4/30/2020

Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Bees

I have to admit that I went into this Art Elements challenge without a clue or inspiration once again simply because I loved the topic Niky chose - bees.
Here's an old picture from our little garden in the back and one from the wonderful Cambridge University Botanic Garden.





Now to the challenge.
I don't have many yellow beads. I have some Delicas, some Czech seed beads, and I had a bracelet that had been waiting to get ripped up, with wire crochet flowers of riverstone and yellow cat eye beads. I thought the cat eye beads would make nice little bee bodies, but I could hardly paint black stripes on. So instead I decided not to make bees, but to loom something inspired by bee colors.
The plan was a bead loomed base in black and yellow with cat eye embellishments. For contrast I used black seed beads and yellow thread, and because I didn't want the cat eyes to sit too high, I thought I'd leave neat little cutouts in the base for them.
So I loomed and then started reweaving threads. Nine beads meant nine cutouts meant 54 more threads to weave in. The number was not the problem, I don't mind reweaving, but although I left the warp threads quite long on both sides, most of these threads were very short. After all they were no extra threads. The one row in which three cutouts "met" - not the smartest idea I ever had - resulted in having to get eight threads out of one long one. So mostly I went back along the warp thread with the needle, threaded it then, pulled through, went through one of the horizontal rows with the needle, threaded it, pulled through .... for just one of 54 threads. Repeat, repeat, repeat ... I do have shorter needles, but they are a little too thick for my taste.
Finally I could sew the cat eyes in. When I was done, however, I looked at my bracelet and thought, wow, that is really, really ... BORING! Ugh.

What now? I had to come up with something to spruce this up a little. I tried this and that, and finally I gave all of the little yellow bees wings from clear AB size 15 seed beads. They are rather delicate, so I didn't want them flapping on the bracelet, and I fastened each wing tip to the loomed base.
Unfortunately I still wasn't happy. It couldn't be helped, those bees needed their stripes. What if I gave each one a stripe from size 15 seed beads? Of course they wouldn't sit tightly on the bodies, but you'd get the idea of bees. Only when I had "painted" all nine cat eyes, I thought a second stripe might be even better o.O

Ok then. Hm. Now I wished I had thought of that from the beginning and given the bees a green base to sit on. Not that I would have had the beads to do that. Not that I wanted to start all over again. Not that it even made sense to think about now. Night flying bees. Are there bees that fly in the night? Obviously there isn't that much known about bees and their sleep, except that they do sleep or at least take naps. Worker bees in the hive also work during the night, but bees don't fly at night.
Well, mine did now and it looked rather dark. I could at least give them some flowers? So that's what I did.
Believe me, there is a LOT of thread in those base beads and a lot of time in the bracelet!
Now I just had to add the findings, though, in a gold tone this time which works better here than my usual silver or copper tones.


Wow. I honestly wasn't sure if I'd make it in time. I'm almost impressed by my own patience :-P

This is a blog hop, so please check out the other participants' posts as well!

Guests
 
Alysen - Cat (that's me ;-)) - Evie and Beth - Hope - Kathy - Kelly - Sarajo - Tammy  

AE team members


Cathy - Jennifer - Jenny - Marsha - Niky - Sue



I'll end this post with a picture collage of bees (flying by day ;-)) sent to me by a friend. Aren't they beautiful?

26 comments:

coltpixy said...

It is bee-utiful!I love how the cats eye beads appear to glow like honey for the bee body.

baymoondesign said...

A labor of love! The bracelet is wonderful. I can only imagine how long it took to make, but it was worth it.

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

I really admire how much work went into the bracelet and it is magnificent! The bee pictures are inspirational and I look forward to more blowers coming into bloom (and some days with less rain and wind constantly). :)

3chicchix said...

Stunning!! And I can only imagine the time and work that you invested in this work of art ...

SueBeads said...

I'm sorry you didn't like your first piece, but wow, you project is wonderful! What a ton of work!

CraftyHope said...

I'm not a beadweaver by any means so your frustrations are a little over my head, but it sounds like you fretted over this quite a bit! And, it would have taken me years to have created this bracelet. In any case, I think your bees are ADORABLE!! Those little wings...ahhhhh!!! And, the flowers were the perfect touch to add a pop of color. Nicely done!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I’m really impressed with how you made the bees.

Cat said...

Thank you, Star!
You are right, I hadn't even noticed that :-D

Cat said...

Thank you so much!
I think I needed something like this to get my creative juices flowing again.

Cat said...

Thank you, Marsha!
We have been getting rain the last two days and are so glad about it because it's way to dry, so we'll happily take some of yours ;-)

Cat said...

Thank you very much!
Too much to admit, I'm afraid :-P

Cat said...

Thank you, Sue!
I'm glad I didn't give up, that's why I love those challenges!

Cat said...

Thank you so much, Hope!
I'm one to despair in solitude and never take WIP pictures which probably would have explained it much better ;-)
I'm so glad you like it!

Cat said...

Thank you, Michelle! <3

Cathy Spivey Mendola said...

Wow! It seems you created what an entailed project with all those threads to weave in. And leaving that many holes for additional beads would have driven me crazy. I am glad you endured. This is a statement bracelet for sure. The black background really makes the bees and flowers stand out.

Kelly said...

Your bees are perfect! Well, your piece overall is perfect, and I hope you wear it with pride and enjoyment. I love how you decided to give them their stripes, and no one would mistake them for anything but bees, I think. Lovely!

Cat said...

Cathy, it helps being crazy from the start :-D
Thank you so much for your kind comment!

Cat said...

Thank you, Kelly, that's very sweet of you to say!

Tammy Adams said...

The process for making that bracelet sounds very complex and challenging. The end result is charming and it was very interesting to read how you had to trouble shoot as you went.

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Oh my goodness - I love how you created the bees. That is just amazing! That would be a fun piece to wear!

Cat said...

Thank you, Tammy, I'm just glad I did it! :-)

Cat said...

Thank you very much!
I think it's very much me. Either simplistic or not being able to stop! ;-)

Jenny said...

Oh my heavens! Thanks for narrating the process - sped up, but wow. Thats what I call creative problem solving! I like the 3d elements - wings, flowers... Its pretty intense.

Thanks for joining us! Hope to see you at the Art Elements Community on FB.

Cat said...

Thank you, Jenny!

Sarajo Wentling said...

So cute! I would never have the patience for that!

Cat said...

Thank you!
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't ;-)