Friday, October 23, 2009

Those Beautiful Swarovski Triangles Saga

I've resisted working with the Swarovski triangles because 'everyone's doing it'. And I don't usually follow the pack. But this time.. I when I saw the beautiful colors on Cindy's Crafts I just couldn't resist! They are simply gorgeous!

My final choice was the 23 mm Sahara triangle. Ahhh... Visions of far away places. I was thrilled when I opened my mail box and there it was! Its mesmerizing beauty held me captive for several minutes as I turned it every which way under my ott-lite. It's vibrant colors danced and changed each time I moved it reminding me of the magic of a kalidascope. I was hooked!

I studied the various colors dancing from deep within the crystal and ran to my stash. I found just the right green, but the half-filled tube wouldn't be nearly enough to bezel the crystal. Yikes! I dashed off an emergency email to Cindy, who, through her magic, found the right beads. Yes, it had been five years since I'd bought the beads and yes, the new dye lot was a bit different, but I liked it better.

Now I was off to bezel. Yippy.. Happy dog dance going on in my studio ( fancy word for extra bedroom)!! Neighbors heard strange sounds and startled birds abandoned their nests and raced out of the trees. I worked feverishly - Well, I did! - I stayed up all night working on the piece. Finished! Wahoo! Hmm.. somehow the crystal looks darker and seems to have lost some of its luster.. It seemed sad, depressed. What happened?

I walked away and let it sit for a couple days. Maybe it would get happier if I left it alone for a while. Hmm. Still not a happy crystal..It was beautiful, but not happy. Not the mood I was going for. So, scissors in trembling hands I did it - I cut the bezel off in a couple quick snips. It slid from the crystal and laid there in a sad, rejected heap! What had I done! OMG! I killed it! But the crystal was happy! It sparkled again. It danced in my hands under the ott-lite. Wahoo! She had been revived.
I learned a valuable lesson in this experiment. Like a mirror, the crystal reflects the beads in the bezel. And it affects the brightness of the colors, thus reflecting the crystal's 'mood'.
Don't feel bad for those green beads. They will have a special place in this piece.
Oh, did I mention that Sahara has triplet sisters? Three Sahara squares waiting for their debut.
To be continued.........

Monday, September 14, 2009

Winter Willow Tree

I'm having problems with my browser so I hope this works.

Several people have expressed interest in seeing the white tree that I beaded several years ago titled, "Willow Winter" so I decided to put a picture of it up here on the blog.

The tree trunk and main branches are worked in peyote stitch over an armature I fashioned out of wire. I used a variety of seed beads including size 11s, 15s, and delicas along with various other beads for embellishment. The willow branches are worked in a simple leafy vine technique and then hung off of the larger branches.

The island was created using moss stitch worked on white velvet with mostly white-lined, crystal clear seed beads and embellished with various other beads.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Researching Beadwork

I love researching beadweaving techniques. It's so thrilling to find one I've never seen before and try to figure out how it's done.

Experimenting with various beadweaving techniques is so exciting to me. I'm like a mad scientist when I bead, tweaking a stitch to see how far I can push it, or what I can change to create yet another variation, or even a totally new technique.

That's what drives me to learn more and more. Yes, I've been beading for over 40 years, but I'm always excited when I learn something new. I've always sat down with my beads and ask myself, "Why does it work this way? And what is the formula for this technique (or variation)?" I've learned so much by just experimenting that way.

I often think of myself as a 'mad scientist beader'. You know the kind in the old silent movies who have worked and worked to find 'the formula'. Of course, they always have 'Don King' hair, and huge dark bags under their eyes and appear bi-polar at the most manic state. They grasp that test tube and do the crazy. "mwahaha!!!!' scene.. Yep, that's me when I finally figure something out. LOL Then I have to try to find someone to teach it to.. Some victim.. ah er.. I mean.. some poor unsuspecting being.. oh no.. ahem.. I mean some student who wants to learn something new to test it for me.. Yea..that's it.. LOL

You'd laugh if you saw my bead journals. I often get an idea and then sit down to try it. If anyone went through my journals they'd get a chuckle out of how many times I've scratched an idea out and then wrote next to it something like, "Nope, didn't work -- try it this way..." LOL I have to say though, that many of my variations have come from 'mistakes'. Sometimes they are the best teacher! :)


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