Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lumi ~ the first EBEG Challenge Winter Wonderland

Lumi Bead Embroidered Bib Collar Necklace
I've created this one-of-a-kind bead embroidered bib collar necklace for the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild's challenge "Winter Wonderland". Growing up in upstate NY we saw many mornings like the one I describe below and this incredible statement necklace represents that for me. Lumi is the name of the Snow Queen in Fables. "Lumi" is Finnish and actually is the most common word in the language for "snow".

My inspiration:
As you fall asleep to the sound of snowflakes gently falling, you dream of a wonderland blanketed in snow. In the morning when you awake, you can barely open your eyes with the blinding white light coming through your windows. You rub the sleep out of your eyes and go to the window and for just a second you're not sure if you are still dreaming. The world is covered in a shimmering blanket of pure white snow! The bare trees and muddy ground are now masked with pristine beauty and It looks as if each individual snowflake is winking at you. The brilliance of the scene and briskness in the air takes your breath away.
Back Closure "snowflake" with peyote toggles

To see more incredible bead embroidered wearable art from the Etsy Bead Embroidery Team, Click Here!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Arabesque Style EBW December Challenge

Etsy Beadweavers December Challenge

This month's challenge really had us thinking outside the box!  Arabesque is an ornamental design style consisting of interwoven vines, flowers, leaves and geometric forms, often combined with other motifs. Motifs in Persian art can be a paisley, a geometric shape, a horse, lion, or flower. Western art motif examples include acanthus, egg and dart, and fleur de lis. Arabesque patterning is used in Persian rugs, tilework, medieval manuscripts, embroidery patterns and architecture.

Obviously, I took the Paisley theme and ran with it!  At the heart of this bold brooch is a twining vine embossed clay tile captured by a peyote beaded bezel. Surrounding the tile is a circle of tiny bronze Swarovski pearls, gold rainbow seed beads and some maroon czech glass pearls scalloped with tiny size 15 seed beads in olive green, gold luster ruby and iris bronze. An olivine crystal rivoli winks from the center of the brooch flanked by some czech glass bronze leaves. A row of olivine Swarovski marquerite and little Swarvoski crystal bicones punctuate the rest of the paisley design. Metallic copper seed beads and a delicate picot edge finishes the brooch to perfection. The brooch is 5" long and 3" across and is backed with tan ultrasuede and a gold plated 1.5" pin.

I love bead embroidery and have only been doing it for less than two years.  It's an incredibly free-form medium compaired to bead weaving.  I will usually start with an idea for either a cuff, a collar or a brooch.  Then I find at least one focal piece and gather up as many bits and pieces of pearls, czech glass, crystal and coordinating seed beads as I have.  Once I bezel the main focal I just start adding elements.  I know it sounds kinda woo~woo but I really just let the piece speak to me and show me the direction it wants to go.  Bead by bead a design takes shape.  I recently joined the new Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild and am working hard on a piece for their challenge "Winter Wonderland", so stay tuned! 

So stop by http://etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com/2011/12/voting-for-december-challenge-arabesque_08.html and take a look at all the stunning creations submitted for this theme and vote for your favorite!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Totally Twisted - The many varieties of spiral beadweaving.

Galaxy Twist Pendant
Here is my latest challenge entry for the EBW Team's November challenge "Totally Twisted".  I call it Galaxy Twist!  I am absolutely in love with twisted and spiral stitches.  They allow for fantastic color and texture play in a design and are seriously fun to work.  Fully half of the items I have in my Etsy shop right now have either a twisted or spiral rope element.  So when this month's theme was announced, oh yeah, I was IN!  The real challenge was to try and do something a little different.  Here are some of the examples of the many different spirals I use in most of my creations:
Fall Hues Cellini Spiral

I love the texture of the cellini spiral.  This stitch is a type of sculptural peyote that produces an elegant helix in the form of a self-supporting beadwoven tube.  I've been trying to find the the correct origin of the term Cellini Spiral and have come up with this explanation.  (if you know of another origin for the term, please share!!)  Benvenuto Cellini was among a group of artists in the Renaissance Mannerism period who utilized the figura serpentina, an upward snakelike spiral movement to be equally admired from all sides.

I've made many of these and they are one of my most popular pieces.  It's basically a tubular peyote stitch, but you use a variety of sized of seed beads to create the corkscrew effect.  In this case I used a green and matte orange size 15 bead, green and orange size 11 seed beads, light sage green and matte topaz size 8 seed beads and size 6 iris bronze seed beads as the spine. 

Olive Jade Leaf Pendant Spiral rope

One of the first and easiest of the spiral stitches I learned is simply called a spiral rope.  I guess it most likely falls into the catagory of netting stitches.  It uses a core bead that is visible throughout the rope and the spiral beads that spiral around that core.  I often use two colors of seed beads for the spiral for a nice contrast.  Another one of my favorite tricks is to use a "spine" color in the middle of each spiral stitch either to match or contrast the core.  The gives the piece lots of movement.

Seastorm Twisted Herringbone Rope

Here is a more traditional twisted tubular herringbone rope.  In contrast to a tubular peyote spiral rope, the herringbone looks more twisted than spiraled.  I learned this stitch earlier in the year and it quickly became one of my favorite go-to ropes for my necklaces.  It works up very fast and offers many design options from color combination to width.  This one is 6 beads around. 

Coral Snake Tubular Peyote Spiral

I created this sweet necklace with size 13/0 charlotte (one cut) czech beads.  The tiny size of the beads makes this a very delicate necklace.  Tubular peyote lends itself perfectly to a spiral design.  The stitch is pure peyote, it's just a matter of where you place the beads.  Hard to believe it's the exact same technique as the funky chunky cellini spiral. 

Blue & Copper Russian Spiral

One last example of a spiral that I've done is this Russian Spiral rope.  I had been wanting to try this stitch for quite some time but for some reason I have a hard time wrapping my head around written directions.  I finally found directions that were simple enough for me to follow and I created this piece as my first try.  It's kinda hard to see the spiral effect the way I did it, but it's there.  It's a variation of a netting stitch.  There are two other similar stitches that I have not been brave enough to tackle, Dutch Spiral and African Helix.  Maybe someday!

And that brings my to my Totally Twisted challenge entry "Galaxy Twist".  From the twisted rope to the twisted spiral and edging on the pendant, this piece is totally twisted!  The pendant focal is a fabulous raku pottery piece by http://www.etsy.com/shop/Odddesignsnc. This blue and green galaxy design on a background of stars is captured in bead embroidery with a peyote bezel and a twisted edge. The necklace rope is a fun and funky twisted herringbone. I've used two different size beads to create the great corkscrew effect in the rope. The seed beads throughout are these fantastic Picasso firepolished czech seed beads in navy and turquoise that have a beautifully marbled finish. To add more twist I used Miyuki 10/0 twisted hex beads in metallic bronze with a sassy sparkle.  The pendant measures 2.5" across and is backed with white felt. The necklace is 22" long and is finished with a peyote spiral toggle and loop.

Please visit our team blog, www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Picasso's Garden

It's time for another monthly Etsy Beadweavers Challenge and for October the theme is "Inspired by Picasso".  I absolutely love a challenge based on inspiration from other artistic works.  I think everyone has a passing knowledge of Pablo Picasso's work, but I've never spent much time really looking further into it.  So I relished the opportunity to immerse myself in all things Picasso as I searched for inspiration.

            I've included this picture for reference only in accordance with US Copyright fair use limitations.

This seed bead embroidered bracelet was inspired by Mediterranean Landscape, 1952 by Pablo Picasso. The years of 1945-1962 were considered to be "The Mediterranean Years" of the artist's life and inspiration. This beautiful landscape features a Mediterranean home and gardens on the edge of the sea complete with palm trees and a sailboat. As a gardener at heart, I focused on the triangulated gardens with their naive flower beds in the foreground of the painting.

I've completely encrusted this cuff in size 11/0 seed beads in sky blue, matte red, color lined yellow and orange, kelly green and luster lavender. The "flower beds" are outlined in a chocolate brown and then embellished with size 8/0 seed bead "flowers" in white, aqua, matte blue, cheyenne pink and matte red with centers of tiny yellow beads. Two faceted black plastic buttons with coordinating loops form the closure and the entire piece is edged in pearl white beads. The beads were handsewn onto a stiff felt backing, and then backed with dark blue ultrasuede for comfort.

The cuff bracelet measures 7.5" long including loops and is designed to fit a 6.5 - 7.25" wrist. The cuff is about 2.5" wide.

Visit the Etsy Beadweavers team blog between the 9-15 to vote for your favorite entry! http://etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com/

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Etsy Beadweavers September Challenge

It's time again to celebrate the talent and imaginings of The Etsy Beadweavers as they create wearable art for their monthly challenge.  This month is "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!"  The challenge was to create a piece that features a wild animal and some element from the Wizard of Oz. 

You're walking into the deep, dark forest and all you hear is the rustling of leaves and the beating of your heart. You imagine the eyes of forest creatures watching you behind every leaf and tree. Are they hiding, those Ravens, Owls and Hawks? Let's hope your friends are with you!

Who doesn't love the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy, the Tin Man and Scarecrow walk frightened into the forest chanting "Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!". That happens to be this month's Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, and I've created this necklace I've called "The Forest Has Eyes" expressly for the September Challenge.

At the heart of this beadwoven and bead embroidered piece is a stunning cab by Golem Design Studio http://golemstudio.com/, a part of their Wild Jungle series that features a collage of birds (and a fish!). I've used seed beads in the colors of the cab, blue, turquoise, purple, yellow and white along with some opaque turquoise crystals, gold luster purple crystals, white and teal glass pearls, opal purple glass beads and metallic purple bugle beads to accent the cab and two mountain jade purple cabs. There are two big birds flanking the middle cab with bugle bead "feathers" all around. All over the piece you can see glass pearl "eyes" surrounded by tiny seed beads.

The piece is suspended by a herringbone rope necklace punctuated by the assorted larger beads with a silver leaf hook closure. The 22" necklace is part metallic purple and part luster turquoise seed beads. The back of the embroidered piece is lined with tan ultrasuede.

Please visit our team blog, www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com (http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com) between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July EBW Challenge "Sizzling Sunshine and Soothing Water"


It's a sizzling hot sunny day at the beach and after soaking up some rays, it's time for making a splash in that cool, soothing tropical surf! I've created this whimsical necklace for the Etsy Beadweavers July Challenge "Sizzling Sunshine and Soothing Water". My inspiration was a picture of the ocean near Waikiki, Oahu I took on our 25th anniversary. The brilliant sun creates sparkles in a palette of blues and aquas that cools and soothes.

The spiral rope necklace uses seed beads in colorlined yellow and transparent luster orange and is embellished with sparkling gold and parpardarscha Swarovski crystals that mimic the sizzle and shine of the hawaiian sun. The focal features a freeform clay and glass piece captured with a peyote bezel using transparent luster blue and rainbow crystal seed beads, surrounded by a row of czech glass round aqua rainbow beads. Droplets of water spray from the center ending in a cascade of rainbow aqua and blue crystals and aqua drop beads. The focal echos the many hues from blue to aqua in the hawaiian surf and the shimmer and sparkle of the water in the sun.

The necklace measures 27" long and ends with a peyote loop and toggle closure. The focal is 4.5" long and 3" across and is backed with gray felt. This exciting piece is just full of whimsy and sparkle and would make a real splash in your wardrobe!

Clay and glass focal by http://www.etsy.com/shop/artisanclay

Please visit our team blog, www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com (http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com) between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ray of Hope - EBW June Challenge "Heal the World"

I have created this beadwoven and bead embroidered piece for the Etsy Beadweavers June Challenge “Heal the World”. After letting the theme sink in for a while, I began to get an image of the sun and its healing rays and power. I am awestruck with the idea that the same sun and the same rays shine over us all…in every country and every nook and cranny of the globe. The sun does not discriminate, but casts its warmth and energy upon all of humanity, plants, animals and the very earth and water that surrounds us all. When I am troubled by the actions of some, or the natural forces that can cause disaster, I am humbled and encouraged with the Ray of Hope created by the warmth and energy of humankind in times of trouble.

As I sat down this afternoon to create the listing for this piece I noticed an interview by Barbara Keenlyside on CNN.com today (5/25/11) with poet and novelist Maya Angelou regarding the devastation caused by tornadoes in Missouri (her birthplace). http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/25/angelou.interview.joplin/index.html?hpt=T1
“In disaster, humanity shines.” Angelou believes catastrophes such as the one in Missouri reveal our common humanity -- we are united in concern and empathy and perform extraordinary deeds. “There's something good that comes out of a bad thing. It's good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for awhile their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a little while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers. It's amazing that it takes something like that to bring out the best of us. It was true in Katrina, true in Chile's mining disaster, in Haiti. People rallied to help. Americans have gone down there, to New Orleans, to Haiti, leaving their cozy nests to see what they could do. They showed their humanity. During bad circumstances, which are the human inheritance, you must decide not to be reduced. You have your humanity, and you must not allow anything to reduce that. We are obliged to know we are global citizens. Disasters remind us we are world citizens.”

Now for the particulars: The main focal “sun” is a beautiful cab by Lisa Peters Art http://www.etsy.com/shop/LisaPetersArt. I’ve captured this sun with a peyote stitched bezel in silverlined gold seed beads then surrounded it with a row of amber crystals. Continuing the “rays” of the sun are some rainbow bronze Czech glass leaves and rounds and accented with some rainbow burgundy seed beads. Two gorgeous gold Rivolis are captured in peyote bezels and surrounded with coppery Czech glass leaves and Swarovski glass pearls. The main ground has rows of matte silverlined gold seed beads and an area of Czech glass rounds in amber rainbow. The entire “bib” area of the necklace is lined with silverlined gold 8/o seed beads and backed with tan ultrasuede. It measures 7” wide and 4” long and hangs from three herringbone bail loops. The necklace uses the silverlined gold and matte gold beads with silk copper seed beads in a twisted herringbone rope 18.5” long with a peyote loop and toggle closure.
Please visit our team blog, www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com (http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com) between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Etsy Beadweavers Team May Challenge "Lord of the Rings"

It's Challenge time again and this month's theme "Lord of the Rings" was definitely a challenge for me.  I never saw the recent movie trilogy and for the life of me can't remember if I read the books or not.  So I might be in the minority with this one.

When I was looking through my stash for inspiration, I came upon this really cool gemstone I got as part of the Best Little Bead Box I participated in earlier.  This Banded Agate had a striking look with part black and part clear/milky quartz.  I knew it needed to be a part of a large work.  Then I started my "research" on LOTR by reading about some of the main characters and came upon Éowyn, the lady of Rohan.  Éowyn was known for her blond beauty though she carried within her a deep sorrow.  I loved how the black and white of the stone spoke to the duality of this character. 

The stone is captured with a peyote bezel of dark gold iris and silverlined gold rainbow seed beads and surrounded by dark bronze glass pearls and light gold swarovski pearls. The top of the pendant has a brilliant gold rivoli that creates something of a crown to commemorate her victory in battle. The pendant is accented with a lush fringe and is suspended from a twisted herringbone rope of silverlined gold rainbow and dark gold iris seed beads. A closure featuring a bead bezeled gold rivoli and peyote toggle and loop beautifully finishes this 18.5" necklace. The pendant measures 6" long (inc. fringe) and about 2" wide and is backed with tan ultrasuede.

From http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/
"Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still. For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back."
– Faramir, The Steward and the King
Éowyn (Third Age 2995 – Fourth Age ?), the Lady of Rohan, was also known as the Lady of the Shield-arm, the White Lady of Rohan[1], and Lady of Ithilien. She was a member of the House of Eorl and the niece of King Théoden of Rohan. She was the daughter of Théoden's sister, Théodwyn, and Éomund of Eastfold. Her brother was Éomer Éadig.

Please visit our team blog, www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com (http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com) between the 9th and 16th and vote for your favorite entry. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

EBWC Spring Around the Corner Challenge

The voting for the April Challenge of the Etsy Beadweavers Team is now open!  Stop by and take a look at all the beaded spring beauty!  http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com/  My entry is #7.


My entry for this month's challenge is my Spring Lilac Brooch.   It's a large brooch...more like a corsage...so I'm calling it a Broosage!  Perfect for your new Easter dress and it would make a fabulous Mother's Day gift! 

I've created this piece for the EBW Team's April 2011 Challenge "Spring Around the Corner". Here in North Carolina spring is spectacular and it has arrived! The dogwoods and azaleas are just about to pop! But I still miss the lilac season back in my hometown of Rochester New York, where spring truly began in May with the Lilac Festival at Highland Park. Lilacs in amazing variety bloom abundantly on a lush hillside and the fragrance is on the breeze blocks away.

This lovely large Brooch is really more of a Corsage...A Broosage! It starts with a seed bead encrusted base in deep lilac and color lined green size 11 beads with a matte brown stem. On top of the embroidery, I've created a bouquet of tiny little lilac florets made from tiny little size 15 seed beads in a luster lilac with an amber crystal at the center of each. I've also included some beautiful gold luster lilac czech glass flowers anchored by tiny pearl yellow seed beads. The leaves are embellished with a handful of rainbow peridot crystal "dewdrops" for some sparkle. The finishing touch is a couple of irridescent pink glass butterflies. The brooch is carefully edged in seed beads, backed in a lilac tie-died felt and has a 1.5" gold plated pinback. The Broosage is 5" long and 3.5" across the widest part.

This is a picture of my "Rochester" Lilac that bloomed a little early this year.  It came to me as a twig from a tree my aunt had in upstate NY.  Lilacs are not as happy here in NC where the summer is too doggone hot and the winters are not quite cold enough, but this one presents me with a small bouquet every year and I love it!  

I've created quite a few treasuries lately, stop by and check them out!

Simply Black and White
 Mom's Favorite Things

Turquoise, Purple and Gold, Oh My!

Spring Lilacs in Beads and Art

Bring Back the Sun!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Etsy Beadweavers Team March Challenge Fashion Throughout Time

I've created this wonderful piece of wearable art for the Etsy Beadweaver's March Challenge "Fashion through the Ages". Having been born in the 60's, I remember the Flower Power Generation and the bright groovy colors and designs that were so popular in the 60's-70's so I used one of the most iconic fashion designers of the time as my inspiration.

This bib style collar necklace is fully encrusted in seed bead embroidery in array of cool colors. While Pucci's designs were bold and the patterns were bright, the color palette tended to be on the cooler side. I've used a soft cheyenne pink, turquoise, lime green, deep purple, medium and dark blue, accented by lustrous white in a loopy, swirly design. The scalloped necklace is edged in luster rainbow white beads with borders of matte brown beads throughout to accentuate the colors.

The beads were embroidered onto a stiff felt backing and backed with another piece of blue/purple tie-dyed felt. I've finished off the necklace with a "chain" of beads ending in a little medallion with a hook that can fasten at the back into any of the loops making it fully adjustable from about 15" to about 19". It is designed to be worn closely against the neck to create a bib that can sit atop a dress or just underneath an open collar.

This bib style neckpiece collar is 9.5" across the widest part and about 6" long from the middle. Truly a showstopper for your next big occassion!

History of Pucci
Emilio Pucci, Marchese di Barsento (20 November 1914 – 29 November 1992) was a Florentine Italian fashion designer and politician. He and his eponymous company are synonymous with geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colours. Initially he used his knowledge of stretch fabrics to produce a swimwear line in 1949, but soon moved onto other items such as brightly-coloured, boldly-patterned silk scarves. Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus encouraged him to use the designs in blouses and then a popular line of wrinkle-free printed silk dresses. Marilyn Monroe was buried in one of his dresses, and his designs were worn by everyone from Sophia Loren to Jackie Kennedy and latter day pop icons such as Madonna in the early 1990s. His clothes were known for their brilliant colours and well-defined prints. He led the way for the colourful revolution of the 60's. The house of Pucci still goes on reviving the fashion house's glory days to make it relevant for a new generation. Capitalizing on Pucci's bold, instantly recognizable prints, The Pucci revival has been gathering momentum for several years.

Here's a sample of a Pucci Blouse.

I am a proud member of the Etsy Beadweavers Street team. Voting for the March challenge starts on March 9 and is open until the 15th on the bead weavers website (http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com). Stop by and vote for your favorite!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Etsy Beadweavers Team February Challenge Royalty Throughout Time

I've just finished and listed "Elizabethan Ruff and Pearl" as my entry to the EBW challenge for this month.  The first challenge of the new year was chosen by Miriam of CeiloDesigns winner of the November challenge "Holiday Treasures", Miriam has challenged our members to design for Royalty throughout time - From the aristocrats of the French revolution to ancient kings and queens and modern day princesses, royalty has always inspired and set new trends in the jewelry world.  

Ever since I can remember, I've been a big fan of the Elizabethan era.  Almost since the moment I began to sing in Jr. high school, madrigals were my very favorite songs.  From "Fair Phyllis" to "Now is the Month of Maying" to PDQ Bach's "The Queen to me a Royal Pain doth Give", and "My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth".  Good times ;~).  Later on when I joined the professional choral group Bel Canto Company, the early music of Byrd, Tallis and Gibbons would always make my heart soar.  We staged a Renaissance Feast and participated in a local Medieval Faire where I created many of the costumes and banners we used.  So when the challenge theme of Royalty through the ages was announced, there was no question I would go Elizabethan.  

Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The elaborately starched and ruffled collars worn by the Queen were high fashion during the Elizabethan era as were pearls of every shape and size.

This collar necklace is inspired by the use of pearls and ruffs in Elizabethan fashion. Antique gold glass pearls are woven in a netted pattern with cream pearl and luster bronze seed beads to form a slightly ruffled collar. The middle of the collar is embellished with 11 beautiful antique gold glass pearl drops. The 18" long necklace is finished with a peyote loop and bronze firepolished crystal closure and another pearl drop at the back.

Please visit our team blog, www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com (http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com) between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.  Until then, you can go to Etsy and get a preview of all the incredible entries fit for royalty  http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_query=EBWC&search_type=handmade&shopname=beadn4fun