Posted by Mel on 12/4/2012
Embroidery is something that is far more complicated than it seems at first. There are a number of choices that need to be made before even beginning, and those choices can determine how the project turns out. The biggest decision that needs to be made is which seed beads will be needed.
Seed beads are the smallest beads, not much thicker than the threads used to hold them together. For something so small, there is a huge variety to choose from, and each choice seems to lead to more choices. Although some think only of the small translucent beads that children use, that teach them how to bead, but those are just the beginning. There are a number of different options, and those options set the mood of the project, making the embroiderer ready for some of the particular challenges of the piece. By making some judicious choices at the onset solutions can already be put into place.
Some of these choices can highlight other beads, making for a fun combination. The colors and translucency of the beads are just the beginning, as a choice to mix them can make for some interesting effects. For example, combining small stars and moons can emphasize a celestial theme. For a piece that already has a blue and white nautical them, anchors and fish can really sell the piece. Seed beads that are virtually see-through combined with more opaque pieces can make for really nice effects, especially if they are in position where light passes through them, making for another area where the person can shine.
There are a number of other combinations that can come up. A larger bead with a small series of seed beads on either side of it can force focus on the larger bead, making it seem more important and adding to its importance. There are a number of focusing attention on the design itself rather than the beads used; small star beads combined with circular beads to create constellations and emphasize stellar designs. A small child who loves animals can be easily amused if animal designs are made of smaller versions of the animals. The beads can also be used to simulate different textures, such as long thin beads for hair or triangular beads for scales. A little forethought can make for some very nice touches.
Seed beads can make for some very striking designs, especially if there is planning involved. Although they are thought by some to be just for children, they can be used to show them how to properly design what they are planning to do, and thus make for some incredible designs. A child that is taught how to plan ahead can make for a formidable adult, and it starts with simple beads.