Saturday, November 28, 2009

Surgical strike, bead embroidery-style

I knew almost as soon as I started putting down the beads that I wasn't going to be happy with it. But, due to emotional distractions and general obsessiveness, I powered forward anyway.

The result is this photo on the right. Notice the matte gray and the matte black right smack next to each other. Bad mojo.

Now, take a look at the second photo. I sprinkled some seed beads on over the matte gray. Sexy, no? (Am I the only one that thinks seed beads are sexy? I really need a life...) A little flare of shimmer between the big gray and black spot made me happy again and I think it makes the piece better. (And frankly, if you have Delicas hanging around, you should use them.)

But what to do? I had already sewn all the beads on, knotted so very many threads. It's now time for a surgical strike! A delicate removal of beads...

Anyone who has done any sort of bead weaving or bead embroidery knows that if there's a mistake, threads will be cut and tears will be shed. Anyone who has done this enough has figured out how to save as much of the work as possible. I'm going to post a few tidbits that I've picked up over the years, hopefully they'll be useful.

1) The first step is reinforcing all the work that you want to keep. If you're smart, you'll use only one thread for a color, thereby saving you this step. If you're a kid like I am, you'll forget all about that, and just work on whatever section inspires you at the time. For me, this means sewing over the black beads again.

2) In the second close-up, I've started taking off the matte grey beads. There are threads all over the place. As much as possible, I try to knot the loose ends on the underside of the work, preserving as much of the beadwork as possible. Once this is done, I'll be adding the new beads. Then I have to make some jewelry for Rebeca for One of a Kind! Phew!

Vanessa Walilko
Eclectic chainmaille jewelry designs, hadmade jewelry, chainmaille fashion, and epic beadwork
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