Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Ancient Garden Collar

The Ancient Garden Broadcollar is my most intense piece of beaded art to date. I stopped keeping track of the time I worked on this piece after I logged 150 hours! It was probably closer to 200, and I loved every second of it.

As many gardens do, this one took on a life of its own. I planted the five jasper stones, drew three swirled lines (the first five inches of the rust colored vines connecting near the center stone) and the rest... grew!

The color scheme is simple - green, rust and black. Limiting the color to just these few unusual tones allows you to concentrate on textures and shapes that may otherwise go unnoticed in a garden that is rioting with color.

Very simple bead embroidery techniques are used. I used mostly back-stitch, some peyote stitch for the stone bezels, couching only when necessary, and a tiny bit each of netting and brick stitch.

Those of you who know me are aware of my love of using black matte beads in my jewelry projects. The background of this Garden is worked in tiny black matte seed beads, sparked occasionally by a single shiny one. Black matte beads add depth and definition, without really being a dominant color - the perfect background.

Bead Embroidery has become a very popular class that I teach at Stony Creek Bead. I warn people that the technique can be very dangerous! It's like painting... with beads! And you may not want to stop once you've started!

The shop has many smaller projects on display, and I encourage people to start with a piece that will become a brooch or a pendant, about a three-hour project. Save the broadcollars for your second project!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Paisley - Study in White

My husband, Bob, found these great drusie quartz beads at a show in Tucson. I've been toying with the idea of monochromatic pieces and this is the first in a series of five.

Other than the quartz focal piece, the remaining beads are Czech glass and Japanese seed beads. This piece has a handmade fine silver fibula (pin back) and rings where a chain or beaded necklace can be attached. The backing is UtraSuede.

The Quiet Forest Free - Form Peyote Bracelet

This bracelet was shown at the Downriver Council on the Arts. It features a bead made by Michigan artitst Andrea Lindell. The wonderful colors that she used in this bead inspired the choice of the quiet, earthy greens and bronzes. As much as I loved this bracelet, I'm happy to say that it was purchased from the DCA Gallery exhibit and I hope whoever has it now enjoys it.

Using Free Form Peyote is like painting with beads. I teach this method at the shop (Stony Creek Bead) and use it frequently in my personal jewelry pieces.

I like to use unusual buttons for clasps. While it doesn't show in this picture, this button is different because it doesn't have a shank. Instead, it has a clip that was meant to slide into two button holes, one on each edge of the front of a shirt or blouse. Back in the day of Mangel pressing machines, it was much easier to get wrinkle-free clothing without buttons getting in the way. I found a bag of these buttons at an antique shop.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stony Creek Bead & Gallery

Stony Creek Bead & Gallery opened May 10, 2005. It is owned by my daughter, Jennifer. Another daughter, Katherine, and I work with her. It's a great place to get supplies and to learn how to make beautiful beaded jewelry.

Stony Creek Bead is a full service bead store, offering classes, lots of beads including: Bali silver beads, Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, Czech glass and a huge selection of seed beads. We have lots of great findings, books, and tools.

We feature a several local artist's hand made beads, including Andrea Lindell of Williamsburg, MI, Susan Matych-Hager of Adrian, MI, and Michelle Conde, Boylan Glass, of Columbus, Ohio, and a few others.

Stony Creek Bead offers lots of classes, including beginner "essential" classes along with lots of great projects.

Here's how to contact Stony Creek Bead:

2060 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Here's how to drive to us:

Interstate 94, to exit 183 (Ypsilanti, Huron Street)
Go one mile South

We're located in Paint Creek Crossing shopping center, South of Kroger, between the Hallmark store and the dollar store.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bead Art Pieces

The Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild members exhibit in the Gallery at the Downriver Council on the Arts opened Thursday, October 25. On display in this juried show are more than sixty pieces by eighteen artists. This includes wearable and non-wearable art - necklaces, bracelets, wall hangings, sculpture, whimsical dolls, shoes, and some pieces of Native American design. Many beading techniques were used.

Seven pieces of mine were selected.

Ancient Garden
A bead embroidered necklace - very subtle colors, yet a profusion of vines and flowers in a rock garden.

Paisley - Study in White
Paisley - Study in Black
Paisley - Study in Purple
I'm working on a series of monochromatic pieces. The Black and White were fun, but the purple was very challenging. Not all purples are created equal!

The Cha-Cha Bracelet in Peaches and Cream
I have made four of these Cha-Chas and this one is my favorite. Subtle colors, great impact. Wherever I go, I get stopped with questions and comments about this bracelet, every time I wear it.

Free Spirit Girl
Casually hanging out (waiting for the coffee to brew) in her bathrobe and bunny slippers, she reminds me of me in the morning.

Quiet Forest Free Form Peyote Bracelet
The colors were chosen from the focal bead made by Michigan artist Andrea Lindell. Soft colors of leaves and dappled sunlight.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jewelry Art Pieces at the Downriver Council on the Arts

Several of my beaded jewelry pieces will be part of a gallery showing. About 20 members of the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild will have approximately 60 pieces in the Gallery at the Downriver Council on the Arts in Taylor, Michigan, October 25 - November 15.

(Pictures coming soon)
Cha-Cha Bracelet Peaches and Cream
Paisley - Study in White
Paisley - Study in Black
Paisley - Study in Purple
Free Spirit Girl
Free Form Peyote Bracelet
Ancient Garden

Friday, October 5, 2007

Embroidered Felted Wool Evening Bag

I'll get better at posting with practice. This bag started out as a sweater, which was washed in hot water in the washing machine with lots of agitation. This technique is also called "boiled wool". The resulting fabric was cut and sewn into this simple bag.

The bronze beads are all Czech and Japanese glass beads.

First time at my new place in space

This is my very first post. I wonder if anyone will find me...

I will soon have pictures of some of my beaded jewelry projects.

I am the primary teacher at the bead store that my daughter, Jennifer, owns. We have a full range of classes including Basic Stringing, lots of wire work, beadweaving using Peyote, Herringbone, Square and Brick Stitches and many, many others!

Stony Creek Bead & Gallery
2060 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

The shop does not have a website, but lots of information can be found at its blogspot:

More coming very soon!