Sunday, September 18, 2016

Raging bead embellishment endorphins: Help, I can't stop!

By odd coincidence, the word for "insanely cute" in Japanese - kawaii - sounds almost the same as the Hawaiian isle of Kauai (both are kuh-why-eee).  

This linguistic coincidence came to life when I found this terminally cute Tokyo street fabric on sale in while vacationing in Kauai a year ago, blogged here.  As a former resident of Tokyo, it spoke, nay, yelled to me. 
Tokyo streets - at least when I lived there in the early 1980s -  were dense with action, color and plastic cherry blossoms. This fabric street scene was good, but needed more! So I stitched on a slew of vintage glass and plastic beads, plus sequins held on by beads.
Most of the beads and sequins are iridescent. I bought them at a flea market many years ago. 

Here's the overall wall hanging. It's about 14" x 9". 
The top area is an elegant metallic print featuring cranes in flight. I embellished it with vintage gold sequins and plastic beads. 
Along the bottom, the fish are decorated with iridescent blue translucent sequins, and blue-and-gold plastic beads.
Along the bottom, I stitched on a colorful premade seed bead fringe which came attached to white elastic. To that I added long dangles, Small black safety pins hold the dangles. Each safety pin is attached to a gold-colored jump ring. There are three eyepins per jump ring. These can be unpinned in case the wall hanging ever needs washing. Here's the back:
The back has sushi fabric. Through the top rod pocket, I slid a chopstick. I should paint it gold, right?
Once every available space had been filled, my embellishment endorphins were still raging! I scoured the house for something else to adorn. Family members declined the honor, and we have no living pets (unsurprisingly), but I did find a silk dupioni raw-edge appliquéd scrap 9" strip lying around. I had been planning to make it into a cuff bracelet, or maybe a bookmark. 
 I outlined the edges with gold metallic thread satin stitch, then added the leftovers from the project above. 
The left side doesn't have beads, in case my giftee wants to use it as a bookmark.
I stitched those sequins on with metallic gold thread, setting stitches at 120 degrees from each other. 
 The right half has the glass beads holding the sequins on. 
It's freemotion quilted with gold metallic thread. What fun! What or who to embellish next?

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