Gem Garden (Part 1)

This is going to be a bit of a tutorial/process journal. I love reading these kinds of things, so I’m going to try my hand at this yet again. There will be several parts to this – probably three, since I’ll be updating as I work on this project. Who knows? This could be fun!


A few weeks ago, I went to the Lincoln Park Conservatory with my sister and we spent an hour there looking at all the beautiful plant-life. And since I don’t go there nearly often enough for something that is completely free, I took a ton of pictures. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with them (if anything), but I was focusing more on detail shots of texture and color rather than trying to get interesting compositions. I figured it would be good research for my bead-work. Here are some of my favorites:

IMG_20150807_160729 IMG_20150807_155730 IMG_20150807_160816 IMG_20150807_155505 IMG_20150807_160825 IMG_20150807_160449 IMG_20150807_160426 IMG_20150807_154212 IMG_20150807_153636

Hmm… Definitely some color themes going on…

Anyway, this next picture I have to share because incidentally, I find it gorgeous and haunting so I hung it on my wall.

IMG_20150807_160149Mmm. So serene.


Recently Jo-Ann’s was having a sale, so I spontaneously bought a ton of pin backs and blank hair barrettes and needed something to do with them. I thought back to my conservatory trip and decided I would do a series of small brooches and clips. I think it will be a great exercise, since I tend to get carried away and overwhelmed by the bigger projects lately. This way, I have somewhat strict size limits.

I did a few sketches inspired by my photos and then scoured Pinterest for more, trying to incorporate folding and stuffing and raised beading opportunities (and desperately trying to color-match because I’m SO awful at it.)

2015-09-02 17.18.302015-09-02 17.23.052015-09-02 17.21.482015-09-02 17.24.37And yet no decisions were made here. My planning process is just not very helpful, I’m afraid.

I’ve gotten bored of doing mostly flat beadwork as of late, so the plan is to try some multi-media combinations. The new challenge with making 3D objects will be needing to make sure the base fabrics are stiff enough and attractive-looking on all sides because they’ll be seen from multiple angles. So I’m anticipating doing a good bit of layering and interfacing.

I should have some good process pics by next week. I’m excited!


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