Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Right Angle Weave (part two)

The right angle weave square has grown fat! Instead of being a rather sad looking flat piece of weaving (which you can just see at the bottom of the stack), it's now a chunky little brick that rather reminds me of the stickle-bricks I used to play with as a child. Not sure if it's supposed to, but it's got one heck of a curve to it which I really like.
My version is a bit different to that of Marcia DeCoster's, but suffice to say I'm well chuffed with it and can finally see the possibilities of the RAW.
There are some of Marcia's other designs that I fancy and now feel able to give them a go.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Right Angle Weave

For years I've avoided right angle weave with seed beads. By this, I mean each "wall" of the cell consisting of one size 11 seed bead (ie, 4 seed beads making one cell). Then I came across Marcia DeCoster's project in the lates issue of Beadwork (April/May 2009) and simply had to have a go at RAW (again). And blow me down, it is actually working! I think my problem has been in looking for perfection in how the beads lay and expecting every one to be at exactly 90 degrees to its neighbour. Having looked at close ups of other people's work, I realise that ain't gonna happen and perhaps, finally, I can live with it.

Here's one of the layers of RAW and I will eventually let you see how the finished square of RAW has come along. Not very exciting I admit (and the colours are a bit dodgy to photograpy), but to me this is definitely progress!

Monday, 20 April 2009

April Beading

What d'ya know - we're already well past the middle of April and the sun has finally shown its face on the east coast of the UK. We had four days of solid fog last week - not nice - but when I think back to last April, it snowed! I remember this well as two friends got married in April - one had lovely weather, the other had snow and a bitterly cold wind. With this in mind and because I didn't have a blog going last April, I thought I'd share the jewellery I made for one of the weddings - lots of bling Swarovski rivolis inspired by the amazing Laura McCabe.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Beading Ethics

I've entered a competition on a forum, but did hesitate before entering the piece as some of the components were designed by someone else - would it be ethical to enter the piece? Ethics in beading are always a hot topic and are often a touchy subject too. I've been asked several times for permission to make my designs to sell - it's wonderful to be asked and I've not said no yet, but the crux of the point is asking.

In my case, the designer in question is that clever beady lady Diane Fitzgerald and some of the flowers I made were from her Beaded Garden book. Having sent her an email explaining the position and attaching a photo of the piece, she sent a lovely reply encouraging me to submit the work, for which I'm most grateful.

The moral of the story is to ask - it's correct, ethical and you'll get to touch base with another beady person! I find most people involved in beading extremely encouraging, generous and helpful and maintaining ethics is core to maintaining these good relationships.

Oooh, nearly forgot, here's the piece in question - One Wet Summer!

One Wet Summer Beadwork

Missing Links

Sometimes you put links on a page and wonder if anyone ever clicks on them. Other times, there are so many links you can't find your way through them all and the good ones get missed. With this in mind, take a few minutes to have a look at the wonderful and inspiring work of Gail Crosman Moore. I've played with felt before, but absolutely no where near a scale like this - everything is so organic and flowing, even her choice of colours are relaxing and inspiring. Magical. I hope you think so too.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Triballs over Easter

For once over Easter, I've had a few hours to myself in between shooting across the country on the motorbike, doing housework (boring!), walking the dog and other bits and bobs and have finally knuckled down to writing some instructions.

Now don't get me wrong, when I'm in the mood I quite enjoy writing and drawing diagrams, but that's just it - I have to be in the mood. Thankfully, this morning I was and the instructions for my Triballs are going swimmingly.

The matte grey cylinder beads coupled with Swarovski crystals must be my latest fad in colour schemes (albeit very monochromatic) as the St Petersburg stitch necklace I've been working on over Easter has some how ended up in very similar tones! Matte and crystals together are just, well, stunning!

What did beaders ever do before Swarovski crystal beads were around?

Saturday, 11 April 2009

More on St Petersburg Stitch

I've been trying out different ideas with St Petersburg stitch for the last few weeks and have just begun to realise how versatile it is. Tension is vitally important (isn't it always in beading?!) and the variation of finishes that can be achieved by using different bead types has really been worth exploring.

The sample photos (white beads) show firstly a single row then a double row of the stitch worked in size 11 seeds. It drapes well, but wasn't quite the finish I was looking for so I gave some matte size 11 seeds a whirl (3 rows this time). Better, but still not right and the daggers I had in my stash were limiting the colour schemes.

I then tried using some size 10 cylinders (delicas) and fitted some bicones down the middle - this was more what I was looking for, but I didn't like the way the cylinders were jostling against each other because of their squareness.

Finally, I've tried some size 8 seed beads with a matte finish and this seems to be working. No piccies yet as it's still a work in progress, but hopefully soon...

I love peyote, but right now St Petersburg is top of my favorite list!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Bead and Button Project

Yeaaaaah! I've just heard from Bead & Button that they like my latest design submission and will be publishing it! It's always a buzz to get news like this.

I should also get a proof copy very soon of the latest design I have in the pipeline with them and can't wait to see it - I think it's scheduled for the August issue, but magazines always work so far in front (the deadline for submission was February for August publication) and it seems a lifetime ago I sent everything in.

Now the hard work really starts - getting the instructions written...still, it's definitely worth it.

And what is the design? - well, you'll just have to wait and see 'cause I'm keeping it under wraps for now!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Beading on the go

I'm wondering if when I go on holiday in June I can managed to pack some beads in my luggage. Not a problem in usual circumstances, but we're going on a motorbike tour of bits of Europe (Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France ... well, that's the plan) and packing is very limited (2 pair of socks, 3 t-shirts, 1 jumper... for 2 weeks, with lots of travel-wash!).

Question is a) can I squeeze some beads in; b) will hubby realise/find them and tell me they can't go and I suppose c) will I have time to bead?!?

St Petersburg Stitch

Being a peyote addict, I've explored most possibilities of this stitch and got to know it "right well", so I thought it high time I got to know some other stitches equally well.

I tried St Petersburg stich the first time a few years ago and whilst I liked it, at the time I didn't see much potential to develop it - until now! For the past week, all I've done is play with variations of the stitch and it's now (well, until another one comes along!) my favourite stitch. I've tried it with 11s, 8s, delica 10s, 2mm bugles and double delicas so far and there's loads more experimentation to come. Photos to follow...