When I decided not to finish the entire Paint, Stitch, Bead project I was working on last summer, I had every intention of finishing up two sections and having them framed. That was only (ahem) five or six months ago, so it was time to add a beaded background and git ‘er done!
The elements in the Paintstik rubbings on either side of the feather were too small for both embroidery and beading, so I set out to see how I could add some interest without competing too much with the feather.
First the Green section. I liked the idea of adding beads to the dots in the pattern, so I chose O-beads and a small seedbeads from my small (but growing) bead collection.
The beading is very simple. Up through the o-bead and the seed bead…
… then back down through the o-bead. The seed bead is bigger than the hole in the o-bead, so it holds everything in place.
I love this combination – it adds texture without being distracting. The effect is similar to the Knotty Stop Beads I used in another section of this piece – but a lot less work!
The Blue section of the background was more challenging. I tried half a dozen ideas using the beads I had on hand, then threw in the towel and headed over to the bead store. Thankfully, they had some lovely triangular beads in a warm color tone that looked great with some short bugle beads from my stash.
Again, the beading was super-simple. Up through one hole and the bugle bead, down through the other hole. It took two passes of thread through these beads to keep everything snug in the right place.
And the result? Another random-feeling beaded background. Nice!
I was ready to do my little happy dance when I noticed the partial feather on the bottom right. Opps! No beads! My beaded backgrounds are complete, but there’s a bit of work to be done before I send this off to the framer. Soon… very soon…
Are you using beads to add bling to your hand embroidery or painted fabric? Leave a comment below. I love to hear what you’re thinking about.