Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Dragonflies take wing

Albion Stitch Dragonfly on Fennel stalk
The dragonfly which I created in Albion Stitch as a way to showcase how versatile it could be.... got itself a little bit famous by appearing in several magazine articles. It is also in the gallery of Albion Stitch book two. Here it is photographed on the stalk of a giant bronze Fennel in my garden.
Ma finds Fennel really hard to grow in her garden but loves the flavour, so I love to harvest the seeds for her and my sister to use in their cooking. One autumn I was diligently shaking out the seeds and oveheard two people chatting in a garden across the way, 'Well I don't know, it smells kind of aniseedy, but we definitely didn't plant it, seems to have come from over there... oh look there's some more...'. I looked up and could see a neat line of bronze fennels sprouting up through my neighbours gardens, a liine which was steadily marching across the valley in line with the gusts of wind that sweep around a nearby hill.
New Dragonfly brooch 
Gardening aside, I receive a lot of emails asking for the pattern for that dragonfly. I'd made it for an exhibition event at Swarovski London, so was a bit more showy offy than usual and added more twiddle and bling than I would normally do. I also used all sorts of bits from the 'useful beads' box, never thinking at the time that I might want to replicate the design.
When I sat down to write out the pattern I realised it would be a tricky task for both me and any poor beader presented with it, so there followed several weeks of beading and un-beading, to arrive at a readable pattern and a dragonfly just as lovely, if not an exact replica of the original.

Happily I found gorgeous Swarovski rivoli and chaton stones to replace vintage ones I'd used which are no longer available. I've used all the same stitch combinations and bead types, just in an easier to follow way.
So at last the new pattern, kit and materials packs for a Dragonfly brooch are now in the web shop.
I've loved making this design again so much, that I've already ordered beads and crystals for some lush new colourways, I'll post them in the shop as soon as the samples are done... or see them on a jacket or hat near me this summer!