I called this first necklace 'Nebula', as the swirling greys and silvers were inspired by the incredible photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
This picture shows me planning the placement of the beads, before I sew them on by hand. I mask out the dimensions of the piece with paper to make sure I don't stray! For this necklace I used tiny Sterling silver 15/0 beads, Japanese glass beads and tiny bugle beads, as well as freshwater pearls and vintage nailhead beads.
After the beading, I added some hand embroidery stitches (running, colonial knot, bullion knot and split), before cutting the piece out and whip-stitching around the edges with cotton thread.
The finished necklace - completed with gunmetal grey chain.
The next piece I made had more of a black and silver theme. I embroidered several roses in ribbon, and added Japanese and Italian glass beads, vintage nailhead beads, and hand embroidery stitches. I called this necklace 'Midnight Rose'.
Here she is with the beading and embroidery finished, ready to be cut to shape.
And the finished article! Again completed with a gunmetal grey chain.
Last but not least, I made a necklace in shades of nut browns, called 'Chestnut'.
Here's what the pile of fibres for the base felt look like before they get felted with my embellisher. For this felt, I used wool roving, wool locks, yarn, silk noil, silk fabric, and silk throwsters waste.
And this is how it looks after felting!
I added tiny vintage gold metal beads, tiny bugle beads, a big bronze metal bead and Japanese glass beads, along with hand embroidery stitches (Cretan, fly, chain, seed, colonial knot and Portuguese stem - phew!).
This necklace was finished with an antique bronze chain.
So, Midnight Rose, Chestnut and Nebula were my three answers to the brief - I sent pictures to Amanda, who was kind enough to buy both Midnight Rose and Chestnut - I was over the moon!
Finally, to top it all off, Amanda wrote this lovely post in her blog about my work.
All in all I really enjoyed the experience of making a custom order - although it is nerve-wracking hoping that you will produce something the customer will like, the challenge of being given a brief including elements you might not usually try is really exciting. Thanks so much Amanda!