Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winging It

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.

26 comments:

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

so is Mood in the fashion district or is there a fabric district in NYC??? i would love to go to Mood...beam me in Scotty!

so...wingin' it....i woulda been laughing too. i like the looks the dogs give me!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the butterfly, it will be gorgeous!

What brand hoop are you using? It looks sturdy and comfy in the hand.

Gerry Krueger said...

How cheeky to take the day off and leave us all in suspense... I can certainly understand unrealistic goals.... I have UFOs dating to 2000..... But you have all of us keeping track of you... Hugs Ger

Anonymous said...

Did someone say New York?! I LOVE to go shopping there! For beads, you have to hit 6th Ave. between 36th & 39th. There's Toho Soji bet. 36 & 37, a new bead store across the street (odd side of 6th) that opened in June around 37th or so (can't miss it -- big clean storefront & has NY in the name?), and then 3 or 4 bead stores lined up in a row in the little block between 38th & 39th (east side/even side of the street). And hop a block or so over to Beads World on Broadway, bet. 38th & 37th. Don't forget Tinsel Trading (for vintage stuff) at 37th & 5th. (Tell the clerk with multiple cats that the woman who told her about the Contact paper on the new sofa sent you, LOL!) Good bread/bagel lunch place on the corner of 37th & 5th, too. And what used to be Phoenix beads is just west of Tinsel, same side of the street. They changed their name in the last year & I don't remember the new name. But walk out of Tinsel, turn right (towards 6th), and the bead place is about 2 or 3 doors down -- can't miss it -- big windows & lots of beads!

Oh, a new trim store also opened in June, across from Joyce Trim -- on 38th St. just west of 6th. Joyce is one of the first places on the right as you walk west on 38th, and the new B&Q (second location for them) is almost right across from Joyce Trim. Joyce is on the north side of the street & B&Q is on the south. A stone's throw from M&J Trim, too!

HAVE FUN! Leave some stuff for the rest of us, tho. :)

Anonymous said...

To Vicky -- Yes, Mood is on the 3rd floor at 225 W. 37th St. in NY, between 7th & 8th Ave. Three floors of "let me roll around in those bolts all day" fun! Great trims & buttons, too. Zippers for 50 cents! And of course Swatch the mascot dog, who likes getting his ears skritched. And a ladies' room, essential for mid-town shopping marathons. :) Mood has a website, but it's nothing like being there in person.

The Fashion District in NYC is roughly 5th or 6th Ave. to 8th Ave., and 35th St. to 40th St. -- give or take. I've had trips where I've hardly been able to get off 38th or 39th St. between 7th & 8th Aves. all week, there are that many fabric & trim & notion places to hit!

Anonymous said...

Toho Shoji is the name of the bead place -- pardon the typo. Brain left me & went to NYC all by itself! LOL

Momma Bear said...

oooh! so worth the stops and starts! can't wait to see the wascally thing!)

Anonymous said...

Three more places in NYC I'd recommend:

Grayline Linen at 260 W. 39th St. -- nothing but linen (all weights) & prices are great. At the end near 8th.

New York Elegant Fabric at 222 W. 40th St. -- you name it, they have it. Swatches of most stuff available right on the bolt.

Lace Star at 215 W. 40th -- imported laces & brocades to. die. for. I give myself one splurge there every trip, even if it's only 1/4 of a yard of something!

maneki said...

The wings look lovely! I do bead embroidery and I want to learn how to do stumpwork (one day when I have the patience to sit down and do something slow and meticular as needlework) so this it's really inspiring to see this butterfly being born. Can't wait to see it finished!

(I've got tiny beads from Bead Cats and Empyrean Beads too. It's a fun thing to show non-beaders after they've seen my jewellery made using 11/0 seeds, a bead size they often think is tiny. Then I show them a bag of "grains of sand"...)

Shirlee Fassell said...

Great NYC tips... The wings are going to be fierce..

Saturday Sequins said...

Having a project take longer than expected definitely wings a bell with me!

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

I'm sure your project will turn out beautifully, though -- no matter how much time it takes. :)

Createology said...

Safe Travels and have a wonderful day of shopping with your friend and enjoying NYC. Maybe it will be good to let the beading and stitching sit for a day. Your beaded wing is gorgeous. "It takes as long as it takes!" Period end of it...

Wendy said...

Oh goodness me, that is going to be stunning! I can hardly wait to see the finished butterfly! Winging it seems to have agreed with you.....

Carol said...

OMGosh! Anonymous gave you your itinerary!! You are going to have a ball!

The wings are fab!

Marjolein said...

It goes often like that, you think "I can do this or that today", but alas, it takes much more time. I think it is typical for handwork. And it doesn't really matter. We do this for fun, don't we?

MosaicMagpie said...

Make it on the rocks! Keep a positive attitude. The butterfly will not only work it will be beautiful!
Deb

Elizabeth said...

But the way you wing it is wonderful !!!! Love how it is coming out and it will be glorious!! can't wait to hear about your trip!!
I hope that your sun prints arrived! I have posted several sets of Leafy Greens in my shop!!
Hugs!

Elmsley Rose said...

The grey thread looks lovely against the slight pink of the daimentes. (sp?).

Judy S. said...

However long these wings take is just fine with me; I'm loving following your journey. And once the local flutterbies get wind of your wings, you will be besieged with orders for wing improvements! I'll bet you and Shirlee will have lots more stash after this excursion. Have a fun day!

Linda H said...

Susan, I've been thinking of you all day, knowing the fun you are having in the Garment District. (Did you take your "special teeth" this time? lol)
Don't apologize for the time that the wings or any other part of "Tiffany" is taking. As my Mother used to say - "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well". You are doing a fabulous job with each and every part of this project and we are all enjoying following your processes. I for one will be a bit sad when it's all finished. I suspect for many of your readers, like me, the joy is in the journey, not the destination... So dear Susan - enjoy the journey, no matter how long it takes...

Claudine brodeuse de perles said...

J'aime bien le voir avancer ! Bisous et bonne journée

coral-seas said...

I just love the way these wings are coming together, that is a great selection of beads you are using and the look is totally Tiffany's.

I can appreciate the amount of time they are taking but it will definitely be worth it.

Wendy said...

Susan, it's already beautiful, and you haven't even finished it!
I love coming to your blog and finding out what next impossible thing you're doing. (Impossible to *me*!)
Hope you have a WONDERFUL day in NYC!
=-)

Rachel said...

I must admit I'm not surprised to find it taking longer than you thought - haven't you noticed, everything always does!

That said - it's turning out so well, very reminiscent of the inspiration piece. Very well done indeed!

FredaB said...

Just when I think you cannot get any better thenyou come up with something like Tiffanys and the beautiful beaded butterflies. The size of those beads is fascinating. I can't imagine even being able to see them .

I put you and Shirlee in the same league so shopping with the two of you would be fantastic.

I am truly sorry CT. has been cancelled - maybe just fo this year.

Hugs

FredaB

ps - read your email - I need your address.

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

I had no idea that something this gorgeous was even possible! I'd feel like I had wings if I could create like you! It's beyond stunning.

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