Monday, November 22, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Shortly after learning the theme and starting to think about how I wanted to develop it, my SO and I visited the tiny town of Paxico, KS. Paxico is surviving by having become a community almost totally made up of antique shops. It's a delightful place to visit and the shopkeepers are very friendly and helpful. In one, when I told the lady I was looking for old costume jewelry that I could use in my beadwoven designs, she directed me to the appropriate niche and there I found the perfect focal for my October challenge entry. It was a silver maple leaf shaped brooch with a red jasper stone set in the center. It had definitely seen better days but the apparent aging only added to its appeal. After all, what are Autumn leaves if not aged? This sad little jewelry box reject now sits grandly front and center in a glorious tribute to the colorful beauty of Autumn falling leaves. It's surrounded by bead embroidered stylized leaves on a bib necklace with beadwoven Russian leaves falling from the edges. I hope Mother Nature approves.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Well, recently, I have been working my little fingers to the bone getting ready for upcoming shows and I was looking through my bead stash for some quick and easy ideas. I rediscovered a lovely purple stone that I had purchased from a vendor at the Topeka farmers market this summer. She always tells me the names of the stones, but for the life of me, I can't remember this one. It is perhaps a dyed piece. But whatever it is, it is pretty and had caught my eye in her tray of focal pieces. It also triggered my memory of the peppers so I decided to work it up in a simple strung style using the pepper colors. I used amethyst nuggets and chips with Czech fire polish beads and seed beads. What do you think?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I absolutely love creating fall florals. It has to be my favorite season. Fall colors are so rich, so glorious. There's nothing timid about the brilliant rusts, golds, crimsons and purples. Here's a few of my favorite designs I've gotten made up so far.
|I think this is one of the best antler wreaths I've ever made.|
|Found this sunflower vase at a yard sale.|
|Isn't this pumpkin vase great?! Another yard sale find.|
|I love to work with grapes and this old wine gift box said "Take me home"!|
|My favorite! This used to be a two-tiered plate holder.|
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Just about every Saturday morning from May until September, my SO and I have a routine. Early risers during the week, weekends are usually not exceptions for us. We get the Friday night paper which lists the area yard sales, check the on-line version of the paper and Craigslist and head out on Saturday mornings in search of treasure. Quite frequently I find things I can reuse in my jewelry and floral designs so I can easily justify my penchant for collecting other people's castaways. After checking out yard sales, we head to the local farmers' market before finishing the morning at the grocery store.
It was at the farmers' market this morning that I found my unexcepted inspiration. We always stop to chat briefly with a friend who runs a stall and while there I glanced down and saw the most wonderful mix of colors. It was a box with four peppers - one dark green, one yellow green, one orangey red and one purple. It was a feast for the eyes! And being a beadweaver, my first thought was, "Ooh, I should make up a necklace in these colors!". My friend assured me that as well as being pretty, they also tasted good, because my second thought was that they would really be good in a stir fry. So they came home with me and I decided to capture their beauty in a more fitting vessel than their cardboard produce box before we slice and dice them into the skillet.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The second part of the week was a bit more of a whirlwind, but equally fun. After coming home and repacking, my SO and I headed to Denver. We have developed a fondness for botanical gardens and arboretums and decided to check out the Denver Botanical Gardens. Steve has gotten some terrific photos on our garden visits and was hoping to add to his repertoire. Two of his best selling photographs are from the botanical gardens at Hot Springs, Arkansas. I take my camera too and have a blast snapping away at interesting flowers or architectural or natural elements. But Steve thinks we should do something that I like to do too, so I always get a double treat. Not only do I get to visit beautiful gardens, I get to search out Bead Shops!! And it's not a rush visit, either. The man has the patience of Job, waiting for me while I peruse strand after strand of beads and gemstones and cases of cabochons and findings.
Though my time in Denver was short, I managed to find three delightful bead shops. The first was owned by a fellow Etsy seller, Megan from The Peacock Shop. She was such fun to visit with and while her shop was small, her customer service and friendliness were huge! I wound up buying a fabulous turquoise cabochon from her along with some other cool beads including what she called peanut seed beads. The second shop I found was the Rocky Mountain Bead Trader in Englewood, owned by a man named Jay Phillips. Again, the friendliness and customer service were outstanding. I bought some really nice tiger eye leaf beads, some seed beads and Czech firepolish beads in colors I hadn't seen in my area. When he learned I was interested in seed beads, he suggested I try another shop in the area, Orrs' Trading Company. Oh my. Talk about walking into a beadweaver's version of a candy store, this was it. I had never seen so many colors of seed beads in one place in my life. As far as I was concerned, this was totally worth the trip. I know that a lot of bead weavers don't like to use anything but Delicas, but I guess I'm old school and I still love the Czech seed beads. Needless to say, I left with a slightly lighter wallet from this shop but a much more vast assortment of seed bead colors and finishes for my collection.
As a bonus, I met another extremely friendly, extremely talented beadweaver in the woman who waited on me, Marilyn Hume. Marilyn makes Blessing Sticks and sells them at the store. They are pieces of wood about a foot long that she covers with intricate peyote patterns using size 15 beads. The ends of each stick are then finished with feathers and fetishes. I wish I had asked her permission to photograph one so I could show it here. They are just amazing!
I know there are other bead shops in the Denver area but, alas, time did not allow me to seek them out. However, I would give a hearty recommendation to any of the three stores I got to visit. And hopefully, I'll be able to visit them again if my bead adventures take me back to Denver.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Then today it was my turn. I received my swap package in the mail and when I read the return address, I was really excited. The team member who had my name was Marcie Abney of La Bella Joya! Marcie does just beautiful work and I have admired her style since she became a member of EBW. When I opened my package, I was in no way disappointed. She designed a bracelet just for me using the name of my shop as inspiration. And of course, she used my favorite color - purple!!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
First, I measured my aluminum cuff blank (purchased from gottagetadeal on Etsy) and made a template for future use. Then I cut a lining for the inside of the cuff from black ultrasuede and glued it to the inside of the foundation. I also cut a piece of backing for the embroidery out of a stiff felt. This is the same backing material I use for cabochon necklaces. Next, I glued in place the three cabochons I had selected to use as focals. The center one is a faux red jasper and the two outer ones are repurposed button earrings. I loved the blend of colors in them! Now I was ready to choose beads for enhancing the cabs.There were lots of reds, copper, bronze and even black in the button earring "cabs" so of course those were the colors I went with. Picked out seed beads, firepolish crystals and some glass and metal accent beads and I was ready to roll.
Other than positioning the three cabs and knowing that I would bezel them with the crystals and seed beads, I really didn't have a pre-formed notion of what I was going to do. The piece is sort of evolving from "what if and let's try this" moments. Oddly enough, I've found that some of my best work happens this way. So far, I'm pleased with this creative process and think the cuff is going to be a keeper. My boyfriend says it's gaudy and maybe it is, but I love color and texture. So I shall continue on doing what I do and when it's all finished, I'll post it here.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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