Saturday, December 11, 2010

Icing and Sprinkles (Beads and DMC stuff)

When I was ready to start the icing around the green part of the cookie, I discovered that I didn't have the right green in my stash in perle cotton, so decided to go ahead and use floss. That wouldn't do in stem stitch, so I used chain stitch instead - and it worked beautifully! It was also very easy to turn corners, whereas stem stitch wasn't.

After the usual trial and error part (learning experience) I found that six plies were perfect. This is just a fantasy, after all - not a real cookie.
The entertaining part of this, as with most of these little ornament shapes, is the trial and error part - what will work and what won't. I had originally thought to use #5 perle cotton, but the French knot blobs disappeared.

I switched to #3, and by trying out a few different "wraps" etc., I finally got what I wanted. Every little spot of icing is made with two wraps only - some tight, and some very loose, as the one with the arrow. One wrap wasn't enough, and three wraps made them stand out too far off the surface. Amazing!

Next - the "sprinkles." I started using beads with needlepoint almost 15 years ago, and as I had nobody to show me how, I worked it out myself - so it's an easy easy thing to do this way. The photo shows all that's required for this project - the little medicine bottle caps to hold them, the beads, the long, skinny beading needle, and a wire needle threader. You can see that one came from The NeedleWorks here in Austin - (mail order is quickly attended by these ladies).

These last a lot longer than the little metal one that comes with the beading needles. ( I order my needles through Bead Buddies - link on my side bar.) The other needle lying there is the chenille needle I use for surface embellishment - in this case, icing. When putting the beads onto the surface, I had to constantly remind myself that they would fall randomly when sprinkled over the surface, so I took care not to put them in any kind of order. I didn't have the green or the white ones in size 11, which would have been better, but did have the clear #250's in that size. I used the background color floss to apply them, and just dipped into whichever cap I wanted to for creating an effect of sugar sprinkles. These are all Sundance beads - three different ones.

This won't be difficult to finish - and, although it has bordered on being boring, I have already thought of others I might try, which involve pots of gold (PVV and Kreinik metallics) and bargello rainbows. As I have said, these small pieces are great for practicing and developing new skills and techniques, and stash threads can always be used.


Anne Stradal said...

Your sugar sprinkles look great!

Rachel said...

I suspect that applying the beads might have become dull after a while, but definitely worth it - that little sparkle is just enough!

Marcy said...

Excellent idea for re-using those med caps. I'll have to try it. Your cookies look yummy!