Bead Embroidery

In April, 2017 I went to a Bead Retreat in Ogunquit, Maine.  It seems fitting that I’ve been home working on one of my favorite new bead ventures: bead embroidery.

In my quest to do everything at once in February of this year I started two big knitting projects and two big beading projects at the same time.  I saw a necklace in the August/September 2018 Beadwork magazine, the “Ethereal Glow Necklace” by Marianna Zukowsky that piqued my interest.  The rope was easy and fun, no problem.  But encircling rivolis with cylinder beads just isn’t my “thing” and I wanted another way to highlight and attach the sparkling green rivolis I’d chosen.  I turned to my craft library and pulled out the book, Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Cloud Eakin.  She has a great chapter on creating a flat base for the back-domed rivolis using clay and glue.  That’s where I discovered the well-known glue called E6000 comes out in snotty streams and sticks to everything.  But using Eakin’s instructions, I was able to make a flat base for eleven rivolis, as I decided to make  two different necklaces.

Making a bead embroidery item is not a quick, overnight project.  You apply an under backing and then an outer backing requiring glue and more glue.  Then there’s all the new stitches to learn, the backstitching and the sunshine edge and maybe a peyote stitch here and there.  For two months I’d pick up the project here and there and work on one aspect and learned to dislike the steps requiring E6000.

But eventually I was ready to attach three green bead embroidered rivolis to the  Ethereal Glow Necklace rope.  But it doesn’t look perfect and I became frustrated and tired of the project.  So I declared it finished and maybe I’ll wear it once or twice.  I call it my learning necklace.  It’s done.

That left eight red bead embroidered rivolis to use in one of Jean Cloud Eakin’s necklaces featured in her book.  But, alas, I’m not feeling anything special about that particular project.  I remembered Sherry Serafini from the 2017 Bead Retreat mentioning  that she often works on components, then puts them in a box and takes them out later, rearranging them for a necklace, earrings or bracelet.  So my little red gems are temporarily filed in a plastic box while I decide on a way to combine them into a pretty necklace.

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