Saturday, 28 September 2013

Sequintastic September 2013

It's finally here, my sequintastic post. Many things have come in the way. First I was ill and unable to dedicate much time to creating, then I almost forgot about the hop because I was ill for so long and then yesterday I got the dates mixed up so while I had taken all the photos, I never got as far as culling, editing and writing a post about it. But now it's finally here!

Because I was unable to make a finished piece, but really didn't want to withdraw from two blog hops in a row (had to bow out of the cabochon challenge), I figured I'd instead write a bit about what I'm doing right now. At the moment I'm at the planning stage, sketching on a bead embroidery piece using some of my newest sequin flowers. Not yet having decided on a design, it's all been about trying to combine the different components in various ways to find something I like. Below you will see glimpses from this creative process.

(By the way, I don't know how the photos look on your monitors, but for some reason the white backgrounds change colour on my monitor when I upload them to Blogger. Really annoying and I only hope it doesn't look as bad on your computer as it does on mine...)

The first thing I did was to gather the beads and sequins I wanted to use for my design. I started with the flowers and then the beads pretty much added themselves. They were bought on a separate occasion and never really intended to be used with the sequins. The baroque seed beads from Miyuki were bought because they were new and I was dying to see them IRL. Chose the three colours I liked the best and two of them just happened to match the flowers. Similar thing with the twisted bugle beads. I never used that kind of beads, but I was curious about the gold antiqued matte finish and I could only find that in this bead type. Again, just a coincidence that they happened to go with the flowers and pearlescent big seeds. Lastly, I added the dark leaf sequins (purchased the same time as the flowers).

The beads picked themselves you might say. But now the question was what to do with this mix of components. First I just began by combining them in simple designs that would work just as well as strung or linked jewellery as embroidery borders. After all, just because I want to embroider doesn't mean the components want something else.

My first ideas for Sequintastic September when I signed up had been about using the flowers for a simple but cute necklace. While it was now set aside for this new idea about an embroidery (of some sort), I still wanted to test a few design ideas. And as said above, they could also work in an embroidery.

Sidestepping the chronology I'm trying to follow in this post, I also ended up testing what the flowers would look like doubled. Something I didn't think about before doing the experiments below where the sequins ended up nestled in one another.

I also had to test what the baroques would look like as flower centres. An idea that popped up pretty much for the same reason as above. The beads tried it themselves first. They are a tad too big, though. Unless flower is transformed into a ring of sepals and the baroque bead becomes a berry. Like, say, herb paris (Paris quadrifolia, ormbär). The first version would be great for something like that, though perhaps with another, more round, bead.

After the first little tests of combining components in different ways, it was onto thinking about the over all design. I had no idea what I wanted to actually do beyond using the flowers and then add matching beads to support them. So what do you do after you've poured out all the sequins and beads for a "group shot" (see initial photo)? Well, why not just mix them up and play with them?

I scooped them up, poured them out and took photos from different angles. Then I mixed them and spread them out in a new way, took more photos and repeated.

 I had taken a brown beading foundation and "antique gold" tulle with me and I tried the beads on that as well as on the white photo background. Unfortunately, the tulle didn't really feel as golden and metallic as I wanted against the sequins and beads. This photo session wasn't just about finding inspiration for my design, it also taught me I have to find another foundation to bead on. One that will truly complement the components as this looks like a bead embroidery where the surface isn't encrusted with beads/sequins but one where the surface will be an important and visible part of the design.

Maybe it's the autumnal colours, maybe it's the season -- or maybe it's because I often want things ordered and tend to lean towards that even in my creative work whether I like it or not -- but I fell for the "forest debris" look. Beads in layers, flowers and bugles tumbling around freely. It does however pose a big challenge for me: how to I keep this look once I start beading, knowing my subconscious urge to order and sort everything in neat groups and lines? This is a mild chaos without any deliberate pattern. Easy to do when mixing and pouring out the beads/sequins on the table, but harder to keep when stitching each piece onto a foundation. One by one they might want to line up neatly instead of lying on top of each other and fight for the same space. Those initial simple designs would be oh so easy to make, but this feels really hard to recreate. 

While the photo/design session didn't result in a fully formed plan or even a sketch, it did give me many ideas about how to use the flower sequins and also some general ideas for other, future embroideries. And of cause it was also fun and relaxing to just play around with the sequins and beads like this. With a camera by the side it's easy to capture different stages of the "play session" for future reference -- and the photos in themselves can become the result, the artwork (especially if they're better quality than mine; bad light sources and quick editing makes for poor photos). Even if I end up doing something way different, I also have these ideas captured in images for me to enjoy.


That was all from me. Thank you so much for stopping by (perhaps for a second time even as I didn't have my reveal up in time)! I hope you have enjoyed it. Now be sure to visit the other Sequintastic September participants too!

List of Sequintastic September participants

Blog hop participants without blog share they creations here.


  1. It is interesting to see how you played with the sequins and beads. It is rather uncommon to see this part of the process. The sequins are lovely. Unfortunately the materials we order or buy sometimes don't match with the things we are planning to use with them as a part of a design. Milka

  2. What beautiful beads and sequins you chose to work with - I loved the peak into your design process. Your photography is superb and you shared so many lovely possibilities.

  3. The sequins you chose are very pretty

  4. I'm happy to hear you are feeling better. I enjoyed getting a peak at your sequin design inspirations. Any or all of the layouts will look beautiful! I can't wait to see where the sequins take you :D

  5. I love the chaotic look too, and find that I can best achieve it by marking where the large pieces go and then just filling in, with lots of overlapping and spaces left. Hope it goes well for you!

  6. Thank you so much for your comments, everyone! I'm glad to hear you liked my sequin/bead mix.

  7. I'm so sorry you were sick, and I'm really flattered that you went ahead and posted anyway. I like your bead and sequin play! And I love the Sequintastic September button you designed. Next year, if you're up to it, I might ask you to design the official hop banner. <3

    1. Thank you! I'm very flattered by your proposal, it'd be fun to give it a try if you want me to. :D

      Now I just have to find a good fabric/foundation so I can actually begin working on my sequin embroidery -- now that I've shown you these pics, I pretty much have to present a finished pieces too soon, don't I? ;-)


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