Friday, September 5, 2014

"Cleopatra's Prize"

Inpiration:  "The Colors of Egyptian Art"

Leafing through a catalogue recently, I came across an example of Egyptian art.  I cut this part out because I love the combination of colors and wanted to use them in a bead embroidered cuff bracelet project.

I've covered up a part of the writing in the lower left corner to make it less distracting - but the colors are black, terra cotta, turquoise/verdigris and a subtle, light gold color.

The above photo shows the beaded bracelet on the foundation before it was attached to the inner brass cuff.
It's always easier to see the whole design flat like this, instead of wrapped around the circular cuff.   

click on any image to enlarge

The turquoise that I chose for my bracelet is a much stronger color with a deeper intensity than what is shown in the example of Egyptian art above.  I was happy with the colors I chose, and the ones in the example were merely a jumping-off point.  Perhaps at a later date I'll use the same inspiration but choose a true light verdigris and incorporate the light gold, as well.

For now, I liked the stronger palette - and I always go with my first instincts.

The turquoise stones in this bracelet are dyed Jasper. These small disks were arranged flat with a size 15 terra cotta glass seed bead as a "stop" bead to hold them down.  They showed more of the Jasper placed this way, instead of lined up flat, side to flat side.

 I've decided there just isn't a "look" that Jasper can't fill in for - it's been my go-to gemstone for most of my projects.  The central oval cabochon is also Jasper, and this one has a rich terra cotta color that works so well with the turquoise.

The round stones with an orange glow are Carnelian.  This stone marries well with turquoise, as it is a very close complementary color (green-turquoise + red-orange).  In addition, I added in some faceted crystals with a turquoise and gold, and a number of turquoise-colored glass pearls in two sizes.  The rest are seed beads - all glass beads, in sizes ranging from 8 to 15.  The blacks are both the shiny opaque black (Czech size 12) and the matte black (Japanese size 8) for added interest.  Tiny light turquoise seed beads are intersperced in any areas where the round stones left a bit of a gap.

The edges of the cuff are finished off with a picot edging,
and the underside is a very soft teal-colored UltraSuede. 

As usual, my work is hand-sewn and embroidered on Nicole Campanella's NBB, the foundation that is perfect for this work.  There is a brass bracelet blank inside sandwiched between the top beaded part and the underside UltraSuede, which is in a rich teal color.

For more information on my preferred bead embroidery foundation called NBB, please click here:

Contact me if you are interested in sources for brass bracelet blanks or UltraSuede.


  1. stunning!!!! i agree that the colors of carnelian are a great match with the colors of turquoise. your work is beautiful - as always. i love browns, blues, oranges together. although, isnt orange a form of brown? cheers!!

  2. Thank you ~ you are so kind to comment, and I really appreciate your generous words! I just now realized that some of my photos were *changed* - who knows how that happens? I think I fixed it. Anyway ... yes, you are correct - orange is the marriage of yellow and red (in various degrees), and brown is simply a dark shade of orange.