Saturday, March 30, 2013

Beading by the Bay Classes

Let the Beading begin!   

Our group was considered "the wild girls"by Marcia.  I have no idea why?  Our first class was with Huib.  He taught us a new way to do Cubic Right Angle Weave and used the word MATH withing the very first hour.  His class was very challenging and made most of us really have to think. 
This is about all I got done in the 6 hours...and shall I tell you that after those 6 hours Huib with his infectious laugh told me I "really should take it all out and start again".  Wise Mr. Petersen...wise.
Huib brought a collection on his work for us to drool over.  I feel in love with the bugs he had beaded and indulged in one of his kits.  He also told me he is in the process of talking about a book deal.  Oh joy...can't wait.
Even Cynthia cringed when Huib mentioned MATH!
Our second day was with the stylish Marcia.  She is poising here with Liz and the gorgeous beaded purse Liz gifted Marcia with.

I really enjoyed this class.  This is probably the 6th time I've taken a class with Marcia, and just as the first I enjoyed every moment of this Pacfic Morning Glories.  This class had the most clever attachment without using toggles or loops. 
Our last day was with Sabine.  I've never met her before, but instantly I loved her style and wit.  We laughed and enjoyed the whole day.  Here she is with my beaded Benjamin Bunny at the Dragon Lady                               
Using peyote tubes and a little weaving Pendulum creates sticks in different lengths.   
I changed Marcia's class from the bracelet to a necklace.  I would wear the necklace more than the bracelet which was too bulky for me.

And the best party of this class was that I learned to make a piece that had motion.  The flower portion actually turns.  Marcia's new book coming out this Summer is going to be called Beads in Motion. All I can say is "waiting".

Like Marcia's Pacific Morning Glories, Sabine's Pendulum  piece has motion also.  They each stick swings.  Though a little itchy when first wearing, this necklace really is quite elegant. 

Shocking Pink Swing

Shocking Pink Swing

Today is first revel in the newest installment of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Hop Party.  I'd like to introduce to you first off my Bead Soup Blog Hop Partner.  Jane Michael Stallings creates unique Beadwork and if you check out her blog you'll find that her work is being used by the retro Japanese band JOSY.  Jane Michael sent me an amazing group of beads, finding, clasp, cabochons, and a whole lot of other things to work with.

Everything nicely labeled

Jane Michael made these cabochons for me to use in this challenge.  The colors are just amazing AND they are also glow in the dark!
Naturally I went with a bead embroidered center piece.  I decided to glue the polymer clay cabochon down onto a piece of black Nicole's Bead Backing.  Using Right Angle Weave to cage the cabochon, I added size 11 matt white pearl seed beads for embellishment.  Then I chose a few Rivoli's that could further emphasize the colors of the Bead Soup.  From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted to use the shocking pink size 8 seed beads as they matched perfectly to the polymer clay cabochon, and the color just made me happy since I could only see weeks of snow cover from my studio window

At this point, I began to work with design.  My first attempt was to use the focal cabochon with an odd number of Rivolis for the central piece of the necklace. 
After completion, this sat on my worktable for over a week as I turned it, twisted it, held it up in the air, trying to "see" the symmetry and imagine it as a completed necklace.  For that whole week, I tried to let it just be, but then in a quick mad click...I cut it all into individual pieces.  It made me happier to see it all taken apart, but still I had to let everything simmer in my unconscious mind waiting for the right answer to submerge.

Using the center cabochon and 4 of the RAW caged Rivolis, once again, I played a game of design.  I decided to use the size 8 Shocking Pink beads to embellish each of the 5 component.  To connect them all, I used the Super Duos in a herringbone type of bead weaving to connect the 5 components.  They I did a simple stringing with the bottom 2 component with one piece of quarts for my central focal point of the necklace.  During thie time, I played with the idea of having it swinging from a larger peyote tube, but no matter how I tried to connect the two components together, the swinging focal and the peyote tube just would not work well.  So back to the drawing board
I then decided to not rock the boat too much, so I decided to just ditch the peyote tube and make a tube of RAW using the size 8 Shocking Pink beads.  With a little embellishment, I connected the swing to the tube.  Jane Michael sent me two clasp to also use for my challenge.  One was a vintage yellow toggle and the other choice was a big snap.  I liked using the yellow toggle as it tied together the yellow color of the polymer clay cabochonTwo small ropes using CRAW (cubic Right Angle Weave) completed the project with a simple loop for the toggle.
The Polymer Clay cabochon has multiple layers of embellishment worked off the original Right Angle Weave cage.
The piece of quartz gives the whole necklace a counter weight which gives it a visual symmetry.

This was a fun project to work on.  I got to hone my RAW skills and worked with some components that are new out on the market.  I just hope that Jane Michael enjoyed my challenge as much as I have the one she sent to me.  Plus, I'll be able to wear this at night which will give it another special element as it does glow in the dark.

Now that you've seen my Bead Soup challenge and how I took a jar full of components and beads to create something unique, take some time and join me on the Bead Soup Blog Parry Hop and visit the more than 500 other blogs that will be revealed in three separate time frames. 

As an additional incentive, Lori has created a special Pinterest board where we all have been encouraged to post our creations.  There is going to be a judging with prizes.  Luckily I have until 4/19 for that as I've had to take all my pictures with indoor lighting.  HOPEFULLY, the weather will cooperate and I'll be able to take better pictures of Shocking Pink Swing later on.

Friday, March 22, 2013

More Adventures with the Girls in San Francisco

After many traveling turmoils (Mainly Sue and Liz getting bumped up to travel a whole 12 hours earlier than expected), we all made it safely to San Franciso and were settling into our room to start the adventure before Beading by the Bay 2013 starts.

When Sharon and I arrived, Liz and Sue had already been in Burlingame and had shopped a little.  So they took us to this crazy little shop filled with vintage jewelry and hats.  Sue looked good in every single hat she tried on, but room to bring it back.

In China Town, Liz and I found this display of beaded purses.  We were drooling.  Sales clerk asked if we wanted to handle them but the prices made us back off.  We did though gets lots of ideas.

We had to wait a little while for our sight seeing bus to pick us up.  It was amazing to just stand still in a busy urban downtown area that was alive with sounds, smells, and people just living. 

Beginning our sight seeing trip.  We got just a little taste of this thriving exciting city.  We decided to come back hopefully next year and explore more of the city we only got glimpses of.

Not only were we climbing this steep hill, but both of us had at least one bag of goodies we'd picked up at China Town.  Plus we were in a rush to head back down so we wouldn't miss that last sight seeing bus.

No time to stop off to actually walk on the famous orange Golden Gate Bridge.  Next year, we want to drive across it to see what is on the other side.

Right before the batteries died on me, I took a shot of this amazing building.  Sharon and I would have loved getting out and walking around the grounds, but no time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Quick view of San Francisco trip

 Can't believe that it is over a week since I've been back from San Francisco where I went with some of my good friends to the conference Beading By the Bay.  It was wonderful experience & I learned so much.  This is just a quick post with a few shots taken while there.  More will be coming later.  Here I am at the entrance of China Town

Thursday morning, we all woke up early to make one more trip into downtown San Francisco.  We got a MUNI pass and rode the trolley to Fisherman's Wharf.  While the others spent time looking for breakfast in places like this, I wandered over to the bread factory.

From the top of Telegraph Hill.  Sharon and I wanted to see Coit Tower, but we only had time to huff and puff up the hill, turn to look at the great views, and head back down to catch the last sight seeing bus back to the BART

Golden Gate Bridge is way off in the distance

Coit Tower.  Next time I promise to make sure I have the time to make it all the way and see the fantastic views.
Looking up while in San Francisco, I loved the tracks of the electric cable cars

A street view in China Town

Waiting for the hotel shuttle at Crowne Plaza to take us to the airport and board the BART.
Buying tickets at the BART.  After the second day, we were such "experts" that we were advising the other tourist on how to "do it".  Like we really knew.
Liz and I saw so many cool hats while in China Town.  We talked about beading them or changing them, but then we actually forgot to buy any.  Boohoo.
We all got so involved in shopping in China Town that we forgot to eat, so we found this restaurant that was on the second floor of a building.  Kind of scary walking up those dark stairs, but the food was worth it. Sharon enjoyed a Thai Ice Tea & I ate Dim Som for the very first time.

And yes...we did bead!  More about that in later post.  Keep tune.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sand and Sea Blog Hop

Lisa Lodge from Pine Ridge Treasures is the hostess of this blog hop.  Each member purchased either a "sand" kit with tans, creams, orange and brown tones or the "sea" kit which had blues, greens, and purple tons.  Each kit was different some containing art beads or components.  Each kit was also randomly assigned.

Placed on my bead tray is the components of the sand kit that I received.  There were many gemstones along with an assortment of glass, pearls, and metal components.  Also was an artistic focal bead made of poly clay.  In this picture the gemstones are actually glued to piece of Nicole's Bead Backing.

 I decided to add a little splash of color to the mix so I threw in an assortment of blue size 11 seed beads along with matching magatamas.  I also used tan and a light mat topaz seed beads from another project I had been working on.  I wound up with six separate components to work with, but I decided I definitely did night like the fleshy/apricot colored fire polish in three of the components.  So it all got ripped apart and started again.

To go along with the sea and sand theme, I decided to use a Greek pendent of matching colors with the yin/yang symbol.  But I still had the misshapen focal piece made of poly clay to work with.  It was lumpy and cracked and the colors just would not work at all with any combinations I worked with.  I put the project to the side for two weeks trying to figure out what I could do with the focal piece.  The splashes of accent paint on it distracted from everything else I could even imagine.  I even thought of repainting the piece just to get rid of the color scheme, but then I thought of actually caging the focal piece using RAW and embellishing it with the same color beads I used with the gemstones.  

Before picture of the most challenging piece of the kit
I put this away for two weeks until I could wrap my brain around how to take this misshapen focal piece without repainting it so that I could use it in this challenge.  I decided to use the same beads I'd use with the other accent components and using three matt white fire polish pieces and two pearls to tone down the silver/blue/red/pink of the colors.  I can't tell you how many times, I even took this component apart unhappy with any result until I wound up with this.

This is a closer view of the focal poly clay bead after I've completed the embellishment adding the clear drop provided in the kit.  It does look better, but I still don't like the look.  I have to sincerely say here that this necklace is going to be taken apart .  I will not wear it in public as I do not like this focal bead even after I struggled for weeks trying to get it to look right.  I will remove the section with this focal piece and rip it all apart saving the beads for possibly some other gemstone I will use a piece  with the same dimensions so that I can have the same configuration of this design.  But with a more pleasing focal component for the eye to see first.
This section is probably my favorite part of this necklace.  I might, as I stated above, find some other stone or piece of glass that I could use for the center of the design.  All in all, this was probably one of the most difficult challenges I've had up to date.  Trying to find a design that had the flow of the waves crashing onto the shore was the first step, and then incorporating pieces and colors into the design that would mesh well together .  My biggest challenge was using the poly clay bead and fitting it into a pleasing flow of the piece.  I have to admit that I failed in that aspect of the challenge.  But at least I did try which is the best way to experiment and learn.  

We learn by failing and  admitting defeat more than if we scream defeat before we even make any attempts