Thursday, February 28, 2013

The locket

Forever I've wanted to design a locket.  When I designed Under the Mast, I wanted to make it into the front of a locket which opened, but when I showed it to Mark he said it was done....

Less is always more with him and on this design I think he was right, but I still wanted a locket.  Something small and dainty, but still it would open to reveal a surprise inside....

Well the next book is called The Bead Within so the locket idea persisted.  I played with stitches and settled on a size 15 cubic raw rectangle, not for the faint of heart, the beading is a little challenging and requires a good grasp of the stitch, but it made a nice sturdy box with nicely squared off corners.

and a teeny tiny little clasp that latches the door and opens up to reveal the locket's surprise.  Finally my locket which I love.  It needs a necklace which I hope to finish today so that I can begin wearing my new locket.  I left the back uncovered so you can either open the door, or just turn the whole necklace over and wear it surprise side forward.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beading help

The Bead Within continues being beaded and I am completely in love with each piece that presents itself.

I am also very fortunate to have the help of two friends who have helped to bead up my visions.  Susan arrived at the end of January and together we reviewed my notebook of sketches for the book, deciding which ones to pursue and sorting out the best way to bead the vision.  Then we sat together and beaded and the book progressed.

I am so grateful to have such talented women in my life, willing to spend their time helping me.

This year is different then past years in that I am managing two very different projects, balancing my time between Master Class preparation and designing and beading book pieces.  Excuse the project management speak, it is what I did in my corporate life, and I think it all applies even to artistic endeavors.  It is still important that when the deadline arrives I have the requisite number of projects beaded, illustrated and written.

It's a little funny working on book three when book two isn't even released yet.  But since those pieces were returned to me I've had quite a bit of fun wearing them.  Today I wore concentric circles which flips over to reveal a different side.

Concentric Circles

The master class is taking it's own fair share of planning as the 'playground' gets beaded, colorways are selected, kit beads are ordered and presentations are planned.  Here again I have help, far and wide help actually and the pieces they've beaded are all wonderful.  The diversity makes it clear that everyone who is taking the master class will turn out beautiful work.

Playing with Possibilities

Liz headed up a team of Detroit beaders who are contributing to the playground making, and Tracy sent me her pieces earlier this month, wow she brought some interesting variations to the table.  The local gals have been busy for a few months now.

Gabriella came today and brought two stunning pieces that she made using master class components.  They are unique and quite different so I am encouraged that everyone will bring their own point of view.

Another bead helper has beaded up the master class components using the colors I've selected and they are due to arrive this week, and I'll be showing them to you when they do!

It will be a heads down week of beading to meet my goal of finishing up this part of the project plan. Gabriella is happy to be warmed by the San Diego sun and happy to bead with me in the studio, but I do have a few treats planned.

Tomorrow will be an outing to Eclipse, the new bistro and chocolate bar in South Park where the decor and the presentation are both excellent.  I haven't had the chocolate but the ginger carrot soup was presented so beautifully with a sprig of rosemary and white chocolate glazed croutons (yes I did eat them, they were just too tempting).  The cup of sage tea was also memorable and happily they will soon carry the loose teas that they serve.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Updated design

I remember clearly the day that both ideas for books came to was 2010 and I was at Bead and Button.   The idea for Beads in Motion and The Bead Within both popped into my head.

Beads in Motion was inspired by the Rings of Saturn, a piece I had designed back in 1999!  I updated it for the book, and beaded it in a fresh new color way, and it became the books cover piece.

Last week the book which is available for pre-order and due out August 6th hit Amazon's number one list in the category of Beads and Jewelry.

All of the Beads in Motion pieces have been returned to me and I've been having fun wearing them out and about.

The current focus, Beads in Motion is nearing the completion of beading, and it's signature piece will be My Secret Garden, another piece from the early 2000's which features a vessel with a removable lid which holds the surprise of the 'garden' tucked into the vessel.  And of course a new color version in black and silver with touches of spring green and fuchsia!

March is going to be very exciting with a visit from friend Gabriella, a trip to Northern California to celebrate our son's birthday, visit with family including my beloved grand babies, and then onto Beading by the Bay and enjoying so many friends!  That is followed by the drive home to San Diego where I will share our California coast with first time West Coast visitor Sabine.  We'll spend a night in the beautiful Emerald Iquana in Ojai California and stop by to say hello to Carole Tripp at Creative Castle, before heading to my home studio for a three day Sabine workshop.  Sabine's workshop is currently full but if you've like to be contacted about future guest artists please join my mailing list.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Are you a multi media artist?

I'm feeling a little one note lately.  My seed bead work is really in a place where I am proud of the design aesthetic, coloration, engineering and wearability of the pieces I am designing but I am yearning to expand.

I got to spend some time last night with a number of artists whose work I admire.  Among them Gail Crosman Moore who to me is the epitome of design evolution.  If she wants to create something new she just sorts out how to do it.  She is proficient in beadweaving, lampwork glass, felting, embellishment, patina's, metal clay, resin....beyond proficient, that is not a good enough word.  Her creations always beautiful and often bring together multiple disciplines.

I am sad that I wasn't able to carve out the time to spend in her class for the San Diego Bead society. I saw a few of the results including Jeannette Cook's gorgeous felted bag which she had begun to embellish.

Over dinner we talked ceramics with the talented Vannessa Backer, Resin with Susan Blessinger, and metal clay and bronze powder with another evolutionary artist Jonna Faulkner.  Chalon was a bright light as well and it was very nice to share parts of our journeys.  Susan shared a recent necklace that used a ceramic rabbit head from artist and friend Vannessa.  It incorporated chain, wire work, seed bead work and many different and fun elements.  A recent wearing at the Tucson shows proved the piece to be a show stopper, as it was admired at every second or third step.  Beautifully done!

Jonna has offered to play metal clay with me and I hope to make a bronze shawl pin to go with my new beaded shawl clasp.  Susan is up for sharing the learning she has done with resin.

Time is not on my side at the moment with the Beading by the Bay retreat, The Bead and Button Master Class and the finishing up of Beads in Motion all competing for a good portion of my attention.

I will however be working hard to adjust my schedule to explore and expand the number of artistic mediums I have available to me.

What are your plans?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Back from sailing!

Having a lunch at the costa brava resort before leaving for the airport.

Enjoyed lovely sunsets

And smooth sailing, see you all Monday!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gone Sailing

Mark is the sailor, not me.....but I have sailed with these folks before and enjoyed it.  I have beads and yarn and real books and ibooks and the first season of Downton Abbey so I am well fortified!

See you soon!

Beads in Motion, cover reveal!

The day the cover is revealed is always exciting....

Available for pre-order on Amazon

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Swarovski 2014 Innovations

Lot's of lovely new shapes and colors in the 2014 Innovations release - and some wonderful project on the Create Your Style Site!

Have a look at what is new at the Create Your Style Site - I especially love the African Wedding Necklace!

Judi Patuti's done it again!

You may know Judy's bead mats, maybe her brilliant thread catchers or totes, but now she has added a project pouch, beautifully detailed and zippered, with her trademark piping and coordinated prints.

The pouch is divided into two sides, so beads and project on one side (they conveniently fit a 6 inch tube) and tools or supplies on the other.


And because Judy is so clever, depending on the size of your stuff, you can either tri-fold the bag or fold it in half, and there are ribbon ties for either fold!

A few patterns new patterns, tote, bead mat, thread catcher and project pouch!
This set might  have to be mine!

Judy will be at the Tucson Bead Show Sat/Sun/Mon in booth #G136A and will have all these new fabulous prints!  After Tucson there will be some at Beading by the Bay and on her website 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Illustrating Beadwork

My days have been pretty mellow, a big stretch of days spent at home, some with company, some with Miss Maya and Mark.  I've been knitting for the little one, a favorite activity, and knocking off designs for The Bead Within, one after the other.

And I am in love with each of them.  I seem to be on a design roll, with each new one coming easily and being executed well.

For Beads in Motion I released directions for the 12 year old Rings of Saturn.   I updated the graphics, but little else about it changed.  Though it has been available as a kit for some time, I couldn't resist including it in the book as it was the impetus for the theme of the book, movement in beadwork.  It was also the first piece I designed that was noticed by the bead stores and resulted in me starting to teach nationally.

For the Bead Within, I will be including My Secret Garden, a piece I first designed and taught around 2001.  It is so much fun bringing new colors and better skills to an older piece like this.  The new Secret Garden will be black and silver with touches of fuchsia and lime green.  It is odd to look backwards at my very mediocre illustration skills at the time.  Documenting beadwork patterns has come a long way and the bar has been raised pretty high by a number of artists that do it really really well.  

I continue my learning curve with Adobe Illustrator and try to bring you the best possible illustration.  Is that something you value when you receive directions for a piece?  Or is it if the the piece really speaks to you, you can overlook some skill in that area?  Do you have ideas on what makes a well documented pattern?  I'd love to hear them.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cubic Right Angle Weave

Cubic Right Angle weave lends itself beautifully to angles and curves and since that is often my design aesthetic, it is a perfect go to stitch. can be a challenging one.

This pair of earrings, while they have simple lines present a few challenges in the various joins.  The middle cube of 3 mm crystals has a join off of 4 of it's faces.

Add to that the top ring is done with size 15 cubic raw and then must be joined.  When  joining it is important not to twist the cubes....well not so important visually unless you happen to want to embellish on one of those edges as I did.

Should you not get the join right, when you place the 2 mm crystal in each space, they will not meet up at the end point (ask me how I know?)

I decided on a little visual aid to make sure the join was correct.  On the first bead of the first side wall on every cube I placed a slightly contrasting size 15 bead.  To make the join correct, I needed to match up this bead when doing the join.  Since it was a side wall, the hole is vertically placed along one edge of the circle, making it a perfect place to put an embellishment bead.

Problem solving is one of the necessities of good design.  One that as time goes on in my design career I work harder at. I find there are structural design challenges as well as aesthetic.  I really like the 3 beads between the two crystals at the tip of the ellipse.  A subtle design element, but one that I think lends a completeness to the design.

Have you overcome any recent design challenges, either aesthetic or structural.  Does it give you a sense of satisfaction?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Beads to wear?

Recently someone asked me if I had tried Zentangle, and it turns out I have.   Having doodled for years during interminable corporate meetings, it was a fit, but......only because there were hours of meetings where knitting or beading were not acceptable pastimes and doodling was tolerated.  I have never been able to have quiet hands.

Now that beading and knitting are perfectly acceptable at almost all times (Mark finds it rude in front of company) I admit that I am hugely motivated by the wearable factor and I can't wear zentangle, at least not yet, but there may be ways....

Cyn Bicker zentangled her ott light beautifully and Liz Thompson is also a master at entangling (although she still has those corporate meetings to deal with) and Dallas Lovett is also into the zen of tangling and will share in this years Alaskan Cruise.

But for me, I love personal adornment.  It always puzzles me when beaders love the process but are not interested in wearing what they make.  I come across more of those gals then you might imagine.

There are also many accomplished beaders who bead objects, beautiful objects, artful objects and I love them.  Gabriella completed a beautiful mask which hangs on her wall, and I get it, it is gorgeous.  I started an art stick with NanC Meinhardt, but it has been neglected.......for the wearables.

and you?  Do you bead or knit for your own personal adornment, or that of others? Are you content to make the occasional art piece of beadwork?