Wednesday, September 19, 2007

August BJP Finished

Here's a picture of my Art Nouveau-inspired August Bead Journal page. I had planned to do more around the circle, but after auditioning many ideas in my head/on paper and rejecting them all, I decided maybe that's a sign it's already done. I'd like to use this in a crazy quilt in the future...

Although I haven't done a fully beaded page yet (and may not), it surprised me to read that Robin Atkins begins her Bead Journal Page with a fabric she loves. Then she covers the entire thing. It never occurred to me that the fabric would inspire you along the way, even though it may be completely covered in the end. The fabric I used is a very soft silk blouse I used to wear when I was a "professional woman" (so, now am I just an amateur woman?)
Happy Stitching,
Lin Moon

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Twisted Bead Rope

I've been working more on my August Bead Journal page. I've been adding a twisted rope around the center motif. I knew how to do this around a cabochon, but not on fabric. It's the same idea, though. I wanted to have the twisted rope in a circle, so first I basted the outline of the circle with small stitches. My twisted rope is lavender and blue. First I marked the circle about every 3/8 inch. I started with lavender beads. It took about 4 lavender beads to lie flat on the 3/8 inch, so I added two beads, so that each "stitch" of lavender beads would curve or bow up a little and not lie flat.

After going around the circle with the lavender "stitches", I went back to begin the blue beads. My blue beads were smaller than the lavender ones, so each stitch of blue beads had a few more than the lavender beads. I brought my thread up in the middle of a lavender stitch, BELOW the lavender bow (and not thru any beads). After stringing 8 blue beads, I then inserted my needle in the center of the next lavender "stitch", ABOVE the lavender bow. Viola! It looks like a twisted rope!

On another note, I was given a big box of beads (Lucky me!) Some of the beads were these small hole-less beads with a dark mark that makes them look like a cat eye. These are not the micro-mini beads. What would you use them for? Anyone have any ideas?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Making Molds for Aug BJP

Well I decided I didn't like my thick cabochon maiden's head, so I made a new one. The new one may not look that different to you, but it is about 1/3 of the thickness of the old one and is just the head outline; I didn't like the random shape around the face before. This took a little practice. For one thing, I made a new mold out of polymer clay. Then I used some very soft clay (it came with a cranium game) to practice getting just the head, without any outer part. I must have tried about 10 times to get it right. Then when I switched to the real deal(sculpey), I forgot to dust the mold with a release agent, so that took a few tries. A friend of mine with mold-making experience told me that you first make a rigid mold out of a plaster-like substance, because this substance won't go behind raised portions of the item you are making a mold of and get "locked in" back there. Then you use a rubbery compound and pour that in your rigid mold to get a flexible mold. I was so glad she counseled me, as I was going to pour rubbery stuff around my carved head and might have ruined it.

However, I did buy something called Sculpey Moldmaker(Super Elasticlay). I think you add it to polymer clay to make a more flexible mold. Haven't tried that yet.

Did a little more work on the August BJP embroidery - can you tell it is Art Nouveau inspired?

Happy Beading,
Lin Moon