This picture of Gwen Stefani on the cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine has been hanging on my inspiration wall for about 3 years. So when I saw it was one of the dresses in Good Quill Hunting's Second Annual Haute Couture Beading Contest...I knew I wanted to participate.
This was my very first beaded necklace.
Up until now, I've just made a few bracelets designed by others so I felt a bit intimidated in trying to construct a piece of wearable art primarily from seed beads.
I knew I wanted the piece to ruffle.
Originally, my mind wanted to make many ruffles made up of seed beads, but when my first attempt on a loom took me all day, with only two inches of ruffle to show for it, I knew that wasn't feasible.
I ended up using an idea I saw on the cover of Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher whereby you create a ruffle by adding larger beads to successive rows of herringbone stitch...Eureka!
I started out with much tinier beads (the base is 1.5mm silver squares and the first 8 rows are 15 degree seed beads and charlottes). I added rose montees in some of the central rows to give the piece some luster and some interest -- I wanted the overall piece to shine like Gwen Stefani on that cover...
As you know, if you've been reading along, the rows took a very long time. The piece is 20" long and I almost used up an entire spool of nymo thread while stringing it.
But the length is perfect and looks really great when I put it on. It sits below my collar bone and looks more beautiful than in these pictures. Maybe I'll try to take a picture of myself in the mirror so you could see it on...
The centerpiece/clasp is constructed from a selvedge fabric edge and ruffled using a method from my ribbonwork workshop with Candace Kling.
I then added a rhinestone buckle with vintage enameled flowers in the center and attached them to some Lacy's Stiff Stuff that I had painted a beautiful turquoise. After adding a few dangles, my "clasp" was finished by sewing on hooks and weaving eyes into the edge of the collar.
Phew~! I'm really delighted with it and I'm glad to have met the deadline which is midnight tonight. You can see all of the other entries here -- there should be a final listing in the next day or so. And you might also want to check out Christina's blog, Good Quill Hunting and see her work on her website.
One thing I like about this contest is that I don't have to send my piece anywhere, I just had to submit pictures. That way I can keep my piece right here with me to wear to the grocery store...
This will be my last post for a while. I'm taking a little blogging break over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I'll be back on the 29th.
And thanks for all the great books that were mentioned in the comments of yesterday's post. There are a lot of wonderful recommendations...I have quite a wonderful list next time I go to the library.
Until next time...