Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Fit for a Duchess"

"Fit for a Duchess" 

... is the the name I've given to my latest bead embroidered cuff bracelet.

The base is a gorgeous Shibori Silk Ribbon hand-dyed by Deborah Weaver, showcasing a glorious array of colors that range from soft aqua to greenish-turquoise, bright periwinkle blue to cobalt blue, and a rich ultramarine blue on into a deep purple.  A bit of lavender and hot pink round out the mix.  
Truly fit for royalty.

I pulled out all of my turquoise and purple beads, and had so much fun choosing colors for this riot of a cuff bracelet.  The only difficulty in working with Shibori Silk Ribbon is the reluctance to cover up any of the inherent beauty in the dyed silk.

The photo above shows the ends of the cuff bracelet with lavender flowers, as well as the beaded edge which is made up of iridescent Japanese glass seed beads.
Above photo shows just a peek at the inside of the cuff, which is covered with a deep purple Ultra Suede for softness against the skin.  Also on the inside is a line of the same iridescent Japanese glass seed beads to cover the edges and for continuity.  The main cabochons are Jasper with shades of turquoise and lavender. 

As always, I have used Nicole Campanella's NBB (Nicole's Bead Backing) as my foundation for this bracelet.  This is the only bead embroidery backing I will use, and it makes every project turn out beautifully.  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Subtle Side of Autumn

 The Subtle Side of Autumn . . .

This most recent bead embroidered cuff bracelet that I made is a commissioned piece for a lovely lady who wears and enjoys the beautifully subtle colors of autumn: bronze, olive, burnt orange, taupe, and brown.  It was a joy making this bracelet because I also love these colors.  The stones I used in this bracelet include Jasper, faux pearl, and Japanese glass Toho beads.

Because I believe that Nicole Campanella's Beadwright Beadbacking is the ONLY backing worth working on for hours on end, I chose her Hawk color, which was the perfect background for these autumnal colors.  It makes the experience of bead embroidery that much more enjoyable when your bead backing material is not only a color that compliments your design, but is 100% perfect for stitching beads of various sizes, and sewing through each of the beads as many as four different times.  If you are a bead embroiderer and haven't tried Nicole's Beadbacking, please do yourself an immense favor and you'll never look back!  Trust me on this!  (See my previous posts for information on Nicole Campanella's Beadbacking and Web site.)

This cuff has an inner brass bracelet inside for stability, and an UltraSuede lining on the inside for comfort.  The advantage of the brass bracelet inside is that the wearer can pull it to stretch the cuff larger, or squeeze it to make the cuff smaller - depending on her wrist size.


*Click on photos to see enlarged sizes.  


The top photo is the bead embroidered cuff bracelet before it is attached to the inner brass form.  The bottom photo shows the finished bracelet with beaded picot edging.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Her Majesty

Bead Embroidered Pendant with Necklace

  • click on photos for larger image
My fascination with the stone called Jasper lives on.  This particular cabochon (top stone) caught my eye in my local bead shop due to its color and unusual shape.  I added a round Jasper cabochon from my collection that contained the same coloration, as well as two red-violet glass cabs.

The remaining stones and assorted beads include lavender and purple faux pearls, cut crystal beads, Japanese iris glass beads, small glass flowers, and a few garnets.   
This pendant had a Victorian look to it, hence the title, "Her Majesty."  

The back side is finished off with a burnt sienna Ultra Suede fabric, with more tiny glass beads adorning the edges of the pendant, seen only from the back.  I prefer this finishing technique so that none of my sewing stitches show.  

The bead embroidery was sewn on Nicole Campanella's foundation, NBB, in purple ~ a royal color.  

The necklace part is cut crystal beads in magenta with a toggle closure made up of seed beads to carry the theme and to avoid adding a metallic color to the mix.

The edges of the pendant have a tiny picot design made up of the tiniest size 15 seed beads, resembling open lacework.  

If you are interested in bead embroidery, I highly recommend the beading foundation created by Nicole Campanella called NBB (Nicole's Bead Backing)  You can find it here:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Meadow Stream" ~ Shibori Silk Ribbon Bead Embroidered Cuff Bracelet

Here is a look at my latest project, and a few step-by-step photos in the creation of

"Meadow Stream"  ~  Shibori Silk Ribbon Bead Embroidered Cuff Bracelet.

This started as a beautiful piece of Shibori Silk Ribbon dyed by Deborah Weaver of ArtisticWeavers on  You can see this piece in the bottom left hand corner of the photo below.  In my opinion, Deborah Weaver sells the most attractive Shibori Silk Ribbon on Etsy.  If you are in the market for it, please look for her offerings.  You'll have a difficult time choosing from her wide array of stunning ribbons.  In this particular piece of ribbon, the lovely forest greens blended into rich olive greens and then into gorgeous aquas.  I had lots of beads from which to choose for this particular project.

Below is a photo of my possible choices laid out before the creative juices begin to flow. 
My favorite beading foundation, NBB by Nicole Campanella, in the Chartreuse Shine color was the perfect background for the ribbon and the beads.
Above, I have tacked down the Shibori Silk Ribbon with clothespins.  The edges are all tucked under, and I've imagined the pleats as water flowing in a slow-moving stream.  Perhaps one in a quiet meadow.
I must say that Shibori Silk Ribbon is so very lovely, it's hard to cover up any part of it with beads.  But, the show must go on ...
I've used silver beads to highlight the various green beads.  The central focal cabochon is a Jasper stone that I have bezeled separately on NBB, then attached to the ribbon.  Also included are:   round Jasper beads, glass pearls, AB glass round beads, faceted crystal beads, square glass dichroic beads, turquoise Picasa beads, and faceted Czech beads.  The arrangement of the beads was somewhat random, but also in keeping with the "flow" of the imagined stream.
The finished beaded top is wrapped around a brass cuff, glued down, left to dry, and then the inside of the brass cuff is covered by an olive green UltraSuede.  The two edges are sewn together with beads, sandwiching the brass cuff inside.
Another view of the finished bracelet.

This view of the bracelet shows the picot edging with silver beads, 
and the interior olive UltraSuede that is finished off with a line of olive and silver beads, which effectively covers the stitching.

NOTE:   The owner of "Meadow Stream" took this photo for me.  The colors appear slightly different in this photograph compared to the photos that I took of the bracelet ~ but so much depends on the lighting when it comes to photography.  I've included this photo because it looks closer to the actual bracelet itself, whereas my photos of the bracelet are a bit on the bright side.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015


"Starlight" is the name I've given to this latest bead embroidered cuff bracelet that I've created.

The three asymmetrical gemstones in the middle are Aqua Terra Jasper ~ a beautiful stone with gorgeous colorations of aqua swirled with a honey-colored topaz and a warm brown.  These three stones have been bezeled with Toho Japanese glass seed beads, then surrounded with other Aqua Terra Jasper beads in several different sizes and shapes.  Toward the edges are more Toho Japanese seed beads, aqua "sea glass" round beads, Czech crystals, bicone crystals, and decorative varigated glass oval beads.

Below is a closer look at the central gemstones.
Click on any photo for a larger image

Sky Blue NBB foundation by Nicole Campanella is the base for all of my bead embroidery.
For the best beading foundation to be found on the market today, 
please check out:

Below are three photos showing the finished bead embroidered cuff bracelet.
A delicate picot edge surrounds the whole bracelet.
Inside the cuff, I've used a light blue UltraSuede lining. 
The lovely organic swirls in Aqua Terra Jasper led to the
choice of light aqua blue, brown, and honey-colored beads.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Fallen Leaves"

click on image to enlarge

"Fallen Leaves"

When the Shibori Silk Ribbon called "Ombre" arrived from the talented hands of Deborah Weaver ~ ArtisticWeavers on ~ 

here is a link to her shop:

I loved the colors so much I couldn't bear to cover up her lovely dyed hues with too many beads.  

Therefore, the bead embroidery on this pendant piece is rather minimal compared to my usual projects.  The colors reminded me of the beginning of Autumn when the leaf colors start to change, and the green leaves fall away.

I gathered together several strands of dyed silk ribbons for a necklace for this piece ~ all the colors of which are present in the dyed Shibori Silk Ribbon.  

The beads are all Japanese TOHO glass, plus crystal cut/faceted rounds, seed beads, with topaz-colored glass drops around the outer edges.  The backing is tan UltraSuede.  Although it does not show, I used Corn Yellow NBB (Nicole's Bead Backing) for my foundation, which is the only beading foundation I will use for my projects. Choose from 16 wonderful colors by clicking on the below link: 


Fast forward a few weeks . . . 

Although I was pleased with "Fallen Leaves," each time I tried it on as a necklace I wasn't 100% convinced that I would wear it. It appeared to me as something more suited for decorating a purse.  So ... I visited and found Jackie Darling, of DarlingsDesigns ~ Jackie custom-makes fabric purses, and she designed a purse just for "Fallen Leaves."  

Here is the link (below) to her shop. Check out her special hand-made fabric purses, and let her know if you have any ideas that might incorporate a bead embroidered piece of your own. 

Here is a photo of the purse Jackie Darling made for me.  I attached the bead embroidered "Fallen Leaves" pendant to the front of the purse.  I am MUCH happier now with my pendant as part of a practical purse, and I have Jackie Darling to thank for the excellent workmanship of the hand-sewn and custom-designed purse, and Deborah Weaver for the gorgeous Shibori Silk Ribbon that is the basis for my bead embroidered pendant.  

click any photos to enlarge image
~ ~ ~ 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Sun Shower"

"Sun Shower" 

Still having a lot of fun with this Shibori Silk Ribbon ... this one by Deborah Weaver (ArtisticWeavers on is called Sunset.  I've always loved the yellow/orange colorway, and this ribbon is a very cheerful way to usher in Autumn.

It arrived from Deborah's expert dyeing hands with graduated shades of yellow and orange.  Because I wanted to use a dark copper end closure, and some dark copper metallic beads - I used a raisin-colored fabric dye to add in some dark burnt sienna areas on the ribbon.  Thankfully, I didn't ruin Deborah's great work!  

I'm posting only one photo of this bead embroidered bracelet since it's already flat and can be seen easily.  (Click photo for larger image.) Between the top beaded part and the bottom UltraSuede, I have added the stiffest interfacing sold by my craft store (used for inside cuffs and collars) to give it a nice strength and so it will bend smoothly around the wrist.

The central focal cabochon is a dyed Jasper, as are the three rectangular Jasper stones and round beads on the sides.  In addition to the Jasper I have included cut crystal beads, glass pearls, and a variety of Japanese glass seed beads by Toho.

The beading is sewn onto an orange foundation by Nicole Campanella called NBB / Nicole's Bead Backing. It's the BEST foundation on the market!   

The edges are finished off with a picot edging that incorporate dark copper cut crystal beads, and the underside is lined with a pumpkin-colored UltraSuede.

~ ~ ~