I was so excited when I actually saw the announcement for this round of A Time to Stitch! There were many times when I would have liked to join in, but missed the announcement.
Sadly, my best intentions were hijacked by a fall at work and a commitment which happens every year....but needs to come to fruition a bit earlier this year than it normally does.
In any case, I have done my best to finish, and although I didn't quiiiiiiite make it...I hope you'll all forgive! So, on to my (mostly) finished bead embroidery piece....
It still needs the edging finished and a clasp attached obviously, which I will finish next week.
I learned a lot doing this!! This is a pattern by Sherry Serafini from Beadwork June/July 2011 which has been on my to-do list for...about four years! Hey, don't judge, it's a long to do list ;-)....
Things I loved:
1. Doing the bead embroidery itself...like many beady things, it's very zen; when you need something to do while you're watching TV or thinking through something else, bead embroidery is perfect. Some may find the repetitive nature boring...I didn't. I will definitely be doing this again, and in fact have an idea I'm working out as we speak. So, thanks, Therese and Christine, for involving me in a technique which I love!
2. The outer border on this puppy...in this particular case, the black and brass line enclosing the ripples...I will definitely use this again, I love the look of it...it is raised a bit from the rest because the beads are larger, and looks like a twisted bead rope.
3. Working on the backing...I used Lacy's Stiff Stuff and really like it. Being able to make markings on the backing to guide your embroidery I found very helpful as I am somewhat *cough* AR. It also helps me to not get carried away and find myself with a belt instead of a bracelet *g*. Next time, I will colour the backing somehow so it doesn't show through the beading. In the (closeup) picture it is quite apparent, not so much in real life.
Things I didn't love:
1. Proportions...I'm not sure what Sherry was thinking here; I followed the specifics of sizes in the pattern, but the cabochon is completely out of proportion with the size of the bracelet in my opinion. It is much too large, and next time, I would definitely use a smaller cabochon, likely 15-20 mm. (This one is >25 mm). The 4mm pearl rounds used as the centres of the ripples are also mis-proportioned...they stick up way too far from the size 15 beaded background for my liking. Next time, I would go with 3 mm pearls instead.
2. Coloring...just because I'm crazy like that, I wanted to work in a colorway that is not my usual. I am very much a colorist, and choosing the colors is 75% of the fun for me. These I think are a "miss". I would have to play around with coloring the ripples themselves, but I haven't had time to create alternatives just yet. Next time I would definitely make several variations of the ripple before stitching it finally down, to see which works best. I think it's not the colors themselves here, as it is their placement that bothers me.
Would love to know what y'all think!
3. The lines of dividing 15's between the pearls around the cabochon...although there are EXACTLY the same number of 15's in each round, some of them are "falling away" from the top of the work, so that the thread shows. I'm not sure what's causing this, but it is unsightly and bugging the crap out of me! Ideas? Solutions?
However, 10 years from now when I'm an expert at this *g* it'll be a good "first piece" to show where I started out!
I'm excited to see what the other participants have created...I hope you'll visit them all to see!