Sunday, July 25, 2010

Don't you just love the colors of vintage Italian, Czech and German glass beads? How I long for some of those colors to be re-visited by current glass bead manufacturers. For example, the sweet little leafy looking green beads I used as a calyx in Ostara's Emerging Blossoms necklace. I have reserved the last few I have of these precious little beauties for when I teach this in September at the Indiana Bead Society. That workshop will be on Sunday the 26th. On Friday the 24th there are 2 half-day workshops: the hand felted bangle bracelet with beaded bead that was soooo popular again this year at the Bead & Button Show in the morning and the Felted and Beaded Wire and Lampwork Bead Bracelet in the afternoon. On Saturday the 25th we'll hand felt complex cane beads and complete a necklace of them before wrapping up the day's magic. Hope to bead and felt with you there.
As I've mentioned before, the workshop/class proposals for next year's Bead & Button Show are due August 6. I have well over a dozen proposals done plus a couple new ones undergoing final tweaks. One is a hybid of techniques inspired by traditional beaded needle-point like that I've shared with you here in earlier posts showing Janet's work. While at Bella Beads in NH, owner Sue, showed us the beaded needle-point purses that her mother has made several of. The purse is brilliant, beautifully manufactured, with a removable flap so that the beader, like Sue's Mom, can select the one that matches the evening's wardrobe choice. Contact Sue if you NEED one for yourself. Another of the new workshops features vintage Swarovski stones in a beaded lariat that features new bead crochet! (I'll be calling this Lakeside Lariat, as this is where the ultimate design took form.) It is always a mystery which of the submissions will actually make it to the B&B Show class catalog. Rest-assured that I'm teaching them all widely so, if we don't get to share them at B&B we can still share them somewhere, hopefully somewhere convenient for you.
Wednesday we drove from NH to Freeport, Maine. First stop was Beadin' Path. The store is large and bright. The entire back wall boasts their vast inventory of lucite beads. Apparently they offer vintage and have taken the pains to reproduce the shapes and colors of vintage in creating new lines. The music was lively and diverse. When I mentioned to one of the lovely staff that I felt dance coming on, she confessed that she too sometimes breaks quietly into dance, of understated motion she said, but, dance none-the-less. Ya have to love the women on staff here! Pictured are Cindy and Carisa. Carisa made me feel like a celebrity, asking if she could take my picture. Cindy gave me a floral glass bead plus a snakely glass spiral to wear in my hair. Gosh, I have an entire traveler's journal of beads in my hair. Each has a story...the person that gave it to me, the artist that made it or where I was when I acquired it. And there are the beaded beads in there too. There is even an inch of spiral stitch that someone sewed into my hair! It makes my heart sing each time I'm decorated with yet another meaningful bead.
While here we were introduced to two other shoppers. One is Lilla Rogers. She becaem too shy for a photograph. Too bad. Her business card states she is a an artist, agent and mentor, representing artists internationally. Her website is
We took lunch at the Muddy Rudder. Mine was a perfectly fabulous lobster roll. I should have inquired about the "market price" before ordering. Not that I'd have changed my mind, likely, but, it would have been less alarming when the check came. This architectural feature of the restaurant fascinated me. It made me consider how it would translate into beadwork. Ahhhhhhhh, yet another bit of real world to render in beads. Sometimes it yeilds intriguing results and sometimes it is a lesson in futility.

Monday we drove up to NH for a few days of lakeside beading, day trips into Maine and daily doses of seafood. Upon arrival and unpacking we headed right to Jake's Seafood Restaurant (where we actually ate 3 evenings in a row!) for lobster and steamers. Tuesday we beaded all morning and afternoon and decided to take a quick excursion into Center Harbor NH to Patternworks and Bella Beads.
At Patternworks I purchased some bamboo yarns from South West Trading Company. SWTC INC was the first to bring us amazing fiber from annually renewable resources like corn, soy, milk, and bamboo. In 2006, they introduced Chitin fiber from Shrimp and crab shells. Imagine. Last year I met the owners, Jonelle and Jonette Beck, at TNNA. They gave me a skein of their wonderful soy-blend sock yarn, called Tofutsie :), expecting me to work up a bead crochet project with a recipe that they could share with their readers. I dropped the ball on that until just recently. Maybe they will forgive my dragging my heels all this time.
Then we walked across the parking lot to a sweet little bead shop called Bella Beads. Front and center is an impressive and welcoming big beautiful table where a couple beaders were at "work". Oops, I just caught a bit of Anita-Bonita's arm on the right. And to the left, out of view, is a beader visiting from Turkey. And speaking with the owner, Sue (standing) is Terry (yes, you recognize her from blog posts about Beadzo, where she beads and works). Sue was telling them that beadmaker Stephanie Sersich is scheduled to come teach her spiney bracelet workshop. I piped in, "Oh, do you regularly invite guest teachers to come teach workshops here?" Sue replied that she does. I asked "would you like Carol Cypher to come teach?" She replied that she would, to which I replied, "If you aske me, I will come". She dashed off to grab a flyer about a program that she and 2 others designed for Plymouth University. It is a three tier beading education, offering certification in beadwork. They use MASTERING BEADWORK as the textbook! I am delighted. Sue was as tickled as I was at our chance meeting.
We discussed briefly the possibility of my teaching there in October, but, we'll discuss this later this week. It may happen that after teaching at Bead Gallery Inc in Salem NH over the Columbus holiday weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday AND Monday) that I will head north for a couple days of holiday to then teach for the 3rd weekend of October here. We'll see.
Sue presented me with a silver bead for my hair while we buzzed and enthused. Anne and Terry stockpiled their stash of lentil beads, among other beads, which were plentiful here. We hadn't noticed until we checked out that we'd kept Sue an hour or so after "closing". While we visited she told us about the Plum Blossom program. She and Deb Martin and their volunteers provide workshops "offering the opportunity for healing through the art of beading".
Hey, back to Bead Gallery Inc. for a moment. You should get up to Salem NH as soon as possible to take full advantage of Genevieve's enormous sale in the Salem store in preparation for re-opening in Melrose MA in August. When she announced this news on Facebook a few days ago you should have seen the number of comments from excited Boston area beaders who anticipate the arrival of Bead Gallery with great joy. Known for their emphasis on classes, offering 300 a year, I have the pleasure of teaching for a long weekend there every 6 months.
On our way "home" from Center Harbor we had to pull over just to capture this beautiful vista. Beautiful area. And tomorrow we will head into Maine on further bead and seafood quests.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The studio class tonight was so thrilling for me. Well, as thrilling as it can be without Beatrice. Not only had we had to skip last week but, we also had some of the long-distance-beaders show up. Ellen came down from Palenville with the handpainted "canvases" she prepared for us to beadle-point (needle point with beads). She'd been inspired to to do this when we saw the beaded panel that Janet beaded, using a purchased canvas. You may have read about it in an earlier blog post. See it in the photo here displayed on a handbag that Janet found for her work. Ellen painted and then proceeded to bead the one at the top of the pic. Of the hand painted canvases Ellen offered to each of us, I selected the one seen on the left.
At the Bead Blast last month, a few beaders were working on Pat Riesner's tennis bracelet using permanent finish galvanized beads (size 8) and Swarovski bicone crystals (4mm). Ellen took that idea and ran with it, as Ellen does. She pumped up the number of rows of metallic beads and combined rows of gold with rows of platinum, along with the obligatory row of crystals. Rather than making it an endless bangle to slide onto the wrist, she added other beads, beaded beads and a gemstone and sterling silver closure,.

One shot shows the crystals and the other shows the play of gold and platimum beads.

Ellen arrived wearing a herringbone necklace that she had created to showcase a Dora Shubert bead but, found they competed with each other. She'll have to make something else for the Dora bead.
Ellen said she's hoping to go to The Gathering, a conference of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) to be held in Rochester NY at the end of the month. A few months ago Marilynne at Studio 34 had asked if I would teach at the studio in Rochester on the weekends of the Gathering. Later, realizing that perhaps it would be wiser to schedule them at distincly different times, rather than concurrently, she said we'll schedule some workshops for the Autumn or Spring. It actually better be Autumn because in March I'll be teaching in Europe and in April in Australia again. Speakinf of Australia. beadmaker Liz Deluca is coming in from Australia for the Gathering. We won't have time to schedule a meeting while she is stateside. But, I'm thinking she will produce beads for the workshops I will teach in Australia in April at Jelly Beads of Mogo, and perhaps we will meet then. It is all so exciting! And I have 3 new projects in my head just bursting to be rendered in beads in time to propose them for the Bead and Button Show 2011...Due August 6th! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yesterday, Kang (in green) and Kazue (in white) and I met in Manhattan for a visit while they are here on Tulip business. Our list of destinations for the day was headed by Kinokuniya bookstore across from Bryant Park. On the way I knew we'd pass Lily O'Brien's and we were fortunate to find them open! (Yes, you've read about Lily's in earlier posts. Fran, Elaine and I discovered this sweet spot when we made our first visit to Kinokuniya.)I didn't read about the summer's iced chocolate beverage until after I'd ordered my skim milk latte and chocolate croissant that would be brunch. Check out this vast selection of chocolate, fruit and flower flavored macaroons! The little sign on the display says that "these little cookies were first introduced to the Court of France in the XVIth Century by Catherine de Medicis, spouse of King Henry II." What an amazing coincidence that the shopping tote Kazue was carrying sported a photo of 3 of these delicacies from another bakery!
From Kinokuniya we headed for the bead district.
First bead stop was York beads. It is my fave. Perry has all those fabulous new Czech beads with peacock designs. One bead in particular called out to me, so to speak, and I bought all of 'em! Yipes. The good news is that the couple pounds of exotic colored seed beads I picked up will work up beautifully with them AND when the piece is desgined and beaded, I can make kits immediately. Much better than designing a piece and then having to track down the beads in an effort to kit it.
Kang and Kazue were having a great time amongst the beads. They confessed that last year when we were in Columbus (where I had joined them in exhibiting at TNNA) and I showed them how to beadweave a bracelet, they had turned into beaders! They were so enthralled that the next day, they went to 1Stop Bead Shop before flying out of Columbus, spending, much to their horror, over $100 on beads! (Bet you remember that first time you dropped a C-note on beads. Lots of beads under the bridge since then, right? Now I can't remember the last time I got away from the bead register for less than $100!) Speaking of...I bought beads by the pound at New York Beads! Just once when heading out on a bead mission, I will remember to bring my wheeled bag. It is just as well though. We hoofed and hauled ourselves and our beads around enough to burn off the goodies from Lily's plus make Kang faint with hunger by dinner time. Kazue produced an address in the Korean district and we headed there in pursuit of Korean cuisine on West 32nd off Herald Square (sounding like I know something about getting around in Manhattan?)

Hey, that tote bag decorated with macaroons, that I referenced at the top of the post is seen here between Kazue and Kang.
As we waited for our entree, we had all these beautiful side dishes to try. There were spicy julienne of zucchini and carrots, seaweed salad, a hybrid of potato and waldorf salad with peas! and spicy dried squid. Kazue had a spicy stew that was bright red with chili paste and as tasty as it was delish. Kang and I had bi bim bap. It consisted of a shallow bowl with meat in the bottom, a plate of many little portions of prepared and colorful fresh veggies with an egg on top, and a dish of short grain white rice. The plate and dish are emptied into the shallow bowl and stirred until blended and then seasoned with sauce and sesame oil.

The plate in the center is a special Korean sausage. When Kang ordered it she cautioned me that though it is an extremely ugly food, it is quite good. Then she told me that even in lean college years, when funds are low, this dirt cheap sausage is an affordable staple. When the black sausage arrived at the table I was pleased that it was not the disgusting sight I'd expected. It was rather attractive, as sausage goes. Despite our conversation about how there are some foods that you almost have to be born into to enjoy, I had psyched myself up enough to taste it, when Kang mentioned that it has what could be considered an off-putting odor. Oops, now I just couldn't overlook that all the comments were cautionary rather than cudos.,so it went unsampled by me. And you KNOW how I love opportunities to try the tasty bits, culinary delights and favorite foods of my friends. Food is love.

Last year at TNNA, in addition to turning Kazue and Kang into beaders, I taught several people to bead crochet using their new line of comfortable cushioned hooks from Tulip Co, designed by Kang (ETIMO crochet hooks). Two of those new bead crocheters are from South West Trading Co., Jonette and Jonelle Beck. Soon afterwards they sent me a skein of Tofutsie, their space-dyed soy silk sock yarn. So, a year later, I finally get around to crocheting with it. I strung it with clear AB beads and used a new beads crochet hook designed by Kazue, called Sucre. Let me report that the hook slid easily under each stitch AND never split the yarn, EVEN THOUGH I began crocheting from the wrong end of the yarn, which unplies it into separate strands as I work. Nice hook. Sweet.

Kumiko Mizuno Ito had shared the new bead crochet she was doing when I was in Japan last. Keiko Seki, a protege of hers, taught a project at the Bead and Button Show last month using this technique. Keiko had shared the spotlight with a Turkish beader in an article about this technique published in Bead and Button Magazine. And in March while teaching in Germany there so many beaders wearing all types of bead crochet. It sent me off to fooling around alot more adventureously with hooks and beads. You've seen the new bead crochet approaches I've been teaching, as I share them here. Expect to see some more, perhaps even in time to propose some for Bead and Button Show next year. Proposals are due August 6th.

Tulip Co has published a booklet of beginner bead crochet designs in Japan. They are even selling kits so the reader can make exactly the same item as seen in the booklet. They asked if I would advise them on the English translation. Yes. And I will love to work with them in their pursuit of sharing more bead crochet (and Tulip crochet hooks, books and kits) with more and more beaders and crocheters in Japan, Europe and the U.S.
Kang told me about a tour of the factory in Hiroshima and the shocking amount of snow that fell upon the guests' arrival. While preparing the links for this post I stumbled onto this blog written about that very experience from one of their guests. Enjoy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Every summer Mohonk Mountain House features craft demonstrations in their Barn Museum. The museum curator, Jim Clark, has cultivated a comprehensive roster of craftspersons whose demonstrations include basketmaking, caning, stained glass, beadwork, and feltmaking. Incredible as it sounds, Jim and I figure I've been participating each summer for more than 20 years! Yikes.

On reallllly hot days, like Tuesday was, most folks sought a cooler past-time than trekking down to the barn museum. So, when Julia showed up eager to learn about feltmaking, I offered her the chance to work on her own piece after I showed her how to hand felt a bangle bracelet using fine merino wool fleece, a Turbo Felting Board and hot soapy water. Julia revealed that she is home-schooled. No surprise there. She is motivated, interested and a quick study! She went on to bead her newly felted bangle with the few beads I had on hand.

Julia, wanting to make more felt at home, bought one of the new kits: HAND FELTED BANGLE BRACELET WITH BEADED BEAD. The kit contains a Turbo Felting Board, fine merino wool, and an instructional dvd (my first!) for felting your own bangle PLUS the recipe and beads for weaving an undulating beaded bead to join the two ends. Call to order yours because I can now accept Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover credit cards. $90 complete. Two color choices: neutral/metallic (on left in photo) or botantical (in photo on right).

Two other guests arrived. One complimented my locked up hair and explained that she makes individual dreadlocks out of real and synthetic hair. She then attaches them to peoples' hair, resulting in a hairdo that took me 4 months of daily felting to create and has been 9 years in the growing! I was fascinated. "How does that work?", I asked. Evelyn was happy to show me. She used a blue/black felt lariat I had on display as the dreadlock and worked it into her friend's beautiful hair.
In a nutshell, she attaches the center of the folded dreadlock using a braiding technique. She is Evelyn of Evilyndesigns & Venuscreations. Her website is not operational right now but, she offered and as a means to contact her.
It was a fascinating day of personal adornments. Julia's dad is a tatoo artist and was himself a walking piece of art. Her mom also had tatoos but just hints of them were visible at the edges of her clothing. Evelyn wore 4 studs below her lower lip.You may be able to see them more clearly if you click on her photo. When I queried her, she showed that the studs were like nailheads flat along the interior of her mouth.

I'm repeating the felting demonstrations at Mohonk on August 10th and 24th from 1-4pm. Come by. If you do, mention you read it here and I'll have a bead kit for you!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tonight at Beadzo in Tivoli NY, the only local bead store where I continue to teach regularly, Charlotte wore the bead crochet necklace she finished from last class.
Lise brought her St. Petersburg necklace. Last session she wanted to learn how to make the second pass. We discussed the idea of making it double for only a portion and then allowing it to "split". She sure ran with that concept. It takes these two pictures to share with you the design she ultimately made.

It can be worn with either focel front on center, allowing the other to drape gracefully down the back.
There were three projects going on in class. Terry chose to bead a herringbone bracelet worked lengthwise and incorporating "inclusions" between the stitches and within the stitches. My sample is the green one. She is working in a great combination of gold fumed clear amethyst and garnet colored seed beads, with pearls as her inclusions.

By the end of class Charlotte had completed these several inches of bead crochet. She will finish it with a couple inches of chain at each end, and a finding. Notice the little clusters of beaded beads. They are the "crystal balls" made of round glass pearls instead of bicone crystals. (Weave 4 units of right angle weave. Connect the first and last units with the addition of 2 beads. Pass through the ring of 5 beads at one edge and then repeat at the opposit edge.)

Beadzo is a wonderful venue for you to come enjoy an intimate class with a group of creative and welcoming beaders. Since the classes are still only $35, they are a value. Call 845-757-5306 to reserve a seat for the July 15th.

Last weekend at our Bead Blast, in addition to beading, eating, and laughing, everyone generously participated in "show and tell". Terry made brilliant use of the new long magatama beads in spiral stitch.
Marcia Moore bead embroidered several necklaces and this pendant shown here. It features her dichroic glass cabochons.
A few happy beaders: left to right are Louise, Denise, Anne, Terry, Pat and Phyllis. If you would like to bead with Pat Riesner, she will be teaching next weekend, July 10 and 11 in Fishkill at the Innovative Bead Show.
Pat shared how to make her Tennis Bracelet with several "blasters" and Terry made a couple.