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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Friday, November 27, 2009

Tiamat dress in progress

I've been looking back over my blog posts and photos, and I've been working on the Tiamat dress since September 2008. It's amazing to consider how long it has taken for me to get a good obsessive momentum with the dress. I tell people it's an elephant birth--it took a long time to gestate, but now it's alive and kicking.

Here's a current progress photo:

(You can see more photos at my Facebook page:

I'm really thrilled with the way that the neckline came out. Since I hear that the Babylonians saw the Milky Way as part of her body, I wanted stars to be an integral part of the design. (I'm only hoping I have enough of those black lip stars since Fire Mountain Gems stopped carrying them! *insert worry here*) I've used or will use amazonite, blue goldstone, hematite and flourite stars in the piece, as well as the 1,000+ black lip stars I did manage to squirrel away.

But what am I doing blogging? I have to get back to work!

Vanessa Walilko
Kali Butterfly
Eclectic chainmaille jewelry, unique handcrafted jewelry designs
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Post-DIY Trunkshow

I had such a blast at the DIY Trunkshow on Saturday! A lot of people came out and showed their support. My chainmaille jacket received a lot of attention (and who doesn't like attention?), and people seemed to like my chainmaille designs.

In fact, I'll be posting many of the new designs I created on Etsy this week. I just listed my "Goth Queen" chainmaille necklace. I had two designs initially, but thanks to some valuable feedback, I decided on the design in this listing. Make sure to check it out!

Vanessa Walilko
Eclectic Chainmaille Jewelry Designs

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Evanston Art Center Winter Arts + Crafts Expo

While I didn't have the wherewithal to photograph the 3 pounds of jewelry I sent to the Peoria Art Guild this week, I did have the presence of mind to take a blurry photo of the 75 pieces of jewelry that went to the Evanston Art Center this morning.

Also, my secret's out--I work on the floor! It's like a giant table that nothing can fall off of (anyone who has heard the tinkling of many rings and/or beads falling off a table to the floor knows the benefit of this).

Now, to make some jewelry for the DIY Trunkshow...