Thursday, December 17, 2009
I was contacted recently for an interview on the beading blog Beads Perles and today my interview was published. I'm honored because this seems to be the ultimate resource for interviews with talented beadweavers from around the world. The blog is in Spanish with the interviews published in both Spanish and English. I guess I could compare my answers to the Spanish and learn a few more words !(I have a lazy ongoing project to learn Spanish) Good thing I have it bookmarked now because I hope to get caught up with reading all the interviews one day !
Monday, December 14, 2009
Better photos will be coming shortly. This is a necklace that I did a couple years ago. I originally used a purchased glass leaf pendant, but everyone who saw it in my art gallery said "oooohh !!! did you make the pendant ?" After saying "no" one too many times, I vowed never to make another artist's or commercially made pendant the focal point of a piece of beadwork. It took me two years to come up with an idea that I like for another pendant.
I purchased the agate slab while on vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine the summer before, and at the last minute before gallery jury day, I decided it would work perfectly with the unadorned necklace. Feverishly working all day yesterday, going out for a few hours with a friend then staying up until 1:30 am, it was ready to visit the gallery this morning. I haven't checked yet, but I hope it was accepted and will find a new home shortly !
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I wanted to stitch up a quick herringbone bracelet, but for some reason, it didn't want to be a bracelet after all. What started out as an easy plan for finishing, turned into a weeks long project that I put aside numerous times. My deadline was the big gallery holiday show, so that forced me to bring this thing to a conclusion. At 11:30pm the night before jurying, I stitched up some earrings to match. It's in the gallery now, and hopefully someone will think it's the perfect gift.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Yesterday was the jury day for the big holiday show at Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery . I was on the jury panel and had fun scrutinizing all the great fiber art that passed under my nose. I am good with detail and was able to spot tiny flaws in knitting, beadwork and sewing. If I could only get paid to do that every day ! Anyway, our gallery has an unbelievable amount of beautiful fiber works to wear, view or use and there is something for everyone on the shopper's gift list. I got 35 items accepted into the show which lasts through December.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I took the plunge today and set up an ArtFire shop probably because there are other less enjoyable projects to finish up around the house, and it was a good way to procrastinate. Don't know how to connect with some of the other ArtFire shops, or even to get my shop to show up in a search for "beadweaving". I used that as a keyword, but for some reason it's not working. I keep toying with the idea to take down my Ambrosian Beads website which is not easy to update, but I need a shop that will allow me to use a .com domain. Plus I like to have a place to showcase all my previously sold works. It seems to be a never-ending search for the perfect (free or cheap !) web host !
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
One of the members of the Etsy Beadweavers put together this deliciously beautiful montage of works by nearly every member of the team. My Shades of Grey necklace appears near the beginning at the 26 sec. mark. Thank you, Christina, of Good Quill Hunting for making this lovely video. Now, when I need inspiration, I'll just watch the video !
Friday, October 23, 2009
A couple weeks ago, I blogged on Fiberlines about learning to tat. My intention is to incorporate beads and make some jewelry items. After finishing my very first tatted medallion, I dug up this pretty pearl cotton that I've had for years, and strung it with some 8/0s. I'm hoping this will turn into a bracelet and I might figure out a way to work some beadweaving into the edges. Stay tuned !While you're waiting on pins and needles for the outcome of this project, take a look at totusmel's incredible Tatted Mask instructions on Instructables, or visit this tatting forum to meet fellow tatters.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Yesterday I went the the Green Festival to perform with my band at the end of the show. There were hundreds of vendors promoting green products and services, and as I was making my way through the booths, I found one of my favorite organizations, Bead for Life. This organization helps women in Uganda produce beads and jewelry made from recycled magazines. The sales of the jewelry help the women with individual and community projects in their towns. I rushed right up to the booth and started shopping. It's always so hard to choose just the right piece, but I ended up selecting two simple bracelets. The ladies kindly allowed me to take a photo. I hope they had some good sales at the show.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I just got back from a three day trip to New York to be a part of the annual "Lavagem da Rua 46" which is a Brazilian parade based on the "Lavagem do Bonfim" in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. The festival and parade took place on 46th Street which is known as Little Brazil. I went as a member of my all-women percussion band, Batala Washington and marched wearing all white as is traditional. The excitement was unbelievable as the famous Brazilian musician, Carlinhos Brown , led the parade and performed afterwards. I never knew anything about him, but he is a fantastic entertainer. I'm going to download some of his songs. After the parade, I was walking down 6th Avenue and discovered several bead stores. Treating myself to a few goodies was the icing on the cake to an excellent day which included samba and caipirinhas !
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Seems forever since I have posted to my blog. I haven't had a spark of creativity for the last six months. I guess, since I left the Artists' Undertaking Gallery last summer, I had less reason to bead as much as I used to. I'm still at the Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery (recently renamed) and we can jury in items each month only up to three times if they don't sell. I took my overstock to a new art/craft shop in Hyattsville, MD last October and sold a couple pieces, but they had to close down in May. So guess what, MORE jewelry just sitting around the house. Now I can wear it all the time, though ! Anyway, haven't felt like making MORE new stuff, just 'cause I can't think of what to do with what I already have. So, little by little, it's going in my Etsy shop, like this bracelet I made last fall: Bracelet Got the Blues and these earrings I made around the same time:Red and White Ball Earrings
The latest challenge the Etsy Beadweavers have engaged in used the theme "First Ladies of Style". Check out the incredible entries in the challenge and make a visit to the Etsy Beadweavers' blog to vote for your favorite. As usual, I haven't entered. I guess it's been almost two years since I entered something. Seems I was always under the gun to finish something completely unrelated for my galleries, and could never fit in the time. I WILL make something again sometime, I promise ! For now, all I can do is vote !
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
After re-thinking my beadweaving class offerings, I decided to go with shorter, more beginner level classes at a very affordable price ($15--can't bead, I mean beat that !). I was originally offering 3-hour classes which used my kits, but wasn't getting any takers for those. I came up with some smaller projects which the owner approved and put them on the schedule. I offered an intro to beadweaving which had the student make a simple leaf design with size 8/0 beads and intro to brick stitch which used a simple graphed pattern I made with BeadTool. A few students signed up for those and had a good time. The next class on the schedule is bead embroidered cabochon pendant or pin and I have several people down for that. I'm also offering triangle earrings, peyote tube bracelet or earrings and brick stitch circle earrings or pendant. These are the upcoming class dates:
Feb. 28 2-4 pm Bead Embroidered Cabochon
Mar. 14 3-4:30 pm Triangle Earrings
Apr. 5 2-3 pm Peyote Bead Tube Bracelet or Earrings
May 9 2-3:30 pm Brick Stitch Cirvle Earrings
Sunday, February 15, 2009
As I was winding down from an afternoon of beadweaving classes, I decided to check my YouTube channel to see how many views I've gotten on my one-and-only beadweaving tutorial. I was shocked to see that it's been viewed almost 7400 times !!! I think it might be due to it's location on a jewelry and beading blog that I didn't know about until it showed up in my Google Alerts.
I'm not that happy with the tutorial as my camera doesn't take great macro shots, nor do I have a digital video camera. However, I wanted to get something out there as an experiment until I am ready to upgrade my equipment. The one thing I love about the tutorial is the music of my friend, Nana Frimpong, and his amazing djembe playing. When I post another tutorial, I plan to use more of his music. I think it has a certain meditative yet purposeful sound, perfect for beadweaving.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Last month, I whipped up a whole bunch of Batala themed jewelry (red, white and black color scheme) for a Batala fundraiser. I wanted to display the earrings on a wire form, but didn't want to spend any more money on fancy earring cards, so I tried out an idea. I took some free twisty ties, folded them in half, taped them to the back of the earring cards, folded the loop over into a small hook and voila ! Easy hanging earring cards :-)
Friday, January 2, 2009
I have so many designs that I would love to write instructions for, but I always hit a brick wall when it comes to including good diagrams. Since I'm a cheapskate, I'm not about to spend $300 on some drawing program which takes a college course to learn how to use. So I've been battling with the programs pre-installed on my computer plus limited trial use and freebie programs. I can't seem to find a program (that I can figure out) that allows you to move the circles or ovals (bead shapes) around and put them where you want them. They always seem to jump to some pre-determined location. Plus I would love to make them look 3-D, etc.
I have had a bit of luck, though, after reading some messages on the BeadTool Lovers Yahoo group list where I discovered the free program, Inkscape, along with a link to this fantastic tutorial which is soooooper dumbed down, just what I need ! I worked my way through the detailed instructions, was able to create some 3-D bead shapes, numbered them and was trying to do the final step which is drawing a thread path, and for some reason, the lines keep disappearing ! And I was so close to getting it. I'm determined and will try again because people are asking me for certain patterns and all I have been able to do is take photos of each step. It's a very time-consuming effort and often I'm not satisfied with the detail of some shots. Once the item is made, I'm not going to make another exact copy just to work up to that point for a re-do of a photo :P
A customer was requesting the pattern for my Chevron Chain and Peyote Bracelet and the other day I got lucky and remembered that the pattern had been available on the Bead Bugle website. I had sold the design to Bead Bugle about five years ago (for a little more than the price of a finished bracelet :P) and decided to check for it. Lo and behold, it's still there. I don't know how many millions (lol) they have made off of it, but at least I was able to give my customer the opportunity to get it immediately. Back to working with Inkscape now !