Triffid – beaded sculpture

Took me a while to absorb what the email was telling me but eventually it dawned – my entry into Bead Dreams 2018 had been juried into the competition. Holy Cow!

You can imagine the butterflies in my stomach while trying to get the critter safely boxed up and ready for mailing.

Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke

The whole piece was put together in sections. The flower and stem, the venomous stinger, the 3 claws at the base of the stem, the body, and the ground base. Some of the work was planned, and some I just prayed.

Here is the statement which accompanied the piece:

IS IT REAL? OR IS IT SCIENCE FICTION?

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The Day of the Triffids, written by John Wyndham in 1951 was one of the first science fiction books I read and decades later the story still haunts me.
You awake one night to watch a dramatic green meteor shower in the sky, and the next morning you’ve gone blind. Sooooo not cool.
And to top it all, suddenly 7 foot tall, man-eating, walking plants are striding around your streets. Holy Cow! One strike from the venomous stinger and you’re a goner.
Strictly speaking, a Triffid is probably a bio-engineered, carnivorous critter and not an extra-terrestrial. But this is speculation. It’s never made clear in the book where the original Triffids came from, or the green meteor shower.
Whatever the truth (and it is ‘Out There’ – for X-Files fanatics), the Triffids are my favourite possible ET’s.

I’ve not done bead embroidery before so this was a good excuse to see what all the Sherri Serafini type fuss was about. I enjoyed finding special beads and rummaging through my seed bead stash for interesting colours. The design came easily as it is curved sections and each one got filled in as I went along.

Bead embroidered base of Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Bead embroidered base of Triffid.

These vintage chartreuse wire balls were sooooo perfect. They look like tumble weeds. I found them, along with the looooong bugle beads, in Bead Bullies, a terrific bead shop in Tigard, Oregon. Wish I drove, I would be there all the time. Such a great shop.

Close up of Triffid base. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Close up of Triffid base.

I found all sorts of ways to use Czech glass beads, tilas, lentils, spikes. All a challenge and amazing colours. And finally I found a way to use the dragonfly button.

Closeup of Triffid base. Beaded sculpture by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Closeup of Triffid base.

I managed to squeeze in ammonites, more bugle beads, and a funny little nest of interesting round beads. The basket weave worked out pretty well.

Triffid flower, stem and venomous stinger.  Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Triffid flower, stem and venomous stinger.

The whole thing is made around a coat hanger, styrofoam ball, and cardboard! The stitching for the stinger is herringbone, and the flower and stem are peyote stitch. I tried to grade the colours on both the stem and flower to give some dimension.

Still taken from Facebook video taken at Bead and Button show 2018 Bead Dreams showcases.
Still taken from Facebook video taken at Bead and Button show 2018 Bead Dreams showcases.

All in all, I’m very happy with this piece, and even happier it was selected for Bead Dreams 2018. This is a still from the Facebook video.

Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff

Having gotten excited about bead embroidery (wasn’t keen at one time but my Triffid got me into it), I decided to make one of those amazing bead embroidered cuffs. Am very happy with how it turned out.

Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Here are some other views:

Top view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Top view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Back view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Back view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Side view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Side view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Other side view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Other side view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

The cuff is embroidered with a handmade ceramic focal made by Jenny Davies-Reazor, crystals, and glass beads. This covers a copper cuff and is lined with faux leather.

Cube Bracelet

Cube bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke
Cube bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke
I made a square stitch checkerboard bracelet a while ago and had quite a few larger cubes in my stash. Which is why this simple gold and neutrals bracelet got made as the look is quite classic.

I only found it a few days ago and now I wear it every day. I know – I’ll get bored soon and there’ll be another bracelet adorning my wrist soon, but until then I’m enjoying being so sophisticated!

Coral Pendant necklace

Coral Pendant beaded necklace by Rose Rushbrooke
Coral Pendant beaded necklace by Rose Rushbrooke
This pink/coral coloured pendant was lurking in my stash. There was a clever bail design I wanted to try out, a chain pattern which looked useful; so pendant, bail, and chain all came together nicely.

The chain is 24 inches long, made with glass seed beads, the bail incorporates Swarovski pearls and the pendant is pink glass and approximately 1 1/4 inches by 7/8 of an inch.

Beading Classes with Nancy Eha

I just got a note from the Houston Quilt Festival with a listing of beading classes they are offering. This is something which appeals as several of my quilts incorporate beading – eg. Sheep’s Eyes has quite a few bits of beading stitched into the design,

Detail of Sheep's Eyes by Rose Rushbrooke
Detail of Sheep’s Eyes by Rose Rushbrooke

and so does River Fish.

Detail of River Fish by Rose Rushbrooke
Detail of River Fish by Rose Rushbrooke

These are earlier examples of beading on my quilts. As I got more into beadwork itself I began adding more elaborate pieces of beadwork such as the bevelled ammonites in Pebble Plants,

Detail of Pebble Plants by Rose Rushbrooke
Detail of Pebble Plants by Rose Rushbrooke

and the jewelry components in Subterranean Spiral.

Subterranean Spiral by Rose Rushbrooke
Subterranean Spiral by Rose Rushbrooke
Detail of beaded component from Subterranean Spiral
Detail of beaded component from Subterranean Spiral

I did take a class with Nancy Eha a few years ago. It was the Beaded Kaleidoscopes which was quite clever as the design was elevated so the beads stood above the cloth.

Beaded Kaleidoscopes by Nancy Eha
Beaded Kaleidoscopes by Nancy Eha

This year she is offering a class on Beautifil Beaded Butterflies which looks like something which would work well for any beaded motif on a quilt.

Beautiful Beaded Butterflies, workshop by Nancy Eha
Beautiful Beaded Butterflies, workshop by Nancy Eha

Variation on the Pebble Bracelet beadwork pattern

Pebble Bracelet made by Teresa Sheldon
Pebble Bracelet made by Teresa Sheldon

This is a colour variation of the Pebble Bracelet pattern. Made by Teresa Sheldon in very cool jet picasso seed beads and red picasso finish fire polished crystals. Love the look.

Open Pebble Bracelet made by Teresa Sheldon
Open Pebble Bracelet made by Teresa Sheldon

Here it is laid out – the bracelet is made with separate beaded components woven together with a snap closure.

Close up of Pebble Bracelet components made by Teresa Sheldon
Close up of Pebble Bracelet components made by Teresa Sheldon

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Pebble Bracelet in Gold

Pebble Bracelet in Gold by Rose Rushbrooke
Pebble Bracelet in Gold by Rose Rushbrooke

I always make several versions of my bead patterns. This is a shiny gold option made from the Pebble Bracelet pattern. This one is made with gold coloured seed beads, and amethyst and gold coloured fire polished crystals.

If you would like to make this bracelet – in whatever colours you chose – go buy the pattern.

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Beaded Bead Necklace

Beaded bead necklace. Beadweaving - seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds.
Beaded bead necklace by Rose Rushbrooke

Back in 2012 Beadwork magazine celebrated their 15th anniversary by presenting a challenge. They offered 4 months of beaded bead patterns and we had to come up with our own colour choices and design a piece of jewelry using the beads. The original piece I created was VASTLY too complicated and was basically a mash up of a needlecase necklace and this beaded bead necklace.

Eventually the penny dropped and I realised I needed to simplify the necklace – which I did – and it’s a better piece for the reduction.

Made with seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds. The chain is in herringbone stitch and woven with cobalt delicas. I love the contrast of the bright blue with the warm browns and creams of the beads.

Here are close ups of the individual beads:

Beadweaving - seed beads and semi precious rounds. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Beaded bead 4 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 3 - seed beads, pearls, and semi precious rounds. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 3 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 2 - seed and tila beads. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 2 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 1 - seed beads and a crystal center. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 1 by Rose Rushbrooke

I didn’t win a place, not surprisingly seeing as the original necklace was totally over-worked, but in its simpler version I bet I would have!

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Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace

Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace by Rose Rushbrooke
Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace by Rose Rushbrooke

I love unexpected surprises when I wear jewelry and having the clasp in front is fun. This Burgundy and olive necklace has a spiky focal made with a glass spike, seed beads and Swarovski crystals. It’s fastened with a snap clasp.

Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace unsnapped. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace unsnapped by Rose Rushbrooke

Here it is unsnapped.

Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace showing chain. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke
Burgundy and olive snap clasp necklace showing chain.

The diamond shapes in the chain give it a nice textural effect. The necklace is 27 inches long from end to end when unsnapped.

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Lavender Brick Stitch Pearl Pendant Necklace

Lavender brick stitch pearl pendant necklace - dyed freshwater pearls, seed beads, and Swarovski crystals. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Lavender brick stitch pearl pendant necklace – dyed freshwater pearls, seed beads, and Swarovski crystals.

A delicate lavender coloured twisted peyote chain holds a simple pendant with dangling dyed freshwater pearls. The pendant is made with seed beads, Swarovski pearls and crystals. The chain is approximately 26 inches long.