Don't miss our book giveaway, running until Sept 21! Visit the link above to enter.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Like all good goal-setting fanatics, I love love love New Year's Day! Actually, I also love May 1st and September 1st, because I usually set goals three times per year. That may be taking it too far for some folks, but I feel better when I divide the year up into bite-sized pieces.

Of course, January 1st is still the granddaddy of them all!

As far as art goals go, I've divided them up into art development, website improvement, and marketing. I'm going to post some of my goals for my mixed media work on my other blog, and just give you a sample of my jewelry goals here:

Website improvement ~ My primary jewelry website is a bohemoth of semi-developed ideas. I want to systematically go through it and decide which pages to keep, which to consolidate, which to update, and which to eliminate. The other jewelry website is more to my liking, a lean mean to-the-point machine!

Art development ~ I plan to continue with an online bead art group that I joined, the purpose of which is to work on a different aspect of our art each month. This will end in May, so it fits my yearly goals perfectly as well. For the next four months, I want to focus much more strongly on my own original work, and not so much on faster production-style pieces.

Marketing ~ Besides adding another tutorial or two to my blog list, I'd like to return to publishing in magazines. A couple years ago I started doing this, but then I just let it peter out. Time to correct that!


Those are the highlights for the next few months. I'm going to spare you from having to wade through my personal goals!



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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ornament


Sometimes when we think about inspirational jewelry magazines, we forget about Ornament. Even though it doesn't contain how-to articles, Ornament is one of the most beautiful magazines that I can think of to recommend. It is a 25-year old international publication devoted personal adornment, covering ancient, ethic & contemporary jewelry, beads & historic and artist-made clothing.


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Monday, December 26, 2005

The aftermath

Well, I'm pleased to report that all the baking and cooking tasks went fine this weekend, thanks to the fact that our friends were going to basically be out the whole time so we could use their stove!

Now for the "rest of the story." The wife is a vegetarian, so this morning I'm going upstairs to wipe all the spattered grease out of the oven so she doesn't have to deal with it. Not that she'd ever ask me to...it just seems like the right thing to do :-)

Hopefully sometime this week I can get back to creating!






Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

What a rare occurrence, where the two holidays coincide like this! At our house, we've got the Menorah on the piano, the Christmas tree in the bay window, and the lava lamp right next to the fireplace...don't ask!

I am thrilled to say that after a week in which I worked like a crazy person, I am now finished with all that needs done, and we are trooping off to see Narnia this afternoon. By "we," I mean Mike, Dani and I. Nate will probably fly in from Guatemala next week. (So we might have to go see Narnia again. Darn.) We've all been out of sorts since the Lord of the Rings movies ended, and Narnia promises to be a nice replacement this year.

This morning while I was baking up the last of the cookies and dinner for tonight, our oven's heating element decided to burn out. Fortunately for us, the sweet young couple who live in our apartment were going out for the morning. And they'll be out tomorrow afternoon when I want to cook the prime rib too!! Also fortunately for us, we bought them a brand new, really nice stove last spring :-)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and wonderful whatever-you-celebrate...perhaps Festivus?



Friday, December 16, 2005

Whew! It's over!

Thank you to everyone who emailed me to wish me luck with the program! I was literally shaking while I watched the show. Besides the fact that I think I looked terrified most of the time, it went ok.

Then I went to the HGTV website, and found that they had made up some really interesting things about me: my kids were all grown up when I "started taking jewelry classes..." Hmmm...that's news to me! Never took a class, began before my kids were born, etc etc etc. OK, don't let me get too picky.

If anyone wants to try making one of the necklaces, the directions are posted here:

Bead-Embroidered Heritage Necklace
and
Optical Lens Pendant

I wasn't allowed to use brand names ~ but you all can know that the "polymer medium" that I use for photo transfers is Golden's matte medium. I'll probably post the directions here on the blog in the tutorials section in a week or so.




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Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm on TV tomorrow!!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow!!

I'm so nervous!

Thanks to the ice storm heading our way, I might be able to stay home from my part-time job tomorrow and be nervous there...

HGTV link



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Monday, December 12, 2005

More lenses

Here are some more lenses that I'm working on that aren't directly related to beads. Please take a look anyway...you might find something that interests you!

Book Arts Handmade books, altered books, artists journals, and books-as-art
Mixed Media When you want to try all forms of art, all at the same time...
Collage An endlessly fascinating art form


Bling!


Bling!

A fun piece just in time for Christmas! I used a traditional classic Napier chain as the base of this piece. It moves, it jangles, it calls a lot of attention to itself ~ what more could you want?

:-)



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Friday, December 09, 2005

Lenses?

Not optical lenses this time! I'm talking instead about a series of portal-type pages that are being launched as...well, not exactly an experiment...but as small gateways into topics. What sort of topics? Oh, you can't even imagine what all the different lenses are about!

This whole...community?...is the brainchild of Seth Godin. Would you like to see the ones that I've created that are pertinent to beads? Please be kind and remember that these are all works in progress :-)

Bead Art What to bead, what to bead? Got questions? Here's answers!
Beaded Jewelry Marvelous handmade artisan pieces.

Beads Name your favorites ~ we got links!

Beading My own personal tutorials
Handmade Beads Learn to make your own ~ glass, clay, paper... (this one is my least finished!)




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One week to go!


My HGTV broadcast date is set for next Friday! I'm nervous and excited. I'll be demonstrating an image transfer process to fabric to create a necklace that functions as a wearable scrapbook page. Then, in the last segment, I'll be showing how to make the optical lens pendants that are featured on my website.



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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New Year's resolution for jewelers?

Tammy Powley is offering a new e-course for people who would like to set up a jewelry business. It's a 14-week course, and it's free! Maybe for the new year...?




Tuesday, December 06, 2005

PBS series

The series Beads, Baubles, and Jewels is being aired on some PBS stations right now! The website has a link to help you find what the stations and times are, and also has links to information on each of the sessions and the lessons that are given. Detailed instructions are given for each project in case you can't follow it quickly enough on the show.




Monday, December 05, 2005

Freedom


Freedom

This is the first piece that I was able to make after the tragedies of 9/11/01. That's a long time for a piece to sit around unsold, but it was obviously waiting for just the right person. Well, that right person showed up last week, and with a custom modification to the piece and earrings to match, it's ready to leave home!

I will always be grateful to my co-worker Mona who nudged me into creating again after that horrible day and the horrible days that followed. I'm not a person who works well from pain, although I know a lot of artists do. Not me. Mona urged me to make something red, white, and blue. Anything. Just make it.

I couldn't bring myself to do all three colors, but the clear vintage and red crystals spoke to me at that time. The original piece was made with a Torah scroll charm, but my client requested a cross instead. Both can be seen as symbols of freedom ~ from ignorance and sin ~ so it felt like the right thing to do for her. She in turn will be presenting it to a young woman who has given countless hours of her time to serve others.

What a good home for "Freedom" to go to!



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Friday, December 02, 2005

HGTV countdown!


Ryan, Celia, Lorelei, & Eric

Well, at long last, the countdown begins! Two weeks from today, at noon on HGTV, the segment that I taped with these wonderful people will air. At least, it's supposed to! When we taped it, the show was called "Crafters Coast to Coast," but now it seems to have morphed into a show called "That's Clever!" Same show though.

I probably wasn't one of their more exciting subjects, since I opted out of a lot of the goofy stuff...but they were all so professional and so nice to me. The projects I'm demonstrating are 1) a beaded heritage neckpiece, and 2) an optical lens pendant. After the show has aired, the instructions for how to do the projects step by step will appear on the HGTV website. I'll be sure to put a link to them in my tutorials list.

For now, this is all there is:
HGTV link



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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Spring previews


Mermaid

Spring fashion color and style trends are making the news (already). Looks like the trend towards everything being l-o-n-g will still be holding strong in the Spring. And here's the Pantone report of spring trends too!



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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Christmas cards

I don't usually post the same thing on both of my blogs, but when it comes to updates on my son, I'll make an exception!



Since Nate hasn't been around much, we thought this picture of him with Dani was probably the best one to use this year!

Orphanage updates: twenty out of the twenty-seven kids have American families pledged to adopt them. Please pray for the Guatemalan legal services to move with all due speed. Once some of the kids have been moved out, the children's home is going to relocate to the mountains of Antigua Guatemala where they've been building a new home (the one they came close to losing in last month's hurricane).

With fewer children to care for and educate, they will be turning their attention to their next mission: taking in HIV positive babies. Please pray for all of them about this change too. Nate is not sure what his niche will be as they shift their focus as a home. Emotionally, this will be a tough direction to go too.

"Whirling Dervish"

How fun is this?
I found these polymer beads that I bought maybe 15 years ago (!) in one of my many boxes of beads. Don't they look great? The colors are still as vibrant as the day I bought them. So don't be shy about investing in polymer artwork :-)
Anyway, I attached them all to a vintage brass chain, which can be shortened to suit. This is definitely a head-turning piece!



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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Adam & Eve" ~ finished!


Can you see the two of them in the center of the stone?

It's a ruby zoisite, by the way ~ a beautiful stone that I bought at a gem and jewelry show from a woman who thought it was a dyed jasper. Hey, that's ok...ruby zoisite is way cooler than jasper. You can see the ruby crystals in the zoisite matrix. Isn't that pretty? The beads that I used for the beaded chain and clasp are also ruby zoisite, and they match the center stone really well.

So, what to make next?


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Monday, November 28, 2005

Native Dance


Native Dance

To create this necklace, I took aparts dozens of pieces of costume jewelry that I'd collected from the 1970s and 1980s. Remember the so-called ethnic jewelry fads that resurfaced every few years? Well, when wired together and hung from a textured-disk necklace, these pieces move and jingle together in a way that is much more pleasing (to me anyway!) than the original pieces.

I absolutely love this necklace :-)



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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Clasp Connection

In the category of "now why didn't I think of that?" comes Tammy Powley's clasp connection wire technique. I'm sitting here in front of the computer, slapping myself on the forehead and going "Duh!" Tammy is the incredibly capable jewelry making guide at About.com.

Happy Thanksgiving all!


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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Learn beading basics

Paula Morgan, About.com's Beadwork guide, has just posted a great list of all their tutorials on basic beadwork techniques. Check it out and see how much there still is to learn! Thanks Paula :-)



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Monday, November 21, 2005

Slow and (somewhat) steady progress



I'm ready to start the final outlining with beads, which will bind the top embroidered layer to the ultrasuede layer below it and will hide all the raw edges. I'm still not sure what type of clasp I'm going to do for this neckpiece. I'll probably use another of the black Deco-style buttons as a centerpiece and bead around it a bit. But I'm also thinking about making a linked gold chain with jet black beads, and keeping the clasp as an ornate hook.

Decisions, decisions. First, to finish the binding...



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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Baylie will be in People Magazine!!

Remember I told you about Baylie? The little girl with Chiari malformation, who is making bracelets to raise money for research? Ring a bell? Good!

Buy a bracelet now, if you haven't already, because...Baylie is going to be famous!

I know, that's a dumb reason to buy one. OK, so buy one because it's the right thing to do :-)

Baylie will be in People Magazine, the issue dated November 28, according to my friend Tammy Powley at About.com

Isn't that great? Sometimes good things do happen to the right people!!



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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

New twist on the twist



I've decided to add spines to the peyote twist that I'm working on. Just started a new section yesterday, and it occurred to me that it might look kind of cool...

Here is where I originally talked about the stitch, right after Aleta Ford Baker's directions came out in the October issue of Bead and Button.



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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Margie Deeb's color articles

Monthly musings on color! Sign up for her newsletter to let you know when another has been posted.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Adam & Eve




I've gotten a bit more done on my new neckpiece. I got stuck when it came to what to stitch around the vines ~ I tried outlining them with black and with gold, and neither struck my fancy. Finally, I tried just using stacks of loosely spaced clear beads, which allows the painted background to show through somewhat. It gives an impressionistic feel to the piece.

Even though it's not quite what I'd envisioned (when is anything?), I like it!


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An excellent article

Paula Morgan posted this wonderful blog article called How to Find the Time to Bead. It easily applies to any art form. Except you probably can't pack yourself a travel project if you specialize in 10 foot canvases...




Monday, October 31, 2005

No, I didn't forget what I was supposed to be doing...



I didn't get much done on the new neckpiece this past week. I got sidetracked by other more pressing matters, like painting more watercolor and acrylic background papers to use in my collages and mixed media quilts. Anyway, I did at least decide upon a theme and color scheme, which is a good step (I hope!). The rest of this is just going to have to unfold in its own time. I'm not certain what comes next...



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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Next!



I feel quite revived from the torture of making the little teeney pouch and am now ready to start in on the next big neckpiece. I usually feel like I need to alternate between types of pieces, or else I get...I don't know, stale?

Anyway, I picked up this neato bead at the last show I went to. Yes, I know it looks like a huge cabochon, but it's actually drilled top to bottom. It was tempting to use it as some sort of choker-pendant, but I was afraid it would throttle whoever wore it! It's a heavy sucker :-)

For those who have asked in the past, I use the outer rim of a cd stack container to draw the inner edge of the neckpiece.




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Monday, October 24, 2005

Berry Juice


Berry Juice

After getting lots of wonderful suggestions on how to finish off my little peyote pouch I finally chose to use garnet, brass, and crystals. Even the name for it was the suggestion of an online friend! It's such a tiny little thing that a couple of my first ideas just seemed too heavy. I'm really happy with the decision :-)


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Friday, October 21, 2005

What do you do with it?

I got a great question on the little peyote pouch that I made ~ what is it used for? My answer was that, if you are me, absolutely nothing!! Some people use them to house a worry stone, lucky piece, or amulet, but this isn't my schtick. I simply like the way they look hanging around my neck :-)

I had two good suggestions so far for how to finish it off. Chain interspersed with crystals, or thin seedbead strands. I'm not sure that I can face any more of those teeny little seedbeads right now, so the chain suggestion is looking pretty good!


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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oh my poor eyes!



I finished this teeny tiny little peyote pouch today. It took me all week, in between other projects, because I've started having problems with my close up vision, finally. I use one of those great OTT lights, otherwise I don't think I'd have been able to do it at all. This bag uses mostly vintage seed beads, the equivalent of #15's, and the whole thing is only one and a half inches tall, excluding the fringe.

How could such a tiny little thing take so long? :-)

I've got to decide what type of strand to put on it now ~ chain, beaded, cord, ??? Any suggestions?



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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Update on Guatemala and our son

I'm going to refer you to my other blog where I've posted the latest from the orphanage. Thanks to all the people who have been expressing concern and praying for them!



Sunday, October 16, 2005

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Donuts, anyone?


Turquoise donut

I finally figured out what to do with the beautiful turquoise donut that I bought at the last bead and gem show. I've never really been a big fan of tassels, but when I saw the style that Angela Sawyer demonstrated in the October issue of Bead & Button, my heart went *zing*! I modified her instructions quite a bit to do my own tassel, but I still have to credit her with the idea. So if you don't like the way this looks, don't blame Angela ~ blame me!



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Monday, October 10, 2005

Custom pendants


Optical lens pendant

I made this pendant from an old studio card shot of a girl with her beloved dogs. The card was scanned so that the original image wouldn't be damaged. Can you picture one of these featuring your sweetheart, child, or pet? Contact me to find out how!



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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Twisted tubular peyote - the Indespiral by Aleta Ford Baker


Note: my sample picture has disappeared somewhere into the blogosphere!

There's a great set of directions in this October issue of Bead and Button for tubular peyote with a twist which allows it to remain rigid without any armature. The article is by Aleta Ford Baker. I tried a small segment, shown above, just to see if it truly would turn out rigid.

It does!

The directions are easy to follow, and mostly consist of alternating two different row patterns. Now that I've got the hang of it, I'll probably take this piece apart and redo it to correct for tension errors. This basic tube took me all of 20 minutes to feel really comfortable with it. An investment well worth it, I'd say :-)






Update 2014: Here is where you can purchase instructions for the Indespiral stitch directly from Aleta



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Monday, October 03, 2005

Furlough over



Our son Nate is leaving tomorrow morning to return to Guatemala. That's him, in the white shirt, back row, right in the middle. He came home on Thursday, carrying two empty suitcases and a single change of clothing. Although Guatemala is spring-like all year round, it does alternate between early spring and late spring. When he originally went to the children's home this summer, it was the late spring weather. Now, however, it's getting cooler at night, and he was more than ready to collect the rest of his things.

The suitcases are now full!




Thursday, September 29, 2005

A piece for living large


Autumn Garden

I'm going to be absent for a few more days. My son is coming home for a brief visit from Guatemala! He'll be bringing two empty suitcases, an appetite, and I'm betting on some new facial hair :-) Isn't that what young men do when they go off on their own for the first time?

Our time while he's home will be filled with shopping for everything that everyone needs at the orphanage (hence the *empty* suitcases!), taking care of his banking, seeing as many people as possible, and relaxing...he hopes. He won't be able to come home for Christmas this year, so this visit is going to have to last us for awhile.



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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

And now, a name!

Over at the Jewelry Making forum on About.com, my online jewelry buddy Lolly came up with the name that I'm going to use for the piece I just finished: Nomadic Treasure.

I like it!



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Monday, September 26, 2005

Finally!



I finally figured out what I wanted to do in order to turn my completed pendant into a necklace. The strands criss-cross and look much more substantial than a single strap would look. In fact, when it's worn, they nest more closely together and look wonderful! The ultra-suede backing on the pendant helps to distribute the weight of the central fossil.

Ingredient list: orthoceras fossil, turquoise, onyx, sugilite, and vermeil.

Now I just need a name for it!



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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Remembrance necklaces

Recently I've had a number of inquiries about my one-of-a-kind Remembrance necklaces. Is that because the kids have gone back to school and moms can think a bit more freely?



More examples

Each is made individually out of unique charms and pictures that are meaningful to you. It's a treasure necklace with the appeal of a scrapbook...and no photos need to be harmed in making it for you.



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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Amazing polymer work

I'm back from vacation but not back in the saddle yet, so I thought I'd share some amazing work that my friend Jai does.



Aren't they cool? Jai has an e-booklet that you can download from her website that explains her techniques in making these beauties.




Thursday, September 15, 2005

A short break

With all the activity surrounding our two kids this summer, Mike and I never took a vacation. We've decided to take a short hack-around-the-house break, in which I've promised (maybe) to try to stay away from the computer. Hopefully when we finish, I'll have something decent to show for my time :-)

See you in a few!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Need some inspiration?


Maharajas' Jewels

Katherine Prior's book brings us a look at eye-poppingly beautiful jewelry. It can be ordered from Amazon.


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Sunday, September 11, 2005

A bit of fringe



I don't like really long fringe ~ especially when the cab is as big as this one ~ but I felt it definitely needed something to bring more black and gold into the design.



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Saturday, September 10, 2005

What next?

This thing has turned out to be HUGE!!!


I'm thinking that the next thing is to add onyx fringe to the bottom part, but it's already so big that I'm uncertain. Oh what to do, what to do?



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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My color obsession


Sea Breeze

I can't seem to tear myself away from using these wonderful sea-greens, blues, and turquoises lately! Maybe it's because summer is fast coming to an end here in New England, and I'm just trying to hold on to that summertime feeling. My non-wearable art has been infused with these very same colors too!



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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First step


Fossil, sugilite, and turquoise



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Monday, September 05, 2005

Orthoceras Silurian fossil



In the online bead art group that I'm in, this month's challenge is to pick a color scheme that we don't normally work with. Not just colors that are different, but a different way of combining them. I normally work with analogous schemes and am very comfortable with those and with monochrmomatic schemes. To try something different, I've picked a triad this time. Using red-violet sugalite, greenish blue turquoise, and gold, I'm going to build an embroidered necklace around this black (neutral) fossil. The Orthoceras Silurian is a cephalopod fossil. This one is small, and comes from Morocco. I'm glad I waited for just this project to use this piece!



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Friday, September 02, 2005

Back to school

Here are some really cute little necklaces that use African trade beads:







Info on these and other trade bead jewelry can be found here.




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Thursday, September 01, 2005

I never find anything this good when I go digging!

Kids find 1000 year old jewelry

TROMSO, Norway (UPI) -- A simple family garden in Norway will undergo a major excavation after two kids found ancient Viking artifacts while just playing around a tree.

Aftenposten reports two 5-year-olds from Tromso were digging around the tree`s root when they found a large circular pendant and a silver bead.

Since then, archeologists have discovered more artifacts from what they suspect are Viking graves from around the year 900.

Associate Professor Inger Storli of the Tromso Museum said he had never seen anything like it before.

The garden will now be turned into a major archeologist site to search for more artifacts.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International






Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New bead and wire book available



Tammy Powley's new book is available on Amazon! Here's part of the book review blurb:

"Jewelry making is one of the most popular craft trends, and its audience continues to grow. Few jewelry books on the market emphasize the importance of the design relationship between beads, wire, and jewelry findings-the "nuts and bolts" of any piece. This book will show not only how to design and build your own spectacular jewelry out of beads and wire but how to design and create your own findings as well."

The book is getting good reviews from readers too. Congratulations Tammy!


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Friday, August 26, 2005

Crocheted fiber-wrap necklace tutorial

Tribal 2

Since I've had several "how did you make those?" requests, I decided to post simple directions here on the blog and add the link to my list of tutorials. Really, this couldn't be easier. The biggest trick is to have beads with large enough holes to accomodate the crochet thread, and to have a variety of fibers sitting about. Here's how mine was made.

Materials:
Cotton crochet thread (I used black)
Large-holed beads
Variety of fibers in 3' lengths

Tools:
Crochet hook
Twisted wire needle
Tapestry needle

Step One ~ Create the beaded strand
String all of your beads onto the crochet thread, remembering to place the biggest ones in the middle of the batch. Chain about 100 stitches. Don't worry about whether it's enough ~ if you come to the end before finishing your necklace, you can always add more. If there are too many, you can just remove some. Start double or single crocheting along the chain, depending upon how thick you want the stand. Add your beads a semi-regular intervals. When you get to the end, chain some more to form a closing loop. Crochet back along the entire length with single crochet to reinforce the strand. At the other end, chain some more, and crochet back along that strand until you meet up with the already-reinforced part. Add a bead or button closure to the end of this chain.

Step Two ~ Fiber wrap the strand
Really simple now! Don't make it too complicated. Take strands of interesting fibers, and wrap them along the length of the beaded strand. I kept most of mine doubled. Knot them at both ends, with tails hanging down. Repeat with additional fibers, making sure that you wrap in slightly different patterns, and/or end in different spots. When you've wrapped all that you want, look to see where additional fringes of fibers are needed. Cut short doubled lengths and knot them on, using the crochet hook to slip them in place underneath other fibers. If anything does not stay wrapped to your liking, you can always tack the fibers into place with a needle and thread.

That's it! Fun, huh?
Tribal 1

Copyright 2005 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

To ask questions or leave comments about this post, please visit Jewelry & Beading

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Beads and fibers


Tribal

Some beautiful deep teal ceramic beads were sitting around looking lonely...and the soft fluffy fibers I've recently collected seemed lonely too :-)




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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Red hot



This is a simple little pendant I put together yesterday after finishing the big honking beaded neckpiece. It's a thank you present for a friend. I made the pendant bead awhile ago, and it has beautiful silver dichroic glass swirls through it. There are a couple of smaller lampwork bead spacers, and the oval shaped ones are antique trade beads from ~1875.

Anyway, the picture is very blurry, but it is too late to do anything about it right now because I had to pull the batteries from my camera to recharge. So I'm stuck for several hours...I know I should have backups! DH and I are going on a Boston Harbor cruise tonight (a reward from his workplace for a successful project), and I want to make sure the camera's ready to go then. The only angle from which Boston looks pretty is from the harbor :-)



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Monday, August 22, 2005

The ammonite neckpiece is done


Ammonite Neckpiece

This piece ended up using three different major techniques: bead embroidery, freeform peyote stitch, and complex interwoven stringing. In addition, I had to make the lampwork glass beads in various shades of amber, brown, and purple before it could be completed. I'm pretty psyched with the way it turned out!



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Thursday, August 18, 2005

A little baby step forward



I haven't had a lot of time to work on this, so I've only got one little woven section done so far.

The lampwork glass bead is not orange, it's amber colored. The weirdness is just from my flash.



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Monday, August 15, 2005

Three done...freeform time!



Last night, thunderstorms ripped through our area, bringing some blessed cooler weather. Now I'll be able to turn on the kiln and the torch and make the glass beads in the browns and ambers that I've been envisioning for this necklace! If I weren't such a heat-wimp, I'd have made them last week, but I tend to melt even faster than glass...



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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Next step in ammonite necklace



Just one more embroidered piece to make, and I'll be able to start weaving the sections together, probably using free-form peyote stitch!



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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Would you spend $5 to help this cute face?

Baylie's webpage

Inspired by Lance Armstrong's fundraising efforts, young Baylie began to make bracelets to raise money to help fund research on the very rare and incurable (so far) brain disorder that afflicts her. My dear friend Bill lost his young son to brain tumors last year (August 6 ~ I miss you Maty B), and although it's not the same disease, I can't think of a better way to honor Mat's memory than to support research into Baylie's illness.

Join me?



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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm curious about something

Well, lots of somethings actually! But what's on my mind today is the issue of how many projects people have going at one time. I was raised to finish one thing before I started another, so it took awhile for me to transition into my current mode ~ which is having three to four pieces in progress at any one time. More than that, and I get overwhelmed. Fewer, and I don't feel like working on the one!

So, even though I've got this huge honking ammonite necklace thing in progress, and I've got a small mixed media art quilt underway, yesterday seemed like the perfect time to experiment with a little sunprinting. I had two nice scraps of muslin that were just begging to be used.





Now I'm not really sure if they'll end up as backgrounds for necklaces or for wall art, but they were really fun!

Do you know what's the optimal number of projects for you to have going at once?


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Monday, August 08, 2005

Forgive me for cross-posting...

...the same thing to both of my blogs, but this is what's on my heart today.

At age 3, my daughter declared, "Mommy, art is my life!" On Saturday, August 6, my husband and I dropped her off at art school.


There's a big gaping hole in my heart right now.

But I'll get over it.





Monday, August 01, 2005

Reworked earrings...and bracelet



My friend Anne asked me to take apart her old clip-on button style earrings and remake them into a new set of dangle earrings and a bracelet. She has a really tiny delicate wrist, so I made it from organza ribbon.


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Friday, July 29, 2005

One of *those* kids...



Were you one of those kids? One of the ones who always had pockets stuffed full of stuff that was too good to leave lying on the ground where you found it? One who regularly got your mother steamed by getting paint or dirt or fill-in-the-blank all over a "good" piece of clothing? One who really couldn't quite get the hang of which were the "good" clothes and which were the "play" clothes, since they all mixed and matched so well? Or at least, you thought they did...

If so, then you probably have the messy collector's gene, one of the first pre-requisites to being a mixed media artist. Congratulations!

Personally, I have been doing mixed media work for as long as I can remember. There was no craft material that I didn't want to try as a kid, and the most fun was seeing how they could be combined into new forms. At some point in my "adult" life, I settled on mixed-media jewelry, at least for a time, since there were so many directions that it could take you. It seemed limitless.

Of course, later on I branched out yet again. I realized that I still wanted to make stuff that didn't neatly fall into the "wearable art" category. Why Not Art grew from this desire to explore altered books, collage, assemblage, and all things digital. There's a lot of cross-over between my artforms now ~ they seem to cross-pollinate each other. Anything I get interested in seems to naturally end up showing up in some piece or other...or multiple pieces.

And when a piece doesn't seem to be working out ~ well, I just carry it around in my pocket until I think of something to use it for!




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