Saturday, May 30, 2009

Off to the Bead & Button Show in the morning. In my 8 classes there are nearly 3 dozen beaders who have beaded with me before. It is such an honor and priviledge to have them choose to bead with me again when there are sooooo many choices. I look forward to seeing people I only get to see once a year. Plus I will see my friends from Japan.
I've packed my camera and computer and will keep you up on the latest, while I am there.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dragonfly buttons are out there but, I don't recall seeing any like this red, black and gold one. Marianne gave it to Janet and Janet made it a Polygon bezel, expanding on the bezel technique we focused on last week. Can't wait to see what she does with it!

Here are a few more bezels Janet whipped up since last class. We are loving these polygon bezels.

A few of you have said that you liked seeing Fran's bracelet in the May 14 entry. When you told me you could googledthe info and purchase her recipe for the design published in Bead, I just had to share that here. Kudos Jennifer Airs.

What a beautiful weekend and Memorial Day we had. Monday we went to the New Paltz Craft Show that is held Memorial weekend and Labor Day weekend each year at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.

Of course we had to drop by and see Diane and her fabulous bags. Susan, Judy, Phyllis and I have admired, if not collected her bags for years. My purse doubles as a backpack and can be worn across the body like a messenger bag. Nericcio Leathers was our first stop.

Later we encountered Victoria Tane at her booth. When I asked to share a photo of her and her jewelry/booth, she said that photos were prohibited to protect the craft artists. Of course. Oops. Glad though to share that pic of Diane Nericcio. Victoria uses antique and recycled elements in her jewelry designs. The pieces we saw featured pencil eraser caps, chandelier crystals, machine parts, telephone wire and embroidery materials into lovely and wearable jewelry.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Everyone in class at Beadzo on Thursday evening (I'd have a link you could click to but there is not website for Beadzo. Their phone number is 845-757-5306 in Tivoli NY) decided to bezel 14 and 18 mm rivolis with my new recipes using polygon stitch. Everyone finished the first one in under an hour! Needless to say, they made multiples. We discussed the earrings, bracelets and pendant designs that they will become. This is a mad hot way of wrapping cabs and rivolis in a beaded bezel.

Yesterday I spent the day at Mohonk Mountain House hiking and feasting with my folks. It was a spectacular day. Tree hugger that I am, I was in my glory. The catkins, as I've said in previous entries, thrill me for the way they look like earrings. The new growth on evergreens also inspires in me, designs for jewelry.

The drape of spruce branches and the delicacy of these blossoms on display in the lounge also make me want to capture them in beads.
On August 3 and 18 this summer I will again demonstrate feltmaking in the Barn Museum at Mohonk Mountain House, from 1-4pm.
Today between stints in the garden, I documented the various Polygon bezel recipes that have been collecting on index cards. As soon as that shipment of rivolis come in, I'll polish off that necklace for Bead Gallery, Inc.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Marianne forwarded a you-tube video of DNA that will pull at the threads of any beader. Like me, you will probably long for it to be bigger or clearer but, you'll get the idea. It actually is best viewed on my iTouch. Last night, while discussing it, someone teased about how I sometimes remark to a new beader that they "have beader's DNA". After seeing this, we might imagine we have beaded DNA.

In yesterday's class, I taught the new polygon beaded bezel. Honestly, they ARE even prettier on the reverse side than the front! Most of the bezels I've been working on are for rivolis. Many of these are featured in the necklace I am designing for a Bead Gallery Inc workshop. Currently the workshop is described as a day of bezels, but soon (and you'll hear it here first!) I'll have completed the necklace that features these beauties, and then we'll post the picture.

This is Marianne's glass cabochon from the front and the back. The bezel recipe can be tweaked for a flat bottomed cab.

Ellen bezeled a transparent glass cabochon. This permits the viewer to see the amazing beaded backside from the front. Hmmm, makes me think it might be interesting to bezel those transparent glass pebbles used in floral arrangements. Anyway, here are the front and back views of Ellen's bezeled cab.

Many of you know I've been deeply immersed in adventures in a South African stitch called Polygon. (Sure wish I could have offered my 2 cents when it came time to name it.) Many of the current workshops I am offering focus on this little known and under-used stitch. I am so jazzed by the versatile scope of this stitch and exhilerated by the innovations that have immerged as I explore it, that I am in process of writing another book, just to share my explorations and discoveries with the bead community.

Looking back over 30 years of contemporary beadwork, consider just one stitch: Peyote. It is the "entry level" stitch that most off-loom beaders learn. It launched many of us into Netting, Herringbone, Brick... And, yet, its versatility is so expansive that some beaders spend their entire beading careers in Peyote land, never yearning for more. Look at Judy Walker's THE BEADED SPHERE or Diane Fitzgerald's SHAPED BEADWORK: Dimensional Jewelry with Peyote Stitch to see the fruits of their years with this stitch.

Beaders outside of Africa were introduced to Polygon stitch in an Ornament magazine article in 1997 by Valerie Hector. Her book, THE ART OF BEADWORK, provides the history and fundamentals of this stitch she describes as "beaded tubes with 3 or more sides, containing parallel rungs supported by vertical spines".

I took the "3 or more sides" as a challenge and have been teaching 2-sided polygon projects for years. In teaching here and abroad I find beaders are hungry for new recipes and new techniques. Just as Polygon has rocked my bead world, I think Polygon will feed that hunger in all beaders. Here is a stitch with all the sculpting and shaping that our other stitches offer, plus the added dimension of texture, to explore. Yeah, I hear some of you reminding me that it is a tubular stitch. Au contraire mon amis. Approached with the spirit of adventure and knowing that all things are possible, I am beading it circular and yes, even flat! It produces a leather-like feel and is reversible! Don't you just love the sparks that fly that propel us through new discoveries?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fran and I are in process of kitting Fireflies at Sunset Necklace(see left) for both Monday and Friday sessions, plus some extra for Meet the Teachers Event at Bead & Button Show, May 31 to June 7.

Upon close inspection of the beads, the sparkly nature of the piece is what sings out. The optical illusion provided by the color-lined drops, is that they are tiny illuminations in the background of shiny and matte beads.

Interesting though, that when I prepared the gigantic bead soup of the background beads, even though the shiny beads outnumber the matte, it is the matte beads that get all the attention. Nestled into the bead soup (at right) is the necklace, which, in that surround, also looks mostly matte. Just thought I would share that little adventure in matte/shiny/drop bead-land.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friday morning I met in New York City with the manager of Kinokuniya Bookstores' main store, located across the street from Bryant Park. Kinokuniya is a chain of Japanese bookstores across the US. On behalf of my acquaintance Akiko Takana, I brought my collection of exquisite art books on beading, beads, and feltmaking published by MariaShobo in Japan.

Of course I brought my 3 books HANDFELTED JEWELRY AND BEADS, HOW WE FELT and MASTERING BEADWORK(Interweave Press), shown above and right, plus the feltmaking book I wrote for Japanese crafters, shown below, published by Patchwork Tsushin Co. Ltd. My English manuscript was translated into Japanese by Motoko Natsubori.

We scheduled the first of what will be a series of workshop/seminar/booksigning events. On July 4th, from 2-5pm, I'll teach a beginners Peyote beadweaving workshop. The registration closes at 20 and the $25 fee includes written directions, beads, needle, beading thread, and hands-on instruction. I'll have photos and description within the week.
Having regularly scheduled workshops/booksignings in this amazing store thrills me to no end. There is a cafe upstairs where I will have bento box lunch and green tea. Did I say that they have a tempting display of sweets to enjoy with that tea? And on the lower level where the vast array of craft titles can be found, is a stationary and gift shop. I could spend days just taking it all in. Perhaps this destination will re-energize my Rosetta Stone Japanese lessons. When I returned home from Tokyo in January, my dedication to learning Japanese, declined.

Before heading off to Fashioning Felt at the Cooper Hewitt, Elaine, Fran and I enjoyed coffee and the best croissant EVER at Lily O'Briens, around the corner from Kinokuniya.

The felt show was wonderful but much smaller than I'd expected. The catalog contained several more pieces than shown. In fact the catalog showed colorful versions of some of the same grey or white pieces in the show. Wish the show had more color. It was gratifying to see how thoroughly they described in word and video the feltmaking process.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Please forgive me for not getting to the sexy photos and things I'd have shared today, had I not been working on posting the calendar. Check it out. I'll finish editing it Saturday so you can just click on the workshop and "get there".
Tomorrow Elaine, Fran and I are going to the Fashioning Felt Show at Cooper Hewitt mentioned in the earlier post. We are meeting Jeri.
And yes, on the way I have an appointment at Kinokuniya. If we schedule a booksigning, you will be the first to know.
You will always be the first to know!
Oh hey, maybe one quick picutre. Here is the incredible new bracelet Fran has been working on for some time. It was inspired by Jennifer Airs Lotus Bangle she saw in a UK Bead magazine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Notice the "see my calendar" on the right? A click on it reveals my calendar for the rest of the year. This is a new feature I learned today. By the end of this week I expect to have all the events posted. When you click on a workshop it will provide a photo and description and/or link to the venue. Gracious! When I shared with my web mistress Marylyn, that I attempting all this I do believe I heard a sign of relief. She has carried the burden of posting the current two months on my website, including the pictures and addresses and fanciness she does. Having it here lets her off the hook a tad.

(I accidently posted the entry I meant for here on the new calendar page and cannot copy and paste it. So, I have deleted it and am re-writing it here. It means there are no photos today. Nothing is easy. Now it is past midnight and so it would appear that I have been remiss in posting daily, or nearly. Some of you know me and how resistant I have been to your advice that I blog. I have always chuckled at that bumper sticker "resistance is futile". Thank you for your patience as I come kicking and screaming into the techno-abyss. (I am actually almost enjoying this.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Last week started an interesting adventure regarding beading needles. You may be interested. While teaching the workshop "Advanced Elements of Beadwork" at the Bead Society of Greater New York some beaders purchased the project kit from me rather than bring the lengthy list of supplies. It included both size 10 and size 12 beading needles. When we started using the 12s I offered to thread needles, since, even though I am of an age, I can still get the thread to jump through the eye. Well, I had a duzy of a time. And twice I pulled the eyes right off the needle. Yikes. Then we started beading and you could hear the needles snap like little threads of glass. It was amazing. I went to my "emergency bead kit" where I had a stash of supplies to retreive more needles. It was then that Nina or Amy mentioned that John James beading needles are now being made in China. I checked the packages and indeed, one was labeled "Manufactured by John James & Sons Limited, Studley, Warwickshire England" AND one labeled "Packed in the EU using needles made in China to Entaco's quality and specifications". They were visibly different.
Sorry I do not know relationship between Entaco and John James & Sons. But, when I reported my dissatisfaction I was told that Entaco, manufacturer of John James needles, were losing their craftsmen to ageing and younger replacements not entering the craft. They thought they should have them manufactured in China to their specs. They have changed their minds and manufacturing has returned to England. I will use the new batch of needles made in England and let you know.
In MASTERING BEADWORK when I addressed beading needles, I said that the economy needles such as Pony brand manufactured in India are flexible and able to curve. John James were annealed and more brittle and while less likely to become S curved, they could break. This gave beaders a choice. Sometimes I am happy to tolerate a couple broken needles to avoid an S curvy needle. Sometimes I seek flexibility. and

Kazue and Harada-san have both confirmed that I will accompany them , Tulip Co Ltd., in their booth/exhibit at TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio June 13-15. It is their first venture in U.S. This is such a delight for me. I truly enjoyed working with Kazue in the booth at the International Great Quilt Show in Tokyo in January. I demonstrated feltmaking and signed copies of my felting book (sponsored by Tulip, writtten by me in English and translated beautifully into Japanese by Motoko Natsubori and published by Patchwork). It will be a pleasure to promote their comfortable and fine felting needles and new ergonomic crochet hooks. Kang too will join us in Ohio. Kang relocated to Florida and I enjoyed a wonderful visit with her when I was in Tampa to teach at the Sewing and Quilt Expo in March.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Almost the entire day has passed and I haven't picked up a single bead. Did a little felting though. That new material I am calling the Turbo Felting Board made quick work of the nuno felted samples I am making especially for the October Columbus weekend workshops at the Bead Gallery Inc

Until today, I'd been undecided about whether to ship the Turbo Felting Boards to the Bead and Button Show for the Felted Beaded Bangle classes (three sessions: Sunday May 31, Tuesday June 2 and Sunday June 7. And then I spent a better part of today sending an e mail to each person on the roster for my 8 classes. To the registered felters, I promised to have the new T.F.B. for them to use (optional purchase). There, I decided.

There are over 2 dozen beaders on the list that have beaded with me at the B&B Show several times. What an honor it is to have them choose to bead/felt with me once again.
In addition to seeing these friends and fellow beaders I only see once a year, I look forward to meeting in person Saori, owner of Twinkle Beads and an editor of Germany's first beading magazine, Perlen Posie. She became acquainted with my work and lessons when she took the certification course in beadweaving in Japan. We have visited on the phone and she has interviewed me for an article she is writing for their premier issue. How exciting.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9th

Last week Justine from Angelfire Studio called to schedule another feltmaking workshop. This time it is flat felting around a resist to make a small vessel, purse or case. It will be reversible too! June 28th 12 noon to 5pm. Here are a couple samples. Wish I had a couple of the pieces from the Japanese book I wrote last year (Motoko Natsubori translated it). The two blue purses here are a single one shown as reversible. The coral flip top fits my camera perfectly. Using the new Turbo Felting Board truly did make it a faster process.

The red maples this week leave me breathless. The color of their tender, new, nearly translucent leaves. Actually, much of this Springtime leaves me breathless with appreciation. Just last week it occured to me that, having missed the entire month of April last year while teaching in Australia, I have 2 years of pent up Spring fever in me!

The squirrels were selective in the bulbs they ate, when I planted them last autumn. The resulting tulips appear to be arranged in a grid! Pick up a 10X magnifier and observe flowers with it. There is a radiance and shimmer that the naked eye does not see. Examine the stamens and pistols. As beaders, we too create beauty by assembling minute, sometimes sparkling, particles. This mindful meditation with magnifier in hand may inform the way you use your beads.

Friday I will attempt once more to see the exhibit "Fashioning Felt" at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Last weekend I was in NYC to teach Advanced Elements of Beadwork (Necklace) to the Bead Society of Greater New York. On my way to the felt exhibit we allowed ourselves to be side-tracked by the Columbus Ave Craft Fair. What a delight to see Teresa Starr Wynne's booth filled with luscious felt wearables and vessels
Since I'll be near Bryant Park, I will drop by the Kinokuniya Bookstore and see if we can put the finishing touches on the details of a booksigning event I will do there.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Well, getting to this day, this first day of committing to routinely and regularly maintaining a blog has arrived. Thank you Beatrice for suggesting this as a means to provide current information about my workshops, projects, books, activities and travel. Thank you Linda Poole for sharing with me how you've fit your blog into your daily routine and how meaningful it is in making you available to your kindred spirits. I apologize to all of you who put up with me during this decade of kicking and screaming my way into techno-literacy. Today I can honestly tell you that I am brimming with delight and hope that this will be a convenient and satisfying means to keep us connected.
Marianne showed me the ropes and has left me to my devices now. So I downloaded a few pictures to share, re-sized them (I hope) using the photoshop tips she gave me and am full of exciting things to share.

Last week I removed this catkin from the white birch around the corner. It looks like an earring. It especially fascinates me that it looks a narrower version of some of the pods I've been beading using polygon stitch.

June 20th I'll be teaching some of those pods at Beads By Blanche in the Ostara's Emerging Blossoms necklace. As a bonus, I've snuck one of the new polygon beaded bezels into the project as the closure. Did I say the bezel is around a rivoli? And bezels beaded this way are quick and textured and even more beautiful on the backside than on the front side.
Today I took a break from preparing for the Bead & Button Show to spend the day with Marianne starting my blog.

Earlier this week Fran and I worked on the kits for the B&B Show workshops for Diamonds of Fire and Fireflies at Sunset.

OK, before Marianne heads out of goes!