Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back to Bead Embroidery

Finally, I pried myself away from the chains! Here are two of my latest endeavors. The top picture has a vintage focal cab I bought from a friend. Originally, I was going to make this pendant pink. I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but it morphed into this coppery coral. Much more my colors anyway. I felt like I was coming home when I started beading it. As much as I enjoy other kinds of beading, embroidery will always be my first love.

The second picture is a pendant I just finished this week. I'm not sure what the stone is, but it reminded me of pictures of the earth from space. It was fun pulling the colors from the stone to use in this piece. As most of you know, they are rather subtle for me. Can I help it if I'm drawn to intense colors?

Eleven of us went to the NorCal Bead Bazaar in Oakland earlier this month. As always, it was a great show. We came home with lots of goodies and had great fun showing them to each other on the train ride home. I think we have become spoiled riding the train up to Oakland. We have lots of time to bead, chat, read or doze as we choose. There are no parking fees to worry about and much less stress. Amtrak gives you bus passes to and from the station to the Convention Center so there is no cost there. The only drawback we have discovered is that they don't stop at Dairy Queen. LOL

CCBS is well on it's way to another good year. At our March meeting this Saturday, we will return the Brown Bag Challenge kits to their respective owners. Each of us made up a kit of beads we wanted to have made up for ourselves. This was given to another member to bead. I had fun working on my kit for one of our newer members. Hope she likes what I did.

you go to you can see all the gorgeous items beaded for our auction on Ebay. The Auction starts today and items will change each Sunday through the first week of May. Bid early and often. I promise you won't be sorry. All moneys received go to Colorectal Cancer Research. The website will explain the purpose of the auctions in detail and you can see all the wonderful things made in previous years too. My own cuff and necklace will be auctioned in the last week. Bidding on this auction will bring you lovely beaded items and the knowledge you are helping to find a cure for this terrible disease.

Bead Happy everyone!
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Sunday, February 06, 2011

New Year, New Ideas

This year is shaping up to be a busy one. I was just elected President of the Central California Bead Society and I'm very honored. I hope to carry on the traditions set before me. CCBS is a very active club and we have some great plans in the works for this year. I'll keep you posted.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have become addicted to working with chain, thanks to a class I took from Beki Haley last November at BABE. I always knew Beki was mesmerizing, but wow! I think she created a monster here. LOL I can't seem to stop and the ideas just keep coming. I will be teaching a class on working with chain and beads this next weekend at Beads, Etc. in Clovis,CA. That is my LBS and my home away from home. I usually spend three days a week at the shop. Sometimes I just bead, but I help stock the shop and run the register as well. One of my best friends (like a sister) owns the shop and her youngest daughter, Beth, manages it for her. Since I was blessed with Grandsons, I have adopted Beth as a Granddaughter. I couldn't have a better one if she was related by blood.
She has spent many hours working on revamping the shop and it shows. It is open, light and bright, and displays many types of beads. We have regularly scheduled classes on Saturdays and some evenings during the week. We also have several of our teachers available for individual classes and spontaneous demonstrations all week long.

Pictured here is a bracelet made with the new Tila Beads. It's easy enough for beginners, but not boring for more experienced beaders. This particular bracelet is my design. I have seen it done in many color combinations now and love it more each time.

Sadly, with all my new responsibilities this year, I have had to forgo doing the Bead Journal Project for the 4th year. I just wouldn't have time to do it justice. This is not to say I have stopped doing bead embroidery. Don't think that will happen until I just cannot hold a needle anymore. God willing, that will be many years down the road.

I just received my pieces back from the publisher who is releasing Jamie Cloud Eakins' new book this Fall. I have the honor of having my work included in the Gallery of her book. Can't wait to see it. It should be released in October. Jamie has some wonderful information in it, and the eye candy from her projects is stunning.

Until next time........Be safe, be happy, and keep beading.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Is What I Have Been Beading

Back in mid-November, I took a great class from Beki Haley(Out on a Whim) at the BABE Show in Oakland. It was about working with chain and beads. Being predominately a bead embroiderer, this was fairly new to me. Little did I know what I was getting myself in to. It has become a bit of an obsession. Since Thanksgiving, I have made over 50, yes I said 50, pieces. Those who know me, know I rarely go more than a few days without working on bead embroidery. I haven't done any since I took this class. Can you believe it?

I made up a few pieces to show the family at Thanksgiving and all the ladies put their orders in for Christmas gifts. I bought what I thought would be a sufficient supply of different chains while at BABE. Boy was I wrong. You know how you hate it when you are just lacking a few beads to finish a project? It's just as bad when you need just a couple of more inches of chain. I won't tell you how much I've spent on chain since BABE..........

Each piece of chain suggests a new design. Every bead I see, must be combined with just the right chain to make a beautiful necklace, earring or bracelet. In addition to making a multitude of gifts, I must have almost doubled my own jewelry stash.

How was your Christmas? Mine has been terrific! We have a good sized extended family who celebrates holidays together. We traditionally open our gifts on Christmas Eve to allow time to visit other friends and family on Christmas Day. The food is good, the company even better. The age ranges from about 10 months to those even older than me( and we all know I'm getting up there. lol). As little as I like the grandsons growing up, they have become wonderful young men. They are 21, 17 and 11 years old now, and are a pure pleasure to be around. They are funny, articulate and well mannered.

In addition to our family party, the LBS (Beads, Etc. in Clovis, CA) where I teach always has a party for staff and close friends. The food was yummy and plentiful. We exchange gifts with each other and this year I received wonderful baked goodies, candy and some great beady gifts that I will put to good use.

This time of year lends itself to reflecting on our blessings. I have a multitude of them. I have a wonderful family and friends I can call on for help and encouragement. They are always there for me. A retired RN, beading has become an obsession to me. It has literally opened up the world for me. It is such fun to go online and exchange ideas with beaders all over the world. I am truly blessed.

No matter how you celebrate this holiday season, I hope you find joy and happiness in your life for the coming year.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finished this one

This is the cuff Sherry Serafini taught at the Beads Unique Tahoe Retreat this year. Isn't it yummy? I finished it yesterday. Obviously, I was in a hurry to get a picture of it. Can you see my reflection in the cab? LOL I will eventually take a better picture, but I wanted to blog about this class and the others we took while in Tahoe City. The weather was glorious and the company wonderful. Five of us went from Clovis/Fresno. We had a great two bedroom condo with a full kitchen and two baths. Rose, Rhonda, BJ, Billie and I drove up on Wednesday a week ago. On Thursday we had some marvelous classes with Linda Hartung and her daughter and Laura Timmons. Very talented ladies all. We (all the students) received a huge bagful of free goodies. Linda showed us another way to use Wire lace and Laura taught us how to make a beautiful crocheted wire necklace. Thursday night we had a Dessert Social, met our teachers for the weekend and bought our kits for the classes.
We had three groups of students and rotated the classes each day. We were in the Lake Group and started the weekend with Sherry Serafini, a very good place to start. Unlike other classes with Sherry, this cuff is not all bead embroidery. It has RAW with embellishments in it and is attached to the metal cuff after all beading is done. It has bling to die for and is stunning! She will have a new book coming out in 2011. Can't be too soon for me.
Saturday found us in Jeannette Cook's class. What a challenging piece she offered us. It has RAW, brick stitch, and netting in it. It has many parts, each of which is fun to work on. I will post it when I get it finished.
Jeannette is a super teacher and very patient. I wonder where she heard about the Clovis girls???? Could it be from MDC?
Sunday we had a class with Jean Campbell, beader and editor extraordinaire. What a fun class she had for us. Makes you wonder how her mind works with the pieces fitting inside other pieces to make a stunning gold cuff. We got a sneak peek at her new book! Absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to get it.
We had get togethers every evening, with drawing for more free treats and contests. Iris and I won the Challenge this year. Not bad with Clovis girls winning two years in a row.
I will blog about Jeanette's necklace and Jean's cuff as I get them finished.
It seems I am going to have some work to do over the next months. I have to finish my BJP project by January and you may be seeing me in Beads Unique soon. I also have a number of Christmas gifts to make yet.
I have to admit I am behind in my Bead Journal pages this year. I went on a major crystal binge over the summer. Can't seem to stop using those sparkly little things. lol I would feel guilty about being so far behind, but I've been having way too much fun.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Work

Well, our CCBS Bead Show has come and gone once again. It seemed to be successful. All the vendors looked busy most of the day. Putting on a bead show takes many people and the cooperation of all. Our CCBS President, Jennifer, headed up the show committee this year. In addition to our annual raffle, this year we also had a silent auction. There were some beautiful pieces of artwork in it. I must say, I'm glad it's over for another year, but will look forward to next year's show.

This first picture is a pendant I made for a friend's birthday. It started out to be a bracelet. lol. It just wasn't working for me so I turned it into a pendant. I haven't done any brickstitch for a while, but it made a nice bale with a little embellishment.

This is also a pendant. It was hung on a Kumihimo cord I made using the colors in the pendant. This work was part of a Kit Challenge in CCBS. We each buy a kit with all of the same beads and go from there. It's always fun. This year's kit was a bit too pastel for me, but, oh well. It's good to get out of your box once in a while.
This last picture is a soft bead embroidered cuff. Jamie Cloud Eakin challenged me to do one with just seedbeads. This is the result. The major lines are done with back stitch and the rest with moss stitch (or random picots). It was kind of fun to do this one.

Now to get back to my BJP pages. I haven't totally neglected them, but they had to take a back seat for a while.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Summer Vacation- Not

I didn't really have a summer vacation, per se. I did spend three days up in the Sierras on a Bead Retreat with the Central California Bead Society. It was great having Marcia DeCoster all to ourselves. As always, she was a delight. The weather was warm, but beautiful and the food was wonderful. Joy brought up some awesome wooden cigar boxes for those of us with a fetish for boxes. We also had an impromptu bead sale. All in all, a great Retreat.
This first picture is a necklace similar to one seen in a UK beading magazine. I fell in love with it and made it. Haven't decided yet whether to embellish it.

These are just a few of the earrings I have made this summer, so far. I have been on a roll with them, for sure. Many of them are made with Peacock Beads. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Definitely a find for earrings.
The bracelets are a recent addiction. Russian Spiral isn't new, of course, but me working with this many crystals certainly is. LOL I remember a time when I thought crystals were "the dark side". I would seldom use them in my work. Ha! Boy, has that changed! The top bracelet is in multi shades of green. Had to go buy a top to wear with it. LOL
The second bracelet is in pinks, teals, and purples. These are colors I wear a lot.
The next one is in two shades of purple. Couldn't pass them up.
The fourth one is in all the fall colors. This one and the above were made using only two stitches around instead of three. Love the way they feel.

The last bracelet is done with three stitches around, but I found it tends to stretch a bit even when using double thread. I reinforced it by going through the spirals of seed beads. It was done with Fuchsia crystals and #648 seed beads. Gorgeous combination!

Have tons of plans for the next few months, including three bead shows, and a Retreat in Tahoe. Going to be a busy Fall.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Victorian Elegance

I finally quit procrastinating and took the pictures for my BFAC (Beading For a Cure) project. Just have to package it up and get it in the mail on Friday. I loved the kit this year. I knew the second I got it just what I was going to do with it. I have seen pictures of some beautiful projects with this kit. Beki Haley from Out on a Whim did a great job picking the colors this year.

Beading for a Cure was started some years ago after a fellow beader, Layne Shilling died of colorectal cancer. It's a tribute to her and a joy to see how it has grown over the years. There were 75 kits sold this year. In March and April, all the projects made with this kit will be auctioned off on eBay with the funds earned going to Colorectal Cancer Research. I'm proud to be a part of this group.

In other news, I am happy to announce that some of my bead embroidery work is going to be included in Jamie Cloud Eakin's new book which is due out in October 2011. Jamie is a prolific beader and wonderful teacher. She is one of those people who shares her knowledge of bead embroidery freely and you can tell it brings her much joy.
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