The theme for this week in our Year of Jewelry is "Grace". My interpretation of grace involves flowing lines and graceful curves and I tried to emulate that in this piece using a combination of bead embroidery and Soutache to surround a cameo.
This is my second attempt at using Soutache. I am definitely still in the learning stages, but I felt more confident with this piece than my first one. If you are not familiar with Soutache, it's a very small woven trim (about 1/8" wide) used to adorn draperies and clothing - particularly military uniforms.
For this piece, I attached my cameo to a piece of backing and added a row of seed beads using bead embroidery. I curved three layers of Soutache around that and added some beads at the corners and pulled the Soutache back around them. I like the curves, but I'm not thrilled that my thread shows in the beads. Note to self: work on that. In order to give the piece some length, I added a Swarovski teardrop shape at either end and more Soutache around those.
I thought it still needed a little something, so I went back and added another row of seed beads along the long curves - this time on their sides along the Soutache. I added a piece of suede to the back to cover all my stitching and the ends of the Soutache and then attached it to a barrette.
I'm getting the feel for Soutache. It wants to be graceful and flowing - I just have to learn how to get it to go where I want it to without interrupting it's flow!