Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Little Night Music

As some of you are aware I am a member of the Macarthur Bead Society. Once a month we meet and each month the facilitator sets a challenge to be done by the next meeting.

The October challenge was to be "Kinetic" - which I interpret to mean some part of the design needs to have a moving part or parts. You can make the challenge in whatever medium you wish and however you want it to be. There is no pressure and you do not have to participate if you don't wish.

I have been really enjoying the challenges lately and couldn't wait to do the next.

Here is my design for the month and I call this
"A Little Night Music" - all is explained in the video.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Venetian Mirrors tutorial now released

I have always loved looking at "Venetian Mirrors". Whenever I pass a store that has one of these mirrors I stop and admire the sparkle, the catching of light, the etching and various layers of the mirror. I have promised myself to one day buy one for my home.

In 2012 I sat down with some Swarovski crystal rivolis, bicones, some Fancy Stones in settings with nickel seed beads and attempted to design something along the lines of a Venetian Mirror.

Above and to the left is my first attempt. This certainly captured that level of sparkle and when I showed it on media I received heaps of interest, with many ladies wanting the pattern.
Unfortunately I wasn't writing tutorials then and it was way beyond my capabilities to do so.

In 2016 I was asked to teach the bracelet, but I knew it needed to be streamlined and made easier for teaching and easier for me to write the tutorial.

So below you have the revised version. Less work in the centrepiece but the rest of the components remained the same.
I added some CRAW for attaching the clasp which also allowed for varying the measurement for the fuller figured woman.

So five years from conception to final release of my "Venetian Mirrors" tutorial.

Just click on the link below if you are wanting to make one of these eye-catching bracelets. You will need your sunglasses when you show this around.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

New Inspiration leads to new designs

As I mentioned in the last post I am a member of the Macarthur Bead Society. Each month we meet and each month a beading challenge is set. 
The challenge for June was Op Art - see previous post.
The challenge for July was "Around the Spire".
These challenges can be interpreted in any way you wish in whatever medium you choose.

I was somewhat baffled how to interpret this challenge, my immediate thought was a pointed 
tower and that meant spikes. I sat and played, capturing a spike and decorated the outer edges - hmmmm... not what I wanted so my first attempt was pulled apart - sorry no images. 

That evening I sat to watch my favourite TV series A Game of Thrones - or GOT to those avid followers. In the opening credits they show an aerial view of what look like medieval castle towers, rising up out of the earth. I immediately thought - THERE is my inspiration.

I wanted to capture the look of a tall tower coming to a point and include various turrets and buttresses if possible. Since I was working in beads I thought I would attempt to also make the 'Tower' into wearable jewellery.

Engineering the three dimensional, architectural structure took some pondering but I managed to get what I was looking for.

To the right is my first attempt.  Tower#1
I had so much fun figuring out how to make what look like turrets and how to taper the tower so that when it is held up it is wide at the base and tapers to a point. 
Since the spike was the point the structure had to point downwards for aesthetics as jewellery.

The base of the 'Tower' then had to be finished so I added a Swarovski rivoli. 

Placing a rivoli at the other end - top -  made me very happy.   I have often thought all the sparkley bits in jewellery are often pointed at the viewer. 
Having the tower top decorated with a rivoli made the sparkles point at the wearer. That was a big plus in my eyes. 

When I finished this Tower #1 I added a length of chain - enough to go over the head, so no clasp - and naturally I put on my new creation. 
I have a large belly, the Tower turrets sat on my belly, when I moved the Tower rapidly rolled from side to side. That is not good!!! Someone could lose an eye with all this propulsion!!

So my next question was - how do I get this new design to lay flat?
Add caption

On the left is my second attempt. I removed a turret point giving me a 'flat' area, which by rights should allow Tower #2 to lay flat on the wearer.  

When I placed the new piece on myself - it worked!! - no belly rolls.  YAY!!!!!

Happily I took my two new creations to the society meeting, I proudly placed them on the table when we were having our show and tell and I received some lovely oohs and aaahs !!
I was pleased.

I asked one of the ladies to put on Tower #1 as I wanted to see how it sat on a woman's body.

I then realised that because women have their own 'turrets' my little Tower sat perfectly just under the bust. 
There were no belly rolls because all the points were not touching anything.  

Sheeesh....Tower #2 was unnecessary!!! but I am glad I had a variation.

I have since created Tower #3 - alongside - and I really had fun with colours, embellishment and shapes.

Making these pieces has captured my imagination. I am loving the three dimensional look of them.
I have a myriad of ideas forming in my mind. There will be more.

I have been asked for a tutorial and shall begin writing soon.

Stay tuned for the release of my 

"Tower Spire" pendant tutorial

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I have another go at Embroidery

For most of this year I have hardly done any beading. No desire at all and surprisingly I didn't miss it.

I was concerned for awhile as normally I wake early and spend 3-4 hours a day experimenting. 
I just didn't have the verve for it. My focus had shifted elsewhere. 

Six months into the year I was thinking maybe I should try my hand at embroidery.
You see I am inspired by the two 'Reginas' - Regina Krawets and Regina Payne.

Having bead embroidered once before I was beginning to think doing another might 'kick-start' 
my beading desire again, problem was I didn't know what I wanted to embroider. 
When you have a blank canvas in front of you the possibilities are enormous AND very daunting. 
So not knowing what I wanted to create, I created nothing - until last month.

I am a member of the Macarthur Bead Society. We meet every third Saturday of the month and each meeting the facilitator - Neva Brown - comes up with a Bead Challenge. 
The challenge for the June bead meeting was "POP Art"

I immediately thought of Andy Warhol, Campbell Soup tins, Wham! Bam! Kapow! etc etc.
I had my embroidery subject, I would try to embroider a "POW !"
That wouldn't be too hard and hopefully would be good fun.

I start by creating the letters in a cubic right angle weave (CRAW) and decided to include an oval Lunasoft cabachon for the letter 'O'. That gave me the size of the lettering. 
Whilst making the challenge my thoughts went to "what will I do with this when finished?"
Can I make this into a necklace - isn't there enough jewellery.
I could sew it to a baseball cap - I would never wear it.
I could sew it on a denim jacket - I am too old to wear a 'noisy' kind of jacket.
I could give it to a grand niece of mine to sew on clothing for her young daughter - hmmm......the embroidery would eventually be thrown away. I didn't like that idea!

So, here you have my finished embroidery. 
I glued the work to one of the bead boards I use when travelling. Now I get to see and enjoy it.

The embroidery is a bit 'rough' in my opinion.
I used some beads I wanted to get rid of, and they were not all that even. Some of the beads sit up higher - that may be over-crowding the beads or my tension.
When glueing down the 'O' ring around the cabochon, the CRAW twisted a little so I wasn't able to further surround the cab.

I have three friends who embroider and they have critiqued the workmanship and made suggestions on what to do next time. All things I will keep in mind for future. 

 I learnt a lot from doing this piece and shall do more in future.  
I like the idea of combining bead-weaving and bead embroidery.

Has it kick-started my beading again??  Yes it has.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Ananas" - tutorial now released

Announcing the release of the tutorial for my "Ananas" necklace.

This is the largest tutorial I have so far written - 30 pages with 115 full colour illustrations.

I designed Ananas last year for teaching at Beads by Blanche, New York and it is the second of four designs all made for that teaching gig.

The shapes in the rope remind me of pineapple skin thus the name Ananas.

I hope you enjoy "Ananas"

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Pansyface" - tutorial now released

In March 2016, I shared images of my "Pansyface" necklace
 - one of the four classes I was to teach at Beads by Blanche, New York, in June 2016.

Today I am showing the necklace again as I have released the tutorial from my teaching portfolio.

 So if you are interested in making "Pansyface" - a two sided (reversible) necklace
just click on the large image below or on my Artfire link on the right hand side of my blog.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Introducing "Rio"

My first post this year..........apologies for my tardiness.

Last week I released a new tutorial for a fun necklace and possibly the most colourful 
piece of jewellery I have yet designed.

My inspiration came from watching the Rio Olympic games opening ceremony. 
I remember thinking "look at all that colour they used!! Wow!!!

At the time I was working on a multi-coloured design - using six colours - and was feeling 
a bit ambivalent about it. 
Seeing the Rio colours made me put aside the piece I was working on, choose colours
more like the games and begin again. 

I am glad I did and thus I called this necklace "Rio"

May "Rio" put an end to your winter and a beginning to your Spring.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Introducing "KingStar" - a kitted ornament

Three posts earlier I showed you my collection of Christmas Tree ornaments, 
something I really enjoy designing.
I have designed another and I am pleased to introduce my latest tree ornament for Christmas.
I have named this one "KingStar" as I think it is the best I have made so far.

In the past I have only ever made kits for classes I am teaching. 
This is my first kitted design for immediate release. The kit contains everything needed to make one KingStar.

I have kits already in USA so clients can have a faster delivery and save on postage - go to my ArtFire store - see link on side panel.

I also have kits in Sydney, Australia, for other parts of the world - go to my Etsy store - see link on side panel.

I released the above KingStar kit about a week ago and I am most grateful and thrilled with the response.

Alongside is a colour variation with slight changes to the original design. 
So I wrote a KingStar addendum tutorial - three extra pages - and sent it to all those who bought the kit as a Christmas gift from me to them saying thank you for buying my first kit.

From now on, anyone who buys KingStar will receive tutorial instructions for both.  

I intend having this design in my portfolio for some time and will continue to
make and kit colour variations.
NOTE: the tutorial is NOT available without the kit.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

In another magazine and on the cover too

My latest published design - a pendant called 'Rosette' - first time something of mine is in Bead & Button Magazine and first time my work is on the front cover - only a small image but still the front cover - see the pendant on the bottom left of the cover.

It is very rewarding to finally see your work published and I am thrilled.

This was designed almost 18 months ago, and it takes a very long time for everything to be placed with publishers, tutorial to be written, contracts sorted and signed and then the long wait for it to be published.

You get to the point when you forget about it but when it finally happens it is great.

So, if you would like to check it out you need to get the latest Bead & Button magazine December 2016.

It is a very feminine, pretty pendant, using a Swarovski rivoli, crescents, triangles, and Czech fire polished.

You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Inspiration - what inspires me !

This week my friend Regina Krawets and I went to the NSW Art Gallery to see an exhibition of Frida Kahlo's art, along with some Diego Rivera pieces.

I was very glad I went as in 2008 I visited the San Francisco MOMA to see a Frida Kahlo exhibition and saw a lot of her artworks, so I wanted to see what else was being shown here in Sydney.

This exhibition was more about her life with Diego, having lots of photographs but not a great deal of her paintings. There certainly were things I had not seen before and some lesser known drawings of her early work. I am glad I went.

Frida Kahlo is an artist that really inspires me. I guess it is the ethnicity of her work along with her choice of colours and inclusion of pattern in her artworks. Not to mention her own attire. Her floral hair adornments really inspire my beadwork and I love her quotation. "I paint flowers so they will not die"

I can certainly live by that quote when beading flowers.

Another of my favourite artists is Matisse. In particular a period in his artwork where he depicted a person in a room with colourful backgrounds and lots of pattern, one example being Matisse's "The Red Room."

I have done a drawing of a nude with a Matisse influence (on the right)

If you google Matisse you will find lots of his images and it is obvious I am not the only person he inspires with this period in his artwork.

I then remembered seeing some modern day photographs of models in colourful settings with a Russian ethnicity about them.

These images inspire me enormously. I love their vibrancy of colour and revel in the play of one colour against another colour.
Look at that blue in her dress against the cerise of the wallpaper. Look at the lines of yellow, green, hot pink, blue of the eggs in the foreground. This makes me sigh with awe……Wow !!

I love the inclusion of many patterns as it makes my eye travel around and around the image, noticing not just the model's face but what else is there.

Look at all those patterns in the image on the right - too many? - are your senses overloaded? - are you inspired also? - does it work for you? - are your eyes travelling around and around to take it all in?

Mine are.

Here is another image (on the leftt) with an even greater abundance of pattern to delight in. The colours are not excessively bright. The wallpaper is muted in tone, and yet her apparel more rich and lush in colour. The reds of the skirt make it come alive !!

Having said the above I also find inspiration in an image with more simplicity, like the one on the right. Here we have no pattern, just a reliance on the colours and the image itself. The luscious vibrancy of that red against that blue - the Wow! factor for me - set against the monochrome of the remainder of the picture.

This image looks so tranquil and her expression so pensive,
yet the image is pregnant with the symbolism of the eggs. What symbolism comes to my mind with an egg are

Birth, new life, fertility, new ideas, creation continuing, life goes on, sustenance, hard shell, containment, just to name a few.   If you google "symbolism of an egg in art" you will get a gazillion explanations…….what comes to your mind?

I wanted to share how something as rich as these images influence my own creativity.

Have you found what makes you go "oh…WOW!!"