It turns out as I count up this years designs, the lack of pressure was really good for my design successes. Each of the projects developed on their own time and in time or actually ahead of schedule for their project debuts.
Last year I designed Cryptex for this years Beading by the Bay, but it was this year I perfected it, beaded two additional color ways and wrote the instructions. It's been a fun one to see beaded.
I'm showing you Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's version here because I love the changes she made to the strap and fringe as well as her layout showing the interior of the piece.
It turns out I was on a bit of a vessel kick, making this Hidden Paradise for this years Caribbean cruise with Heather Powers. Lifting the top reveals a sweet little tropical house that Heather makes out of Polymer clay.
Here is Gifts from the Sea using new Swarovski iridescent pearls. This one is for next years Coastal Maine Bead Retreat. You can read about it's design process here. I had an inspiration photo, but along the way it morphed.
This is Wind Beneath my Wings, named by my friend Beki Haley. It came out of my need to do more hubble stitch. Last year's Let's Hubble book by Melanie de Miguel introduced us to this very fluid and versatile stitch. I used it in Cryptex as well and I know I'll continue to explore it. This one is for this year's Fall Foliage retreat. Rumor has it there are a couple of spaces still open.
Two different Waterfall earrings came out of my experiments with splitting a cube into two cubes, a handy trick for some design considerations. I love the long chains that spill onto my shoulders but for those who don't, any number of bottom accents can be put into that little finial at the bottom of the teardrop. Thank you Nancy Dale for giving me the name 'finial' for this little splayed out cube that I use so often. It's a good way to refer to it.
The most recent design this year is called the Princess Anna Pendant. This one I love because it can go from little girl princess to womanly elegant depending on your color choices. This one is soft and elegant. Again a finial appears, holding the crystal at the top of this piece. It was also the first time I used spiky buttons, a new bead shape. The newest in the collaboration between Sabine Lippert and All Beads CZ.
For some time I've wanted to go back to exploring my beginnings with Amulet purses. My first ever was peyote stitch, and my second was a David Chatt piece on the cover of Nicolette Stessin's Beaded Amulet Purses. That one was quite challenging and my first introduction to right angle weave. This one was less challenging, but did incorporate my wrong angle weave method of adding an embellishment bead while weaving the raw fabric. You can read that here or more here.
There's one more fully developed project still under wraps, so that's 7 this year (I didn't count Cryptex) and it's only June. What's next? I'll be working on a process class for the Beading through Bohemia trip next May. I have a solid concept now of what I'll be exploring, always a good first step. Let's just say the ideas for this series kept me up thinking about them most of last night. I just pulled a huge number of seed beads and accent beads and I can't wait to get started!
Some might say this is not retired, but I have to say, cutting back to only 4 or so engagements per year has given me time to design. I don't think I'll be giving up on beads anytime soon.