Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Design Genius, I Tell You!

Reading the blogs yesterday I saw Marcia DeCoster's little bauble that she doesn't know what she's going to do with so I thought I'd show mine. Mine is lovingly called "Spermy" for obvious reasons though my students thought it looked more like an uncircumcised penis....what am I gonna do with these women and what men have they been mixing with? Scary!

I'm not sure what's going to happen to Spermy other than I do know he has some cousins who should be coming to visit soon....maybe we can all sit down and figure something out.

I thought I'd also show one of my new rings, yes, one I copyrighted after all the drama last week.
I also thought I'd show you my inspiration and
that others have used the same inspiration....there are no new ideas, just developments of old ones.
People often ask me where I get my ideas from, so this should give an idea of where my mind wanders and what it comes up with.

There are quite a few rings out there based on the hand armor of olde, more than when I first did my designs six years ago. I think each of them is unique and I think mine fits in with the developments quite well.

have a thing for armor and I miss being able to wear my chainmaille clothing out and about....but I don't live in California or New York where you can get away with it. At least these rings allow me a little self expression.

Grail Quest

No, I don't have Da Vinci Code fever. Actually, I've always been interested in Arthurian legend, the Grail Quest, Pagan religions, etc. I have my own collection of 'grails' in storage....think about the array of grails in the Indian Jones movie. I'm not really a collector but I started acquiring goblets, my grail quest, about twenty years ago as my statement about man's search for the wrong thing and the demotion of women in society.
Reading Dan Brown's books and watching all the subsequent documentaries has me
picking up the thread of my life I dropped about five years ago when my life got all messed up with the immmigration thing.

And what does this have to do with beading? Well....I'm thinking I'd like to make a bead grail, actually it's Morganna's idea, yes, she was designing in my sleep. I've been doing a lot of beadwork based on structure and form lately and I like that I can create independently standing structures from beads. I can actually see me creating a bunch of beaded chalices and maybe that will be my 'thing'.

I'm researching a new type of class too. At the cabochon bezel class, as we were leaving, I pointed out the selection of pressed flowers the store carries and how pretty they would look set in a cabochon. This sparked some interest, and, as I've done resin work before it seems like making our own pressed flower cabochons would be a good class to do. I need to find the right molds as the store doesn't carry those, but if I remember rightly Dick Blick does. I'd like to have one class a month about making beads in one form or another....polymer clay beads, paper beads, fabric beads, etc. I have made all these kinds of beads before but I need to refresh myself before I start teaching.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

December Projects

As promised photos of next month's projects. We'll be doing a couple of different rings, a couple of different quick bracelets and, to trim up the holidays, an ornament drape and a beaded ornament. Of course, the beaded ornament is really a large version of a beaded bead so once you've got it down in large format, try it with smaller beads.
December 1st: Flat Herringbone bracelet
December 3rd: Tubular Herringbone bracelet
December 8th: Pearl Bezeled ring
December 10th: Right Angle Weave ring
December 15th: Ornament Drape
December 17th: Beaded Ornament

A little secret out of the bag. If you go to the store and look at magazines you'll see the new BeadStar magazine cover and first two pages. It let's the cat out of the bag as to some of the winners.

Is it Saturday?

Between being sick and the holidays I'm losing track of the days.
I've steadily been getting better, I'm still sleeping more than usual except for one night when I think my body was playing a balancing act and didn't let me sleep at all.
Of course, this isn't really my favorite time of year.....the holiday season. I know you're supposed to love it but I just don't. I dislike commercialization and the financial pressure it puts everyone under, not to mention the social pressure.

I like January! When all the hoopla is over and you can just get down to the business of making the new year better than the last. When the air is crisp and things feel renewed. There's a hope in January.

Today I need to take photographs of the rest of next month's class projects, I'm so behind with all that. I think the projects turned out well and I even remade the herringbone bracelet in cubes, I always wondered why I didn't do that in the first place. I'll probably post photos later today.

This week will see me playing catch-up and maybe if I'm busy enough my fifty-first birthday will slide by without my even noticing, a gal can dream.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Medallions & Medieval Mysteries

All the rivoli medallions are complete! YAY! Now I just have to finish the wing components and I'm 30% done with those. Then it will get exciting as I put the whole thing together.

Speaking of excitement....I got news today that one of my pieces has been accepted for publication as a project in Beadwork magazine. Lots of lead time on this one as it's slated for the Dec/Jan 2010/2011 issue.

I'm finally feeling better, not 100% yet but getting there. I finished reading Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" this morning, it was definitely interesting and tied in a lot of what I've learned through my metaphysical studies. I think Brown's books really shine a light on woman's place in history and how the female has been held down and diminished. I grew up being told women didn't have the brainpower to even drive a car and knew from a young age that women were downtrodden, I didn't get why and started looking into the history of women. Before anyone came out with the info of the Da Vinci Code I had seen that the Holy Grail was about the feminine, though it was always men searching for the Grail it was always women pointing the direction.

Anyway....what the heck does that have to do with beading? Inspiration is what. I see a lot of medieval style and female tribute in my beading future.

I hope everyone has a great turkey day and thanks for reading my ramblings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Components, components, components

The flu has hit me again. I don't seem to be getting it really badly, it's like it keeps trying to get me and my immune system keeps fighting back. But it does wipe me out and I've nearly passed out a couple of times when doing something strenuous (ha, like going to the store, I was actually on my knees in Harmons).

So, my typical 15 hour workday has been reduced to about five hours, the rest sees me in bed either sleeping or reading (I'm about half way through Angels & Demons). However, I am making some progress on my competition piece. It has about 40 components in it and all those have to be made before I can start putting it together, I've completed 30%. The fun thing about components though is you can play with them and that's what I was doing in the picture, that is not how the finished piece will look but I kinda like it. It's always a good sign in my book when components lend themselves to many designs.

I was reading on someone's blog, can't remember which one, that Marcia DeCoster is big on working with components. I know some people shy away from creating pieces for a whole but sometimes it's the best and possibly the only way to bring to life what you have in your head. I remember my art professor telling me to "break it down" when having trouble drawing a figure in a difficult position and so when I hit a problem translating one of my designs from sketch to form I naturally fell back on that old advice. Plus, it's so fun to be able to play with the pieces and discover some options you might not have thought about.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So, today sees me reprimanded for creating my finger armor.

I had been inspired to dig out my old designs based on armor gauntlets after seeing Erin Simonetti's finger ring and created my black and silver howlite piece. I didn't examine her design to see how she made it.....I just went back to my old drawings and though they weren't designed for bead weaving (I didn't know about bead weaving back then) I saw how my patterns totally were right for bead weaving. I really tried to do something different from Erin's and even took the design into a whole new construction technique this past weekend (different from my original pattern which was shaped like Erin's).

However, it seems that Erin has a patent pending on her finger ring and she says it covers any bead woven ring that covers the entire finger. That means no one can sell, publish or create a pattern for a bead woven ring that covers the finger but her for the next seventeen years. I was in the process of creating a five section finger armor piece, totally different from hers but with her patent being so general it doesn't allow for even that. How sad! Talk about being cut off at the creative knees, even if I just make one for myself I can't even send it to a magazine as a 'show and tell piece' because if they publish it I'm violating Erin's patent.

I haven't found her patent yet but I did find another interesting one. This one is for a beaded bead made by wrapping beads with a thread around a base bead. There are a lot of people using this technique and it's frequently published so how does that effect the beading world?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

December Classes

I've been busy putting together the December classes, afternoon classes will have a ring, a bracelet and an ornament, evening classes will also be making a bracelet, ring and ornament but they will be different from the afternoon classes.
Here are the samples I've finished so far. We'll be doing an introduction to herringbone stitch with a flat embellished bracelet and a tubular one. We'll take the right angle weave a stage further and create a dress ring.

As for the ornaments, one will be a drape and one will be, basically, a giant beaded bead. The other ring will be a bezelled pearl ring.

Today sees me teaching the Cellini Spiral this afternoon and running the bead society meeting tonight. We're having a 'Bead-In' so I'll need to figure out what to take, plus I need to pack up some brown beads for the raffle. With a very busy week I'm glad I had a very productive day yesterday, even getting ahead of myself. You've got to love it when that happens.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Rings

The weekend was productive and I made four rings. The last two with a different technique than I've used before which gives the ring band much more flexibility.
I turned the black/silver/red one into finger armor though it is a lot lighter than my previous ones.
Then I made a 'ruffle ring'. These take time but are definitely fun to make and to wear.
I really like using the Swarovski rivolis
that Artbeads sent me through the blogger program. In these rings I used a 12mm Siam and a 12mm Montana sapphire.

Today it's back to pattern writing and illustrating, as much as I can do in six hours. It's day one of a new schedule, so we'll see how it works. The plan is to have the first two hours of my day doing my online thing, blogging, reading, researching, etc., then six hours of pattern illustrating and writing, then I am free to bead in the evening.
It's a busy week....classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, bead society Tuesday evening and an art reception on Friday evening so it will be interesting to see how much I get done. The plan is to have all my classes for November and December ready to go, then next week, Thanksgiving week, is totally free of classes or prep so I can work on the JOGS competition piece.
Best laid plans.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rings & Things

Rings are the thing this weekend. Of course, the black and silver one is mine, the one I wear that catches people's eye and they either love or hate my finger armor.
The middle one reminds me of harlequins and so will probably be called "Harlequin", it's actuallyy quite sparkly too...the richest looking so far. The stone is jasper, with topaz Swarovskis in 4mm and 3mm sizes.
The one on the left is black and olive green with some tarnished silver, light green Swarovski pearls and Swarovski olive bicones...I think the stone is serpentine.
The small ring in front....though I'm not sure it will stay small....I just put it down at 2am to get some sleep, is a Siam rivoli with Siam 3mm bicones. I made this one with a totally different technique, just building on the bezel. I don't think I'm finished with it...even if all I add are ring supports.....but I'd like to see it as finger armor. I wanted to make something similar to mine but different enough for it to be unique.

This afternoon will see me back to working on the rings and I have to say it's good for me....I just needed to step away from writing patterns, doing illustrations and all the other stuff that surrounds a beading business. It's easy to get bogged down in all that stuff and wonder what the heck you're doing because the actual beading gets pushed to the back burner. I'm also toying with a ring design with ruffles, I love ruffles and Miss Rachel's new piece is probably the catalyst on this one.

I got an e-mail from our newest bead society member, Val, yesterday after she had gone shopping at Bead Haven in Vegas. She was showing the usual excitement that people do when going to Gail's store for the first time....because the store is many unusual beads. Great news that they are going to give us a discount...I never got a solid on that because I spoke to Gail, the store owner and not her sister who runs the store. With fifteen card carrying members now our little society is growing and that makes me happy, it's good to see your hard work pay off. With the introduction of the monthly FMG order I'm sure we'll gain more members.

The craft store where I teach finally got their Toho beads in (they asked me a year ago what I would like to see in the store), it's not a huge selection but we'll take what we can get! Sometimes I feel like a one woman army bringing beading to this sleepy little desert community....but I have some great support from my students.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Best Laid Plans

I got up early this morning to go to the life lab over in Virgin, my plans had already changed a little bit as Lora, owner of Wildfire Beads is in hospital (troubles with a pregnancy) and so wouldn't be there when I called on my way back . But I was still determined to go and do some drawing. I even e-mailed the organizer to let him know I would be there so he could bring my painting that he's been holding for me.

Well....I got into the car and the problem little car was not going anywhere. I messed around trying to fix the issue but to no avail. Then I realised because I usually stop at Starbucks and pick up a coffee on my way to the art class I was missing my caffeine fix. Back into the house, e-mail the organizer to let him know I may not make it and then make myself a latte. Once the caffeine hit my system I went back out to my car and tried to fix it again. Success! Of course by now it was really too late to head out to class so I put a load of laundry in and headed to my studio to do some beading. Of course, I was out of smoke fireline and I really needed if for the next, back in my car and out to the store to get my much needed thread and a shopping list for my mom. I'm back home, the second load of laundry is in the washer, I have a fresh cup of coffee and I'm ready to start beading. I need to bead. I need the relaxation of it because I have been so stressed out this week. Last night I made a finger ring/armor and it's my goal to make at least two more over the weekend as I met someone who fell in love with mine and wants one or two for herself. The base pattern is easy and the embellishments are fun so I'm looking forward to a nice easy rest of the day.

Friday, November 13, 2009


So, finally you can find me on the magazine racks. My Challenge piece is in the latest issue of Beadwork magazine.
This is one of my most favorite pieces...even if it felt like a breach birth. The other designs, by Jamie Hogsett, Michelle Mach and Melinda Barta were all great. I especially liked Melinda's......simple but extremely attractive. I did find it very interesting that none of us used the center of the stacked rose.
What an awesome issue this one is. There are so many fabulous designs I didn't know what too look at first. If you're looking for some new projects this issue of Beadwork is a must! What company I am be in the same magazine as so many of the top designers when I've only been bead weaving for 18 months, well, yes, I will pat myself on the back. And that lightening up on myself will maybe last the morning.

And, I will admit I was so excited when I bought the magazine I showed the clerk at Barnes & Noble, she got just as! I guess the only complaint....could my name have been a bit bigger? I'm joking of course I couldn't believe how big the font actually made me cringe a little like I did back in high school when they would call my name for year I got nine and was almost under my chair by the time they got through the list.

I'm hauling the 27lbs of the bead society FMG order over to Suzanne's today so we can sort it all out...and say over and over "I wish I'd ordered that".

Last night's Project Runway was the tease for next week and the Bryant Park show, I'm really looking forward to seeing what the three gals came up with. I'm thinking Irena may have gone down the wrong path on this one and I know it's awful of me but she is the one I'd like to see come in last, there's just something that irks me about her....overconfidence maybe or how she was always putting down the other designers. Anyhoo, I'm hoping Althea or Carol Hannah take it.

Of course, I was inspired again and have a necklace design sketched, this time from the blouse Nina was wearing. I'm not sure how I'm going to pull it off because it demands some rigidity, off course I do bead tight, too tight sometimes, so we'll see.

Have a happy Friday the 13th everyone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Somebody Put a Hole in My Life Jacket, please.

After doing some blog hopping this morning I feel decidely 'beige'. There are such amazing designers out there pushing it to the edge and it's made me feel my work is very 'safe'. I always worry so much about the practicalities of a piece...the wearability, the 'will it catch?', 'will it go with lots of outfits?', 'will it appeal to the masses?'.
The blog hopping this morning was the result of feeling 'blah' last night and actually putting the beading down early and going to bed. I hoped to inspire myself. Sometimes where I am gets me down, Southern Utah is not exactly the San Francisco I love where inspiration is on every corner and where what is outrageous here is daily wear there. It's so easy to get into a safe rut here. I find myself talking a lot about California and remembering what fun it was to be out costuming all the time and I make one of my girlfriends send me all the details of where she went, what she wore, what she did so I can live vicariously.
I'm a duck out of water here and that's why I'm working so hard at this beading business, so that I can at least travel, plus it's not something that will keep me here when the reason that does is gone.
I think I also have to get a bit more rigid in my daily planning, if I can get everything done for my month of classes plus the bead society in one week then I could devote the other three to designing and that might give me the time to phase out the safe and be more daring.

So, my day today is full of pattern writing, laundry and class tonight. The DBS FMG order arrives today and tomorrow will see Suzanne and I sorting it into individual orders. Then I plan a weekend of beading with a little art thrown in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beads, Religion, Mystery and a Gift

Ok, so my impatience was showing last night...I couldn't resist playing with some ides for the Patchwork Quilt bracelet. I'm liking the colors a lot, I love the sapphire rivolis and they are going to be joined by some olivine ones. The border on the larger piece I'm not so happy with but I already have worked out a new horoscope this morning says I'll be burning the candle at both ends tonight.....lately my horoscope is one day late. Last night was quite a late one and I had to make myself go to bed in the early hours.

Also, I have to read before I can go to sleep. I'm a big mystery fan and love the writings of Greg Iles and James Patterson with a little Dean Koontz thrown in for an odd factor (pun intended). At the moment though, I'm reading Dan Brown....yeah, The Da Vinci Code. I have this aversion to reading or seeing 'the hot new thing', I don't know why, but when the hoopla dies down I tend to take a look at what was so hot. I finally caved and picked up the book from the library along with Angels and Demons....that one I thought I'd read BEFORE I see the movie. It's been almost two years since I saw the Da Vinci Code so I don't remember it in so much detail that it will ruin the book, and actually they do seem to have stayed true to the far.

I have to admit I'm actually in to anything Da an artist he is my hero. I should make myself a bracelet that reads WWDVD? because I actually think that a lot. This whole code thing had me looking through my big book of Da Vinci's work at the Last Supper....and I have to say, it's Mary Magdalene. I also wonder just what the Catholic church has locked away...what relics they have that they don't want us to know about. Religious organizations with secrets bug me....I like full disclosure.

So, reading and watching all the mystery stuff had me dreaming a beading mystery the other night. I was taken to the scene of a murder, mass murder and as we were approaching the bodies there were these huge bags of beads and some beading scattered around. I stopped to look, thinking "dang, I'd like this stash" only to have my thoughts interupted by a detective who says there was an unrecognizable female body found with similar jewelry on her. I immediately thought....we can identify her by the beads. Large bags like that can only mean she is a designer who makes kits and if we checked the local bead stores and societies with her jewelry we'd be able to identify her. Weird how the mind works isn't it? you're saying to yourself..."she's done beads, done religion, done mystery and beaded mystery....where's the gift?" The gift comes from my blog partner Artbeads who sent me a personal thank you and one I can share...a discount at their online store valid till the end of the cool is that? So, all you do is go shopping at Artbeads, where there is no minimum and always free shipping and at the checkout type in this code SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0424 and they'll knock 10% off your total. Just in time for Christmas....happy shopping.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Should I be Simon or Paula?

This morning I'm off to Mesquite with Selina where we are judging an art show. My first time being a judge so I'll try to not let it go to my head and I'll probably be more like Ellen...hmmm....the dancing judge?

After doing my session of netting last night I started adding the baby pearls to my shell packages....they do look pretty.

I find if I take a photo of work in progress I get a much better sense of a new set of eyes. When I'm painting or drawing I can get the same effect by holding my work in front of a mirror but that doesn't work so well with jewelry.

I also made a list last night of designs I want to send to the magazines and what I would like to make into kits if I manage to win a certain competition. That started me designing....and I have come up with a new bracelet design based on quilting though not the Cathedral Windows which I have slated for my book. I just have to get a bead palette, based around the olivine and sapphire rivolis Artbeads sent me.....and Patchwork Quilt will be on it's way.

The Dixie Bead Society newsletter went out last night and the meeting is planned and now I better get my butt in the shower and on my way come de judge.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our Own Local Bead Store

I finally got over to Wildfire Beads in Hurricane, Utah yesterday and met with owner and lampworker extraordinaire Lora McLaughlin. Of course I forgot to take pictures, but her store is cute and stocked with lots of goodies that you can actually touch, play with, co-ordinate and she aims to keep her prices competitive with the online stores. We sat in the classroom and chatted, getting to know each other as before this we'd only met for a few minutes at the travelling bead show when it was in town. She didn't even remember me, lol, thought I was from the Yellow Pages. Too funny. I jogged her memory with two words "Bead Society" and it all came back to her.
Lora says business has been great but with five kids and starting the store she has had no time to flame up her torch so she had hardly any of her lampwork to show me. She actually went online to her empty Etsy store to show me pictures of work she has sold. She does great work! I especially like the beads that she antiques, they look so rustic.
She asked if I would teach some classes at the store and, of course, I said yes. Lora is also going to carry my project booklets, the ones I create for my classes. I'm thrilled about this as it allows people who maybe can't afford to take a class still able to learn the techniques to make their own creations.
Lora and I are both excited to collaborate on some projects too. I've wanted to find a lampworker I could design with and some of my ideas had Lora excited to get back to her torch.

The details: Wildfire Beads is at 134 South Main Street, Hurricane, UT 84737 and is open Tuesday thru Saturday 10am to 6pm. She also has one of those great frequent buyer cards that we bead addicts love. So, people, get out there and support your local bead store.

Lora will also be our guest speaker at the next Dixie Bead Society meeting which will be Tuesday, November 17th at 6pm in the St George Library.

After all the excitement of the day I finally sat down to bead after dinner. I finished a quarter of the top netting on my collar (my daily allotment) and then picked up my little packages. I love the colors of this one, they are very different for me but I fell in love with these little shell beads and they told me what colors they needed around them (yes, the beads speak to me and I can see a padded cell in my future). They whispered in my ear that if I looked in my pearl box I'd find some tiny freshwater pearls that matched them perfectly....and they were right. Now if they'd just tell me how they'd like them incorporated we'd be onto something....oh, Morganna, where art thou?

Lora and I talked about my little packages designs and I told her some things I'd like to see in them....she got quite excited and is going to make me some lampwork beads so I can create some very 'off-the-wall' pieces.....hey, I won Beading Daily's pattern play challenge in the 'Off-the-Wall' category, I may as well run with it. My 'off-the-wall' designs are inspired by Picasso but I needed help from a lampworker....and I'm so happy to be collaborating with a fabulous one.

Lisa Crone thinks I'm at one with the Universe right now....maybe she's right, because no sooner than I voice a wish along comes the fulfillment. Hmm.....I could use the makeover they're giving away on local radio......

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Brighter Me

You've probably noticed the new colors of my blog. I felt I needed something brighter and more uplifting. Being kinda Goth I lean toward the dark side but sometimes you've got to just lighten up.
What do you think?

Sneek Peak

So, I'm trying hard to not post pictures of my latest designs as they are for a book proposal but it's dang hard not to (I'm sure Jean Campbell would agree as she's posted a few pics from the book she's working on).

However, I find I don't enjoy blogging without just isn't the same. So I thought I'd post more of a component photo, parts I'm working on (with some finished pieces around the edges). I've scattered in some Swarovski rivolis which are part of my inspiration. I managed to work on these pieces a little bit last night after I had fulfilled my alotted duty of the day to finish one side of the netted collar I'm working on. The netting can get tedious, especially when you've already pulled it out once, but I'm happy with the result so far.

I think when you have a large piece to work on that has a lot of repetition it's good to just set yourself a portion to do each day then you don't get bored and bogged down. Throw in an interesting quick piece in between sessions.

I need to work on the finishing touches of the Bead Society newsletter today and I really need to get over to the brand new bead store and coax the owner into speaking at our meeting. A breath of fresh air and a pretty drive will do me a power of good.

Something that did me a power of good last night was reading Lisa Crone's Secret Journey
I follow Lisa's blog 'A Bead A Day' and we've become e-mail buddies so I was very interested to read her story which is inspiring to everyone, I think, you don't have to be a beader. She tells us how she was inspired to write her book "A Bead in Time" and the changes in her life because of it. Great job Lisa!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Galleries, Competitions & Submissions, Oh My!

I've been busy, busy, busy lately getting things ready for the gallery and I'm heading down this afternoon with all the displays, packaging and, of course, the jewelry. Finding boxes for the larger necklaces was almost impossible locally and in the end I had to get creative with some gift boxes I found.....until I can get the display boxes from online here...thank goodness for online shopping.
After getting all excited about designing a non-wearable for an upcoming competition I re-read the rules and realised that the entry had to be laid plans....grrr! So, I went back to my original idea of doing something spectacular based on my 'Gothic Urchin Wings' piece.
I've been playing with colors, and there are such a lot to choose from! I love the Swarovski rivolis that make up the center of the wings. On this green one I added 3mm Swarovski pearls in Light Green. I can't get the 3mm pearls at my almost local bead store so again I thank heaven for online shopping and Artbeads they get me out of many a design dilemma when I just need one or two things and can't bring myself to have to pay shipping and handling fees that are more than the beads have FREE shipping...a no-brainer for me. Thank you Artbeads! I'm still a little unsure of the colors I want to work in but I am favoring all the coppery tones with a dark base.
I'm still getting projects ready for submission to the magazines and I'm busy making the pieces I'll wear for the photoshoot for the local glossy magazine later this month. In fact, my friend and student, Suzanne, and I took our bead boards to the local Starbucks yesterday for a morning of coffee, chatting and beading. I love Suzanne, she always makes me laugh and she's as hooked into bead weaving as I am. So, we sat and beaded. She was making some simple spiral earrings to match the necklace she made after taking my class last usual her work is gorgeous.
I worked on the choker for the photoshoot....I'm now a third of the way through one side of the netted ruffle. It's a slow process but worth it, whether I'll feel as kindly about it when I've finished both ruffles for the choker plus both cuffs we'll see.
We raised a bit of interest as people kept stopping by our table to see what we were doing. I think we may have created a new beader as Susan who was vacationing with her husband was trying to figure out how she could dump her hubby to take my evening! She didn't make it to class but apparently they are relocating here so she may be a future student.
This morning I had a fabulous surprise when doing my blog reading rounds. I stopped by Marcia DeCoster's blog and there was my 'Chocolate Box Landscape'. I had sent her a picture of it yesterday when I was reminded that I had learned to do layered right angle weave from her 'Disco Squares' bracelet that was featured in Beadwork magazine April/May 2009. I'm so totally honored. As anyone who reads my blog or takes my classes knows Marcia is one of my heroes, I don't think there's a single design of hers I don't like....and that's saying something! She's definitely a major influence and inspiration for me. Thank you Marcia! One day I hope to take a class with her....right now I'd have to win the lottery (you have to live in a state that has a lottery) to be able to it but I am working hard to get my beading business to yield more.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beadweaving Beginnings

I was thinking back to how I got started bead weaving and I dug out the very first pieces I made.
I did not know what I was doing at the time...I was just making it up, drawing on my weaving and sewing skills....I'd never heard of bead weaving.

The first ones were made like loom work...very much drawing on my weaving skills (I was doing weaving and spinning exhibitions at 11 years old).

The next one I switched over to my sewing skills and this honeycomb was basically done with a variation of RAW...which I had never heard of at the time and thought I'd invented something, well, for about a second and then I told myself it was so simple someone must have done it before. Little did I know!

I discovered bead weaving when I opened an Etsy store for my paintings and some basic jewelry I was making because I'd started teaching it. I saw a bead woven bracelet that turned out to be the work of Sandfibers and ended up in her store gazing in awe at her gorgeous work. The only thought running through my mind was "I want to learn this".

So I Googled. Found online tutorials for the basic stitches and I was off and running. Quick study that I am I had all the basic flat stitches down pat in a week and then started to learn the circular and tubular versions. You could say I became obsessed but I think I had just found the one thing that brought all my previous crafts together and it was and still is exhilarating.
I've come a long way in eighteen months and I know this is what I want for my future. I want to be Marcia DeCoster or Jean Campbell or Rachel Neslon-Smith or Cynthia Rutledge when I grow up. And for the first time in my life I have a determination that seems unwavering which tells me that I really have found what I'm supposed to be doing. At 50!!! As my family would say "About bloody time!" ;)