Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Little History

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.









7 comments:

  1. Welcome the bead blog world! Have fun sharing your work. I love how you showcased your art bead.

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  2. beautiful beaded pieces.That is a talent that i just do as my eyes are not so good with those tiny beads these days.

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  3. Alice, thank you for looking and commenting. My eyes are still hanging in there, so far.


    Heather, I have been a fan of the Art Bead Scene for many years, thanks for looking and the encouragement. It really made my day.

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  4. Wow! Such lovely little works of art!

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    1. Thank you so much for your good words! Sorry I didn't reply sooner, still getting the hang of this, but I will be more attentive in future.

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  5. I've always loved that necklace and bead, Kay. It is interesting to read about how you got started beading. You were a talented beader from the beginning, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate this especially coming from you.

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