Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wonky Urban Stripes Completed

My Urban Stripes Necklace is done and I kinda love it. I've dubbed it Wonky because it waves a bit due to the disparate sizes of beads I used. I learned alot from the project. I am back to enjoying bead crochet. I learned I can splice to add length to a rope - useful if a rope is too short or I made a stringing mistake. I have a new crochet hook which is much kinder on my poor fingers.

Most of all I appreciate the kindness and artistic spirit of Judith Bertoglio-Giffin, who sponsored the project and provided the pattern. Her help and encouragement was great. It was real incentive to bead this project with the other members of the group, and to see their color choices and interpretation of the pattern. I am hopeful that an Urban Stripes 2 pattern will be added to the collection!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Urban Stripes by Judith Bertoglio-Giffin - progress

There are 34 happy beaders working away on Judith Bertoglio-Giffins urban stripe necklace project. We receive sections of design for a crochet necklace that we each string and crochet. We have 4 sections so far, and will have 6 or 7 when the project is complete. The color combinations that have been picked by beaders are based on the urban landscape, and are wonderful variations of the landscape in an urban setting and what it has to offer. One of the beaders is happily working away on four different ropes. Some beaders have yet to start.

It took me awhile to get started and complete the first few rows of crochet. After several rows I had my rhythm going. The rope above shows two sections complete. Its a bit wonky because I used different shaped beads. I've strung section three and am working on the now. I've learned alot on this project - one big thing is how to add string to a long project like this. Wonderful if you find a stringing mistake or don't want to wear down your thread if the project it huge. This simple trick is also going to let me go back to a project that I had stopped years ago because it was too short.

The project has been a huge amount of fun. Receiving each section is like getting a new present. If your interested in learning more about the project, you might want to visit Judith's blog http://www.beadline.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 1, 2011

Andre Thornton Challenge - The Reveal

Well, here it isl. This is what I did with the bead package that Andrew Thornton sent out as part of his first challenge. I think that I am definitely going to have to call this a statement piece. When worn, the art clay focal and the large ceramic bead sit at the top of my wrist, and it is very comfortable. I used peyote and right angle weave.
I hope that you take the time to see what the other blogger's did with Andrew's package of beads!

Katie James, Sarajo Wentling, and Margriet Schnabel will have pieces shown on Andrew Thornton's blog.

Jessica Nelson http://stilettospirituality.blogspot.com/

Holly Baldwin http://trickoflightstudios.com/

Paula Kramer http://cavecreekbeads.blogspot.com/

Karyn Bonfiglio http://plussizebangles.com/blog

Sally Russick http://www.wireworked.com/

Lori Bowring Michaud http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com

Norma Turvey http://moonlitfantaseas.blogspot.com/

Anne Dixon http://annepomeroydixon.blogspot.com

Melissa Meman http://melissameman.blogspot.com

Mary K McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/

Patty Gasparino http://www.mylifeunderthebus.typepad.com/

Andrew Thornton http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Urban Stripes by Judith Bertoglio-Giffin

Judith Bertoglio-Giffin has organized a crocheted rope bead along and I am one of the lucky participants. Participants are receiving pdfs that contain patterns for a 42 inch rope that will be crocheted in sections. The colors are inspired by the urban landscape. I've chosen a smoky blue, cream, lilac, truqoise ande a mettalic purple.
There are 35 participants and Judith has set up a page on Facebook so that we can share our color combinations as we go along. I find this all very exciting. Each pdf is like opening up a new present, and you don't know exactly what you are going to get until it is all assembled. My first section is strung and I will start crocheting tonight

Monday, June 13, 2011

Every Charm tells a story - Artbeads Blog challenge

Artbeads sent a new blogging challenge to its blog partners titled "What's old is new again" For this theme we were asked  to seek inspiration from the past by incorporating old, vintage or antique items into our designs and combine them with modern elements such as Swarovski crystals, Glass, Resin, etc. Each piece needed to have at least one old element; a family heirloom, vintage cameo, an interesting bead, pendant or item you found in an antique shop, an old key, photo or any unique element of the past. We could even re-use an old jewelry piece and ‘borrow’ items from.

The challenge came at a time that was both good and bad for me. I was in the process of going through the house, room by room, and drawer by drawer. As I sifted through 31 years of accumulation I was trying to decide what to keep and what would no longer be useful. I had a sterling charm bracelet and several necklaces with sterling charms. Each charm on the bracelet and each charm on each necklace had meaning: the Nantucket basket charm that I bought on a vacation in Nantucket, the painters palette to symbolize my interest in painting, the thimble and scissors given to me because I sew and have made quilts in a former life. I ordered a new charm in memory of out cat Annabelle, the Sterling Silver Angel Kitty Charm http://beads.artbeads.com/search?w=charms  and two  kinds of seed beads 15/0 Metallic Hematite Hex Cut    TOHO™ Bead Round Hybrid 8/0 Marbled Hematite AB. http://www.artbeads.com/delicas-seed-beads.html  I also had a pin that was one of my first pieces of jewelry. It had ivory colored flowers wired to it. Over the years, several of the flowers had gone missing. I ordered tiny Swarovski crystels (5000 2mm Faceted Round Black Diamond) http://www.artbeads.com/swarovski-5000.html serve as the centers of the flower. to

My finished results are pictured The tiny 15 hex cut seed beads were perfect for the chains of the necklace that I made. The hex cut reflects the light and makes that strands sparkle. The finish on the marbled 8o beads reflects the colors I wear most often. I created two strands with charms. For the third strand I restung a simple silver necklace that I had. This third strand is removable. I plan on beading some more chains that I can add to the two charm chains so I have different looks.

The Swarovski crystals were perfect for the center of the flowers. I added some green-gold megatamas that I had in my stash to make a carpet for the flowers and to fill in the blank spaces.

These two pieces did not require alot of beading, but they resulted in pieces that I will wear often, with many happy memories that go along with them. I thank ArtBeads for the opportunity to participate in their blog program, and I was delighted with the items I received.

 **Disclaimer I have received these products free of charge by Artbeads.com. I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.**

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bead Embroidery

LaBella Joya http://labellajoya.blogspot.com/2011/05/big-giveaway.html?showComment=1306685395507#c4421084320093611880wanted input on bead embroidery - what we liked in terms of embroidery, and have we done it. I've only done one piece of embroidery - my chatelaine - shown above, which I use to store scissors, tape measure, scoop and sewing needles. It took hours and I received an honorable mention for this work.

I do like bead embroidery and love the dramatic collars and bracelets. I do find that they are heavy and war. and I get concerned about odors clinging to them because of the fabric.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Art Bead Scene Giveaway

Even though I work in seed beads, I admire and collect one of a kind artist beads. They truly elevate simple designs into unique pieces of art that make you smile when you wear them. The Art Bead Scene is offering a giveaway of some of the most beautiful art beads I've seen. Follow this link to enter to win http://artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2011/05/giveaway-with-little-help-from-our.html

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do You Remember the Banana Man?

I remember going to the circus years ago, sitting on the bleachers and watching the performance. At one point the ringleader announced that the banana man was coming and a clown came out. He had a bright red nose, big floppy shoes and a large coat with pockets. He kept reaching into his pockets and pulling out bananas on a string. He'd pull and pull, and more and more bananas would appear. You had to wonder how so many bananas could fit in one coat.

Right now, our house is just like the coat on the banana man. More and more items come out. Out of drawers, out of closets, out of boxes. Out of two storage rooms and one storage shed. They go in to the garage to get ready for a tag sale this weekend - rain or shine. I found a plate in the kitchen yesterday that I do not remember owning, and a planter today that I don't recognize. My husband just found a yard implement that we don't know the use for (Practically, or probably, unused) Crystal decanters, china shoes, fabric, paints, paintings, tapes, books and records. So very many things, and so very many memories. After 31 years of living in the same house I expected some treasure troves, but certainly not this much. I hope that the items in the garage find a good home. I don't want them to contribute to the land fill.

If you are interested in tag sales, come on by this Saturday and Sunday 9-3 each day. Seven Dara Lane, North Granby Connecticut. Who knows what treasures you will find.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Original Scrapbox Giveaway

The Original Scrapbox is hosting a giveaway for National Craft Month. I've been eyeing the scrapbox for months now. Designed for scrapbookers, it looks perfect for beaders and jewelry makers too. Link to the site is here:http://theoriginalscrapbox.com/ You can see scrapbox designs and many videos that show how it works. Their Facebook fan page(http://www.facebook.com/TheOriginalScrapbox) gives you up to date news about the Scrapbox, including information on how to enter the contest to win a free scarpbox!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tannia's Lariat

Another item from my Friday beading group. Tannia combined spiral stitch with coralling to create this lush and gorgeous lariat. I love the corally berry-like beads combines with the navy and cream. Today I'm off to have lunch with my mom and my Auntie Ellen. I am so looking forward to the visit. On my worktable is another long necklace using russian spiral, square stitch and RAW for a pendant. I should finish is soon and be able to post the finished piece tomorrow
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Made by Marge

This is a picture I took before the holidays of two bracelets made by Marge, one of the beaders that I bead with on Fridays. The first bracelet is by Rachel Nelson-Smith, from her book Seed Bead Fusion. The second is a simple Right Angle Weave bracelet that I wrote up to teach my students RAW. Beautiful colors, as usual. They stack together really nicely. Last week Marge came to class wearing Laura McCabe's Faery Vine necklace. She had modified it using charms collected from her family. It was stunning. I forgot to take a picture.... I'll ask Marge to bring it in for this Friday.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Three Cheers for claudia

Last year I had one new student in my senior center class. The other seven students were "repeats". Claudia was a bit nervous and wanted to do a good job in the very biggest way. She made several projects and did a wonderful job. On the last day of class she came in with this necklace - made from the Margeurite pattern. I love the bright and cheery colors she used. I loved even more the smile on her face as she brought it in the show me.

So many things are going on right now that I am not teaching a new class. Instead, we have informal drop in sessions. I'm looking forward to what Claudia makes next with her new found hobby!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Artbeads Winter Enchantment

I participate quite happily in the ArtBeads Winter Enchantment program. Its a wonderful opportunity to try out new designs and to stretch myself. When the email came this winter, it was right after one of the largest snowstorms of the winter. The snow was waist high on either side of the sidewalk. Piles of plowed snow were higher than buildings, and I was having a bit of trouble being enchanted. I'd just finished a chain I made for my mother using Russian spiral weave, and I had been working on some beaded beads. I decided I wanted to combine the two. It was night time, and I looked over the winter landscape with its inky colors. Lights up our driveway illuminated portions of the snow and there were areas of refracted light. My color scheme was born and I put in an order for seed beads http://www.artbeads.com/delicas-seed-beads.html and swarovski crystals http://www.artbeads.com/swarovski-crystal-beads.html from the Artbeads site.

Coordinating colors from the Artbeads site is very easy. Once you order your item and put it in your shopping bag, small thumbnails appear that show the beads you have chosen. Once the beads arrived, I was delighted with the way they coordinated, and I finished my necklace yesterday. The necklace is quite long and I can wear it easily with heavier winter clothing. I made a separate beaded bead for the closure, which I can wear in the back and in the fron. I think I'll wear it today

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at Artbeads.com, I received the Swarovski crystals,  and seed beads free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Artbeads.com for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.