All my beading to date has been with women in mind. But this single-gender-ness got me to thinking. What about the guys?
If you look in the beading magazines and project books, anything targeted as being for men is simple and, well, boring. A strip of leather. A silver clasp. Done. I don’t think men are quite so simplistic.
So, as another self-imposed (I was about to say self-inflicted, but these were too much fun to make to get the “inflicted” designation) design challenge, I created something I though men might wear.
These are three-prong herringbone, made with Toho 8° triangles. Supple but not drapey. Cord-like. When Prince Charming saw them, they got a big thumbs up.
While not for everyone, they are for someone.
I decided to give myself a challenge on this brooch – that being to use something besides the standard seed and bugle beads.
To that end, once the face was bezeled, I dug through the bead bins and added some lovely red triangles. These are the two-hole triangle beads, I think Czechmates, rather than the single hole triangles from Miyuki and Toho. They give a nice aura around the face.
Then it was what to do with the rest. She was looking a little too monochromatic, and a bit too amusing in a pierrot-esque way. The twisted bugles and large mustard colored seeds solved that.
The back is finished like all my brooches – pin back and faux suede.
Just as there’s been precious little sewing until Sewing Camp, there has also been precious little beading going on. It’s only been in the past month or so I’ve been able to return to the beading table.
While I haven’t started any new projects, I have been able to finish some that have been “in the works” for quite a while.
I don’t usually tend to make things using identifiable or semi-precious stones, but these caught my eye. They are snowflake jasper I found at a lapidary shop.
I fiddled around, trying to figure out what to do with them; the irregular shapes were what attracted me, but didn’t make deciding on a finished project easy at all. I auditioned various accent colors, looking for something that would pop. The focals were interesting, but lacked zing.
The brooch was the first piece I finished. I liked the various magentas and pinks. Then I bezeled the other three cabs, but had no idea what to do with them. So they sat. Lost and forlorn, waiting for inspiration to strike. I wish I could take as long a holiday as inspiration took!
That said, inspiration finally returned, and I put the remaining three cabs together into a necklace. As a group, they remind me of something you might find in Victorian times. Dark, but not the total black of mourning. Maybe a little wicked. Maybe something Mr. Hyde would have given to his mistress. Maybe something she would have taken for herself.
I saw these little ceramic owls in the discard pile at the local bead shoppe (aren’t all bead stores a shoppe?) and knew they deserved better. They were just laying there, asking for some passer-by to please give a hoot about them. That was me. Hoot! Hoot!
They were so full of color and personality they didn’t need much to make them soar.
I pulled the primary colors of the spiral focal from the owls – bright red, mauve and baby blue. The rest of the necklace is a lovely dove grey which compliments the brightness of the owls. I’m not enough of a bird watcher to know if owls and doves coexist in the wild, but in beading they certainly do.
This bracelet was an experiment in free-form weaving. Not free form as in absent warp and weft, but free form as in design. I had no plan when I started, other than it should be dark and goth-like.
It was intended as a gift for someone, but alas, I have not yet perfected sizing my loom pieces, and it fell short of her wrist. Pooh!
That said, I remain pleased with it. The clasp is pleasantly hefty and solid, the woven band is nicely tactile. With the sizing exception, it turned out well.
The black background highlights the Mardi Gras colored design, with it’s peaks and ogees.
This bracelet reminds me of the small forget-me-not flowers I used to see as a child. They were always one of the first harbingers of Spring, popping up to remind one there was sunshine and warmth and longer days ahead.
The green base is bead woven on a loom. I liken it to the stems and leaves of the flowers. It was then enhanced with matte periwinkle circles, each one dotted with a yellow center. A tiny blue picot surrounds the edge, and protects the warp and weft from wear. (Try saying that three times fast!)
Shhh! Don’t tell, but this is a birthday present for a dear friend who is an awesome gardener. I hope she likes it.
Or something to that effect. It’s been a while since I’ve ready Edgar Allen Poe, still his writing does stick with one.
This necklace is for no particular reason other than finding some very uniaue Day of the Dead pewter bird skulls. If you look closely at the photo below, you can even see they’re decorated with bas relief rosettes. How cool is that!
The focal is a mix of shiny and black matte beads, with small pops of color to keep the piece lively rather than funereal. Digging through the stash unearthed (pun intended) some pewter skulls which are randomly strung on the neck strap.