Sunday, July 30, 2017

Component of the Month-Scarabs

This month over at Art Elements Sue chose to make her lovely scarab beads for the design challenge. She makes her lampwork scarab beads in such lovely colors I was torn about which one I wanted so I asked her to just surprise me. When I received the bead I realized it was exactly the one I would have chosen if I had been forced to-hehe. Thanks Sue!!
Sue's shiny scarab beads

This is the one Sue sent me...
Sorry for the slightly blurred photo. It has such a gorgeous metallic sheen to it that I was having a hard time with the lighting.  The color reminds me of a raku finish-just divine!

I knew I wanted to do something with an Egyptian theme to it and even though it is a bead with a hole through it, I wanted to use it like a cab & do some bead embroidery. Initially, I thought about doing a necklace but when I sketched out the design it was WAY too large, although I bet Cleopatra would've worn it!

I created a polymer clay face with black clay and then used paint and ink to try and blend with the color of the scarab. I glued both the polymer clay face down and the scarab bead. When the glue had dried I still stitched the bead several times to make sure it stays put since it isn't flat backed like a cab.
Then I started beading...
Again, bad photo due to shiny face and scarab. You can see my sketch lines on the black bead foundation.

So sorry I failed to photograph the beaded piece when I was finished. I ended up cutting around the design and even cut out the center of the piece.  Since I wanted to mount this I wanted the backbround fabric to show through not the bead foundation.
I used an 8x8 stretched canvas & wrapped it with a piece of vintage silk kimono fabric, stapling it to the back of the canvas. Again, in a hurry and no process photos...

Once I wrapped the canvas and laid the bead piece on top, it needed more of that blue/gray color so I stitched some shibori silk ribbon behind the beaded piece to show through the cut-out area. Then I stitched the beaded piece onto the fabric wrapped canvas and it still needed something...So I grabbed some poly/nylon metallic looking ribbon thread and started making french knots around the edge of the beaded piece as you can see in the photo above. DID. NOT. LIKE. IT.
So I took the knots out and did a twisted chain stitch around the edge to soften between the bead piece and the flat background.  See photo below.
Stitching around the edge of the beaded medallion

When I finished with the twisted chain stitch around the edge I let it sit overnight then decided it NEEDED a little something else. So I stitched a few beads randomly over the background. And here is the finished piece....

Purple and metallic have to be THE hardest things to photograph-at least for me it is/was.
This background fabric is a thick crepe silk and the colors of purple that fade into a grayish periwinkle at the top was the perfect color for my 'Queen of Scarabs'.

As always, the component of the month challenge was great fun! I can't wait to see what the other members and guests have created.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and have a look at all the beautiful beetles this month.

Here are the participants:


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