Monday, May 18, 2015

Bead Dreams

The entries for this years Bead and Button Bead Dreams competition are now available for your viewing pleasure.  There are a lot of really incredible entries.

If you'd like to have a look, click here

I'm not sure if in previous years they've been posted so early.  I kind of like waiting until they are unveiled at Bead and Button outside of the showroom and of course there is nothing like seeing them up close and personal.  In the meantime if you are curious you can have a look.  I realize not everyone is able to go and it's nice to be able to see the pieces.

You may recall me telling the story of preparing for this year.  Or of last years collaborative entry with Sherry here.  I also did two collaborations with the Dallas Bead Society resulting in beautiful pieces.

But this  year I really wanted to make a piece that was all my own and prove to myself I had the perseverance to make it happen.  I almost gave up, and then I didn't.  I got it done a few stolen moments at a time.

It's called Journey because much like the master class I taught, it was a collection of different elements that I've used and improved on during my beading career.  I'm happy it was finished and happy it was accepted and will be happier still when it comes home with me and can live in the studio reminding me that I did it.


As always it has a heavy dose of Swarovski crystal


Creating with some of my tried and true components but adding the new bead shapes was fun.
You can see a pretty little glass component gifted to by the talented Patty Lakinsmith. It was perfect addition.  Also Rizo's and pips can be seen in use here.



This photo gives you an idea of the dimension going on.


I'm exceptionally pleased with how it really speaks to the entirety of my learning to bead.


I've made earrings

I have short hair and I love earrings, to making my own was kind of a natural.  I love that I can play with color in a small place, as well as different stitches and with just a little bit of time I can have something new to wear.

Sometimes I'm motivated by a new outfit that has nothing to go with it.  Sometimes a pendant or bracelet I've made would like the appropriate companion piece.  I seldom so a complete match, but occasionally the same component shows up.

Santa Lucia's lacy component also makes a great earring.



I added a bit of a triangular romantica medallion for the bottom and surround the top of the pearl with seed beads so I could attach the ear wire.  I don't actually wear these two together, they're too matchy matchy for my taste, but individually they look great.


 Here is the sprocket pendant and you may recognize the earring


In this case I do actually wear them together since the pendant is worn long the earring is far enough away.  

This earring is one of my go to's for simple when I want to wear a beaded earring that has similar colors to another beaded piece of jewelry but isn't a design match.


What do you look for in a beaded earring?  Do you like them to match your piece, or just use the same colors.   Do you like long and dangly or small and subdued?

Friday, May 15, 2015

TOHO Bead challenge

Every year TOHO, one of the Japanese seed bead manufacturers, invites a number of bead people to participate in a challenge. The challenge is to bead a piece using only the beads sent to you with the addition of one focal of  your choice if desired.

Each of the artists is given the same assortment of beads.  That makes it especially fun to view the results which will be in a display case at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee.

The is the first year I participated as I am trying to challenge myself to make time for a little out of the ordinary beading.  Though called a challenge, this is not competitive, the work will be displayed, photographed and then travel to Japan to be on display for a year.

You might imagine my delight with the dark green and raspberry matte metallic beads, with a hint of bronze, some coppery fire polish  and some bright accents of purple thrown in.

I chose as my focal, a wooden finial from a hardwood store in Tucson.  I covered the finial and suspended it from a large mesh rope.  It's a tad large for wearing, for my taste at least, but it would make a great room bauble.  Thanks for asking Rochelle of Bobby Beads, it was fun!

I can't wait to see the other creations.  Two weeks until bead and button 2015!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

What's in a name?

Naming is just not my strong suit, so when I recreated the little teardrop pendant at the bottom of the sprocket pendant (one of my better names!) I was of course tempted to call it the sprocket earring.



Simple enough, right ?  I must have gone to a group of friends for guidance and all I can imagine is that one of them came up with 'walking in tandem' and I said, sure, sounds good.  I have no other explanation for that name.  I don't remember anything about the thought process or who named them.  I'm not complaining, it's a fine name but I will most likely always refer to them as the sprocket earrings!

Dancing lights was a good name, Romantica has certainly stuck, I always liked spirit flight but the one that makes me cringe is ripplestiltskin!  That was a Mark name.  It happened as I was filling out paperwork to teach it and it needed a name that minute.  I've retired that project, could be the name…..and Liz reminded me of Mark's brilliance in naming Under the Mast.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Rainy Days and Fridays

Rainy fridays are made for bead play.  Especially in San Diego in May where it's clear this will be close to the last of the rainy days until next season.

I rose to a long list of things that need to doing to prepare for both a home wedding and the following weeks Bead and Button trip.  I puttered about with a kit that needed finishing but I couldn't work up the enthusiasm for more kitting or printing of directions or hemming of table runners.

I realized only beading was going to settle me down.  Is it like that for you too?  When I'm antsy, creating something with my hands is what is needed.  While moving things about in the studio I came across the aqua and green medallion I had completed maybe even months ago.  I don't know what caused it to be abandoned.  Perhaps I was try ing out a color combination, or time got away from me, but there it was and I decided I loved it.

I pulled out the beads, sat down with my bead board and finished it into an earring.  The perfect drops were in my stash and I had two.  The second ear ring was easy enough to finish, especially being motivated to wear them. I'm pleased with this pair.  They are a little fancy for the hardware store, my personal test of everyday vs. fancy pants.  These will be part of the Going Formal collection for next years cruise.


Now back to wedding preparedness.   You know when you invite company over and you clean the house a little more diligently?  Well hosting a wedding creates that dynamic times ten.  Mark and I are busy every day doing things that have waited years to be done!  Off to Home Depot.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Beading with Friends

Are you lucky enough to have a group of beaders you can bead with, who encourage and support one another, provide valuable feedback, have good laughs and can help you out with stash when required?  I am that lucky and in recent months I've been missing in action.

Although 'retired' it seems my 4 engagement per year rule got all heaped into the first part of the year, along with planning a wedding and purchasing a new airstream…and life once again became to busy.

Ever notice it's easy to say 'too busy' but then we wast time with this or that and piddle a good part of the day away.  I remember hearing the term, weapons of mass distraction and the internet can certainly be that.

Well today I decided that I'm going to go bead with friends.  Part of what I need to do is bead so it will be perfect.  I'm never quite as productive while socializing, but it's always worth it.

First up is finishing the head piece for my daughters wedding.  It's within  inches of being done and it's so pretty!



Then I need to finish a second sample of Ancient Bells.  These kits will be at Bead and Button, so I need a sample.  I find people really like to see the actual piece and not just a photo.



Speaking of Bead and Button, I've finished all the kits I'm teaching and am working on extras for Meet the Teachers night.  All classes are full with the exception of on lonely seat in the Tuesday Sprocket class.  I hope some takes it because I love sprockets, one of my all time favorite pieces to wear.  I won't be selling class kits, but I will have some Ancient Bells, some Duomos Romanticos, some Laylas, and the infamous silver white  Romanticas.  If I'm lucky there will be some Touch of Whiimsy's as well!

And now off to pack my beads for Beading with Friends day!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bead Dreams

Every year in early spring there is a deadline to submit a competition piece for Bead and Buttons Bead Dreams.  I have previously completed two different collaborations, but this year I wanted to submit a piece entirely of my own imagination and hands.

To follow through on my intent, I labeled a box, selected colors and labeled bits and pieces that I would consider contributing to the design.



mmm…..bronze, fuchsia, purples, greens, golds, a nice mix of my favorites.


I added a nice dose of Swarovski crystals


And then I ran out of steam….I got busy, I gave up, I resigned myself to not finishing, there was too much to do and it all needed to be done and then…….

I gave myself a good talking to and decided that it would only get done if I put in the work, lots of work and if I gave myself permission to let everything else go.  It meant a couple of things got later then was comfortable, but you know in the end nothing earth shaking happened, and guess what?  I finished, I made a piece that I love.  It had the usual ups and downs of any design process, loved it, hated it, wasn't sure about it, and then it was done and I'm very very pleased.  I created photos and I did the paperwork and I submitted it but really the real reward is that I finished.  If it's not accepted I will be more than happy to wear it, maybe not to the grocery store, but I will make Mark take me to fancy dinners weekly and I will find as many appropriate occasions as I can to enjoy wearing it.  The name of the piece is journey as each bit of beadwork came form a previous part of my bead journey.


Now my focus returns to the rest of what needs doing and…..the new airstream.  That story is for another day, and maybe another blog.  In the meantime, where should I have dinner?