Monday, May 28, 2012

Wedding "Weeds" from Beautiful Beads

My last post showed photos of some of the materials that will be used to create necklaces for the bridesmaids. Betsy (my daughter, the bride) would like me to create their necklaces in what I call my "weedy" design.  I'm not sure exactly why I chose that moniker for the type of design; maybe because the necklace is not tidy, conforming and compliant (like typical garden flowers), but a bit of a wild,whimsical mix (more like the wildflower weeds that pop up in fields).  Whatever led me to the name, it essentially refers to creating a multi-strand necklace with each strand featuring unique beads and unique stringing material. Despite their differences, the strands complement each other.

Here are a few of examples of "weedy" necklaces I've designed in the past to give you the idea:

Amber Waves Necklace

Amber Waves Detail

Starry Night Necklace

Starry Night detail

Twilight Garden necklace

Twilight Garden detail

Carnelian and Peridot Tangles detail

Carnelian and Peridot Tangles Necklace
So now, I need to take the materials I've accumulated in shades of plum, clover and topaz/gold (most of which are shown in the photos of my last blog entry) and come up with my individual strand ideas -- always keeping in mind how those strands will work with each other to create a pleasing mix of color and texture.

Betsy also wants a "weedy" bridal necklace.  Her dress is ivory.  Her shoes are metallic gold.  These are the materials I've gathered for her strands:

Hopefully, I will have photos of some completed strands for next week's blog post.

In the meantime, I finally finished my "Sea Lavender" bag yesterday!  It's not up for sale on my ArtFire site yet, but in my May 4 blog post I promised photos when I finished it and here they are:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Plum, Clover, Topaz/Gold - Gathering Elements

In follow-up to last weeks post, we're in the process of choosing the elements for the wedding jewelry.  Most of the elements of the bridesmaids necklaces have been chosen. My post this week is short -- just thought I'd show some photos of what we have gathered so far:

Plum - 



Hopefully, by my next post, I will have all of the elements of the bridesmaids' necklaces gathered and I plan to post a bit about the necklace design -- why so many types of materials?  Stay tuned.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Fun Begins - Creating Custom Wedding Jewelry and Accessories for Betsy's Wedding

In four short months (September 2012), my daughter, Betsy, is getting married!  I am going to be creating custom jewelry and accessories for my daughter, as well as the bridesmaids.  Tomorrow, we are off to start choosing beads, wire, fiber, and finalizing designs!  As we go along from design through completion, I am hoping to post occasional blog entries showing the creative process in action.

Just to give you an idea of our starting point.  Betsy's dress is ivory with beautiful beading and embroidery. I'm not going to post a picture until after the wedding -- no spoilers. However, I thought it would be appropriate to post a photo of a small section of the dress.

The focal colors for the wedding are plum and clover. The bridesmaids will wear plum.

The junior bridesmaids' and flower girl's dresses will be clover with a plum sash.  The dress below is not the exact dress the girls are wearing, but it's close, and the color is correct.

So tomorrow, it's off we go to start exploring and finding the elements for what will hopefully turn out to be a beautiful accents to a beautiful day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sea Lavender and Wisteria Provide Design and Color Inspiration

There are two flowering plants that I have always absolutely loved:  Sea Lavender and Wisteria. The first, Sea Lavender, features a combination of a periwinkle lavender and sea green that takes my breath away.  I don't know what it is about the effect of those colors together, but it has always been very appealing to me.

This week, I used the colors of Sea Lavender to design and make a six-stranded, loosely braided bracelet.  The bracelet was created using wire, fiber, and glass beads, all of which reflect the glorious colors of this perennial plant. I've called it Beaded Crocheted Sea Lavender Six-Strand Bracelet.

I've also begun work on a handbag that features the colors of Sea Lavender.  I am crocheting the body of the bag in an open work pattern and then will weave Sea Lavender ribbon through it.  When I saw this ribbon, I had no idea what I would do with it, but I HAD to buy it!  It screams Sea Lavender.  Hopefully, in the photos I have been able to capture the sea green reflective quality that is woven into the periwinkle satin and gives it such amazing color as the light plays over it.

I'll post photos when I finish the bag.

While I love the colors of Wisteria, it is its form that has always captivated me.  My Grandma Smith had a beautiful Wisteria tree and my mom also has gorgeous Wisteria in her yard (not sure, but I actually think the plants came from shoots from my grandmother's tree).  I never know quite whether to call Wisteria a tree or a vine.  It can be trained to grow either way, but even the tree has a very vine-like quality, with pale spring green leaves and tendrils running riot.  The pale purple flower clusters, loose and dangling, always look like they are just dripping from the branches.  As you can probably tell from the name I gave my business, Gossamer Tangles, I've always been fond of fairy-related "things".  Wisteria remind me of the bowers where I imagine fairies would make their homes.

With the Wisteria Necklace I designed and created this week, I attempted to capture the colors and the form of Wisteria vines.  I again used crochet techniques, choosing metallic threads, cotton threads, and glass beads in colors that would reflect the shades of the vines, leaves, trunks, and blossoms.

I really enjoyed making this piece! It was challenging to try to figure out how to make each strand mirror its natural counterpart.