Thursday, August 30, 2012

Adventures in Bead Applique

Hi Everyone! 

In the last post I gave you a little flashback into the beginning of my love affair with beads when I first stumbled upon a bead store located around the corner from where I worked and became mesmerized by those shiny little things. Yes! I went hook, line and sinker into the world of beads, carried away by the colors, design and the unlimited possibilities in jewelry making. Little did I know when I walked into the bead store to find some embellishments how my first love of quilting would turn to a fascination in making beaded jewelry.  Soon I was engaged in taking workshops and learning and traveling to bead shows across the country. In fact, the first bead show I went to in Austin, TX was the beginning of another love affair~Travel. Well, that is another story so let's continue on into the adventure of bead applique! 

As promised, here are the original beaded applique pieces that Amanda and I made in our first workshop.  

Original Bead Applique Designed by Amanda

Amanda's piece reminds me of the ocean with the tides and then it could be a jellyfish too! In beaded applique work the center cabochon must be anchored into place with beads that create a bezel, and only then after the cab is secured can you begin the bead applique. The bead applique is painstakingly done by hand sewing three beads at a time onto a felted background. As you can imagine, it takes a great deal of time to sew a design like this. To create a wave and sun (or moon) design, Amanda chose bugle beads in aqua and lavender. She used real Swarovski crystals in her fringe and to finish off the piece, picot beading was done around the edges. I think she did a terrific job on her very first piece!  And she didn't quit there! She went on to make this intricate Sunflower design! 
Original Sunflower Beaded Applique by Amanda

I on the other hand, made one (and only one) original bead applique piece! Bead applique I love, but it is not my cup of tea when it comes to beading....takes to long.  
Original Beaded Applique design by Suzy

The cabochon spoke to my heart and I went with the flow, creating what I call the Oyster.  You can tell that I also enjoyed the lesson on fringe making and got a bit carried way, but you know, the fringe is what makes this piece work. I still love it after all these years!  

Writing this post is making me think about playing with my beads! Do you have a hobby or craft that makes you excited? Please share your obsession with me! 

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wedding Day Beads and Baubles

Hello Everyone! 

FLASH BACK: About 20 years ago it was love at first sight when I walked into a bead store to look for embellishments for a crazy quilted/silk embroidered purse I was making.  Every day, I would go to the bead store at lunch time and admire the bead work, soon the shop owner and I became friends and I signed up for my first workshop. My daughter, Amanda was 13 at the time and asked if she could come too, so I pleaded with my new friend to allow me to bring her along to an adult class. At first she was very hesitant to have a child in her class, but eventually she said OK when I assured her that Amanda was a very quiet child and well behaved. Turns out Amanda was a quick learner, good with beads and impressed the shop owner when she designed her very own project!  Well, that is how I got into beading and making beaded jewelry and where Amanda learned a love for crystal beads! I'll post some photos of our first beading projects soon. 

You must be wondering what this has to do with Wedding Day Beads and Baubles!  I guess it just reminded me of how we got started and where it has lead us to the beaded projects that I'm sharing now! 

First, before you get to see the wedding projects,  Here's a  shout out to my DD and DSIL on their FIRST Month Anniversary! Happy Anniversary you two love birds!!

PRESENT DAY: And now....I'd like to share a few handmade wedding accessories with you!  Amanda asked me to look at the hair pins she was considering as a purchase for her wedding day hairstyle. I checked them out and asked her if she might like me to make her some instead. She said she would love for me to make them so here's the design I came up with below (BTW not anything like the ones she was considering).  Please excuse the laundry list included in the photo!  
Pearl and Crystal Hair Pins 
The hair pins are made with almond colored pearls and clear crystals wired to a bobby pin.  Here's what they looked like in her hair below.
Hair pins 
It was a JOY to make something for my daughter to wear on her wedding day! 

NEXT PROJECT: Mama needs a necklace for the wedding! 

This is one of my favorite patterns! The beads are different sizes and make a wonderful spiral necklace.  I used pearls, crystals, metals and seed beads in creme, almond,copper and gold in the main piece and clear crystals and almond pearls for the single strand necklace.  
Spiral Pearls and Crystal Necklace
LAST PROJECT: Mama needs a purse for the wedding! 

I tackled my last project about a week before the wedding! I needed an evening bag and since I couldn't find what I wanted I made it!  The base of the purse is made of latte colored satin, envelope style (with gussets at the sides to make additional room inside) and a magnetic closure. The heavily beaded applique piece is actually a fabric created from sewing threads, beaded and then appliqued to the front flap of the bag! OK, Ok, I do realize that saving odds and ends of sewing thread is a bit odd, but over the years of sewing and quilting, I have amassed a collection of thread snippet left-overs. In my defense, they are organized by color and stored in plastic baggies to be used in making applique bases and designs. It's a form of recycling/upcycling. Anyhow, it is the perfect "fabric" base for beading, drapes nicely over edges and works well as a support for design. The threads are encased in a water soluable stabilizer and heavily sewn over with metallic threads in a random way to secure the threads and afterward the "fabric" is embellished with beads.  The roses are also handmade from satin ribbon and add a nice finishing touch.  

Beaded Evening Bag 

Thank you for stopping by to visit and I hope you have enjoyed the wedding projects I've been sharing with you!  I'll be posting our Seed Bead Applique Designs soon, so please come back again.


Linking to: Friday

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Flower Girl Basket & Wedding Aisle Decorations

Hello Everyone! 

Last week I shared with you a tutorial on how to make the Wedding Card Box, and in keeping with the wedding theme, today I'd like to share the basket I hand-made for our Flower Girl.  
Materials for Wedding Card Box, Flower Girl Basket and flowers. 

I took the original basket (above) in dark brown and transformed it into the one you see below.  
Flower Girl Basket

The outer basket is padded with a bit of cotton batting and is gathered on the bottom and a separate circle cut from a file folder is used to cover the bottom gathers and stabilize the basket. It was hand sewn into place to keep the bottom flat. The inner basket lining is also gathered at the bottom with another covered circle piece placed at the bottom.  

After wrapping the handles with satin ribbon, I didn't like the look of where it attached to the basket. Normally one would just add ribbons and fru-fru to cover up the handles but Amanda was going for something less frilly. There was also a seam where the two linings were sewn together that I didn't care for on the edge of the basket, so I decided to add some pearls to cover that up. Well, a few pearls later....and the final touch was adding  a big silk flower to one side and called it done. 

Here's another wedding craft project you might want to consider: making your own aisle decorations!  Easy enough....I Googled "wedding aisle decorations" and a bunch of ideas popped up! .  I made these paper cones to hold white hydrangeas in the wedding theme colors. 
Flower Cones 
Here's where I got the idea of how to make the Flower Cones: Thanks to and inspiration from Flower Cones by rosesandhydrangeas for the great tutorial. 

I hope you have enjoyed the glimpse into my wedding crafting and will be inspired to try your own wedding craft too!  


Linking to: &

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wedding Project: DIY Card Box

Hi Everyone!

I'm back to share with you one of the wedding projects I made for my daughter Amanda's wedding! Unfortunately, I didn't think to take photos of the process (actually, that's probably a good thing...I'm rather messy and haphazard when crafting). 

At first I thought everything Amanda asked me to make would be easy-peasy! Not that they weren't easy, but as always I equate EASY with FAST, not time-consuming. She had definite ideas of what she wanted in design, style,colors and even some samples she had pinned to her Pinterest boards.  I of course, do not follow directions well <grin>, always need to make something my own...I don't know if that is the rebel in me or if it is the creativeness. Anyhoo, let's say I'm the queen of improvising on a theme.

My first project was the Card Box which actually is used to keep the guests cards in one place and safe during the wedding/reception.  I love the idea of it looking like a wedding cake! She wanted simple and it is, but with some extra bling-bling. LOL! I was inspired by the many beautiful handcrafted boxes being sold on the Internet, however the  cost of these lovely creations simply wasn't in our budget AND we knew it could be made by MOM <wink>. 
Card Box

So of course, off to the craft store I went for supplies:
  • set of nesting brown craft boxes (Joann's Fabrics)
  •  3/4" Cream & 1" Latte & 1/2" White Satin ribbon on rolls
  • white craft paper (Dollar Store)
  • Glue dots & Glue runner tape (Joann's)
  • Elmer's craft glue
  • Aleene's Tacky Glue (Joann's)
  • White Satin fabric for flower 
  • Almond Pearls and Clear Crystals (Hobby Lobby)
  • Clear crystal bling and pearls (on back of box)
You'll also need: 
  • ruler
  • craft knife
  • cutting mat
  • foam brush or old credit/gift card
  • Hot glue gun
  • patience, lots of patience! 
I stacked the boxes from largest (bottom) to smallest (top), traced around the shapes on each box so I would know where to adhere them later. With an craft knife on the top box lid (only), I cut a one inch wide opening by length of box lid, leaving at least a one to one and a half inch space to each side. The other two box lid openings were cut one inch inside the marked lines on the two larger lids and bottom of the smallest box and middle box. Leave plenty of space for the card to make it into the largest box. There are several You-Tube videos that might be helpful in understanding this concept if you are having trouble visualizing it (wedding card boxes). 

The brown boxes were prepped with gesso (option:white craft or spray paint) so the brown wouldn't show through the white craft paper (it was pretty thin).  Next measure and cut the white craft paper for each box lid (you will cut the holes out later). Adhere thin layer of glue using an old credit/gift card or foam brush to spread the glue evenly. Wrap edges of box tucking excess paper under the lid or to the inside of the box (no one is going to see it).  To cut the box top holes into the craft paper imagine a straight line down the center of the opening (you can draw one too) and cut the line with craft knife leaving about 1" from the end of each short end. Next cut the corners diagonally, tuck everything in and glue to the inside, trim excess paper as needed.  

At this point I decided the white paper looked too plain so I embossed a swirly design in the middle of the boxes on all sides. Keep in mind that the ribbon will cover the bottom and the box top also would be covering a portion.   Be sure your embossing is dry before you go on.  Next, measure the bottom edges of the boxes and cut ribbon 1" longer to tuck under.  I used two methods to adhere ribbon to the boxes: glue tape runner on the base ribbon (sturdy hold) and tacky glue on the top ribbons. I also glued ribbon around the box lids, the end of the ribbons were tucked under and held in place with glue dots. I added a Pearl and Crystal bling to the back for embellishment. 

Hot glue boxes together, centering them in place over the holes previously cut.  I also glued the lids down to make the box secure (in case it toppled or someone wanted to peek inside). I printed the white card stock label (on computer using Word) with the bride and groom's name and wedding date; layered to larger card stock (latte) and used Glue Runner tape to adhere to front of the middle section of the box.  The white satin flower was made according to directions from Martha Stewart. You can get the directions here  I modified the flower to a smaller size for the card box, opting to hand sew the petals together and added centers made from pearls and clear crystals. I also used this pattern from MS to make the ring bearer pillow (below).  

Ring Bearer Pillow

Inspiration comes from everywhere!  I hope you will be inspired to try your hand at making your own wedding crafts. Have fun and make it your own !

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Beautiful Wedding Day

Hello Everyone! 

It was a beautiful summer day when our daughter Amanda was married to her long-time love, Fabian.  The wedding was held at the historic Casa Marina Hotel on Jacksonville Beach. The Casa Marina is a charming hotel that was built in the early 1900's, it features a lovely courtyard that faces the ocean and is a very popular spot for weddings.
The Casa Marina at Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Our girl Amanda looked beautiful in her wedding gown, she glowed with happiness and true beauty both inside and out. I couldn't believe how calm the bride and bridesmaids were while getting their hair and makeup done, dressed and ready for the photographer. No Bridezillas in this wedding party! 

The Bride
Amanda and Fabian's daughter, Destiny getting ready for ceremony.

Everything was going as planned until right before the ceremony was to begin...being summer, at the beach and late afternoon, there was a brief rain shower!  My darling grand-daughter, Brianne was in the bridal suite looking out the window at the courtyard venue and trying to blow the clouds away! LOL!  
Here Comes The Bride 

Mr. and Mrs.

Down to the beach for photos! 

Bride and Flower Girl: Amanda and Brianne
Groom and Ring Bearer: Fabian and Nick

Bride Amanda with Flower Girl Brianne and Ring bearer Nick 

Bride and Groom with Flower Girl

Wedding Party 
Amanda's bouquet was cream roses with green cymbidium orchids wrapped in cream ribbon with pearl studs. I was so touched that Amanda wanted to carry her bouquet with her Mimi's jewelry attached as part of the "something old and borrowed". The gold rose pin and cameo belonged to my mother who passed away eleven years ago, she would have been so proud to see her "little weetie" Amanda getting married! 

L-R: Mother and Father of the Bride: Rich and Susie,  Mother and Father of the Groom:  Maria  and Mario .

Here she is dancing with her Dad to Nat/Natalie King Cole's Unforgettable.  When she was little her Dad would come home from work and pick her up and dance with her around the room to a song called "I danced with the dolly with the hole in her stocking."  Amanda gifted her Dad with a beautiful picture frame that holds a photo of them dancing Then and Now and says:" From dancing with the dolly with a hole in her stocking to dancing with you at my wedding. Our dances will always be unforgettable.  As unforgettable as you....I love you, Dad". 

Fabian dancing with his mother, Maria. 

It was an unforgettable evening at the Casa Marina for the Bride and Groom and their families and friends! 

Grand daughters: Lyla and Brianne

Amanda's brother Chris and his baby girl, Lyla.

Amanda and my BFF Bonnie share a moment before the wedding. 
Amanda and Chris the day before the wedding.

Mom and Dad with daughter Amanda the day before the wedding. 

Chris, Stephanie and Lyla at Rehearsal Dinner.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our family and the special day's events.