Ra, Roth & Khepri

I’m somewhat ashamed to see how little I’ve posted over the last year or so, and I’m determined to change that, so be prepared for a flurry of posts as I catch up and tell you about what I’ve been up to.

First I need to tell you about my entry for this year’s Beadworker’s Guild Annual Challenge.  The theme was ‘Jewels of the Nile’ – we were lucky enough to visit Egypt some years back, and Dr Indecisive Beader and I have always both been fascinated by all things Egyptological.   I think my addiction stemmed initially from a desire to be Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s ‘Death on the Nile’ (one of my favourite authors), and my more recent discovery of Elizabeth Peter’s ‘Amelia Peabody’ series has maintained my fascination long after the trip, so having said I’d have a year off after my win last year with Great Dixter, I immediately changed my mind as that theme was too ‘me’ to resist.

As usual this piece went through many aborted starts, abandoned designs and lots of iterations, many of which will reappear as new pieces over the next few months.   In the end I focused on using my own cabs (poured specifically for this piece), lots of different bead embroidery and beadweaving techniques (including goldwork and three different beaded ropes) and a very wide assortment of new and vintage beads to make a classic, component based collar.  I was really happy with the finished result – it’s quite eyecatching!

So here it is – Ra, Roth and Khepri (Sun, Moon & Scarab)

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The wide collar section shows the day – Ra as the hot noon sun, with Khepri the scarab pushing the warm, coral setting sun and the cool, jade rising sun, connected by blue sky.

The strung blue sky continues into the counterweighting night section, with added ropes of golden stars supporting a deep hung pendant, showing the full and crescent moons of Roth on a goldwork barque.  

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Either Ra or Roth can be worn at the front, to suit your outfit (Roth looks amazing hanging above a backless dress).

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Materials – custom handpainted cabochons (by me); Swarovski, Preciosa & vintage crystals; vintage cup chain; Miyuki beads; Czech shaped beads; felt, ultrasuede; goldwork purls, leather, handmade gold hook clasps.

Techniques – bead embroidery, goldwork embroidery, peyote, netting, stringing, CRAW, DCRAW, DRAW.

Sadly no prize for me this year (but I’ve brought home a prize for the last two years, and hadn’t even entered prior to that so I really can’t complain) – you can see all of the amazing entries on the guild site here if you’re interested.  But I have a lovely piece, have worked out how to include goldwork techniques in bead embroidery, and have lots and lots of leftover components to make even more loveliness, including this necklace which is nearly done, so I’m going to count it as a personal win at least!

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In my Folksy Shop

A while back I decided to make life easier for myself by taking my faster moving items (tutorials and materials packs) out of my Folksy shop, basing them solely on Etsy.  That way I didn’t have to fret about the materials packs being sold in two places at once, or manually e-mailing out the tutorials.  This was particularly important because most of my customers are over in the States, and tend to buy things while I’m asleep!

But because my Etsy shop is busy, it’s kind of sucked up my attention, and I’ve rather neglected my Folksy shop.  This is a shame, because it’s got some lovely pieces in, and they deserve a good home!  And they could probably also do with some new friends from the legion of half finished or finished but undocumented works which are cluttering up my new storage (more on that another day).  So I’m going to be working on refreshing the shop over the next few months, and thought I would start by reminding myself (and you) about some of the lovely pieces in there, starting with my Egyptian Collar.

A few years ago (OK a lot of years ago since it was pre children and the oldest boy is nearly 8) we went to Egypt.  This was the result of a long obsession by both myself and Dr. Indecisive Beader with all things Egyptological, and it’s inspired quite a few pieces in the years following.  This necklace was inspired by the amazing collars we saw both for real and in various paintings.  And as a special offer it is currently reduced from £75 to £60.

Egyptian Collar £60

The collar forms part of my ‘minerals’ series – pieces focussed around a central stone. The stone in the collar is a lovely matte Chrysocolla, and it’s captured with Miyuki delicas, then joined onto a herringbone band, which uses changes in bead size to form a flat, circular collar which sits really nicely round the neck.