It has been a challenging summer here in the Hollow. Molly spent most of July and half of August working as a TA in summer school so I was down a pair of hands in the studio. But we managed to get stuff done anyway.
The beaded lace bracelet from the beginning of July got finished and also an even more fabulous leather and beaded lace cuff. I used teal leather and a wonderfully fringed ivory lace to make a cuff bracelet that evokes the glamour and swing of the Roaring 20’s. The goblins are pleased with both of them – they are so sparkly and decadent!
We drafted a pattern for a Goblin Frock and ice dyed some linen to make a trial run with. We haven’t gotten around to actually cutting the fabric yet. It is so pretty just as it is.
Speaking of which, next week I will start listing ice dyed fabric yardage in the Etsy shop. Individual lengths of fabric will be available until we sew them into Goblin Frocks pr Smocks or Tunics.
This week, I listed 10 new ice and alchemy dyed Hemp Rayon Jersey Scarves in the Etsy shop. If you see one you like, snap it up soon because the last batch sold out within a week.
The goblins love it when they hear the smart phone go “Cha-Ching!” It means they can order new fabric to do more ice dyeing!
And here’s a final photo of the patterning on my favorite from the last batch of ice dying we did. The greens are wonderful here!
Last week, I had the honor of embellishing a strip of lace for a friend’s wedding dress. I can’t go public with photos because she doesn’t want the groom to stumble across them but the project got my juices flowing for more beaded lace work. Now I’m working on a bracelet. I got this wonderful lace (and the lace for the bride) from MaryNotMartha on Etsy. She has an amazing selection of gorgeous laces and other millinery and bridal trims. I swear she had psychically anticipated my order because it arrived faster than I believed possible. (I did alert her to the fact that I needed to embellish the lace for a wedding dress so she must know how much time goes into sewing tiny beads onto lace.)
Embellishing lace is ridiculously easy. It is also ridiculously time consuming. For bracelets, I cut the lace to the length I want the bracelet to be and start choosing beads. Molly suggested that I make this one with aqua blues because the lace seemed “oceany” to her with its radial circles and scalloped edge. And also because it is hot this week. I use a sturdy, long beading needle because sometimes the lace can be difficult to push through. I always use thread that matches the lace, not the beads. This way, your stitching disappears and allows the beading to look like a natural part pf the lace. I like to try laying beads and sequins on the lace to test out patterns before I get started. For this piece I’m using 2 sequins – a large flat sequin in very pale celadon green and a smaller flat sequin in dark teal blue stacked on top of one another and held to the center of each circle with a gold seed bead.
On one row of circles, I am using size 15 gold lined aqua seed beads and size 11o matte finish gold lined aqua seed beads to outline the concentric sections of the circles. On the next row, I am using 3mm luster opaque turquoise firepolished beads. I am lining the scalloped border with permanent finish gold seed beads in size 11. For the seashell scallops at the edge, I am using a silver lined dark teal 15o seed bead, some of the matte aquas, turquoise and some lovely matte AB striped aqua mini daggers that I picked up on vacation in Las Vegas a few years ago and haven’t found a use for before now. All the seed beads are TOHOs.
I stitch beads and sequins on using simple embroidery stitches. Buttonhole and whip stitches are very useful and I put long stretches of seed beads on using a couching technique. There’s nothing fancy going on – just many hours of loving labor. I bought a new OttLite magnifying light last week to help me with all of the white-on-white work involved in the bridal lace and I am loving it. I also love to use my Beadalon sticky mat – you can see it in the last photo in this post. It holds my beads where I want them so I don’t get a bug pile of bead soup halfway through the project.
I’m not sure what the closure on this piece will look like. It is a wide cuff that might require a fairly long rigid support for the edges but the edges are scalloped and interlocking so it might be a challenge. The final piece will have a distinctly feminine Bohemian flair. I can’t wait to see what it will look like on someone’s wrist!
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