The ladybug is a favorite because it is so cute, with it’s pretty wings and round body. They are also treasured among gardeners, because they eat smaller, unwanted pests. Luring and encouraging ladybugs is an important part of organic gardening. Usually, ladybugs are depicted with bright, cherry red wings and perfectly round spots.
In nature, most ladybugs have a tomato-like coloring, ranging from under ripe yellows, to deep summer reds. Their markings are far from uniform, with many interesting shapes in black and white. I wanted to create a piece that would include all of the colors of ladybugs in nature, while avoiding the classic round shape of a cartoon beetle.
I started by creating two bead soups. The first contained assorted seed beads and accents in black, white and crimson. I combined two pre-made black and white mixtures with other beads from my stash until it looked just right. The second bead soup contained oranges, yellows, and natural reds. There were a few green seed beads in the mix, which I would have to ignore, though I did end up using many of them as stop beads.
I considered many free form beadwork designs before finally deciding on double spiral, which would allow me to showcase the ladybug palettes evenly. I can only assume that the two color mixtures have the desired effect, because at one point my husband asked why I was making a cluster of ladybugs.
I increased the spiral rows gradually as I stitched, and at random. When it came time to start decreasing, I started to wish I had used some sort of system to count increases, but I was able to make the second half of the rope fairly even with the first. I finished it off with a few black druks - like bugs on a log - and a button clasp.
The Etsy BeadWeavers “Insects” Challenge opens May 9th. Visitors can vote for their favorite entry until May 15th. Stop by the EBW Team blog to see all of the amazing beadwork creations.
Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading and The Sage's Cupboard