One big motive for starting this blog is that I have reached a point where I feel I have something worth saying and showing about beadwork. I began beading before the digital age, and subscribed to Bead and Button within the first few months of its appearing on the shelves in the mid-90s (back then it was found in places like Walden Books and B. Dalton). I taught myself out of its pages and by scouring bookstores and craft sales for other resources.
When the web came along I did bead swaps on Seed Bead Frenzy, my first experience with the wonderful online beading community, and found a local beading group through a listserv (South Central PA Beaders and didn't we have ourselves some great bead-ins). Now I'm sticking my big toe into what is, for me anyway, the next new thing - writing a blog and sharing my work and my ideas on the web. I have gotten so much from my fellow beadwrights - from the magazines to bootleg Russian patterns (yes, I do confess to downloading some) to preordering the latest book by a favorite bead artist.
Some topics I hope to talk about in a semi-regular way:
Beading mashups. I learned a great deal from making other designers' projects and am always looking at how I can adapt and apply the techniques I learn.
Design challenges. These might be challenges in figuring out a color palette, dealing with odd-sized beads or other bumps in the creative road that turned out well (or ill).
Memory Lane. I’ve been beading long enough for that path to stretch quite a distance.
Inspired By… Featuring images that got me creating and the result.
Today - a design challenge. I love peacock motifs and fell for an art bead that featured them several years ago at a bead show. Sad to say, I do not remember who made it (if anyone who sees this has an idea, I'd love to hear from you).
Most of us with a bead stash are familiar with the ritual of taking out our collection of art beads, gazing fondly at them…and putting them away again. I have a drawer (OK, drawers) full of these and it is always an achievement when I figure out a way to create a piece of jewelry around them. I really wanted to wear this bead and on my ramblings through my files I found a pattern that gave me the answer.
Here's the original design, and you can find the pattern here.
I call it the Satellite Pendant because it looks a bit like a UFO. It is basically two fancy bead caps stitched together, but it struck me that my bead would fit very well between the two caps.
But I also needed to anchor the big bead to each cap somehow, so I used size 15 seed beads to join the two halves to each other with the big bead sandwiched between. This also would stabilize the peacock bead - it's a big bead - so it wouldn't wobble around.
Here's the result:
I wore this later to a bead show and one of the exhibitors identified the artist and said "she's here and you need to show her that." So I did and the artist gave me the ultimate compliment of snapping a photo, saying she really liked what I had done with her bead. This is the "ahhh" in beading, when you get it right.