Tag Archives: learning

Evolution and a Gift

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Ahh creation, what a fickle beast you are. Due to my building frustration with wire, I decided to just sit down and bead. I didn’t know what to make and I flicked through the pages of my ‘ideas’ book, but nothing inspired. I resigned myself to a little therapeutic repetition in the form of herringbone stitch. My intention was just to make a little swatch of fabric while I mulled over my options. As the swatch grew, I found myself admiring the textured ridges that are archetypical of herringbone, and I thought, why not make this into a bracelet, I added some crystals for effect. It still looked a little plain, so I began adding a border and more possibilities became evident; now the border, is a border no more. My little swatch has taken on a life of it’s own and it’s still growing.
003I’ve even started another one so I can take photos for a future tutorial idea, and have begun tinkering with software to make diagrams. This is a bit of a learning curve for me so don’t expect overnight results.

In the middle of all of this, I got a wonderful surprise in the mail. My armbands that I had sent to Kate McKinnon for her wonderful photography had returned home. Accompanying them were some goodies, a Japanese puzzle eraser, a vial of lovely silver charlottes and a copy of the amazing, inspiring , Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume I. I immediately shut myself away with it so that I could absorbs as much of it as I could, I love, love, love it. I’m so excited to be having my work included in Volume II, I’m almost jumping out of my skin!

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Wire Woes

ringPlaying with wire is fun – until it’s not.  I’m having limited success and a lot of wastage.  After much effort I managed to produce two rings – they are too large, too clumsy  and not nearly as graceful as I’d imagined. It’s all part of the learning process, but I’m impatient and I want to be good at everything right away.  I feel like stomping my feet and shouting like a toddler.
bckringI think I’m going to go back to my beads for a few days. I do love my wire; I don’t want to turn it into a chore, and distance makes the heart grow fonder, as they say.  When I do pick my wire back up, it will be to follow some Nicole Hanna tutorials and get a bit a practice. I’ve started something beady, and I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, or quite what it will become. I hope it will become something pretty, I’m really feeling the need to complete an item that I’m happy with. It’s been a week since I finished my Dancing Dragon and I’m getting antsy.

Brick Stitch: My Nemesis

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I’ve spent a couple of evenings contending with this stitch and I think I’m now winning the battle. Simple, flat brick stitch is not a problem, but when you try to shape it, it throws a tantrum.

At first, I was attempting to work with symmetry. I would add a increase bead on one side, then as I progressed, I would mirror that bead on the other side. This caused the piece to buckle and curl. I tried again and again, but still the increases were too much. If the beads weren’t placed symmetrically, I could easily get the piece to lay flat; but wouldn’t that compromise the look of the finished piece? I resisted a while longer. I looked at the work of others and scrutinised the details. Dear God! My inner Vulcan was horrified: The symmetry was an illusion! Illogical! To me, beading is patterns – mathematical and logical. But shaped brick stitch is a more organic beast, extra beads need to be added at random locations for the piece to come together. At last, success!

Typically, I immediately thought of another challenge that needed conquering. What if, instead of completing a circle, I made two half-circles that were joined end for end. To my surprise, this actually worked. I still had some problems to solve though, such as making clean joins and the sudden realisation that when you turn a rainbow upside-down the colours become reversed. But I made it work. My test pieces are complete and I’m ready to create something bigger and better. Well, nearly ready. I think I’ve earned a break from brick stitch before I commit to a big project. Tonight, I play with wire, I have an earring tutorial that I’m dying to try out. Stay tuned!