Friday, December 18, 2009

Earrings...and some beaded beads

Following are my first ever attempts at creating earrings. I don't know why I didn't make any sooner. Quick and easy, and requiring a minimum of materials, each pair was created in a few hours. Perfect for Christmas gifts :)

The bronze/turquoise pair was created with delicas, Czech fire-polished beads, copper daggers, and size 15 seed beads:

The turquoise pair was created with Czech seed beads in sizes 11, 8 and 6, Czech pressed glass leaves and a couple of turquoise stones. Not real turquoise, probably dyed howlite:

The purple earrings were created with purple AB crystal teardrops, delicas and size 15 seed beads:

And the back:

And just for fun, some beaded beads in crazy, bright colours. Can you tell I'm not afraid to use colour? LOL One day I'll learn how to tone it down ;-)

This photo taken in sunlight better shows the true colours of the beads. Vibrant, huh. I made up each bead as I went along, using cubic RAW, triangle weave, or a combination of both. These were so fun to make. And quick! Three hours of beadweaving produced the set of five, which I have collectively named 'The Moulin Rouge Collection' because the colours reminded me of those a cabaret dancer would wear! LOL :-)


Tis the season...for making beaded gifts!

This necklace is winging it's way to its new owner as we speak, just in time for Christmas. I have named her 'Angelus' which is Latin for 'angel'...the central motif looked angel-like to me:

It was frustratingly difficult to take a decent photo of this piece. The twisted hematite bugle beads are so sparkly in real life, as are the crystal AB rondelles. Anyway, you get the idea:

Detail of the central 'angel-like' motif:

I wanted the double-sided toggle clasp to reflect the rest of the necklace design. And this is what I came up with. What do you think, does it work?:

The whole design came together so quickly, starting with the central motif, as if by magic. Don't you love it when pieces work that way! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lady Ferocia

Life will sometimes deal us a hand which is unfair, a hand that we do not deserve. It will put a mountain in our way and we are forced to climb it. A friend of my father was recently dealt such a hand, and so I wanted to make her something which would empower her during the difficult journey ahead. A symbolic shield, if you will.

'Lady Ferocia' is the necklace that resulted. A bead embroidered paua shell pendant hangs from a spiral rope of Czech seed beads and hex cut beads, in shades of blue iris and black.

'Ferocia' is Latin for 'courage' or 'high spirit'. It seemed an appropriate name, conjuring images of a brave and strong woman who can conquer the world.

Detail of the paua (pronounced 'power') shell pendant:

The reverse side of the pendant, backed with black felt:
And detail of the spiral rope. I love the rich, luxurious rope created with the blue iris seed beads and hex cut beads. It has a lovely weight to it:
Thanks for looking, and be well!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vintage Rose

Time to learn something new...and beaded beads took my fancy this week. Easy peasy and oh-so-quick, I think I'm fast becoming addicted. Instant gratification seems to be my thing lately! :-)

These beads are made with a very simple RAW cube base which is then embellished. I wondered what I could do with the sample principles learned, but in the flat rather than in the round, and this pendant was the result.

I made up the pendant as I went along (the story of my beady life, eh!) I'm not sure what stitches I used, perhaps netting? Never having done netting before, I can't say for sure. Feel free to inform this clueless beader!

The large round beads are unakite (a difficult colour to match...but opaque olive and rose-lined clear seed beads seemed to look ok). Throw in a few large etched glass rondelles, a sprinkling of olive crystal bicones, and you have my 'Vintage Rose'.

I may actually wear this piece myself, instead of giving it away or throwing it in a box under my beading desk... *gasp*

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Evergreen Unfurling

This necklace began with a tube of size 6 Czech seed beads. My lovely Mum picked the tube, drawn to the earthy hues which ranged from emerald green to milky cream to mottled amber. And I promised to make something for her with them.

Six months later, and they are finally at home in my 'Evergreen Unfurling'...

The size 6 seed beads were woven into a twisted tubular herringbone rope along with some green delicas. Using beads with such a size difference results in an obvious 'corkscrew':

The unfurling fronds were made with two-drop square stitch, and the golden flowers with two-drop ladder stitch and simple fringing:

And a flower bud yet to bloom, a Czech fire polished bead encased in seed beads:

Lately I've enjoyed combining bead-weaving with chain. The lazy part of me likes this form of instant gratification. This necklace, had it all been beadwoven, would have taken me three times as long to make. With my beading time so limited these days, I'm all for a shortcut here and there ;-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Branch of the Bodhi Tree

A beader can never have enough stitches in their beading arsenal. St Petersburg stitch was added to my cache this week, and it became an instant favourite. It works up very quickly and is easy to learn. Give it a try! The double version of the stitch reminded me of leaves, and so 'Branch of the Bodhi Tree' was born.

The Bodhi Tree was a large sacred fig tree under which Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment. (Incidentally, the term 'bodhi' also means enlightenment.)

The 'leaves' hang from twisted tubular herringbone ropes, separated by brass spacers

The St Petersburg 'leaves' are tipped with wooden rondelles

Detail of the St Petersburg 'leaves'

Detail of the clasp with a small St Petersburg 'leaf' and a brass Buddha charm

Thanks for looking, and may your day be enlightening! :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sea glass pendant

It has been a long, long three months without my precious beads. How happy my hands were to rediscover beadweaving after such an arduous absence! Life is once again returning to a steady, familiar rhythm, and so I am able to bead. Joy!

My latest humble offering is pendant of sea glass hanging from a simple twisted tubular herringbone necklace.

Have you ever wandered along a beach and collected a piece of tumbled glass which has been washed upon the shore? It has been a favourite ritual of mine since I was a child. There is something enchanting about these remnants of times and places unknown, offered up by the sea and carved by Mother Nature. Not knowing where they have come from, nor how long they have been tumbled by the ocean, is an enticing mystery.

This particular piece of green sea glass had a story to tell and so I had to give her a fitting home in which to tell it.

I added a simple fringe, reminiscent of coral or seaweed.

I purposefully left the back of the pendant open. When backlit, the glass gives off a beautiful green glow.

A simple toggle with three square-stitched rings makes the length of the necklace adjustable.

I encased the sea glass with right angle weave and peyote stitch. The openness of the RAW lets the glass receive light from all angles.

My sea glass necklace is making it's way to a lovely lady who has been a family friend since I was a child. She is one of the most vibrant and generous people I have ever known, and her heart is as big as her smile :) She spent countless hours making a gorgeous cot quilt for my daughter and so I wanted to repay her with a small token of my gratitude. This particular piece of sea glass was found on the beach very near to her home, and so I feel it needs to be with her. I hope she likes it :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A new beginning...or two

Tomorrow is a new beginning.  

Well, the same can be said for every day.  

Each day is a new beginning, full of possibility, and chances to learn and grow and make your mark on the world at large...or even just your own immediate little world.

At the moment, my own mark on the world involves such serious issues as how to remove poo stains from baby clothes...or how to deal with a toddler going through every parents worst nightmare, the 'terrible twos'.  (And on that issue, I feel ripped off...India isn't even two yet! *doh*)

Welcoming our gorgeous little boy, Jett, into our world just under 10 weeks ago is about as major as any new beginning gets. Whilst our daughter, India, has always been abuzz with more energy than a Mexican jumping bean, Jett is very much the chilled out, sit-back-and-take-it-all-in-my-stride kinda dude. He is as cool as a cucumber :) The smiling and cooing has started, and it is just about the best thing in the world!

So a new baby is a BIG new beginning.  But tomorrow heralds yet another BIG new beginning for us.

We're moving interstate. And I don't just mean a hop-skip-and-jump across the state border. I mean we're moving across the country. Literally.  


Yes, our newly expanded family is moving from Sydney to Perth, east coast to west coast. A mere, oooh, 4300kms...give or take. No mean feat, let me tell you!

So while most of my time over the last few months has been preoccupied with looking after our two little darlings, I've also been packing up our belongings and organsing our big move. You can understand why my beading has, sadly, been pushed way down the list of priorities.  And oh, how I miss my beads!  Boo. Hoo.

Packing my beads away was a sad task. I dragged it out as long as possible. I couldn't bear to put them all away at once. Not that I've had time to bead lately, but it's nice to look at them, to touch them, to let them inspire more ideas to add to the many already swirling around in my sleep-deprived brain...


Alas, my beloved beads will have to wait. For now.

So our new life in Western Australia begins tomorrow. Exciting? Yes! Despite the chaos and stresses of the last few months, I am so very, very excited about our new life. New ideas, new inspirations, new opportunities, new beginnings...

My darling husband and sympathetic brother have spent the last four days driving across the country, towing the biggest U-Haul trailer you've ever seen, which contains all of our worldly belongings.  And I get to fly across with our most treasured possessions, India and Jett.  

So please spare a thought for me tomorrow as I board a plane for the six-hour plane trip across the country.  You did read that I have two kids under two, right?  God help me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Look what I made! :)

Jett Cooper Saville - eight hours old

It is with utter joy and delight and love that I introduce you to my beautiful baby boy, Jett Cooper Saville.

Born at 1:17am on Sunday 12 July and weighing 7lb 3oz (he's so perfectly tiny!), Jett couldn't have had a more perfect entrance into the world! He was five days overdue, but well worth the wait ;)

After a rather long and tiresome pre-labour which began on Friday night, the 'real' labour kicked in at around 7pm on Saturday night. I laboured away at home until midnight when I told my husband that we needed to get to the hospital. Jett was born (whilst I was kneeling in the shower! LOL) just over an hour later, after six hours of established labour and only seven minutes of pushing! Gravity works wonders, eh! ;)

It was one of the most beautiful, pleasurable experiences of my life. I still can't believe how good it felt to push! I had the benefit of all of those wonderful hormones surging through my body, and I just surrendered to the process and let my body do the job it was made to do. And it did the job perfectly! To have a natural, drug-free labour was everything I had hoped for and soooo much more. Jett was alert and awake straight away and couldn't wait to have his first feed. And I felt so well that we were home just 12 hours after the birth!

I couldn't have done it without my wonderful husband...he provided the most perfect support I could have asked for. It was a magical, surreal moment when we were both kneeling in the shower, having a little cry over our newborn son. Certainly a moment that we will never forget, and forever cherish.

So I am still on Planet Babymoon, enjoying every minute with our gorgeous little boy. Being a mummy to two is wonderful and to see our 21 month old daughter kiss her baby brother on the forehead ever so gently is enough to bring tears to my eyes. Life doesn't get much better than this :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Garland of Galatea

She is finally complete! My entry into the Beading Forum's monochromatic 'Rockpool' challenge was a labour of love over many weeks. I'm sad that she is finished, she was such a delight to create :-)

Using tones of teal and turquoise, I set about recreating rockpool creatures in tubular herringbone and peyote stitches, circular peyote stitch, and simple fringing. Each creature is three-dimensional and was created as I stitched, none of my designs were pre-planned. Experimenting and playing brings about unexpected and delightful results!

The finished necklace looked like it would be at home adorning the neck of a sea nymph. Galatea was a sea nymph in Greek mythology and one of the Nereides, 50 nymph-goddesses of the sea. And so "The Garland of Galatea" was born...

Detail photos of various urchins and anemones:
Detail of the toggle clasp, a miniature urchin!
Detail of some of the starfish:
As each creature is dimensional and individually fabricated, I took my time ensuring that the reverse side was as attractive as the front! Here is a photo of the reverse side of the necklace, and detail photos of the reverse sides of some of the urchins and starfish:

If you managed to make it through all of the photos without your computer self-destructing, I applaude you! And I welcome your comments :-)

Now that she is finally complete and I'm 39 weeks pregnant, I guess I should start thinking about giving birth... LOL