Monday, October 31, 2011

Penny candy - Happy Halloween

up close

on the move
I made this over the summer with a couple of strands of Michael's glass beads, vitrail lentils, some orphans, and some very inexpensive chain and findings.  It makes a great sound when I wear it.


Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why did the whachamacallit cross the road?

finally a good use for dog hair - a corgi hair provides scale to the right of the whachamacallit
I saw this creature in the middle of the road while walking the dogs on Saturday morning.  It was about two inches long and sporting some pretty cool racing stripes.  You can click on any of the photo to view them larger.
coming or going?
whachamacallit was on the northbound (right) side of the road
I live on this beautiful divided boulevard which is planted with live oaks, camellias, azaleas, and a vast dying array of dogwoods.  These live oaks are enormous.  That is a fairly tall street light in front of it and the bushes behind the tree are about 12 ft. tall.  The photo above shows the low spot in the road.  An animal path runs from the woods behind the houses on the left (unseen) into the swampy woods on the right.  Crossing the road in this spot during the early morning and night, we see fox, coyote, and armadillo (who don't really cross, but just bumble about near the edges of the grass eating bugs).  My neighbor swears she has seen a Florida panther cross.  We do have bobcat, but she believes it was a panther.  Yesterday she told me she bought an infrared camera.  I'm looking forward to getting a glimpse of what is lurking at night!

studio waterstone

Take a look at what everyone else is viewing up-close.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A very late Camelot Cross

my Camelot Cross
The fabulous Karyn of Releases by Rufydoof  put together the Beading Babes group and the first project was Carol Ohl's Camelot Cross bracelet from the Feb/March 2011 Beadwork.  Although I has this piece done within a week of the pattern selection, too much work and more work got in the middle and I didn't manage to get out my camera until last weekend.  ¡Así es la vida!  Finally I am sharing.
For more Babe beadweaving, check out the picures on Karyn's Facebook page.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Couvige de Marie Noel

Here is a RAW cuff that I just can't get right.  I made all but the final rounds within the individual openings.  I wasn't happy with the form I was getting - not curvy enough along the edges.  So I will try again with a different set of 11/0's and 15/0s.  I found the pattern here - it is from Marie Noel/MarieCyber, but it is no longer available.  You would need to search for Couvige in the Histoire de perles.
gorgeous curves in imitation of lace
I think it is better in one color and I need to nudge some of those beads into place...
and I'm going to try inserting some of the final embellishments to see if that puts more curve into my piece.  I remember another version I saw at Perlicoti:

And above here is another Couvige by Pascale G-M.  She has filled every opening with the embellishment. I love the color of these beads.  Does anyone know what they might be?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A little productivity

Last weekend I drove down to Tallahassee to take a beginning metals class at the Florida Society of Goldsmiths  Northwest chapter.  They are currently offering a series of three metals workshops and will repeat these again in the spring.  Of course I didn't even bring my camera - what was I thinking?  But even if I had, I was a little too busy from 10 AM until 7 PM when I left to actually stop and take a photo.  Suzi Kamin was the instructor and I'm looking forward to the next two classes in the series when I will bring my camera.
squashed dimes, copper, argentium silver, and Czech glass
I made a textured copper bracelet, a pair of brass earrings, a pair of squashed dime earrings, and a silver band.  The focus of the class was learning about the studio equipment, basic sawing, soldering, texturing, dapping, and forming.  I left the fire scale on the copper above because I torched balls at both ends of the wire and wrapped them in about two minutes before the end of the class.  Next month is riveting and I have been collecting items that I might use.
there I am in my gold wedding band, above which is the textured silver band  I made
I had to do some superduper obscuring via Picnik because I didn't want to scare any reader with how frightening my hands appear on super macro.  I can see that my gold band is showing its years of wear.  I actually made the band to wear on another finger, but really liked how it looked with my wedding band and a tiny titanium band.  I'm hopping that I will keep learning and look back at this photo and be amazed at how rough and crude the ring appears!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kate McKinnon's Groovy Cuff

Kate McKinnon's Groovy cuff
I picked up the beads for this cuff over the summer at The Isle of Beads. Normally I'm not drawn to grey, but when I saw these I instantly grabbed a hank of the gold and knew what I wanted to make - The Groovy Cuff. None of the photos really show off the how pretty the grey-blue seeds beads are.  The color combination really reminded me of something my great-grandmother Mildred would have appreciated. The top layer is made with pale blue-gray lined clear 11/0's and black diamond 15/0's.  The wider bottom layer is matte metallic antique gold 11/0's and the same black diamond 15/0's.  I really learned right angle weave working on this.  Once I got into the rhythm it was pretty easy to keep stitching and stitching.

This is the piece that was in the December 2009 Beadwork as The Modern Art Cuff (also on the cover of  the Favorite Stitches edition).  I think I like the brighter, more whimsical colors of the magazine pieces a little better, but these colors are sort of the opposite and are definitely understated and easy to wear. As soon as I finished stitching I wanted to put it on and I found this sari silk ribbon shimmering all pink and gold so I never got around to making a proper clasp.  I love the big bow which does not actually sit on top, but flops over the middle just as a regular clap would.  

I have also been searching for some glass sequins with which to embellish this piece, but haven't found any I liked.  All that I've run across are just too plasticy.  Of course that doesn't mean much because I have very few places to look.  At some point this weekend I'm headed to Havana, Florida (just north west of Tallahassee) to a little bead show.  Maybe luck will be with me.  Do you have any good sources for glass or other good quality sequins or metal discs?
click on collage to enlarge

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ode to Puca

stack o'bangles
If you follow just about any European bead stitching blog, then you have seen these bangles derived from a pattern by Puca at Les Perles de Puca.  Actually, I found details about how they are assembled at the French bead forum Histoire de Perles.  They are also very similar to Sabine Lippert's A Square and His Friends pattern.  [Her English language book will be realeased in May 2012 by Lark!].  These bangles and Cynthia Rutledge's Honeycomb Bangles seem to be in every French or Italian blog.  I'm not usually into so many crystals, but I was drawn to these bangles particulary since I could stitch each with just Delicas, 11/0 seed beads, and some 4mm bicones.
three different colors of Delicas

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lynn Davy's Cuff & My Earrings

It isn't that I haven't been creating, it is that I wasn't taking pictures and blogging about it.  A few days ago I put a load of finished pieces in front of the camera in order to get ready for some serious posting.  

This summer when I was in Cleveland I picked up the February/March 2010 Beadwork.  I had somehow missed this edition between buying from the newstand and subscribing and of course every time I saw a piece I really wanted to make it was from that issue!  Between getting a pedicure with my BFF of 29 years (that final F really is forever!) and my goddaughter, who is now the same age that her mom and I were when we met, and having lunch at a Turkish restaurant with my mom and auntie, I stopped by The Isle of Beads.  This was the bead store where I first bought beads and stared at the containers of seed beads and wondered who was crazy enough to spend time trying to use those tiny things.  I spent quite a long time chatting with Denise Newman, the owner, about the difficulty of owning a bricks and mortar store today.  What I didn't realize was that she had just opened her store about the time I stepped into the world of stringing.  Twenty years later there I was drooling over drawers of gorgeous hanks of Czech  11/0's.  She also had one copy of that elusive issue of Beadwork.  

the cuff - my first brick stitch work - a few tension issues
I took awhile for me to find all the different beads I needed and still I had to make two color substitutions, but I finally amassed the sizes I wanted.  I love Lynn Davy's Pendragon Cuff.  This was my first brick stitch project and it includes six different sizes and shapes of beads.  The triangles were fun to work with, but I wish they had turned out to be as light as they were pictured on the website when I bought them (big problem for me - no bricks and mortar stores within a two hour drive!).  Next I wanted some earrings to go with the cuff.  I mixed peyote and herringbone, Delicas, 15/0's, and silver wire and came up with the pair pictured.  I've worn them a few times and gotten raves, as well as, "you are going to have to teach me how to do that."
little tribal shields to compliment the Pendragon cuff
They are a double layer of beading which is connected at the tip by a drop bead.  I need to explore this shape a bit more so that I can devise a way of attaching the earwire without stitching it to the beading directly.  Do you have any suggestions for this?

a hint of things to come