Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sequintastic September Blog Hop: Aurora Borealis Bead Embroidered Cuff Bracelet

Welcome to the Sequintastic September Blog Hop hosted by the SeQueen herself, Sarah of Saturday Sequins ! Sarah describes herself as "A jewelry designer and artist obsessed with all things sparkly." She is also a blogger extraordinaire and has graciously extended the invitation to the jewelry designing community at large to participate in this themed challenge. I'm sure that most participants have some degree of experience working with sequins, which if you couldn't tell by the Blog Hop title, that is the featured component of the challenge. Except me. Never worked with sequins before this challenge so I am going to describe the creative process for my entry and hopefully give other would-be 'sequinators' some encouragement to pick up some of these glittery, shiny, iridescent little workhorses and put thread to needle and bead away!

I have to admit...I am not finished with my project (hangs head in shame). It is at the "finishing touches stage." I have a graveyard of projects that just need clasps, earwires or the loose threads woven into the work and trimmed. However, before I launch into an hour-long psychotherapy session on "closure issues," let me get to the meat of the matter. My project and it's creative journey...

First, I would like to thank (Oscar speech time!) Sarah of Saturday Sequins for hosting this event. I would also like to thank Sherry Serafini for inspiring the use of Shibori ribbon in Bead Embroidery. I used the book by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini, "The Art of Bead Embroidery: Technique, Design & Inspiration" because this is my first bead embroidery project of this magnitude. I also thank Shibori Girl Studios for supplying the Shibori ribbon that launched this project.

And now, without further ado...Aurora Borealis Bead Embroidered Cuff Bracelet.

Whoa! Hold on...that is not a picture of my project, but it is the creative inspiration for designing the cuff. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights, the eerily beautiful green aura amid a million twinkling stars. So I decided to recreate a wearable homage to this amazing phenomenon.

To create the illusion of the green aura, I decided to use Shibori ribbon in Mermaid colorway. I wove the ribbon into the foundation. The hand-dyed colorway and the texture of the ribbon achieve a three dimensional and ethereal quality to the design. I then chose my focal points accordingly: Swarovski Rivolis were bezeled and sewn onto the foundation at strategic locations and then loads of seed beads were embroidered to fill in the spaces. Sequins were added for "extra-terrestrial effect." Now all I have to do is: glue the foundation and backing onto cuff blank and lash the backing onto the 'fronting.'


On my Sequintastic journey, I learned a lot about sequins during the fabrication process. (1) A few sequins lend a lot of bling-y impact to your beadwork! (2) They are not a tasty addition to your morning cup o' Joe. (3) They get into places that they have noooo business being. My dog came up to me with sequins stuck to his cold, wet nose. I wasn't sure if he was turning into a Vampire dog, so I've had a garlic dog bone hanging around my neck for days. My family, friends and strangers think I'm weird. Apparently our dog turning into Robert Pattinson doesn't concern them as much as it does me!

Thank you for viewing my Blog Hop contribution. Please click on the links below to hop to other participants Sequintastic entries! With Bling-y Regards...


Please let me know if any of the above links are not working and I will try to remedy the problem :D


  1. Your post was such FUN! I totally relate to having closure issues (as well as a graveyard of pieces that require some sort of finishing touch). I really hope you manage to put the finishing touches on your bracelet because it is STUNNING and cries out to be shown off. It's shouting "wear me" loud and clear. Don't believe people who say beads can't talk.

  2. Tammy, awesome job on the post and the project! Your cuff is beautiful and elegant, and you're right -- a few sequins can go a long way.

    They sure do get into strange places, don't they? I found some in my fridge the other day, and I was like... I'm only eating these if we're out of cereal.

  3. A perfect description, the ribbons and the sequins work so well together. Great design.

  4. Hah! Love your post, first off! Like you, I don't use sequins much in the ordinary course of stitching, so it's fun to see what happens when I do. I have had very similar experiences regarding the clinginess of sequins - they really need to work on their sense of independence.

    That said, your bracelet truly captures the spirit of your inspiration. I love how you allowed the shibori ribbons to carry the color load, with your darker beadwork echoing the night landscape. Beautiful abstract design.

  5. What an awesome awesome piece! You are so clever, twisting the fibers like that to get the look of the aurora...I am stunned!

  6. Oh heavens, what a gorgeous piece of work! I just love that soft look the ribbon gives to your design. And the subtle touch of the sequins is just right. And, yes, I was giggling over your 'vampire' dog!

  7. Gorgeous bracelet! I really like the way you wove it in under the bugle bead sections. It adds such lovely flowing lines, just like a stream or, of cause, the northern lights.

    I've been looking at those luscious shibori ribbons for ages, but never got around to buying any. Partially because there are too many yummy colourways, partially because the aren't the cheapest ribbons to buy. Now you made me dream about -- or perhaps rather drool over -- them again. ;)


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