Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Summer Jewelry

 Lots of show and tell from summer beading projects.  Above and below are details from bracelets I made designed by the talented and creative Barb Klann, nationally published bead artist and member of my bead guild.  The bracelet above is 3 strands of St. Petersburg stitch attached with channels of right angle weave.

 The second bracelet shows details of a delightful right angle weave bracelet.

 Above are the two bracelets in full view.  I plan on wearing them as "sister" bracelets and hence I coordinated the colors.

 Caravan Beads has a great blog on their website and the bracelet above is from there.  I used blue iris beads in 3 sizes, 11, 8, and size 10 triangles.  Using the different sizes gives the bracelet the dimensional look.

 Wrap bracelets are fun and easy, but hard to photograph!  The ones above were made using size 2 seed beads, which are often used by knitters because they're so large.  These bracelets wrap around my wrist 3 times.

 Half the fun of a wrap bracelet is choosing the button! These bracelets use size 8 seed beads and some pewter beads to give them a little flair.

 Linda Richmond is one of my favorite designers and I've bought a lot of her kits over the years.  The set above comes from her and it's delightful.

 When I went to the Inspired by Nature retreat we made a garden bracelet, which you can see above.  The polymer clay beads are made by Heather Powers and then there are 6 passes of Zulu stitch using seed and fringe beads.

 When I went on the bead cruise I saw a woman wearing the bracelet above (hers was in navy blue) and she was generous enough to share the pattern with me.  Again, it's another bracelet that changes the sizes of the beads, 8,11, and 15, which creates the ruffle.

 A few years ago Leslee Frumin came to our bead guild and taught the crystal part of this necklace.  I added my own strap, the now favorite St. Petersburg stitch.  Leslee is a member of our guild and used to live in Michigan.  She now lives in CA but luckily comes back to teach.  Her designs are fabulous!

 Marcia DeCoster is another teacher that we're lucky to have teach in our guild.  The above photo shows detail of a bezeled cab that is actually designed to be a bracelet.  I like necklaces, so I made it into one, using, once again, the St. Petersburg stitch.

Here is a full photo of the necklace.  If you look at most of the pieces I made this past summer, you will notice I used a lot of blue!  I love blue - it is the color of the sky, the sea, the Great Lakes.  It is an integral color of nature and surrounds us in our daily life.  For me, being a Pisces, I always feel connected to blue and find it both soothing and stimulating.

Hope you've enjoyed my summer tour!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A few summer pieces

On the tray above, work that I beaded this summer, none of which came out well in individual photos so I will just share what I have here.  I made lots of wrap bracelets, they are fun and easy to make, instant gratification. I also completed some old projects.  As you can see, blue was the predominant color for summer, blue skies, blue water...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inspired By Nature Retreat

Last weekend I attended a wonderful retreat hosted by Heather Powers based on her new book, Jewelry Designs from Nature.  Each day was devoted to one of the themes of her book, sea, gardens, and woodlands, as seen in my photos.  The sea was actually Lake Michigan from the shores of South Haven, MI, where the retreat was held.  Our project for seas was to make a mold from which to make resin beads.

The next theme was gardens.  We went to downtown South Haven on Saturday morning and went to the farmer's market, where the above photo was taken.  The project we made was a beautiful bracelet using Heather's clay beads.

Our final day was exploring woodlands, with a hike on the Kal-Haven Trail.  From there we made what I thought was the most interesting art, jewelry made with special meaning.  We were randomly given a poem, which we discussed with the other participants who received that poem.  We then had a kit of beads to use to create a necklace.  We learned how to make bird's nests and incorporate them into our necklace.

I only finished the bracelet during the retreat, and will take a photo and post soon (I hope).  If you are a friend of mine on Facebook you should be able to see lots of pictures that people took of the weekend.

The retreat was very special to me because I was reunited with old friends from past bead cruises.  We were able to catch up with each other and see where life had taken us over the last few years.  Plus I met many wonderful women who were excited to be participating in such a fun and stimulating weekend.