Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rococo Inspired Weaving and Braiding

Rococo Inspired Weaving and Braiding by Carmi Cimicata for John Bead Corp and Perles et Cetera Fall 2016 Issue
When I think of rococo, the extravagant gowns and hairstyles of Marie Antoinette come to mind immediately. The Rococo style was coming to the end of its popularity at the same time support for the French monarchy died. Rococo styling had been featured in architecture, home d├ęcor and fashion, it was “just too much” and it was criticised for being superficial and ridiculous. In the end, I believe it showcased a style of living that few people could attain (we all know how it worked out for Marie Antoinette) and lead to a new movement, the Empire Style, that was simpler, free spirited and with less decoration.

Although Rococo appeared frivolous, it still included intricate patterns and designs. It also featured imagery of love and romance. With that style guide in mind, I decided to create some bracelets that would feature patterns derived by weaving and braiding with two classic royal colors: red and purple.

Bracelet one is a woven pattern created on a new tool, the Beadalon Bracelet Weaver tool. Bracelet two is the same woven design, however it has been cut and embellished in an “over the top” manor. Bracelet three is a classic kumihimo 8-strand braid. Worn together they would be extravagant. However, in the words of Iris Apfel, “Most people say take one off: I say add one on.” This over-embellishment ideal is my own.

To create the weave for the bracelets I used the latest award-winning tool to be launched by Beadalon this year: the Bangle Bracelet Weaver. The metal base has three sets of holes, which ultimately creates three different sized bangles. I used the large size and set my warp pins into the outer circle of holes. The tool comes with wonderful step-by-step photo instructions and you can see a video demonstration on their YouTube channel explaining how to create fabulous wire and fiber bangles.

The first bracelet began with just a simple knot to tie my two rattail strands together and then I weaved.

It is a positively enjoyable process because you start to see your patterns quickly.

To make your weaving permanent, a length of fiber or wire is used to thread between your woven fibers next to the warp pins.

My finished bangle is lightweight since I used rattail and some cording to make it.
I then made a second identical bangle.

I needed to cut my second bangle open, so to ensure my weaving would not unravel I added lines of glue in two locations.

When the glue was completely dry I simply cut next to the glue lines.

I then attached my silver end caps with additional glue hiding those two unfinished cut sections.

With my bangle now flat, I was able to hand stitch some beads throughout. My open bangle was finished with a magnetic clasp and I chose to dangle to crystal heart pendants to the clasp with jump rings.
The third bracelet was created with my kumihimo disk and finishing components.

Together I have a set of bracelets, which can be worn on one or both arms. The addition of some beautiful Swarovski crystal hearts adds the romance factor I was seeking. Slider bails allowed me to attach a Swarovski heart pendant to the kumihimo bracelet and I experimented with both 3 and 5 bails. In the end I used one bail and attached my two other crystal hearts to the beaded bangle.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Glass Artistry by Earth Songs Studio

Earlier this summer I discovered Earth Songs Studio and the beautiful glass artistry of Julia Spittel.
I purchased three pendants and strung them with a selection of beads.  
Each pendant inspired my color palettes.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Freestyle Beading

Today is a civic holiday for me: an opportunity clean my studio and finish up some projects.
This necklace was started during the winter and finally wrapped up today.

My project began with three wooden faces I painted silver 
and I had a filigree necklace I was dying to upcycle.

My classic evening lap desk.

I just hand-sewed beads around the faces.

 I glued some felt on, to make the back of the filigree look tidy again.
Then I reassembled the necklace with jump rings.

Upcycled and refreshed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Vintage Paris Ribbon Necklace

I always prefer to wear more fiber in the summer.  It is so lightweight and colorful.
This necklace is a perfect example of everything I love.

My unique pendant beads are actually vintage french ribbon.

Each year in Paris, I look for ribbon samples 
that salespeople used to show customers a ribbon collection.

This year I did really well in the Paris antique markets.  I found several boards like this one.
You can see an entire collection of the same design in many color options.

The strips are just long enough to create these little ribbon "pocket beads."

I folded my ribbons and secured a ribbon edge metal component to create a finished edge.

I stuffed the beads with a little felt and hand sewed the sides closed.
With my beads completed, I strung my necklace with beads in a similar bright color palette.

The bead strands were a gift from Sarah James and Candie Cooper.
Thanks girls!

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Wonderful Window Dog In Brugge, Belgium

I have always referred to this doggie as the King of Belgium. Several years ago I was in Brugge, Belgium on one of those canal boat tours. We were speeding along and I looked up to see this well known local. I only had one second to snap a picture with my cheapie camera before we flew past. 
To this day, I keep the picture on my computer screen. 

One day, I hope I will be this relaxed.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

The French Mannequin Head

Every year in Paris I look to see if this tiny store in the 6th still features this mannequin head.
Happily, they never disappoint.  This is five years of styling.