About Me

Lindsay M Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Flounder Challenge Necklace

There is an awesome group on Facebook for us freeform addicts - Freeform Peyote Beading.  If you do any freeform peyote stitch, I strongly recommend that you join this group - everyday someone posts a piece they've made that will inspire you to try something new.  This month the group is having a challenge to use any shape of the new 2-hole seed beads in a freeform peyote piece.  This is my first attempt!  I suspect I'll give it another stab or two before the month is up, but I just had to show you this necklace now!
I have had this raku flounder button for a long time - I don't know the artist.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't labeled when I bought it.  He's been sitting in my stash, looking up at me sorrowfully every time I opened the box, asking when I would build the perfect environment for him.  Well this project turned out to be it!  I actually chose the mix of purple twins first, then added the dark aqua seed beads.  In my search for accent and focal beads, the flounder said to me "Look, that's my purple!  I belong here!"  And so I started creating an undersea realm for this little guy...
I stitched the piece of circular peyote that the flounder sits on first.  If you've ever done circular peyote, you know that the larger it gets, the more tedious and challenging it is.  Your bead count increases dramatically each row, and it's hard to retain a flat shape.  Even one extra bead will lead to a ruffle 3 or 4 rows later, and it's nearly impossible to figure out where the problem originates from.  What I loved about using the twins (and what I love about them in general for freeform applications), was their irregularity - I could choose exactly the width I needed for each stitch.  Each row of twins adds as much width as 3 or 4 rows of stitching with seed beads, so they make circular peyote go much faster too.  And the unexpected bonus of the finished disk looking like ripples in water?  Love it!
Next I stitched the bubble freeform.  I've made these several times in the past, though never incorporating 2-holed beads.  I like to use pieces like this as part of a front closure.  And as the flounder was a button, I knew that the largest bubble needed to fit over him with room to spare.  This makes the closure of the necklace.  I know the bubble looks WAY huge for the button...but the reality is that the weight of the flounder, circular peyote, seaweed and embellishment, hold the necklace closed with gravity.

I also felt the need to incorporate the flounder's green in the piece - after all, flounder's are camouflage ambush predators.  He needed some seaweed to hide in!  I drug out some matching olive green seed beads, teal twins, and some copper lined amethyst 11/0's and went to ruffle-town.
Because I used alternating 8/0 and 11/0 beads in the first row, I was able to string the strap through some of the seaweed beads.  This allows the seaweed to be tall, but not take the brunt of the piece's weight.
I also included some lampwork beads on the purple/blue side of the strap.  The larger bead is by Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem, and the smaller one is by Sharon Ryman of Catalina Glass.  I used various Czech pressed glass and seed beads for the rest of the strap.
And the beauty shots!

I think I like this picture the best!  I wore this necklace when we went to Costco yesterday...and I had to go scrounge in my purse for a business card because a woman just about took it off my neck.  I love getting that kind of reaction from a random passerby...it tells me I'm doing the right thing!
As always, you can keep up with me on my Facebook page, and shop on Etsy at any time!  Thanks for looking!