Thursday, June 29, 2006

Girls Got Bead Blogs

Guess what?!!! Val Magnuson has a blog! You can find her blog here or by clicking on the title above. She's got a beautiful new purse in the works, so check it out! Her blog is a great blend of her beadwork and poetry. The title is "Beading Frenzy":

I also discovered that Robin Atkins has a new blog too! Her blog is called "Bead Lust" and can be found here or copy and paste her site into your browser:
Her latest entry features a beautiful spirit doll and she wrote about it's design - it's really neat, so I highly recommend checking it out :)

I've just listed both under my Beader's Blogs (sidebar, left), so you can always see what they're up to by following the links. ("Val" and "Robin")

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Beaded Hummingbird

beaded hummingbirdI recently made a beaded hummingbird from Dragon's pattern. I used matte 14's and a small wooden bead as the armature. I also ventured out and tried our new 8.x digital camera to see how good the resolution could be. I think the photos turned out much better than I've done in the past with my 2.1! (click on the photo, left, to see a close-up view) beaded hummingbird

I hung the hummingbird on a strand of daisy chain to make a lovely long necklace. If you haven't tried Dragon's designs, I highly recommend them - they're fun and the directions are easy to follow. I've also made the Owl (in matte 14's) - which is another great pattern of hers. To see her patterns, click on the title above. Enjoy!

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Balancing Beads and Research

Pam O'Connor has written a nice article about Valerie Hector and her pursuits in the August edition of Bead and Button magazine. I found the article on B&B's site and it's free for download. Click on the title above to get to B&B's website where you can view the pdf. Incidentally, Valerie is also putting on a conference in 2007 in Turkey for bead scholars. She has an AD in the June 2006 edition of Ornament magazine for those that are interested (perhaps there will be more info in B&B's article about it). Enjoy!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

And The Winner Is....

The winner's of B&B's Bead Dreams awards are in - check it out by clicking on the title above. There were many fine pieces that I would have liked to see as finalists... A judged show is so subjective, I think all the artists are due a congratulations for the time, effort, and artistry they exhibited. B&B will publish a special Bead Dreams edition in October, so we'll have to wait to see how it all turned out. Have fun viewing the winners!

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm still here!

I'm still here! Just busy as can be! I spent last weekend in San Francisco and took some time to stroll down College Ave in Bezerkeley. If you're going, be sure to check out Tootsies which stocks fun and fashionable shoes and offers Pedicures to go. On College is also High Strung - a long time bead establishment which offers both beads and classes. One of the classes they teach is a gorgeous spiral peyote bead necklace with a tassle pendant - all woven in size 11's and 14's. It was very delicate and quite stunning but I wish they'd labelled the instructor's name on the class info (Here's an upclose look at Three Beads & Tassle). Be sure to also check out their Netted Necklace. I've always enjoyed High Strung and usually find something unique, but they were a bit crowded this trip, so I came back empty handed.....Fashion watch: everyone in SF is wearing white cotton skirts. They're great for hot summer days.

I haven't had much time to do beadwork this week. I've got a few irons in the fire for other projects that take me away from doing beadwork :( Yesterday I dropped off the 200 or so plants I've been growing for our local arboretum. They have a wonderful plant sale and I've got a great seed starter system that my husband built, so I've been growing some stock for them. The plants that I give two thumbs up to (for those of you who garden) are the Hibiscus Luna Pink Swirl (with blossoms to 8 inches), Hollyhock Queeny Purple (blooming the first year from seed into a fully double purple blossom) and Echinacea Magnus which grows to almost 5 feet and has giant mauve blooms (a stunning plant).

I hope everyone has been busy beading and I hope to catch up with my usual posts soon! PS If flowers inspire you, click on the title above to see T & M's garden selections!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Design Your Own Textile

I was over at the Victoria and Albert Museum and I discovered a fun little tool. Did you know you can design your own textile? You can also print it and send it as an email to a friend! Click on the title above to get to the museum. Once there, scroll down the listings at left until you reach "Design a Textile". Click on the link. Once you're done with that, if you have a knack for knitting, be sure to check out their free online pattern. The Gingerbread Cottage purse is fun! If you like purses with a theme, be sure to check out Simplicity's pattern 4159.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Vote for the Bead Dreams Winner!

Poll is Closed. Winners will be announced on June 21st - go to the Bead and Button website to find out who the winners are!

Vote for your favorite Bead Dreams piece by June 13th. Electronic votes will all be counted and the winner will be announced on June 18th. Vote by clicking on the title above which will take you to the official voting page.

Treasure Hunt!

I thought I'd take you on a treasure hunt today.....some really fun finds, all on eBay. Click on the links to see the items. Be sure to use the back button on your browser to get back to Beadweaver as these links do not open a new window. Have fun!

1. A lovely beaded reticule, circa early 20th Century: Reticule
2. A creatively done stained glass "microbeaded" purse: Stain Glass
3. A gorgeous 1920's embroidered lace dress: Dress
4. A jeweled purse fit for a queen (or a princess!): Purse
5. Stunning "carnival glass" beads necklace: Necklace
6. 1957 Vera Miles Paper Dolls (SO stylish!): Paper Dolls
7. Fruit glass bead necklace (So much fun!): Fruit

Monday, June 05, 2006

Connection Speed

Dear Readers,
I thought I'd post a little note about the slow connection......My blog consistently ranks high for content but low for connection. The reason for this is that I put up high quality images (50kb) on my site for you to enjoy. I hate poor quality photos and sometimes a lot is lost when I lower the image quality.
If you'd like Beadweaver's loading time to be faster, please add a comment to this note and let me know. I can change the site and make it faster, if that matters to you.

Val Magnuson's Artistic Purses

Today I'd like to share with you a little treasure....Beautifully beaded images....extravagant metallic and cut beads.......functional and fabulous......These words describe Val Magnuson's beaded purses. Made with a variety of beads and crystals, Val's purses offer a chance to own and enjoy an artist's vision of a wonderful (and highly collectible) art.

Val's purses are loom-woven using a variety of bead sizes (see image at right). Her latest piece reminds me of a cross between a kuba cloth and a celtic design and is just gorgeous. If you look closely at the image, you might see her signature - can you find it? (It's very clever!). These purses take 100's of hours to complete. Besides being loom woven (and tying off all those threads) they must also be attached to a purse frame, lined, and fringed. I can't wait to see the finished purse!

One of Val's most recent works features the Fox Theatre, shown left. The Fox Theatre is a landmark historic theatre in Detroit. Built in 1928, its marquee is typical of the style and beautifully re-created in Val's purse. Also an avid poet (She's published several books of poetry), Val occasionally inscribes lines from a poem onto the back of these silken beauties.

Shown right is Val's beautiful Kilim Purse in aquas, pinks, and metallics and woven with tiny, tiny seed beads. According to Val, "This [purse] was very difficult, but I love to challenge myself and am always up to something new. The kilim purse is made with true cuts [and the] holes so small- I wondered how I could do the fringe. I finally ended up using zero zero thread and the tiniest needle. I had to use 3 x glass to thread the needle!" Truly, this is a labor of love!

I found many images of Val's work featured on a number of web sites (click on the name to view): Land of Odds Gallery, Shipwreck Beads Gallery, Suzanne Cooper's Gallery, Beaded Images Gallery, Aryhonel, and the Thread Heaven Gallery. Val also has a long list of publications and will be featured in this month's edition of Strut Magazine.To find out more about Val's work (she has a few pieces currently for sale), click HERE to send her a note. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you!

Thank you Val for sharing your beadwork with us -it's both beautiful and inspirational!
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