Sunday, May 31, 2009

Work in Progress on Lisa Peters' Cabochon

The subtitle for this post should be "beadwoven carcasses." Because that's what I've created. Two of them. Two dead little bits of beadweaving that will be deconstructed.

I don't often deconstruct, but I just wasn't happy with what I was getting; and when you're working with something as gorgeous as this cabochon sent to me by Lisa Peters, you just can't accept something less than perfect! I'm a perfectionist anyway (just ask any of my former coworkers), but I usually have a better idea of how I'm going to do something before I start.

I have to admit that I was a bit stymied by the shape of this cab. Why, you ask? What could be easier than a hexagon? Ha. That's what I thought. It's a geometric shape, after all, and I'm a big fan of geometry. Adding the beadweaving around it? That proved to be a whole different animal.

Not to be outdone by a simple piece of geometrically-shaped clay, however, I kept at it. And here's where I am now. Happy with the direction, and busily beadweaving away because this has to go to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee on Thursday night! At least I know what I'm doing with the rest of it (that part hasn't changed).

I'm so excited about being able to attend the show, and I'm even more excited and thankful to Lisa for sending me two of her cabochons so I could make something for her to display in her booth (#1213, in case you're attending). My work will be there beside the incredible pieces created by Carol Dean Sharpe (who you may know as SandFibers). Although I'm racing against time now to get this piece finished, I have to say I was happy to see that Carol Dean finished hers so I could make sure not to create something similar. We have pretty similar styles and tastes (we're cosmic sisters, don't you know), but we're also unique. Trust me on that. Unique. (And for those grammarians out there, you'll be happy to see that I didn't say "very unique." hehe.)

You can visit Carol Dean's blog to read more about her pieces, but I just have to show them off here:

Okay, back to beadweaving! I still have a lot to do before Thursday night. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief that I figured out a way to conquer the hexagon and create something I like. :-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bracelets Bracelets Bracelets

I love making them. I love coming up with new designs. I love going through all my beads to figure out just which ones I want to use with the designs. It amazes even me when I see just how different pieces can look when executed in different colorways. And that means there are endless possibilities.

Case in point... A wonderful Etsy customer of mine saw the listing for The Cream in My Coffee, and she sent me a request for the same design done in completely different colors.

So this version... pretty enough in black and offwhite...

morphed into this gorgeous piece, Silver Waves in a Deep Blue Sea. It's hard to believe they're even the same design. And I freely admit that it never would have occurred to me to mix the silver-lined turquoise and silver-lined zircon blue beads for the "deep blue sea" and then offset those with the galvanized silver "waves."

Some other examples of just how different designs can look (these are all my original designs, by the way - sometimes I come up with the colors, sometimes they're special requests - they're always fun!):

On the left, my original version called Retro Pods. On the right, the custom version called Circus Pods.

Or how about these? These are all versions of the same design (Vines). The first one I made is in the upper left corner and is just called Little Vine. I used a dark olive green for the background and made the vines and leaves in cream. Later iterations, Violet Vine, Bittersweet Vine, and Caribbean Vine, all came from my imagination. The newest version, which I named Precious Metals Vine, was created as a custom order. The request was for me to use silver-lined gold and silver-lined crystal beads, something I probably would have never thought of doing with this particular design, and the result is sooooo elegant looking!

I realized after I put together that little assemblage that there's actually another version, but I'm too lazy to go back and redo the mosaic. It's called Copper Vine, but you'll have to check out the listing to see it! :-)

One of my newest designs, Ripples, has only been done in one set of colors so far - RED! Lots and lots and lots of red. Just looking at this piece, I'm sure any readers of this blog know there will be more versions later.

Any suggestions? It's fun to see what colors everyone suggests! One of my favorite pieces, the one I now use as my avatar (Bois Peint) was created because one of my Bead Art Originals friends suggested that my Faux Bois design would look psychadelic if done in multiple colors. Boy, was she right!!!

Now it's time to stop typing and get back to beading. I'm on a deadline!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame

I've been doing the happy dance for a couple of weeks now. (Only in the privacy of my own home, though, because my dancing scares people.)

One of my peyote bracelet designs was published in the June/July 2009 issue of Beadwork magazine!!! I submitted several different animal prints to one of the other magazines published by Interweave, and although they were initially considering all of them they ultimately just chose the lime green, dark red, and cream version of my leopard design. It's so cool to see it in print. My very first publication. I've been asked to submit a couple more designs, but I have no idea when I'll get them finished or when they'll be published.

The bracelet that was featured in the magazine is now listed in my Etsy shop. The editors of the magazine gave it such a cool name I decided to keep it -- Limelight Leopard.

The pattern published in the magazine article is the one shown in this version of the bracelet, but they've also published the other two versions I submitted to them (one in "natural" leopard colors and one in plum, red, and cream) are available as free patterns for anyone to download from the website.

While I'm writing about my 15 minutes of fame, I also have to send a big thank you to Lori Ward. She used my Crossword Puzzle beadwoven cuff in the May 21 Get Crafty Crossword Puzzle post!! Lori's from North Carolina (coincidentally, where I'll be living sometime in the near future), and she has a shop called Risky Beads on Artfire as well as a shop on Etsy with a similar name, riskybeads. I love her sense of humor... the fact that her banner touts "Accessories with Issues" just cracks me up. When you get to her Etsy shop, be sure to read her shop announcement for another chuckle.

Lori's creations are extremely varied, and I had as much fun reading her descriptions as I did ogling all her pictures.

Don't you just love creative people?!?

And don't you just love this bracelet, aptly named Three Bean Salad? What a hoot.

Okay, it's time to go do something productive. There is laundry to be done, boxes to be packed, and beadweaving to be beadwoven. Probably not in that order. hee hee.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Busy busy busy!!!

Another week gone - POOF! I intended to write a blog post earlier in the week, but time slipped away again. It seems that's always the way, doesn't it? My reason (excuse) is that it's been a very busy week -- getting ready for our move later in the summer, packing boxes, clearing out a room so we could have new carpet installed (the offwhite carpet we had just didn't look good enough to attract those elusive home buyers we're hoping to lure in), and doing a bunch of custom orders.

First off, I'd like to send a big THANK YOU out to an Etsy seller, marieflyfly, who included my Verdigris necklace in a beautiful treasury last Friday. The treasury made it to the front page, but Verdigris was only there for about ten minutes before it sold!! Yay!! I don't have a picture of the front page, but you can see just how beautiful the treasury was.

Of course, Marie didn't include anything of her own in her treasury, but this lovely rusty blue necklace would have fit perfectly. Isn't her photograph stunning?! She has some of the most striking pictures in her shop that it's like looking through a little art gallery.

Next I want to show you one of my newest peyote cuffs. This one was created at the request of a wonderful Etsy customer who asked me if I could make a green version of the Foxxy Cleopatra cuff.

Here's the Foxxy Cleopatra version:

And here's the green version, which I named Satine (after Nicole Kidman's character in Moulin Rouge). The request was for all the beads to have an ab finish. I chose to use matte dark emerald, transparent emerald, opaque lime green, and crystal clear for the bead colors; and I love the way they contrast and complement each other. It's on its way to the customer, so I hope she likes it!

One more piece to show off here. I just listed the Bubblegum and Black Licorice necklace this morning (even though I made it more than a month ago!). Don't you just love these colors together?

Now... Back to work! Packing. Moving furniture back into the living room. More furniture to the garage. Working on custom orders when I need a break from moving. And. Well. Just because I'd rather be beading than packing and doing all that other stuff!


Friday, May 08, 2009

Inspired by Bead Artists

I don't make beads or cabochons myself, so I am completely in awe of the people who do. I have ideas for beads, but as is always the case there's just not enough time to execute all the ideas I have. So I satisfy myself by finding extraordinary beads created by bead artists, and then I try to do them justice in my beadwoven creations.

Two artists whose work I really admire are Dee Wilder (Malodora) and Lisa Peters (LisaPetersArt). I drool over their new pieces every time I see them on flickr or on Etsy, and despite the fact that I DO NOT NEED another bead, I can't resist adding to my collection. Not that they're the only artists whose beads I love, but theirs are the beads and cabs I've used most recently.

I finished and listed Kalliope a little more than a week ago using one of Dee's Natasha beads as the focal. The bead has shades of dark teal, pale mint green, a tiny bit of purple, and black; so I made four ndebele ropes using those colors and braided them (thanks to my grandfather for teaching me to four-braid) to create this asymmetrical necklace.

Just last night I finished a necklace, very different than anything I've created before, using one of Lisa Peters' gorgeous raku cabochons. Lisa's going to be exhibiting at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee at the end of this month (booth 1213), and she sent me two cabs so I could make something for her to use at the show to demonstrate how her pieces can be used. This is the first one I've completed, so now I'm under the gun to make something with the second cab. (At least I have an idea for what I'm going to do, even though I haven't picked up a bead yet!)

This piece (which is called Cybele, the name of the Phrygian goddess of fertility and nature, later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans) was great fun for me. I started out with a very different idea, but then I kept looking at the cab and seeing the earthy colors in it, so I decided to use some of the many pieces of driftwood I've collected from my walks on the Lake Michigan shores. (And my husband's happy that I'm finally using some of it.) I added a few coats of clear acrylic to seal the driftwood and make it shiny, and the addition of the acrylic brought out more of the wood's colors so it wound up matching the cab even more. I had the perfect bunch of beads to use -- metallic lined delicas in shades of olive and gold. Then it was just figuring out how to put it all together. I didn't want any one aspect to overpower, so I used varying widths of peyote strips to hold it all together. The back of the cab is covered with a piece of really soft brown leather.

I actually get to go to the B&B show this year, so I'll get to see how Lisa exhibits this. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be walking away from her booth with a melted credit card and a really heavy box...

You can see more pictures of this piece in my flickr photostream. And you can see more of Lisa's work in her photostream.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Playing Catchup

Nope, not playing WITH catsup. or ketchup. Playing catchup. You see, I have a "system," whereby I create new work, take pictures, list items in my Etsy shop, upload pictures to my flickr photostream, and then blog about my new stuff. Then I move the files around on my computer, and voila - I'm done. Sounds like a good system, eh? It is, when I keep up with it. When I don't keep up with it, I have to play catchup. So here I am.

It's been busy around here lately, so that's my excuse... I've had some custom orders that needed to be finished (hooray!!), getting ready for new carpet in the living room (which means moving furniture and all sorts of other fun stuff), packing for the upcoming move (July?), listing stuff on craigslist (and dealing with some rather flaky people who don't bother to show up when they say they will), taking a bunch of stuff to the Salvation Army, trying to get ahead of the weeds in the yard, and about a bazillion other things. As always, I'd just like to request some more hours in every day. :-)

The Luscious Lavender and Pearl custom oglala necklace was finished and sent to its new owner. I don't know if she's received it yet (maybe today), but I love the way this turned out. She asked for it to be fuller than is usual, so this wound up being an incredibly lush piece.

I made a black/white/silver version of Maelstrom. I think this is my favorite one, although the purple and orange versions are cool too. I think there's going to be a multicolor version in the near future...

I also made an ultra-wide (2") version of Bright Right Triangles, this one using gorgeous grape-colored lined delicas and ab finish crystal delicas. It's much prettier in person (it was also a custom order, and I don't know if the customer has it yet). I HATE photographing purple!!!

I've been working (playing, really) on some new designs, too. I was really happy with "Pods," and I'm sure there will be more versions of that one; but I'm also pretty happy with this one called Playing with Blocks. This version is all done in blues and greens, with a little yellow thrown in for some pop, but I'm anxious to see how it'll look in other colors. I love geometric designs, and lots of my doodles look like this -- overlapping blocks.

The other new design was modeled after part of a pattern I saw on a piece of fabric (part of the fabric stash I'm packing away in boxes to prepare for the move). This one, which I named Bends and Bubbles has a really retro look, so I decided that the first version of it would be in retro colors. I used all silver-lined frost beads in gorgeous shades of red, purple, aqua, and white. I LOVE the way this shimmers!

Part of me wants to make a version of this using white, yellow, and reddish-brown... No matter how many times I look at it and see "retro," I still see bacon and eggs in there. Or maybe I'm just hungry.

Okay, now I'm feeling a little more caught up, so I'm off to move some furniture. What an exciting life I lead. :-)