Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sequintastic September Reveal!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Today is a very special and exciting Saturday. It's the day of the Sequintastic September blog hop!

My challenge to the participants was to create an original work of art featuring sequins and write a blog post with photos of what they made. If they were so inclined, they could also write about what it's like to work with sequins and what sequins mean to them. And of course, I participated, too.

My Projects

Is it weird that I started the month off with a little performance anxiety? Because I did. I had a couple of project ideas in mind, but I kept skipping from one to the other, looking for something just right for the blog hop.

And then I found it!

I'd never finished the sequin heart I used for our Sequintastic button, and I realized that now was the perfect time. I added the beaded edging, connected the big heart to two smaller ones I made, added a simple necklace strand... and voila! 

This was my first time using more than one bead-embroidered component in a piece, and it's something I want to do again. It opens up a whole world of design possibilities!

I was going to work on a huge, elaborate collar for my second project, but two things happened. One, I got sick! And two, the very day I started feeling better, I also felt the need to work with cabochons again.

Here's my second project:

I captured the stone with a peyote bezel and embellished it with seed beads and sequins in shades of green and brown. Usually I'm about color, color, and more color, as bright as I can get it, but working with the neutral, natural-looking colors was soothing. And fun! After I finished this one, I made a couple more -- which I won't reveal right now, because I don't want to overwhelm you.

Sarah Loves Sequins

You just have to look at the title of this blog to know what sequins mean to me. I really do believe that they're not just something we wear -- they're a way of life. An attitude. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they're really, really sparkly. 

I love working with them because they're so versatile. I've strung them, I've added them to chain, I've sewn them, and I've even added them to traditional metal work. Just when I think I've seen or done it all, I find something incredible that someone else has made, and my imagination goes into overdrive. 

Sequins are a lot of fun to handle and work with. My only complaint would be that when they get loose, they turn up in weird places... like on my forehead or in Mr. Sequin's hair. Or in the fridge. Other than that, we have a great relationship, and they're a perfect fit for me, physically and emotionally. They're just the right fit for my hilariously small hands, my microscope vision, and my tendency to chase after anything that sparkles.

Participants! You're Awesome.

So that's my take on the challenge. Now it's time to visit my sequintastic friends!

If you go to someone's blog and find no Sequintastic post, don't despair! September has been an eventful month for a lot of us, to say the least, and I'm letting some people post their projects later. So bookmark the page and come back in a day or so!

Thanks for visiting and commenting on all the wonderful blogs I've listed today. And participants, thank you so, so much for signing up! It means so much to me that you've joined in and turned my blog hop into our blog hop -- it's sappy, but it's true! I might just do another hop in April, and I hope you'll join me for that one, too. 

Have a sequintastic day and a wonderful blog hop!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sequintastic Participants!

Hello, everyone!

Can you believe that the Sequintastic September blog hop is tomorrow??? I'm stunned. The time didn't sneak up on me, so much as tiptoe over and goose me.

That said, I'm so excited! I'm just dying to see what you all have made, whether it's finished or in an in-between stage. It means so much to me that people have joined, made projects, added the Sequintastic button to their blogs, and even posted about the hop to give us all more attention. Thank you a million bajillion times over -- you're the best!

Below is the list of super duper Sequintastic September participants. If you're participating and I missed you, or you've decided that you just can't do the blog hop on Saturday, or the link to your blog doesn't work, let me know and I'll fix things.


(Updated with links to the reveal posts!!!)

Ambra (reveal post)...

Audrey (reveal post)...

Stacy (reveal post)...

Karen W (reveal post)...

Lori (reveal post)...

Lisa (reveal post)...

Carmi (reveal post)...

Dawn Marie (reveal post)...

Jeannie (reveal post)...

Shirlee (reveal post)...

Corrine (reveal post)...

Shannon (reveal post) ...

Mallory (reveal post)...

Cyndi (reveal post)...

Maneki (reveal post)...

Maryanne (reveal post)...

Ine (reveal post)...

Karen (reveal post)...

Kepi (reveal post)...

Misty (reveal post)...

Dot (reveal post)...

Hope (reveal post)...

Cynthia (reveal post)...

Micheladas (reveal post)...

Shirley (reveal post) ...

Eleanor (reveal post)...

Therese (reveal post)...

Rita (reveal post)...

Robyn (reveal post)...

Sue (reveal post)...

Cate (reveal post)...

If you're participating, feel free to link to this post on Saturday or copy and paste it into your blog post. Whatever you prefer! And if you're a spectator this time around, I'd be tickled as pink as this necklace if you'd join us in the fun tomorrow... and maybe help us spread the word about the hop.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to the people who wanted to participate in the hop but couldn't for a number of reasons. I'm planning another blog hop in the future, and I warmly welcome you to join that one, if you're inclined.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a sequintastic day! And prepare for a Sequintastic September tomorrow. ;)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sequinspiration.. and the Home Stretch!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

It's the last weekend before the Sequintastic September reveal. I thought I'd share some more Sequinspiration in the form of one of my favorite sequin collars. Introducing... Pretty in Pink! Also known as the Audrey Necklace, named for my friend who kind of loves pink.

 I finished this necklace in the beginning of August, and it took me longer to finish than my other pieces. Not because it was more work-intensive, but because I needed new materials! Some white, as opposed to black, vinyl for the foundation and backing, and some clear Fireline for the embroidery because my itty bitty bobbin of Nymo was... sticky. It's hard to sew sequins when they keep trying to snuggle with your fingers, the thread, the needle, and each other!

Why did I keep this one a secret for so long? Well, I was all set to share it with you in August, but I wanted to enter it in the British Bead Awards, and we're not allowed to enter anything that's appeared on a website before. Now that I know I'm not a finalist, I can finally post it wherever I want! Which is pretty much... everywhere.

More Sequinspiration

Here's some sequinspiration from Carmi over at Resin Crafts -- some lessons she's learned about combining sequins with resin. A very good read! I always appreciate it when artists share their mistakes -- it's a generous thing to do and shows the rest of us that little snags are just a part of the creative process.

Also, here's a gorgeous, drool-worthy red purse that my friend Pam made. Check out the sequins on the bottom! 

The Home Stretch!

That's all the sequinspiration I have to share with you today, but I have some offers for my Sequintastic participants:

  • If you're still running into problems with your sequintastic project, I'll be available to chat and cheer you on all this week, via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Contact me any time you like, and we can problem solve together. I may be able to do Skype calls with a limited number of people. We can discuss the details in an email. 

  • If you're really having trouble, feel free to post a WIP instead of a finished project. I'll absolutely understand -- I've been sick for a week, and it's really interfered with my beading!

  • And finally, I thought it might be fun to have an at-home creative retreat to work on my projects, and you're welcome to join me. This creative retreat will be different from last time because it will be an evening retreat -- meaning we can all go about our usual business during the day. I plan to surround myself with good food, good music, fun movies, and good friends. Little Pies and Season Two of Dexter may be involved.

Do you have any sequinspiration to share? Or would you like to join me in my creative retreat? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and thanks for being awesomesauce -- because honestly, you guys are the awesomest sauce ever.

And of course, have a sequintastic day!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sequinspiration... and the halfway point!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Things are busy at Casa de Sequin. In the middle of trying to get my Sequintastic September projects done, I decided that I just had to finish another project -- one that I started months ago but had to stop working on because... *gasp.* I ran out of black sequins!

My recent order from Cartwright took care of that problem. Here's the finished collar:

At first glance, you might be thinking... where are the sequins? Well, they're underneath the crystals and seed beads in what I like to call a platform stitch because they're acting as little platforms for the beads to stand on. Or, if you look at it another way, it's like the sequins are wearing little platform heels!

Here's a closeup: you can see them at the very top.

This collar is different from other things I've made. I'm still getting used to it -- it's so heavy! I like the platform effect, but next time, I want to try it with some brighter sequins. I think they'd look fantastic, peeking out from beneath a carpet of beads.

Sequintastic Progress

As for my real Sequintastic September projects, I've hit a snag: I've run out of black seed beads! I need them for two things I'm working on, so I'm going to do an emergency order and hope, hope, hope it gets here in time. I also ran out of Fireline, but luckily, I can run right over to Meijer and pick up some more.

An Experiment...

I'm not sure I'll include it as an official Sequintastic project, but I also started something else -- because I'm me, and I'm always starting something else. This week, for the first time in a long time, I started painting. Now that the painting part is done, I'm sewing sequins to it.

And it's so much fun! Because the canvas is stretched on a wooden frame, it's nice and tight and much better than using an embroidery hoop. The fabric is thick, but easy to get a needle through, even with paint on it.

The one challenge is that it's a fairly big canvas, and I'm a fairly small sequin scientist, so it's hard to reach to the back and grab the needle. That's why I rotate the canvas a lot as I work. I also prop it up between the couch and the table, which helps to keep it stable.

So that's how things are going for me. What I'm really interested in is how things are going for you! How's your project coming along? Are there any snags you're running into? If so, I'd love to help if I can -- and if it's a big problem, you can email me, and we can discuss it in more detail.

Thanks for reading, and have a sequintastic day! <3

Saturday, September 8, 2012

More Sequinspiration!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

If you haven't received a reminder email from me about the Sequintastic September blog hop, don't worry -- I didn't put the email list together this week because I was feeling a wee bit under the weather. But I'm much better now, so expect that email very soon.

And now... Sequinspiration!
The first three links were brought to my attention by Maneki, who's being a super awesome Sequintastic participant and finding lots of cool things for me to drool over.

  • She wrote a great post about sequin waste, or punchinella -- the material that's left over once sequins are made.
  • She shared one of Karen Torrisi's tambour pieces on Pinterest, which led me to Karen's website. Check out the gallery section!
Thank you, Maneki! You've made me a happy sequin scientist.

  • Because no post on sequins would be complete without some eye candy, here's another sequin collar I made:

Just like the Fall collar, it has a ribbon that I can switch out for any color. What I like most about this one (besides the sparkle) is the netting! It takes the piece from simple to dramatic.

  • And because no post on sequins would be complete without more eye candy, here's a little something I whipped up this week:
LinkThis is a pendant I made. It's my first attempt at embroidering around a large bead instead of a cabochon, and I like how it turned out. I love the sequin accents and the bead weaving across the bead. I may have to do more of these.

  • This post by Pearl of the Beading Gem's Journal is a collection of soutache tutorials. If you look at the very first image, you'll see that sequins and soutache go together beautifully!
  • I've collected a few new pins on the Sequintastic Pinterest board. Including a sequin seahorse!
  • Have you seen what Mary Ellen, my partner for the Bead Soup Blog Party, made with the beads and sequins I sent? I'm so impressed!
  • And finally... here's the Norbert Necklace again because everyone loves Norbert!

If you've found any sequinspiration, I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy September!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

It's officially September, which means that the Sequintastic September blog hop is less than a month away. Some people have already started their projects, which makes me very excited. I can't wait to see what everyone makes!

I have at least two projects I'm working on. I'm not going to tell you what they are, but I am going to start the month off with a little more sequinspiration.

This is one of my latest sequin collars. I know I say this about a lot of pieces, but it's one of my favorites! I love the beaded closure with the ribbon, and I love that I can switch the black ribbon for any color I choose.

I'm also happy to report that it fits real people. During a recent trip to Chicago, the lovely Vanessa modeled it for me, and it looked beautiful.

Here's a closeup of the sequin embroidery. This was originally going to be a fire-themed necklace, but those little sequin flowers gave it a distinct Autumn feel. That worked out perfectly, didn't it? And now I'm ready for a busy, but fun, month.

In the next week, I'll be putting together more sequinspiration, working on my projects, and putting together a list of Sequintastic September participants, complete with names and links to blogs. I'll also send out a reminder email about the blog hop, so if you don't hear from me by next Saturday, let me know.

And finally, we have a winner for Michelle's embossed sequin giveaway. And that winner is... Cyndi Lavin! Congratulations, Cyndi! I hope you enjoy your sparklies -- I love mine.

Have you found any sequinspiration lately? Please, share! Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day! Link