Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Last Saturday I taught two short classes in a shop called Jenny Jellybeads in a town called Mogo, on the south coast of New South Wales.
The town of Mogo was born with the discovery of gold in the 1850’s in the cabbage tree creek. At its peak in the gold rush days Mogo had several hotels and churches, a host of shops and a public school. However the boom was short lived and Mogo gradually declined to become a sleepy backwater.
In the 1980’s Mogo became home to a small group of artists and craftspeople, some of whom still operate in town today. Mogo has continued to evolve, attracting people with sophisticated creative flair. Mogo’s architectural heritage has been maintained with shops and dwellings being built to compliment the surviving miners cottages.
These buildings are now galleries and speciality shops brimming with traditional and modern art, exotic and unusual artefacts, elegant jewellery and home decor, ceramics, collectables, antiques and cafes. This rare blend of contemporary style with old world charm brings a rich cultural feel to Mogo offering visitors to the area a most enjoyable shopping experience in a relaxed atmosphere.
Here are some of the ladies in the class, starting with the shop owner Jenny
(on the right in green) then there is a designer well known in Australian beading circles Christina Armstrong (in red), Judith Brodie (in coral) and
Elca Cooper (in turquoise) - also wearing one of my flower necklace designs.
We had a great time, a lot of laughs and enjoyed the day - or so they told me - I hope they weren't just being nice. LOL
Jenny is hoping to promote Summer Workshops in her store each year and I am very pleased I could be part of her plans. It is most definitely worth keeping an eye on what's on in her shop. http://www.jellybeads.com.au
I almost forgot - what did I teach?? I taught my "Mojo" earrings and my "Blooming Spikes" ring. The tutorials for each are now in my Artfire store - click the link on the right.
Monday, January 5, 2015
I want to release as many tutorials as I can this year as I shall
be retiring from my part time job. I reckon it is time to put both feet into
one camp - meaning concentrate on jewellery.
First up is a necklace that I designed in 2010 and the tutorial has been requested by a number
of Facebook friends over the last couple of years.
My "Laurel" necklace because it reminds me of a laurel wreath.
The tutorial has instructions for both images. Click on the first image and it will take you to my shop.
Monday, December 29, 2014
I have been thinking about 2014 - something I tend to do to complete one year and
become ready for the next.
This year I achieved a goal I set some years before - travel and teach my designs in U.S.A.
I met and made new friendships with some lovely people.
I came home elated yet somewhat exhausted from all the preparation and travel and
wasn't sure I wanted to do it again in a hurry.
I asked myself what do I want to do now? and realised I didn't want to do a damn thing for awhile.
So I didn't !!
Having been a goal setter and on-the-go for so long I started to feel somewhat "lost". I needed to remember
what I did before becoming besotted by beading and bring that back into my life and live the two together.
It has been six months since I came home and I am only now starting to think about what I want next.
So my conclusion for 2014 is - the successful ending of a journey in the first half
the re-acquaintance of my life "pre-beading" in the last half.
I now feel ready to set new goals and I believe it has started to show in my latest designs.
So on that note I would like to share with you my last design for 2014
I call the white "Rose of York"
One goal I have set for 2015 is to keep my blog posts going more regularly.
Happy New Year
I hope it is a wonder-filled year for you!
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Yesterday, another designer posted up on Facebook her preference for going from small seed beads to large beads when working a ring. I agreed with that except in the cases of making a bezel.I happened to be wanting a two sided ring of beads for a new design idea. I did the small to large equation by doing 5 rows of 15s then on each side of the 15s, I did three rows of size 11s. I ended up with the image on the left. The centre is too large I think I did too many rows of 15s - it is buckling and not sitting correctly.
Rather than repeat this problem I strung 11s then did two rows of 11s, moved my thread into the inside and did 2 rows of 15s. I then added a third row of 15s and when completed I did NOT step up into the last added row. I remained where I was and did 1 row of 15s by "stitching-in-the-ditch". From the stitch in the ditch 15s I did one more row of 15s and 2 rows of 11s - see right side ring above.
I now have a perfect circle and by stitching-in-the-ditch the centre is perfectly round, rigid and firm.
I then did some extra peyote rows of size 8s, on each side of the ring. I then zipped the two sides together.
On the left you have a side which is a little concave but certainly not a problem.
On the right you have the opposite side which is a little convex, also not a problem - in fact making it great for further embellishing.
I will be making my seed bead rings this way in future. I hope you can benefit from this little experiment.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
I have been writing tutorials again. Here you have my latest release called
Shades of an evening stroll along a lake's edge with rippling waters.
I wanted to make a necklace that did not have one of my usual large centrepieces and
also had a wide 'rope'. I thought to add a drop from the Swarovski rivoli but
then that would be making a big centrepiece again!!
So this design has been kept simple as I feel the 'rope' weave is the
When you write a tutorial it is always good to add extra incentive for people to purchase so
I have included the pattern for both the necklace and a bracelet.
If you want to see more, click on the image above and you will be taken to my
tutorial Artfire store.
I hope you like them
Monday, August 18, 2014
I am pretty excited to announce I have joined the list of some really amazing International
designers as a Starman Trendsetter.
Starman Trendsetters are manufacturers of CzechMates 2-Hole Beads, Fire Polish beads, seed beads
as well as Wholesalers of TOHO, Superduo, Rizo beads and more.
What happens now is, for the next twelve months, I will receive packages of all types of newly designed beads. I am to use these new beads in my creations and come up with
a free tutorial twice in the year.
How cool does that sound to receive items for free and to be required to sit and play with them!!
What more could any beader ask for ?? Is this bliss or what? LOL
The downside of this is I CANNOT show anything created with the new beads until after the
actual, official release date. That is pretty hard for me to do as I usually am like a child jumping with excitement and anticipation to show what I just finished making….the feeling I have is very much a case of
"hey, look what I just did"
Oh well, the good has to sometimes have the bad with it but the bad is certainly one I can live with because the good sure outweighs the bad in this case.
I think I shall have to learn patience at this stage in my life.
Monday, August 11, 2014
I have been working for eight years to achieve some personally set goals in my jewellery designing/making journey and with my recent travel to USA, teaching in Orlando, Florida, along with visiting Bead & Button in Milwaukee - the biggest Bead Show in the world - the goals I set years ago have now been achieved.
For a long time pursuing these goals, my beading has had a deadline or a need to come up with a new design for teaching, for tutorial writing, for earning an income or for whatever reason. Always something needed to be done, to be written, a deadline to meet on time.
Last week, for the first time in a long time, I sat to bead for the sheer joy of being creative, no deadline, no other reason than just because I felt like it and wanted to bead.
Here is the result of my playing.
I have a friend who said this looked 'angelic' when she saw it and suggested I call this 'Angela'.
A Swarovski rivoli, bezelled with Czech glass pearls, surrounded with Swarovski bicone crystals
in Pacific Opal and Cyclamen Opal and edged with long briolette pale green drops
with a light wash of gold. The rope is a cubic right angle weave with colour highlights on two sides and
shell based pearls woven into the rope.
I hope you like it, I sure do.
Monday, July 21, 2014
I wanted to share some of my 'signature collection' with you today - My Happy Brooches - so called because people who see them comment and say they make them feel Happy.
What a nice thing to achieve and to do - make people feel Happy.
When my life is busy and I am needing a beading fix there is nothing I enjoy more than making a small project. These brooches (or pendants) mostly take 3-4 hours to make, enable me to enjoy a project and get it finished at the same time.
They are great for experimenting with colour. You can see I experiment wildly and a lot with colour.
Below the large image is my first 'Happy Brooch' for which I recently released the tutorial.
If you wish click on the link below and it will take you to my Artfire Store.
Alongside is another of my playful early designs using four layers of colour.
This one is a dagger brooch and I love this colour
The other reason I love making these is I get to figure out how to use new beads.
On the left we have two hole bricks being used.
They sure do attract light in real life.
On the right is an example of a rivoli centre Happy Brooches.
Here we have my "Crystal Passion Flower" so named as a friend suggested it looked like a Passion Flower. This will go into my teaching portfolio and I hope bring me more classes.
My next on the left is my Cupchain brooch, using cupchain for the first time and the new two hole Piggy Beads.
On the right another very colourful Piggy bead design/experiment.
I really enjoy working with new beads and lots of colours.
Here we have totally new beads and my most recent pieces.
I found rubber 'O' rings and very colourful acrylic one hole lentils whilst at the Bead and Button Show.
Using them this way I can also translate into using the glass versions.
All in all these 'Happy Brooches' have become my 'signature' pieces. I don't mind, it is a good way to be instantly recognisable.
Monday, April 28, 2014
I have been really busy writing tutorials for classes I am going to be teaching in Orlando Florida in June. I have not had much chance to create new items, write new blog posts, or anything else for that matter.
I had to have a bit of a play with beads and sat down recently to design some earrings.
Here are three pair I have come up with and I am
very happy with how they have been received.
The pair on the left I call "Springtime on Park Avenue" and it is a free tutorial. Click on the image and you will be taken to the Bead Mavens blog where you can print out the tutorial for free.
The earrings on the right I call "Cathedral Windows" because of the way the hot pink shows
through the bead-weaving, reminding me of
windows of colour.
The tutorial for this one is in my Artfire store, click on the image and you will be taken to my tutorial shop.
The red and blue pair I call "Hanging Basket" because it reminds me of a hanging basket of red flowers. No tutorial for this one yet.
So with the limited time I have available I can only do small projects and the earrings have been fun to make and quick to write the pattern for.
Hope you like them