Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Morning glory

This time of year the morning glories have taken over the garden. They have grown over the railings of the porch and up the stalks of the sunflowers. There are so many flowers on them each day that it seems a shame to pull them out. 
Some times I see a bloom with velvet purple and pink and I think I would like to make that flower out of beads. Unfortunately the vibrant purple is a tough color to match in seed beads, not to mention the challenges of making a beadwork flower that would hold its shape and rigidity without being too flat. The other day I received a package of size 11 Toho purple lined rosaline beads I had ordered from Art Beads and decided to try out some ideas I had. To fill out my palette I chose some bright transparent purple AB, a vintage French rose, Toho gilt lined lavender opal, Miyuki matte pink lined purple,  and a Czech translucent white in size 11.

 My idea involved using one of my least used techniques, brick stitch. The standard circular technique seemed like it would be too floppy and not have the look I wanted for my finished flower. I have started working on a design I think will work, but as usual I won't be sure until its finished.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Beads, especially seed beads, are all about color and how one color interacts with other colors. Somewhere in my travels through the web I came across a site that takes your photos and generates a color palette. Not a new idea, but this one is free to use and it gives you an idea of different colors present in a photo that is very useful when trying to create more realistic color effects.
The Color Palette Generator from Big Huge Labs is available on their website. 
This is a screen shot of a photo and the color palette that was generated using it.

                 There was a lot of background color in the butterfly photo and the palette reflects that.
                           The color noise can be eliminated by using a close up image like this flower.

There are lots of other fun tools on the website. One will take your photo and put a circle grid over it so you get a sort of beaded effect. It's good for a quick look, but the resulting image is kind of grayed out. It does give a general idea though and it's easy enough to do.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Something old

Looking through the photos of the garden from over the summer I found some pictures of swallowtail butterflies. There were so many on the Joe Pye weed that day it was amazing. At one point I counted 7 yellow and 3 black swallowtails on the same plant, as well as lots of bees. Some of the photos reminded me of a flat peyote stitch window hanging I had done years ago. I used mostly Czech beads, a lot of them I bought at Fire Mountain. The flower was made with dyed Japanese beads and considering this hung in a window for years it is nice the colors didn't fade too much. Once I even found a live swallowtail on the inside of the window sitting next to the beadwork. This was one of my first attempts at off loom beaded pictures. I worked from a photograph without charting a pattern or printing from a computer on a grid. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I have recently begun beading again. I have been playing around with floral designs and building flowers out of size 15 seed beads.
I entered all the contests that I could find with categories allowing for the use of seed beads. Most of the designs I made used a combination of colors from one of the Pantone triads proposed by My Lovely Beads for the Fashion Colorworks Contest
I started with many ideas for Poppy Red, Monaco Blue and Grayed Jade but some how none of the designs worked out. I had much more luck with the Tender Shoots, African Violet and Lemon Zest.