Saturday, August 27, 2011

Golden Dragonfly

I made this dragonfly with 24K gold wings from a Good Quill Hunting pattern.  Christina has amazing patterns and kits for a variety of stitches.  If you don't weave but bead embroider, go to her site to get inspired.  The mix of beads, stones, colors, and stitches takes my breath away.  She has some free patterns and tutorials as well as an amazing list of links and resources.  Click here for Christina's blog, also full of gorgeousness and info.  My dragonfly cuff is coveted by my friends, co-workers, and students.  And you can see why:
look at all those shades of gold in the wings!
add a little sunshine and it glows
a little closer
the beads on the wings shift colors in the light - she really appears to fly on your wrist
I love the bright blue eyes
Finished with vintage glass buttons and peyote loops
I messed around with each end of the pattern a little bit so that the bands of color would meet up at the closure.  The idea didn't dawn on me until I was finishing so I didn't get it quite even, but I like the result.  I also tapered the corners to avoid them getting dog-earred with wearing.  The sweet little clover buttons are vintage pressed black glass with facets and heavy brass shanks.  I found them at an antique shop here in Q'town which specializes in vintage clothing.  They measure about 8mm across.  This cuff is about 2 1/8" wide. 

On Christina's web site she recommends Joan Painter of Painter's Art Beads as a source for small quantities of Delica beads.  I followed this advice and managed to get the quantities I needed down to 1 gram of this and 1 gram of that.  Joan carries just about every Delica number under the sun.  I saved a bunch of money on beads for this bracelet, but went a little crazy ordering beads that I had not been able to find elsewhere!  Joan takes her orders via email.  Send her a message with your order and she charges you for the actual shipping cost.  She is great!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Introducing Melissa Muir

It is Bead Soup Party time again!  This BSP my partner is the talented artist Melissa Muir of Kelsi's Closet Jewelbox.  Melissa lives just 45 minutes from where I lived in Cleveland, Ohio.  In fact, when I was visiting my parents this summer, I drove past the freeway exit I could take to her house a couple of times.  If we had met then I would have been there in a flash because she teaches metal and wire work classes.  She really does it all - riviting, sawing, wrapping, etching, forming, forging, stone name it and she does it and teaches it!  If you want to know anything about tools, check out the Tool Time Tuesday feature on her blog.  She also features jewelry and bead artists on Fridays.  Here is a tiny sampling of her jewelry.
  (all photos from Melissa's blog).
Melissa has an on-line shop Kelsi's Closet Jewelbox.  This link will take you to the shop and class schedule.

For all things Bead Soup, follow this link to find our hostess Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party page.  You will find a list of participants, dates, and answers to any BSP questions you might have.

Bead Soup Blog Party

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birds, birds, birds

Just last night my husband and I were talking about crows. If you are new to the blog or if you missed it, my husband is a native Spanish speaker and I am a high school Spanish teacher.  We live 18 miles from the middle of nowhere.  This is a place crows love.  Between the crops in the fields and the roadkill on the country highways, it is a crow buffet.

 One thing we discovered was that in English we use the term scarecrow, but in Spanish the broader term espantapájaros translates to scare birds. We do seem to be fixated on the crows. This morning my mom sent me a link to a TED Talk video about the Smart Bird. In searching for more info about that, I found this video about crows and our relationship to them. Some of you may have seen a video of Betty the crow making her own tools, but that is actually not what this is all about. Watch to the end to see the crow vending machine.

Festo has produced all sorts of robotic creatures using biomimicry .  Click to check out their Bionic Learning Network.  I know you want to see the robotic jelly fish, ray, and penguin!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet Me in St Louis

If you are in St. Louis on Friday night, you can go hang out with Kate McKinnon at The Bead Place.  She is bringing her beads and her black velvet lined bead tray to The Bead Place for some fun in the evening.  Check out her blog for details.  This is not a workshop, just beaders hanging out and having fun.  If it weren't for the 825 mile drive to get to St. Louis, I'd be there in a heartbeat.  Go to Kate's blog and take a look at the details.  She welcomes email if you have any questions about it.

Next, go view some groovy beadwork Kate and Dustin Wedekind have been doing for their upcoming book Geometrics (on facebbok) Geometrics (the website), go take a look. These pieces are awesome.
Also check out Kate's posts during the Seed Bead Summit back in May and you will see how the idea for this book came about.  You'll also get to see Marcia DeCoster, Teresa Sullivan, and Jean Power at work with Kate and Dustin. It was pretty amazing to read these posts as they came out and get a peek at the birth of the book.