Monday, March 28, 2011

Crystals on the Rocks

Saturday I returned to Crystals on the Rocks in Nyack to teach an African Helix lariat that is made to undulate and spiral. When the undulations wind around the beadwork, it becomes the way the piece is worn.

And the design features those sexy new spotted daggers, dangling from one end.

Celine. who is accustomed to gold tones and blonde coloring, is adjusting to her gorgeous recently-silver self. She spoke about this change in color palette when I admired her silver hair, grey and gunmetal accessories and how put together she is. Notice here, in her beadwork, that she embraces silver and hematite while maintaining a champagne overtone. Beautiful.

Notice the difference in the diameter of the tubular beadwork when it is filled with an armature and where it is not. It is then free to relax into swirling panels of beadwork separated by "piping", or linear beads that protrude above the others. (This is your situation Anne...from Danish blonde to silver fox.)

Cheryl chose stunning orange and metallic daggers to accent galvanized copper beads. For the piping, her matte khaki beads produced an interesting visual conflict...the illusion of receding due to the matte finish while protruding above the other beads, hmmmmm.
By 5pm, when the workshop ended, most beaders had several inches completed and knew how to procede with the far end, when they get there. A few hearty beaders ordered soup from a local eatery and returned for the evening workshop...Drop Bangle Bracelet.

Sorry I was lax about taking pictures today, guess I was just in the moment. Most of the beaders had gone before I realized. Karen and Anita were good sports to model their finished bangles.

Anita is the beader I mentioned In last month's posting from Nyack. She designs beadwork for Michael's. She brought in a couple recent magazine ads that feature her work. If you go to their website, you will see her patterns for sale.
This eclectic beadstore also carries some clothing and accessories, as I mentioned last time. There was so much to take in at once. This time I really took notice of the clothing and a sweet little silk jacket caught my eye. It had that elegant quiet shimmer of raw silk fabric that has warp thread in one color and weft thread in a quite different color. When Kim told me that it was one of Jody's fashions, I could'nt resist. Jody has beaded with me in both of these weekends at Crystals on the Rocks and I just love the idea of wearing one of her designs. My entire travel wardrobe (and not just for travel) is clothing by Zee Mizrahi. It tickles me to purchase from the maker.
The store just received their second shipment of Mad-danas, versatile headwear that can be worn 10 ways. It is a headband that can stand up to these long locks plus, covers much of the hair for when I am gardening and biking. Pretty clever item. Okay, I taught, visited and shopped. It was a great day!

April 23, freshly returned from Australia, I'll be teaching two 3 hour workshops. While it would be great to have you at either one, if you can take both it will be soooo worth it. You'll take away at least one completed handfelted and beaded bangle and others ready to be finished at home.
In the morning session we'll create felt for bracelets, using luscious merino wool in an array of colors and a Turbo Felting Board with a little hot soapy water. In the afternoon we'll make beaded beads that are lovely to wear on a chain or, if you took the morning session, to connect the tapered ends of the bracelet. Plus we'll cover rivoli bezeling techniques, and bead emroidery as time allows. Not to worry, we'll let you out at 5pm so there is plenty of time to color or hide your eggs, if you wish.
Hope I see you there.
Word is getting out about how superior the Tulip beading needles are. Tonight I had a call from Florida. This beader heard other beaders talk about them. Excellent that they are sharing the news. It will be fabulous when I have the size 13. They are precious. When I was demonstrating at the Tokyo dome's International Great Quilt Show in January, I threaded 10# fireline in one and passed through a size 15 seed bead 5 times!!!!
While I am teaching in Australia the first half of April, I've asked that they resist answering my phone. So, if you order needles, or kits or anything, they won't be shipped until I return.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Crafty Frog workshops in Australia...Canberra, Monday April 4th

Canberra's number one-stop Needlework shop, Crafty Frog, sent out their first newsletter since December to announce the 2 workshops I'll be teaching there on 4-4-11.
Crafty Frog has been closed for over 10 months due to flooding. All their stock was written off, all their fittings cleaned. And they have new (bouncier) carpet, a new paint job and all new stock. Laura is delighted to tell us that, Crazy Frog (as the workman were calling us) is back! New stock has been put on the shelves and new stock continues to arrive daily.
Laura says, that for those who are attending the full day, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided. She adds that, of course, refreshments will be available for everyone.

Raku and Rivoli Bracelet will be one session.

Enjoy a taste of polygon stitch using only two stitches per round to whip up this bracelet that combines the look of matte raku with the sparkle of glass and crystal.

Employ the interesting thread path of polygon stitch, unlike any other stitches you know, first passing through a bead, then picking up beads for the stitch and anchoring them by passing under thread between beads. Bead a beautiful textured bezel utilizing that same thread path concept to embrace and secure a rivoli that serves as both a focal element and closure. The bracelet transitions to herringbone on the far end, acting as a buttonhole that frames the rivoli when worn.
Prerequisite: none
Level: Intermediate
Cost: $50 + Materials

Midsummer's Night Bracelet is the other.
Create a sparkling fabric of Swarovski crystals using a double-needle method of right-angle weave. Learn the little mantra that propels you through row after row.
Embellish the surface while increasing the integrity of the beadwork by the addition of miniscule golden charlottes, swarovski elements and drops. A magnetic tube closure lends a jewellery store touch to this refined and elegant piece. Don't expect to finish in class.
Prerequisite: none
Level: All Levels Welcome
Cost: $50 + Materials

Today I went to the copy shop to get the recipes printed. Tomorrow I'll start to pack.
It is so thrilling to be returning to Australia.
So now you know, My first week in Oz will be with Canberra Regional Feltmakers, then, Laura at Craft "Crazy?" Frog and then Jenny at Jelly Beads of Mogo.
The entire second week is a week-long workshop in Hand Felted Comoonent Jewelry at TAFTA (The Australian Forum of Textile Arts).

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Australia again...I can hardly wait!!!!

Now that I have been there, I am even MORE thrilled to be going to Austalia next week. Jenny, one of the felters in my week-long workshop at TAFTA (the australian forum of textile arts) in 2008, has me teaching 4 days of workshops at Jelly Beads in Mogo. We'll be covering alot of ground in beadwork stiches, while making some great jewelry (jewellery to us in Oz). She will retrieve me in Canberra, after 2 days of workshop for the Canberra Regional Feltmakers, and we'll take the scenic route to Mogo.
It had been my intention to rent a mifi, personal wifi unit, as I had when I was in Japan in January, so I could share my adventures in the blog each day. Plus this time I have added skype, as a means to be in touch with my sweetheart. The basic rental came to over $300, and that is without the insurance to cover loss or damage of the precious little item. The first place i called "was out" of units. The contract for the second was way tooooo scary and expensive. Guess I'll prefer to be at the mercy of my hosts for wifi or computer access, for keeping up my blog. McDonald's are eveywhere, and I will find wifi there. Yup, McDonalds! Apparently they offer wifi in Australia, the way Starbucks is known for wifi hotspots here. So, I guess, if I get to skype, it will be from McDonalds. Who would have guessed?

Many of you have asked about my friends, acquaintances and students in Japan. The responses to my emails indicate that they are safe. Some folks reported feeling aftershocks, scary. Everyone, even outside the immediate geography of the tsunami and earthquake are affected. Some by rolling blackouts, interruption in and unpredictable transportation and power, shortages and rationing of goods, fear of radiation and, can we even consider, the economic toll. That said, Tulip Co and I have just resumed conversation about my potentially distributing their exquisite beading needles in the U.S.A.

Even tonight, in the Beadzo workshop, the beaders were hailing their Tulip needles. Crystals on the Rocks in Nyack, sold out of their supply in a couple days and asked me for more of the exquisite needles. I'll be teaching there Saturday...hope you are there. Last workshop before heading overseas.

We're doing a crystal embellished, spiraling necklace/lariat all day and in the evening, a new beaded bangle.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bella Beads

Before I leave for Australia at the end of the month, I'm trying to tidy up some loose ends and sort out the details of upcoming workshops.
Sue, owner of Bella Beads, and I, just discussed which workshops I will teach in her lovely New Hampshire store during the weekend of May 14 and 15.
On Saturday May 14, we'll do Elements of Beadwork.

Each beader will create her own unique necklace in the process of learning and sampling several beadworking techniques. This necklace above features a brooch as the focal element.

- This example features a lampworked bead (made by the beader in an earlier workshop), enhanced by branched fringe.

And this example features several smaller lampworked beads and a beaded bead as the focal element.
See that each beader will work in her palette of bead colors and, in some cases, sizes, to create samples of each stitch or stitch variation learned. Then all the samplers are arranged with concern for balance, adding focal elements. The necessary length is acheived by stringing seed or other beads. We just did this project in Nyack at Crystals on the Rocks, and it reminded me what a wonderful vehicle this project is for conveying so many beadwork techniques.
Sunday May 15 we'll do two half day projects:

This Drop Bangle Bracelet of right angle weave and drop beads.

The undulating Beaded Bead showing the new faster and easier way. And in the moments we save using the faster easier method, I'll teach the beaded chains also.

Sunday I finished jurying the approx 300 entries for the Perlen Poesie (German beading magazine) Bead International Award. You will be able to view all the submissions on the website after jurying is completed. This contest is sponsored by Toho, Miyuki, Beadalon, Beadsmith, Bobby Bead, beading software, Preciosa, Search Press, Kalmbach Books, Leane Cteatief B.V., Crea non, and Hagemann Restaurant Hotel. The international jury consists of Prof. Herman Hermsen, Toshi Myoda, Evelyn Ulzen, Silvia Winterstein and me.

By the way, when I posted recently about Pat Riesner's kits, I used as her link instead of the correct shop2kill.

Many of you have expressed concern about my friends in Japan. The folks I introduced you to in the January posts are all well and safe at this time. Most were miles away in Hiroshima when the earthquake and tsunami happened. Motoko was in Tokyo at the time and she and all my friends from Coronet are also safe, though possibly shaken.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bead Blast

It took me over a week to get around to sharing with you about our last Bead Blast, and then....holy smoke, I must have hit the "discard" rather than "post" button. So, here we go again. In addition to the giggles, good food and bead shopping, we even managed to get some beading done. There were beads and kits for sale by Sisters' Originals, Pat Riesner and moi.

A few beaders made this Stick Pearl bracelet. Cathy culled through the rice pearls in her kit, setting aside the shorter ones. The kit contains 2 strands of the pearls in addition to the double-drilled stick pearls. It takes nearly both strands, one per r.a.w. section to complete the bracelet. When she thought she was ready to connect the two sections, I pointed out that she was one row short on each. This meant she'd have to use those shorter, culled pearls.

It resulted in a subtle curve to the finished piece (top one in picture), compared to the one made using the pearls as they came off the strand.
Notice the beaded bead above the two bracelets? It is made from a kit I gave to each beader, so I could share the new faster easier way to do undulating tubular peyote (dubbed Cellini spiral by Virginia Blakelock and again later in a project published by Deb Samuels).

The gunmetal gray and hematite colored undulating peyote above is Amy's work. She put aside after a few inches to start the red piece shown. It is made of Czech pod-shaped beads and an assortment of purpley red seed beads. Though she used spiral stitch, it has a similar profile as the undulating peyote. It is gorgeous and I suffer bead envy, I admit.

Wendy worked on this stunning bracelet. She purchased the recipe from Sand Fibers, Carol dean Sharpe's website, where you too can buy one of her recipes. Carol and I are facebook friends and have almost met at the Bead & Button Show. When she and her much admired designs became the topic, Pat Riesner revealed that she has purchased Carol's commercial design...this is permission to teach a class using Carol's recipes. What a clever concept. Sylvia and Cathy might follow her lead with one of their Long Island workshops.

Janet showed us the necklace she is submitting to a exhibition that features "wood"-turnings. In this case it is this resin focal element made by her wood-turner husband, Bob. Janet has hidden the closure within the resin piece at the back.

Several of their turned pens were for sale to us. Click on Bob's name to look at their website so see their line including crochet hooks and beading looms.

Throughout the weekend I delighted in hearing the testimonials to the new Tulip brand fine beading needles. I think everyone at the Bead Blast bought a package. I told the beaders how Tulip and I had corresponded back in June about what I look for or would dream of having in a beading needle. Already known and respected throughout the quilting community, as manufacturers of fine sewing and quilting needles, Tulip has made it their mission to satisfy the beading community as well. This is a needle that flexes to fit into tight spaces and springs back to straight! The eye is easier to thread and is less likely to pull open or break off when pulled on. The point of the tip is rounded to avoid splitting thread and make it easier to slip into the beads. When I returned from Japan in January, I brought along a few hundred of the size 11 needles. They are offered for sale on my website and I will use them in some of my kits. Pat said poetically that "they are like beading with silk". Wendy took it as a challenge and was happy to see that the needles remained pretty straight even in her hands,

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nancy Tobey Bead Inspired Lariat

This lariat was a popular workshop that explores the little known Polygon Stitch. The Bead and Button Show offered a second session last year when the first one filled up on the day registration opened.
In preparation for teaching it again this year, Nancy Tobey made me several more of her borosilicate beads and Sylvia located a stash of my favorite stripey beads to invest in. Finding this year's registration for it anemic, Bead and Button Show pulled this class to add two more of my popular classes.

While they last, i'm offering these kits for sale here. Pictured is the original color. The glass bead is flanked by beaded beads you will make using crystals and beads. Both the lariat itself, and the beaded beads are made using variations of polygon stitch.

In addition to the original magenta bead, there are 5 kits made around these 5 other focal beads: midnight, desert, dawn, salmon and dark blue.

$85 per kit, and I'll pay the shipping. You can call with credit card info or purchase via paypal from my website. I'll ask my web mistress to post them there.
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