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!