Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beads Mosaic and Innovative Beads Expo

The pictures won't upload. So sorry. Give me time to figure it out or read on without benefit of photos.
Saturday was my first time at Beads Mosaic in Nanuet, NY. It was such a wonderful surprise to arrive to find a familiar face. Linda, a beader I visited with at Beadfest last year drove down from Vermont.
Pat Riesner, my beading and tech buddy, teaches classes here regularly and has praised this lovely store. It is spacious, organized, fully stocked, beautifully illuminated and welcoming.

This gorgeous classroom space is a delight. The walls are adorned with beads and there is a view into the shop. That far wall beyond me (above) is strictly pearls in a range of sizes and shapes as well as an array of colors. Marianne and Jessica provide knowledgeable and friendly customer service and design and/or teach for the store. These pictures are courtesy of Jessica (she is seated at the end of the table, in the middle of the pearls above). You know how sometimes I get so excited or into the moment or flat out busy to take some pictures myself? Well, I came away without a single snap!
We broke up the day into two 3-hour workshops. Many of Beads Mosaic beaders can fit a quickie workshop into their Saturday but, few had the entire day to devote to beading. The morning was spent making Fireflies at Midnight necklace. I had a couple newbies...one fessed right up right away and received, I hope, special attention, as circumstances provided. The other hid it until the end. A real trooper and must have beaders' dna...she was quite successful also.
Jessica sent this shot of Sherry's finished Fireflies at Midnight and the new one she has started. Fabulous. Makes my heart sing. Look at her go! Right this moment I am wearing 3 at once, staggered lengths plus one wound 'round my wrist.

Beads Mosaic provided a catered lunch of sandwiches, salad and cookies. What a treat.
Our afternoon workshop was Raku and Rivoli Bracelet. I'll be teaching this class at Bead & Button Show Friday June 10. If I can weight out the beads in time, I'll sell a kit of this bracelet at Meet the Teachers event at the Show. It is a friendly and quick discovery of Polygon stitch. The bezel is based on polygon and is as beautiful from the back as the front.
Store owner Renu also owns the Innovative Beads Expo. She asked me to join the shows on July 9 in Edison NJ, November 18-20 in Edison NJ, and December 2-4 in Fishkill. We will hash out the details but I will be there to provide a bonus for attendees. I'll keep you posted when I know...it might be any combination of demo, lecture, booksigning, quickie class, slide show...fun to bounce around the ideas in the back of our heads.
Guess I get to bead with some of these same beaders again. Some were signing up already for Twilight in Savannah, the workshop scheduled for July 10. Its a Sunday and the store is usually closed. Does this mean it is private shopping? Sounds enticing.
And on August 6, a Saturday, I'll teach A Bevy of Bezels. These are textured bezels that are almost more beautiful from behind than from the front. And they work up delightfully quickly. We completed one as just a portion of the 3 hour Raku and Rivoli Workshop. Marianne told me they will lay in a supply of special rivolis and crystal stones forthe occasion.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Tulip size13 beading needles

Anne is crossing two size 13 Tulip beading needles in a size 15 seed bead while beading her Beaded Chain for Beaded Bead. Can you imagine? Crossing 2 size 13 needles in a size 15 Japanese seed bead? Wow. That's amazing.

Inventory is on its way from Japan so I hope bead stores will start calling me or emailing me carolcypher@gmail.com.

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Bella Beads in Center Harbor NH

Saturday's workshop at Bella Beads was Elements of Beadwork. Each beader brought or purchased in the store, a focal bead and an assortment of seed beads inspired by its colors and finish. Each of several beadwork techniques taught, were learned by beading up samplers that will double as beaded beads in the finished strung compositions. They were lovely but...did I remember to take pictures? Sorry. I just get so caught up in the moment, that sometimes, I forget. "Bead head", Anne calls me!

Sunday morning, Bella Beads owner, Sue (above), opened the store a little early so students could shop for beads before we start our day of 2 half-day long workshops: Drop Bead Bangle and Undulating Beaded Bead on Bead Chain.

Suzanne had this blissful smile on her lovely face all weekend long. I told her she is like the Dalai Lama, in this way. Next thing I knew, everyone broke into " Hello Dolly" at full steam. It was great. And later, I cannot recall the precipitating factor, we all broke into Zippity-Do-Dah. It was great. And like the singing wasn't festive enough...
it just happened to be beader Nancy's birthday.

Her sister, (whose last name was Cypher, which caused Sue to jump to all kinds of conclusions) called to arrange a celebration for Nancy during the workshop! She bought her an inscribed copy of MASTERING BEADWORK, a gift certificate for Bella Beads and sundaes for everyone (delivered from Dewey's Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe.).

Preferring these fabulous sage green speckled with bronze Czech beads to drop beads or daggers, Jan opted to make hers using these tongue or petal shaped beads. To allow them to work in this project, I suggested she use size 6 seed beads and, allowing that her bead selection prevented it being a roll-on, we added a ball and socket closure. Jan and her husband Paul own Hearthstone Bed and Breakfast just around the corner and up the hill from Bella Beads. Sue arranged for me to stay there Saturday night. Among all the exceptional amenities, they provided wifi and a roaring fire in the fireplace in a comfy lounge. I'd have been thrilled to blog to you from there if I had remembered to take a couple photos to share.

Teaching this new-improved technique of undulating peyote is a delight. Everyone, even new beaders "get" it, right away! And it looks so lovely as a beaded bead in the beaded chain.

Next month it is THIS new way that I will teach for the beaded section of the Hand Felted Bangle with Beaded Bead in the Bead & Button Show. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 9, 2011

Youtube videos pertinent to previous posts, enjoy!

This is the link to a Tim Tam explosion video on youtube. I neglected to read this comment by Laura to the post I made about my adventures in Australia..including hearing about TTEs.

This is a link to a video on youtube of an auction of the cats of Catskill, in 2007 but, fascinating.

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Port Ewen Tug Boat Project

Several Hudson River Valley villages have decorated their Main St/Broadway with statues: Catskill featured cats, Hudson had dogs and Saugerties had horses and I hear recently will have lighthouses. This summer, my fair city, Port Ewen, has joined in this festive celebration of their town and their artists.
My understanding is that the Bruderhoff provided the fiberglass(?) tugboats. Local artist Claudia Engel took on the thankless task of finding other area artists and volunteers to decorate them. I am not sure if they will be auctioned off in the end as other villages have done.
When Claudia asked me, I could't say no. Sure, I knew I'd be in Australia teaching for 3 weeks, then off to Massachusettes, need to prep for the Bead & Button Show and take on distributorship of Tulip Co. needles but, IF YA WANT SOMETHING DONE, ask a busy person!
When I agreed to take this on, I imagined felting and beading my tugboat. For weeks I ruminated about how I'd do this. Always though, those instructions I had regarding sealing the finished work really had me stymied. Hmmm, sealing felt. And the bubbly style of felt I had in mind really made it daunting. Then last week when I inquired, I was told they needed it by this Wednesday! Yipes! Not sufficient time to produce the necessary yardage of bubbly felt.
So I drove to New Paltz seeking the advice of art supply guru, Johnny Bridges. You may recall the posts featuring his show Ropes Reconfigured. I found him easily, no secret, at Rhinebeck Artists' Shopwhere he "hooked me up" with all the appropriate supplies to paint (and only slightly, bead) my tugboat.
For a few days she ( my boat) was my consuming passion, overtaking beads and felt. Imagine. Here she is:

The hull is silver on the port side and gold on the starboard side. And the topside is, as one non-beader summed up the Bead and Button Show, "whats with the dots?". Honestly, what beader among us doesn't love dots?

So, in a couple hours my pal Joe will help me deliver it to town hall. It is done and it was fun. And I did manage a few beads. Do you see them outlining a few of the dots?

It will be clear coated and installed later this week, in time for the Memorial Day parade.

PS...Cynthia Rutledge was teaching this past weekend for the Dallas Bead Society. A flurry of requests have been fulfilled for Tulip Co. beading needles from beaders obviously attending her workshop. My website continues to offer them 3 packages $15, shipping included, while my supply lasts, as I await my first delivery of needles and awls and beading crochet hooks as distributor. Soon, in my dreams, I'll supply them to your local bead stores, everywhere, to have in stock whenever and wherever you need them. Live the dream.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tonight I became distributor of Tulip beading needles

Here is how it came about: I was introduced to Mr. Harada, owner of Tulip Co., a needle manufacturing company, when I taught for the first time in Japan. He later sponsored the book I wrote about feltmaking for the Japanese craft market published by Patchwork Tsushin Ltd. (His company also manufactures felt needles and supplies.) When the book was published (in Japanese, translated by Motoko Natsubori) Tulip Co invited me for book signing and demonstrations at their booth at the Great International Quilt Show the next January. Then in June, fresh from the Bead & Button Show, I joined them for their first exhibit at TNNA in Columbus Ohio, to meet potential distributors for their line of fine quilting needles, crochet hooks, knitting needles and needle felting supplies. I developed friendships with a couple of the executive women in Mr. Harada's company. I love that women hold key roles in Tulip Co.
Tulip is known for their fine quality quilt needles. When we discussed their beading needles, they asked me to answer questions and correspond with their product development people. Long story short. Uh, too late???? I wrote to Tulip that we "want flexible needles that will bend into and through tight spaces and beads that are spaced so perfectly close to each other. Needles that are flexible and springy." This means that they would not become S-shaped with use, they would return to straight.
Those correspondences happened last June during Bead and Button Show, on wifi in the hotel lobby. In December they sent me the first needles produced in response to these specs. They are indeed flexible and springy. The eye is easy to thread. The tip is rounded slightly to slide easily into beads while preventing splitting the thread. I have used only size 11 and these are what I bought up before flying home this January so I could share them with U.S. Beaders. They are a comfortable length. They fit readily into size 15 seed beads. In a couple months of offering them to my students and on my website, at $5 per package of 4, I have very few left. Every week I receive phone calls or email testimonials. Beaders report longevity with a single needle. That their needle remains quite straight, despite their experience of beading with curved needles after just a short while with any other needle. That the needle threads easily. That they experience less hand fatigue. That the beading experience is smoother. It gives me goosebumps to read the glowing assessment of Tulip beading needles.
The size 13 is most amazing. The eye accomodates 10# fireline AND passes through a size 15 Japanese seed bead 5 times. When I told of this on the phone the other day, it felt like a lie, although I did this several times when showing them to beaders at the Great International Quilt Show in Tokyo in January. It kept me awake that night. I came to the studio, threaded one OF THE TWO size 13 needles i have, with 10# fireline and passed through a sizs 15 seed bead 5 times! Yup. It is true.

In addition to the size 11 beading needles I brought from Japan, I'll distribute their fabulous awl

...If you can't tease the knot open with this then put your beads away!

And of couse all the sizes of beading needles: 10 in long and un sharp, 11, and 13 plus a set of tapestry needles and loom beading needles.
Oh, did I mention their felting needles? Nickel plated, smooth and downright luxurious.
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday Felt Jewelry Components

Genevieve arranged for us to hold the Felted Jewelry Components workshop in the gorgeous and spacious Corinthian Hall across the street from the Bead Gallery. It is a remarkable space generally retained for weddings and formal and elegant occasions.
There were 17 students and so much material to cover ... forgive me that I completely forgot to take pictures until people were packing up and leaving.

I asked the remaining felters to place some of their fresh felt on one table so I could take pictures. Most everyone worked up at least two techniques. Once they were confident about what to do, and that they could finish outside of class, they set that project aside and started another, maximizing our precious time together. A few people made thick flat felt to cut and shape into components like the one below I made of my felt, Nancy Tobey's
borosilicate glass swirls and Gary Wilson's carved gemstone pinecones. Jamie incorporated dense motifs into her flat felt that she can sculpt into relief.

The cuff bracelets, beads, ring bands and felt above are Robin's.

Sharon's cuffs had flaps and folds. She has tied her bangles to dry in a twisted shape.

Kathy is working on multiple flowers and beads.

Reisa made a long, perfectly even and gorgeous rope to cut into lengths for a multi-strand necklace. She used some of the sari silk ribbon that Stacey brought for surface design.

Claudia made a very long and uniform cane to cut into beads and still retain a long piece for a project she is still thinking about.

Hmm, the white and blue rope is Kathy's, inspired by a set of polymer beads she had with her. The beads and cuffs???, not so sure now who they belong to. Sorry.

Kathleen made a felt lariat around chain, liking the hand of the lariat examples I brought along that are weighted.

This could be Dionne's work.
They learned tons in such a brief time and the group dynamic couldn't be beat. It was a friendly, productive, serious yet lighthearted group of beaders here and I had a great time.
When I return in Autumn we'll have another day of feltmaking. Hope you can make it.

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Bead Gallery Saturday...even though Sunday posting is already here.

Our project for the day is Twisting, Twirling Trillium Lariat. The beaded beads that terminate the lariat are a great stand alone bead and I use them as such in other projects like this one:

But today the project is to work off the initial round of the trillium beaded bead to begin the lariat; first with herringbone, then transition into a winding stiff tubular peyote using two different sizes and numbers of beads in each round, and then back to herringbone or an embellished polygon rope that twirls.

In this spacious banquet venue we look like an impromptu sweat shop: beaders bent over the beads, task lamps aglow, stitching away. On Sunday, this same space positively vibrated with the collective energy generated by this group of jazzed and artistic felters.
It just never gets tired for me. I love that both beadwork and feltmaking are about building wearable compositions by combining tiny fibers or beads in both a painterly and a sculptural way. And I love the ways that they couldn't be more different. It is thrilling to turn beadworkers onto feltmaking. How lucky am I. And always, regardless of where I teach, I am always with my peeps, always at home in so many ways.

Many of these beaders are familiar to you because I share them with you every 6 months, when I return to Bead Gallery. Surely you recall Claudia, here seen captivated by the corkscrew beadwork she generated. With the completion of each "bump", she was propelled into wanting to make just one more, one more, one more. Claudia took all 5 workshops this weekend. AND she baked scones for us on Friday, sable shorbread cookies on Saturday and lemon bars on Sunday. AND she wined and dined Genevieve and I Saturday night. Yum. Gyoza: she prefectly pleated little dumplings stuffed with veggies and shrimp. Beef, Shiitake and Bok Choy in a delicate sauce. For dessert, sexy little cupcakes with exotic names and ingredients that included caramel, stout, chocolate, lemon, berries, chai, pecans or were they pralines?... Melrose enjoys much ado about cupcakes. I think Craig said there are 3 shops that specialize in cupcakes alone! Apparently they are THE item for weddings and any meal or event meant to be special.

Genevieve sat in with us the entire day but chose to make a necklace solely of the swirling polygon. To capture just the right amount of swirl, we had to finesse the bead choices for embellishing. She was intent on completing its full length so she would need only to add the findings afterwards. She succeeded.
Which reminds me, Claudia has sweet names for beady things we can all relate to. For example, her box of UFOs, unfinished objects, and who among us doesn't have a boatload?, she calls her "box of shame". And she's been attending Genevieve's Wednesday evening classes at Bead Gallery when she can, wanting to finish items from her box rather than learning a new technique or starting a new project. So, about this she said she longed for a "Festival of Finishing". Genevieve told her right on the spot that she is appropriating that name for a new twice-a-year event she will hold in that gorgeous Corinthian Hall. At this formative stage, here's what she's thinking: an entire Saturday or Sunday will be devoted to finishing as many pieces as possible; folks will bring a delish pot luck to share and their unfinished projects. For her part, Genevieve will remind each beader of the stitch or lesson to complete it and everyone will benefit by the abundance of information and of course togetherness with all these fabulous dames.
I just might have to mention this to Sylvia and Cathy (Sisters Originals) and Pat and maybe dedicate one day of one of our Bead Blast weekends into a "Fiesta of Finishing" (borrowing from Claudia and Genevieve)...where all the beaders will bring unfinished items, perhaps kits or classes they have purchased from and one of us, and we will mentor the beader through finishing it! Sounds teriffic. Goosebumps. Just a thought. Will keep you posted.