Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Isn't it fascinating to see how each beader organizes her stash? Kathy likes her "Cropper Hopper", an item appropriated from scrapbookers.
We had a new beader join us in our Bead Blast. She is Jessica, shown making Fireflies at Sunset from the kit. She is a quick study and left with a finished necklace. She even designed and beaded a rivoli and loop closure. When the first session of Fireflies sold out at the Bead & Button Show, they added another session at this, their 10th anniversary show, in June. Fran purchased a partially felted, or could have been needle felted, vest from etsy. After fulling it, she has begun to embellish it.

Amy (wearing THE original Fireflies at Sunset necklace) is checking out the amazing and ginormous "rivoli" that Kathy gave me. It came with a card she'd written, saying it is a pleasure to meet me. She revealed that she'd waited a day to give it to me, to be sure it was indeed, a pleasure. Ya gotta love her honesty. She is a fine beader, tells good stories and has a great sense of humor. Hope she is a keeper. And, you just KNOW I am going to bezel this rock and wear it. (I will take it off when weighing in though!) She said it is sold as a paperweight.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good news and bad news: starting with the bad news, someone had to drop out of the felting workshop for Marlene's Felting Madness, in Ohio. Making the good news: there is an opportunity for you to join us. I know a couple of the felters that will be joining us and it WILL be a fabulously creative and adventurous weekend of felting madness. Hope Pat doesn't mind me saying that she, will be joining us. She IS Access Crystals and Aussie Fiber, wholesaler of the finest merino wool and wide range of Swarovski elements. She is gorgeous and creative and maintains a blog addressing the concerns of The Crafty Retailer.

Joyfully anticipating additional upcoming workshops, in two weeks I'll return to Bead Gallery Inc in New Hampshire. This time, we extended my stay to 4 day's worth of half and full-day workshops. So, hopefully there is something for everyone's budget and schedule. This is the first time I am offering this lariat and Genevieve has some sexy "cornflake" pearls for it.

And then, Imagine! The first weekend in May I'll teach at this amazing yarn and bead store in Bemus NY. Tomorrow I'll book my train reservation. Yes, the notion of train travel still really appeals to me. One year several of us took the train from Poughkeepsie NY to Milwaukee WI for the Bead and Button Show. We were offered an inexpensive upgrade to a sleeping car on the way out and, ohhhhh, I just loved it. My next journey via long-distance train was less satisfying. So, I'll give it another try next month for traversing New York.

Mother's Day weekend no one wants to sign up for workshops. It is a great time to seclude myself in the studio and render into beads some of the new designs in my head.

Then the following weekend I get to teach in yet another yarn and bead store: Jubili , not far from Philly PA. We'll luxuriate in a full weekend of Felted Component Jewelry creation, felting and beading to our heart's desires.

And thennnnnnnnnnn, California here I come...tomorrow I will post the samples to Creative Castle in Newbury CA.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunday, after the last class, we headed back over to the Expo to collect our beadwork from the exhibit. When I turned to enter the Perlen Akademie space in hall 5 I saw this gorgeous dress that Amy would just love! It had concentric circles and stripes and all in great colors. Inside the dress is Petra, owner of Das PerLament, a bead store in Bonn. AND, with her is my FaceBook friend, Sabine Lippert. We enjoyed a fabulous visit over coffee at my hotel, before they headed back for Bonn. Sabine, a certain kindred spirit, also calls her beadwork patterns "recipes" and she talked about European FB friends that she actually knows, and I'd thought I'd meet while at Creativa. Laura Andrews is teaching at Petra's store for a couple days before heading back home. Petra said she will collect me when I finish teaching in Belgium and then I'll teach at Das PerLament. Now I'll have to get this on the calendar and stop just thinking about it.
Five beaders in my classes are bead store owners. Laurie Glynn (right) owns a store in Switzerland. After we met in class Wednesday, I saw her among the 80,000 people at the Creativa Expo and was excited to see someone I know! She said she'd booked a Hawaiian massage called Lomilomi. I'd never heard of this before and was fascinated. To her left is Anita, who teaches beadwork.
Nele owns Ne-co bead store in Belgium. She was in a couple of my classes and we had greater opportunity to visit at breakfast. It was interesting to hear about mangosteen juice and its health benefits to her.
From our email correspondences, I expected that I might see Kang at Creativa. It was perfectly lucky that she came on Saturday while I was demonstrating in the Bead Expo area of Hall 5. She had only the one day since she is on her way to Paris and then, was it Italy? You may recall her from June's entries. It was when Tulip Co had their first exhibition in the U.S. They invited me to join them at TNNA in Columbus OH. This is where I met Pearl from Knitty City (the first retailer to carry Tulip's crochet hooks!), enjoyed quick visits with the "crafty retailer" Pat Reisenburger (wholesaler of extraordinarily beautiful merino wool and Swarovski elements), filmed another feltmaking demonstration for Knitting Daily on public television and taught the Tulip staff to bead!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This beautiful Spring Fever necklace was made by a (self-proclaimed) "new" beader. Renate brought it to show me that she made it from following the recipe in MASTERING BEADWORK . Previous to beadweaving, she was an accomplished bead crocheter.
Renate came with her friend Ilke to my Harlequin Bracelet/Necklace workshop at Perlen Akademie in Dortmund Germany. This orange necklace is another example of the very cool bead crochet that Germany beaders are turning out. As you'd expect, Ilke said all the beads are strung in advance, and then 3 or 5 or more beads are secured in each crochet stitch. She used polyester thread and it is barely visible.

Ilke was wearing a coral colored necklace you can just barely see between the lapels of her cardigan sweater. It is lovely. When she described the pearly looking beads as "waxy" and that the finish can be picked away by the beading needle, it sounded a bit scary. Not sure I really understood. Gorgeous though. As a generous bead ambassador, she carried along a box of her beadwork to show what type of beadwork German beaders are making. Because I begged, she posed wearing her snake necklace of undulating peyote.
My first glance into the box revealed a necklace that looked VERY much like the Harlequin project we are making in class. Plus there was a bangle bracelet rendered in larger beads but the same colors and stitch of Harlequin. I looked at her puzzled and she looked back sort of sheepishly, explaining...Renate bought MASTERING BEADWORK and wanted help with the Harlequin project and African Helix, in general. So, Renate sent photocopies of the book's pages to Ilke. Ilke followed the recipe using the most similar beads she had at hand. Then, to help her friend understand, she translated the book's directions into German and included her own hand drawn illustrations. Quite impressive and I was charmed. Realize that both Ilke and Renate are making this project with me in my workshop here. Amazing.

Other beaders had to leave for flights home. Those that could hang on to the last moment I captured here. Andrea (top left), appeared in a post earlier in the week. Let's see, was it of her wearing a newly crafted felt bangle bracelet? I forget. Forgive me, it is after midnight on this last day of a full and fabulous week teaching here in . In just 6 hours the cab will pick us up to wisk us to the airport. to return home. In a few days she will share with me, and I with you, the source for a most wonderful necklace cable for wearing beaded pendants. To Andrea's right is Katja, only beading since Autumn she said. She is a speedy beader and nearly finished a necklace version in class. Seated left is Renate and to her right, Ilke. It will be interesting to see how prolific these 4 are by this time next year. (Hoping we will reunite here at that time.)

PS. I bought 2 hours of wifi to get thi slast post out to you from Germany. Guess they only gave me one. Soooo, just posting this now, from home.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Most of this second-to-my-last-day at the Perlen Akademie in Germany is spent in Hall 5 at Creativa Expo. How lucky I was to have two new friends join me for most of the day. Margot needle felted a Felted Bead Diva Lariat (and translated for me when necesaary). And Wish-I Knew-Her-Name ( note to self: ask Perlen Akademie for name tags next year!) made most of her Felted Rose Lariat while at the demo. Even here in its first year, I have had the distinct honor of having some beaders take more than one class with me. Gunhilde and I, both appreciators of the color green, are seen her conspiring about things green...

My cherished Turbo Felting Board did me proud. I whizzed through the felting demos like a breeze. The Felted Rose Lariat whipped up in no time. Tonight at the Felted Bangle Bracelet class we were able to "bang put" those lovelies and bead them, in a short class thanks to that sharply corrugated surface. Though I sold a couple, I fear many remain to ship home.
Two brand-new beaders showed up for tonight's class. They were successful in their undulating peyote and hand felting a bangle bracelet. Yippee. Both were friends of Angela's. Recall that Angela is one of two people I met last year over the phone for a magazine interview. Then she had a horribloe car accident and was not expected to survive. Well, here she is, right, these many months later. Today she is vibrant and bubbling with joy and enthusiam and recovering.
Tomorrow is the last day of this amazing event. I'll be teaching the Harlequin (african helix) project that made sucha hit in Japan. Afterwards we all go collect our artwork from the exhibits. Hope we sneak a quick visit-with-each-other in before we all head home. There is much buzz about the bead aspect of next year's event.
Meanwhile, I have been hearing from folks signing up for workshops at The Bead Gallery (New Hampshire) and Beads By Blanche (New Jersey) next month. Looking forward to the approaching workshops with Imagine and Marlene's Felting Madness.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Check out the necklace of geometric shapes that Margot wore to my Diamonds of Fire Necklace workshop today at Perlen Akademie in Dortmund Germany. She could have joined the other 80,000 people shopping at the Creativa Expo next door but, instead, bless her heart, she spent the ENTIRE day beading with me. Honestly, she took the 9am-430pm (9 to 1630 as we call it here) workshop that focuses on cubic right angle, Diamonds of Fire. PLUS she beaded with me all evening in the workshop of Fireflies at Sunset Necklace. Diane Fitzgerald was teaching across the hall. When she dropped by and saw Margot's necklace she assumed that perhaps the book she wrote on beaded shapes might be behind it. Margot said she designed this piece a couple years ago. Just another example of simultaneous interest in geometrical beadwork that cropped up all over the place at around the same time. Especially rendered in peyote stitch. Just this week: Diane taught her Trillium design here today (based on triangles). Laura taught a design based on triangles yesterday and I taught the Beaded Pillows Necklace on Wednesday, also dependent on the basic beaded triangle. All such different manifestations of beaded triangles.Andrea (shown here) came to the Fireflies workshop with Felted Bangles with Beaded Beads she made, having seen them in the Bead and Button Show catalog.
Though the class concluded a long beadiful day, these beaders still look energized and even happy. One of them has just beaded for her first time. How exciting to usher yet another lucky person into this meditative, creative and joyous medium. She is eager to get around the expo tomorrow and set herself for the many years of happy beading ahead of her.
Tomorrow I will spend the entire day demonstrating feltmaking at the Perlen Expo (Hall 5 at Creativa Expo, dedicated to all things beads!). Kits will be on hand for those choosing to seize the opportunity to have a lesson and create some felted jewelry right on the spot.
In the evening I will continue with felting but, in a workshop at Perlen Akademie. We will make the Felted Bangle with Beaded Bead.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Anna and Laura demonstrated at the Perlen Akademie this morning. Laura taught a class there in the afternoon.
This is lampworker Michou Pascale Anderson. Check out the beads she is wearing as well as those in the case. If there are 4 empty spaces in the display it is because I could'nt resist them. Plus she is sparkling and as vibrant as her creations.

This is Marina, our faithful and fabulous interpreter, caught in the glow of the wonderful restaurant where she took us for authentic Dortmund cuisine. Yum. Great beer, delicious fish and fresh potatoes. Everyone else had sausage and slaw and potatoes.

We took this parting shot of the restaurant. The weather was perfect for dining outside in this plaza known as the old market square.
Quickly before my wifi time expires...I'll post this.

Today at the Perlen Akademie booth, Creativa Expo, in Dortmund Germany, I snapped this photo of someone snapping a photo of the exhibit of my beadwork and felt jewelry.
Today my teaching schedule was clear so I had a chance to take in the Expo. While Marina (our interpreter, kindred beading spirit and German ambassador) took us around, we passed this beader wearing her "Bead Happy" necklace. As I noticed and remarked about her, we hugged and snapped photos: I took away this photo of her and she has a photo of the two of us. It is such a warm and wonderful life, this felty beadedness.

When I spotted this lovely felt necklace and earring, I just had to meet her. This is Crystal. She mosly felts hats and is working on garments recently, mostly incorporating silk.

This is the second photo I took of Christa Saalfrank. In the first one she was not wearing her gorgeous felt bead jewelry. Wish she had a website. Her work was lovely. Many felted beads embellished with decorative stitches strung on cable or (yikes) elastic. Many pieces with silver components.
Couldn't even get near this booth. Guessing by the appearance of mass production, I figure there must be a felting collective behind this. These pieces are very different than those I have seen for sale in the U.S. from the Nepalese felting collectives.
It was exciting to see the variety and abundance of felt items at the show. There were a couple demonstration/workshops going on also. Saturday, all day, I will demonstrate both wet-felting and needle felting in the Perlen Akademie Hall 5. There will be kits on hand so that anyone choosing can have a workshop right here, right then. In the evening I will teach the felted and beaded bangle bracelet that is so popular at Bead and Button Show.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My flight to Germany Monday/Tueday went off without a hitch. Wish I could same the same about my delivery of goods shipped via UPS. Still not here. Long and unrewarding story. I met Anna Draeger, Diane Fitzgerald and Laura Andrews at the airport in Dusseldorf and we shared the (whoosh) cab ride to Dortmund together. They are, l.to r., standing at Diane's display at Perlen Akademie in Hall 5 of the Creativa Expo. We each have a case of our artwork on display. Laura is doing demos in this area for the duration. Anna is demonstrating tomorrow and I will follow suit all day Saturday and teach a class in the evening.

We walked around watching folks set up their displays, after we finished ours. took a quick pic of this new bead to share with you. Miyuki displayed these little tile beads with two holes. New to me and interesting.

On our walk "home" to our hotel from the restaurant, we passed trees (yes, sycamore of some type) that looked like they had beads growing on them. Tee hee.

Wednesday's all-day class today was this necklace of hollow beaded "pillow beads", the tubular chain and closure. This design had been on the cover of the Perlen Posie magazine's first issue. In my class were 3 beadshop-owners. One from Switzerland, two from Germany. Marina, our interpreter shared among the 4 of us, is quite adept at slippng from classroom to classroom and staying on top of each of the individual designs being taught. Plus she is charming and adorable and a brilliant beader.

Do you recall my talking about the phone interview for the first issue of Perlen Poesie magazine? I was interviewed by Saori (owner of Twinkle beads, a founding editor of the magazine and organizer of Perlen Akademie) and Angela. We were immediately comfortable and at ease with each other, kindred spirits. Just days after the interview, Saori wrote to tell me that she alone would be completing the article, since, Angela had been in a horrible automobile accident and was in a coma. I was able to meet Saori in person at the Bead and Button Show in June last year, and Angela was still doing very poorly. THE GOOD NEWS: Angela came by not just to finally meet in person, she also interpreted for my class. We were able to share lunchtime together and I will see her again in class Saturday. She is getting around with a wheel chair at this time but, with several more months of physical therapy, expects to walk again. What a fabulous recovery she is making.

In the evening I taught beaded bezels (Like the kits that I expect will be availiable on the website any minute.) for two rivolis, 18 and 27mm. Here are the finished 27mm ones. Lovely. Four students were with me even thought they were with me all day. Bless their hearts. And on the evaluations they said they would bead with me again. How lucky am I? If they ask me I will come!

Well, it is late here and tomorrow is another packed full day of joy and beading excitement. I will buy a little wifi time tomorrow or Frday and share some more of this great adventure n Dortmund, Germany.

PS I find this post did not go through before my paid time on wifi expired. So I re-read it and am posting it now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tomorrow I leave for Germany to teach at Creativa Expo in Dortmund. Not only will I be in the company of 75,000 fellow "hand-craft" enthusiasts, but I hope to get in some quality time with European facebook friends, and fellow teachers Laura Mc Cabe, Diane Fitzgerald, and Anna Draeger.
We're teaching for the Perlen Akademie (Perlen is pearl in German and is used generically for all beads.) If you check the site, the homepage features one of the projects I will be teaching. It was also featured on the cover of the premier issue of Germany's only beading magazine, Perlen Poesie. It will be a treat to reunite with PP publishers, editors and photographers that I met at Bead and Button Show last June.
I'm packing light and bringing along my computer, in hopes of sharing this experience with you here. I'll be in flight and over the date-line so... give me a couple days before I can check back in with you. Until then, felt and/or bead your heart's desires, and smile.

What a delightful time I had yesterday teaching the Glass Bead Inspired Lariat for the Bead Society of Greater New York. Nancy Tobey, whose bead IS the inspiration, made an assortment of beads just for the occasion. I'll be teaching this at the Bead and Button's 10th year anniversary Show in June. This class sold out on the second day of registration!
Just this week I replaced my little digital camera with what I thought was just a newer model of the same. Au contraire. This one requires batteries. AND, it took me 3 days to figure out where the photos go when I download them into my computer.
In the final moments of the BSGNY workshop, I snapped some photos to share here. Sorry to say, I forgot to set the camera to the appropriate size for the blog. The images are just too "big" to share electronically here. Suffice it to say they were each lovely. One beader brought her Karen Ovington bead to use as the focal bead.
In an email correspondence, with a beader named Mary, I mentioned the workshop for BSGNY. Much to my surprise, she showed up! Miraculously, she was able to register on the spot. Came to find out that this beader has been, until this weekend, a "stringer". Well, she did us all proud. She conquered this polygon stitch, a touch of netting, herringbone stitch and beadweaving jargon in a workshop geared to intermediate level beadweavers.
In the evening of March 30th, I'll be teaching this bracelet, Aurora Borealis, at Beads By Blanche. This past Thursday in the class at Beadzo (Tivoli NY, sorry no website), Terry made this one. The sparkling rivoli is securely held in a beaded bezel on one end of the polygon bracelet. The rivoli is framed within the loop at the opposite end and serves as the closure.
During the Beadzo class, Cookie made a cell phone ornament like the one I was given for my cell phone. It is a two-needle technique similar to cross needle weaving BUT the two needles pass through the common bead together rather than crossing through it. It is as lovely around your wrist or neck as it is dangling from the cell phone. Whip one up too.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Before I put my UK adventure to rest, I just have to share a few shots of the work that was turned out during the 4 days of hand felting jewelry and beads. Isn't it amazing how Louise's brandy new, still damp, felt bracelet matches the dress she wore?
Lustrous silk "balls" float weightlessly from Lynn's fine felt necklace.

Becs joined us for just one day, stealing herself away from Inkberrow Design Center. She made these wonderful sherbet-colored complex cane beads. She brought Di with her, who made a stunning felt bangle bracelet, carved to reveal its colorful core and adorned with vintage lucite flowers.
A day into the workshop, a few questions arose about the materials list. "Why aluminum foil?", they asked. This of course led to conjecture about why we (americans) say the name of this element wrong. (a-lu-mi-num vs. a-lu-min-i-um) Inspired by the way Pier Voulkos sculpts armatures for her polymer clay beads, I demonstrated how I use it for some of my felted sculptures and beads. Seasoned Welsh feltmaker, Sian, explored this technique, producing several pieces. Included in her stash of materials were some tubular-knitted wire ribbons and a similar item made of nylon. I'll have to get my hands on these items.
Here are a couple more shots I'd like to share from my UK adventures last week. This is The Feathers, a beautiful hotel in Ludlow, that we passed each day to and fro' the studio. The architecture fascinated me.
The countryside as seen through the windshield of my coach, Brenda's Hyundai, that transported me everywhere I needed to go.
After Saturday's class, Diane drove me to Worcester to see this 1000 year old cathedral. This classical example of Norman architecture from 1084, contains the tomb of King John.
Our destination for the evening was Birmingham, "second city" only to London. At the heart of the Industrial Revolution, it is also known as the city of 1000 trades. We strolled through the streets, taking in the sights: both the current and the under-construction library, town hall, symphony hall, galleries, and the throngs of trendily (scantily) clad youth on Broad St, on our way to Cafe Rouge for dinner. My hostess and students certainly made this experience the fullest one imaginable for such a brief visit.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We started our 4 days with the skewer technique and some felters, like Linda, made beads from felted complex canes.
Maria (left) came from Spain for the 4 day workshop. Louise (right) teaches millinery at the Ink Berrow Design Centre. The dress on display behind them is dyed with rust and features several textiles including felt.
The lizard on the wall behind Ela looks like those that Judit Pocs teaches. Judit taught felt hats in the studio next to mine when I taught Felted Jewelry and Beads in Australia last year.
Maggie (left) is also a teacher at IDC. Sylvie (right) was able to attend all 4 days and also worked after hours.
Each day was a different population. Some folks came for all 4 days, others for 2 or 3. The infusion of fresh felters each day made it interesting. I was pleased with the amount of material I was able to cover in our 4 days together. It was a productive and hugely creative time. The group dynamics were good. We spoke about the possibility of returning to share some more techniques.