Thursday, July 23, 2015

WHAT?

I think I should explain a few things.  Visual things. And I have one picture to help with that.


Actually, my 3rd round picture is a collage of two images, so I am going to use both of those images separately for discussion purposes.


What are you seeing here?  Do you notice a freaky similarity between the garment under the coat and the beadwork design on the coat?  Very similar, but not precisely the same?

The process I have been exploring for my dense bead embroidery on fabric involves stabilizing the area I want to bead.  Usually, bead embroidery is done on stiff interfacing, like Lacy's Stiff Stuff, Nicole's Bead Backing, or simple Pellon. But I want my clothing to be supple and comfortable, so I really don't want to wear pellon. Bead embroidery can also be done on leather, but I don't really want to make (or wear) leather clothing either. And yet, I need to keep the garment fabric from puckering, bagging, and sagging from my thread tension and the weight of the beads.

My solution to the problem is to applique fabric to the garment where I want to bead embroider.  This stiffens the fabric to be embroidered in three ways.  First, I adhere the applique fabric to fusible web. The web has a little stiffness, and keeps the cut edges from unraveling.  Second I fuse the applique fabric to my garment, and the applied layer of fabric adds another layer of stiffness.  Then I machine stitch all the applique edges, adding one final bit of structure and support.

SO... what you are seeing in this image, is a small piece of the print Lycra I used as applique, made into a swimsuit, next to the final beadwork.  As you might also be able to see, I have adapted the print to my purposes.  I have scaled down the imagery to work on my coat, by cutting the design apart and re-assembling it in the size I need to suit my lapels.  I have eliminated the gold and black from the print, in the interest of it NOT looking like gaudy swimwear, and to create believability as casual and formal wear. I have softened the vibrant colors through bead choices, and with my permanent magic markers, keeping the essence of the fabric colors intact, but adapting hues and values to my own purposes.  Plus I have used only some of the imagery in the fabric, and selected out other parts.  I kept some components almost exactly as they were, particularly the philodendron leaves, but scaled them all down at their edges, as the beadwork "gains weight" when I bead the outline.

Then, there is the other image.  Which I think will be left small.


Sadly, that is me.  Not my beautiful model/photographer.  I suppose there is something to be said for truth.  Two truths are, I unexpectedly ran out of photography funding, and I have a 62 year old body. Not exactly an image my aesthetic might have dictated, but such is life, and truth is a good thing.

Fortunately, my next image, should I miraculously advance to round 4, does not involve a model. I could not bring myself to have stitched together that bathing suit for naught tho...  And I do think the jacket might make a good Minnesotan beach coverup, even worn over thighs you might prefer to see only in shadow.

I want to offer a huge thank you to my photographer friend Pam who both took these photos and who let me use her beautiful pool! Sometimes, you just have to smile, and march down the path, wherever your own Safari takes you.

34 comments:

  1. Thank you for telling us the story of this gorgeous work! I LOVE this picture on a 62 years old body. Elegance and beauty!

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    1. Ileana, thank you so much for your support. I was not sure I should post that picture, and then decided, what the heck!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your process Marsha - I always enjoy reading how you got from beginning to glorious end!! And please, no apologies for a 62 year old body!! I had no photography budget at all when I did my Battle piece... no, it didn't go anywhere in the contest, but I still love it to pieces. As I love your creation as well!! Jeanne Evans

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    1. Yes, Jeanne, sometimes we take our luxuries for granted, and forget how lucky we are to have them. Thank you for that reminder and for your very kind words!

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  3. You are doing a damn sight better than a lot of other women of a similar age Marsha.
    Thanks for sharing the Battle story

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    1. Oo la la Patrick... I might think your are flirting with me!!! Lol. Hugs to you!

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  4. I admire this beautiful 62-years model!!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and your kind comment!

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  5. I love how you give us a progression of your designs and construction methods. I myself am 60 so well done. All women are beautiful when thy age gracefully.

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    1. Thanks Catherine. I attempt grace everyday! Some days I do pretty well, others not so much. But hopefully the effort is worth something!

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  6. It's fabulous and so are you!!!

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  7. Marvellously! You looks amazing!

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  8. I think you look lovely! And your beadwork is stunning!!

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  9. I love this jacket and it's wonderful to hear the story behind it. I adore clothes that can be worn as both formal and casual wear. You look fantastic!

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    1. Thanks so much! Knowing the coat would be heavily beaded, I tried really hard to give it the ability to serve many purposes... I want to be able to wear it in many different environments! Your comment is appreciated!!!

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  10. You look wonderful, Marsha! And the jacket has been my favorite in this Battle since the beginning!

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  11. Both the work and you are beautiiful! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. My pleasure, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  12. Thank you for once again sharing your process and 'secrets' with us Marsha. Your work is always so beautiful and inspirational. And goodness me, I don't know why you feel you have to apologise for modelling the coat yourself!! You look FABULOUS!

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    1. Joanne, you did a great job of modeling your gorgeous necklace! I am pleased to be up to the task in your eyes. Thanks for reading and responding! And especially for all you do for Battle of the Beadsmith!!

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    2. Thank you Marsha :D It is always my pleasure to read your blogposts, you are so kind to share your knowledge with us. All the credit for my great modelled shot this year is due to my photographer, who really knows her stuff, and her brilliant make up artist. Seriously, I do NOT look like that in any of my regular photos! lol

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    3. You know Joanne, my photographer is brilliant, IMHO. If I am successful at stating what I need, she can get it for me. We have been doing this dance for several years, and we get better each year, while finding new and interesting ways not to say clearly what we mean. Collaboration is a two way street, challenging, and when it works it produces more that either party could do on their own. Your photographer has some good juju too!!

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  13. *sigh* Google ate my comment again.

    Let me repeat, as above, you look fabulous. Honestly, you look great. You wore the piece to great advantage. We are, for the most part, real women, not models. It is good to see the art on a real woman.

    Thank you for sharing the process of building up a foundation to support embroidery. You are also a fabulous resource.

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    1. Drat KJ! I apologize for the vagaries of Google, and the difficulty of being able to leave a comment here! It should be so easy. I debate moving to Wordpress every so often. It's supposed to be to easy and so much better. But I would be so deeply sad if any of my posts or memes disappeared in the move! And you are so right. Your thinking about a real woman was the reason (at least partially) why I chose not to go with a couple lovely college girls who might have been available to model for me. I figured, I made the thing for myself. Why not make an effort to celebrate that. I found it hard to assume the job, but I am ok with the results. And thank you for that insight! As always, thank you for reading and commenting!

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    2. Marsha, I'm glad you modelled your fabulous coat yourself. I love to see the artists wearing their own creations!

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    3. Your blog is not the only one eating my comments. It could be my browser- FireFox rather than your blog. HA! Would you believe my own blog ate my own comment? It is only the first comment of the day. I try to make it a habit to copy what I write so if it disappears I will not need to recreate.

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    4. Joanne, thank you!! I enjoy that too. And KJ, good to know!

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  14. Wonderful to see you modeling your beautifully stitched design!
    Greetings,
    -Eva Maria

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