Special Beading Projects

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Beaded piece to go on a candle for our dear friend Maria. Gold seed beads are used to trace outlines on white brocade fabric. An Orthodox cross is created using natural freshwater pearls.

I’ve felt for a long time that I have waaaaay too many crafting interests.  Growing up, my room was basically a storage area for a jumble of craft supplies–some of which related to each other, but many of which did not.  Now, in my own home, my studio is starting to feel the same way.  I’ve been thrashing around the last two years, trying to figure out where I really want to spend my time and money where crafting is concerned, and what I should be focusing on in my Etsy shop.  I think I’ve finally found my direction, and it’s beading.  I love textiles and I love beads, and I think the two can be combined to make some really beautiful crowns, candles, and other projects.  Like most crafts over the years, I’m teaching myself how to do this, relying heavily on a book that I came across one day at the library.  I’m practicing every chance I get, learning as I go, and getting better with every bead I stitch. Below are some examples of that I’ve been working on lately.

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Custom Etsy Order: Antique Grace

For this custom Etsy order, I used candles provided by the customer and pinned my 12-inch beaded piece onto the candles.  The candles themselves were beautiful, 18- and 24-inches.  Getting the cloth onto the candles was something of a challenge because of their wide circumference, but I managed it in the end.

Regular 12-inch candle next to the decorated 24- and 18-inch candles.

Regular 12-inch candle next to the decorated 24- and 18-inch candles.

The beaded piece for my 12-inch "Antique Grace" candles.

The lightly beaded piece for my 12-inch “Antique Grace” candles.  The fabric comes from a dress.

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Angela’s Candle

This was created by request for Angela, a good friend.  It was my first attempt at serious beading, and I was so pleased with how it came out.  Thankfully, Angela was happy, too. 🙂

Cream brocade fabric with old-gold braid trim, and gold seed beads to create the crosses.

The piece laid flat before pinning it onto the candle.

The piece laid flat before pinning it onto the candle.

On  the candle.

On the candle.

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I beaded the cross separately--this was my first attempt, which I ended up not using because the footrest was too high.

I beaded the cross separately–this was my first attempt, which I ended up not using because the footrest was too high.

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Wedding Card

When Shaun cleaned out about 50 years of junk from our attic last fall, one of the few treasures he found was a small roll of embossed cream wallpaper.  When we needed a wedding card for a friend, I decided to bead a square of the wallpaper in one of her colors.  It was more difficult than I had anticipated, and I quickly learned that beading on paper (especially something really heavy like wallpaper) is very different and more unforgiving than beading on cloth.  In spite of all that, I am pleased with how it turned out, and I hope our friend is, too.

I lost track of exactly how long it took to bead this, but I think it was around 10 hours.

The finished piece was mounted on a folded piece of cardstock.  It was a snug fit in the envelope!

The finished piece was mounted on a folded piece of cardstock. It was a snug fit in the envelope!

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Maria’s Candle

This candle features the piece that I used as the opening photo for this post.  I wanted to do something special for Maria and build on what I had learned from Angela’s candle.  First I stitched the cross into the fabric using natural freshwater pearls, and then traced the outline of one of the brocade leaves and a vine in gold seed beads to frame the cross.

In this project I learned a very important lesson–that what you bead flat does not necessarily look the same when it is wrapped against something round.

I think this took about 6 hours to bead.

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Finished!

Finished!

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Upcoming project:  Beaded Vintage Lace crowns

I don’t have any beaded crowns yet, but I am working on a set!  I found a roll of pretty vintage lace in a thrift store, and am working on beading it.  I hope to make them customizable in color.

Coming soon!  Shown in gold.

Coming soon! Lace embellished with gold seed beads and tiny glass pearls.

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Thanks for looking!  Check out my Etsy shop for more examples of my work.

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