you can play along at home - beaded challenges for you to follow

Friday, October 06, 2006

September Bead-A-Long

Oops. Yeah, right. It helps to actually post when I've finished a project.

Initially, I thought September's challenge would be a cinch since I like to go through my beads now and then and make use of some of those fuglies that have been hiding out in dark corners. It serves as a dual purpose to both avoid waste and to give me an excuse to buy more beads. I did struggle more than I thought, mostly because I realized that, well, sure, I can use any ole beads you want, but would I actually make use of what I created or just toss it in some closet, box, or bin to be ignored there, instead?

My first try was a perfect example. Part of my idea for this challenge was using materials I wouldn't normally use and specifically bringing out the beauty of the materials. (Read: making something I would use/wear.) This first one is getting much use, but I sort of cheated by making it for my daughter. Let's face it... what looks absolutely adorable on a five-year-old may look absolutely hideous on a thirty-two-year-old. Still, here's my "take one" - a simple "floating" necklace made with plastic beads:

(For a larger version, go here.)

Later in the month, I stumbled across some sort of funky (*cough* junky?) glass beads I've been sitting on for awhile. I'd always thought them just a little too funky for my own tastes, especially in that they came in a rainbow of fruity colors. Leaves should not be fruity. Ever. I considered giving them to my daughter, then realized, well, duh, I don't have to use all of the colors. I can just pick out the few I like and play with those. Coupled with some fire polished beads and some seed beads, I have a new favorite necklace that I really do enjoy and especially fits the season:

(Larger pics here and here.)

Extended Challenge

Ok, folks. I'll be posting my Sept. in a few moments.

The next challenge I'll bump forward for a target of Nov. 15th finish, - sorry for my flakiness on this!

What I'd like you to do is to think of the things you get out of doing beadwork. Maybe it's patience, connection to your culture, stress-relief, attention to detail, healing, frustration, vanity - try to be open to negatives, positives, and otherwise.

Pick three of these ideas as design concepts for a single necklace. Make sense?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Beaded Pillows

This is my first bead embroidery project, and I just kind of made up the design as I went along. My "low" materials were those plastic gems with the shiny bottoms. The other beads are size 11/0 gold seed beads. I made these to go on the futon in my bead studio. I had to sew the tassels in by hand since I cut them from a tasseled trim border. I made curtains from the same striped fabric, and a lampshade with the green fabric, bordered with the tasseled trim. I also added a brass elephant candle holder to the side table. It all gives the room a Morrocan feel. Now I just have to figured out what to do with the blank space on the wall....
Thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

September "Trash to Treasure" Challenge

This wasn't my original plan for this month's bead-a-long, it just worked out that way:

I have another piece I'm also working on that was my original plan for this bead-a-long. While working my piece for the 2nd Annual Face Brooch Swap however, this face cab kept jumping out at me. It's one that I would have never used in a million years (ok, maybe not that long). I received the cab as a gift but didn't know what to do with it. It's too cutesy for my taste and I'm not a big fan of holiday specific beading; they always get hidden away until the next year. But this little ceramic face just begged to be used and the ideas flowed easily from the minute I picked it up.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bead-a-long August Challenge

I decided to move my post here since I think I'm going to close down my mostly dead bead blog. For those who've already seen this, forgive the duplicate posting.

Bead-a-long August Challenge

Larger photos:
here and
here and

(I'll work on getting photos of my September bead-a-long up soon!)

Friday, September 01, 2006

The First Rule of Bead-A-Long

You need never apologize for bead-a-long. Or bead not-quite-a-long.

Craft guilt is never an option. So you're late. Post it anyway. As long as you don't stiff someone if we ever do decide to do a swap - this is purely about getting a little more excited about your work than you would be on your lonesome and having fun. That's it.

Feel free to sit out a challenge that doesn't do it for you, throw out your own challenge for the following month, take the basic challenge and push it into a different direction.

Beads and fun and productivity, that's it. Yay!

textile-influenced leaf amulet

Finally done here. I think my favorite thing about this is the jump rings.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Celtic Amulet

Well, I think I'm finished = ) I couldn't decide what kind of fringe to add, and I thought maybe I'd like it better without it. I'm open to suggestions, and if I see a good idea I'll use it. The bag features a square-stitched Celtic symbol, and the colors are reversed to create the back. For the strap, I used the colors randomly. First I stitched a long ladder chain, and then added picots to each side. Most of my work has balance, so I like the "asymetricalness" of this piece. Does anyone else make up words to descibe their work? Thanks for looking and comments are appreciated!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Not quite done

I'm almost done. I don't really like my piece much, but I should be done by Friday. I'm working on the handle right now, and I'm about to run out of beads, so it may be a very short strap. Then just doing the fringe and I'm done.
I figure the second half of the strap tonight.
The fringe tomorrow night.
And posting on September 1st, just in time for the deadline.