Thursday, August 2, 2018

Anthea's Tiara

I made tons of photos while assembling my design made with the Yukka Flowers to show you during IBW... and then discovered that I had no SD card in my camera for most of the time. Arrghh! But I will describe the making of briefly below. First I would like to explain the inspiration.

Yukka flower with cubic zirconia 
The idea of a tiara made with "Yukka" flowers has been in my mind since I added an 8mm crystal chaton inside the flower for the first time... And although I had a metal diadem base from Bobby Beads since forever in my stash... I was convinced that it would be too heavy and didn't have the courage to bead so much for simply confirming that. 

So for the IBW 'year-long-bead-along', I had other hair accessories in mind: hair sticks. Flowers in 9 colors to match any outfit, with a zirconia in their center... awesome sauce.

Hair stick made with a chop stick
I planned to use the remaining 3 green colors for petals. Perhaps you remember me asking in the IBW FB Group for the colorful IKEA chop sticks that were out of stock world-wide? I finally found colorful plastic chopsticks for kids, but not in all the colors. In the photo on the right you can see an attempt with January's purple flower, using green "petals" for the end cap. I don't like it. It did not turn out as I hoped it would. 

Then I thought of making 2 barrettes, but the weight factor indeed became an issue, and the flowers slipped on the barrette in every direction. I struggled with their unwillingness to stand tall, and the flowers were too close to each other, which looked unattractive. It didn't do the lovely swirls justice, and ruined the rainbow effect. That actually didn't encourage me to make a tiara, and I felt a bit disheartened.

But in May, a real-life fairy tail happened: a beautiful girl from California became a British royal princess, and while wondering what to do with my flowers, my FB news feed got flooded with photos of tiaras. That pulled the trigger: I had to make that tiara I imagined with my swirly flowers and find a way to have them stand tall... As you may know, I believe in signs from the universe! And I think that I did well, because

It worked!

Here is Anthea's Tiara

Anthea's Tiara - front view
Upon suggestion of a Facebook friend, I kept the yellow flower with its rebellious swirl. I like that it shows that the flowers can be made with the swirl in the opposite direction. Somehow it balances the whole. May's malachite, June's olive and July's peridot can be found in the little bees, and the beads used to cover the diadem and to make the little petals (on the sides, and as bee wings) are July's too.

Anthea's Tiara - back view. I love zirconias because the light shines through
It sits really beautifully on top of the head, as you can see in the photo below.

Why Anthea's?

In Greek the name Anthea means: Flower; Lady of flowers. In Greek mythology, it is one of the names borne by goddess Hera, who received a garden from Gaia when she accepted to become Zeus's spouse. The guardians of this garden were the Hesperides, the "Nymphs of the West" (where the sun goes down or Evening Nymphs), believed to be the grand-daughters of the Evening star. Their number is unclear. The Evening star is nothing less but Venus in our constellation, and Venus is the goddess of love.
Hesperoyucca whipplei
or Western Yucca

Because I named my 'Yukka' flowers after the Western yucca flower (hesperoyucca whipplei) just before opening, I think that they represent the Hesperides well;
Because my muse obliged me to use the remaining, but larger pink ice CZ left in my stash by hiding my 8mm, suddenly Venus as the Evening star was beautifully represented too;
And because a garden needs bees, I made two earrings representing little bees;
The whole forms the beautiful rainbow.

It feels amazing to wear.

Do you think that Hera would wear it?

Making of the tiara:

I used only beads, thread, zirconia and a metal diadem base. No glue and no fabric. 

8mm zirconia in flower
I covered the diadem with beads in 3-drop peyote (lesson learned from the barrettes). Beading on the inside of the curve inside the diadem was challenging - I had to bend my needle and be really careful to not break a bead. The flowers stand up so well that it surprised me. Thread tension was key. I feared that the whole would flip over, but even without the small bezels between them, the flowers stand perfectly tall.

bezelled 8mm zirconias
Initially, I hoped that, standing straight, the flowers would hold the 8mm zirconias well inside their 3 points (as you can see in the photo right). I abandoned that idea after loosing the pink and aqua stones, found the aqua back and bezelled them all (photo left). They now sit between the flowers on the tiara, which looks much better than without them, actually...

The large, pink ice CZ is captured inside a flat Cellini peyote bezel. Of course this made the Tiara heavier... I really wondered if it would remain on my head or tip over.

About the Cellini peyote bezel - this pretty technique gave me plenty of new ideas, like a bigger bezel for a tape measure, and beaded beads. I wanted to take a break after all that I have made the past months, but Eddy won't leave me alone :D, so I created a Facebook group to share our mutual passion for this stitch.

I put everything on the diadem with the combs "to the bottom" as if it was to be put on the head like a crown, but this resulted in combs pointing towards my front. Although this probably is technically incorrect, it appeared to be the best thing I could have done: the weight of the beadwork leaning to the back somewhat pushes the combs to the front, and it remains in place. It sits perfectly well on my head. If I had mounted the piece with the combs pointing backwards, the combs would slip out of my hair and the tiara would certainly fall.

Because so many happy coincidences made this piece come to life, and better then I had hoped for, it makes me believe that something out there wanted this to come to fruition. I call this "beading with the Universe". I love it when that happens.

About the Yukka flowers pattern: you will find a new, improved pattern in my Indie shop.

So log in, and download the new version! Contact me if you need help.

And join the Cellini Peyote Freaks Group!

Thank you for reading and for beading with me!


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