Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sequinspiration: Sequin Collars!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Can you believe it? There's only a week left to sign up for Sequintastic September!

To show you how much fun it is to work with sequins, and to inspire you to join us in this challenge, here are a few of my sequin collars.

Here's the first one I ever made. This is the first time you're seeing it because it was a devil to photograph! I love black sequins, but the camera... has mixed feelings. I guess there's no accounting for taste.

Overall, I love how it came out, but my edge beads were too close together in a few places, making it kind of wavy. That's why this piece is part of my personal collection and not for sale -- or maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist?

Here's a piece you might recognize... with a new and improved photo! It was my first time doing netting on the edge of an embroidered piece, and even though I haven't done a lot of netting since then, I really love the effect. I can think of all kinds of variations to try.

Here's another one you might have seen before. My fall sequin necklace, which I wore to Meet The Teachers at Bead and Button this year. I keep telling myself I'm going to make a pair of earrings to match, but so far, it hasn't happened. I tried once, but the design was a bit of a fail. I do have another design in mind, though....

And in case you missed it before, here's my very favorite collar. Complete with an itty bitty heart. I'm thinking about making the heart detachable so it can be worn as a pendant. I'm sure it would love a chance to take center stage.

The name of this piece is Mysterious Morning Sea, but sometimes I jokingly call it Fearful Symmetry. I wanted the two sides of the necklace to match, but the idea of doing the same design twice made my novelty-obsessed mind spazz out! So I made the pattern the same (more or less) on each side and then did whatever I wanted for the colors.

I could see more pieces like this one in the future. That is, as long as the Fearful Symmetry is kept to a minimum. I can already feel my brain starting to spazz again.

And that concludes this week's sequinspiration! Now it's your turn: do you have some sequinspiration to share? Post a link in the comments! I'd love to see it.

(And if you need some more sequinspiration, here are two more posts from last year.)

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and most of all, thanks for spreading the word about Sequintastic September! I have an extraordinary group of people signed up so far, and I'd love to see more names on that list.

Sequintastically yours,


Saturday, August 10, 2013

My e-book is on sale!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

This weekend, for no reason except my love for you and the pride I take in this crazy little project of mine, I'm offering my e-guide, Run Screaming, at half price!

Which means that for 5 dollars, you'll get a 34 page e-book all about when to hold on tight to your Big Crazy Dreams and when to... well, you know. Not only do I cover one of the only solid reasons to give up on your creative work and find something new, but I also cover some of the lamest lamesauce reasons (of lameness!) to quit.

If you know me, you've already heard me talk about my e-guide. You know that it's got a regular e-book section, a resources section, a handy dandy workbook section, and even a Cliff Notes section to remind you of what we learned. You might even know about the back cover -- which is, in my opinion, pretty darn hilarious.

(Of course, I think anything involving Sequintastic Ken is hilarious.)

But did you know that there are Special Secret Things? Things I haven't shared before? It's true! Some of these include....
  •  A list of things that are probably crazier, sillier, and more impractical than the Big Crazy Idea you think nobody will be interested in. After you read this list, you'll have sooooo much more confidence. Seriously. You might also laugh... or feel a little disturbed?
  • Typewriter pants (wait... what?!).
  •  The worst job I've ever had -- and one of my most embarrassing stories from that time in my life.
  •  The little clues -- and the big ones -- that will let you know when it's time to quit.
  •  Some scary things I had to admit to myself to keep going with my Big Crazy Dream, including the biggest thing standing in my way. It might be something you can relate to.
  •  Written permission to run screaming, if that's what you decide to do! Show it to anyone who gives you a hard time.
  • Things you might do to find your new Big Crazy Dream and things to consider so you don't end up in the same situation again!

I really hope you'll pick up a copy of Run Screaming, and not just because my Oreo fund is running low I love this project. I'm planning to release a second, extended edition in 2014, and if you give me feedback on Run Screaming, not only will I include your name in the Acknowledgments section, but I'll give you a free copy of Version II when it's done.

Not too shabby, huh? I hope you'll tell all your Facebook and Twitter friends about it, pin photos of the cover to Pinterest, or walk up to random strangers on the street and threaten to unleash a flock of ninja flamingos on them if they don't buy it.

Thanks for reading! And for being awesome.

Sequintastically yours,

Sarah J. Sequins

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sequinspiration! The Sea in My Studio.

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

To celebrate the upcoming Sequintastic September blog hop,  I thought I'd share my newest sequin collar. You might remember the sneak peek from a few months ago. The one with the unintentional Blogcademy colors?

(Here's a photo, in case you don't.)
Well, after letting it sit for weeks and weeks, (and weeks and weeks and weeks) I finally finished it. I added a nice scalloped beaded edge to it, added a chain to make it adjustable, and fixed some broken beads around the bezel. And... voila!

It was a little heartbreaking when the silver beads holding the bezel broke -- damn you, thread tension! But then I put on my Problem Solving Hat, and when I thought about it, this was a chance to make a bezel that was a better match for the rest of the beadwork.

So I did just that. And now there's nothing about this collar that I would change. I'm pretty darn happy with it, in fact.

And have I mentioned the little detail hanging from the chain? A tiny bead and sequin-embroidered heart with the same colors as the rest of the piece. I was inspired by Ruth Jensen and some other fantastic artists at the Bead and Button Show who helped me see that the back of a necklace can be fun and interesting, too.

And now I should probably explain the strange title for this blog post.

When my friend Andrea saw the necklace in its nearly-finished state, she said it looked like a mysterious morning sea. I liked this description so much that Mysterious Morning Sea because the name of the piece. I don't usually think up titles for my pieces unless I'm entering them in a contest, but if the perfect name is dropped in my lap, I'm certainly going to hold on to it!

So I was already happy with the piece and the title. And then this past week, I read devoured The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favorite writers (understatement). And I felt like I didn't ever want to leave the world in that book. And I realized that I didn't have to... because I had my own magical body of water sitting in my studio.

(Needless to say, there was a lot of squealing.)

So that's the sea in my studio! I'd love to know what you think of it. And if I've inspired you to give sequins a try, you can sign up for Sequintastic September right here.

Sequintastically Yours,