Thursday, September 15, 2011

Poinsettia Collar

Beaded Poinsettia Bracelet

Although the poinsettia flower wasn’t introduced to the US until 1825, it has been considered a symbol of Christmas, and a traditional holiday decoration in Mexico, since the 1500’s. The bright red flowers with their star-like shape have been carefully cultivated over the years to turn a common weed into the beautiful centerpieces we know today.

The Inspiration:

While I was touching up some Christmas beading tutorials, and getting ready for seasonal projects, I decided that it was time to revisit an old design using beaded poinsettias. One of my all time favorite Christmas projects used a variation on my beaded flower beads to make poinsettias, and I thought it was time to give it a makeover.

The Beads:

The original beaded poinsettia used a yellow bead base and bright red 15/o seed beads. Although the effect was certainly Christmasy, I wanted to try making flowers that looked a little more realistic, including the tiny circle of buds that sprout from the center of poinsettia blooms.

Poinsettia Bead Palette

I started with the same base - a yellow glass cat’s eye. This time I used 11/o seed beads in red, plus yellow seed beads for a little more texture around the middle. To back up the flowers, I chose some transparent emerald seed beads. I needed one more element to complete the design, and knew that white would be a little much. Instead I used black, which adds a little sophistication, and enhances the boldness of the red flowers.

The Beadwork:

Making the flowers was my first priority, because I had so many different plans for them. I started with a new beading video featuring poinsettias, then created one for a new beading tutorial. Once I had a handful of flowers ready to go, I had to decide what to do with them, and the other bead colors I had picked.

Beaded Poinsettia Collar Necklace

All I really needed was a beadwork base to stitch the flowers onto, so I made a simple black and green curved chevron chain. The 6mm bead cores of the poinsettias fit perfectly into the teardrop shapes of the chevrons. Once the leaves were stitched down, everything seemed to fall into place perfectly.

It’s nice to get things done ahead of time, but now I think I need a break from red and green, at least for a few more weeks. Have you started your holiday projects yet?

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