A Life of Varied Endeavors

Category Archives: Beadwork

Sequins for October’s Little Altars

Sequined Party Dress

Sequined Party Dress

This month, thankfully!, the trajectory from idea to end result was less wobbly.

For October’s Little Altars spot I was inspired by a beaded and sequined 1920’s dress on Antiques Roadshow.  It was the second time I’d seen that episode, and I liked the dress as much or more than the first time.  I thought it would be fun to do a miniature dress on ____ (?) with some of my “extensive” sequin collection.  Stitching was the first considered approach, but the size of the sequins in relation to the size of our October space and therefore the dress, told me that would be overkill.  Too much structure, overworked.  Been there before….

I’m not really sure how the end result finally came about.  I decided to do some testing, and the testing pretty much turned into the finished product.  I used a piece of water color paper that had been printed with the photograph I used in our February Little Altars spot (the Olympics from Ebey’s Landing).  I covered it with Glass Bead Gel (a new product for me) that I mixed with Iridescent Gold Acrylic.  (In making this, the end product always looked gold to me, but standing upright, it is definitely defined as much by the blue photo background as it is by the gold on top.)

I decided that gluing the sequins on, randomly, would actually get me the effect I wanted.  I really like what happened, although, once again, my husband is a little dismayed, and questioned why he was finding sequins all around the house.  (They stick to you!!)

I thought that Cyn’s wee folk might want to party fancy once in a while, so this is a gossamer and transparent little party dress.It’ll keep them up to mischief, even if a little chilly at this time of year!


Sequined Party Dress (1 of 1) P1050269

Sequined Party Dress Blue View

Sequined Party Dress (1 of 2) P1050268

Sequined Party Dress

July Little Altars – Big Full Moon

Stick and Leaves (1 of 3)This month I got to do a favorite bead thing: bead a stick.  My little stick has been waiting for this spot for months, so it’s happy that July is here.  Since this was a “double” spot (two long skinny shapes next to each other to fill in the same month), my stick needed a companion or two.  I’ve never done beaded wire flowers, but last year got the bug to wire some leaves.  I had a plan in mind for them, but that plan went through a few changes, and when this opportunity came up, they found a perfect home.

Steel Wire and Niihau Shells

Steel Wire and Niihau Shell Earrings

Steel Wire and Niihau Shell Earrings – click to enlarge

A few days ago I sold these earrings in my Etsy shop.  They are a favorite pair, and I want to mark for myself the realization that I’m accomplishing one of my goals of moving into working with metal: the joining of beadwork and metalwork.

Niihau shells are special to me because they were treated as very precious things when I was growing up in Hawaii.  Many years ago (now) I inherited a couple of Niihau shell leis and love them dearly.  But my life does not lend itself to wearing them, and I decided to take a few shells off to play with.  This is one of the results.  I’m feeling like I want to do more.

April Little Altars

Little Altars April (1 of 3)For several months I’ve been inspired to use these little paper flowers. I believe they are mulberry paper, and not the kind of thing that I usually find in my travels or surround myself with. I bought them several years ago, and re-discovered them in a drawer. (I find it very happy and convenient to find serious inspiration by rummaging through my own drawers!) This month’s spot was the perfect opportunity to stack several of these, stitch them together, and top them with a handmade bead whose origin I’ve forgotten. And to be honest, one of the best things about my project this month was that it took very little time, and was not an experimental struggle! I’m going to miss my little blossom, and hope it’s happy in its new home.

Little Altars April (2 of 3)

 Little Altars April (3 of 3)


Little Altars March

Little Altars March

Spring was trying to transition from Halloween for this month’s spot.