Thursday, October 31, 2013

Das Perlament

A slightly out of sequence post. I wrote this while in Germany but was unable to post it.
Our bags are packed and we left the beautiful Grovesnor hotel in Shaftesbury England to make our way through the England countryside by coach back to Heathrow where we flew German Wings to Bonn/Cologne.
The modern lobby at the Grovesnor was just my style and I couldn't resist this photo of Mark and I just before we left.

Once more we are on our way for the third teaching venue of this European trip.

We were nicely hosted by this nice couple Lynn and Kevin who came to see us off.

This morning Mark and got up early and walked the Rhine River along a tree lined street with views like this along the way.

Fall time is evidenced by the falling leaves but it is very mild at the moment, in the mid sixties into the early evening.

The classroom at Das Perlament is just like Petra, exuberant and colorful. It was a treat to be there today with so many excellent beaders who were very enthusiastic about today's Pacific Morning Glory class.

Ppppssssst, I had Martina to help me in class today! She very graciously translated all of the instructions into German and made a most stunning sample piece which she turned into a necklace. Yes, had I only thought to take a photo for you. I also got to see both of her Bead and Button classes up close and personal, and all I have to say is need to have a look. She is teaching Wednesday and Thursday and I am only hoping I may be able to take a class with her.
Elke will come help me out tomorrow and I hope I get to see her pieces as well.
Well that's it for tonight. I have to get up early so I can walk tomorrow morning as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

La Navette

La Navette, Again and Again.....well you only get to see one new one here, the other is still in progress.  I am totally in love with this purple haze navette surrounded by violet crystals with a touch of matte lavender and chrysolite ab2x in it's pale gold band.  It may just be my favorite.  Sample beaded for me by the talented Karen Firnberg!  This makes color five and I have ideas for a couple of more.  Eveline Thudt (Crystal Tinker) used red magma, with bronze and turquoise ab2x.  Her plan was to make a scalloped necklace and to use this the bezeled navette as a focal.

The one in progress is a colorway done by Petra Tismer while test beading from the German directions in preparation for helping me in the classroom.  It's very soft and vintage looking in antique silvers and matte ivories.  I finished the focal during yesterdays long flight and started the band.  I may do some beading on it today.

I've given myself the day off but as always happens with re-entry into one's normal life, there are bank trips and grocery trips and a rental car that needs to be returned.  It was quicker to drive home from LAX rather then waiting for a five hour layover.  

While on my European tour I did manage one small bit of beadwork, a third duomos romanticos.  A pretty colorway for those who prefer gold.

I'm off to make tea and settle into a day of beading in the studio, I think it is just what I need!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Beading in England

Yesterday I shared some words about our trip and today I thought a few photos might be in order...

Here is the sweet Kerrie Slade who drove out to the Midlands to meet me.

She thankfully brought a bit of her stunning beadwork for me to peruse. The neon piece here was brilliantly designed, very clever that girl! And can you see bottom right the quiver with rose buds?

She also brought me two darling owls, which I've named Barton and Needwood, Barton is on the left. The eyes are opals which came from Kandra's. Kandra and I go back to the early 2000's or maybe before. Yes,, the connections again.

Here is Caroline's very beautiful Cassandra started in class on Friday and brought to class today finished!

Below are some charming photos of Shaftesbury which is a Medieval town dating back tot he 800's! And I thought my house was old.

The night before last we had a full moon sighting

And here is a church from our Sunday walk.

It's been a wonderful trip so far and I look forward to two more days teaching here and then off to Germany!

Have beads will travel

I realize as I travel around the world with beads that there are folks who read my blog and keep up with the goings on because they mention it to me. They will know about the purse Bad Liz made me, or the time I met Nancy Dale or the trip I took to Alaska, and I realize that through those writings I remain connected to bead folks from all over.

I'm also keenly reminded of how inter-connected this entire community is when I meet beaders at Stitchncraft who have met Helena Tang Lim and we talk together about her work. Or when Kerrie Slade shows me Yorkie her beaded doll in the likeness of Perry Brookstein of York beads where I've often shopped. Or when Kerrie relays that she has seen my Kandra ring on Kandra during their frequent skype sessions.

This weekend I was so so close to being able to meet Miriam Cielo Shimon whose work I am totally enamored with, but we just couldn't quite make it happen, I am hoping for next year.

I did reconnect with Shona who I first met at the Southern Bead retreat last year. She came wearing an Aelia one day and Spirit Flight the next. She is full of contagious enthusiasm and is doing some amazing bead designs of her own. She'll be teaching at Stitchncraft next year.

This trip all came about because of having met two British beaders when they persistently reached out to me wanting to come visit my studio. It turned out that they were truly delightful and we spent many fun San Diego days together. Stephney invited me to come teach for her Midland Beaders group and a plan was made.

The trip has been spectacular starting with a 5 day holiday in London. We stayed at the new modern trendy Citizen M and it was just my style. It was also conveniently situated on the Thames and near the London Bridge tube station so we were able to get out and about through London each day. We went to the V&A and saw a fabulous Pearl exhibit. We went to Greenwich and crossed the Prime Meridian. We had tea at Fortnums, saw Tom Hank at the Odean premiere of Captain Phillips and listened to Beatles tunes at the Savoy's Let it Be. My birthday was spent at the Stitch show at Alexandra Palace, locally referred to as Ally Pally. I met the darling Joanne from Southhampton beads. I bought some felt and some yarn and a Yoshi satchel.

Classes in the midlands and now down at Stitchncraft have been totally fabulous. Very accomplished beaders here.

Today I have off and since my fitbit has been working overtime wracking up some impressive step counts, I will spend much of today beading, interspersed with a little walking and a visit to the local pub.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The ultimate artists date

Julia  Cameron's the Artist's Way recommends weekly artists dates to flex your creative muscles in new directions.

I do not take this advice near often enough as I focus being prepared for each engagement in front of me.  But each engagement finds a way to incorporate the ultimate artist's date.

In Seattle this summer it was a visit to the Chihuly Museum.

Followed by a trip to Bainbridge Island by ferry.  I really should live somewhere where I have to take a ferry to go places....a favorite mode of transport!  I found this at the Bainbridge art museum.  The colors alone are inspirational.

The Alaskan cruise provided breathtaking views, this one in the Tracy Arms Fjord.  One big deep breath and I can feel the calm of that day returning.

and Los Angeles, well Los Angeles brought this.....a chance meeting with Tim Gunn.  I've always admired him so when I caught a glimpse of him at an Emmy party I decided I would say hello.  I did and he was incredibly gracious, taking my hands in his, asking my name and telling me how nice it was to meet me.  How lovely!

Tomorrow takes us to London and we have 5 days to explore.  A trip to Greenwich, tea at Fortnums, the Victoria and Albert and out to Alexandra Palace for the huge stitch show.  Now that will be an ultimate artists date.

I'm looking forward to this trip and to soaking up the moments and savoring them.

What is your ultimate Artist Date?  Sometimes a stroll through one's own garden will suffice, or a trip to a local farmers market or the library to take in a few art books.  The important thing is to remember to nurture ourselves and our creative sides!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bead and Button Bead Camp

I designed this specifically for this years Bead and Button show Bead Camp.  Why?  Because I am in love with Cubic Right Angle Weave and the way it curves so gracefully and creates angles so beautifully.  The bottom pendant is similar to the bottom of Vienna and the concept was part of the past years masters class.

Vienna however is not for the faint of heart, although I will say 20 people totally rocked it a Crystal Creations recently.  But I do like to provide a somewhat simpler project, especially for bead camp where the emphasis will be on learning and fun.

So I used the Pacific Morning Glory component, also part of the master class and put together this fun pendant.
Sun Dial Pendant
The sundial starts with a ladder stitch, where all the beads are placed on the thread and then picked off. I am always surprised by how many people have not done ladder stitch this way.  It has the distinct advantage of filling the holes in the beads with less thread which in this case is important as they are  used again.  The sundial also introduces the concept of placing beads between the spokes of ndebele, something that is often done, but if you've not done it before then a bit more learning is introduced.

Which brings me to my point....I like when project and process meet.  I always tell folks who are beginning or wanting to improve their beading to spend time building their fundamental skills.

I hope that Bead Camp will be that opportunity.  Sessions are May 28 - 31st.  There is a different project each day and you can sign up for any or all or any combination.  The day will be spent on the project and the evening will be spent in the classroom with me.  We can discuss technique, finish up projects, trouble shoot design variations, or just relax and bead together.

A Touch of  Whimsy

Pacific Morning Glory
I'll also teach two brand new classes during  show week in case Bead Camp doesn't fit your schedule!

If you are local to Milwaukee, better yet, you don't have to adjust your travel schedule and this will be a wonderful opportunity to go beyond a day of classroom learning.  All of the projects are pretty doable, so you will have finished projects well within your reach.  There will also be plenty of times to explore variations which is something that all of these projects lend themselves to.  Two Cassandras would make an excellent choker, extending the bands on Pacific Morning Glory makes a great necklace, A touch of Whimsy minus the resin ball makes a wonderful ring and so on.  Bead Camp has a different focus then last years master class but we will get to explore many of the same concepts together.