Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Focusing on Finishing

I'm in a beadweaving frame of mind. Now that I've finished Mikkey's amulet bag, I feel quite free to work on some inspirational pieces. My time is spent in the studio, wearing my work station close-up glasses and under the magnifier as I peer at tiny seed beads. The first piece finished last week was this necklace based on the one featured on the cover of the February 2009 issue of Bead & Button Magazine and designed by Marcia DeCoster:

This was a great instructional project. I learned a new way to do decreasing flat peyote stitch, as well as Ndebele (en-DEB-el-AH), or tubular herringbone, stitch. I've also been itching to practice encasing focal beads with peyote stitch bezels. This one turned out to be a beauty.

The central stone is agatized fossil coral, surrounded with cafe au lait-colored faux pearls and keishi pearls. The drop is peach-colored cubic zirconium. I'm very pleased with the final result. The beads were stitched down to a peyote stitch base, which made a nice, elegant finish.

The necklace rope called for twisted Ndebele.

The final product looks like individual strands of seed beads that were twisted before wearing, but the pattern is woven into a permanently twisted design. The wearer never has to think about pre-twisting before donning the necklace. Sweet! The connecting loops were made with straight Ndebele. The finishing touch is a sterling silver box clasp with a purple glass cabachon.

There was a lot to learn, and lots of practice with each component of the piece. There was also a lot of undoing mistakes!

This is going into my personal collection.
The other piece I finished was my own design.

A spectacular moukite oval bead is the focal point, with a deep, rusty red background and ribbons of yellow, cream, gray, and lavender running through it. The stone is surrounded by a seed bead bezel embellished with micro-faceted sunstone rondelles and keishi pearls. The beads are stitched to a soft, eggplant purple Ultrasuede background fabric - something else I've been wanting to learn for a very long time.

The rope from which the pendant hangs was woven with the twisted Ndebele stitch. The rope colors are a deep cherry red accented with a line of metallic beads ranging from deep gold to purple. The ends of the necklace are embellished with hand stitched beaded bead caps, moukite round beads, and Czech fire-polished crystal beads.

Those beaded bead caps were F - U - N, fun!

Purchasing information for this piece can be found here.


Andrea - Faded Plains said...

Every piece you create is simple amazing!

High Desert Diva said...

Incredibly beautiful. I like your design best!

Snap said...


You are amazing! Such beautiful work. Colors are divine. WOW!

3rdEyeMuse said...

holy smokes! stunning. both pieces, but especially the one that you've decided to keep ... wow!

somepinkflowers said...

i CANNOT believe
i know someone
who has the patience
the talent
to do this amazing art*work...


plus, the eye*sight!

had it right---> holy smokes!
holy smokes times 10!

Artystitches said...

WOW! Stunning peices, you must have sooooo much patience!

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

Wowee Kazowee! I can't believe what you've done. It looks wonderful and sooooo intricate. Watch out for those eyes:). (Aren't workstation glasses the best?!) They are both really wonderful pieces, Kate.

Dee said...

beautiful, absolutely beautiful!! the colors are gorgeous!

rochambeau said...

You are truly and totally amazing with those fingers of yours Kate.
You already know, but must say how much I admire your talent. Which goes in so many directions.
Your design is truly inspired!!

lori vliegen said...

STUN-NING....ABSOLUTELY STUN-NING!!! i'm so glad that you kept the first piece for yourself.....it looks like something that would be fitting for royalty! i hope that you're going to submit these to one of the beading magazines.....they would look fabulous on the cover, don't you think?! :)

TattingChic said...

WOW! This is another gorgeous winner! Thanks for sharing part of the creative process for you! What an absolutely beautiful piece! :)

Isabel said...

WOW...these pieces are AMAZING, Kate!
Your attention to detail is incredible!

Rhonda Roo said...

Well, that tears it. There should be a Shibori Designs on 5th Avenue, or Park. Or in Paris. Or somewhere where all the really good royal jewels or made. Maybe the vatican has a room they arent using.
Or ...maybe a Shibori ball, where you wear potato sacks but truly stunning and exquisite rarefied artjewels around your neck.
I have the perfect shoes....

Gabriela said...

Hello Kate,

This piece is totally "smashing"!

~ Gabriela ~

Fallen Angel Designs said...

Hi Kate, just a quick note to let you know that I picked you as one of my 15 favourite blogs for the 'One Lovely Blog Award' Here is the link to the post so that you can accept the award if you would like to!
LOVE your blog!

Vera said...

Kate, the jewelry you create is always incredible! You've got such gift!

laglass said...

Your work is astonishing! So glad I found you.

Christine said...

Eveytime I see your work I just think how wonderful I would feel to wear such regal pieces! I feel fortunate to have a pair of your earrings:) Now to work on a necklace...:)