Feeling a little adventurous, I decided to begin the bead work on the Blackwork Hearts and Flowers project yesterday. It is so much fun to do something different with my needle! Attaching the little paillettes and beads wasn’t difficult but it was fiddly – very fiddly.
I started with the curved area above each of the tulips. Here the design has dots where I’ve applied gold paillettes topped with black beads. The little lines to the right of the dots in the photo will be covered with short pieces of gold bullion.
Then I moved onto the dots that surround the hearts and that’s where I’m unsure about what looks better.
I intended for the two areas of beading (around the hearts and above the tulips) to be the same beading but in reverse color – the beading surrounding the hearts would be black paillettes topped with gold beads and above the tulips gold paillettes topped with black beads. You can see what the heart beading looks like below. When seen just with a single heart, I think it looks fine.
However, seen in the context of the whole piece, it doesn’t look like I wanted it to. What’s wrong? Well, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’d say it looks a bit too modern or mass produced or…something. It’s just not right. Maybe too many bumps from the beads – too much texture. I don’t know, but it doesn’t look the way I imagined it would.
I also feel it detracts from the blackwork stitching. After all that work, I certainly don’t want beads and paillettes to be the focus of this piece! So I decided to try something different, maybe a bit more traditional. I surrounded one of the hearts with gold paillettes without any beads.
When I asked my husband which he preferred, he said the gold paillettes alone were better than the paillettes and beads together.
The edge of the whole design will be bordered in gold as will the center and there will be gold in the leaves. I’m leaning towards the gold paillettes alone around the heart shapes. I think I’ll like it better and it is more traditional looking, which is my goal for this project. If you want to give me your opinion on which you like better, I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below!
Next time, I’ll show you how I’ve attached both the paillettes and the paillettes with the beads. Now, back to stitching!