These two cuffs indulged my love of hand stitching. I recommend it for anyone who needs or wants to slow down. Especially if you can accomplish this in the bright sunlight, inside or out. For “Talisman for Honey Bees” I began as I did with “Talisman for Ageing Gracefully”, by choosing the beads and starting the design.

Designing "Talisman for Honey Bees" by Kathleen O'Brien

Designing “Talisman for Honey Bees” by Kathleen O’Brien

The I started by sewing the and carved Afghan Jade bee in the center, utilizing the grooves to inset the thread. Because the fabric is so sheer, the stitching is attached to linen on the inside, about a thousand stitches, it seemed like.

"Talisman for Honey Bees" inside, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Honey Bees” inside, by Kathleen O’Brien

"Talisman for Honey Bees" complete, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Honey Bees” complete, by Kathleen O’Brien

These are the beads you see: Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Peridot, Jade Animal Fetish, Vintage Italian Glass, Antique Venetian Beads, Dutch Donut Glass 1700 AD, Venetian White Heart 1890 AD, Swarovski Crystal, Peking Glass 1800 AD, Chiffon Fabric, Silk, Mother of Pearl Buttons.

"Talisman for Honey Bees", front by Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Honey Bees”, front by Kathleen O’Brien

"Talisman for Honey Bees", back by Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Honey Bees”, back by Kathleen O’Brien

The “Talisman for Sparrows”,  was inspired by some printed fabric of birds, and a scrap of my husbands Nepenthe cap chewed up by our Corgi pup. I had just learned how to ply fabric strips, so that was sewn around the edges & made the button loops. At the bottom of an old bead box, there were some favorite vintage faceted blue beads from days of old that I embroidered around the bird’s head. The red beads are Venetian White Hearts from 1890 AD.

"Talisman for Sparrows",  by Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Sparrows”, by Kathleen O’Brien

"Talisman for Sparrows",  buttoned, by Kathleen O'Brien

“Talisman for Sparrows”, buttoned, by Kathleen O’Brien


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