Monday, April 30, 2012

Lily of the Valley Necklace & Flowers - Harbingers of Spring

When my Lily of the Valley first bloomed I made this necklace to celebrate the arrival of High Spring.

Here's the necklace on a mannequin to give you an idea of the dimensions.

The necklace is large and makes a big visual statement, but because I crocheted it with fine threads, it's actually very lightweight. I'm fond of using French embroidery floss for my fiber art jewelry because it has a beautiful sheen and comes in an almost limitless number of colors.

Today I was delighted to see that the flowers are still blooming. This is unusual for Lily of the Valley which generally only lasts a short time in the garden. I'm assuming that the cold weather has lengthened their lifespan.

This picture shows them just after a rainstorm last week. I like the sparkly water on the sturdy leaves of these very delicate looking flowers.

These are the flowers I picked this morning. Not only do they look like little ivory bells, but they also smell so intensely sweet that the whole room is deliciously scented.

I'll leave you today with a close-up of the necklace showing my interpretation in crocheted thread of these lovely flowers.

To make this necklace I crocheted a band in a braided stitch with a vintage button fastener. Then I applied the flowers and stems to a leaf I crocheted, and sculpted the leaf around the flowers. Finally, I sewed the leaf and flowers to the necklace band. This is a very labor intensive, but also very satisfying process. My necklaces are strictly one-of-a-kind. You can find out more about this one by clicking on my Etsy shop.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pink Tulips Inspire a New Cuff

As promised, I have my Pink Tulip Baroque Crocheted Cuff Bracelet to show now.

This is how the tulips looked in the garden last week. When I cut some and put them in a vase, they opened out to over 7 inches in diameter. That gave me a chance to analyze the coloration more which led to the cuff itself. 

 The crochet of these cuffs is so detailed that I didn't want to have any visible closure. Instead I used a tiny snap to securely hold the bracelet together. Here's what the fastener side of the cuff looks like. This smooth closure is very comfortable to wear and easy to fasten too.

 I've been experimenting with Photoshop to join the cuffs and their floral inspiration. The next photo is an example of my playing around with Photoshop.

 Many of my friends on Facebook have expressed an interest in my making a pattern/tutorial for these cuffs.

 In the meantime, and for those who don't crochet themselves, the cuff is available in my Etsy shop here.

I'd be happy to hear about other color combinations that inspire you that you'd like to see reflected in these cuffs!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Totally Terrific Tulips and the Crocheted Bracelets They Inspired

I've been working on a series of Baroque cuff bracelets inspired by the amazing tulips blooming in my garden this spring. I went a little wild with the plant catalogs last fall and am now reaping the benefit of my indulgence in floral fantasy. Some of these tulips are just amazing. Their size and colors are a feast for the eyes.

Here's a sampling from my garden this week:

This is a close up of the gorgeous yellow, red and green Parrot tulips:

As they open up, they become more flamboyant looking!

Here are the giant red tulips with touches of yellow on them:

 As these flowers were coming into bloom, I was working on my thread crocheted cuff bracelets. I use fine French cotton threads to make them and a very tiny hook. At least 4 different colors and several stitch textures are incorporated into each bracelet. The intricate detail of these bracelets is reminiscent of the decorative Baroque style in the arts of the 17th and 18th centuries characterized by ornate detail. Think of the palace of Versailles, the music of J.S. Bach, and the paintings of Caravaggio and Rubens. I love the theme and variations quality of this work.

Here's one of the cuffs in blues:

This cuff is a polychrome interpretation of the tulip on the left:

Today I'm finishing a cuff bracelet related to these gorgeous pink tulips. I'll be showing the cuff bracelet companion to them soon!

As long as the garden keeps blooming and my imagination keeps going, there will be no shortage of these to make and display.

In the meantime, the blue cuff is available here:

and the polychrome cuff can be seen in my Etsy shop here: