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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Happy Accident? I Don't Think So

Hello! I made a thing.


Look! A pretty dragonfly.

I thought I'd take a break from my budget friendly tips to tell you about my latest Fashion Colorworks Contest fail. Have you ever entered? Do you know which contest I mean? It's this one, hosted by the lovely Zoya Gutina. It's one of my life goals to be a featured winner in one of her news letters, (and hey maybe get picked up by Perlen Poesie in the process!)

For some reason, there were four different Pantone color palettes to choose from this year. As usual, I only really liked one of them (chili oil, arcadia, and meadowlark), so set about dismantling my bead stash to find compatible colors. I had plenty of the teals and yellows, but am short on browns and coppers. I just chose what was closest. I even chose to use my prize rubberized leaf shaped beads that I'd been saving for an old sketch that I never got around to making.

Initially, I was hoping to make my sketched necklace with this modified color scheme. I can't for the life of me remember where I drew it down, but here's the beginning of the piece:

Playing with beads and box chain.

Halfway....is done the right word?

Anyway, I got the angle way wrong for a necklace. I wasn't liking it by the halfway point. And I definitely didn't like it after I finished the second side. I was, however, thrilled that my box chain embellishment worked well enough. I had to downsize my needle to fit through the gaps, which was a pain. The poor little thing got bent all sorts of bad.

So, I expressed my dissatisfaction to JD about how this thing looked. I don't normally ask for opinions unless I'm stuck, and he has decent solutions more often than not. He does the same with me, if he doesn't like the look of his drawings. Fresh eyes are usually better for troubleshooting! He mostly just started folding it into all sorts of shapes, in half, into a triangle thingy, forwards, backwards, etc. It looked better in all of those shapes than the original. 

Thanks go to JD for saying it was salvageable. I really didn't think it was and expected him to also think it was ugly. However, I was too disappointed in it at the time to continue working on it, Colorworks deadline or not. I boxed it up and let it sit out of sight for a few weeks. 

Then came June 10th, the same day of the contest deadline. By this point, I had already selected pieces that fit the other color themes and sent them off. And my art room was a complete disaster. It needed cleaning. Bad. But I found this project sitting on the side and started fiddling with it and some buttons. Then pow! JD's dragonfly suggestion came to the front of my brain and I couldn't not make it. I happily stitched up and assembled the remaining components and finished by the end of the night.

Reverse side: head, antennae, wings.

In the process of making the head, I stumbled upon a neat new way to brick stitch beads that I need to explore further. It looks like O beads may be my new best friends. We shall see...

Reverse of dragonfly.

The folded over element adds a nice design accent to the back. It's strange how that worked out. I almost wish I'd stitched the wings facing upwards, but it might have given me problems for the head placement.

Simple brick stitched buttons.

This is where I had to reign in my tendencies to go over board with embellishment. Since dragonfly tails taper in width, it would have been easy to get the proportions wrong. I settled for decreasing sizes of button of varying patters stitched with alternating colors of delicas. I think it worked perfectly!!

The Good News: I made the deadline!
The Bad News: I missed the deadline.....how does that work?

So, this ended up being one of those hate/hate/hate/kinda like projects. It always seems to be the case when I design for this contest. If you truly start from scratch, it's incredibly difficult to enjoy the process. And I always miss the deadline when I do. BUT, I end up with one or two quite out of the ordinary pieces each year. And hey! I ended up with two usable techniques to explore, so that's something!

Now.....what in the world am I going to do with a non-wearable dragonfly? 



TV entertainment while beading: Old episodes of the Tick cartoon. Why the heck did this not air on the channels I watched as a kid? Oh yeah, mom didn't like Fox too much. But.....puns, there were puns, mom.