Monday, January 26, 2015

Bead Embroidery: My First Time

Every so often I feel a need, I mean a NEED, to learn a particular art technique.  I'm not sure what compels me, but it can become intense.  When this need arises, I will often look to friends to teach me, or will try to find a class to take.  More often than not, the need overpowers my ability to wait, and I wind up teaching myself.  One of those compulsions was my need to learn wet felting.  I finally couldn't wait anymore, so I taught myself...on a basic and very small scale.  I was fortunate that a friend invited me to wet felt with her not long after, and I learned a lot of tricks and wisdom from her as we felted together.

Recently, the need overpowered me to learn bead embroidery.

I went to a craft show this past fall and there was a woman there selling her amazing bead embroidered work. I had seen similar work before, but didn't even know what it was called.  It was very arty and gorgeous.  I had done my own version of bead embroidery on a scarf I made for a class proposal a while back, but it was very simple and not arty.  I heard this woman talk about her classes and, very excitedly, asked her where she taught. Florida.  Ugggh!  I scanned the internet for local and regional bead embroidery classes and no one offered any. I like in-person classes. I need that interaction. I got very anxious.

Armed with my frustration, I began searching the internet again and found some tutorials.  Moving forward with this information, I began to create my first piece.  The piece I created is a cabochon with peyote stitching to anchor it.  I was fascinated to find during my research that the bead embroidery I had done totally on my own, without ever seeing a tutorial or anything, was spot-on.  Another source I found tells us to just sew things on...period.  What you get is what you get. I suppose I had actually stumbled on something back then.  Since I do NOT SEW, I was concerned that there was some sort of trick to it.  There really is not; but there are stitch variations...just as in regular sewing.

Things I learned during my first time doing bead embroidery:

  • I will need a new and stronger pair of reading glasses.
  • None of my scissors want to cut through fire line.
  • I will need more beads!
  • Not all beads are created equal. (My stitching on this first piece is uneven mostly due to unequally sized seed beads.)
  • I will need more money. (To buy beads, of course!)

Because of my inability to find local outlets to learn the tricks of this new art form, the teacher inside of me is already planning several classes to teach the basics to others who just have to learn. Because of course I will continue experimenting and teaching myself until the need to bead is sated. 

I'm not done with this new art form.  My next piece will be a free-form piece.  I am totally psyched to get started on it. I will, of course, share with you when it is finished...and maybe while it is underway.

Have a wonderful day!


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