Bag with Gold Leaf Sheets, Gemstone Donut Beads and Hill Tribes Silver Leaves

Bag with Gold Leaf Sheets, Gemstone Donut Beads and Hill Tribes Silver Leaves

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I’m here with Marcy Tilton of Fire
Mountain Gems and Beads and Marcy is not just an artist, but you are also
a designer. In fact, the handbag we are going to make today you
actually created the pattern that goes along with it, plus you give
surface design workshops and just the whole multimedia. You’re very busy.
I am and I love it. Let’s take a look at the handbag
we’re making today. It’s gorgeous. It’s a tote bag and what I’ve done is I
have laminated gold copper leaf to fabric and I want to show you how to do that.
It’s really simple and very fun. It doesn’t look like it
would be that simple. What I’m going to do is use a matte
medium which is a basic art supply. What about the fabric? The fabric is a a silk noil and I have
backed it with a fusible interfacing to beef it up a bit. I’ve cut out my bag and the whole
process is done before the bag is made, which makes it even more simple. You have to have that prepared. I am working with the silk screen but you could paint directly on the fabric, you can use rubber stamps
or stencils, so there are a lot of different
ways to get a design. This is just the medium you chose to use. This is just the one I am using today. I picked this design because it’s a grid
and it makes the layout of the beads a little easier. I have put the matte medium
into my sponge brush. I will squeeze a little bead
of it here onto the screen. The screen likes to be wet. I am going to screen my matte medium onto the bag and I want it to really have an even layer. When this dries it will clog my screen
so I’m going to take that screen and put it in water. The next thing I do is take the gold leaf and but this is tricky because it is very airy and floaty. What I want to do is cover my design with the gold leaf. You
don’t have to be super, super fussy about overlapping. I’m going to need another
one for that little corner. I like to work in a room
that doesn’t have a lot of fans going on. Then I’m going to take a piece
of muslin to contain everything and smooth with my fingers. That’s all. Now this comes in different colors.
It comes in silver, copper and gold so you can really have some
beautiful effects with it. So you smooth it down. I’m working on a little felt padding here. Now I will let this dry and I
want to let it get bone dry. At home I take it outside and with a soft brush or my fingers
I brush off the excess gold leaf. We will do a little exchange
here, so when we’re done this is what it’s going to look like and
it is wonderful because it’s so durable. You can press it and it’s really, really bonded onto the fabric. The next thing I want to do and
this is the very fun part, picking out the beads. I work with a variety of different beads
and I pick beads that are flat and strong. I do my lay out and then take a
picture with my digital camera. What a great idea, so that when you are
attaching the beads, you know exactly how you designed it originally. So
this is my template or my cheat sheet. I’m going to show you how
to sew the beads on. I use a heavy pre-conditioned thread. This is a heavy silk thread. Each element is sewn on one at a time. With this one, what I am going to
do is start with the center bead. What about the needle you are using? That’s a great question. I am using a
chenille needle and it’s really cool because it has a big eye and a sharp
point so it is the perfect one. I thread my thread about to
the elbow, so not too long or you’ll get tangled. Then, what I find is you don’t need a hoop. I’m going to go to the backside
because the stiffening on my fabric it keeps it in place and the grid is really helpful in my lining things up. It’s perfectly
centered and it is symmetrical. You could do asymmetrical
if you wanted to, too. The heaviness of the thread adds to the decoration on the
bag and it is really quick and easy to sew these elements on. I no sooner said that and I got a little
knot in here, which is totally normal. Basically, very quickly, it’s
like sewing on a button. I would stitch all my elements on in this way. That’s perfect. Let me show you the next step. This is what the finished bag looks like. I love each of the individual stones. How do you choose them? Do you have a specific plan? I bought a lot of beads initially
and distilled it down to this. I love these Hill Tribe beads and I love the turquoise, so I picked things I really liked. Not everything worked but I love the
combination of the butterflies, the ancient Chinese coins and they add to the element of old and everything has to be pretty flat. When I sew the little leaf motifs
down, I do a stitch in the loop but then to hold it flat you
can see I came down a little I did a little securing stitch. So the
thread becomes part of the design. Let’s take a look at some of the
other handbags you have here. Of course, after you finish this, you
would put together your handbag. The final, final touch on the back
is I dot each knot with bead glue. They are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you. It’s been so much
fun talking with you Marcy. I learned a lot.

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