Monday, October 30, 2006

My Daily Om

A friend of mine shared this website with me. It's full of inspiration so I thought I'd share it with you. It's for those days when everything seems to fall apart, or when you're feeling hopeless or lost, whatever your worries, I hope you will find some solice here. Click on the title to go to the website.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Embroidered Purses

I picked up "Embroidered Purses" by Linda Tudor a few months ago at Lacis online. It's a beautiful book but not for a beginner. It discusses designs and techniques, but requires some knowledge of stitching and sewing to understand it thoroughly. I love the purse on the cover, which is a project, however no patterns are provided - you have to create your own, although the author does provide instructions to do that.

Inside the book you'll find some lovely purses including one decorated with cut and dried lemon peel 'sequins'. Mostly, it is a book about inspiration and a place to start if you're thinking about entering into Beadwork's Beaded Bag competition.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More Bead Embroidery

Bobbi Kirk asked me about the back of the bead embroidered bracelet I did for my class. Unfortunately, yesterday I backed the bracelet with a sandwich of steam-a-seam and a second piece of suede cloth. The suede cloth (available locally, but not my preference - I prefer ultrasuede) shows little bumps on the back - these are my knots where I start and stop the thread. It's not terribly noticeable, but I am a perfectionist so it won't happen again! Because I use the steam-a-seam, which is essentially a heat set glue, in the future I am going to eliminate my knots and instead do a tiny single stitch to secure the threads....

I've also taken a picture of what has proven to be a challenge. I started on the Iris project in the summer. I took a sewing class this fall as a motivator to finish the embroidery and create the final piece. The lining for the final piece was a template for the embroidery. In transferring the image to the embroidery I considered many options. Finally, I ended up at our local sewing store which has been in business for 30 years. I asked the owner if she had a nifty solution for image transfer (other than pen) and she swore by a product called "Sulky Heat Away". She was quite enthusiastic - "Add just a little heat with an iron and it will disintegrate before your eyes!"

Let me first say this. Never use Sulky Heat Away. Secondly, ALWAYS test out a new product. I did neither. I beaded away for the entirety of my class only to find that when I tried to remove the Sulky Heat Away, it wasn't quite so easy. First, it takes an EXTREMELY HOT iron. Second, I used NYMO thread for my embroidery. Even with using an extremely hot iron and a press cloth, the Sulky Heat Away didn't budge. No disintegration. Trust me, that iron was HOT! (note the vertical lines the iron almost melted into the fabric)

So what I am picturing here is my piece, not quite finished and after three hours of picking away the Sulky Heat Away with a needle. I also used scissors but I quickly switched to a needle after I started cutting up my embroidery threads........

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH. Lesson learned: ALWAYS TEST A NEW PRODUCT. I knew better and I didn't do it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Three Beautiful Things

Three Beautiful Things is featured this week on Bloggers Top Sites so I had to check it out. What a wonderful site. Plus, she's got a great thing going.....So what are your "Three Beautiful Things"? Today, mine are:
The sunrise over Lassen peak
Waking up to a wet nose
A hot mocha

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Liza Lou

I've always been fascinated with Liza Lou's work. Not the work itself though, the process. How many beads can one person repetitively weave or place onto a sculpture that is enormous, repeating a task that is even more so? What makes her tick?

Liza Lou recently had a gallery exhibit in London and it was reviewed by Adriane Searle, of The Guardian. Mr. Searle provides us with a look into her life and her compulsion with all things beaded. It's a review that also touches on things you might not want to know. But then, you might want to know that she was tormented as a child and perhaps this is what drives her as an adult.

Could she really be the genius the MacArthur Foundation thinks she is? Perhaps. Click on the title above to read the review. At the bottom of the article you'll find links to her exhibit at the White Cube Gallery in London and a webpage from that shows a variety of images of her work.

More on the web:
Village Voice
San Francisco Art Institute
Moco Loco
Aid to Artisans

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Connie Marie's Slide Show

I was just over at Connie Marie's new bead blog My Beadwork Projects and I discovered her slide show! Last Wednesday, she posted a slide show of pieces of her beadwork and it's a lovely format. What's especially nice about it is that the viewer can't take a photo off the slide show and save to their hard drive. You might be wondering why that would be an issue, but all of us risk our work being copied if we post it to the internet, and this might be one way around that.

You can create your own slide show on, here's the direct link: Slide dot com

I can't wait to try it!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

More Beautiful Beadweavers

I've got three new French and one Italian beadweaver to feature for today. They are so talented:
Riviere de Perles
RS Jewels

I've also added two new artisan galleries to my Eye Candy List:
Kelly Russell
Lisa Kan

I hope you enjoy seeing their work as much as I have. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Artisan Links

I've just added a few more links to my "Eye Candy" list. Most of them are from the Shepherdess bead store in San Diego (click on the title above to see their website). I also added Yoshie Marubashi - from the Bead Society of Greater New York:

Marcie Stone
Ann Severine
Maggie Meister
Gwen Gibson
Marcia DeCoster
Yoshie Marubashi

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Eva Zeisal

Eva will be 100 years old in November. 100!!! She continues to practice her art, ceramics, and is currently designing gorgeous vessels for Royal Stafford and Imagine where we will be when we are 100.....Will beadwork be so highly collected? Will artists like David Chatt be on par with Andy Warhol? ...... To read more about Eva, click on the title above. Thank you to Louise Hill for sharing this link with us!

To see pictures of her work:
Google Images
Button Vase
Hallcraft Bowl
Harlequin Creamer
Fruit Bowl
Mid Century Vase
Red Wing Pitcher

For a great detailed article on her life, read about Eva in the Boston Globe

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bahati-Tanzania: A Link Can Be A Lifeline

Located in Arusha, Bahati-Tanzania is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women. It began when its founder, Kerstin Cameron, was wrongfully imprisoned for the supposed murder of her husband. She spent a year in prison along with a few other women who, like her, were also wrongfully imprisoned. The conditions were harsh - no sanitation, poor meals, little to no medical care, and awful housing conditions. When she was finally released a year later, she set out to help the women who suffered alongside her. Kerstin set up a half-way house and started a Beadwork business. Today she employs a number of women who design beautiful beadwork and she has recently set up a website to sell online. You can read more about this organization and view their products by clicking on the title above.

According to Kerstin, "One of our main objects is to create awareness, so thank you so much for your help. We started our little beading workshop to try and be as self-sufficient as possible and not to rely on donations alone. We are grateful for any hints or suggestions also [where] designwork etc is concerned". Kerstin's email is on her website, so if you have any suggestions, I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.

I am writing this post to ask everyone to take a look at Kerstin's website and to consider adding her link to your website or blog to help support her efforts. We have a wonderful and strong community of Beaders online and a link from us can be a lifeline for an organization like this. I think this is a great way that we, both as beaders and as women, can support one another, no matter where we live in this world.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Halloween Bead Patterns

It's that time of year again and I thought I'd post some of my favorite patterns for Halloween:

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Vampitapeyote beadwork
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's La Catrina
Starr Design's Halloween Witch Earrings
Sigrid Wynn Evan's Haunted House Necklace
Pinjinsa's Spider Earrings
Susan Mandel's All Hallow's Eve Bracelet
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Down With The Count

More patterns can be found on the website, under "Holiday/Seasonal" "Halloween". Enjoy!

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Thursday, October 05, 2006


I was talking with my sewing teacher the other day and she'd not heard of Novica online. Novica is a great website that sells artisan works from all over the globe. If you've never been to Novica, click on the title above to get there. Last year I purchased a wonderful purse from Thailand. It was packaged beautifully, shipped from Thailand, and included a hand-written thank you note from the artist. I hope you enjoy this website, it's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

All Dolled Up

Land of Odds has posted an online invitation to submit a beaded doll for it's 2007 competition. This year's theme is "Celestial Reflections" and the deadline for submission is August 31st, 2007. Click on the title to learn more!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bead and Button

Bead and Button has just released it's 2007 schedule of classes. It can be purchased online through Kalmbach publishing. This year they are offering three Master Classes. Diane Fitzgerald is teaching a class on the design techniques of costume jewelers such as Miriam Haskell. Applicants must submit a registration form along with $100 which will then be entered into a lottery. To read more about the Master Classes, click on the title above. Wouldn't it be great if B&B offered a scholarship for an aspiring young artist?

Kalmbach publishing is also looking for an Editor and Associate Editor for Bead and Button Magazine. The position of Editor requires significantly more experience but if you're skilled at beading techniques and enjoy writing, you might consider the Associate Editor position. To learn more, click HERE.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Visual Dictionary

The Visual Dictionary is an online website dedicated to compiling photos of single words to create a dictionary. Anyone can participate. The rule for submission is that an image must display only one dicernable word and it must be obvious what the word is. So if you're taking photos of your beadwork, try taking a few pics of words - anything goes. If you click on the title above, you'll be redirected to the website project. You can also search to see if a word has already been entered. Bead is already in the dictionary, unfortunately, I thought an image of "Bead" made up of beads would have been good. Who knows, maybe they'll take more than one entry. Have fun!