A Happy Holiday to those who partook of Easter, and a happy Sunday to everyone who didn't...
I mentioned in my last post that I would have a new challenge coming up, using Miyuki long magatama beads from The Beadsmith... and have completed a third of the challenge! Lisa Peters Art provided focal components for the designers chosen to participate, and The Beadsmith sent each of us several colors of the long magatamas to work with; Lisa did an amazing job matching colors with her beautiful handmade focals.
I have to admit this has been a hard one for me, so far. Long magatama beads seem very bold and in your face looking to me, and the focal pieces are also large... and I am used to small little beads. I find the way that the bead itself is configured to be puzzling to work with, because the hole is drilled at a slant, and there is a definite front and back to each bead. I fiddled and futzed, I ripped apart, I tried three or four bead weaving stitches... and came back to embroidery. I immediately had fallen head over heels in love with Lisa's flower button component, and had to start with that. But I had no ideas on how to combine the magatamas with the focal! In the end, I decided that they looked like flower petals, and so went with that for my cuff. Although I made sure to use the magatamas on their flattest side for the embroidery, I did find that I had to add a little dab of glue to the tips to keep them flat against the surface of the embroidery.
The cuff itself was a challenge, as well, in that I didn't measure correctly when laying out the outlines, and so it wasn't going to fit over a cuff blank... and figuring out how to get the clasp to stay where I wanted it, and look good, and be secure all at once... this was a learning project for sure!! I also used crosshatching in the background, which is a first for me. The details on the cuff are mostly layers - the bottom layer of embroidery, and then crystals and beaded 'leaves' are made and attached over that. Make sure to stop by the gallery of work that Steven has provided on the Beadsmith Page here!! The clasp was gifted to me by my wonderful friend Linda Jones - and of course the focal and the magatamas came with the challenge. So, I want to pass the goodness on, and I will be giving this cuff away.
In order to enter for the giveaway, I am going to ask you to do a little something... please share my blog link for this giveaway, AND a link to my Etsy shop of your favorite tutorial or piece of jewelry that I have listed there, in two separate posts. It doesn't matter to me where you post, whether it is on your own blog, or Facebook, or Google+ or Twitter... any social media out there would be lovely. Come back and leave me a comment and a link to your post and you're entered! For those of you who follow me on Facebook at all, you will already know that our Chow Chow Sydney had to have some oral surgery this past month, and I won't even tell you how much the bill came to... yikes!! So if I garner any sales, tutorial or otherwise, from the giveaway, it will be awesomely helpful - but you don't have to buy anything to enter. :)
Details on the cuff; it took me around five days to make. It had Swarovski flower crystals, fire polish crystals, seed beads, and freshwater pearls in it, and the clasp is 925 silver, with a hook and loop. It's backed with ultra suede and entirely sewn and embroidered with fire line, so it WON'T come apart. It measures 1.75" wide and exactly 8" long - it will fit snugly on those with a wider wrist size, and more like a bangle on those with a more slender wrist, as it stays rounded when worn. The clasp is amazing - and it won't come undone on you on accident, that hook is quite long.
Thanks so much for following along with me, for sharing my links, and for taking the time to keep me company! Now, on to the next Lisa Peters focal and the next shade of long magatamas - shiny gunmetal/silver... :) Happy beading!
UPDATE! I forgot to add it in earlier - the giveaway will be open to entries until 5PM EST on Friday. :) :) :)