>Gray Day


Recently, I was contacted by a very successful bead artist who asked me a favor. I don’t want to name the artist just yet, but I will say that she is a favourite of mine:) This artist would like to use a quote written by me which describes her new (soon-to-be-published) book. She provided me with a few draft pages to look over and ponder for a few days. She told me that she’d like to print my quote on the back cover or on the inside flap of the book. How exciting, I thought. My name would be written on/in the same book as one of the artists who inspired me to start beading!!

While it may seem easy to write just a few sentences, it actually requires a bit of thought… Thinking about this also stirred up dreams of possibly writing my own book someday. I already know a possible title, but what would I write about? Would I describe my own basic bead embroidery techniques?? Would I document my own inspirations? Would I state my own philosophies? Or would I write my own children’s book using beaded images? Or all of the above? There are so many possibilities to consider… :0

So, for a little inspiration, I flipped through The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli & Sherry Serafini. This book has been sitting on my shelf for months, but for some reason I really hadn’t started to read it until yesterday. I began to read some of the basic techniques. The first one is called Backstitch. Sherry’s is Backstitch 2. She stitches only 2 beads at a time because her designs are full of intricate curves. Heidi’s is called Backstitch 4. She stitches 4 beads at a time, and passes back through the last two to anchor them to the fabric.

Bead Embroidery art Beaded Beatles Yellow submarine gray whale Boston beading Quincy MA weather

In my case, I would have to call it Backstitch 6. For my gray whale in the above photo, I’ve been stitching six size 15 seed beads at a time while passing back through the last 3 to anchor them down to the fabric. This works great for size 15’s, especially if you are stitching relatively straight lines to cover a rather large area. For size 11’s, I would stick with Heidi’s Backstitch 4. And, I only resort to Sherry’s backstitch 2 when absolutely necessary. But, the fact is, even with Backstitch 6 this last whale is taking way too long. Looks like today will be another gray day

11 thoughts on “>Gray Day

  1. >Now who could that author be? I do think I know but I won’t say. What an honor!I do backstitch 3 except in tight corners where I do backstitch 2!

  2. >It’s fun to hear about how other beaders work. I don’t know how you can work with 15s, because they look like big glitter to me! 11s are as small as I’ll go, usually. My usual stitch is backstitch 3, and I pass through the last 2 the 2nd time. Of course, I’ll go 1 or 2 at a time if I’m making tight curves.

  3. >Thanks for the comments. I will let you know which book it is when the time is right…Hopefully it will be soon. And, Foam! You described the whales perfectly. Hehe… 😉

  4. >well…congratulations again!!are you gonna let us know soon? i love your whales, btw which are slightly menacing in an endearingly whimsical and funny way..

  5. >Hi Joann, Thanks for your comment. I have used Stiff Stuff for small pieces, but I prefer felt. Lacy’s Stiff Stuff is too expensive for my needs, but I do like it. I would recommend that a beginner start out with that, if possible. If it is not available, you can also use heavy weight Pellon, but this is not so stiff. LOL.

  6. >The whale is looking great! I like the color gradations. I’ve definitely been inspired by you showing your embroidery, and I’m going to have to make a 3rd kelp inspired necklace..this time embroidered (once I get the second one done) LOL Do you recommend working on Stiff Stuff?

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