Saturday, 12 January 2013

Proud as a Peacock

I am pleased to announce that this week I finally finished my embroidered purse. I have named the piece 'Juno Moneta'. Juno, consort of Jupiter in the Roman Pantheon, is famously associated with peacocks and since I have made stylized 'feather' motifs using the oval and round cabochons I thought at once of naming the purse for her. Also it transpired that she was responsible for finances (holding the heavenly housekeeping money perhaps?) and that her temple was the location of the Mint where coins were struck. All in all an auspicious connection!

The completed embroidery just before attaching to the bag.  The unembroidered edge was trimmed once I was sure it fitted

I have learnt a great deal from making this purse, and finally used some of my 'good stash' of crystals and beads. The main supplies are a mixture of Swarovski (Navette in Sahara, Comet d'Or flat backs, and various bicones, mini beads and cupchain); Dichroic glass cabochons by Helen Welch; Semi precious stones (Green Goldstone, African Green Opal, freshwater pearls); Czech firepolished beads (mostly 3mm and 4mm) and pressed glass leaves; and Japanese seed beads in sizes 6 to 15.

Front of bag

Reverse of bag

Initially I intended to use Miyuki 468 mid-green iris as the background colour for the filling in around the motifs, but finally decided on Miyuki 335, cranberry lined peridot AB. This looks less exciting in the tube, but picked up all the blues and purples as well as the greens of the other beads. Also, because of the outer colour being transparent, the textural patterns of the rows seemed accentuated. I am using more and more colour lined beads in my work, as they definitely add interest. I used the 468 in the feathers instead where it looks lovely alongside metallic bronze. A late arrival in my palette was Miyuki 1017, a silver lined emerald AB, which now replaces the Matsuno version which I loved for its colour, but which was a little larger than the Miyuki 11s. I was sparing with this as the silver lining tends to dominate.

Many of the beads used in this project have been the gift of other beaders from around the world and the whole project has a lot of emotional connection for me. I am truly grateful for the gifts even if they were only words of encouragement, which gave me confidence to persevere with my own creative urge! I am proud as one of Juno's peacocks that I managed to do it!

Thanks to all who made this possible, and in the spirit of beady co-operation, I would be happy to answer any questions from anyone thinking of embarking on a similar project...


  1. It's a beautiful bag, Catherine, and I've enjoyed watching it's progress over the last few months.

  2. This is stunning!!!! I keep going back to see more of it.

  3. The bag turned out very beautifully. Wonderful design and I can see the inspiration of Juno in it.
    I've really enjoyed watching your progress working with this beauty and I keep staring at it over and over again :)

  4. An accomplishment to be proud of, for sure. Love your rich, elegant color and design choices.

  5. It's just fabulous - your beading is superb, and the shape of the bag makes it even more beautiful. I can't think of a prettier piece. Congratulations on an incredible job and a gorgeous piece!!! I am SO glad you continued, and I agree 100% with Celia - it has been wonderful to see it 'grow'!!! Hugs and lots of love, Catherine!!!

  6. Catherine that is truly amazing work

  7. Thank you for your amazing inspiration Catherine! It's been been great watching your progress with this beauty and definitely gave me the encouragement to get on with some bead embroidery myself.

  8. This really is so stunning! Can I hold it one day pretty please? :D :D You've really made me appreciate this type of beadwork :) xx

  9. Thanks everyone! Kayleigh I'm sure we can arrange that!