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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Creativity, Productivity and a Deadline

I have not posted on my blog from quite awhile. I recently started a post about blocked creativity, but it did not get finished or posted.

I have been in a bit of a creative funk lately. I worked on a number of samples earlier in the spring for Maria over at Rypan Designs. But since then I have not been able to really work on and complete any significant piece of beadwork. I have done earrings and simple pendants but the drive and desire to do anything else is just not there.

This week thou I have a co-worker, Carrie, who is leaving my library to work at another branch. She loves pink and I decided that I would make something for her. Today was the last day we would be working together, so I had a deadline. I have also been going thru back issues of Bead & Button and Beadwork to see if I want to sell them at an upcoming garage sale.

I found the perfect design for Carrie's necklace. In the December 2008 Bead & Button magazine had a design by Donna Pagano Denny called Scalloped Lace. It combined Swarovski crystals with seed beads using a modified Right Angle Weave. It called for two colours of crystals but I decided to use just Rose Alabaster bicones.

As I was finishing the necklace I remembered a pattern the I had printed from Beadwork. It was for right angle weave earrings by Leslie Rogalski. They coordinated perfectly with the necklace. I used just Rose Alabaster bicones instead of the two colours suggested in the pattern.

A deadline help me get some of my creativity back. Hope that it is not just a spark but a blaze of creativity and productivity!

Complete set
Detail of Earrings
Detail of Necklace

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blissful Garden Earrings

I am back after 2 weeks. Earlier this month I signed up to participate in Blissful Garden Beads' April earring challenge. These two beautiful little beads arrived in the mail Tuesday and the earrings needed to be finished by today.
Challenge Beads
I spent Tuesday & Wednesday evening trying different ideas. I did not want to just put them on headpins and I only used supplies that I already had. It took about 12 attempt to find one that I liked.
Completed Earrings
These are shoulder dusters, made with three different lengths of chain. Each chain has a clear glass drop on the end.

It was challenging to make these within the time frame and going beyond the basic method of using just a headpin. I like the look of these, but they are not something that I would wear. I will likely donate them to the Corsage Project, so that they will be wore to a young lady's prom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bag of Beads Challenge

It is time again for the Toronto Bead Society's Bag of Beads Challenge. This year's bag included seed beads, bugles, pearls, faceted beads, chain, feathers and a butterfly. 
OMG! What am I going to make with these!
For a month I did not know what I was going to do. I had an idea for the butterfly based on a ring that Kelly Osborne wore on a red carpet show for the Grammys.

It was not until I was at the Thursday class with Diane Fitzgerald in March that I got an idea of what else to make. Fellow beader Colleen was wearing a beaded pendant that used bugles and seed beads. I played with the given beads and created this peyote stitch tube that holds three of the feathers.
Full view of pendant that will be worn on a length of the chain
Detail view of the pendant
Tonight was the presentation night for the bag of beads. As always it was an amazing night of inspiring beadwork.
Some favourites

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashback Friday Flashback

It has been 6 months since I started this regular feature of looking back at some older beadwork. So today let's look back as some of my favourite flashbacks.

Here are those that featured Toronto Bead Society Bag of Beads Challenge - red, white and black & pastels and coral.

Stringing favourites - copper and pearls, celtic glass knots & hearts and crystals.

Rypan Designs projects - netted kilim, retro lariat, gothic drapes, twig chip cascade, cascading twigsloomwork.

It has been great to look back. I will photograph some more pieces to share during the next six months.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One of a Kind - Spring 2011

Today marks the end of the Spring One of a Kind show here in Toronto. I went down to the show twice this time. The first was on Thursday on my own. I was inspired by all the amazing creativity shown by the artisians.

I bought two lampwork bug beads from Leslie Winemaker at Dream Glass. I finished them with some wire to use as purse charms.

I also purchased a new leather bag from Andre Ouellet and some delicious cookies from Mad Batter Bakers.

Anna and I were back again on Saturday to take the embroidery workshop with Melissa McColl of Vintage Baby Revival. Workshop was fun. Anna and I hope to take another one in the fall.

To my Thursday purchases I added these cute hair elastics by from Liligo for my niece Elizabeth.
I also got a customized owl pendant by Lucie Kovarova-Weir from Lunacy Glass. I had a book replace the branch and mouse she had in other pendants.
I stopped by Leslie's booth to show her what I had done with the bug beads. I also bought these five beads which uses a reactive glass that makes each bead a one of a kind bead.
I have marked November 24-December 4 on my calendar for the Christmas show.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Flashback Friday - Multi-strand Necklace with Art glass pendant

This is another treasure from the bottom of the finished project drawer. The design was inspired by the spots of colour on the glass pendant. I found Swarovski bicones that matched the colours. I randomly placed them on five strands of seed beads.

It can be worn with the strands loose or you can twist it to make it shorter and more compact. I wore the many times after I made it. But at some point it must have gotten dropped as the pendant now has a hairline crack.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday - Netted Cuff

Here is another treasure found at the bottom of my finished project drawer. This is a basic netted cuff made back when I was prefecting my technique.
It uses just seed beads. Now I would likely want to add some surface embellishments. But I like the simple basic look of this cuff. I used two simple toggles to ensure that it would lay flat when worn.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recently finished projects

After a few weeks of working on samples for Maria at Rypan Designs, I did a number of strung pieces with lampwork beads.

This first one combines lampwork with silver beadcaps, crystals and paper beads.
This one is a reworking of a previous necklace. The acid etched black quartz changed with wear. The etching wore off, so I ended up with black beads that did not work in the design. Here is the new version.
At Bead Oasis I bought a set of lampwork beads that I made into a bracelet.
Also at Bead Oasis I purchased one of Amy Waldman Smith's new bottle version of her Ottoman beads. I selected one that went with the first Ottoman bead I bought. I have combined the two with Swarovski crystals to make a enlongated pendant.
 I also finished my Bag of Beads project which I will post after reveal night in April.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cubes and Leaves

A just over a week ago, Diane Fitzgerald was here in Toronto teaching at beadfx and talking at Toronto Bead Society. I was lucky enought to take both of the classes. On Wednesday it was Moorish tile beads. They are fun to make as they are related to Julia Pretl's beaded boxes that I love.
First bead with colour inspiration
Fellow beaders finished beads
My first and second beaded beads
I am going to make all seven designs in the instruction package.

Thursday's class was for Diane's iconic Ginkgo Leaf Necklace. I got past the fact that it is done with brick stitch, my least favourite stitch. The first part of the class with learning about different ways to blend colours. Here is my first leaf.

I have started another leaf with shinier beads. I have it about 3/4 done. I am not likely how it looks, so I am only going to make more leaves like my first one. Only 10 or 11 more to make. I am then going to attach them to a bronze chain rather that with beaded lariat Diane uses. Not sure how long it will take for me to get this project done, maybe by the fall.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashback Friday - Visiting Teachers

Last week I was lucky enough to take two classes with the amazing Diane Fitzgerald. It made me think of other beadwork artists who have come to Toronto to teach. I found a picture of this beaded object.
It is from a class with NanC Meinhardt when she was in Toronto in 2005. This is done in free form right angle weave. We started with a form made with polymer clay. Here is what I started with.
I can't find this little beaded object, so these not so great photos are what I have to look back on. I will look to see if I can find any other visiting teacher projects to post in the coming weeks.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Crystal Copper Pearl set

Basic stringing designs go from simple to complex. Here is a set combining crystal, copper and pearls. I don't remember when this was made, but it has been worn many times.

The copper beads have started to patina and change from bright to dull and dark. I love the way copper changes with wear and time.

The left over copper beads were finally used in my recent Copper Armoured Dragon necklace.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flashback Friday - Netted Kilim

Here is a piece from about 7 years ago. This netted necklace is based on the design of a kilim rug. Featured in the June 2003 issue of Bead & Button, it is by Maria Rypan of Rypan Designs. It has the look for a loomwork piece but is done using netting and connected by long bugles and seed beads.
I used a two shades of blue, a silver-lined crystal and a gold plated beads. This was the project were I learn about the lack of durablity, at the time, of plated or coated beads. The plated beads along the neck edge of the piece are now just clear beads.
This is a fun project to play with different colour combinations. Maria's originial uses navy iris and gold. She  has also taken the technique and used beads from a TBS bag of beads challenge to create her Sedona Kilim.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally framed

I finally got my hand marbled peacock print framed. I got this print at the 2009 Christmas One of a Kind Show from Studio Robert Wu. I was saving up to have it framed as I knew that it would likely cost over $200 to have it done. Getting it done was given a kick start when there was a Groupon for framing at Artworld of Sherway. I took the print in earlier this month and the helpful staff that Artwork helped me select mats and framing. I pickup the framed piece on Friday.
 Here is it now on the wall in my bedroom. It looks great!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Flashback Friday - Celtic Glass Knot

I like the look of Celtic knots. I have done them in cross stitch and loomwork. I had some beautiful pewter Celtic knot beads, one of which was a ring. I wanted to create a necklace using a length of silk cord. I saw some great lampwork beads at Susan Stortini's booth at a show that looked like knots.  I knew that they would look great with the pewter beads. But she did not have them in the colour I was wanting to use, a heather purple. Once I explained what I was looking for she offered to make in the colour I wanted. Shortly after the show I got my beautiful heather purple glass knot beads.

Here is the necklace using just the silk cord and four of the glass knot beads.

Here is a bracelet with the pewter Celtic knot beads accented with lampwork beads and a few Swarovski cyrstals.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Owl Trio Necklace

Today was the start of another six week session of Toddler Time at my library. I read one of my all time favourites, Owl Babies. I wore my newest necklace inspired by last week Flashback Friday and the fabulous owl beads I was given by my friend Maria.
I combined the owls with Swarovski crystals, fire polished rondells,and some elongated bicone silver spacers. This was a great piece to wear. I will work on a coordinating bracelet with the matching little owls.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Copper Armoured Dragon Necklace

For the last few weeks I have been working on samples for Maria of Rypan Designs. I delivered the last of them to Maria this afternoon. I decided to make something using some of the lampwork beads that I purchased last month.

One of the sets was called dragon eggs. They looked like mottled green dragon skin to me. I combined them with copper beads, spacers and Swarovski crystals.
I looked forward to wearing this tomorrow and seeing what my co-workers think of it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flashback Friday - Owl Babies

As a children's services staff member at Toronto Public Library I do Ready for Reading storytime for toddlers and one of my all time favourite storytime books is Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.

At a TBS garage sale a few years ago someone was selling these cool little wooden owl beads. I knew just what I would make with them, so they came home with me. I combined them with other wooden beads that I had in my stash to create this bracelet with three babies owl (Sarah, Percy and Bill).

Owls, in general,  are a favourite of mine. Knowing this Maria gave me a number of different owl beads from her recent trip the bead shows down in Tuscon. I look forward to make some new wise and fun owl pieces soon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Herringbone Pansy

This morning I was looking in the hanging storage boxes of my finished jewellry to find pieces to use for Flashbacks. I found a number of pieces that have not been blogged about. Here is the first piece.  

This is necklace featuring a beautiful pansy bead by glass artist Kirsty Naray. Instead of stringing it with other beads as I have with many other necklaces, I beaded two herringbone tubes which cover the beading wire. It is a simple but elegant way to wear an amazing lampwork bead.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chain Linked Heart Necklace

With Valentine's Day just over a week away and a beautiful heart bead set from Crafted Gems I decided to make a necklace. I combined this beautiful heart bead set with red and crystal Swarovski crystals.
I made a center section of the lampwork beads crystals, which I linked to small sections of crystals. I finished it by adding a length of chain on each end.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flashback Friday - Lariat

This week's flashback is the vesatile Retro Lariat from Rypan Designs. With no closure the lariat is a long band of beadweaving. You can make it as long as you want. It can be worn is so many different ways, including as belt (if long enough).
Retro Lariat
This is a simple netted design, colour placement creates the zippered look. The lampwork beads add interesting breaks in the basic beadweaving.

Fringe Detail
 Here is the coordinating bracelet and earrings.
Indo bracelet and earrings

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Briolette Earrings

On Saturday January 22 I was helping Maria with her classes at Bead Rock, a bead store in Ajax. Of course I could not resist looking about and I found these great blue goldstone briolettes. I also got two stands of fire polished rondelles.

I played around with a few ideas, but was inspired by instructions I saw on how to wire wrap a briolette. I decided to try a few with the plan to use them in a necklace. The necklace design is still a work in process. I decided to make a few sets of earrings.
With just briolettes
With Swarovski crystals accents
The success of these earrings had me digging in my gem and mineral drawer to see what other briolettes I had. I found a strand of moss agate briolettes. There was a mix of colours from a moss green to a pale gray.
Moss green stones with Swarovski crystal accents
Pale gray stones with purple Swarovski crystal accents
I am getting better at wire wrapping. I hope to find just the right chain style to make my original necklace idea work soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday - Gothic drapes

This is a variation of Rypan Designs  single drape Gothic necklace. My friend Anna came up with the idea to use Swarovski pearls instead of the original fire polished beads. I made up the necklace as I can almost make any of the gothic drapes in an evening.

I was reminded of this project as I was making up a new sample of a three drape gothic for Maria to use in her booth at upcoming shows. The new sample used Swarovski cubes and rounds. Here it is on the kit cover.
Here is an older display board with the various gothic necklaces.
I like the versatility of the gothic design. You can use larger crystals, different shapes and of course make it the perfect length.

Here is the Crystal Rhapsody that I did back at the fall 2008 Creativ Festival. It is made with all Swarovski crystals. It sparkles like crazy and is fun to wear.