Thursday, July 16, 2009

Layne's Legacy - Beading For A Cure

Layne's Legacy is an annual beading challenge dedicated to raising money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association in honor of Layne Shilling, a member of the online group All About Beads, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in November 2002.

The premise of the challenge is simple: participants purchase a kit which contains a variety of beads. Each kit is identical. At least one of each bead type must be used in the finished project and the beader can only add one other type of bead to the project (but as many non-bead items as they wish). The completed works are as varied as the beaders who created them. from the website of Layne's Legacy

Although I frequent All About Beads, I did not know Layne but felt this was a cause worthy of my time.

My favorite methods of beading are bead embroidery & 3D sculptural bead weaving, so of course my piece combines the two..

Here is Dragonfly Dreaming:
The area inside the frame measures 5"x7" & the dragonfly is 5" long with a wing span of 5"

This is the kit that we all started with..

Small beginnings - I stitched a line of size 11 beads down over the lines of the branches
I covered the line of beads with whip stitch, using a combination of beads from the kit & leaving space for the art bead to sit.
The body is done, size 15s make up most of the body - My added bead type are the size 15 purple. Size 11s round out the area where the wings & legs attach & then 8s for the head. I also put a piece of wire into the body area & tweaked it just so, causing the tail to lift slightly & then added a blue Swarovski Crystal to the tip of his tail

I covered the head area with black/purple 11s adding a mouth & the 2 large rose montees for his eyes, here you can still see the 8s in between the darker 11s

To get the right scale for the wings I printed out some dragonfly wings that I found online - I forget where ;)

The wings were made using goldfilled wire & I guess it is a version of square/brick stitch but as I made it up as I went, I am not really sure. When finished they were each about 2 1/2 " long and would not sit as I wished them too, they were too floppy & we all know dragonflys do not like floppy wings..
Finally I resorted to painting the undersides with Mod Podge - 3 coats before they were firm enough to sit above the rest of the beadwork.
Here he is drying his wings after the 3rd coat
I also added some swirly green sequins over the 'leaf' area on the fabric, here is a close-up of the Art Bead & some of the embellishing.

Close-up of the dragonfly, you can't see from this angle but to make his legs, I added black beads from the kit to where the wires from his wings came out on the other side of the body. The wires pierce the fabric and are secured on the back of the fabric.
Bird's eye view, allowing you to see the 3D effect of the dragonfly

I used a light tent in full sunshine to get my photos - if you photograph beaded stuff, one of these is a must - my Tide Pool at the top of my blog was also photographed in my light tent)
Here is a photo that Joe took while I was taking photos, I think it's kinda neat, so I included it for your pleasure.
This piece, along with all the rest of the wonderful creations will be acutioned on E-Bay next year - I will post here when that is ready to go live..


Kath said...

Such delicate, beautiful work. I love them Ellen! I was lucky enough to be given a beaded dragonfly knitted with wire and beads, you probably saw it on my Blog. I just adore dragonflies. Hope this finds youw well, best wishes Kath

Crystal said...

Ellen!!!! This is amazing! You really shine at the 3-D beadwork! Whomever ends up with your lovely dragonfly is going to be truly lucky!

Beady Zoo said...

Ellen, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your dragonfly! I predict a very passionate bidding war for this piece next spring. Great job! the size, shape, and colors are work together so well and look so realistic.
--Kathy B

Denise said...

That turned out wonderful! What a great idea! It was an interesting mix of beads, wasn't it?
Cheers, Denise

abeadlady said...

Triple WOW! This is terrific, Ellen. As I predicted, I found my piece the day after the deadline. Oh well. I will wear it to Tahoe and enjoy it myself.


C.S. Wetzel said...

Lovely, as always, dear Moon Sister (and a belated Happy Birthday to us both!)... I'm not sure I've ever seen a more perfect interpretation in beads of the dragonfly. Thanks for sharing the whole process with us.