Wednesday 22 February 2012

Show time!

If you have been following my blog recently you will know that towards the end of 2011 I was invited by The Beadsmith to join an on-line group of international bead artists who were all asked to choose a couple of clasps from the new 'Elegant Elements' range and then to incorporate them into our designs to show possible ways to use them.  So first I created The Family Tree using a lovely little nest clasp and then I made The Dream Divers using a beautiful domed clasp that reminded me of a turtle.  Shortly after that, Steven from The Beadsmith contacted me to say that his company was going to be attending a trade show in the UK which was quite close to where I live and he asked if I would be interested in showing some of my work at their stand ... what do you think I said?

Yes of course I jumped at the chance!  I also suggested that Steven send me a couple more clasps so that I could make a bigger display showing even more ways to use these high quality clasps.  This gave me just 10 days to come up with some new designs and get all the beadwork finished and ready to display.  Although I did change the clasps on a couple of recently completed pieces so that they could be included, I can tell you that evenings and weekends were cancelled as I pulled out all the stops to get everything finished and ready for the show.  My fingers were quite literally bleeding by the time I stitched the last bead into place but I think it was worth the extra work.

I spent two days at the show meeting and chatting to old friends and making new ones, helping out at the stand (a little!) and talking to people about my work.  Of course people weren't only interested in my work, there was a very eye-catching glass case at the edge of the walkway filled with stunning work created by some of our talented US friends (such as Nancy Dale, Linda Roberts and Cynthia Newcomer Daniel) and as they twinkled and sparkled in the lights they caught nearly everyone's attention.  Don't forget that you can drool over the work from all the artists in the 'Elegant Elements' group in this Facebook album.

And now it is time to recover from all the glitz and the glamour and return to my beady greenhouse to see what will be making an appearance in the Midnight Garden next ...

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry

It's been such a busy couple of weeks here in the beady greenhouse that I completely forgot to share some exciting news with you!  Some time ago I responded to a call for entries from Lark Crafts for images of beadwork for their new book Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry: Photographs of Beautiful Contemporary Beadwork and I am thrilled to say that I have received notification that two of my pieces have been accepted.  One of my favourite beading books of all time is another book from Lark - Masters: Beadweaving and I remember the exact day in 2008 when I received this as a present, I spent hours and hours poring over every photograph, daunted and inspired at the same time but never imagining that one day I would have pictures of my work in a similar publication.

I won't show you pictures of my pieces that will be in the new book as I don't want to spoil the surprise for you, but if you are in a position to, I would heartily recommend that you pre-order this book at its new lower price so that you can dive into it as soon as possible.  If you are an experienced beader I am confident that it will provide you with lots of 'oooohs' and 'aaaahs' and 'why didn't I think of that?' moments.  If you are new to beading then I just know that you will feel the same way that I felt about Masters: Beadweaving and I hope that after you've got over the initial overwhelmed stage, that it will ignite your imagination and set you off on a journey of your own.

And now I must hurry back to my beady greenhouse ... something leafy is just about to sprout!