Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sort of new finished work for April 2007

Okay, more finished work from the last two months or so... This is what I've been doing while hibernating indoors from all the snow we had! Some of these pieces will be for sale very soon on Etsy and on my website!

This first piece is a set of labradorite cabochons that I got as part of a mixed bag from Fire Mountain Gems. I bezeled each of them with techniques developed by Jamie Cloud Eakin, and then wove Ndebele tubes embellished with freshwater pearls to connect them. The whole piece is attached to two twisted Ndebele ropes and finished with a sterling silver plated clasp.

This bracelet was one of those "Ah-hah!" moments I had while soaking in a hot bath and perusing one of my vintage jewelry books. There was a photograph of a 1950's copper cuff bracelet with two twisted strips down the middle, and I just thought to myself, why not with Sensuede and peyote stitch? It came out pretty good, considering that was the last of my Sensuede...

The inspiration for this piece came from a set of Tiger Eye beads I bought in New York City back in August, that I wound up not even using in the finished piece! Funny how things like that happen... But the seed beads I used for the embroidery were also from that same bead shopping trip. I wasn't sure what to do with the embroidered panels when they were finished, but when I tried the piece on, it was stunning with my black sweater and brown high-heeled boots! I called this piece, "Tiger Drapes".

A piece that was waaaaay long overdue for finishing was this green and brown ruffled collar. I actually started this piece in January of 2006 while visiting Kathy, Kevin, Kady and Kinsey out in Reno. There was NOTHING to do on the five hour flight to Las Vegas... NOTHING! So, I pulled out my beads and bezeled the cabs. I actually finished the actual embroidery back in March of '06, but couldn't figure out what to do for fringe and finishing. It took me months to come up with the idea of - ta-dah! - adding a brick-stitch ruffle to the edges. And then it took me another eight weeks to actually finish the ruffle! I didn't realize how many little seed beads there were on the edge of this piece...

Another piece way long overdue for finishing was this lovely tribal-styled neckpiece I am calling "Azteca". Again, I finished the embroidery sometime around Easter last year while watching "Bride and Prejudice", which was a fantastic movie from the writer/director of "Bend It Like Beckham". But a fringe style just kept eluding me... Finally, I sat down one day with my bamboo tube beads and a few colors of seed beads and spent damn near an entire day strining a few strands of fringe, then deciding that I hated it and tearing it all out. But I think I finally got it right! And one of the best parts is that the natural bamboo tubes make a nice, soft noise when you walk with this piece on... Kind of like the breeze blowing through a garden...

The name for this piece, "Who's Getting Married?" is what Tom said when he saw me finishing it! I really believe that what you watch on t.v. or listen to on the radio has some kind of influence over your designs as you are working, and while designing and stitching this piece, I watched the Matt Damon/Heath Ledger film, "The Brothers Grimm" over and over and over. I think a little bit of the raw grace from the film rubbed off on the design. I used moonstone rondelles, tiny opal chips, and mother of pearl flowers. Again, the fringe was the hardest part, but I finally found a delicate pattern that wouldn't take away from the embroidery.

>WHEW!< Think that's enough? I've got a few more projects now to finish up, and it's getting really cold here in my basement office! (We've GOT to fix the heat down here!) Coming soon, four more pieces! (What's my husband's name again?)