Espresso Bead Embroidery

I am working on a lovely commission necklace for someone using bead embroidery. My customer’s animal totem is a dog/wolf and she also likes goddess things. She sent a bone pendant and some lovely beads that she’d collected including tiger eye and coloured pearls, moonstone, and garnet.

She wanted earthy tones and subject matter which has been a delightful challenge. I bought some great ceramic cabochons with tree and plant-related designs and imprints from artist Helen O’Donnell, and I found some transparent brown seed beads lined with yellow called “Espresso” which remind me of my customer’s love for coffee.

The shape had to be an inverted triangle to represent the feminine and she mentioned the colour mauve so I’ve managed to use some of that, and she also wanted a red rose, so I’ve done a bit of silk ribbon embroidery. The clasp is copper and I have a few copper and bone beads to mix in.

This isn’t a huge collar, but a. . . maybe a small chest piece I could call it.

I’ve attached a very tiny picture to show the challenge of pulling everything together, but I’m almost ready to fill in the background. I hope to have it done next week, but I have chronic arthritis, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis, so I work about three hours a day before the pain gets me. It’s really a pleasure to make something pretty with lots of symbolism for someone.

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And a small shot after today’s stint of 3.5 hours. Starting to come together as I fill in the background. Bead embroidery always looks a bit odd while you’re in the thick of it, much like a painting.

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And another day, another whack done. I am nearly done the main part, and I’m edging with red beads to pick up the customer’s red roses. I do a brick stitch edging–nice and even and neat.

I’m doing a double strand on this too so will be tacking the wire down before putting the suede backing on. So many things to do!

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Getting there. Will save the finished image for when I’m completely done.

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