When I thought of the name for this blog post, I started giggling to myself. (OK. Well not just to myself but there was no one else to hear me so...)
Yes. It's true. I have been winging it. And in more ways than one.
And puh-lease! To think that I even thought I would be finished this butterfly by yesterday...what was I thinking? Obviously, I wasn't. That's just my eternal optimism at work...
Of course, I have never stitched a beaded stumpwork butterfly. Given that, you would think I would have assumed extra time for the learning curve and the detours I would need to take as I tried to figure it out.
Nope. Not me. In fact, I really thought I would be finished this entire Breakfast at Tiffany's piece by now...didn't you?
I know you did. It's OK. You can admit it. "What's taking her so long??"
I know. After all, I only have the butterfly and a few more stumpwork flowers, right?
Well, my friends, let me just tell you if you don't know already, that stumpwork takes a loooong time. Even longer when you choose the wrong thread...
I stitched the lower wing with the Kreinik #4 very fine braid...and hated it. It was too chunky...too "trashy"-looking for my refined Tiffany brooch. OK, maybe that's the snob in me coming out, but I just needed a finer edge than what the Kreinik braid gave me.
And. Since I had "used up" that wing, that meant I had to fuse more fabric, print another pattern, hoop up a new set of wings and stitch down the wire.
Which...takes a bit of time.
Then..I stayed up too late working one night, trying to make some progress...using one strand of a dark grey silk floss. It looked great at midnight.
That was...until the next morning when I woke up and realized everything I had done the night before looked terrible. I had stitched over the same places multiple times, stitched too far outside the wire, and even skipped whole sections of the wire. Oh well. Let me just say, that couching one strand of floss over a tiny wire is best reserved for the daylight hours. Honestly, natural light makes a huge difference!
Well...long story short, you can see that I've only beaded one wing. And I know it will take me quite a bit of time to bead the three others.
I will say that I'm delighted with the overall look that is shaping up. And I am very grateful for having a source of vintage beads like the 18/0 rhodium beads and the 22/0 silver-lined which I bought from Beadcats...
In the picture they look pretty dark and discolored. But when stitched onto the organza with a white thread, they give the overall "brooch" a beautiful, antique quality which will go nicely with the antique diamond stickpin that Sheila sent me which I'm using for the thorax. It's just that only about 50% of the 22/0 beads actually fit over my size 15 beading needle. So I spend a lot of time trying and rejecting, and trying and rejecting.
Well. I guess my lesson for today is...winging it takes time. Especially, when you have no idea whether it will all come together and work in the end.
Wouldn't it stink if, after I get the wings beaded and I attach the wings to the piece, it just doesn't work???
Oh. Let's not think about that, shall we?
Tomorrow I'm taking the bus to New York City for the day to go shopping in the garment district with my friend Shirlee. It's supposed to rain all day so I won't be taking the good camera...I will, however, take the point-and-shoot and try to capture some of the day to share.
Happy day everyone and just remember...
Winging it is wisky business.
Whiskey? I don't really drink it...but it might be time to start.