I selected this class at the 2013 NAN Assembly because it was totally outside my comfort zone. I had embellished linen samplers and canvas with beads, and used the peyote stitch to do a simple kit, but creating a scene using seed beads was a totally new adventure&emdash;and one I really enjoyed!
First we had a brief discussion on materials like nymo thread, beading needles and the need for thimbles. We started with a doodle cloth and practiced attaching straight and curved lines of various sizes of seed beads to a ground. We then continued to add dimensional techniques to our doodle cloth by stacking beads to create bezels around found objects like cabochons and buttons. We learned spirals and a woven technique to create bezels. Our instruction also included making leaves that are unattached to the ground and creative ways to attach bugle beads, sequins, buttons, charms, special flower and leaf beads.
Once the instruction and doodling were completed, we moved our attention to a 3″ x 5″ pre-printed fabric rectangle that would be our class project. After looking at the curls and swirls on our ground fabric, and examining the beads and ‘goodies’ provided by our instructor, imagination took over to design a scene that would eventually be mounted in the top of a cherrywood box.
On my fabric, I chose to put a sun (gold button) in the top left corner to provide light for the growth of the flowers below. The right lower corner became a pond complete with fish, purple water lilies and a turtle sunning himself. Around the pond are tall and short plants with flowers to suggest life and movement.
I enjoyed this beading experience. I attempted to incorporate many of the dimensional techniques presented in our class, and also added some beads of my own to the finished project. I loved being able to create my own scene. At first, it seemed very daunting; but as my imagination started seeing different possibilities, it became fun to decide which ideas to do and how to bead them to create a unified effect.
Looking at my project now, I see areas where I could add more dimension, like having leaves draping onto the wood box from around the pond. This class was excellent, and I have a much better understanding and appreciation for beading.