Musings of a Designer on Jewelry, Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Knitting, Running a Crafty Business, Movie Costumes, Books, Art, Design, Steampunk & the Geek Girl Life

Monday, July 02, 2007

The 2007 Bead Journal Project: June Finished & July Begun!

Here is my finished June entry for the 2007 Bead Journal Project! (For those who are interested, here's a link to June: Part I )I was going to do arabesques in seed beads over the whole background to go with the gold background stamping, but decided I liked it in it's minimal form. So I left it with the beads accenting the power of the picture rather than encrusting it. Then I whipstitched the card stock and felt together loosely in a smoky non-competitive shade. I like the curly edge it gave - the perfect portrait "frame".

Later that same day ......... whoops! I accidentally made a pot of English Breakfast tea late at night (instead of relaxing chamomile) so .. decided while I was going to be wired until dawn to get a jump on my July entry. I discovered the most memorizing picture of Mary Magdalene from 1490 C.E. by Perugino and was embroidering this lovely cross as a neckpiece for the card stock image, but things kept expanding and now this will be the bodice of an angel in another Perugino piece. But, fear not! The sublime Mary Magdalene piece will be saved and used for August. I still need to paint and embellish the angel piece, but started with the cross, since it encompassed a lot of firsts for me: Lacy's Stiff Stuff, ultrasuede and picot edging stitch.

Voila! Here is the finished cross element! Now, I'd like to share a few things learned during the long night:

1) Thanks to Mary Timme for the hints on doubling up thread and passing through bead rows a number of times to steady a line. Worked great! Thanks Mary!

2) Lacy's Stiff Stuff and ultrasuede are magical materials that make embroidery painless and dare I say it? .... easy. I do wish the Stiff Stuff came in other colors though.

3) Regarding embroidery books aimed at beginners ..... great for stitches, but not nearly enough detail on finishing edges and backs! Maybe it only applies to jewelry where the back is to be seen. I didn't like how the picot edge added mass to the design ... changed the whole look. How else can edges be neatly finished? Also discovered that the ultrasuede and thread should be similarly colored unless I like looking at ugly colored stitches on the backside and that large knots on the back of the Stiff Stuff makes for a very lumpy backside. I work very hard at practicing and mastering new skills and know these are just steps on the road to what I envision my bead embroidery art to be!


sammy said...

I do hope you get some answers to your question on how close to bead at the edge... I also hate the looks of the backing to show thru...
Am very curious about your June project... did you bead on cardstock... or is your picture printed onto fabric and then you backed it to the cardstock when finished beading? This is so new to me, this beading on fabric... And I so love your cross you have done so far...

Sunni said...

I love your June piece and can't wait to see how your July piece comes out. It sounds wonderful.
I too would like to know if your beading right onto card stock and if so what brand?
I hope its ok with you, I am adding you to my list of blogs to track so I can keep up with your beautiful work.

Robin said...

Bravo on finishing June and starting July all at once! The Lady with One Pearl Earring is lovely, and I totally love the beaded cross. Regarding your questions... I don't bead on stiff stuff or ultrasuede, but I'm going to address finishing issues on my blog soon. Some of the other June pieces are shown finished with the beads right out to the edge. Have you seen those?

Angela said...

EZ-Felt (a stiffened felt is available in colors and works a lot like Lacy's. Another option to add color to Lacy's is permanent markers.
When I do a piece that is going to be cut out I usually leave my top piece larger than I am going to want and bead as close to the edge that I want as possible and then cut out the top piece leaving a gap of around 1/8th of an inch or so.
Once I have adheared the backing on I whip stitch the layers together.
Some times I leave it like this, sometimes add beads off my outermost beads or do a picot or other decorative edge. If you are doing the later you do not need to whip stitch.
One thing I have learned so far is that there is no end to the learning and no one way to do anything. Everyone will do things the way that works best for them or gives them the look that they want.
Keep up the good work your June page is beutiful and I like how July is looking, can't wait to see the angel that it goes with.

LJ said...

Turned out fabulously! The frame is just perfectly suited to the picture, so beautiful, and I think you've beaded exactly enough!
By the way, have you heard of "Print on Cotton" "Print on Silk" and "Print on Organza".
I'm probably the last in the world to discover these inkjet printing wonders, but I thought I'd share. Not to promote any particular supplier, but has these and they look wonderful.

Monica Yvette said...

Beautiful bead work! I agree that sometimes less is more. Well done, and thanks for you sweet comment.

Lois B said...

Oh, she looks so beautiful! I really like how the edges came out, and you chose the perfect colors to compliment the piece.

Lacy's Stiff Stuff takes fabric paint really, really well. I usually just slather it on, whatever color I'm wanting, let it dry and iron it through a pressing cloth to set the color. For backing showing on the edges I either bead over it or just take a fabric marker of the appropriate color and color it in. I do the same for threads that show around the edges of beads or on the backing. I've found that markers can make thread mistakes pretty much invisible, and that's invaluable to me, who makes so many mistakes. :- P

My favorite reference for edge treatments is the book Beading With Cabochons by Jamie Cloud Eakin. You might really like her pointed edge treatment for your crosses... maybe. But there is just a goldmine of information in there.

As far as attaching Stuiff Stuff to ultrasuede, a lot of folks like E-6000 for this. It's super smelly, but it dries flexible and inert. Me, I like an adhesive called Weldbond which is found at some hardware stores and at stained glass supply stores. Many people use it for mosaiac tile work. It will bond pretty much anything, dries flexible and looks just like white craft glue. And it does not give off deadly toxic fumes.

I hope this was of help to you. I always figure, anything that works it the right thing, and I'm still discovering better ways to work.

a2susan said...

I believe lacy's stiff stuff does come in colors now. You may have to look around for it, but i've seen it in orange, red, black as well as the standard white.

Any Smith said...

I love the way you used an image and used beads sparsely. I think that is truly representative of an artist's journal page.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Judi D said...

What a beautiful page, the edging is perfect....great piece.

Gracie said...

Thats fantastic! I enjoyed the book too. I love your pieces they're lovely.

I love using ribbon for many things. And I think I'm going to display my earrings on ribbon now too.

Jamie said...

Heather these are beautiful!! The finished piece is perfect! I love the cross piece also. You are good with a needle and thread girl! I can't answer any of your questions, but I can admire your talent:) Love, Jamie

Lillian said...

I love your finished piece! I especially love the way you did the edging! I'm working on paper also and have been wondering about finishing techniques (also new to this) Thanks for sharing all the info about putting it together :o)
Lillian in WA

Mary Timme said...

Robin is so good at finishing techniques and even has a book out on that particular subject. I'm waiting to glean more from her up coming post on the subject.
Whip stitching the edge is a good way to do it. Pellon Ultra 70 is less expensive and a good stiffner also. I've used felt as well. I also use a fabric marker that can be set with heat for coloring both stiffners and I use the paper backing or I use it as a picture that is my guide and stiffner on the front. Most photo copy places use pH Balanced inks for your photo copy. Sometimes I bead up to the edge, but I like to have a little room for nudging the edge so Many, many times I'll leave room. You mark over it with colored pens and 1/16 of an inch is hardly visible in the over all. One friend who sells at Thirtheen Moons Gallery in Santa Fe told me it is better to not crowd beads at the ends. I've followed her advice.
Hope that helps. Oh, and the original advice I gave you about material is a conglomeration of things I learned as well as a lot of it being from Robin. It isn't just me.

m i c h e l l e said...

What incredibly gorgeous work Heather! I am in awe!

Nerissa said...

Wow, beautiful pieces. I love the cross.

freebird said...

Your beadwork is a very nice addition to the printed picture. Turned out great. And being later to seeing it I got to learn from all your other commenters. Aren't we so lucky?

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

Love the girl with the pearl earring!!! I really enjoy the beautiful simplicity of this page, you will teach me a thing or two about "not going overboard" as my work most often does. Sometimes, I don't know when to stop! lol