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!)

Split Rock Arts 2008

Split Rock has turned 25! And, registration opens today.

It used to be at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, which is where I attended two different workshops, the first led by Joyce Scott, and the second by David Chatt. They were hugely rewarding, invigorating, and challenging. You check in Sunday night, work/create all day Monday through Friday, and go home after breakfast on Saturday. There’s a meet-the-teacher event (Tuesday?), an open studio night (Thursday?), and a great (hilly!) campus and city to explore. I keep looking to see if there’s another that I could take.

Split Rock moved to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus. This is my metro area, so both more convenient — and less of a retreat. There are 3 workshops this summer that caught my eye.

Karen Searle is teaching a “short” (not the full week) in June, Creative Adornments in Knit and Crochet. From her website:

She judged something I entered once, and I met her in passing. She has a fabulous reputation as a teacher.

Another that looks interesting is Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary: Hand Felted Scarves by Chad Alice Hagen. I kind of like taking the idea of something that appears narrow in focus, and spending a week exploring it. Here’s an example from his website:

The other one that caught my eye was Digital Nature Photography: A Retreat. This one is taught by Craig Blacklock at the Cloquet Forestry Center, a campus for the University of Minnesota a bit southwest of Duluth. This is a beautiful area, and Blacklock is a well-known outdoor photographer specializing in the North Shore (the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior). Here’s his website, and here’s the cover of his book:

I’m not going this year, but I’ll keep watching for another class. It is well worth it!

Bugles and right angle weave

It’s been a really nice day. I “got stuff done,” and had some time to play with beads, and time to read a novel. Here’s the result of the playing:


I’d like to make this into a bracelet, but I would like to simplify the method. I would want this on the diagonal, like in the picture. These are size 1 Japanese bugles, size 15s to cushion them, and size 11 beads on the top of the points.

I have a dislike of clasps that stand out as different from the rest of the piece. What would be ideal is if the edges would just seamlessly go together without any visible clasp. That’s not happening. The alternative is to make the clasp some sort of focal point. Hmm. I’ll have to think on it.