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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Playing with bright colours

I’ve been a little short on beady mojo lately – I have some big pieces and tutorials that are nearly done, I keep having to restock my materials packs and I’m plenty busy, but because I’m procrastinating about some of those things I don’t feel I want to start any big new designs of my own.  But I do want to bead, and I want to bead really really bright.  So I dug out one of my favourite books, and knocked up a couple of pieces in very summery colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The book is Sabine Lippert’s Beaded Fantasies, and I’ve made my favourite ‘Granada’ brooch, and a necklace which is new to me called Art Deco Necklace.  Sabine is an incredible designer, and I’ve made tonnes of her pieces, and it’s been really nice to return to the first book of hers that I bought and bash out some simple, quick and very wearable projects.

Obviously I love making Granada, as I’ve made it at least twice before, and I really enjoyed Art Deco too.  Sabine’s patterns are always easy to work from, and although they are a bit condensed and harder to follow in the book than in her individual self-published tutorials (presumably because there is a lot less space in a book), the diagrams are good and I didn’t really have any problems.

And though I say it myself, I LOVE my colours!  All the beads were from my stash as these were spur of the moment projects, and I especially love the neon coral 6mm Swarovski Pearls, which I got on sale from Stitch n Craft, the Crystal Light Coral Swarovski Rivoli (also Stitch N Craft), the 3mm milky lime bicones from Robin’s Beads, and in the necklace, the neon red matte rounds from Creative BeadCraft (must buy more….).

And I’ve also used another excellent Stitch n Craft find, a brooch back with bail, which will enable me to wear the Granada as either a pendant or a brooch.