Beads of Whimsy


Image from the Minnesota Textile Center

The Beads of Whimsy Show is a national show, juried by Stephanie Eddie, and held at the Minnesota Textile Center from March 7th through April 12th. There are whimsical beaded pieces from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

Carol and I went to this show today, and the image from the website and on the postcard (above) is of Laura Leonard’s Motorcycle Mama, image courtesy of the artist. I love her work, always have. She has a great sense of humor, and I see her work at local shows (including American Craft Council shows) probably once/year. This piece won first in non-wearable.

(I took the pictures below — I took others, and would have liked to share more, but the rest were unclear.)


This is the best in show piece, Beadgami by Jennifer Hastings. It’s a great structural piece of herringbone and peyote.


Ann Gilbert had a whole collection of fish, called Mobile Fish. This is one of my favorite fish.


Another collection of whimsical pieces was a collection of birdhouses, done by Diane Fitzgerald. This was second in non-wearables.


Second in the non-wearable flat category was Split Rail Analogy by Frances Holliday Alford. Carol and I stood there and identified things that were incorporated. It’s like Where’s Waldo!


This is Shell Game, a purse by Kelly Dorman, second in wearable, non-jewelry (I think I have these categories right). This is jasper, and she used trapunto for some of this; don’t see that much.


This picture’s not as good (window, etc), but I wanted to post this regardless. This is by Valerie Kuzma, and we loved these colors. That’s Peruvian opal in there, among other things. The title is Jump in, the water is fine, and this first in the wearable category – jewelry.


The colors and structure of this piece were really phenomenal. This is Festival by Karyl Lynch.


Sharon Wright’s Red glove and booted naked lady has great texture. It looks like the beads were colored somehow after embroidering, and then some wiped off the surface?


Look at this! This is Tatiana’s Crown by Brenda Brousseau, first in wearable, non-jewelry. Excellent construction, just gorgeous.


Another great headpiece. I wonder how this looks on? Sorry, lost the name on this one….  (eta, this is Fauna and Flora by Maggie Hamel McCloud, 3rd in wearable jewelry)

And finally, were Carol and I the jury, this is the piece we would have picked. This is Pirate Poem by Terri Allen. The sign by it said we could touch it and turn the pages. It’s an original poem, lavishly illustrated, and bound into a book. The artist will take the book to schools and such and show students. Enjoy!





Edited 6/7/08 — The Upper Midwest Bead Society has included pictures of the winners on their webpage.

BFAC 2009 – sample swatch

I decided on the ivory as a color to add. I haven’t always added a color (this is my fourth year), but I wanted to provide a contrasting value to the existing beads. I beaded a couple of inches of 3 different herringbone ropes, and then strung some of the beads (on whatever scrap of thread hadn’t been thrown away yet). Here’s what I’ve got (the bronze bugles are strung too, they are below the red squares).


I have to use at least one of each of the beads in the kit. This leaves the Swarovski squares and bicones, the cathedral beads, the bronze hex 8s, and the red lined chartreuse magatamas. SO, here’s the plan, at least today: I’m going to make all of these maybe 20″ long, interlace them loosely (or not, we’ll see), and put them on an adjustable clasp.

With ivory Ultrasuede, maybe I’ll make a pendant of some sort that incorporates the rest of the beads (and/or put them dangling off the clasp). The pendant will be able to be removed, if someone just wants to wear the ropes of beads. Maybe I’ll make some cones out of Ultrasuede too, to dress up where all 7 strands will be at the clasp.

The herringbone ropes will be a nice traveling project, which I always appreciate having on hand. I have several other things sitting partially done on my work table, but most don’t travel well.

Beading for a Cure 2009 – color to add?

So you can see my process, here are pictures of test beads added to the BFAC beads. I am liking the last choice the best so far (but I still want to add gold in the findings, I think).

bfac-2008-with-black.jpg bfac-2008-with-copper.jpg bfac-2008-with-gold.jpg bfac-2008-with-cream.jpg

With black …..copper….gold….gilt-lined cream (click for a larger picture)

It’s still saying ‘jewelry’ to me. I’m not sure what yet!

Beading for a Cure 2009 BEADS!

The provider of the beads this year is Betcey from Beyond Beadery. I got my beads maybe 2 weeks ago, and according to the rules, had to be quiet until everyone else got theirs. Well. It’s now allowed. Here is a quick snapshot of the beads.


Now, what to make with it? The rules (simplified) are that you have to use at least one of each bead, you may add one – and only one – bead, and you can add spacers, findings, and other things (like the form on which you’re embroidering the beads). There are only 2 size 11 beads, the 2 on the right. If I add any beads, it will probably be another 11.

The colors look like jewelry to me. I haven’t gotten much further than that!

BFAC auctions start TODAY

Beading for a Cure is a two-fold project. It’s a fundraiser for colorectal cancer, and it’s a challenge to bead with a palette that someone else chooses. The provider of the beads in the piece below was Sandi from Stormcloud, and the year before, Beki from Out on a Whim. This project was started in memory of a beader who died of the disease, Layne. My piece will be in the first round of auctions.

Now’s your chance to start bidding on the pieces that we made last year! There are 6 weeks of auctions; my piece is in the first round, starting today! Here’s the link to the auction schedule, take a look at what’s up this week.

Here’s my piece:

bfac-2007-side.jpg bfac-2007-top.jpg

(old pictures, I think I could do better now)

It’s a great cause, and an interesting challenge. Check out what others have made with the same kit of beads (I added the green; one bead may be added to the palette of beads selected by the generous provider.).

Double spiral in process

Okay, here’s a sample of the double spiral in process, the beads I got from Marilee that I wrote about here. I tried adding the triangles on the exterior occasionally, but they got lost. I bought this button at General Bead in San Francisco, hoping it would work. I don’t like buttons for clasps because they don’t feel as secure to me as a lobster claw, or toggle. But, I also don’t like to bring in a metal clasp when there’s no metal anywhere else in the piece. So, I’m going to use a button, and try to size the loop well.


(Look, a better picture!)