Saturday, December 30, 2006

Top 10 Bead Items of 2006

This year is almost over, and I've been thinking about what I think the top 10 bead related items of this past year.

Here are mine (in no particular order):

1. Kumihimo. I discovered Japanese braiding at Bead and Button, and have had fun with it ever since! Have you seen my Titania necklace
2. Micromacrame. I picked up the book by Kris Buchanan. The photos and projects were very inspirational. It helps that the C-Lon cord comes in over 50 fantastic colours. It's not the 70's anymore indeed.
3. Bead embroidery. I taught myself some of the basics, then took a course with Sherry Serafini - who really filled in all the blanks.
4. Cabochons. Now that I know what to do with them (see "Bead Embroidery" above), I love them. I have several awaiting some free time to make into wonderful jewellery. Here's my latest
5. Polymer Clay. I have a love-hate relationship with polymer clay. I finally tried it this year and found it in some ways as difficult as oil painting - I never got the hang of colour mixing - they all came out brownish grey, no matter what I did. Anyways, I'm perservering, and I certainly have some great ideas - just not the skills - yet - but I think the learning curve may be quite steep. That said, you should see the gorgeous polymer clay beads I've got from the wonderful Barbara Colautti.
6. Dichroic Aikos. I finally broke down and bought some.
7. Treenway Silks, especially the Montano series. Great for kumihimo.
8. Storing By Colour. I'm experimenting with storing my beads by colour rather than by type. That said, some still end up in their own places - like Swarovki, pearls, etc. It was really tough putting the Czech 10's in the same place as the Japanese 11's.
9. Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells. This isn't a new discovery, but rather a visitation with an old friend. Considered to be the beader's bible by many - and it really stands the test of time. Can only be outdone by The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving, also by Wells.
10. Nancy Zellers great new website: A very sophisticated and perfect site with lots of eye candy and useful information.

Happy New Year everyone.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2006 Beaded Ornament Competiton Advanced Category Winner

Advanced Beader: Jo Ann Woolverton. “Victorian Christmas Past” A saucy Victorian Christmas in a very vivid yellow! It’s obviously not Christmas as usual. Swarovski crystal cubes make this sophisticated ornament, a variation on a design by Anna Nehs.

2006 Beaded Ornament Competiton Intermediate Category Winner

Intermediate Beader: Ronit Florence. “Christmas Icons” Free hanging tapestry panels of the classic Christmas icons, Santa, Frosty, a Pointesttia and a Christmas Tree in the classic Christmas colours.

2006 Beaded Ornament Competiton New Beader Category Winner

New Beader: Courtney Davis. “Joy” We all need a little joy in our lives, and Courtney has realized it in a literal “Joy” ornament. Made in gold and sage green colours, it’s fantastically subtle and elegant.

2006 Beaded Ornament Competiton Youth Category Winner

Youth (9 – 15): Laura. “Snow” A wonderful design incorporating sequins and beads on a Styrofoam ball. The design at the bottom is charming.

2006 Beaded Ornament Competiton Child Category Winner

Child (6 – 8): Erika. “Hanging Present” A wonderful peyote stitched gift box with a pretty beaded bow and a fringe of more presents made of beads. Amazing original design too.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006