Friday, June 30, 2006

Freeform peyote

Nance has created a brilliant picturetrail album of the step-by-step progress on a freeform peyote beadwork bracelet. Even without words, it's a terrific tutorial on the artform!




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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Shell jewelry



Recreate the look of some of those ancient shell jewelry pieces by visiting Fire Mountain Gems!



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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Beaded purse

beaded purse
Beaded purse

I've been working on this beaded handbag off and on all month. It's finally finished, and now I just have to decide which one of the "calls for entries" I'm going to send it to. Belle Armoire and Beadwork Magazine are both doing special editions on handbags.





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Monday, June 26, 2006

Design ideas



Fire Mountain Gems has a whole gallery of design ideas for when you need some inspiration. Of course, they'd also be more than happy to sell you all the parts you need :-)




Bead&Button Bead Dreams winners



2006 competition winners





Friday, June 23, 2006

"Don't 'Pimp' the Baby"

Brilliant editorial from Lori Borgman. Here's an excerpt:

"Not too long ago, I saw a well-developed young lady, about 14, wearing a tight-fitting pink T-shirt that said 'Pimp Me.' The woman with her appeared to be her mother. They may have closed the generation gap, but they had yet to address that sizable gap between their ears."







Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ancient shells

National Geographic News reports that shell jewelry may be far older than first thought.

Duh...









Cave Paintings 2

Here's the new one! I used glass trade beads from Ghana this time. These are made from powdered recycled glass and have a very rough finish to them. I love them! The cobalt color is great.

ethnic jewelry
Cave Paintings 2

I'm going to write up the instructions for this mixed media jewelry project and send it off soon. But first, I might have to spend some more time with my visiting son!






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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cave Paintings

handmade beaded jewelry

I'm going to make another of these necklaces and write up the directions. It's a mixed media piece that features small "dog tags" with pictures of cave paintings from Lascaux. Any copyright free images could be used, but I like the ancient and primitive look of the Lascaux pictures along with rough ceramic or powdered glass sand-cast trade beads.

Swarovski color chart

Bead Stuff has a really nice color chart. There's also a link to a shape chart.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Levitated

This site is...well, just go look at it!

Guatemala-Boy is home!

Nate has been in Guatemala for a year now. We picked him up at the airport last night/early this morning. His plane was supposed to get in just after midnight, but they ended up having to wait for an international flight to get into Georgia, and it was slightly delayed. Since there were three soldiers returning from Iraq on that flight, no one minded! We didn't get home until 3:15 am this morning, but Nate and I stayed up until 4 am talking. I'm pretty much trash now, but I don't care!! Nate is home for a three week furlough, and I'm so happy :-)

Hugo and Nate teach the boys how to act like monkeys


Some of the girls pick wildflowers with Tina


There is a family here in the United States that is adopting all five of these siblings. All five! What amazing love that is.





Saturday, June 17, 2006

Heisenberg, anyone?


by Threepwood

My favorite from the Road Sign challenge at b3ta!





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Friday, June 16, 2006

"Champagne Bubbles"

handmade beaded necklace
This piece used to be a vintage plastic necklace, the kind with an aurora borealis finish to the beads! The color shift on the champagne-colored beads is fantastic, and I paired them with some marvelous Czech crystals.

The inspiration for this piece came from a design that Katie Hacker made, which is now being used by Beadalon for their print ads. Katie wrote up the directions for the Beadalon site, but I didn't find them until after I had made my piece. So, mine is constructed somewhat differently (which is as it should be, really!), with the small pieces of wire going through the beads on the strands instead of looping around the strand. OK, that's kind of confusing ~ it's really easier to see than it is to explain, so just look at our two designs and take your choice of techniques if you want to make your own!



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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Automatic artist statement generator

This little toy is hysterical! Please go play with it, but please please please don't take it seriously!

Here's mine, generated yesterday:

"Work of Post-Art in the Age of Symbiotic Reproduction"

The vortex creates, the chaos accentuates. In the synoptic
hallucination, art objects are resurrections of the musings of the
vortex -- a vortex that uses the chaos as a zeitgeist to enmesh
ideas, patterns, and emotions. With the synergy of the electronic
environment, the vortex is superseding a point where it will be free
from the chaos to realize immersions into the machinations of the
delphic hallucination. Work of Post-Art in the Age of Symbiotic
Reproduction contains 10 minimal flash engines (also refered to
as "memes") that enable the user to make ginormous audio/visual
compositions.

measuring chains, constructing realities
putting into place forms
a matrix of illusion and disillusion
a strange attracting force
so that a seduced reality will be able to spontaneously feed on it


Cyndi Lavin's work investigates the nuances of vibrations through the
use of stopframe motion and close-ups which emphasize the Symbiotic
nature of digital media. Lavin explores abstract and fantastic
scenery as motifs to describe the idea of hyper-real hallucination.
Using amazing loops, lasers, and allegorical images as patterns,
Lavin creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of
art...



My son is heading home too!


Nate & "his" kids

My necklace isn't the only thing coming home...so is my son :-) Well, at least for a three week visit. Nate has been the school master in a Guatemalan orphanage for this past year. For those who don't know the story, he went down for two months as a summertime volunteer and just never came home! In the picture above, Nate is the one in the white shirt, sitting in the middle of the back row. They decided to take the kids to the zoo for the day, so that's where this group shot was taken.



Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lampwork glass bead necklace comes home!


This piece has been in an exhibit (that's me in the middle picture!) for the past month and just came home yesterday. The show was sponsored by the Central Massachusetts chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art. It's a wonderful organization, and I heartily recommend getting involved in a local chapter. You can learn about the national organization and find a local chapter for yourself.

Our exhibit theme was "The Vessel" including all that term's many meanings and nuances. I was not alone in interpreting it as the female ability to give life, but there was a wide range of work, including actual physical vessels like ships, vases, and nests. It was a wonderful experience for me, my first show with this group, and even my husband had a good time at the opening!



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Optical illusion

Maybe everyone in the world has seen this before besides me, but I really enjoyed this optical illusion. And here's a great tutorial on how you can achieve this effect with Photoshop!





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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Best beads available



Even though I make a lot of my own glass beads, I still buy a ton of the little beauties! Here is a list that I created of all the online sources that I like the best. Not only glass, but every other material that I've ever lusted after :-)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm really liking...

...Kathy Sierra's newest post on her blog, Creating Passionate Users

Here's an intro, and then I'll tell you why I like it so much ~

"'Professionals' in any field come in two flavors: Knowledge Sharers and Knowledge Hoarders. The hoarders believe in the value of their "Intellectual Property"(IP). The products of their mind must be carefully guarded lest anyone steal their precious ideas. But let's face it--if our only "strategic advantage" is our ideas, we're probably screwed....Yes, there are some crucial exceptions, but for most of us, It's our implementation, not our idea that matters. Even those who create something revolutionary are still synthesizing... still drawing on the work of others, and making a creative leap."

This really struck a chord with me. I'm often asked why I make all the tutorials available, why I tell people how to make some of the things I make...aren't I worried that someone might COPY me?

Well, no.

I am not advocating copying other people's work bead for bead and calling it our own design, or even worse, selling it as our own design. But let's face it ladies and gentlemen...there are only so many things that one can do with beads and a string! Many times I've seen similar designs cropping up in different magazines by different authors. That does not mean that one copied the other (especially when you take into account what a long lead-time many magazines have). Whether I put tutorials out there or not, I am always running the risk that someone might decide to actually copy my designs rather than just be inspired by them.

Shame on them.

But, eat my dust if you do decide to copy me, because I'm moving on!

One of the reasons that I will continue to post tutorials and write articles until no one seems to care anymore is that sharing is central to my personal code. Fear of sharing says that if I help you, I might diminish my own share. What nonsense ~ share of what, exactly? There is more than enough in the world to go around. I don't have any earth-shattering new tricks that I've thought up. I've learned from many other sources, and it gives me pleasure to pass it on. Although I would never knowingly pass on someone else's proprietary technique (you can jolly well buy their book or take their class and give the money to them!), there is nothing proprietary about the basic stitches and stringing.

And the few measly little innovations that I've managed to come up with? You're welcome to them. Let's see what becomes of them in your hands :-)





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Friday, June 09, 2006

Carnival of the Creators #10

My friend Bobbi, a mixed media artist and an author, is hosting this month's edition of the Carnival of Creators. I enjoyed going through the links that she compiled ~ there were some blogs that were totally new to me. Check it out!

I've taken a week's detour into the realm of website upgrade. That's why there's no new handmade beaded jewelry for me to share with you :-( You know how it is ~ once you get started on a project like this, you want to get it all done as quickly as possible, especially when you're changing typeface and stuff like that! Don't you just hate it when half your pages are still the old style? I've kept my navigation system pretty much the same, but all the "guts" of my pages have been revamped too, in order to pay attention to...the dreaded "search engine optimization."

Oh yuck! It's not nearly as much fun as making stuff :-)




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Monday, June 05, 2006

"Gonna see my smiling face...

...on the cover of Rolling Stone" ???

Well, not quite! But you're gonna see my bead-crocheted necklace on the cover of Jewelry Crafts magazine!!





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