July 30, 2010

Snow White Sneak Peek

Whew! Snow White's been giving me a bit of trouble, but it's been fun to do some embroidery. I love making little needle-woven flowers and leaves, so I just had to add some! I'm afraid the rose does still look a little background-y to me, though I did something between threadpainting and satin stitch to puff it up. After deciding that wasn't enough, I cut it out to use it as an applique, used another piece of fabric between the rose and the cuff for a bit more height, and finally attached it using a blanket stitch. I'm planning to edge it in a baby blue (for the marriage-minded, maybe? A little something blue?). I'm not one-hundred-percent sure what I think about it yet. I don't think I'll know until it's done.

July 22, 2010

Dracula Meets His End

Dracula cuff

That's right! Finally, Dracula is finished. Well, mostly... I'm still finishing the edging, but that should be over quick enough. I'm going to be posting it on Etsy tomorrow!

The next project, I've decided, will be Snow White. I plan to start with an embroidered rose in the center and work my way out from that. I'd like to use a long-and-short stitch/ thread painting approach for the rose, but I think that a padded satin stitch would be nice, too. It's going to need to be a bit puffy- I'm a little worried about the height of the embroidery versus the height of the beadwork. I don't want to rose to feel too much like a background when it should be the center of attention!

Really, no matter what I may say about which stitching techniques I want to employ it's only going to end up being a sort of free-handed made-up thing. Technical shmechnical!

July 15, 2010

Beading and Embroidery Inspiration

Norma Shearer as Marie Antoinette-
Marie Antoinette, 1938

I was able to watch this movie just yesterday, and while I'm not planning to review the film here, aside from some artistic liberties with historical accuracy and a slightly (if not seriously) biased take on Marie Antoinette's character, this movie was wonderful! And really, I couldn't care less about those things anyway. It was awesome. The best part for me, though, was definitely the intricately embellished wardrobe! Just breathtaking.

So I thought I would share some images from the movie. If you can catch it playing, you should watch it!

Spoiler alert! This man is clearly a bad guy! Look at that makeup! Yikes! And lots of frippery. How very courtly of him.

One of the biggest surprises to me was Norma Shearer's transformation during Marie Antoinette's imprisonment- by the last scene of the movie, she looked almost exactly like Jacques-Louis David's pen-and-ink drawing of the Queen on her way to the guillotine. You'll have to trust me on that; I couldn't find a still of it.

Now, don't get me wrong, Tyrone Power made an excellent love interest for Norma Shearer's Marie Antoinette, but if I'm going to watch a movie from that era, I have to remain loyal to the hunkiest hunk around:

That's right. You go Gregory Peck. Handsome devil! But only 1940s Gregory Peck, after that he's a little out of my age-range. I'm just going to picture him as the lead in every romance novel I read from now until forever.

Note: If you made it to the end of this post, you'll probably realize that it was only loosely related to beading, and mostly an excuse to post a photo of the handsomely handsome Gregory Peck. My apologies (kind of).

Dracula cuff should be finished tomorrow! I'll make a real post soon!

July 14, 2010

Dracula continued and a CRITICAL PSA

Almost done! It's been such slow going though. I'm blaming it on the dogs. I think it's because I spend all day letting them in and out and trying to keep them from digging (and barking at the neighbors). When they are inside, they rough-house and slam into me! See! Not really my fault.

Don't let your laundry pile up! This is what happens! You pull it out of the dryer and avoid folding it for an hour or so, turning your couch into an amorphous blob of fabric. Can't tell where the laundry is on this couch? Neither can I. It's taken over. Instead of folding it, I drew a picture of it. Then I folded it.

July 9, 2010

Dracula in progress and some unfinished business

Dracula cuff

Please note that every time I think "Dracula," I'm thinking it in my best Transylvanian accent. And following it with the laugh from the Count from Sesame Street. With that in mind, here is Dracula (One Dracula! Ah!Ah!Ahhh!)! I think it's going pretty well! Unfortunately, this is version three, so it took a bit of work to get to something I was happy with. I thought I'd share the unsuccessful versions, just for kicks:

Versions one and two of Dracula- version two even has white embroidered fangs! I told you so! I thought it started to look like a badge. That wasn't the goal. So these two became rejects, and I decided I needed less contrast to keep it from looking cartoonish- no whites or silvers.

This is just a big pile of stuff I've started but haven't finished. I know that the gold cuff on the mid-left looks almost complete, but what you can't really see in the photo is that it's wonky. I may finish it just so I can wear it, but I wouldn't sell it. It's not up to snuff! The silver thing on the upper left was the start of a tiny bib necklace, but I never could decide how to finish it. The rest were set aside either because they started to look wrong (the white one, lower right) or because the inspiration evaporated.

I hope that seeing the things that haven't worked out has been as interesting as seeing works in progress! I know that I love to see others' work in all stages of completion and success.

July 6, 2010

Dark Forest finished!

Hansel and Gretel's Dark Forest

Finished! Finally! It feels like this one took forever. I really like how the fading sky looks on the side view, though I'm not sure how easy it is to tell that the white beads around the treetops are stars! I hope that it's obvious. This one just looks so great on! I really want to make another similar one for myself now.

Next up will be Dracula, but I've started it twice now and disliked it both times. It's hard to straddle the line between wearable and hokey; Dracula-inspired and goth. I started one version with embroidered fangs, and while they looked like fangs, it also just looked silly. I also tried to embroider black scrollwork, but oh my! It didn't look right and it would have taken forever. I think it may just have to be the colors that are inspired by Dracula (blood red and black) and that the pattern is a bit masculine.

I've also got sketches of several other cuffs, but don't know which one is next on the list- I'm in the planning stages for Feejee Mermaid, Hephaestus, Rapunzel, Snow White and Medusa.

July 1, 2010

Dark Forest in progress, Midas finished!

Hansel and Gretel's Dark Forest cuff

Coming along nicely!
I still haven't decided whether or not to outline the trees... but I was thinking maybe a metallic silver would be nice. We'll see!

Midas cuff

Totally finished, ready to be put online! I'll be putting both of these on Etsy when I finish Dark Forest. I've got so many others in my head that I'd like to work on (and more than one actually started, of course!)