Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cookie finished her "cross-stitched bracelet with rivoli closure" tonight at the Beadzo class. (Neither photo came out very clear, sorry.) The bezeled rivoli (yes, you read about these kits that Bead Gallery and I have collaborated on) fits through a loop that extends from the bracelet, making a beautiful finish. Cookie chose those wonderful khaki beads (no 2035) for their elegant patina. They are the perfect contrast to the rivoli and shiny beads at the edges.

This cross-stitched technique is one of a half dozen new techniques I teach in my new workshop: More Faces of Polygon. It is the sequel to my Many Faces of Polygon workshop. It will premier at Bead Gallery Inc on April 9th. Only fitting, since I developed this workshop in response to their demands for MORE polygon adventures.

That same weekend in April, at Bead Gallery Inc, in addition to More Faces of Polygon, I will teach Bead Happy, the Fine Marcasite Chain for Focal bead, Pentagon Pendant on Chain, and the Cornflake Pearl Petal Flower Lariat.
A couple of designs that sprung from developing More Faces of Polygon are suitable as half-day or evening classes. A few I'm offering at Beads By Blanche in Bergenfield NJ. On March 3oth, 6-9 pm is Aurora Borealis bracelet, one of the new techniques plus a bezeled rivoli closure!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Bead and Button Show just added another session of the Felted Bangle with Beaded Bead for Sunday June 6, 7-10pm. This class was popular last year and sold out again this year. Providing the Turbo Felting Board for use in class, really accelerates the felting portion of our 3 hours, leaving ample time to create the undulating beaded bead. Most students complete the project in class. As B&B classes go, it is a bargain at $95.
Once they've tasted the sweetness of hand felting a bracelet, I'll show examples of additional styles they could make using what they have just learned and embellishing them in a myriad of ways, depending on their beading skills and tastes. Sparkling beads and matte felt are perfect foils, underscoring and enhancing each other.

Sure would love to turn more beaders onto felting. The process is so satisfying. It has the same color seduction that beadwork offers with the sensuousness of fine fiber. Each year I submit several proposals hoping that they'll select a few.
Perhaps 2011 will be the year that I teach 4 felt and 4 bead classes. It will be fun placing my energy to that end.
Tuesday I fly to Ludlow UK to teach a 4 day intensive in hand felted jewelry and beads at Moral Fibre Felting Studio. Not only does an extended workshop provide the luxury of time to teach/learn and develop new skills or techniques but, it attracts only the most devoted and passionate. When in Australia last year, I taught felt jewelry intensives at 2 separate week-long fiber forums. It was bliss. The first day is thrilling as the entire week lays ahead and everyone is full of anticipation. The next couple days are full of adventure as new approaches and methods are tried. Then the panic sets in, that oh my goodness, tomorrow is our LAST day. And, the day after everyone's gone home, I find that I miss, truly miss, some of the people I've had the priviledge to work with.
Hey, a head's up if you have travel plans. When I checked the airline regs for carry-on luggage I found that the two pieces I'd previously always traveled with (one to check and one to carry) are now considered over-sized. Yikes. If you've a flight in your future, take nothing for granted. The rules change all the time. Fortunately my little purple one qualifies if I don't stuff it. That and a tote containing my handbag, cosmetics, Kindle and toys, and I'm all set.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Have you ever had it happen, that a most ordinary sight captures your attention in a new way, and then haunts you for days? The other day, while taking my walk, it was the cracks in the asphalt road. They struck me as beautiful. Reminding me of arial views I've seen of rivers, and their tributaries. Making me think of arteries, veins and capillaries. The silhouette of treetops against the gray skies of winter, whose outermost branches look fragile and delicate.
Today, seen with new eyes, it is the antique mirror that hangs over the mantle, that fascinated me. The glass, less than uniform and far from perfect, presents a distorted reflection of the room. It is beautiful, like seeing my room through the eyes of Modigliani. And by changing my vantage point just a very few inches, I can alter the entire composition.
It is good to see the extraordinary in the mundane. And it is even better to be so easily amused.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

As my work (and play) has become focused solely on feltmaking and beadwork, I have let previous interests wane. Last year a friend swapped a table for my drum. The year prior, I gave up knitting and sewing and purged the studio of these materials and accoutrement. Though some odd balls of yarn remain with my collection of crochet hooks, as I do still crochet, at least with beads.
For 3 years I have not touched my precious spinning wheel. Spinning is what seduced me into this wooly life and introduced me to a community of fiber goddesses that have informed the rest of my life. A workshop with Beth Beede at the Northeast Handspinners' Association Gathering was my introduction to feltmaking those many years ago. Years passed and I taught spinning at NEHA Gatherings, the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and many east coast guilds. (Spinning with wool, silk and feathers was a favorite.) Over the years, my workshops for these same venues evolved into feltmaking. So today I posted my sweet, signed, solid cherry Tina Traveler Jensen spinning wheel and all the accoutrement (swift, ball winder, lazy kate, fiber and library of Spin-off magazine) for sale for $500. It is not the end of an era so much as uncluttering my studio.

At Beadzo last night, Tara finished a Bead Happy Bracelet in her colors. She hid a magnetic closure rather than do the two headed beaded closure called for.
Charlotte wore the Dew Drop Diagonal Peyote Bracelet she finished from the previous class. It is lovely. It made Terry want to make one tonight.

These are two bracelets Terry made since last time. Liking the Aurora Borealis Bracelet she made last time, she said she made two more since, but they seemed different. Indeed. She made up this stitch and used it for both. Close to the same appearance, unless you examine the matte beads. Cool.
Jane learned double-needle, odd count peyote to make a toggle for her necklace. So, as described, Beadzo IS anarchy, in a good way. Three projects from MASTERING BEADWORK and two brandy new projects. A night of learning new techniques and finishing projects and good company. My life is delicious and a joy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jill volunteered to be the first to bead the new bangle design I haven't named yet. Yet, another result of exploring polygon stitch with a sense of adventure and sometimes even daring! This bracelet fits like a bangle but has a magnetic closure hidden deep within the beadwork. I may decide to offer this as a 3hr class in next year's Bead & Button Show. Teachers must submit their proposals in July for June classes the following year. Good to plan ahead.
Irma made trip to Beads By Blanche Saturday and bought metallic beads and 3mm Swarovski crystals to bead a netted panel for her husband's woodturning. This one is just the mock up of the one he is rendering in ebony. Such grace! You can see others of their collaborations on Steve's website.

Eva and Cheryl have just tackled bead crochet using the "Bead Crochet Out Loud" method. Join me March 9th at Knitty City in Manhattan NYC. From 2-5pm I will teach you to bead crochet (and some folks will actually finish a bracelet in class). From 6-9pm I will teach "Beaded Edgings". Expect to learn 3 or more techniques to embellish your garments and accessories with beads. Not only are they lovely but, the weight of the beads can affect the drape and hand of fabric or clothing...just ask Chanel!

Tomorrow at Beadzo in Tivoli (1-845-757-5306) I'll offer to teach that brandy new bangle, as well as Aurora Borealis and whatever else they ask for. This is a local beadstore where I teach about twice-a-month. I am there 6-9pm on those Thursdays and we run it as anarchy, in a GOOD way. That is, each person gets to use me up in whatever project or technqiue they want. Usually I bring whatever new things I am working on, and sometimes everyone wants to make that project or learn that thing. But there are times that I teach 8 different things at once. I just float (not literally, would that I could) around the room tending to each individual beader and her project/technique. I guess it is the residual of my 22 year career as a chef. You never know who is coming in the door, when, and what they'll order. The mental gymnastics necessary to juggle several projects/meals at once are thrilling and enjoyable. Everyone knows they will get the attention they need and it works great. And it happens that sometimes you learn another thing or two out of the corner of your mind, while you are learning the thing you came for.