Friday, February 25, 2011

Trying New Things....Great Give Away offer from Andrew Thornton

This afternoon we are supposed to have more snow again! I'm tired of winter here in Michigan. We've had more snow this year than we've had in a long long time.

This winter has been one for trying new crafts.  January with Jeannette Cook of Beady Eyed Women, I spent a week with three other retreat mates playing with felting, wet and needle.  We also beaded on our felt and had a special project with Marcia DeCoster!  Very fun!! We had a lovely week in Mission Beach.

 I have felted before, but only a specific project.  Our retreat project was more open to interpretation and freeform.  The bag/purse is the main project and we had time to play and create other felted items. 
The bracelet I made on the last day of the retreat.  The bezelled stone I finished as a ring just a couple of nights ago.  This came about after the workshop with Marcia DeCoster, when I decided to try her bezeling method on a shape other than a circle.

Here we are at dinner the last night of the retreat!

February for the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild means Bead Daze and this year we had four teachers for four days of classes!  Two Bead teachers: Marcia DeCoster and Sherry Serafini  AND Two Wire teachers: Kim St. Jean and Barb Switzer.  It was a great week!  These classes are some of the same classes that they teach at Bead & Button and other large shows around the country!  As a Guild we are able to offer them to our members for a discounted class fee.  You buy the kit or bring your own beads and supplies, fabulous!! We also have a "Meet the Teachers" evening at our regular membership meeting prior to class days! Lots of kits, supplies and finished pieces are purchased by our members that evening and throughout the week! Everyone has an opportunity to find something wonderful!
I really appreciate that our guild is able to have four nationally known teachers in for classes all at the same time,  the problem is choosing only four. (one per day)  Well, I decided to try something new, bead embroidery.  What better time than with "Rock Star" bead embroidery teacher Sherry Serafini! I also took a class with Marcia DeCoster and a class with Barb Switzer (my second time in a class with her)! 
Here is my progress as of last night on my Sherry Serafini Cuff - Crystals & Pearls Bracelet.  I'm loving bead embroidery and Sherry has made this project so easy to do!! 
March brings Jean Campbell to the GLBG and I plan to try out her new steampunk necklace and bracelet. 
Then in April we have Christi Friesen of polymer clay fame!!  I think this year I have to try it out!!

Having said all that....Andrew Thornton of Green Girl has posted a give away offer on his blog for some lovely Art Nouveau alphabet stamps and a bonus wing stamp.  The stamps come from TJ Tool/Jewelry
Now there is something that I may just have to bang out a try on!!
Go check it out! Good luck to you all and Happy Beading!

Friday, February 18, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond....It's Ionic!!

Well, I'm finally back! I have been very busy! So I'll get straight to it!

I'm just not done making the Infinity Dodecahedra!  But as a Bead Infinitum Design Team Member I am challenged to move on each month to another of Florence and Gwen's fabulous patterns!  So here you can see the results of my playing with the Ionic Polyhedra pattern.  This pattern has multiple geometric forms to really challenge you!  I had to include some Infinity Dodecahedra with variations of my own!

  The Ionic Polyhedra pattern starts out with a simple Ionic Cube or Octahedron and transitions to more complicated forms.  Finally on the very last page is a matrix of the various Ionic Polyhedra that can be made using this technique.  The necklace above incorporates Infinity Dodecahedra with crystal tipped fringe, Infinity Dodecahedra with multiple over lapping loops, Infinity Dodecahedra with captured 8mm Czech fire polish, an Ionic Icosahedron (largest beaded bead) and 6  Lacey Cuboctahedra (my variation with only one layer of embellishment).  This is a long piece, 35 inches total.

Ionic Icosahedron

Lacey Ionic Cuboctahedron and Infinity Dodecahedron with crystal tipped fringe.
Undaunted, I had to try more forms.....

Ionic Polyhedra 345 Necklace
  These are, from the top down, Ionic Tetrahedra, Ionic Octahedra and an Ionic Pentacluster.  The Ionic Pentacluster is done with my own embellishment variation adding crystal clusters over the "holes". 
Here is another view of the same piece so you can see the base bead cluster showing through on the side and how the crystals sit on the five faces (both sides).
Ionic Polyhedra 345 Necklace
This necklace sits nicely in an open neck top and is 20 inches long.  I wore both pieces together this past Tuesday night to the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild member meeting.  I received rave reviews!!  It is particularly special because some of the great reviews came from Marcia DeCoster, Kim St.Jean, Sherry Serafini and Barb Switzer who are here in Michigan teaching classes for our Guild! 

But I couldn't stop, I had to have some earrings too....lovely little Lacey Pentaclusters.  They have only one layer of embellishment and hang from light silver chain on studs. 

Lacey Pentacluster Earrings
So, for now...that's all I have for you! <grin>  Well, except for one tip....if you have trouble visualizing or figuring out the bead path of any of these geometric forms.  Before you throw up your hands or beads, google the geometric shape along with the word "net",  i.e. Cuboctahedron Net.   You should see line drawings of the form flattened out; print it out, cut it out and fold it into the appropriate shape.  This will help you with the thread path and construction of the various forms without step by step instructions! 
Happy Beading to you all!!

Edited and reposted for the picture storage problem!
Thanks for the warning from "No Easy Beads"!!