Friday, March 30, 2012

A gift

Today I went to the mailbox to find a padded envelope and as I was not expecting anything I was curious. It turned out to be a gift of luscious yarn from a blog reader and class taker I met last year on the cruise. Thank you Char, how lovely. The palest shades of blue, and a really intriguing fiber.

What a day brightener! It's nice to be reminded by an act of kindness how many nice people are in this world.

The yarn is cotton and a woven tubular fabric. I can't wait to see how it makes up. When I get something pretty on the needles I'll show you!

I started the day off with house cleaning and exercise and too much time in front of the appears that I am frittering away the day and I think I'm going to go with it. The weather is beautiful, my husband just invited me to lunch out and I may be headed for a day off! I can work tomorrow right?

Playing with texture

Lately I am leaning towards a lot of texture in my work. There are a number of ways texture and dimension are created.

For this bracelet I used peanut beads which bring their own texture. Here woven with right angle weave the peanut beads make a very textural, firm two sided design. Weaving with them takes some getting used to as they are heavier then the one holed seed bead, and the hole is somewhat inaccessible being in the middle of the two sides of texture. It is hard to 'catch a knot' between threads except on an edge. I found that using a sharp made it easier to weave through the interior beads.

This little bit of necklace is destined for a largish pendant and so will need to be reasonably long. It is tubular right angle weave and the texture is enhanced by using two sizes of beads, in this case size 15's for the side beads and size 11 for the top and bottom.

This little fanciful bit with the beautiful matte lavender takes advantage of a number of textural additions. The cubic right angle weave, the faceted 2 mm crystals on the edge and the size 15 3 cuts that were used to embellish between the cubes. It all adds up to a lot of texture in a small package.

I'm approaching the home stretch on designs for Bead in Motion, although there are still a few projects in their early test beading or component making stages, all of the projects have been conceptualized and most have been completed save for a few minor tweakings.

So now it will be back to illustration. I find that they are both very different tasks, and it seems best to focus on design or focus on illustration as a rhythm is achieved when I do either for a longer stretch. When I switch back and forth it is like teaching myself illustrator all over again. Well not exactly, but when I illustrate full time I am able to keep that muscle memory alive and take advantage of more efficient work flows. So except for some in between beading here and there I will be re-entering the illustration phase.

Today's task, Lilliana for my Bead and Button class. I'm using my own version of cubic raw for the top band and it will require some fancy 3 d beads to show it properly. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beaded Opulence

I met Jennifer a few years back in a Bead and Button class. We are Facebook friends, and as she quietly completed a piece from Beaded Opulence she would post it on my page. After awhile (we've been through this before, I can be slow to notice a trend) I started seeing that she had completed quite a lot of the pieces.

We exchanged mails and I visited her blog and she did take on the quest to complete every single Beaded Opulence piece!

Jennifer was kind enough to send me the pieces for a photo shoot, and with some online collage software I made a collage. Jennifer was not at all daunted by not being able to find exactly the beads I used, she improvised on many occasions, using some bali pieces for Abacus, a piece of hardware in place of lamp work in Shimmer Queen, and baroque pearls in place of crystals in Cascade.

Cyn Bicker who is also taking on the Julie Julia style challenge reports on being half way through the pieces. She was technically thwarted on her initial quest to provide you with blog details of her journey, but I suspect we will see her completion soon as well. And I hear there are others, so if you are undertaking a similar quest for Beaded Opulence or another book I'd love to hear from you.

And congratulations to Jennifer!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cubic Raw Huib Petersen Style

Huib has been busy teaching all over Europe but in the midst of that he took the time to write for me his way of doing cubic raw. Although it's verbal it's clear what it is that needs doing from his instructions here. This is the way I have discovered that most people describe or stitch cubic raw. I've seen it described in bead and button, by David Chatt, by Heather Collin, by Elke Leonhardt-Rath, Sian Nolan and now confirmed by Huib. I guess that is consensus! But still I have done it two other ways, one by stitching the base first, then stitching a row of raw at right angle to the base and then connecting those tops. This really only makes sense if you are making a multiple row piece, and not a single cubic raw rope. I have also stitched it by using the clock wise and counter clockwise stitch that shares a side bead, which I think gives a sturdier result with less thread showing.

So the conclusion is as with most stitches there are multiple ways to accomplish it. Thanks to Huib for sharing his technique below.

I love this sitch and have been teaching it this way and stitching it this way ever since my keyboard bracelet saw the light. What I like about stitching it this way is that you stitch constantly clock or counterclockwise and that the stitch becomes a bit sturdier.

So how I have been teaching is in the following way,
What you are doing is pretty much like building a block or a room, starting with laying the foundation and then adding walls and ceilings,

To make things easy when you are learning a stitch use two clearly diffent matte color beads, blue for the floor and ceiling and yellow for the walls,

Pick up 4 (blue) floor beads in RAW.

Pick up 1 (yellow) wall, 1 blue (ceiling) and 1 (yellow) wall bead, and stitch back through the floor bead you started from.

Before you do anything else, stitch through the next floor bead,

Pick up 1(yellow) wall plus 1(blue) ceiling, stitch down through the 1st wall you picked up in the previous stitch, and back through he floor you came out of,

Before you do anything else stitch through the next floor bead,

Pick up 1 (yellow) wall plus 1 (blue) ceiling, stitch down through the wall of the previous stitch and the floor you came out of,

Now you will see that you have already 4 walls but only 3 ceilings, so one ceiling needs to be added,

Stick your needle in the next floor and you will see the needle ia already pointing towards the wall bead you want stitch up through, do so,

Pick up 1 (blue) ceiling bead, stitch down through the wall, the floor you came out of and also again through the wall your needle was pointing to earlier,

Pull your work tight and you will see that it shapes a block, the only thing is that the four ceiling beads are not connected yet, make this happen with a RAW

The four ceiling beads will now be your floor beads around which ou can built the next block.

I call this stitch cubular right angle weave, because what you are stitching is a four sided tube.

I like the visibility of the thread in this stitch and sometimes accentuade it by using a contrasting color thread, this then because a part of the design.

One more thing I would like to add, just to think about and even try out, you can make this tube shape and keep it's shape on it's own by putting on the left and right side of the cube a triangular stich and on the front and back a right angle stitch ( these will share the top bead) so the rhythm of that stitch would be: starting from the right side,

Pick up 2 beads, stitch back through the floor and through the next floor, pick up 2 beads, stitch back through the 1 st bead of the previous stitch, and through the floor and the next floor, pick up 1 bead, stitch back through the 1st bead of the previous stitch and through the floor and the next floor, and you will see there are the 4 beads ready for you to be stitched together in right angle weave.

I hope this helps, I am sure for some project it is ideal for aothers it might not work at all.

I have noticed while teaching this that the fact that it is possible to stitch constantly clock wise or counter clock wise makes the stitch a lot less confusing for a lot of us.

Marcia, love and greetings, feel free to share this on your blog, warmest regards, Huib Petersen

Saturday, March 24, 2012

and the beading continues

Great progress is being made as we conceptualize, choose colors, design and bead....

I'm loving everything made these past couple of days, the ideas are flowing and the beads are cooperating. Today we have some beading time planned in the morning and some play time in the afternoon. Off to Coronado, perhaps on the ferry, but given the looks of the weather right now....perhaps in the car.

But for now, some breakfast and then back to the beads!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It must be the Dutch influence...

Gabriella brought me the Dutch collection of OPI nail polish. Wonderful little bottles of color, but the best part...the names

Well to me at least, as I lived in Holland for a year and traveled there ofte for about ten.

From left to right

I Have a Herring Problem, Red Lights Ahead...Where? Kiss me on my Tulips, Pedal Faster Suzi!

We spent yesterday beading all day, and the same is on the schedule for today. Tomorrow we've got some playtime planned with a visit to the Mingei Museum where the current exhibition is American Craft.

But back to the Dutch influence, we popped into Target after our morning walk to pick up a couple of items and I found a pair of orange cotton summer shorts for Mark. Yeah, I'm impulsive like that, but orange is a very Dutch color and in bright colored shorts it is just perfect. I did have to inform him that he was not to wear them with the coral colored polo shirt him they're both orange, so why not?

Back to the beads!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beautiful weather, beautiful beads

Beautiful company, it all goes hand in hand today

Yesterday I readied the guest room which always includes as the finishing touch the personalized welcome sign on the guest room door, and this is Gabriella's

Very fitting, a glorious photo taken by Kyle Cassidy as part of the photo shoot for Kate and Jean's Contemporary Geometric Beadwork book.

Today we'll start with a walk, followed by a quick trip into Trader Joes for some food supplies. I'll be looking for easy to fix sustenance, salads to toss, fruit, grilled fish and veggies, nothing with a lot of prep, since this week is all about the beads and making good book progress.

I have lot's of conceptual ideas that need to be turned into actual beaded pieces, and Gabriella and I will be spending a lot of studio time making that happen. Yesterday Tina was here, and together we brought a piece from conceptualization to realization in just a few hours of beading together.

Beth visited Tuesday and took away some beads to work up a few components that I have a vision for. I am so grateful for the people who are willing to help me.

Gabriella first visited a few years back and had never set foot in the Pacific Ocean so I was able to be there for her 'first' dip of the toe into the Pacific. And this weeks first, a soak in the hot tub. Hopefully Mars and Venus will still be in view adding to the occasion.

Back tomorrow, in the meantime, we'll be beading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guest preparedness mode

That's what I'll be up to all morning, and then this afternoon I bead. Tina will join me in the studio where we will discuss the best way to show off the beaded beads that she completed with my pattern. I'm thinking a bracelet of cubic raw ropes, but maybe peanut ropes, the jury is out until we bead up some samples and decide.

It sometimes still amazes me when my minds eye doesn't reveal the flaw in my thinking. Yesterday I completed a large pendant and had an idea for a chain which I started beading up only to realize it was much to dainty for the scale of the pendant. Why did I not see that was such a good idea when I was thinking it through.

Beth also came over and is going to make up some additional Dream Keeper rings like the one Sherry so graciously beaded for me. I may, caution this is not a promise, but I may get some kitted up for bead and button.

It's a ring people are enjoying a lot, and it's been in high demand, but I haven't had time to turn it into a kit yet......we'll see.

Here's one done by Suzl in Germany, pretty.

It's that time in the book where I'm waking up in the night mentally going over my progress and hyper ventilating, but I think I'm on track.....although the last few weeks of illustration are going to be daunting.

But for now, Gabriella arrives in a few hours and we're going to be in full time beading mode, fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well that was fun

I took a couple of days to get the studio re-organized. I have lots of beady help this week and it will be nice to have a clean and organized slate to begin with.
I was needing more room on the slat wall as crystals were getting crowded, but the Bisley cabinet drawers which hold all the kit making material couldn't open with the intended shelving.

So this entire wall of furniture needed to be moved 1 1/2 inches. As you might imagine beads and books are heavy so they needed to be moved before moving the furniture. Whew that was a lot of work, but now that it's done it was totally worth it.

The crystals can now spread out and there are two entire new shelves for seed beads. Now to find the time to put them away, because of course this would be the optimum time to sort them into better color order.....
Or I could go bead which I think I will do. Gabriella will arrive tomorrow evening for a week of book collaboration. I look forward to her input, her artistic vision and her generous spirit. It is going to be a delightful week.

And the winner is

Well first a story....this was a really bad day for the wireless router to fail.....means I can't use the big computer, means I can't screen shot the random number generator, which for the record came up with 48, means I can't cut and paste the winners winning comment.
Mark is off to the router store and service will be resumed shortly but since I knew you wouldn't want to wait.....And since I do have the new IPad to help out...

Debra from warm Michigan is the winner. I counted down to 48 skipping over any there you have it. Deb use the contact us form on my website to send me your address and I'll send you a box of seed beads!
And I do have more although I will be donating a large box to a group on the East Coast who teach children how to bead and money from the sale of their creations goes to Oprah's angel network.
However stay tuned, another seed bead giveaway will happen in the next couple of weeks!
I loved reading all your comments and hearing your favorite colors....seems there are a lot of matte metallic folks out there, me being one of them, in case you never noticed.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Seed Bead Overload

Could that be true? It appears I have too many seed beads.....well in reality I have too many old tubes, bought at retail, may or may not be labeled with the color number, may or may not be repeatable. This all means that as long as I design for repeatability, they are hard for me to use. And they are taking up a lot of space, so, if you like seed beads

Leave me a comment on this post by midnight tonight. Tell me your favorite colors (no guarantees, but if you are a lime green girl let me know, or if you prefer matte metallics, or high contrast, or analogous color ways) and I'll try my best. I will randomly pick one winner and mail you off a small flat rate priority box of seed beads.

I have way more then one box, so expect to see this giveaway repeated often in the next few weeks. I'm motivated to open up some space!

Yesterday we moved all but the perimeter furniture and steam cleaned the carpet. Today a trip to the local fixture store for some more slat wall fixtures so I can file all the new seed beads that don't yet have room on the wall. I have begun a quest for the perfect seating arrangement, but against my usually impulsive nature I've decided to make do with the current table and chairs and take a slow search for what seems just right. I'd like to seat 12 comfortably and that might be a 6' square or a really long rectangle. I'm hoping a local consignment shop might have the perfect dining room table so I have plans to start scouting then out once a week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Studio redo again?

Well yes, seems I am always on a quest for the best configuration....and at the moment, storage, book shelves and the right classroom environment are all on the list.

I recently put two unmatched tables end to end in the studio and I really like the way it worked, but unmatched.....I am a bit of perfectionist about my aesthetics, so I went on a quest for the right dimensions, design and price point. The jury is still out as I have 6 black chairs but I'm not entirely sure I want to go with black tables......and I want to sit 12 to 14 comfortably, so do I really want to buy 14 chairs.....but I have wanted to upgrade to more comfortable chairs then what I currently have....decisions, decisions.

But for starters we are going to move everything tomorrow and steam clean the carpets, then a trip to IKEA and hopefully the best solution will present itself.

Next up is some more shelving for the slat wall, to house more crystals and seeds. The studio is always a work in progress, and since it is my daily environment I think the effort is worthwhile.

Photos once decisions have been made. I have company arriving this week. So will the studio redo fit into the schedule? We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What are the odds?

What are the odds being able to accurately record a blog post using the microphone in the new iPad?

I have to say not bad 13 out of 15 words something along those lines....

It's going to make like typing a little bit easier.

And the photos

Well that's pretty good too! Hair matching the Kiri shawl, that was my trick, but all in all, pretty happy with the new iPad!

I have already installed PhotoShop touch and it is looking like an excellent application.

Fun times, I love my technology!

Joyful Shawl

On our drive home through LA I suggested a lunch stop at Lake Forest Blvd.....the timing was right, but I may not have mentioned that there was also a yarn store at that exit. The Yarn Lady, a very well stocked yarn store just happened to be right at the intersection where we stopped.

They have moved in the past few years and the new locations has both a nearby Hobby store and a coffee shop, both good for eliciting a husbands patience with yarn shopping.

I've been wanting a pretty rectangular shawl and one that would be fun to knit, but wouldn't engage my brain more then necessary (I have the Aran baby cardigan for that kind of knitting) This one is called Joyful Shawl by Laura Rosenbaum and comes in a kit offered by the Yarn Lady. It was inexpensive, included the beautiful hot pink mohair, the colorful Joy yarn and directions. There is a small ruffle at either end.

I love the color

I'm sure it will be the perfect summer accessory with all white or all black clothes and that beautiful pop of color. On size 10 needles it is bound to be a quick knit.

I'm fully recovered from the migraine episode, have cleaned the house, and am ready to dig into the list of things awaiting my attention.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Judi Patuti

Judy has done it again! You've seen the bead mats, now she's gone and designed the cutest thread catcher, and tote, all of course with beautifully coordinated fabrics.

I see the tote hasn't quite made it to her site yet, but I'm sure it will be there soon. You are definitely going to want one, as her design excellence is clearly showing. The inside has a zipped pocket on one side, two interior pockets on the other side, all trimmed with her signature piping. The three outside pockets hold all your beading (or knitting needs) with one of them being large enough to hold the matching bead mat. The straps cleverly leave enough room to use as a shoulder bag and there are feet on the bottom to protect the cloth. Really it's pretty much a masterpiece. There are colorful ones like this one pictured, and more subdued prints, and a place for hoot should you need an owl to go along in your travels.

The thread catchers which are currently available here, went along to Beading by the Bay are also a design feat and were quickly sold out, although Judy held some in reserve for the rest of you. Minus the six that I have in my studio. I love the pin cushion, the little strap for scissors and of course the fabric.

She's clever that Judy, the pin cushion tucks into the body of the thread catcher and the whole thing can be tied up neatly for travel. I always take one along when I'm traveling with beads, after all, I've always been about having nice tools, and this is just one more. I fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) always have a first look at the new season's collection, and there is always at least one new fabric combination that I can't resist.

Judy did her first show this year in Tucson AND she'll be at Bead and Button this year. So if you are going, you'll get to meet the real Judy Patuti in person.

I promised

I promised you after a week of light blogging to be in full swing today and then a migraine arrived in the middle of the night.....and pretty much wiped out my day. I plan to keep it low key, perhaps knitting in the sunshine on the veranda. I have the baby cardigan, as well as some new hot pink mohair with fanciful little bits of ribbon yarn knit in. A really mindless knit, which is nice to pick up when mindless is in order like today.

I do still have some Beading by the Bay to report, although I am photoless on this one, we did have an impromptu ring design contest, spurred on by one of Lark's generous book gifts, A Ring a Day.

The challenge in this book was begun through social media, with a large number of artists signing on to make one ring a day for 365 days. Lark picked up on the theme and published many of the fanciful creations that resulted.

On day one, the group from Rachel's class consisting of a lot of our 'local girls' (folks that live nearby and have been customers of the Beading Frenzy and students of my classes for a loooong time) came up with the idea of making a ring from found materials.

The finished rings were displayed for each of the luncheon tables, and Sherry was our capable judge. Anne's dinner ring was made from the previous evenings dinner receipt, while Fae used her knitting skills to knit up an i-cord ring. Most beautiful was awarded to Susan who twist tied her Chinese medicine doll to her finger and named her Lolita. Kathy made a Bozo engagement ring from a metallic red fluffy ball and Dumbo's rings from a giant plastic peanut. Much fun and creativity abounded.

The next day the Seattle group and adopted Michiganion decided not to be outdone and developed their own challenge. Liz started with tying the ribbon from her kit, my signature polka dot around her finger. She added some crystal, of course, tied it around her finger and named it 'Don't forget to register for BBTB 2013'

Julz used some crystal from her Swarovski dessert reception stash to make 'I'm not leaving my heart in San Francisco'

Constance, who won most dainty, used her empty fire line spool to make her ring 'reeled into crystals' and it spins, Beads in Motion anyone?

Linda made two rings, one of which she gifted to me using the BBTB m&m's from her gift bag, she made 'Marcia Madness, Most Marvelous Women' Pretty clever.

I loved the spirit of the impromptu challenge and the added fun to what is already a truly fun and memorable event.

Oh, and in case you haven't years teachers? Marcia DeCoster, Huib Petersen and Sabine Lippert!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


as we get ready to leave Santa Barbara, I wrote you a lovely post about our day here.....and in an errant keystroke, lost it!

I promise you I'll be back in full force tomorrow....

And in the meantime, Susan's playful fanfare, all in pink!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Grandma time

We finished up Beading by the Bay last evening. we had a wonderful time and I have lots to report which I will, but first....

Part of the magic of being in Northern California is having Grandma time! I thought Malayna might be strange with us, but I think our weekly face times on the computer have helped her to know us.

So I'm going to ply you with cute baby pictures from our day in the park

Malayna is making new friends

Being supported by Grandpa

I know for sure I need to make plans to visit more!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Well in case being at Beading by the Bay was not totally amazing in and of itself (and it is, more later)....I received a gift of such magnitude words to express my gratitude seem inadequate.
You may from time to time have heard me mention the Bad Liz, who of course is in no way bad but that is the nickname she has.
Liz excels at bead embroidery and has done a number of wall hangings and a number of purses. Besides a talented beader, she is also kind, loyal, smart and funny.
She came to Beading by the Bay this year.....and she brought this for me...

Clearly she has been working on it for awhile.

Both front and back are fully covered. And there is a new surprise at every time Iook.....

Do you see the little peek of the cover of BeadedOpulence....and my initials MAD? It's just crazy good and I LOVE it. I must say the bold colors are the perfect accent to my wardrobe of black. I finally have the appropriate beady purse. Thank you Liz, you rock big time!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And we're off

We decided to forgo the 4:00 a.m. start in order to get through Los Angeles without crazy traffic.....I just couldn't face it this instead we'll leave around 7:30 and hope for the best.

We are fortified with a new book on tape to accompany the 8 hour ride north. Beading by the Bay here we come. While I prepare for an event like this, being both a teach and a promoter adds a bit of extra effort to the mix, and I sometimes lose site of just how exciting it is, until like this morning, everything is done.

And on Thursday night I'll get to re-engage with so many friends, I can hardly wait!

I wish you could all join the fun, but then it wouldn't be I'll keep you posted with some photos and some stories. See you soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New York City!

An opportunity to explore one of my all time favorite cities, stay in a charming hotel, run around with Maggie and Marcia, explore the garment district, bead shops, museums, and bead! I'm well versed in New York city as is Maggie, and to have both us be your guides, well I think we'll be guaranteed to have a great time.

October 21st is day one of the five day adventure and October on the East Coast is magic, for this formerly New England girl at least. There is bound to be just enough chill in the air and colorful foliage to remind us of fall, but not too cold to enjoy this walking city to it's fullest.

It's a Beadventure and it will be an excellent one. It is part of the Designer Inspired series. I'll be sharing my particular style of design with you, which is most often one of component design. I've got a brand new technique, inspired by the iconic Chrysler building.

We'll have plenty of time to select materials at perhaps the best stocked bead store you've seen, Beads by Blanche, just over the river in New Jersey.

After understanding this simple to do yet really effective component, you'll make bead, color and design decisions to bring this component into your very own piece of jewelry. And I'll be there to guide you.

Maggie just has to be one of my all time favorite people to hang out with. If you've had the experience you already know that, and if you haven't, well I can tell you it is an opportunity that you'll want to be a part of. It's going to be really really big FUN!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Balboa Park

We are so fortunate to have the beautiful Balboa park in our midst here in San Diego. First built for he 1915 Worlds Exhibition, it has remained one of the iconic parks, full of lush landscaping, water features, canyons and host to a large number of museums.

Deciding that all work and no play was making us pretty dull, we decided on an outing to Balboa park yesterday afternoon. It's a destination that Maya can come along and yesterday she did. We meandered through the pretty spaces, had a sit in Alcazar garden, and visited the Vochol exhibit.

Over 2 million beads!

.....crazy detail

We ended up at the organ concert. The Spreckles organ is one of the largest outdoor organs in the world and was first played at the 1915 opening of the park. Every Sunday at 2:00 p.m. there is a free organ concert. Admittedly not my favorite music, but Mark loves it. When I saw him pick up the large, sun protecting umbrella, I knew that signaled his intent to spend some time listening to organ music.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Does this constitute metal work?

Despite last weeks friendly banter when Tracy taunted me with the Bad Liz going over to the dark side of metal....I do really love those wired arts girls and their metal work. And I admire the girls and guys who can seamlessly play in both worlds. For whatever reason I am more comfortable in my seed bead medium. I often think there will be a day when deadlines don't compete for my time, that I would like to explore metal more. And perhaps then Tracy and Janice will forgive all my metal bashing banter and teach me. Of course I am anxiously awaiting their book on the subject.

Until then, I've been having some fun putting little bits of metal here and there in the seed bead work. Here is a brilliant little bead from Tierra Cast. I am loving their new metal beads which I managed to sneak into the bail of Aelia, and I have more to play with. Tierra Cast has findings, and toggles and charms and....well all sorts of things in all sorts of finishes as well, and beautifully made. I love how a touch of metal brings a different level of depth to a design. I think you'll see more of it in my work.

This is the piece I am currently in love with, but then while I was moving around odd bits on the work table last night I put together another combination that I think deserves some design attention. I've been in the design zone lately, which is good considering there is a book to write.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CRAW Obsessed

Ok, I've become a tad obsessed as to what makes CRAW CRAW (and I confess to being totally unclear how to punctuate this statement correctly.)

I have always thought of CRAW cubic right angle weave as RAW with 6 sides, 1 bottom, 4 sides, 1 top. However it appears that this with the combination of the thread path used to create these 6 sides is what really constitutes CRAW.

Here are some projects I've done where I do indeed have 6 sides, but I first built a base of RAW, then built the sides and then closed the top. If you have Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence, have a look at Serena.

I have a cube of raw, but I went about it differently. In the case of the fire polish cuff, it is still quite structural, based I suppose on the beads. I also only closed every other group of side beads leaving channels between the rows of cubes.

On the top of Lilliana, I also beaded a base of raw, then the sides, then joined the tops but in every row. This results in a dense (cubic) fabric but it maintains the soft fluid quality of RAW.

So now onto other thread paths. We've been taught not to cross the intersection in RAW, although I have found a use for breaking this rule, but in CRAW (as I have found documented so far) you cross the intersection of your bottom, and put on your new beads in the same direction each time. You then run a thread all the way through your top beads before beginning your next cube.

I made a piece not following this rule, I instead went through a shared side bead and alternated CW and CCW adding the side beads. I also skipped the thread pass through the top beads. I'm happy with the result, although it is very firm, which in this case is what I wanted.

I have quite a bit more experimenting to do before I decide the pros and cons of the different thread paths. I'm thinking a session with white size 8 beads and black thread will help to unravel the mysteries for me.

Have you CRAW'd? Do you have a favorite thread path? Want to contribute to my research? Please leave a comment with your CRAW experiences.