“Meditation on Spring” Beaded Cuff

Spring colors are blooming on my very first bracelet cuff creation!

Forsythia yellow, willow green, azalea pink, rhododendron rose, cream and baby pink magnolia. Colors so fresh and light, rebirthing the world in their embrace. Ah, I just love this time of year!

Almost exactly 2 years ago, I wrote this post about stitching a 2-drop peyote band from a bead soup mix that was left over from this freeform bracelet. That band has sat, well, for 2 years now, on a bead mat in my studio, patiently waiting for me to transform it into a piece of jewelry.

I created the face cabochon from polymer clay using the same glazing technique I used for these faces, rubbing on mica powder and mixing alcohol ink with liquid polymer clay.

After I beaded around the face cabochon, I attached her to my peyote band. As I held it in my hand, I felt that the weight of the cabochon was just too heavy for the lightness of the band so I pondered and pondered on what I could do next. Hmmmm…

Aha! What if I sewed the peyote stitched band to a piece of ultrasuede and then glued that to a brass cuff? That would give it the weight and counterbalance it needed! So, I did just that and then glued another piece of ultrasuede to the back of the cuff. I stitched a beaded edge, thus joining the 2 pieces of ultrasuede together at their edges, giving the cuff a finished look.

I found a great resource on the web for ultrasuede. Field’s Fabrics is located in Michigan, has over 160 colors of ultrasuede in stock and charges only a flat rate $6.00 for shipping. You can buy scrap variety packs or as little as 1/8 yard per color. I used a pale spring green called limade for this project.

Even though it took me several years to figure out how to bring all of the components together in harmony, I’m so happy with my new creation. Now that’s it’s complete, I’m thinking of another bead embroidered bracelet, this one softer without the brass cuff, possibly beaded on a piece of batik fabric in yummy colors.

Ah, the possibilities…

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” 

~Albert Einstein

Unless otherwise noted, all text and photos are the property of Karen Park Art and Tea, copyright 2007-2011. Please do not “lift” any of my photographs or blog posts for use on your blog or website. Thank you so much for your respect and kind attention.

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Studio Wednesday

Today was not the usual full day in my studio as I was organizing and packing for my trip to Texas tomorrow. I was able to string the necklace for my turquoise cabochon. Originally, I wanted to have each strand directly attached to the beadwork framing the cabochon but the beads didn’t lay right when I tried it. Then I tried adding a bead in between a couple of the caramel picot beads on top. As I did that, I realized that I could peyote stitch a piece coming out of the top. Furthermore, that piece could be built up 3 rows, one for each of my necklace strands. The small oval turquoise beads were purchased at the Whole Bead show a couple of weekends ago. I brought the cab with me to the show so I could match the color of the turquoise. It’s amazing how many different colors turquoise beads can be! I’m still mulling over what to do with the clasp.

I also got a little time in on my September journal bracelet. The turquoise beads on either side of the tree spirit face were also purchased at the Whole Bead show. I love the crackle pattern in them.

I looked on the Weather.com website and saw that it will be 87 degrees down in Texas. It’s a good thing I hadn’t put my summer clothes away just yet. Be back on Sunday!

Studio Wednesday

Today I had 2 goals in my studio. First, to prepare the face cab for my first journal bracelet. Second, to work on my freeform bracelet.

I found some old leaf canes in my polymer clay stash and reduced them to a very small size. Then I framed the porcelain face cab (on the left) with cane slices. Well, I liked the look so much that I took out one of the glazed face cabs I created last January and did the same thing with it. So, I’ve decided to use the 2 face cabs, one for September and one for October. In a previous post, I talked about honoring the trees that were taken down in our backyard last week. There were 2 of them so I’ll create a bracelet to honor each tree. I’ve also created a whole bunch of leaf beads from the canes so I can also use those in my bracelets.

After my polymer clay work, I started balancing out my freeform bracelet by working on the side that was bowing in. I’m hoping to be able to finish with the body of the bracelet soon. Then I’ll document how I create the pearl and loop clasp.