Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BEADS! The Many Faces for Needlepoint

I love beads incorporated into needlepoint - which is obvious, I think, as I just looked and have about 63 posts on this blog (three years old last September - time flies)

Also have a book on this subject in my "Coloring Book" series, which is available both as a book and as E-Books in two chapters on my web page.(Elegant Whimsies)

In the first photo, (an old one), I used beads on the background by placing one at each intersection of the open work done in ribbon floss - very effective! The second photo is a bracelet and earring I made about two years ago - there are two different patterns, and as I remember, they are shown at Fireside Stitchery already made up (cuff bracelets) On this one, I used beads in my "solid" technique that really isn't solid, but looks that way.

The blue Petite Very Velvett patch has the clear Sundance beads applied with floss the color of the background - gives the effect, I think, of rain drops on a cold winter night in December - or is it ice? (We don't have much ice here.) I love this effect of using the clear beads with colored floss, as it gives a different dimension to the surface texture.
Seed beads also make great cactus spines on a tiny little cactus! The leaves are PVV, and the beads have a finish that doesn't sparkle and glitter - so have a great look for this.

All of these projects are showing on this blog in numerous previous posts - as I started using beads and experimenting with them about ten years ago. A GREAT accessory to jazz up the work when textured stitches won't do - or just for the beauty of the beads.

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the term "seed bead." Seed beads are uniformly shaped, spheroidal (round) beads ranging in size from very very tiny to several MM. These are termed "seed beads" as opposed to "bugle beads" and other types and shapes. I did check this info with the dictionary to make sure of my facts.

I use exclusively the Sundance Beads, as they have an enormous variety of colors and finishes - not just the shiny or sparkly! Also, in the packaging, they are so totally uniform in size that I very rarely have to discard one, as opposed to other brands. I use, for incorporating them into the body of the work, the size #14 on 18 mesh, and #11 on 13 mesh. Other sizes could be used, of course, for different decorative effects.

Incidentally, using beads on needlepoint is the subject of my next article in Needlepoint Now - stitching the Mindy Canvases! ( I need to go finish those beautiful things.)

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