Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bead Embroidery Book Reviews

This is by no means comprehensive but I have recently acquired 3 books on the subject of bead embroidery. It is my intent to put on a small bead embroidery workshop for some of my students and these books are research for that event. In no particular order they are:

Art of Bead Embroidery

Bead Embroidery

Designer Bead Embroidery

All three have excellent photos and illustrations. "The Art of Bead Embroidery" is geared towards beading jewelry for collars, pendants and bracelets. "Bead Embroidery" is like a sampler book with patterns to use while learning the effects of different stitch and bead types. It's great as a library of stitches and should prove very useful for technique instruction. "Designer Bead Embroidery" is written with clothing embellishment in mind. Because of that it takes into account laundering needs and durability for wear. Its designs have less 'wow' factor than those in "Art" but the functionality information makes it a more than worthwhile investment. So basically, I have three books with very different but equally great technique ideas, one that is huge for inspiration, one that is perfect for practice work and instruction and one that addresses the unique challenges one encounters with beaded dance costumes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And the Green Monster Sparkles On...

This is how the leaves start- micro suede, rhinestone strands and beaded whip stitches.

Then they get filled in with sead beads, bugles and sequins.

Here you see them against the Green Monster skirt fabric. There is a distressing lack of contrast between one super sparkly surface and the next. I will be debating options on bead choice for the stitches that will be used to attach the leaves to the finished skirt. I'll thread some beads up and lay them next to the two fabrics to decide. I'm thinking that clear iridescent beads might be bright enough as they'll look kind of white like the rhinestones in the center of the leaf. Once the leaves are mounted to the skirt, I plan to sew a dime sized AB crystal or slightly smaller blue button like the ones used in the center medallion to the point of the leaf. Then I will hang a few strands of fringe from it :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bead Hypnosis

I've been beading up a storm lately. Something about the light reflecting off the varying surfaces entrances me. Leads me to just keep beading... It's a good thing too because man have I set myself up with a project. Above you see what I hope to make into the center medallion of a dance costume bra. I've since replaced the center copper piece with a very shiny rhinestone covered button since it goes better with the rest of what I'm doing. The bead diagram you see on the left is some plotting I was doing for bead looming. I want to loom some beads for the waist band, extra waist straps, halter strap and extra (asymmetrical) top straps. I'll scan my drawings and new bead progress for another post. Anyway, this costume is currently planned to have cutouts which intimidate the heck out of me, beaded palm leaf thingies and a beaded waist band and hip straps. I can only hope my interest lasts and so does my collection of beads... I'm having a ball but I'm notoriously short on attention span ;)