Sunday, September 22, 2013

Casablanca - or, How I Finished Another UFO

Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.  Now when it's, say, pecan pie or a Snickers bar, I muddle through.  When it's a beading project, however, sometimes I have to put it aside for awhile until I can screw my courage up enough to tackle it again.

In the last Bead Soup Blog Hop, I took one of those bites, and among the pieces I made was a medallion that was heavily encrusted with bead embroidery, using the delectable soup sent by my fabulous partner Nancy Dale.


It ended up being about 4 1/2" across.  That, my friends, is a lot of embroidering. It was enough to make my husband say "woah!!" when he saw it.  And as much as I loved it, I was burned out on it for a while.  That, and the prospect of stitching the edging on those little cutouts on the interior of the piece was kind of freaking me out.

So the other day I was in the fabric store, and decided to pick up some ultrasuede to back the medallion.  A few hours later, here's what I had:


This is the back view (thank you, Dr. Obvious), so you could see the finishing of the interior openings.  Yep, those are 15's lining each one, and I'll admit it, there was some cursing involved as I worked to slice the holes in the backing and fill those tight little spaces with beads.  Trimmed up and edged on the front, here's the completed medallion:


Okay, so that was done.  Now, how to make it into something wearable.  I had some bead soup left over, so I made a couple of beaded beads.  Because I used the random beads in the bead blend from Nancy, they were a little freeform, and a little funky.  Then I raided my stash for some cool copper beads that also had interior openings that echo the openings in the medallion.  Some cool pinky/coppery freshwater pearls, and a copper toggle I made to work with one of the copper beads as a clasp, and I was done:


Granted, this is not a necklace for a woman who's uncomfortable being noticed.  But it is surprisingly light and completely comfortable to wear. I've called it Casablanca, because it reminds me of someplace exotic and warm, someplace that the desert breezes might mold the sand into serpentine dunes like the lines on the gorgeous JulsBead at the center of the medallion.  Maybe it's something that would be worn by the genie that comes out of the lamp you'd discover on the caravan trail as you cross that desert.

In any event, this has been a grand adventure, and I'm very pleased with the results. Thanks, Nancy, for the fantastic inspiration of your soup!

9 comments:

NEDbeads said...

Oh my LORD it's so fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!! I adore everything about it, and you complimented it perfectly in your neckline choice and WOW!!!!! you rocked it!!!!!!!! :D I love seeing what you decided to do with the soup, you are incredibly imaginative and I looooooooooove it!!!!!

Skylar Bre'z said...

Great job on this, Bobbie! It does look very exotic. And rich. And complicated. Definitely Casablanca-worthy.

PyxeeStyx said...

"Play it again, Sam"! Love it. Awesome mix of texture in the finished piece. Nicely done.

Lies Koster said...

Yes! Very nice! I like the pebble effect. I saw it this year at the coast of Gotland (Sweden) lieskoster.blogspot.com

Christine Altmiller said...

Oh Bobbie! This is Grande!!! Everything about this is Beautiful. The muted colors fully support the architecture in piece. The work you put into it makes it totally understandable why you needed to put it down for a while. But in the end...gorgeousness!!!

Dolores Raml said...

Wow, that is gorgeous. It looks like lots of work with all of that embrodiery but you did a super job. Love how you finished it off.

Dolores Raml said...

Wow, that is awesome. You did a really great job with all of that bead embrodiery. I really love how you finished it all up.

Kepi said...

Oh I would so wear this fabulous piece, it is gorgeous and I love being noticed! I bet you look stunning wearing this,

AntiquityTravelers said...

Wow what a piece! It is so Mayan to me for some reason. I absolutely LOVE this!