December 26, 2008

Breakes Unwind

Happy Hanukkah/Merry Christmas to you all!

It has been a while since I last posted.
In the last couple of days I felt creative and inspired again, after not being able to finish a new work for almost three long weeks. Ideas of new designs kept running in my head, I kept sketching them in my notebook, but not one of them I succeeded to create. It seemed like something, which I couldn't really tell what it is, was holding me back. On some days I just felt lazy - a new and strange feeling for me when it comes to beading... I even had a terrifying thought of not being able to create ever again… Even now, writing about it, this thought has a very bad impact on me…

But, those days are gone (hopefully for good) and I enjoyed working again. I actually worked like crazy and was able to finish 5 different pieces in just a few days. I enjoy working fluently so much! With every new item finished, I felt a good wave of energy flooding me.
So, this is the first I've finished – an embroidered pendant on a beadwoven necklace. When started working, I had a general idea of beading around the small purple cabochon, but the rest just came along the way. Also, it was the first time that I didn't have any troubles and complications working embroidery… real pleasure..
I will post the rest of the works later… I now have to finish the new design I have in the works…;)

Also, I want to say thank you! to everyone who voted for my Yuki Onna necklace (below), which came in the third place of EBW December challenge.

December 09, 2008

Yuki Onna - Japanese Snow Woman - EBW Challenge "Snow Queen"

Etsy Beadweavers Challenge theme for December was "Snow Queen". My entry is number 18.
Please visit EBW blog, choose your favorite from 31 gorgeous pieces and vote for it. Voting begins on the 9th and lasts till the 15th. I am sure that voting is going to be a challenging task, as all 31 entries are just stunning!
While I was Googling for some inspiration, I found this fantastic mask I immediately fell in love with, named "Yuki-Onna", on SoCal Design site. Their site is beautiful, full with other fantastic designer masks, inspired by many cultures. Check them out! And thank you, Claudia of SoCal, for giving me permission to use the photo here!

I really liked the design of the mask. In my eyes, the designer succeded to reflect well the nature of Yuki Onna spirit. In the Japanese folklore (and like in many other cultures) she is described as a beautiful woman with long hair, but her intentions are murderous and far from soft femininity - she's "cold as ice"... You can read the story about the evil snow woman here on Wikipedia.

In my necklace I tried to represent the beauty of Yuki Onna by using soft curly lines of beads, and her ruthlessness by the two sharp points at the top and by the icy sharpened crystals. It took much time and a lot of unpicking before I was satisfied with the design, and now I really like the final result. I like it so much I even created matching beadwoven earrings, something which I rarely do.. :)

In fact, this necklace is the second one I made for this challenge. I had to unpick the first one, shown in the last photo, (I kept only the "snowflake" that is in the center) because I didn't really like the design and the way it was laid around the neckline- the structure was not good.

And although I was a bit frustrated of the time got lost, I had doubled pleasure creating two of them. That's a positive way to look at it, isn't it?.. ;)

November 27, 2008

Two Exciting Invitations for YOU!

Bead Art Originals team members invite you to check out our new, fun and exciting features:

An Open House starting from Black Friday through Cyber Monday!
- Nov.28 to Dec. 1st, Bead Art Originals member will be offering as below; When you purchase from our shops, please make sure to include the code 'BAO OPEN HOUSE' in your Note to Seller when you checkout.

* Anna (ARoseByName): free shipping
* Heather (Humblebeads): free shipping on all orders and a free gift with purchases of $50 or more
* Carli (Juiceglass): free shipping
* Lisa (LisaPetersArt): free surprise gift (at least $5 value) with any purchase over $30 (note that this special is being offered through the end of the year)
* Mak (MAKUstudio): free shipping + 10% off purchases over $50 and 15% off purchases over $100
* Dee (Malodora): free shipping
* Swanee (MistyRidgeBeads): free shipping
* Janice (Naftali): free shipping
* Melody (SalamanderHouse): free shipping
* Carol Dean (SandFibers): free shipping and a set of Sand Fibers coasters ($12 value) with every order
* Smadar (SmadarsTreasure): free shipping + 10% off the second item purchased
* Sarah (thebeadedlily): free shipping
* Darcy (thejadedog): free shipping
* MaryLou (time2cre8): free shipping on entire order with the purchase of anything with the "bao team" tag
* Lisa (tqbdesigns): free shipping
* Triz (TrizDesigns): free shipping


Another fun feature is our 12 HOLIDAYS GIVEAWAYS!!!

bao gift guide

You can win one or more of the items donated by Bead Art Originals members! All you need to do to is to visit BAO Gift Guide blog, pick your favorite item and leave your comment on the new Givaway post on our BAO blog! It's that so easy! :)


November 21, 2008

Bead Art Originals Gift Guide

If you are looking for original, beautiful gifts for the upcoming holidays, please check out Bead Art Originals Gift Guide blog. There are varied collection of beauties and great special offers, so don't miss out! :)

bao gift guide

November 09, 2008

EBW "Ancestral Expressions " Challenge and My Unlisted Entry

Voting to Etsy Beadweavers' November Challenge "Ancestral Expressions" has begun! Please visit the EBW blog to see what beautiful pieces, created especially for this interesting challenge and vote for your favorite entry. Your comment is also appreciated ;)
Good Luck to all the participants!

I have made this embroidered cuff for the challenge but decided NOT to list it, although I have finished it just before the deadline. In this work, I tried to imitate some traditional designs and ornaments that I really love, used in Yemenite silversmith work and embroidered ornaments of clothes. I also used black, red, silver and gold, which are commonly used in the Yemenite costumes.
The main reason for not listing it is that I have noticed (too late..) that some of the gold seed beads just lost their color :( (bad coating I guess), but I'm also not very pleased with how the whole design and work came out.
I probably worked too tight, shrinking the backing material. It supposed to be a symmetrical design, but then I didn't have the same enough room on both sides. I tried to press together the lines, but ended up with piled up beads at some parts.
I did finish it off, though, attached UltraSuede on the back, and also the clasp – Why? I don't know. I just needed to see it finished. Maybe it's because I wanted it so much and worked so hard on it and I'm a bit "emotionally attached" to this piece, that I couldn't leave it in my "to unpick" box… I'll just keep it, or wear it on a special family occasion.

But, despite of the outcome, I am happy I made it. I have learned some important lessons that I'll use in the future.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was when the theme was published, Thank You! Deb of Beadandbloom. Not only did I enjoy creating something in this Yemenite style, but also and mostly I enjoyed talking with my mother about it, bringing back memories and stories of times, when life was much simple and everything was so different from now… (I am excited almost to tears as I type these lines and, yes, I know I am very emotional…).

My grandfather from my mother's side was a Yemenite silversmith. Back in Yemen, apart from being a Rabi and a Jewish teacher, he used to create beautiful gold and sterling silver beads, findings and also Jewish ritual objects. When my mother's family left Yemen 60 years ago to come to Israel, they had to leave behind almost everything they had (they were very rich back then). They were allowed to take only a parcel of clothes and some personal stuff, but they didn't care much about it – the only thing that mattered to them was to finally come to the Holy Land. My grandfather took some of his working tools with him and after the family settled in a small, poor neighborhood of Tel Aviv, he opened his little work shop again and continued his silversmith work.

I remember when I was a child, I used to sit beside him in his tiny shop (I mean really small- like the space of a small bathroom) and was fascinated by his intricate, delicate and detailed work and by all his tools, which he never let me try using any of them ("too sharp/heavy/hot", he used to say) . Most of his creations were for the bride's costume for the traditional Jewish Yemenite wedding, called Henna. The Henna party is still celebrated by the Yemenite people in Israel (unlike other traditional things that were abandoned).
My mother still have this very rich, colorful bride&groom's costumes that consists of a lot of handmade jewelry, and she's working very hard at keeping this tradition alive.
I could have write more and more on this subject, branching out to others, but this post has become an endless one, so I'll stop here. You can read and see a bit more about this Yemenite costume in this post.

October 29, 2008

Asymmetrical Necklace

I had these beautiful "Hi-tech" beads and daggers for quite a while before I knew what I wanted to make with them. They are gorgeous in my eyes - I love the unusual (for me at least) stamping, and their colors change if you look at them from different angles. I decided to try to make something I haven't done before - an asymmetrical design, and combine 3-D hoops (I just love 3-D beadweaving!).

Although there was not a lot of beadweaving to do, it took me hours to arrange the hoops, embellish the focal "flower" (I didn't plan to make a flower- it just came out along the way, but I am still happy with the result), connect all the parts and make sure that all of them sits nice and well around the neckline.
I love to combine leather in my work, so using some cords for the rest of the necklace was a great solution for me, because I didn't want to overload the design but to keep it rather delicate and simple.

Photographing this necklace was a bit of a challenge - it's hard to take photos that really shows the beautiful sparkle of the crystals (opaque black AB). These photos are the best my photographer could get, using a home-made light-box that we built. It's his passion for photography that made it possible to show this necklace here. If I had to take the photos, I would have given up on the whole thing after only a few attempts! :) Thank you dear Ardjan!

October 21, 2008

New Bracelet and Necklace

It may sound crazy to you, but every night when I go to bed (it's more close to early morning actually... ;) and trying to get some sleep, my mind refuses to let go of my beading. I lay in bed, thinking of my beads and other materials I have and rolling ideas of new designs I want to try with them. It sometimes gets worse :D…. when I actually go out of bed, run to my beading table to write down a few notes and a quick sketch of a new idea that came up. I have to do this, otherwise it's usually pushed aside by new ones that keep running in my head, or it became like a dream that you won't remember in the morning… I think I'll put a little notebook beside my bed, so at least I won't have to go out of bed… I know I need more sleep, but I can't help it, I'm kind of a "night person" and I'm a true addict I guess…

Anyway, this new necklace and bracelet with button clasp are one of those "night ideas". I bought this beautiful mixture of seed beads recently, without knowing what to do with it – I just couldn't resist the wonderful colors and finishes of it.. And I had a Swarovski crystal "golden shadow" Rivoli for quite a while, so I thought it would make a nice complementary to this bracelet.

I have a new necklace in the works, made with other beautiful beads I had no idea what to do with them, but after 2-3 nights I finally had one… :D
Do you also buy a lot of beads just because they are beautiful, or you buy only what you need for a specific project? For me, buying beads is as pleasant as beading… I forget all my worries when I shop for beads!…(did I mention addiction?..) :D

October 17, 2008

Guess What? The EBW Challenge Winner Is...

There are two Challenge winners! There's a nice say in Hebrew: "two are better than one", and in this case - it's true! I'm honored to share the winning with another Israeli and one of my most favorite beading artists! How fun! :)

My entry, the Cat & Mouse bracelet won the EBW "Animal Instinct" challenge together with one of the most beautiful pieces of Triz, called the "Black Panther", so, Congrats also to Triz!

If you are not familiar with Patrizia Tager's of Triz Designs work, you should visit her blog or her shop and you will probably have to pick your jaw up from the floor...

Thanks so much for everyone who voted for my bracelet!

October 09, 2008

EBW Challenge - "Animal Instinct"

Etsy BeadWeavers' theme for October Challenge was "Animal Instinct".

I couldn't find any idea just until a few days before the deadline. But then, I remembered a nice cat & mouse toggle clasp I saw the other day at Bogal's, my bead supplier. The cat & mouse clasp is humorous and fun and I thought it would be nice to make something that is unusual for me, somewhat "out of the box". So, this is my entry -"Gotcha!", a beadwoven cat & mouse bracelet, No.17 on the voting list.

I used BeadTool program to help me design the cat's head, which was the easy part of implementing the idea. The mouse was a bit of a challenge to make. I had to unpick it a few times because it wasn't stiff enough to act as a toggle, but then I came up with the idea of filling its body with pieces of wire to make it stiffer, and that led me to the idea of making the tail and ears from wire as well.

It was quite fun making this bracelet, and I enjoyed having my two kids looking over my shoulder every few minutes to see its progress :)

There are 19 wonderful entries this month and it is interesting to see each participant's interpretation of the theme. Please visit the Etsy BeadWeavers blog to see all 19 entries, pick your favorite and vote for it. Voting lasts from the 9th to the 15th. You might as well leave your comment.

October 01, 2008

Bead Art Originals Team Event

BAO (Bead Art Originals) Team is going to have a special virtual trunk show in the TreeHouse in Etsy's Virtual Labs. The show will take place on Thursday, October 9th. A few of our group's talented artists will be showing their wonderful, varied work, so don't miss out the show! We would love to have you there! :)

Also, you are invited to subscribe to the BAO newsletter, to stay updated with new events and information. Just click on the widget below or visit the BAO blog.

"Sunrise" - My First Embroidered Cuff

I finally finished my first embroidered cuff. I planned to make a rather geometric pattern, but when I started working I was drawn to a freer pattern. I worked on one section at a time, without much planning. (Some photos of the work in progress are here and here).
To be honest, I am not sure how I feel about the result. It didn't come out the way I saw it in my mind.
BUT, I got a lot of satisfactory by the fact that I managed to finish it, and more important – I have learned a few important things about bead embroidery and gained some experience. I've learned a few things about myself, too; One is that I need to be more patient and stay positive when dealing with unexpected major problems in my work (and stop to scare my family with my frustration screams..) Another one is to really accept a compromise when I decide to make one, and not think about it over and over again after it has already been done; To practice a lot more, just as I did when I taught myself beadweaving- to start with small projects and progress gradually (did I mention patience?...;) So, all in all, it's an accomplishment for me, regardless the imaginative cuff I had in my mind… :)

I finished the body a while ago, but then faced the challenge of sewing it to a genuine leather backing - it was so hard to pass the needle through the leather - my size 10 beading needle was not good for this (I actually broke two of them by trying).
I had to use a special thick needle for leather works. The thick needle did pass trough the leather (though not easily), but it was too thick to pass even trough 6/0 seed beads holes. So I had to take separate steps: first connect the two materials and then stitch rows of beads to cover the connecting points. Step 1 caused my fingers to feel numb for a few days. I didn't succeed in using a thimble to help me push the needle through the leather, so I used my bare fingers. I still have this ugly distortion on my thumb – it is now acts as a reminder for me, to find and buy Ultrasuede in a few colors for my next embroidery works… Step 2, the diagonal rows on the edges, actually added about 15 mm to the final width of the cuff. I didn't plan to make a 2.4 inch (6 cm) wide cuff, but I couldn't think of another way to finish it. And I just had to finish it! ;)

September 18, 2008

Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer Project

A fellow member of the EtsyBeadWeavers Team, Susan of Clinckscales Arts, encouraged all group members to participate in Jeanette Shanigan's project "Bead It Forward" - Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer. Susan will be collecting all the squares and photograph them. She's also trying to get Etsy Admin interested in publishing an article about the project on The Storque. Let's hope that Etsy will agree to help.

The original guidelines are to make 4 beaded squares in any beading technique - 1 for the quilt to be made by Jeanette and 3 more to pass forward to three other beaders, to encourage them to participate in this project. I, and I know that a lot of other members of the group as well, have decided to contribute all the squares to Jeanette's quilt. That way she could make bigger quilt and hopefully, raise more money for this important cause.

OK, so here are my 4 squares:-
The first 2 are done in peyote stitch

The third is done in square stitch

And the last one is embroidered, using Cat-Eye heart beads

If you would like to participate as well, please visit Jeanette's site for more details.

September 09, 2008

Yin & Yang - Complementary Contradictions

The theme for this month – Complementary Contradictions, was picked by me, after winning the July challenge with my Roses in the Night Sky bracelet (Thanks again to everyone who voted for me!).

Yin and Yang are the Chinese symbols of harmony, as they are opposites that complement each other. If you would like to read more about this symbol and the Chinese theory, please visit this page of Wikipedia.

At first I wanted to create a pendant of the traditional, rounded symbol, using rocailles. But later I decided to use the black and silver Aiko's that a very dear friend from the U.S. has sent me. They are very uniformed and perfect for peyote work, so I then decided to design the symbol in straight lines and create a bracelet instead of a pendant. I also used 24k gold-plated Delica beads. The closing is also representing Yin & Yang - two straps in opposite directions and colors.
I have spent about 3 hours working on the 'body' of cuff and additional 2 hours of work on the closure... ;) I really like how it came out.

Please visit the EBW blog, VIEW other entries and VOTE for your favorite. Voting starts on the 9th and lasts until the 15th, at midnight.
The talented team member would also love to read your COMMENT.

I now realize that it has been more than a month since my last post.
I have been so busy and troubled lately. Unfortunately, I have some family 'issues' and health problems. I hardly find time to bead (I still haven't finished the embroidered cuff), but when I do find some free time to do my beadwork, I really enjoy it! It allows me to take a break from life, so to speak... I hope this period of time will pass quickly, as well as the health problems, so I can get back to my beading routine... I really miss the days (and nights) when I was able to finish a work almost every other day!... :)

September 02, 2008

Almost Finished

I am almost done working on this embroidered cuff. Of course I have to attach it to a backing material – Ultrasuede or genuine leather – I haven't decided yet. I am also not sure yet what kind of closure to use. But those are the easy part, arn't they? :)
I will post the finished cuff when it's ready, and after my photographer is back from his vacation (this not-so-good photo was taken by me with my son's camera ;).

Right after I will finish this embroidered piece, I am going to start working on embroidered squares for Jeanette Shanigan's beaded quilts project “Bead-It-Forward” Breast Cancer Donation Project. The theme this year is "Heart". Check out Jeanette's site and see the finished quilts she makes using beaded squares. You might want to take part in this project.
I am happy to participate in this project for this important, good cause and I already have an idea of what I want to make. I just hope that this embroidered work will be finished before the dead-line…

August 22, 2008

New Bracelet

This is my new peyote bracelet. I used metallic Delica hex seed beads. Unfortunatly, the photo does not show their true colors and how they sparkle! The button is beadwoven by me and it acts as a clasp.

August 16, 2008

Work in Progress - Embroidered Cuff

Among other things that I have been busy doing lately, I am working on this embroidered cuff. The first photo, taken on mid July, shows the first steps of the work. I have drawn some lines to help me follow a rather geometric pattern I had in mind (anyone has an idea of how I can erase the pencil lines without ruining the stiffed material? Regular eraser won't do..), but as I finished the center part, I decided to make something else and worked in a more free pattern. The other photo was taken a few days ago. There's still much to be done before it's finished (and I still need more practice..).
I don't know why, but when I'm working on an embroidered piece, I have to take breaks and work on other things. It's not that I don't like this kind of work, on the contrary – I have realized that bead embroidery is a wonderful way to express myself, but somehow, it requires more patience… I hope to be able to work on this cuff this week and finally finish it.

August 09, 2008

Etsy BeadWeavers August Challenge

This is my entry for the Etsy Beadweavers "Art Deco" challenge.
It's called "A Trip to The Nile" and it is number 16 on the list.

I have already made several works that could have met this challenge, 2 of them are my 3-D Gold Trapezes necklace (made especially for the June challenge) and my Hand Fan necklace.

So, I like the Art Deco style and I came up with an idea almost immediatly after the theme was announced and implementing it was exciting.

I think that everyone who entered this challenge did a great job. I already have a few favorites, but unfortunately, I'll have to pick just one. It will be a tough task, even tougher that last month's challenge, as the works are getting better and prettier every month. Please visit the EBW blog, view all these wonderful entries and vote for your favorite. We would also love to read your comment.

August 08, 2008

What a Day! 08-08-08

It was the first time ever that one of my items features on Etsy's Front Page! It feels so good and it happened thanks to walrustusk's wonderfully curated treasury...

You might want to check her shop to see some of her colorful, beautiful works! - here's just one of them:

And the other good news is that the Bead&Button magazine is going to publish another one of my original designs, scheduled April 2009!
I just needed this kind of happenings to cheer me up a bit, after having quite an awful, stressful week … What an exciting day!...

August 04, 2008

Please Help Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Awareness Pins by Kerrie Slade

You can read more details about this project with the Beading Daily magazine on Kerrie Slade's blog

August 03, 2008

Cleaning My Table

I have spent a few hours last weekend, trying to reorganize my working area. I found too many works unfinished and this was one of them.
I've finished the spiral long ago, but I couldn't decide on what to put in between the two spiral pieces to connect them in the center, so I put it away and forgot about it. I then planned to make a nice crystal cabochon but I found this beautiful Carnelian stone in my stash (I love the Carnelian's color) and thought it would be a nice calm complement to the rather sparkly spiral.
I like how it turned out and it feels good to finish a neglected piece of work :).

July 24, 2008

Bead Art Originals Team

I am very pleased and honored to be a part of this wonderful and creative new Bead Art Oroginals team!
The team is a group of artists who share their love for creating with beads of many kinds. You will be surprized to see non-traditional materials that are used to create most amazing jewelry... So you might want to check out the BAO site or visit the BAO Blog to see more of the most beautiful art work!

Make sure you add these links to you favorites! :)

July 17, 2008

EBW July Challenge - I Won :)

My entry was the "Roses in the Night Sky" cuff bracelet.
Thanks to everyone who voted for me!
The person who wins the challenge has to pick the theme for next month's challenge. I still haven't decided yet. I didn't think that it would be hard to do, but it is! :)

Second runner-up is the gorgeous piece by ThePreciousBeads,
"Worlds Collide Necklace"

Third runner-up is the stunning piece by Triz, called "Midsummer Nights Dream".

Congratulations to you too, Erin and Triz!

Thanks to all of you who visited the Etsy BeadWeavers blog and voted.
I am sure it wasn't easy to pick only one from all the gorgeous entries for this month's challenge; it was hard for me… My favorite piece was the piece "A Free Form Dream Peyote Cuff" by SandFibers.

I found this piece amazingly beautiful, not only because I love free-form, but also because (if I am not mistaking) it is the first free-form piece that Carol Dean of SandFibers have created! Well done, Carol Dean, I really love it! and I hope that this is the first of many more!