Snippets from a bead artist.


A New Tutorial And...

I have been a terribly absent blogger this year.  Lots of reasons, but the largest of which was taking care of my Dad, who has been off and on in the hospital for almost three years.  He's home again now, and doing great, and I am hoping to be able to do more posts again, as I used to.  Hopefully, at the New Year I will be back to blogging once a month.

I had a looooooong creative block as well as the blogging block, but I am so happy to be able to say that it has finally passed, and I managed to work out a new (although fairly simple) tutorial.  I must say, if I hadn't had some really awesome testers for this, it never would have happened - I don't think I've ever sent out a messier, full-of-errors tutorial draft before!!  But it's all fixed up now (thank you so much, Michelle and Mary and Valorie!!) and in the shop.  It's called Royal Herringbone Ropes, and it includes two necklaces, the basic instructions for a bracelet and a pair of pretty earrings.  The first part of the tutorial, the Crowns Rope Necklace, is going to be available to bead retailers from The Beadsmith, and I wanted to pair that rope up with one that I had made previously called Sceptres.  Then I had so much fun stitching that I decided to make the bracelet... and then the earrings just sort of happened... ;)  Check it out here in my Etsy shop.

I was honored again this year by having a photo published in Sabine Lippert's gallery in her glorious new book, Beadwork Evolutions.  If you don't have this book yet, RUN to get yourself a copy!!  The projects are just gorgeous and so inspiring.  I have included photos below to give you just a little glimpse of the beauty that awaits you in it's pages.  Sabine has kits for these projects on her website, TryToBead.

Anastasia Necklace

Bubble Ball Beaded Bead

Round Cube Beaded Bead

Thank you so much for including me, Sabine!  Your book is completely fabulous, and I can't wait to make some of these beauties.

Thirdly, I am taking part again this year in the Art Charm Swap, hosted by Jennifer Cameron (for more detailed information, check out Jen's blog here).  We all make charms to swap, but each person makes one extra charm that will be sold via auction, with all profits going to Beads Of Courage. Last year, we were able to send $1500 to BOC!!  This is especially important and special to me this year, since my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, which precipitated his surgery.  Beads of Courage is for children, of course, but my Dad's cancer brought this closer to home for me and made me take more time to consider what happens to the kids (and adults as well).  If you can, please come to the auction on November 24th and bid as high as you can, and come back here for the reveal blog post on November 25th.

This year's theme was 'soar' and it was a little challenging for me, but I did manage to come up with what I hope is a cute charm.  :)  I can't wait to see what everyone came up with, but I know already that these charms are going to be awesome and incredible - and perfect for using in your own jewelry,  with the great feeling that you're donating to a very worthy cause.


Lots O Stuff

Well wow, I didn't realize I hadn't blogged since January... oops!  I'm sorry to be such an unreliable blogger, but am so grateful for all of my friends who still wander by and pop in to see what I'm up to. It's been a bit of a weird 'end' of winter, with totally psychotic weather patterns here in VT, freezing cold, thawing out and raining with sun, back to freezing cold, and it has resulted in lots of colds and aches and general misery.  My Dad ended up with pneumonia and back into the hospital, but is now recovering well in rehab and will hopefully be home again soon; my elderly chow has been having a horrible time with her arthritis and trying to get around, and my husband's joints hurt so much he's hobbling right along with her.  Me, I've just managed to get by with sniffles and coughs, so far - cross your fingers for me, please!

I have some upcoming things I'm really happy about - I shall have photos of my work in two new, soon to be published books (yay!!), I'm taking part in Battle of the Beadsmith 2014...

(waiting for partners to be announced now, tap tap tap), I am taking part in the Bead Soup Blog Party 8 (yay! and I have no idea how our hostess, Lori, is managing to keep everything going as bad as she's feeling now with her health, but love and prayers to her and many thanks, too)

... and have sent out soup to my partner, Lisa Knappenberger.  I am also really excited that Karen Williams' proposed book on freeform peyote bead weaving was successfully funded on Kickstarter - oh YES!! :)  If you didn't get the chance to stop by and help her out with the funding part, I still highly recommend wandering by and checking out her video and getting all excited about the release date, because it's gonna be awesome!!  I also got to make a pair of earrings for the beautiful and delightful Marcia DeCoster (yes I DID squee!).  I'm not sharing pictures until (if) she does... but she did say she loves them!!

In between all the excitement of these things, I did manage to get a new tutorial out in my shop, called Princess Natalia's Locket.  It's super cool and (I hope) super pretty, and lots of fun to make, too.  :)   The focal piece of the necklace is a working locket created mostly of peyote stitch, wherein you can store a keepsake or a charm, and it hangs from a pretty chain made of right angle weave and herringbone.    If you haven't bought the tutorial yet and you gottagetchasome, here's the link to my Etsy shop.

Today has been a good beady day in one way, with a lucky snag of a set of new beads by Caroline Dewison of BlueberriBeads

...and not such a great beady day because I ran out of the size 15 Duracoat silver beads I was using to construct a new Trellis necklace.  This rope is bigger than my previous Trellis necklaces, in that I decided to make a CRAW rope for the inner bit rather than a three sided RAW rope, and it increased the girth quite a bit.  It also EATS 15s on the outside, it's taking almost twice the amount used for the smaller rope, because you're making four repeats of all of the elements, including the netting all the way around.  But I think it looks mega cool with these beautiful lamp work beads by Judith Billing (of Icarus beads).  These beads are exquisite - the finished photographs, taken by Sherwood, will no doubt show their glory much better than my feeble attempt here.  They look like little galaxies, with shiny milky way stars... *sigh*

I changed up the 'flower' bits at the edges of the rope, too, and added in 2mm Swarovski rounds and omitted the size 15 center to the 'flower' to make it a little more elegant looking for this piece.  I'm having fun with it, anyway - I hadn't made a Trellis in ages and forgot how addictive they can be.  It's going to be a long wait (even if it's really a short one) for my 15s!!

I have also just been playing, messing around and using colors that made me happy at the time.  This little doodad is a hexagon rope with some layers of single strands of embellished beads on top...  it looks like a big pile of beads, and won't go anywhere, but it was fun to play with.   :)

I spent some time last week making beaded bead eggs by Sharri Moroshok - I LOVE these little guys!!!  Totally in love...

Off to see what appears on my bead mat while I'm waiting for those 15s... hope to blog sooner rather than later this next time!  (Somebody elbow me...)


Joy!!! And lots of photos....

I am so massively happy and excited and just over the moon - I am in Marcia DeCoster's new book, Marcia DeCoster Presents!!  This is a huge honor, and I am floored to be in this book with some of my favorite bead artists EVER - including Marcia herself!  It is an amazing feeling to be in this book with so many of my friends - and I can't believe I am friends with many of the most incredible bead artists around.  This is a part of the book's premise - that the internet has allowed such artists the chance to connect and become close through social media, and to form relationships and partnerships in ways that would never have been possible without the computer era.  The online beading community is huge, varied, beautiful, inspiring and uplifting.

This isn't a project style book, but rather a compendium of interviews with artists from all over the world, who are sharing their inspirations and techniques and tips about their work.  From cover to cover, it is FULL of nothing but gorgeous; the artists themselves are gorgeous, their work is gorgeous, Marcia's thoughtful presentation of each artist and their work is gorgeous...  beginning with the cover of the book itself:

The inside just gets better.  And one of the absolute best things about it - my late friend, Linda Jones, is a featured artist.  I can't begin to say how wonderful this is to me.  That Linda's work will be seen in a wider format than ever, and that she has the chance, even now, to inspire and bring out the artist in each person her work touches... priceless.  Because Linda's work was and is incredible, not only for her sense of color, but for her bold, exciting style, and her love of the medium.  Linda started out with polymer clay as a medium to express herself, and moved into beadwork gradually at first... and then it just overwhelmed her passion for clay.  She tried so many different types of media with the beadwork, and brought her own unique art to each one.  Near the end of her life, she had begun exploring painted lace combined with beads and Huichol style beadwork, and was making masks with it; she considered beading her radiation treatment mask as well.  Linda meant more to me than words can really express.  She was my second mom, my best friend, my inspiration and my rock - she helped me in every way possible, always, including giving me a gentle kick in the butt sometimes when I needed it.  When I received my copy of Marcia DeCoster Presents, I cried a lot, lot, lot, lot - and am a little now as I type.  Seeing Linda's work in print means so much to me - and her words mean even more.  Thank you so VERY much, Marcia, for including Linda here - and for including ME here!!!

Linda Jones - Radiance

Linda Jones - Serendipity

Linda Jones - Handpainted Lace and Bead earrings

Linda Jones - Untitled Mask

It was so fascinating and absorbing, to sit down with my tea and read each of the segments in the book.  I was amazed by some of the pieces I saw - no matter how well I knew the artist, I found a new piece that I hadn't seen before, or had an insight into the person and their work that I hadn't had before.   I was thrilled to be introduced to some artists that I had never met (online or otherwise) and immediately set out to see more of their work, and to find them if I could on Facebook or the web - one of the reasons that this blog post is a little overdue - you can get lost in the web when you're looking at beadwork, oh yes!!

Here's a taster - just SOME of the work of the lovely people in the book - and if this doesn't inspire you to run out and buy the book, I don't know what would!!  (Below the name of the artist and the title of the work you will find a link to their website, blog, or shop. )

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Isabella Lam - Joy

Kinga Nichols - See No Evil Cuff

Ann Braginsky - New Age Valkyrie

Beki Haley - Ancient Seas

Betty Stephan - Guardians

Edgar Lopez design for 2012 Battle of the Beadsmith   

Edgar Lopez

Heather Collin - Faerie Lights

Heather Kingsley-Heath - Spinning Wave Pendant

Helena Lang-Tim - Maharani

Kerrie Slade - The Fairy Doorway

Kerrie Slade - The Fairy Doorway

Miriam Shimon - Alexandrina

Melissa Ingram - Tequila Sunrise

Zoya Guitana - My French Garden Necklace

Petra Tismer - Rose Bracelet and friend 

Sian Nolan - Spike Bracelet 

Patrizia Tager - Crowning Glory

Susan Blessinger - Impending Bloom

Marsha Weist-Hines - Poseidon's Garden

Martina Nagele - Encrusted Kepler Star

Patrick Duggan - Tribute to Art Deco

Marcia DeCoster - La Navette

Marcia DeCoster - Robbin's Nest

Me, Regalia Earrings

There now, don't you want to see more??  :)  Grab yourself a copy, you won't regret it.  And thank you again, Marcia - this is a dream come true for me.   

There should be something new in the way of tutorials coming soon, too...  ;)