Monday, March 21, 2011

A Beaded Gift

I made this brooch as a present for my grandmother's 75th birthday. It's a bit belated but I hope she will appreciate it anyways. I really like the neutral, faded palette of creams and ivories and hope to work with it more. It features vintage (possibly antique) bone buttons acting as cabochons, a resin flower, a brass filigree bead along with several freshwater pearls, glass pearls, crystals, and seed beads.

I have lots of other goodies including milagros, vintage watch parts, Turkoman buttons and other tribal accoutrements that I want to incorporate into similar pieces in the future. My grandmother is a bit on the more traditional side though so I didn't think she would appreciate a more steampunk edge to her particular brooch. I couldn't resist adding a slight grungy touch to this pin though with two primitive-looking, irregular circular beads that look like they may have once been part of a well-loved necklace. I actually have another brooch/hair clip in progress that I hope to have completed soon which has more of an eclectic influence.

Beading is very therapeutic, and taking into consideration my stress levels as of late there may be a lot of beaded items making their way into the shop.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Songbird Taking Wing

I've been slowly easing myself back into making things after a considerable lull. Several months ago I carved this little songbird pendant and I just started to stain it yesterday evening. I thought you might like to see how it has progressed so far. The photos were taken with my iPod touch in artificial light, so the quality isn't the greatest.

I generally tend to layer my leather dyes, working from light to dark, building up the colors for a richer tone. In the image below, the lightest stain I currently have, Canyon Tan, has been applied to sketch in the bird's markings.

In the second image, I've added black to define the eye and I've layered two darker browns over parts of the initial stain to bring out some of the patterns in the plumage.
I'm tempted to leave it like this as the tone-on-tone dyes over the natural color of the leather is really appealing, but as with the previous songbirds (Sparrow & Finch) I'll be adding some acrylic to add more dimension and color. This little birdie is another sparrow, and her markings are a melding of those of the Chipping and Song Sparrow species.
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