some didn't work at all, some cozied right up to the opals and practically sewed themselves on.

After I made the preliminary choices, then I did one of my favorite things- painstakingly teased all the little piles of beads back apart and put them into their individual containers. I can contentedly imagine cleaning up a bead store after an earthquake with a pair of tweezers and a million little containers. Seriously. It may be a sickness.

Opal Collar, Step One

Opal Collar
Originally uploaded by satyridae
I lucked into an old Spice Islands glass jar full of gemstone opal cabochons at an estate sale several years ago. Since I moved all my stuff into the studio, I put the jar full of oil and opals where their fire caught the light. They have been whispering to me lately, and last week I took them out of the oil and started moving them around. They say they'd like to be part of a bead-embroidered collar. Who am I to argue?

I have really enjoyed reading other beaders' blogs which follow their process step-by-step. So much so that I've decided to document the opal collar here. The photo is step one- bare opals on Pellon.

At this moment, I'm leaning toward winter shades, whites and creams and ambers and golds. I'll have to see what the opals think about that. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The New Kids

Tile Assortment
Originally uploaded by satyridae
I was away from home for a solid month, and when I got back, there were so many things to do, blogging sort of fell off of the radar.

The new kids (in the photo) are Scrabble tiles! With altered art images on 'em. They are a lot of fun to make, and I have some listed on etsy.

In beading news, I've just finished a vessel- the first one I have done in a really long time. It felt great to be working around glass again- I found I'd missed it very much. I like making jewelry, and I enjoy making earrings. I love working around vessels, even though that's not what sells.

I have a bracelet in this month's issue of Step by Step Bead magazine. That's the good news. The bad news is that they are folding, so there's nothing more to be gained from that avenue. I wonder what happens to the unused issues of one's subscription- anyone know?

Mostly this update is to say "I'm back!" -like Sam Gamgee said, if you know what I mean.