Friday, August 30, 2013

The Value of Listening to One's Beads when they Speak!!

A small snippet of the completed piece
Until recently, I never really understood what other people meant when they would talk about their beads speaking to them. It was always a mystery to me! Did these people have some kind of special ability to communicate with their beads that I did not? Hmmm.....I could imagine myself laying my beads out on my beading mat and commanding them to speak to me.... NOT! So what did that phrase really mean?

  I only discovered what I think is the true meaning of that phrase when I was trying to put a lacy edging onto a basic right angle weave piece that I have. Boy, did I ever discover it in a painstaking manner!
  My goal was to end up with a semi-scalloped, somewhat frilly piece of edging around the entire piece. I began by putting a row of 15's around the edge of the work and then worked a row of peyote off of the first row, again using the 15's.  

  The next row consisted of adding a row of peyote with Delica's. By the time I had completed the delica row around two of the scallops, I knew I wasn't liking how it looked.  But did I stop there? Oh heck, NO! I kept right on going until I had the entire row completed and went even further by beginning to add the last row of peyote with size 11/0 seed beads.

  By that time, I had several hours of work into the project, but what had I been thinking?? Several rows ago the beads spoke out to me... no begged, me to listen to them telling me that this didn't look good and it wasn't going to work design wise. Why I kept going forth and refusing to listen, I truly have no idea. 

  When I arrived at the point of it being glaringly obvious, I was rather perturbed at myself, because I knew I had at least an hour or more of ripping out bead work ahead of me. As much as I wasn't looking forward to that, it proved to be rather cathartic for me as it gave me plenty of time to reflect upon the lesson I just learned and the value of listening to one's beads when they speak. Hopefully, I will  never close my ears to the sing song of my beads ever again.

  Do your beads speak to you and do you listen? I would love to hear about your experiences along these lines.

Unitl next time--
Bead True to Yourself!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Official! I am a BEAD MAVEN!!

I am so excited to finally be able to say, " I am a Bead Maven this year!"  I couldn't be more honored and thrilled to be working with such a great group of people from the beading world; Patrick Duggan, Aurelio Castano, Neva Brown, Valorie Clifton and one more special person to be announced tomorrow, and of course Mikki Ferrugiaro!! Wow! Each and everyone a very talented, creative designer in their own right. I hope to learn a great deal from each of them and hope I can teach a few tricks of my own.  I am excited to take this journey and hope you will come along for the ride.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Designing in Pieces!

Have you ever designed a piece of beadwork in stages over time? That's what I did with my latest tutorial;
"Tila Magic"
Of course, from the beginning, it was never my intention to do this.  When I got the idea for this project, all I really knew is that I wanted to design a choker/necklace using tila beads. Coming up with the netted base of the necklace was indeed the easy part of this design. 
  Once I had that completed, I was completely stumped as to what to do next. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to incorporate the tila beads or how to proceed  with building the necklace, so it lay on my bead mat staring blankly at me for literally something like four months.     Ridiculous!! I know, right? But what else can you do when you hit a barrier like that other than rip it out and perhaps begin again.  Well, I chose to let it lie, as ripping out netting is not my idea of having fun anytime soon... lol.  Every time I sat down to bead something else I saw it looking up at me and begging for an answer to the question, "When will you figure me out?"
  Like any problem, that you put on the back burner to be solved later, I knew that while the answer escaped me at the moment, eventually, a solution would present itself to me, and indeed, it did.
  I knew in my mind that whatever I came up with, I wanted it to be fairly simple and basic. Sometimes, simple is best.  The component I designed is just that... simple and basic and easy to put together. The necklace contains five components all total, so quick to bead as well.
 After beading the tila components and attaching them to the base, I felt pretty pleased with how it was all shaping up. But something was still missing for me. It seemed a little on the plain side for my taste and I knew I would have to do some kind of embellishing to truly  be happy with it.
  Overall, I was hoping the piece would have a vintage styling to it, so I came up with the peyote edging and the crystal drops that hang off of the base.  I used a teal colored 15 for the peyote edging and crystals that were a crystal/gold/teal combination, in order to bring out the teal color of the tila beads.
  What's the moral of this story? The next time you have a project that you get stumped on, perhaps you should do what I did and just put in on the back burner for however long and let it simmer awhile until that magic resolution pops up!!