4/17/2022

The Bride

It has been almost a year since I made my last beaded doll outfit which was Miss Francie Bennet, but this weekend I felt the sudden urge to grab one of my Topper Dawns and give her a new outfit.
This particular Dawn has several problems, mostly with her legs, so the only plan I had at that point was some kind of a slim skirt to hide them.

When I got my very first Dawn, I had begun to make her a wedding dress which I didn't like anymore when I was halfway through the project which is why she finally got an evening gown instead.
How about revisiting this idea?
There were several reasons to go for it. With a wedding dress you can go overboard if you like and your doll won't be able to complain. I knew I had plenty of pearly white seed beads in both size 11 and 15. A wedding dress has always been part of fashion shows. It's almost May, the bridal season is upon us. I'll use any excuse I can find.
Of course I don't have a husband for Dawn, but she'll have to live with that.

As the dress became more elaborate this time, I refrained from making many accessories - less to read for you!
Dawn is wearing a simple silver necklace and a "pearl" headband (which looks classy, but also helps to hide that some child in the past seems to have tried to cut her hair into bangs). At first I started making a short veil flowing down from the headband, but it wasn't heavy enough to fall over Dawn's hair in a pretty way, so I took it back off.
I also didn't bead shoes this time, but happened to have a pair of what I think are clone shoes in white which worked better for her little problem feet (I can so relate even if mine are not little!).

Now to the dress.

As planned, the skirt part is slim and long enough to hide most of the shoes because I didn't like the look of them with the dress much, both for the material and the tone of white. I promised Dawn she won't have to walk long distances ;-)
The front part of the skirt is embellished with lines of tiny silver lined crystal seed beads for a reason. T
here are tiny gaps in the "fabric" due to the Herringbone technique, and is it because I know Dawn's problems or because I think I can actually see them, at any rate I felt the need to distract from them a little. Also, I like a bit of silver sparkle!



The top part is a mix of Herringbone and Peyote and has off shoulder straps. They do hide an imperfection on Dawn's arm, but actually I made them because I liked them with this top.

I also wanted the dress to have a train, that had even been a plan for my attempt at that first wedding dress years ago.
The decision fell on this tapered train that begins like an overskirt at the waist (I have loved overskirts since I was a child, my drawn ladies always wore an open one). Not making it straighter at the edges is not because of the Herringbone technique that is worked in bead pairs, by the way, I just liked the different look.
For a second, I thought about embellishing it as well, but then I decided against it. Instead I added the little bead "chains" at the front.



Flowers had been on my mind, too. A flower on the headband or one at the neckline, at the waist maybe, but it all seemed too much.
Maybe I will give her a single flower to hold eventually.

I already have the next project on my mind, but it will probably have to involve the loom, and so far I have been hesitating to get the loom out around den Dekan (my kitten).
We will just have to wait and see what happens.

4/01/2022

Tackle that stash - Rhodonite focal

Usually I start a stash tackler by going through my stash to see if anything is talking to me.
This time I started with a leftover piece of bead embroidery foundation. When I made my little hedgehog (that I didn't blog about, but you can also find it in my gallery), I didn't know at first what it would be become and how big it would be. Well, not very big as it turned out, so I had a piece of foundation with a hole in the middle and no idea what to do with it - until I cut it in half and ended up with two quite weird shapes.

I took one of them to my cab drawer to see if I had one that was right in size and would give me a good idea when a small rhodonite donut jumped into the way - not the slightest idea how this ever got to me - and thus turned on the experimenting mode.

This was a rather interesting journey. The first steps were easy. I glued the donut on, then I looked for bezel colors. Funnily enough, I had matte seed beads that matched the color of the rhodonite almost perfectly. They came from one of the surprise bead mixes that I like to order, and until now I had been pretty sure I would not be able to use them anytime soon. Does the bead store know my stash better than I do? ;-)
Now what colors to use with them?
I wanted a bit of color and a bit of shine (my way to say that I love to use metallic accents). Was it coincidence that most of the colors I picked were already waiting in my work area? And was it coincidence that I had just found the dark red fire polished crystals again? Of which one fit perfectly into the hole of the donut?
This was almost getting a little spooky!

From there, I was just following the flow. I had cut the edges of the foundation randomly, now I needed to fit a pattern into that.
After doing a few swirls I noticed that I was reminded of clothes patterns from the mod era, almost a little psychedelic, although those clothes would probably have been a lot more colorful.

In the end, the focal needed a chain, and there was really only one way to attach it.
I struggled a bit with the temptation to add a drop dangle to the tip (which isn't really a tip, it's just an illusion thanks to the crystal, the back looks more like a member of the Barbapapa family ;-)) or a fringe from tiny seed beads or fine chain, but then it seemed to me that would have been too much.



This was a fun experiment. Maybe I should try this more often, after all I still have the second half to begin with. I'll let you know how it goes.