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! ;)