Crazy lace agate

crazy-lace-necklace-pendant Enjoy this beautiful stone – and ignore my lazy photography. This is a Mexican crazy lace agate cabochon, cut by my grandfather sometime in the 1950s to 1970s. I have several of the cabs he cut, but they’ve always been too special and limited for me to feel I could or should work with them, which is just silly. My grandparents were rockhounds, finding or buying stones, and cutting them into cabs. Grandpa did more of the cutting, and Grandma did more of the silver work. He did very good work, especially considering the tools available at the time. I have round, oval, and various shaped cabs (including a tiny cowboy boot), of all sorts of stone including Washington jade. My grandparents once found a jade boulder in a Washington stream they needed help to lift. Imagine!

I actually can, as I recently visited my grandmother (my grandfather died in 1979), and together with my aunt attended a rock show with several jade boulders on display. I took a closeup picture with my cellphone of one that had been polished, keeping its original shape and contours.

jade-boulderThis boulder was probably somewhere in the 400 pound range; the largest one on display was 500 pounds. This is the classic green that you think of jade. I bought a piece that weighs about 1.5 pounds at the rock show, a cut chunk of this green that I may just leave outside with some sandpaper to polish at leisure over the summer. The jade boulder my grandparents found was white. I have a pure white cab from this boulder, that Grandpa cut and has been set into a silver setting. As Grandma says, jade comes in every color.

Grandma started beading after I did, and she’s been beading her way around the cabs in her cache. My aunt does lovely wirework, and captures more of the cabs with wire. And all three of us bought more cabs at the rock show. Here’s my “Grandpa collection”: jade (including one from that boulder), magnetic serpentine, granite, Brazilian agate, dinosaur bone, petrified wood, Montana agate, turquoise, moss agate, jasper, chrysoprase, variscite, rhodonite, rhodochrosite, tiger iron, rhodonite, bloodstone, unakite, mariposite. My just-purchased collection is lapis, jade, larimar, turquoise, jasper, labradorite. I have a lot of beading around rocks to happily do! Grandma is 98, so I hopefully have a lot of beading time ahead of me, if genetics has anything to do with it.

Back to my necklace.

Crazy-lace-necklace

Again, apologies on the photo. Not posting because my current photography is sub-par has been one of my excuses. No longer. I like this simple chain and the visual weight it carries. The main bead is a size 11 cut, a lovely red-brown ab. In the bezel is a tiny bit of French pumpkin, and a nice Japanese matte white ab.

The finishing touch is the clasp.

crazy-lace-necklace-clasp

I really like this. I’ve managed to get a really good circle that is two beads deep on the inner circle, and one bead on the outside. A future possible project is a “simple” linked chain. This may be the starting point for how I accomplish that.

I’ve been back beading regularly since April 22nd. I can be that exact as I’ve got a reminder on my phone set to “stop beading” to get to work; I’ve been getting up at 6am to bead. I start working at different times, depending on the day, so that may mean 45 minutes of beading, or perhaps three hours of beading on a weekday (usually the lesser). I don’t turn on any electronics or music, I just sit down, turn on the lights, blink blearily a couple times, put on my reading glasses, and start beading. I’m only beading during this time, not pulling beads, not planning beadwork, not blogging about beading, nothing else. The benefits of the morning beading time are most importantly more beading, with a bonus of going to bed earlier too.

It feels like a true accomplishment, beading regularly again. Like many beaders, I have UFOs in the wings, and dreams of future projects beyond that (hello, linked chain). This is working for me. I have started sewing again occasionally, and I would like to find time for that as well. Also, weaving and truly learning to knit, and perhaps some odd crochet now and then. When to do these? I do not yet know, but perhaps I can figure that out too.

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Seed pods

grey-seed-pods

I recently sent these off as gifts, and I think it’s safe to post them now; here’s a couple of my seed pods in shades of grey, intended as pendants. I had this design published in Beadwork Creates Earrings, and it was fun to revisit. I also recently made a starfish and mailed it off (also my design, also published) – and I forgot to take a picture!

I have been beading every weekday morning that I’m not traveling – I’m on week four. I don’t have a lot of time, so don’t have tons to show, but I am getting some time behind the needle. Now I would like to find some time to get behind the sewing machine, a book or two, my Weave-It loom, and sundry other things I’d love to make.

Meanwhile, my morning time is up, and I’m off to work! I have another piece of beadwork nearly finished, for myself this time. I’m contemplating two things: how long do I want the necklace, and the clasp! Always, the clasp…

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“Bead” in Reston, Virginia

The exhibition “Bead” is open until the end of the month at the Greater Reston Arts Center in Virginia. I have met five of these artists in person, I believe – two as teachers (Joyce Scott, David Chatt), two as fellow students (Rebecca Starry, Teresa Sullivan), and one in context with one of my jobs (Sonya Clark is on the American Craft Council Board of Trustees). There are 10 more wonderful artists beyond that. Enjoy “Bead” if you can!

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A beady shopping list for the American Craft Council show in Baltimore

I won’t be there, but I can identify at least SEVEN people at the retail show who work with small beads, my first love. Most use thread, one uses glue, and at least a couple use a lot of gemstones, but these are all my beady people!

From the American Craft Council website: “It’s a craft show like no other! Join us for our three-day celebration of all things handmade, where more than 650 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists from across the country gather under one roof. It’s your chance to touch, feel, and explore high-quality American craft and meet the makers behind the fabulous work. This is the American Craft Council’s flagship show – a must-attend for craft lovers.”

I’ve seen the schedule (I work in the ACC Library), and there’s a lot of wonderful events planned, and opportunities to try your hand at making craft at the Let’s Make Inspiration Stations. Go, look, and shop February 20-22. Stop by the Council booth, and say Dulcey sent you. You, too, could stitch some broccoli.

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Kiowa artist Terri Greeves honored as a living treasure

Bead artist Terri Greeves, and her sister Keri Ataumbi were both honored as living treasures for the 2015 Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival (May 23-24, 2015), a benefit  for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe. Ataumbi is a jeweler, describing her work as wearable art.

I have seen Greeves work in person; she was displayed in “Art without Reservation” at the Weisman Art Museum in 2007. In a press release about the exhibition, you see a picture of her beaded Converse shoes on display. The banner on the museum was a giant photograph on vinyl of these shoes. Each bead is about 1/2″ in size – I know this, because after the exhibition, I bought a bag that was made out of the vinyl. I have the top of the fingertips you see on the right shoe.

Congratulations to these very talented sisters!

 
 
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