Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Martha's Moth

Martha's moth is a design that began life as a question... 'Can you make me a moth?'
sketches for the Martha's Moth Brooch
Not one who finds 'No' the easiest word, however busy, I said yes.
So that question led to a heap more questions... how long do I have, who's it for, how big, what colours, how am I going to do this???
On a train journey back from a bead show, I doodled in the sketch pad. wobbly biro is my preferred way of thinking out loud on a page! I know, beautifully crafted sketch book pages would be lovely too,  but the notes are just so I don't forget what I thought.
I kind of knew about the structure from having made dragonflies, butterflies and beetles with wings in various beading techniques. I spent a summer evening watching the moths to check out body shapes and proportions. In our neighbourhood we have hawk moths and hummingbird moths and it's a bit of a tradition to go down with a glass of something nice and sit and watch them fluttering at dusk.
The finished design

Next was the lovely time of choosing out beads, and my ongoing love of clear cabochons came into play. After a few sessions at the beading board, Martha's moth came out pretty near to the original doodle and is now a brooch winging her way to her new owner.
I had fun trying our some new ideas, so next I have a re-make and tweeking session ahead, to see if I can get the instructions written and workable for my tester to have a play with.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Bead Designers Alliance

I've occasionally hinted in my blog about the frustrations of having my work copied and used in classes, it's not an easy topic to talk about. Mostly because it really, really hurts when you find out about it, and anything you say publicly has a way of coming out sour grapes, however carefully it phrased. So it has been interesting and something of a relief to read fellow designers blogs, in particular Sabine Lippert's honest appeal for fairness. This got the ball rolling, Marcia DeCoster also had thoughts to share... and now many other designers too.
What was refreshing for me, and eloquently put by others, is the degree of fairness and respect we would like to receive. I like the way everyone (designers and store owners together), thought through how to resolve the issues in positive ways.
The knee jerk reaction is 'You'll never stop it happening', easy to say, easy to look away and of course we won't... instead we are starting something great happening!
Now there is the Bead Designers Alliance, I like the approach, bead stores can sign up to support the designers, designers can sign up to be heard and their work seen. Designers are donating free patterns for participating store owners to use for classes; plus access to designers who travel to teach.
The most important people in this cycle of creativity and bead acquiring get to enjoy a wide range designs, buy more beads, find out about the creators and innovators and choose to support stores that endorse the simple fairness of respecting designer's work.
For me, I now have a new sense of belonging. It is good to be able to show a logo, share a web address with the backing of my peers instead of the dreadfully lonely moment of standing in front of class trying to explain the reasons why it is not acceptable to take my work and go teach it elsewhere.
There is a facebook page too, where you can keep up to date with how it's all working and growing... with a banner that changes daily to showcases designers work; today it was my turn to head up the page which made me hugely happy!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

windowsill flowers

Gardening and housework have definitely been on the back burner for a while, I'm promising myself
Spirit of Freedom rose
autumn days of digging and clearing; whilst steadfastly ignoring the dust bunnies indoors!
The only real housework was a frenzy of laundry to make the most of sunny days, I love the smell of sun dried laundry, I love how quickly it dries; such a treat after trying to get winter washing dry without the place looking like a permanent, umm, laundry!
But even this novelty has worn off now that we've had weeks of sunshine filled days (bliss!).

A few months ago I bought a divinely scented rose called Spirit of Freedom. Left to fend for itself in a large pot, I discovered it coming into flower in the corner of the courtyard. The scent is heady and perfect rose, and trails through the air around the plant like a treat waiting to be discovered. The flowers, unlike a lot of my roses, seem to last a long time too. You can see one in the little green vase in my latest window sill collection. Along with the roses I've been picking Rosemary, I like the fresh crisp scent and it seems to stop that circus of lazy flies that come into the house on long hot sunny days when the doors and windows are open. You know the ones, they go round and round and are impossible to shoo back out again!
Behind the vases is a teacup... Earlier this year I found a set of blue ones you can see one here in the last picture. Now I've rescued some green ones too, which I found in a charity shop. In the cup is a double flowered Kalanchoe. The florist said, 'Pinch out the flowers when they go over and it will keep flowering', that was six weeks ago and the flowers are still perfect, I think I might have found the ideal houseplant to survive 'beader's neglect'!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Beaded collection

a collection of beaded elements
I know, It's been a bit quiet on the 'look what I just made front'... work is occurring, but I'm not able to show and share most of it just yet.
I did take a couple of evenings out to make something for me to wear... So the story goes like this... a dear friend who is also a dress shop owner and is VERY good at selling clothes. She is kind and warmhearted and makes you feel beautiful, she is also a great sales girl and can convince you that you look fab in a hessian sack! and while you are in her shop, you do, you really really do!
The trick, I've learned, is to visualise yourself standing in front of the next beading class as a reality check.

A visit to her is always a treat and fortuitous in this instance as I'd just had a puritanical clear out of the wardrobe, having dropped a dress size (no excitement, I still several to go! sigh, pass the celery).
Thanks to her, I am now the proud owner of two smart casual dresses, a first for me and in need (of course), of some beady bling to go with.
Time is not something plentiful right now, I'm in that part of the year where deadlines roll up like waves crashing on the shore. But sometimes it is good to allow yourself a little bit of follow the bliss.

Love the charcoal and chalk colours
I tipped out my 'epic fail' box of beaded bits and pieces, and decided to simply stitch some of them together. It was fun to go through them and pick out likely combinations.
I settled for a little pile of bezelled rivoli from a bracelet that didn't work out, which set a colour theme going; a bezelled stone, that was kind of too small for a pendant and too big for a ring; the ring part of a toggle clasp, and a tiny odd beady 'thing'. I liked the charcoal and chalk theme with a hint of moss, so I added a peyote stitch bail, and lovely long fringes.
Not a masterpiece, but a couple of evenings of seeing where the idea would wander and Oooh! it was such fun to get a wee bit random, dare myself to do the asymmetrical thing and play. It was also lovely to not have to think about instruction writing or whether people will like it, to just sit and bead for fun for a couple of evenings. As to the necklace... I love it! it is really comfortable to wear, it had a first outing to the Brockehurst Bead fair last saturday. Plus, it goes with a lot of things too as it completely bypasses necklines, result!