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!