Friday, June 29, 2007

It's Snowing in Africa

If you've ever watched the Discovery channel, you'll often hear that the only snow to be found in Africa is on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I've always thought this was so, except for the occasional dusting that occurs in Northern Africa on the mountain tops. Well, yesterday it snowed in South Africa on the Gauteng Plateau. A dear friend of mine sent me this picture (right). Two inches of snowfall! So it does snow in Africa, just not very often :)

PS: It does snow on the highest mountains in South Africa, but to snow on the lower elevations is quite rare.

(Left: View of Kilimanjaro from Kenya, East Africa)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ooo La La! Louise's New Photo Album

Louise has a new photo album on her blog where readers (you!) can post your work! It's pretty on the title above to view the guest album and be sure to leave a photo........I can't wait to see what everyone shares :)!!!

Louise a un nouvel album photos sur son blog et lecteurs (vous !) peut signaler votre beadwork ! Cliquez sur le titre ci-dessus pour regarder l'album d'invité et laisser une photo........I ne peut pas attendre pour voir ce que vous partagez :)!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bead Dreams Winners

The results are in. If you click on the title above, you can read the results on the Kalmbach website. Congratulations to everyone who entered - not just the finalists or winners, but everyone who sent in an entry. (Note: If you are looking for the 2008 winners, you can find them HERE). It takes considerable time and effort to prepare an entry - particulary the photos which are the most important aspect of the screening process - not to mention the time involved in design and execution. There are so many talented artists out there; I hope they will continue to create because their work is beautiful.

One of my favorites this year was Louise Hill's "Liat: The Dancing Lady" accepted as a finalist (shown left). This piece is designed as a moving sculpture adapted as a wearable necklace. It's a gorgeous piece with it's pastel colors accented by geometric designs, undulating curves, pearls and crystals - it is truly a novel design. Louise's work pushes the boundaries of what we consider to be "beadwork" with her unique use of form and style. I hope to see works such as this continue to be represented in the future because this competition, above all others, shapes how beaders think about beadwork and it's possibilities.

I think everyone who entered - finalist or not - was a winner. Congratulations to you and please keep beading because your work is what inspires all of us.

(Shown above right: "Signs of Spring", a tribute to the work of Barbara Grainger. Bead Dreams Finalist, 2007)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

People's Choice Award

Just an update for those of you who are waiting to see the finalists and to vote online. So far nothing has appeared and the show ends tomorrow. Sorry for the news. The winners have been announced and you can find them by logging into the Bead and Button website, go to Community -> Beaders Forum. The winners are filed under Bead Dreams. I'm not sure what is going to happen with the People's Choice Award, but if I find out anything I'll be sure to let you know.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

De Perle en Perle

While we wait for the Bead Dreams finalists to go online, I thought I'd share with you a beautiful French beadweaving site, called De Perle en Perle. It showcases the work of Benedicte. She has some lovely bead embroidered jewels. To view her site, click on the title above. At the top right of her page is a photo album of her various works. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Waiting in Anticipation...

I've been compiling a little list of work that got into the Bead Dreams contest. This is from a Google search on "Bead Dreams accepted". Congrats to everyone who got in! I'm not entirely sure if Dorothea Jones' work got in, but we'll find out soon (hopefully the images will be up tomorrow). PS You'll also find some great websites and blogs in these links!

Judy Dunn's Pear
Cassandra Graham's Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a Tooth
Darcy Horn's Belly Dancer's Bra and Belt Ensemble and Mrs. Peacock
Diana Grygo's Engine Co. #6 and Waiting for Dad
Scott Bouwen's Fossil Beads
Barbara Fajardo's Beads
Dorothea Jones' Full Circle (shells are her glass beads)

And if you'd like to see how the winners from last year were displayed, click HERE. Enjoy!

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Table Top Photography

I've written about the Table Top photography kits before but I never got around to purchasing one until last month. I thought I'd share my experience with you. I bought a modification of the jewelry kit with some items from the bead kit and found the customer service to be wonderful. On the right is a photo I took of day 1 - opening packages, setting up, and preparing to shoot using the dining room table. I have since moved the set up to a small table in the room where I do my work and it's easy to keep it uncluttered and out of the way.

I found the learning curve to be fairly steep using this set up with my digital camera. I received the 12 inch and 20 inch cubes which allow for light to be filtered. The 12 inch cube worked well for small items, such as bracelets and smaller pieces of beadwork. The 20 inch cube will fit a standard sized necklace bust beautifully, but was slightly small for the bust, shown left, which measures 19 inches. I also ordered two photo sheets of graduated colored paper. These measured 12 inches and were perfect for bracelets and smaller. They do offer larger sheets and I recommend these if your work is bigger than bracelet sized.

If you are interested in purchasing a lighting kit or would like to read more about Table Top studios, simply click on the title above. I checked with my local camera shop on pricing individual components and their opinion was the price for the studio was very good. One necessary item not included in the kit is a tripod. The company offers these for an additional price. Table Top Studios is permanently listed in my column at left, under "Bead Photography".

PS: Be sure to check out Louise Hill's May 23rd post on the new book "Photographing Arts, Crafts, and Collectibles" by Steve Meltzer.

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