Saturday, August 29, 2009

Genevieve, owner of the Bead Gallery in Salem, NH, and I share this giggle: that some day when I am asked in an interview about what inspires me, what is my muse, I will reply "Genevieve". Seriously, each time we wrap up a weekend of my teaching at her amazing store, we book another weekend 6 months ahead and then discuss content. As it happens, often I design projects based on something I bought in her store or some topic she suggested. When we booked Columbus weekend for 4 days of workshops (3 and 6 hour offerings!) we said there will be earrings using these delightful little bud beads by Lea Zinke. Well, a few versions have been beaded up in either my imagination or my studio since then but, it is this sweet little pair that I will teach Friday evening Oct 9th.
Of course I have to like the visual outcome, not to mention the wearability. This pair is pleasing to behold and light and comfortable to wear. But, almost more importantly, my teacher-self seeks to infuse each project with as much information and technique as possible. Here we have packed alot into a small project: an original beadstitch, some polygon and a cool combination of ladder/square and fringeless-fringe. You're gonna love this.
A couple Thursday evenings a month, I teach at Beadzo in Tivoli, NY. This week a few beaders wanted to make Two Sides of the Story, a reversible bracelet using an original stitch inspired by my exploring polygon stitch. This is Tara's, half finished and beautiful.
I'll be teaching this bracelet at the Bead Gallery in October plus September 22nd evening at Beads By Blanche in Bergenfield, NJ. Until I found this magnetic tube finding at Beadfest, I'd used a button and loop closure for this bracelet design.
The beadwork corrugates as you bead...quite magical and exciting...producing a front-side that is different from the back-side, hence, reversible.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It is fun imagining the piece I will create using these tiny pine cones. These were referenced in yesterdays entry, Gary Wilson carved these little jasper, slag, gold ore, and opal stones, and put a hole in them.
Today I began to use the String-Me-Along bag and workspace that Bert and Dana gifted me with at the Beadfest. Also in picture is that 8 LED portable light I mentioned in yesterday's entry. So scroll down for links and info on these.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Unexpectedly, my time at Beadfest didn't extend into Sunday but, I still have things to share. Last time I walked past the craft book section in Barnes & Noble, I was stopped in my tracks by Ronna Sarvas Weltman's new polymer clay book. Well, at Beadfest I was able to meet Ronna and we even swapped one of her rings for one of my felt bracelets. What a joy. Sometimes, I am ashamed to say, I can be almost haughty about polymer jewelry. Guess I have seen too much that looks plasticy and amateur. Of course there are exceptional polymer artists I admire: Celie Fago, Grant Diffendaffer, Ellen Marshall (we had a chance to catch up quickly at Beadfest), Cynthia Toops. Well, add Ronna to this list. OK, upon thinkingof it, add Kathleen Dustin, Pier Voulkos, Elise Winters and I guess I like polymer more than I knew.

For beading (or any other activity requiring a portable light) you have got to check out this 8 LED called Rite Light. When I called the manufacturer to inquire about it they said the best deal is to google LPL900 to end up with Amazon site for making the $13.99 purchase. Worth every penny. But, I created a link here so just click on LPL900.
Bet you'd be surprised to know how limited the light is in my studio. Plaster walls and ceilings in an 1830 building makes it dicey. Anyway, this little dandy even comes with a USB cord to run it off the computer (and light my laptop keyboard) or batteries. Sweet.

On the way home yesterday from Beadfest, we stopped on Rte 202 in New Hope, PA and had lunch at The Nevermore. I get the feeling this could be a fun resort. The setting was deeevine, dahling" and some of the food and service was exquisite and sublime but the busboy had a 50/50 chance of delivering the food to the correct table and, yikes, didn't plus, Phyllis said the brioche was actually a stale roll. The soups were delish; the hummus, the best we'd ever had; the oysters fresh and fabulous, and fortunately they didn't kick in while we were en route ;).

Well, back to unpacking and storing the new stash of pearls and seed beads and my other Beadfest purchases. More soon...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My bead show experience is always made complete by a visit to Gary Wilson's booth. He and his wife Kathy remain as cheerful and gracious throughout the show as they appear in this photo, explaining to each customer the origins of each stone. My earliest knowledge of Gary was in an article I read some years ago in Lapidary Journal (or was it Ornament?). I was charmed to read how his childhood fascination with rocks led him to become the rock whisperer we know and love today.
For a few years I have been collecting his solid stone rings. It is a way of carrying a bit of Mother Earth with you throughout each day; a comfort, a thing of beauty and a pleasure to hold and rub and wear.
Even though I am not teaching the Marcasite Chain with a Silver- Lined Bronwen Heilman focal bead at this time, I had to drop by and see what she has been up to.

The first time I met Sewdish PMC artist and teacher Gaby Friberg was about 5 years ago in Orlando at a bead show. She took a couple of my beading workshops there. Over the years I am delighted at the frequency that we meet again. Sometimes I find that she has registered to bead with me again and other times we run into each other in the exhibit hall at bead shows. Yesterday, as often is the case, I spotted her husband Rolf first, to find Gaby nearby.
Marlene Blessing and I met to discuss our taping of Beads, Baubles and Jewels for PBS television. We decided we'd talk about felt jewelry and I would give a brief explanation of making hand felted complex cane felt beads. It was so much fun. She is charming and professional and made it a breeze. This is the third one I've done for this producer, so we can say I have been broken in...I know the drill. When I know particulars about showtime, I'll share it here. (Yes, she IS familiar. Marlene was editor-in-chief of BEADWORK magazine and you saw her photo and read her welcome inside each issue. Recently she was promoted to editorial director and Melinda Barta has taken over as editor.

I'll share some of my finds at the show another time. Goodnight for now.

When I turned around to see who had tapped me on the shoulder in the lobby of Beadfest, it was Ellen, wearing her Ostara's Emerging Blossoms necklace, from the workshopI taught at Beads by Blanche.
Once on the show floor, of course, I headed for Melek Karacan's booth to say hello and check out her beads. She has a line of them with holes large enough to wear on a crochet rope (and my locks!).
We missed Jane at the Bead & Button Show but caught up with her here in Beadfest. Wasn't I tickled beyond belief to see my MASTERING BEADWORK in front of her at the register and her working on Supple, Shiny and Shapely bracelet if time allowed. And just to give me goose bumps, she reported selling all but this copy today.
Hey, if you click on her website, be patient for a day or so. Someone attached malicious software to her site. Jane's staff is in the process of reconstructing the entire thing. Sounds daunting but, she is on it, and always cheerful, even so. Robin was working the booth with her and Tom, the newlywed, wasn't here this time.
Jane gave me a couple tubes of those new drop/magatama beads (LMA 250, clear with AB). Let me decribe them as: our standard magatama is to ziti as this new bead is to penne. Ya know, kind of leaning over. Like a splot of glass with the hole off center caught in a stiff wind. Got it?
York beads (my source for masses of Czech seed beads) is exhibiting here for the first time. I picked up a strand of each of several flavors of the daggers with geometric surface designs. When I head into Manhattan to buy bulk, I'll have stock numbers and samples on hand. Ah, such efficiency.
In the York booth I met Bert and Dana Freed, exhibiting their new interchangeable travel cases for beadwork (and other portable projects like knitting, wire, etc). This mother-daughter duo also sell couture beadwork under the name chicken and the egg.
More on this later when I've given it a test drive.
Friday at Beadfest concluded with Meet the Teachers. Phyllis Dintenfass, my bud and roomate for this annual event, presented kits for her projects in a vast array of color combinations. Shoppers had fun finding their special blend to create their Tri-Phyl, Tetra-Phyl or other popular designs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

These crystal pentagrams have a sweet little star-shaped space in the corners. How fantastical!! In last night's studio class, everyone made one. I had all the makings and the recipe (I had just printed the recipe that I just struggled to illustrate on the computer. I AM getting better at it and hoping to create gorgeous computer generated illustrations for all my recipes.) These make wonderful pendants or of course you can link a bazillion into a fantabulous necklace.

Ellen Mahnken made this necklace of hardward and beads ANDDDDDD gave it to me. How lucky am I?? It can be worn with this side out or with the simpler side out.
This was the view from my windshield just moments from arriving at BeadFest "Philadelphia". Beautiful drive, though I much prefer when Amy and I have this adventure together. Though I risked "rush hour" traffic, the drive was just fine.
More about the show tomorrow.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Are you also in constant pursuit of the perfect storage solutions? Allow me to share my newest find. They are clear (actually translucent is more realistic) little bins, model no. S-12414 (7.5 x 4 x 3") from U-line.
Although it is possible to hang them, I simply stack them along the back of one of the work benches. They are large enough to hold several tubes/hanks of seed beads, and individual projects in progress. It has eliminated so much clutter of things that collect on every horizontal surface.
My first use of U-line was to order all the boxes, tapes, and packing supplies when we moved to Port Ewen. You simply specify the kit that fits your needs: apartment, small home or deluxe, and everything arrives in one shipment. It was such a satisfying experience that I reordered a kit for my folks when they moved last year.
Their number is 800-295-5510 but, you can click on the highlighted name for their website. Their customer service is so exceptional that I order all my boxes from them (for workshop supplies shipped ahead, for individual kits and for my books.) I wish they sold everything!! Every single order I've placed has been on my porch the next day (well, except the moving kits).
Kaja Dedijer (you may know her as the Kaja behind Kaja's bracelet page 197 MASTERING BEADWORK) is still apprenticing with a jeweler as she refines her craft and in Autumn will head off to NYC to complete her gemologist studies. Shown is Jill wearing her version of the Kaja bracelet that she just finished in class Wednesday night.
This design gets alot of attention. It was featured Perlen Poesie magazine and I will likely teach it in Dortmund Germany at their first bead festival in March 2010.
These flowers outside a restaurant caught my attention, especially their orb form. Makes me want to bead them!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This bead stopped me in my tracks as I dashed through the exhibit floor of the Bead & Button Show in June. It is a James Daschbach bead. It looks like the universe captured in a most appealing form of glass. It is black with nuances of greys and slate colors accented with "holes" of intense shine. It really hums at me.

Gathering up a selection of size 11 seed beads in its colors and 1/4 kilo bag of black size 8, I began to stitch a tubular herringbone with inclusions that is the basis for a necklace to support this incredible focal bead.

Tonight, while teaching at Beadzo in Tivoli, I showed them the fabulous bead and this tubular herringbone project that it inspired, and suggested that if they weave 6 "bumps", it would make a great bracelet/bangle, and several more bumps would make a necklace or lariat. Here are the pieces that they completed in class. Speedy beads!!

Louise showed us these gemstone beads she purchased at a bead show that originate in Afganistan. It is so amazing to me that someone cut and drilled these miniscule beads from rock AND that we can actually afford to buy them. Aren't these priceless?
Sorry I let a week slip by without an entry. Where DOES the time go?

The Beadfest Philadelphia is next week! No, I didn't propose any workshops there again this yearbut, I do look forward to going. Hope I see you there. It is a great shopping opportunity, a chance to schmooze and I'll be taping another Beads, Baubles and Jewels segment for PBS. My pal Phyllis Dintenfass from Wisconsin is teaching and we room together, giving us this chance to visit.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I just love sharing how to make these fascinating little pillow beads. I taught them in Japan, wrote the recipe in BEADWORK magazine, and they even grace the cover of Germany's premier beading magazine, Perlen Poesie. They are the project that Beatrice's sister Elise chose to learn in class tonight, pictured here. She is visiting from France.

Last winter my step-mother Jane and I shopped together at local craft shows. We especially loved the Annual Fine Arts and Crafts show sponsored by the Dutchess County Arts Councilin Poughkeeepsie and the one at the Delameter House in Rhinebeck. Jane bought this beaded ring by Annette Mackrel. If you know me, you know how I feel about bbbbugle beads. But, this ring is so beautifully designed and executed that I even love the bbbbugle beads in it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I just arranged my airfare for September 16-19 to Great Lakes Beadworkers' Guild in Michigan. Of the three day-long workshops, two are beading and one is felt-making beads. "Advanced Elements of Beadwork" is a vehicle for learning 5-6 beading techniques: turbo bead crochet, spiraling tubular peyote, 2 types of polygon, a 3-D triangular element, and triangle weave that can be strung together into a necklace as shown.

Ostara's Emerging Blossoms is a necklace that explores the sculptural capacity of polygon weave, while beading organic pod shaped buds that hang in a pair from a bail. The closure is an excuse to use a polygon bezel on a rivoli. The bezel is highly textured and lovlier from the back than from the front, plus it works up quickly!!
Once I share the secret to making the concentric and spiraling canes, the beaders will make several to combine into a complex cane. By the end of the day, the solid and dense complex cane is sliced into several beads and strung into a necklace. It is thrilling to see the beads that result.
Last time I taught for the GLBG, I had such a great time. I cannot wait.

The hand felted purses and vessels produced in Sunday's workshop at Angelfire Studios in Basking Ridge NJ were varied and clever and fabulous. In photo above, Sandy worked on a heart shape, Natalie's design was asymmetrical, is worn folded and is completely reversible and Elaine's ameobic shape in white had fine detailed surface decoration.

Check out the variety of shapes and surface design in the work of these 4 felters: sisters Lindsay and Cally (seated) and Alice and Kelly (standing).
When they asked for a workshop in hand felted slippers/footwear, we discussed the possibility of a weekend feltmaking workshop/retreat. Justine (owner of Angelfire Studios) and I will talk about this and let you know what comes of it.