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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beading Back in Time - the Final Chapter - History!

Where has the year gone?  I can't believe it's time for the final chapter of our Beading Back in Time blog hop challenge.  It was this time last year when Sherri and I started talking about hosting a blog hop - a first for both of us.  It's been excellent having a partner to fall back on when life happens!  If you didn't notice, we agreed to delay the reveal date by 2 weeks this time - you know how busy this time of year is for folks.  I didn't get a chance to start my project until yesterday morning...even though I've had it planned in my head since January!

I've been looking forward to this theme since then - Choose your favorite historical time period.  The time period I chose has resonated with me on many levels, for quite a long time.  Between being a theater student, studying Shakespeare out of necessity, costume history, and loving jewelry/textiles/embellishment, this time period is a natural fit for me.  So when did I choose?
Inspiration from Pinterest
Elizabethan - the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 1558-1605.  Ok, so who isn't fascinated by the clothing of this period, right?  The gowns, silks and satins, embroidery and beading, layers of opulence, pearls and gold, a time of technological and scientific innovation and revelation - what's not to love?  Since college, part of the fascination for me has also been the fact that the person that wrote the textbook we used in class had such obvious contempt for the dress of the whole period.  He used words like carapace, grotesque, contorted and distorted to describe the court clothing of the period.  I felt like making these statements as fact in his textbook had the potential to perpetuate his opinion that Elizabethan fashion should somehow be looked down upon because the silhouette was such an exaggeration of the human body.  In reality, the fashion of a period is always reflective of the geopolitical, cultural, social, architectural, technological, and scientific ideals and creations of the time.  You cannot discount the importance of the fashion of an era without ignoring everything that contributed to it!  I will not get into the history at all here - if you want to learn more, the two links above can get you started, and there are many excellent (unbiased) texts out there with fabulous pictures too.  
Ruff evolution - image found on Pinterest
Ruffs - perhaps one of the most identifiable clothing articles of Elizabethan clothing (the other being the farthigale) is the ruff.  This accessory evolved from the drawstring neckline and cuffs of an under-shirt or chemise.  During this period, the collar and cuffs became detached from the actual undergarment and became an article of clothing in their own right.  This allowed for the collar and cuffs to be laundered, re-starched, and even re-styled without needing to launder the entire garment.  As you can see, they started out fairly conservative...then as the years progressed, the aesthetic evolves until the extreme exaggeration that we all associate with Shakespeare plays and movies.
So, yes, I made a beaded ruff.  I've wanted to do this for YEARS!!!  But besides wanting to interpret one of the iconic clothing pieces of the period, I also tried to include several other fashion trends that I feel are representative of the period.  Layers of work, pearls and gold, leather, embroidery and beads in general, portraits/cameo/miniatures, and the richness/luster of the colors I associate with all of these things.  

When I stitched the base, I ran out of the coppery gold twin I was using, so it ended up a bit shorter than I was intending.  This actually worked out great though - it gave me a chance to include leather as the underside of the cuff, and makes a nice flat section for when you're working at a desk all day!  There are 3 colors of twins over all:  the coppery gold of the base, the lemony gold of the first netting row, and a slightly greenish gold of the second netting row.  I used twins mostly because I needed the boost in time they make - because twins add more height to each row, you end up progressing in height quicker.  Remember how I started the project yesterday morning?  Yeah...any time saving option was important...
Along with all of the twins, I used pearly lustered 11/0's, and then in the final peyote row a gilt-lined opal 15/0.  The last 3 rows of peyote stitch added some stability and refinement of the overall piece.  Once the beadwork section was done, I stitched it to two short pieces of leather, stitched two vintage glass pearl cameo buttons to one side, and cut buttonholes in the other side.  Done!  What do you think?  
Please check out what everyone else has been up to - I'm excited to see which historical period inspired all my creative friends!  Thanks for joining us on this blog hop challenge journey this year!  Stay tuned in January...we might have something new in the works...
Sherri Stokey <-----Co-Host
Lindsay Starr <-----You are here!
Anastasia Kristala Urbanski
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Stephanie Haussler
Niky Sayers
Melissa Trudinger
Kelly Rodgers
Michelle McCarthy

If you've enjoyed this Beading Back in Time hop, you can find previous ones here:  Pre-Human Edition,  Early Human Editionand Early Civilization Edition. 


  1. How beautiful! I love your inspiration and you captured it perfectly.

  2. Ha!!! I have always wanted to do a beaded version of an Elizabethan collar!!!! So neat how we have such similar influences! I LOVE your unique and beautiful execution of this piece! Wow!!!

  3. great inspiration and very effective realisation of the same

  4. What a great piece! LOVE the inspiration and your execution is flawless! How in the world do you bead so FAST?!

  5. Only you would speak of a beaded cuff as if it was all in a days work. I love the look of it at first too - netted with the duos. Thats really impressive!
    These hops were great! Thanks for hosting!