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I have been working SOOOOO hard on my third bead embroidery piece.  It is for the Etsy Beadweaver June Challenge on the theme of “Mystery.”  Since I got started on it kind of late – you know, waiting for inspiration – I had to

work around the clock to get it done.  For some reason I decided to base my piece on Alfred Hitchcock motifs and images.

After searching locally and on the Internet for some particular focal pieces, I decided to make them myself out of polymer clay.  I also had just ordered a set of Pearl Ex mica powders from Amazon and was really excited to try them out.  To make the “tunnel” cabachon look as if it might be a gemstone, I froze some lighter gray balls of clay and grated them while frozen.  I pressed the grated pieces onto the top of the clay and briefly worked it into a combination of translucent and dark gray clay.  I also added a bit of silver mica powder.  After baking, I plunged it into icy water which helps keep some of the translucency.  Then I wet sanded it and coated it in several coats of duracoat glaze with a tiny bit more mica powder in it.

The moon  was smeared with pearl colored mica powder just before cooking, leaving it with a lovely glow.  After baking, I glazed it with the glaze with the silver mica powder, then wiped it off so that the silver was only in the indentations.  Then glazed it again in clear. Clay that has a surface coating of mica powder needs to be glazed.

ImageThe faces were done similar to the moon, but without the silver glaze.  They had dark gray acrylic paint added after glazing.  I found that it only would stay in the cracks when I wiped the surface with my finger – a paper towel seemed to take it out of the cracks, too.

The birds were straight black clay which were then coated with almost white acrylic paint and wiped off.  That way they were not as shiny as the moon and tunnel.

So, I took a million hours making it, and was pretty excited about how it turned out.  (I used Wildfire thread for most of the embroidery because I like the softness when sewing.  I used Fireline for the fringe because I liked the stiffness.)  It was my first time adding fringe and certainly my most complex piece so far.  I finished it on the day it was due and took some pictures.  I skipped my son’s baseball game to make sure that I got it posted on time.  And then I sat down to upload the pictures from my camera and get my post ready.


And then my beautiful kitty came to sit on my lap.  She jumped up and I made room for her as usual.  And then I felt the string.  My beading string.  I thought the cat must have been playing with it and gotten tangled up in it.  Soon, though, I discovered it coming out of her mouth.  I tried to pull on it, but it didn’t come out, and she just started gagging.  It was pretty clear that she had swallowed it.  And then she ran away.  She ran away with about 18 inches of thread hanging out of her mouth – tangling on things as she ran, pulling on God knows what inside of her.  Now she was very scared and would not let me near her.  Then I could not find her.

I dialed my vet, praying that they were still open, as I ran around looking for her.  I finally got some lunch meat out of the fridge to try and lure her in.  The vet told me I would have to take her to the emergency vet clinic since they were technically closed.  So I got out the cat carrier, a pair of scissors, and trapped my cat in the bathroom.  I cut the thread short, grabbed her, and stuck her in the carrier.

Today she is still at the vet hospital, recovering from the very expensive surgery to remove the thread.  Since they can’t pull on the thread for fear of it cutting through something, they had to open her up in FIVE different places to get it all out.  I am still kicking myself.  Tonight I will clean up all of my beading thread and put it somewhere safe, and from now on, I will have to change my beading practices so that I never leave thread out.  Just imagine if it had beads on it!  Oh, I can’t bear to think about it.  I hope anyone who reads this will learn from my mistakes and never do this to their own pet.  I can hardly live with myself.