November 29, 2006 Thursday, Nov 30 2006 

seed bead embellished felt biconeI’ve been experimenting more with felting processes, and decided to try sculpting some “beads” into different shapes. So far, I’ve tried ovals of varying heights/widths, and a couple of bicones, in addition to the traditional round shape.

This 1 1/2 inch bicone seemed like a great piece to try adding seed bead embellishments to. It has literally been years since I’ve done *any* needle and thread beadwork. I used to love freeform peyote stitch and freeform netting, and at that time, I thought that I really wanted to be an artist using beads as a medium. Once I discovered wire and metal, I got completely obsessed with sculpting metal, and gradually stopped doing beadwork. Recently, since I started felting, I’ve felt inspired to do some beadwork again.

Talk about a SLOW process! I couldn’t believe how long it took me to put these few beads on my felt piece. That’s partially because I’m so out of practice, but also because beadwork, like knitting or crocheting by hand, is an inherently slow process – you can only do one stitch at a time. With bead embroidery, as shown on this piece, that means picking up one tiny (size 11 in this case) seed bead on a tiny (size 12, in this case) beading needle, then stitching through the felt to secure the bead to the fabric. Every so often, the thread needs to be knotted or woven back through some beads, so that it won’t come undone. I used to be pretty quick with threading beads on a needle, but no more – I felt clumsy, and I know this took at least twice as long as it would have if I was still used to doing this kind of beadwork. My technique could also use a little work – something that I know from experience just comes with practice. I’ll probably keep adding some embellishment to some of my felt pieces, but I’m not sure if these are commercially viable beads/pendants, due to the amount of labor involved – I really don’t know if I could sell them for a price that adequately pays for my time – maybe at a nice gallery, but I’m not at that point with my felting or my beadwork yet.

November 28, 2006 Thursday, Nov 30 2006 

Oops, no picture – I started a whole bunch of felt beads, but didn’t actually finish a pendant until the 29th…

November 27, 2006 Tuesday, Nov 28 2006 

crocheted pearl pendantI was reading a book on bead crochet yesterday, and decided to do a little wire crochet.This was the result.

It’s been a while since I’ve done wire crochet, and I was surprised by the way adding the pearls made my chain curve around – for the design I had in mind, I should have used a larger hook. But, since it naturally formed a little circle, I decided to go with it, joined the ends together, and made a little wrapped loop on the back.

Wire crochet is tough on the hands! I remember now why I only completed two complex projects back when I was doing more of it – my hands get tired, and it takes a really long time to finish anything with much detail. Crocheting with yarn is much easier, at least for me. I also made a long wire and pearl crocheted chain, using the same colored purple wire & pearls, but I didn’t like the pendant and chain together, so the chain is now a very long necklace (long enough to wrap around twice pretty easily) by itself.

November 22-26, 2006 Tuesday, Nov 28 2006 

felt pendantsOkay, I’m finally posting pictures of some of the stuff I worked on over the long holiday weekend. At left are three felt pendants I made from some of my felt beads.

Below, a few resin pendants that I finished up during Open Studios on Saturday and Sunday.

blue/copper resin pendant

red resin pendant

blue/copper resin pendant

brass/resin pendant

Catching up Monday, Nov 27 2006 

I’ve been busy with Thanksgiving festivities, followed by my open studio over the weekend. I do have some pictures of jewelry that I worked on during this time – lots of new resin pendants, and more felt. I’ll try to post some later today, but WordPress is informing me that there is some routine maintenance happening shortly, so I might not be able to post pictures until tomorrow.

I also refinished some old jewelry boxes that I purchased at a garage sale recently – they look almost as good as new now! I sanded them a little, and used a wood stain called “Old American” which is a deep, dark wood color. Very nice if I do say so myself! Now I have to figure out what to do about the interior, and they’ll be ready to go for my show this coming Saturday – the Pleasanton Craft Mafia’s Open House & Trunk Sale.

November 21, 2006 Wednesday, Nov 22 2006 

felt necklaceIt’s not a pendant…but I really wanted to string up some of my felt beads yesterday so I could wear them around my neck. This is actually just temporarily strung on beading thread, but I’ll probably make some necklaces soon with clasps and everything, and maybe add some glass beads.

I got the idea in my head that my felt ‘beads’ could be beaded with seed beads to make an even more sculptural piece of jewelry…so I might have to team up with some seed beaders and see if that idea works.

November 20, 2006 Wednesday, Nov 22 2006 

pin/pendantSince I’ve been doing so much fiber stuff, I’ve been making pins lately – they look great on scarves and sweaters. I got the idea to make a pendant that converts to a pin, and this is the result. The pendant can be hung on a chain by itself, or can be pinned to a sweater/scarf using the stickpin I made, as shown.

November 19, 2006 Wednesday, Nov 22 2006 

felt pendantThis is one of the felt pendants I made using my handmade wool felt beads. It’s actually kind of tricky to get the wire through them, since the wool gets really dense when felted.

November 16-19, 2006 Monday, Nov 20 2006 

handmade felted wool beadsI figured out how to combine my new love of needle felting with my 365 pendants project – I felted up about 60 beads during the course of Friday evening through Sunday evening. I haven’t been this obsessed with a new technique since I learned about resin a year ago – I actually felted a bead at 1:00 in the morning, a time when I’m normally sleeping, except for the occasional late night out.

I bought a needle felting kit from Mary Jane’s Attic at the recent Maven Fair in November – we were both selling at the fair, and I’ve been wanting to try felting for quite a while, so I decided it was fate that I was exhibiting with a vendor of felting supplies. Besides all these beads (a few of which became actual pendants, which I’ll post photos of shortly) I’ve felted two scarves, and I have big plans for felted necklaces, earrings, and Christmas tree ornaments.

November 15, 2006 Wednesday, Nov 15 2006 

wood/resin pendantI made another bark pendant – but with this one I used a jeweler’s saw to make a cut-out in the middle. It’s a little shorter than the other two, which actually makes it hang at a better length for most of the shirts I wear.

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