Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Beaded Dragonfly!

my completed dragonfly
Early in August, I took a one-day class at the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne.  The class was called 'Bead Embroidery: Freestyle Jewelry Design' and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into (or I might not have taken the class!!)

True to form, my first project was kinda big.  I don't seem to understand the concept of baby steps; I always jump into new artsy-craftsy stuff fully committed, and this time was no different; I went whole hog!  Once the teacher explained what we would be doing, I decided I wanted to make a beaded dragonfly brooch.  Dozens of hours (no exaggeration) and almost two months later, it is done, but not without some detours.

As the dragonfly got close to completion, I realized it was too big for a brooch.  I'm not a big person, and this thing pinned on my sweater would bump into my shoulder rather awkwardly.  So I decided to make a purse for it.  (By the way, I googled free patterns for purses and bags, and came up with so many!  I need to remember to search for sewing patterns on line for free.)  So I took the almost-done dragonfly and off I went to JoAnn's to buy fabric for the purse.  Somewhere in the store, the dragonfly slipped out of my shopping cart, onto the floor.  I picked it up and didn't notice right away that one of the beautiful bead eyes had cracked and half of it was missing.  When I made the discovery, I searched and searched but could not locate the missing bead half.  I paid for my fabric and sat in my car and cried.  By the time I got home, I was calmed down, and emailed the teacher, who called me that evening to tell me she had two more of those beads.  She explained to me how to remove the leftover part of the bead, and how I could use tweezers and gently move the bead netting I had sewn around the eye and tuck the new bead inside just like the old one.   I followed her instructions and finished the project.  The new eye has a slightly larger hole, so the tiny bead that sits in the center sunk deeper inside, but it isn't very noticeable.  I sewed this cute little turquoise and black purse and stitched on the dragonfly.  Here it is, DONE!  Actually, after I took this photo, I sewed a Velcro closure on the bag and stitched a black button over it, on the central downward curve.
my dragonfly bag

Below you see the inside of the bag, and the dragonfly before I cut it out and edged it with stitched beads.  I picked out the funky fun fabric for the inside of the bag, but I didn't think about the fact that I needed to stitch right through it in order to put on the dragonfly in a way that it can be removed if I ever want.  So the inside isn't quite so pretty any more, but hey, nobody will actually see it, right?


  1. From one dragonfly lover to another.... it's absolutely gorgeous!!! Love,love,love!!! :)

    1. Thank you so much. I can't begin to tell you how freaked out I was when the eyeball broke after countless hours sewing on bead after bead. I left the store, sat in the car, sobbing, and called my husband, since I was on my way to the gym and didn't want to cry there! If the teacher hadn't had another matching bead I would have been inconsolable! So I'm very proud of it, and glad that you like it too!