Monday, November 8, 2010

Convergence II - Currently on exhibit in Houston!

The Convergence II traveling exhibit is currently at the Houston Center for Contemporary Art and will remain there through November 28.

To read more about the exhibit, please see the following link to ISGB's website.

ISGB - Convergence II Exhibit at the Houston Center for Contemporary Art

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Creative Beading - Volume 5

I am tickled pink to announce that my 'Bling Button Bracelet' (aka Button Fan as named by Bead & Button and originally published in the August 2009 Bead & Button magazine) is being included in the Creative Beading - Volume 5 annual publication available by pre-order through Kalmbach at the present time.  I know Borders carries the Creative Beading series as I purchased two of the earlier volumes at the Borders store close to my home.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Convergence II: Adorning the Past, Present and Pretend

Terri McGill, a glass beadmaker from Dayton, OH and I collaborated for an ISGB Competition called "Convergence II:  Adorning the Past, Present and Pretend".  We got the email late last night that our neck piece was accepted for the traveling competition!!!  The tour starts in Rochester in May 2010 and ends in Ohio in 2011. Other than a stop at the Bead & Button show in June 2011, I don’t know yet where the other exhibition locations are scheduled.

The competition theme this year was to choose a person (real or fictional) and create a piece of jewelry inspired by them.  Terri  (The Rabbit Hutch) and I chose Marie Tharp, a cartographer at Cambridge University in the 40's who used sonar readings gather by the university to map the ocean floor. Marie co-discovered the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which then gave credence to the theory of continental drift. The map of the ocean floor she created in the 40's is still in use today!

To read more about Marie and learn what a true pioneer she was ...

"Marie's Ridge" (Photograph taken by Helen O'Donnell)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bead Embroidery ... on a small scale

After getting my work table cleaned off from my last big project (a competition piece, but more on that in a later post!), I decided I wanted to try my hand at something small.  And new.

Going through my sewing basket, I came across some of the button frames that you can cover with fabric to match an outfit and decided to try my hand at making a bead embroidered button. I went through my stash of hand dyed fabrics left over from a myriad of quilting projects and pulled three different colorways and have made two different buttons so far.  The first button was a combination of gold and matte olive/apple green beads and the second was a combination of blues with brass/gold accents.   After completing my beautiful buttons, I knew I had to incorporate them into something ...

The Gahanna Bead Studio has just recently started stocking a very cute little cube bead (1.8 mm) that I just had to have and I have bought quite a few tubes in several different colors.  Using those to create a peyote band, I made two different styles of a cuff bracelet.

The blue bead embroidered bracelet has the peyote running length-wise on the long side of the band and I created a button hole at the end of one side.  With the rotation of the peyote stitch, this bracelet is very stiff and much more like a bangle type bracelet.  I actually liked the sawtooth appearance on the edges so decided to leave them 'as is'.  The only additional accent was the 15/0 bronze seed beads that I used to finish the ends of the band and to accent the button hole.

The green/gold bead embroidered bracelet has the peyote running width-wise across the band with a peyote loop to form the second half of the toggle. Since I don't like to see exposed thread on my work, I used the 15/0 bronze seed beads to add a picot edging length-wise on the bracelet and to fill in the 'gaps' on the bracelet ends.  I really like how they looked in the peyote toggle too.  This bracelet is very fluid and fabric-like.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How did you spend the week between Christmas and New Years - Part 2

Since it sure looks like Christmas outside, I figured this was as good a time as any to post the second half of what I was able to get completed and off my work table between Christmas and New Years.  (Clicking on any photo will bring up a larger version.)

The lovely stone in the pendant on the right is a Morrisonite Jasper from Designer Cabochons in England, as are all of the stone cabochons that I use.  I stumbled on their website several years ago and LOVE their cabochons.  They always have unique stones and fossils, with quite a few from vintage slabs.  Vintage and stone, two of my most favorite things!

I used a combination of seed beads to create the bezel and pendant embellishment because I wanted to keep the setting on the simple side.  I like the combination of the 11/0s and 15/0s in the bail too.  I'm an admitted pearl lover so seem to include pearls in almost all of my pieces.  In this case, I used the pearl coins as separators in the tubular Ndebele necklace and top drilled pearls as accents to the fringe.

The final pendant that I finished during my holiday week is pictured on the left.  Even though I am more of a 'green' person, I loved the colors in this Ocean Wave Jasper and how much it looks like a beach scene.

The surrounding fringe is a little on the wild side, but the colors are muted and don't (in my opinion anyway) take away or over power the beauty of this stone.  I used a combination of seed beads and a couple of different colors of faceted Czech glass beads.  I had exactly 12 of the little mottled red glass squares so used them to accent the red band in the stone and as highlights in the strung necklace.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How did you spend the week between Christmas and New Years? Part 1

I vowed that I would finish up all of the half started projects sitting on my work table, in anticipation of getting started on a larger project.  Some of the final results, I loved, and some were just okay ... I very rarely sketch designs out so am working from a picture in my head most of the time.  In a couple of cases, I was able to use up some small amounts of beads that would have otherwise gone to the bottom of my bead drawers so even better!  Here's Part 1 of how I spent my week ... (clicking on any picture will bring up an enlarged view).

The inspiration for this bracelet came while driving home from the eastern shore of Maryland and Philadelphia the first week of October.  Both the drive to the east coast and the drive back home were highlighted by the autumn colors of the trees up and down the hills/mountains of Pennsylvania.  Driving home, I was especially struck by a couple of areas that were just absolutely brilliant with red and yellow intermingled with a touch of green and was sad when darkness fell as I was driving because it meant that I couldn't see the trees anymore!

I couldn't wait to get back home so I could create my own personal autumn!

The green high fire ceramic cabochon pictured on the right has been sitting on my work table, glued to Stiff Stuff, for longer than I want to admit.  I knew I wanted to make something with it, but just couldn't figure out what.

As I was going through my bead stash looking for beads for a completely different project, I came across these lovely green Czech glass leaves and pulled them out to audition with the cab.  I liked how the shape of the leaves mimicked the imprinted teardrop shapes at the top (or what I made the top) of the cab!  The green ceramic cabochon is made by my friend, Helen O'Donnell, Embroidered Soul.  Helen's cabochons are some of my favorite pieces to use in my beadwork.

Let It Snow Earrings

Square stitch is a handy little stitch.  What I love about it is that you can take any loom pattern and create it 'off loom' using the square stitch instead ... and none of those pesky multiple threads to weave in at the end!  Plus, you can take almost any cross stitch pattern and duplicate it in beads using square stitch.  About the only part of cross stitch that doesn't work in a square stitch pattern is the half stitch.  It's also super easy to create your own pattern by using grid paper and some colored pencils.  I charted my own pattern for both the Let It Snow earrings and a Halloween patch bracelet and Jack-O-Lantern earrings that I've taught as a class.

I will be teaching Let It Snow square stitch earrings at the Gahanna Bead Studio on Saturday, January 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Upcoming Classes

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and start to the new year ...and new decade for that matter!  What does the new year bring for me?  Some upcoming classes featuring various beadweaving stitch techniques that I will be teaching at the Gahanna Bead Studio.

I will be teaching the Button Bling class in January.  This class was originally scheduled to start this upcoming Sunday, but the decision was made today to postpone it for two weeks due to the anticipated weather for the weekend, so the first class will be held on Sunday, January 24 and the second class will be held on February 7.  This is a two session class, held from 12:30 to 4:30 both days and includes both the peyote stitch and bead embroidery.  The bracelet project was originally published in the August issue of Bead & Button magazine and it will be included in the Creative Beading, Volume 5 publication to be released this summer.  The Gahanna Bead Studio has gotten in some wonderful Czech glass buttons specifically for this class and I can't wait to see how they look in the student's bracelets.

I also will be teaching a right angle weave bracelet class on Saturday, January 16, using Czech glass as the base of the bracelet accented with druks and Swarovski bicones, and featuring a Unicorne glass toggle.  I like right angle weave projects because the stitch is so versatile and your pattern can have a completely different look, depending on the combination of beads that are used.  The larger Czech glass beads allow the base to work up fairly quickly and then it's a matter of finishing with the accent beads.  The result is a very elegant and beautiful bracelet.  I made two samples, one with a little more muted palette and a second with a more vivid colorway ... the photo here is of the more muted bracelet.  I'm not normally a 'heart' person, but this Unicorne glass heart bead was absolutely beautiful and I couldn't wait to find a project that I could use it in.

In case you want to create your very own snowflakes (that won't melt when the temperatures reach above freezing), I will also be teaching a square stitch snowflake class on Saturday, January 30.  Reading charts and creating your own charted patterns will be covered as part of this class. (Cand't find my photo, but will post when I do.)

Happy Friday!