Saturday, September 30, 2006

MJSA Vision Awards

The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America's 2007 competition is open to both national and international jewelers. This year they have announced a new category: "Crystal" which is sponsored by Swarovski. Deadline for submission is November 30th, 2006. If you are interested in submitting your work, please click on the title above to learn more. You will find an email address to submit inquiries to and they will send you more information and an application for submission. I will also be listing this competition under my Bead Competitions category, left column. Good Luck!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Liliad Bijoux

I have another wonderful French bead artist to share with you! Her name is Liliad and she has created some of the most beautiful beaded pieces - her latest is a miniature beaded flask. Check out her blog by clicking on the title above. You'll also find a few of her photo albums on her blog - yummy eye candy! Enjoy!

J'ai un autre artiste français merveilleux de perle à partager avec vous! Son nom est Liliad et elle a créé certains des morceaux perlés les plus beaux - elle est le plus en retard un flacon perlé miniature. Vérifiez son blog en cliquant sur le titre ci-dessus. Vous trouverez également quelques uns de ses albums photos sur son blog - sucrerie délicieuse d'oeil ! Appréciez !

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Table Top Studio

Taking pictures of beadwork is hard. Very hard. I've been looking for a way to create professional photos for a long time and in my search last year I found this website. Table Top Studio sells lighting kits for taking pictures. I've not bought one yet, on account of the price and hoping I could find a less expensive route. Last week I finally landed up in our local camera store, inquiring about purchasing individual components (and hoping to save a few $$). After all was said and done, the camera person told me I'd be better off buying the kit online. He thought the price was really good.

If you're interested in taking professional shots of your work, click on the title above to learn more about Table Top Studio's kits. I've included a direct link to their Bead kit, but they have others as well. Be sure to inquire about the graded background papers - the ones that fade into black - as I think these provide a very professional finish. If they don't have them, you can purchase them online here: Photo Tech

A great website with information on imaging techniques can be found here: Imaging Info

How to improve your pictures of beads and jewelry is also discussed here (and includes how to make your own setup) : Wet Canvas

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

More Beadweaver Blog Friend Updates!

I've got more updates on Beadweaver's Blog Friends!

Stephanie Distler of A Realization in Texture, Color, and Movement has opened a studio and small gallery! To read about this exciting adventure, please click HERE

The Lone Beader has completed her picture embroidery of the Divas. It's outstanding, she's so talented! Read more about the "Divas Take Atlanta" by clicking HERE

Cluny Grey of Jewelry Trends has a new series of jewelry pieces for Fall. They are lovely. Check them out by clicking HERE

Camilla of Storm Rising Designs has been exploring new marketing roads. She's written about the experience on her blog and if you're interested, be sure to check it out, she has some useful insight! She also has a gorgeous new peyote bracelet......Click HERE to read more.

Beverly Herman has some gorgeous new treasures featured on her blog: No Easy Beads

Luann Udell has a GREAT post about photo shoots and producing less expensive "Glamour Shots" for your jewelry. Find ways to make your pieces stand out. Check it out by clicking HERE

Alicia has written a short history of Swarovski, which you can read by clicking HERE

Teantae has been working on a brooch for a swap and has a few other works in progress. She and her husband look absolutely dashing in their pirate costumes: Studio Te

Linda Jones has moved her blog to a new place: Born Under A Bead Sign

And last (but not least!) Robin Atkins just had a birthday! Happy Birthday Robin! Check out her latest, wonderful-as-always, entry labelled "B": HERE

Friday, September 22, 2006

An Interview with David Chatt

I mentioned the new David Chatt video in a post earlier this week. Heather Taylor's blog, Bead Studio is showing it. You can also find the video on YouTube and I've included a direct link to the YouTube site in the title above. If you click on the title it will begin to load the video. If you'd rather go to the website itself and do a search to find it, copy and paste this site into your browser:

By the way, if you're as BIG of a fan of David Chatt as I am, you might consider purchasing his new catalog "Two Hands, Twenty Years, and a Billion Beads". It's available through his website for $20 and you can purchase it by clicking on the following link and following the directions: David's Catalog.
PS A direct link is also on his website: (Home) Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Beadweaver's Blog Friends Updates

Val Magnuson has just completed another amazing beaded purse (shown right): Beading Frenzy

Connie Marie has added a new blog to her repetoire, a special place for everything beads: Connie Maries Beads

Madelaine Songe has added a new series of creations to her blog, they're gorgeous: Madeleine's Blog

I've added two bead artists to the "Eye Candy" list: Dallas Lovett and Gillian Lamb

I've not mentioned this artist's work yet, but it's quite beautiful and her presentation is superb. Ornella Aprosio is from Italy and has a shop in Florence. I've listed her gallery under the "Eye Candy" column too: Aprosio

Frany has a gorgeous new free form necklace and a new photo album to view on her blog (shown left): Frany

Marie Geraud's patterns are growing! She's added quite a few new patterns in English. If you're in need of materials for stones and sew on settings, please check out my August 2006 archives for resources. Marie's newest patterns can be found here: Bilofiches

OhMyGoodness, and if you haven't been over to Heather Taylor's blog lately, you must go. She's got an interview with David Chatt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Find it by clicking here: David Chatt Speaks

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Margaux Lange's Jewelry

This artist's work speaks for itself. Click on the title above to see her website. Leave a comment to let us know what you think!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sophie Daniel's Blog

I just discovered that Sophie Daniel (French Jewelry Designer) has a blog! I am listing her under my "Beaders Blogs" list, but you can also visit her new site by clicking on the title above. She has a number of albums to view - really nice examples of her work. She works with a variety of mediums and her work is very rich in texture and color. Have a great weekend!

Franco-American Beadwork

Okay, I couldn't think of a better title for this post. After being inspired by Marie Geraud of Biloba Bijoux, I ventured out to try beading with a sew on bezel and this is what I came up with. Marie says it looks distinctively American. I think it looks Art Deco. At any rate, it is a blend of both French and American beadwork styles.

This is my first piece using this method. I loved working with the metal bezels, it gives the work a sense of permanence, something that I feel is occasionally lost with just beadwork alone. I call this piece "L'inspiration des Biloba Bijoux". It's a substantial piece; each flower is the size of a half dollar. I'm working on taking a better picture. Hope you like it in the meantime.
French beaded bracelet
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hilda Bernstein

Born in London and emigrating to South Africa, Hilda Bernstein was a woman, an anti-aparthied activist, and an artist. She started the Federation of South African Women, a multi-cultural organization interested in supporting women's rights and banning apartheid. For their political activism, she and her husband were run out of the country and walked on foot to Botswana. She later became an author and artist, with a "fierce commitment to humanity". She passed away on Sunday at the age of 91.

If you click on the title above, you will be redirected to a website which offers a few of her paintings and sketchings. Among these I found two to be especially striking. The first, "Cypress, Dembozo, Sahel" depicts the struggle of women and a child during a drought. It is stark and painful. The second, entitled "We Women" depicts images of women painted against a background of red, no doubt representing blood and life and struggle. Her work is not entirely about activism; she has a number of beautiful paintings of life in London and it's vibrant marketplaces. I think it is the contrast between these two worlds which I have found most thought provoking.

When one is interested in beadwork as a tool for one's own artistic expression, it is good to look at the art of other people in other fields. By doing so, we learn that our own ideas are capable of finding a means for personal expression through beadwork and that it does matter what we have to say.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

New Artists Added

Louise Hill of Louise Hill Designs has shared with me two new bead artists that she's found on the web and I think you'll enjoy seeing their work. (Thank you Louise!)

The first is Scarlett Rocks of Scarlett Rocks Designs. Scarlett is 16 and has begun designing beadwork. She has a good eye for design and is someone to keep an eye on. Her site loads slowly so be please patient.

The second is Caito Amorose of Caito Amorose dot com. Caito has been designing beadwork for a number of years and has a few award winning pieces to her credit. Be sure to check out her gallery page where you'll find some interesting and inspiring designs.

Click on the artist's name to see their individual work. I've also included them under my "Eye Candy" links. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Treasures of Toho Contest

The Treasures of Toho Bead Contest results are in! The winners are:

Wearable Art: Tatiana Van Iten
Non-Wearable: Sue Jackson and Wendy Hubick
Sculptural: Christina Manes
All AIKOs: Judy Walker

You can see Chris Mane's beautiful "Ishtar" by clicking HERE (it's absolutely amazing!) and Sue Jackson and Wendy Hubick's "Evening Bag" by clicking HERE. I was unable to find Tatiana Van Iten or Judy Walker online but if anyone knows of a link, please share!

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Whimsical Flower Bracelet

Bonnie O'Donnell-Painter has created a beautiful little bracelet of fuchsia-like flowers. Bead and Button, online, is currently offering this project for FREE. Be sure to click on the title above to get to the page for the free PDF download (971KB). These are great flowers for a bracelet or earrings!

Monday, September 04, 2006

California Beaded Basketry

While in Yosemite, we spent some time at the museum in Yosemite Village. They house a nice collection of some of the finest basketry from the area. One style of basketry uses beads as a surface embellishment. I've only seen two of these items, one from the Turtle Bay Museum collection and the second from the Yosemite collection. These baskets were woven with the beads strung onto the fiber, each coiling of the fiber setting the bead on the exterior of the basket. It's a beautiful effect and as I mentioned, less prevalent than the classic style of basket weaving. A small search on the net tells me that many of these baskets were woven by the Paiute.

One source for these beautiful baskets is Cowans The image I've shown above is actually from the Nevada State museum - click on the image to learn more about the "Frog Basket".

In searching for an example for you for beadwork woven baskets, I came across a site which offers, at auction, some beautiful beaded baskets. If you click on the title above, you will see what is currently available. There appears to be two different styles of weaving used in these baskets - one is a netting overlay from the Paiute and the other is from the Cascades and uses beadwork that appears to be intrinsic to the basket but could also be an overlay.

I also found a number of interesting items from the California Basketry website. Beadwork from Pitt River and Hat Creek can be found on this site with one tiny example of a bead embellished basket: HERE

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Yosemite Valley & the Hetch Hetchy

I'm back from a week's vacation to Yosemite Valley and the great Hetch Hetchy... Shown right is a view of Half Dome from the Yosemite Valley floor. This was taken along the old Bridle Trail, a little-used trail that circumnavigates the valley floor for 13 or so miles - a good full day's hike.

Shown left is a view of the Hetch Hetchy. The Hetch Hetchy is a valley just like Yosemite and is right next to it. In 1913, the US gov. turned it into a 400 ft deep reservoir to provide water to the San Francisco Bay Area. A lot of people would like to see it turned back to the beautiful valley it once was.

Hetch Hetchy has the finest trails and it's waterfalls are as beautiful as that of Yosemite. Galen Rowell preferred the quiet of the water-filled valley to Yosemite's crowd-filled one. It is seldom visited and the area's best kept secret.

PS: I've got lots of links in this post, so click on an image or the highlighted text to see and learn more!