Saturday 31 January 2009

Bougainvillea Bouquet!

I have finally finished working on my new flowers and here is my entry for the Etsy Beadweavers challenge - Bougainvillea Bouquet!

Whilst I was working on this, I recalled some of the beautiful images of bougainvillea I have seen on my travels; arching over a monastery doorway in Corfu, cut into neat hedges in Spain, growing wild by the roadside in Thailand and Sri Lanka and vivid clusters set against a backdrop of deep blue sea in the Maldives. I didn't need to dig out the photos to remind of these scenes, they are all quite clear to me and I thoroughly enjoyed casting my mind back as I sat and sewed each bead together.

I wanted to create a piece that was not only eye-catching but also very wearable. Therefore I engineered it so that the necklace can be worn quite simply with just two bougainvillea bracts suspended from the woven rope, or all eleven bracts can be threaded onto the rope, creating a vibrant cluster, exposing their inner white flowers.

Saturday 24 January 2009

Botanical beading experiments ...

I've spent many happy hours beading since my post last week, but I have very little to show for it I'm afraid. When I first read the Etsy Beadweavers challenge theme 'Tropical Holiday', images of big bold hibiscus flowers sprang to mind. I sorted through all my beads and chose some gorgeous shades of orange, red and green and then spent several days working on the shaping of the petals, experimenting with increasing within the petals and also on the outside edges. The trouble with beadwork, or maybe it's the charm, is that it's sometimes very difficult to tell whether a design idea will work, without spending several hours (or even days!) trying something out, only to discover that a slight adjustment 20 rows ago would have been better! I'm also not very good at visualising the finished look of a flower after creating only one petal, so I tend to keep going and then decide if I like the finished result. To me, none of this is time wasted, it all provides valuable lessons about the different effects created by varying the choice of stitch, count and bead - as long as I remember to keep good notes that is! Anyway, the hibiscus just wasn't up to scratch but I still want to enter the challenge, so I have put all the part beaded orange petals into a bag with my notes and will return to it later. I am now working on new flowers that shout 'tropical' to me and I'm using hot pink seed beads - any idea what flowers I am working on? It's going well and so I should have photos of the finished piece to show you next week.

In the meantime, issue 14 of the UK magazine Bead is now in the shops and has the second in my series of flower brooches as one of the projects - Poppy Pin.

I was also very happy to learn that my Poppy Supernova choker was selected by the lovely Irith of RioRita as one of the items in her beautiful Etsy treasury 'Rainbow the Fourth' - thank you Irith!

Saturday 17 January 2009

Flowers everywhere ...

I'm still busy working on my entry for the Etsy Beadweavers challenge - Tropical Holiday. My piece will include some beaded flowers as usual, but I am trying out a new shape for me which is taking a bit longer than I thought, so I still don't have any pictures to show you. In the meantime, I believe the new issue of Beadwork magazine is now out and my icy blue and silver Frosted Flower necklace is one of the projects in there.

I also thought I'd brighten things up by showing you a picture of an Etsy treasury that fellow British bead artist Lynn Davy put together. It includes my 'red violet floral cufflinks' and is entitled Summer in the Meadow - isn't it pretty? Thank you Lynn!

Saturday 10 January 2009

Off to a flying start!

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm getting back into the flow of things after spending Christmas and New Year with my parents. We had a lovely time with lots of beautiful crisp frosty days. Long walks, good food, a drop or two of home brew and a glass of elderberry port which is only brought out on Christmas morning. I didn't manage to get much beading done over the Christmas break, although I did make Mum a bracelet and I got the hideous job of doing my accounts out of the way!

I've been busy beading since I've been back. I'm going to try and enter the Etsy Beadweavers challenge this time, the theme is Tropical Holiday which should provide a good antidote to the freezing temperatures here. I hope to have pictures to show you within the next week or two.

Things are busy on the publication front too. My Frosted Flower necklace is in the next issue of Beadwork magazine, my Poppy Pin will be in the new issue of Bead magazine and my Hibiscus Twist necklace is due to be in the next issue of Bead & Button magazine due out in March.

Other good news is that the lovely Caroline of Crafted Gems has included my Poppy Supernova choker in her gorgeous Etsy treasury 'Red Red and more Red'. Thank you Caroline!