Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bead Arts Awards

Lapidary Journal has just posted the results for its 2006 Bead Arts Awards contest. And the winner is.........Our friend Louise Hill from Louise Hill Designs! Louise has created a lovely graphic design inspired piece which features a focal bead by Patti Cahill. Louise's design "Serendipity" shares the award for Best of Competition with Kim Miles' "Exaggerated Lotus Mandala" and Linda Stiles Smith and Dale Smith's "untitled" beaded bracelet. "Serendipity" also received a First Place award in the Beaded Necklace category. Click on the title above to see the top finishers and to see more of Louise's beautiful beadwork, please click HERE.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Must Have's...

When I saw this in the Aug/Sept 2006 issue of Beadwork, I just had to dial in the website. I have wanted to purchase an artist's taboret for a long time, but I've not liked the fixed drawers or sizes. These are a much better storage option. Check it out by clicking on the title above!

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Monday, August 21, 2006

The Bead Studio Blog

I don't post on Beadweaver every day, as you know, but when I'm not posting I'm usually on this blog adding something to it....so that each week there are new links to be found under my categories at left.

Today I want to direct you to the Bead Studio blog. The owner's name is Heather and last Friday she posted the most beautiful piece of Kumihimo work woven in soft sages and lavendars, which you can see if you click on the title above. Heather is also a co-owner of a bead store in Toronto, Canada called "Bead Junction". She is an active member of the Bead Society of Toronto and runs a discussion list on Yahoo Groups called "Bead Junction". Heather has had her blog since 2004! To see some of her work, work in progress, and to learn more aboot Canadian beaders, head over to her blog at beadstudio.blogspot.com. Enjoy!

Friday, August 18, 2006

L'Artisan du Libon

I've had a difficult time finding beadwork in Lebanon. I've looked for blogs and websites, but all in English (perhaps I should try French). I did find one website, L'Artisan du Libon, which is a collective of individual artisans who make a variety of middle-eastern items for home decorating and adornment. The collective is run by three women and it employs over 800 women in their homes. I found an interesting article about this cooperative and you can read about them by clicking on the title above.

They also have a website called "Alyad" which features a large number of items. I scrolled through the items for sale and found some lovely tassled pieces under the category "Salon J06". They also have some beautiful drawer pulls made with stamped metals and glass beads. You can get to their website by clicking HERE.

I am wondering if perhaps part of my difficulty in finding any beadwork is due, in part, to the extensive bombing that has taken place (the sites are offline?). I've focused on Beirut, since it was such a cosmopolitan city. I've found a woman who sells her artwork on the cafepress shops HERE and she has a blog HERE. If anyone has a website or blog to share, please write to me, I'd love to post it!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Adina Plastelina

Over the past few weeks, I've watched the strife between Lebanon, Israel, and Hezbollah develop. I am so happy there is a cease-fire and so far, so good.... The other day, I was thinking about how one of my goals of Beadweaver is to bring together our global community of beaders. So I started thinking about where our bead friends are in Israel and Lebanon, and who are they?

I came upon this website, Adina Plastelina. It is owned by a woman named Adi Prachia. Adi lives in Jaffa, Israel and has a beautiful studio in the old part of town. She specializes in making Fimo beads and is really very good at it. I've included a link to her website in the title above, so if you click on it you will be taken there.

What struck me most about Adi's pages, is the "How" section. If you take a minute to go through it, you will be treated with photos of people from all over the world who have visited Adi in her shop. What struck me most about this section is not just the smiles on everyone's faces (can beads bring anything but happiness?!) but that it shows how much we have in common through our love for beads.

What a wonderful site and I hope that Adi and her family are safe.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Truth in Art

Robin Atkins, from beadlust.blogspot.com, has been asking great questions this past week about what makes a masterpiece and what is truth in Art. If you have time this weekend, head over to her blog to read her thoughts and the interesting and insightful comments from fellow bloggers. Perhaps it will give you a new perspective on what Art is or maybe it will inspire you to think differently about your own Art. I know it's made me think about what I do and why I do it (Thank you Robin).

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Medieval Beadwork Page

Jen Segrest has a great little website dedicated to research on the Medieval use of beadwork in clothing and adornment. She has a number of links which include finds from the Victoria & Albert Museum, Class notes with "How-to's", and details on a 14th century (1300's) bead embroidered panel.....the website is packed with information. If you love to do beadwork - particularly for those who do bead embroidery - I recommend visiting this site, if only to get a glimpse of what beadweavers were doing 700 years ago....Click on the title above to get there. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Margie Deeb's Color!

If you're interested in color, a great newsletter to sign up for is Margie Deeb's. Margie sends out her newsletter each month and this month her topic is "Yellow". I love yellow. Especially the muted yellows - it's warm, inviting, relaxing. Not everyone likes to wear yellow, however. But Margie has some insight into how to mix yellow into your pallete and make it work.

To learn more about color, click on the title above. Margie even has podcasts! You can also read past articles by following her links to Margie's Muse.

Don't miss Robin Atkins article (Beadlust.blogspot.com) too - she's written a lovely post on color with a few sneek peeks into Margie's upcoming book, due out in 2008. Robin has been writing about what makes a masterpiece..... Be sure to check out her blog while you're out surfing...Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Victoria Broad

Good Morning! Yesterday I wrote about Victoria Broad, the French online bead store where supplies for crystals and settings and Marie le Sueur's books can be found.

Just to note, currently they are offering free overseas shipping for items under 100grams (the shopping cart keeps tally of your weight). They also take PayPal!!! Be sure if you're ordering to request that the VAT (sales tax) be removed from your order - it doesn't apply to non-EU customers, but I'm not sure if you have to use a credit card to get the refund (I'll ask and get back to you - be sure to read the comments section to this post).

To see an example of Marie le Sueur's style of pattern instructions, check out the comments on yesterday's post - you'll find direct links to two free patterns on the Victoria Broad website. If anyone tries them, please write in to let Beadweaver's readers know what you think (and of course, we'd love to see photos of your work if you feel so inspired...). Have a great Monday!



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Friday, August 04, 2006

August Bead-a-long Challenge

peyote pouch
Redthread is hosting a "Bead-a-long" for the month of August. You can sign up now through August 15th by contacting her through her blog (click on the title above). The theme is the beaded amulet bag. She's got a link to a tubular peyote tutorial on her site -"Amulet Bag Basics" - if you don't know how to weave peyote. She'll be posting all of the entries at the end of August. It looks like a lot of fun and I hope you can make it!

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Beading with Marie le Sueur

beaded rivoliI recently purchased Marie le Sueur's book " Bijoux en cristal: Dentelles de perles" or "Crystal Jewelry: Bead Lace". I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to understand, particularly since I am not fluent in French! The book begins in the classic bead-book style with an introduction that covers materials. After that however, it presents its projects in a slightly different manner: The second section of the book ("Techniques") covers the basic construction techniques for the jewelry components and the third section ("Realisation") illustrates how to put the components together. At the end of each project are lovely photos illustrating the finished work.

There are a few things that I really like about this book. First are the diagrams. They are fairly self-explanatory so that you don't need to decipher the instructions that accompany each step. What is particularly nice about the diagrams is that they are done using images of the beads themselves (a crystal bead is drawn to look like a crystal bead). I found this very helpful. I also like the format of the book - first explaining how to make the components and then providing a series of applications (projects) at the end. For example the beautiful "Maya" motif: The book illustrates variations for creating the motif and then shows how to use it in a pendant, a ring, an earring, and as the centerpiece for a bracelet (my version of the pendant is shown above in Lilac with sterling delicas and charlottes). The other thing I really like about this book is the style of beadwork. It is delicate, lacy, and not overly done. I found all of the items to be extremely attractive, feminine, and inspiring!

As the title suggests, the book uses beads and crystals. The crystal cabochons are in settings and the settings provide an important base for weaving from. Not all the projects have set crystals however, so don't let that dissuade you if you don't have any. For example there are gorgeous beaded lace projects- Motif's Valmont and Elliandre - that use crystal drops and rounds, and the "Tourvelle" bracelet (shown in my earlier post). If you are somewhat skilled at beadwork and can follow diagrams then I would highly recommend this book! To view some of the finished items be sure to check out Marie le Sueur's website HERE.

Unfortunately there aren't many places where you can purchase this book in the States. The only online U.S. retailer I found was Laci's which offers it for $42. They also offer Marie's earlier book "Bijoux en Cristal: Tissage de Pearls" for $45. Thinking I'd save money, I bypassed Laci's and went directly to Amazon.fr (France) and purchased the book. I saved ~$8. If you go through Amazon.fr you will need some knowledge of French to navigate the ordering process and it will take two weeks to arrive (if you click on the book image, you will be redirected to it's page on Amazon.fr). Note that overseas shipping costs ~$12 - there's no getting around it!

If you're looking for inspiration and a well-illustrated book for creating lacy beadwork with crystals, then consider this book as your next purchase. If you do buy it, take a little time to go through it as I have - remembering that the "Techniques" section is where Marie diagrams how to weave the individual components and the "Realisation" section is where she puts them all together. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I have.

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