Friday, May 30, 2014

May Bead Journal Project

With the end of winter comes the breath of spring.  From the dormant earth comes color - green, purple, yellow, orange, pink, red - colors of flowers pushing their way up through the ground and creating beautiful gardens and forests.  Up up and up the colors reach until they hit the blue sky.  My bead represents this process of renewal, from the brown earth, the colors of spring, and the blue sky.  The earth and sky is made using size 11 seed beads and the color beads are dichroic triangles.  I love the way that color just vibrates through the triangles when the light hits them.




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Irish waxed linen Blog Hop Reveal!


Thanks to Diana Ptaszynski (

for hosting this Irish waxed linen blog hop.  The idea for the blog hop came from Bead Cruise 2014 in which Erin Siegel taught a macrame class using the linen.  I didn't take the class but I did make a project from jewelry stringing magazine that Erin had designed and it was a lot of fun to use the linen.  

The main materials for my project were Irish waxed linen cord (yellow cord top left), C-lon (bright pink), a macrame project board, t-pins, a button for a finding, and long drop magatama beads. 

Diana suggested using an artist bead and I chose 5 beads by Basha (, which are a gorgeous olive with luminescent colors glimmering in the beads.

Making the necklace.

I started by measuring three Irish waxed linen cords and folding them in half, once for the button side and once for the button hole side. Using the C-lon cord I macramed for several inches, added a Basha bead, then used clusters of 3 drop beads, making a knot after each group. Thinking of spring, I used lime green, fuschia, and 3 shades of bronze.  Another Basha bead was added and more clusters were made.  

Now to add the large Basha bead and put all 12 core strands through the hole! That was a bit challenging and luckily it worked.  Next up was fringe.  I love fringe and had fun alternating strands of single drop beads with strands of clusters of beads.  The cord just wanted to be fringed and I kept knotting until there was a 
long and flowy fringe hanging from the necklace.

A close-up of the upper necklace.

Showing a little more of the top of the necklace and the start of the fringe.

Another close-up.

 The large Basha bead and the strands of fringe.

The whole necklace. The overall length of the necklace is 22" and the fringe is 10".

Ta da!  No one home to take a picture of the necklace on me, so I did a selfie.  

(To see blogs listed below, click on the blog address and you will be taken to the blog link.)

Kelsy Vincent

Susan Kennedy

Linda Landig

Kashmira Patel

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Vanessa Gilkes

Sandy Huntress

Kay Thomerson

Sarajo Wentling

Kari Asbury

Rebecca Anderson

Melissa Trudinger

Ann Schroeder

Shai Williams

Kristen Stevens

Heather Boardman

Janet Bocciardi

Kathy Lindemer

Lesley Watt

Michelle McCarthy

Cynthia Deis

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson

Inge von Roos

Linda Younkman

Sandi Volpe

Toltec Jewels

Michelle Mach

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A few Miscellaneous Bead Photos

I found these pieces in some of my draft posts so I thought I would put them up.  The top two bead embroidered pieces were made for a seaquilt that was raffled off to raise money for cancer in a walk that a friend was doing.  Her daughter had cancer and she wanted to contribute in a tangible way.  The quilt was absolutely gorgeous and although I bought a lot of tickets I didn't win it.

Another square that I made.



I don't believe I have posted this doll before, and I did find the photos in a draft post.  This doll was made in memory of a friend of mine who killed herself about this time of year.  She was a lovely and charming person, but she was haunted by growing up as a child of Holocaust survivors and suffered from anxiety and depression.  A lot of people think that Christmas is the highest time of suicides, but in fact it is the beginning of spring.  Just when winter starts to recede, when color starts popping up in the garden, when leaves start filling up trees, and a fresh and warm breeze blows, there are those who do not feel the joy of life re-emerging, of the energy of the season, of a lightness and laughter that comes with a sense of rejuvenation. They feel no hope, and without hope there is no reason to go on.  What I write is simplistic, of course, but the captures the essence of why there is a higher suicide rate in spring.  And for dear and gentle friend, the spring in which she found herself was too much for her to continue living.  It was not a choice that she made, she did not wish her family to suffer from her death, for her children to grow up without her, for her husband to mourn his only love and to live out the rest of his life alone.

This doll reflects the joy that she spread in the world.  The bright colors for when she was happy. The wings for how she protected and cared for others.

And here, remembering spring so as to never forget.  And to remember, that when times were good, my friend's garden blossomed beautifully with a riot of colors.

April BJP

My April BJP surprised me quite a bit.  I used the bracelet on the left as inspiration, liking the way the netted beads waved and flowed, creating a fullness and heft.  However, I didn't take into consideration that I would be beading on a round wooden ball with a 1" diameter.  

I started with a netted base on the wood ball in a pretty purple, just because I like the color.

My idea was to add rows of netting (a process in which the number of beads used increases on each row, creating the wavy look), that reflected my mood for the day.  I used Matsuno beads, which are gorgeous colors, but kind of squarish beads.  As much as I loved each color, seeing the colors next to each other the rows looked terrible, no flow of mood or color at all.

Trying to capture some of spring, the gray days, feeling blue about the weather, seeing green start to come out in the trees and grass.

Here you see a lot of gray, some matte, some transparent as if trying to let the light in.  But in the end blackness won out, and although it's hard to see, there are 3 rows of netting on the last row, giving a heavier look on that row.

Another view.

Because I was unhappy with how the bead looked and disappointed that I wasn't getting the flow and rhythm I was looking for, I decided not to finish the bead, and just filled in the empty spaces with more purple beads.  If you look on the far right you will see some firepolish.  That was an effort to see if I could get more light in the bead, hoping it would shine through and catch sunlight.  But when I decided not to finish the bead I just left it alone.

I feel that this is a true bead journal piece.  I had an idea but the beads took over.  I thought the colors were pretty but they didn't look pretty together, instead they really reflected my kind of down-in-the-dump mood over the month.  A lot was going on in April that we/I had no control over, and it was a very long month after a very long and cold winter.