Tag Archives: Arts

Learning Something New

Many moons ago I purchased, with good intention, a piece of Nicole’s Bead-backing along with a square of dark blue ultrasuede. Having spent countless hours sitting enchanted at the amazing examples of bead embroidery on my computer screen, I decided to give it a crack. But before I started, I became distracted with a gazillion other shiny projects and my plans were forgotten.

Not so long ago, I found those two enticing pieces of fabric, and so put thread to needle. With out any clear planning of what I was making,  I sketched a design on the bead-backing, bezeled on a cabochon, completely ignored my design and made a thing. It was pretty rough in places, and a poorly placed pearl came loose, but as I progressed, my stitches improved.

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In my next piece, I was confident enough to use a pretty copper Swarovski Cosmic crystal. I only use my crystals if I’m confident, because wasting crystals is an unforgivable sin. With the addition of some turquoise, orange, dark brown, and copper, I turned it into a super awesome unique necklace.

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B.O.T.B ’15

Lately there seems to have been a rash of beaders suffering hand injuries or surgeries, it’s all a bit tragic. I, myself have been no exception. With the prick of a small, insignificant rose thorn, my beading has been greatly stifled. Two weeks and a course of antibiotics later, and it has again flared up and is causing me grief. I’ve now started my second course of antibiotics, and am hoping that they’ll do the trick. By the time evening rolls around (my traditional bead therapy time) my thumb has little range of movement left. Bit by bit, I am managing to add to my first ever bead embroidery… broach?… pendant?… whatzit? Something.

In the meantime, I’ve been awestruck by the incredible talent participating in this years Battle of the Beadsmith. Every year this competition gets better and better. Anyone can thread a bead, but the vision, and the execution of these pieces is astounding. I am not even close to having seen them all, but of what I have seen, these are amongst my favourites.

“Self Portrait” by Kris Empting-Obenland.

“Francesca’s Farfelle” by Patrick Duggan

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“Diva” by Aldona Pintea.

“Élan” by Erika Bita-Simon.

Every Autumn, my Thoughts Turn to Snow

Summer is winding down here and the socks and extra blankets have been put to good use. The cats are spending more of their evenings inside and the sun is as reluctant to rise in the mornings as I am.

My daughter enjoying her first snow in 2011

My daughter enjoying her first snow in 2011

I enjoy the colder months. I love the feeling of being rugged up warm inside, while outside the wind howls or the rain pours and puddles freeze. Oh, I know, it’s cold and flu season, but that doesn’t bother me, I seem to get colds and flus year-round anyway. We’re lucky that we don’t get the extremes of the South Island. We get the odd snow fall, but not every year, so when it does happen it’s exciting and we want more. We’ve only had one really good snow fall in the last decade or so, and I have my fingers crossed for another this winter.But I’m getting ahead of myself. Winter is still two months away. Best that I enjoy the Autumn first.

In beady news, my Hollow Cube Beaded Bead tutorial is available in my Etsy store right now. I have Deb from Datz Katz to thank for proofing it for me and picking up my many typos. I have two more tutorials in the works, but they are a bit more complicated than a humble cube, so they may take some time.

Hollow Cube Beaded Bead

Hollow Cube Beaded Bead

This past weekend, Wanganui/Whanganui (which ever spelling makes you happy, please don’t set the “H” police onto me), artists had their annual Open Studio weekend, which is a wonderful thing. This year 72 private studios were open to the public, featuring every kind of artist imaginable. I was in town for other reasons, so I didn’t tour around, but I did find time to stop in to see Barbara Bullock’s glass studio (Beads with Flare) and picked up a few lamp-worked beads. Barbara mostly works free-form with her glass and torch, but she also makes larger fused glass art pieces. She was a wonderful, and informative host and gave us a demonstration of her process. Next year, I hope the dedicate the entire weekend to studio hopping.

Custom Work and Wire Fun

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This year, in a move completely out of character, I got organised for Christmas early. All of my shopping is done, dinner is going to be a casual summer barbecue; all I need to do is wrap the presents and I’m done.  It’s a good thing too, because my little Facebook Christmas sale seems to have ramped up interest in my artisan jewellery and custom work has been pouring in this last week. I’ve never had anything like it and I’m utterly thrilled.  I’ve had to order materials from the same store three days in a row and must offer my sincere thanks to the gracious Queen Bead from The Bead Hold. In the midst of her big relocation, no doubt the last thing she needed was picky customers (me) constantly amending orders.

2013-11-30 23.10.37My main focus over the last week or so has been wire. Once I find something that works, I often have trouble breaking away from a method to find new ways of doing something. In an attempt to stretch my creativity, I’ve been practicing making free-form pendants. I’m quite pleased with what I’ve come up with; they’re not as flawless as I would like, but hey, what is?

One great bonus to working with wire is how much quicker setup and pack up is. Everything goes in one box, all I need is a few simple tools and I’m good to go. Beading is a little more chaotic. I have numerous boxes and compartments, inside which are many more smaller containers containing hundreds different beads. Finding the right combination of beads for a project can be tedious.  At the end of the night I have to painstakingly return each container to its box or drawer and find any needles or beads that I may have dropped.  I guess it’s a small price to pay for doing something you love.

Earring Extravaganza

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Earrings are a largely neglected item in my repertoire, I’m not really sure why. Every so often to get to feeling guilty that I don’t have enough earrings in stock. I sort of wonder if the few earrings that I do have, get lonely. Maybe they’re jealous of all the bracelets hanging out being cool together, and they huddle together in the corner of the box like Emos in a school playground. 020My mind is a strange place sometimes. In a bid to alleviate the suffering of this minority group, I’m on a bit of an earring bender. See some of the bead-woven earrings here.

Next month I will be attending the Hawera Ladies Night, which is a two-and-a-half-hour, evening shopping event. A gold coin donation will grant you entry, supper and drinks will be provided and spot prizes will be given out on the night. The entry fee will go toward a yet-to-be-decided charity or cause. It’s in it’s third year, but this is the first time I will be attending.  I’ll have plenty of earrings ready by then. Make sure you come and say hello!