Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to Beadweaving

Ever feel like you need a change? Or feel the need to get back to basics?

It seems that the bead embroidery bug bit me in a big way last year, and it's all I've been doing since. So I figured it was time to stash away my felt for a while and get back to where it all began...beadweaving.

Bead embroidery has always felt a bit like cheating to me...when you're finished stitching, you sew through to the back of the foundation, tie a knot, and you're done. No-one sees the mess because it's hidden away, conveniently covered up at the back. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that about bead embroidery! It has limitless applications, and I think I have barely only scratched the surface of what is possible.

Beadweaving, on the other hand, requires a little more thought and skill...knots must be ever so carefully hidden away inbetween beads. And then there's the challenge of weaving the beads together so precisely that no thread shows whatsoever. Ahhh, nothing like the sweet smell of perfection. My work station usually reeks (and sounds) of frustration, but one must have something to strive for, no? ;-)

So this week I've been playing, and dabbling, and learning. Oh, the fun of it all!

I decided to teach myself flat circular peyote stitch. My samples in pretty pastel hues are posted above. I haven't decided what to do with them yet. Perhaps they will end up strung between cascades of brass chain...or woven together en masse for an ever-so-girly piece.

I have also been dabbling in RAW (right angle weave), a stitch which I haven't used a great deal before. So far, I am very happy with the results of said dabbling :-) I can see this becoming a monstrously large and laborious creation. Funny how that seems to happen with everything I make. I think 'easy' and 'simple' were erased from my vocabulary as a child.

What I should be doing right now, is planning and starting on a piece for one of two current challenges on the Beading Forum...a 'Dutch-inspired' piece using dutch spiral, and a piece inspired by the movie 'Tron'. Whether I find the time (or the inspiration) to make a piece for either of these challenges is anyone's guess. I've never tried dutch spiral before (but what a great excuse to learn) and, not being a Sci-Fi fan in the slightest, I've never seen the movie 'Tron'. I've been told to think 'computers', 'futuristic', 'circuit boards', and 'Jeff Bridges in fluoroescent lycra'. Hmmmm...scary.

Right now, I'm just having too much fun playing :o) And I'm amazed by how much one learns just from playing. Ok, well that's my excuse for procrastinating, and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wind Dancer

When I was researching the humble hummingbird for this piece, I came across many stories of love and romance associated with these 'flying jewels'. One story I found particularly touching was an Apache myth about a young warrior named Wind Dancer. He could not hear, but he sang enchanting, wordless songs which brought fine weather and good health to those who heard him.

One day, he came across a young woman called Bright Rain who was being attacked by wolves. He rescued her and they fell in love. Shortly afterwards, Wind Dancer was attempting to rescue someone else and was tragically killed :(

His death heralded a terrible, bitter Winter which threatened the lives of many. The bitterly cold weather only ceased when Bright Rain started taking long solitary walks. Tribal elders discovered that her beloved Wind Dancer had been reborn in the form of a hummingbird, and appeared to her in fields of spring flowers. He would whisper magical secrets in her ear, and this brought her peace and joy.

After reading this touching story, Wind Dancer seemed an appropriate name for this piece. I'm always a sucker for a good lurve story :)

Hummingbird detail:
Fabric backing:
Clasp detail:

As you can see, after all my umming and arring, I went with a very simple clasp. Anything more would have been too OTT (over the top), me thinks.

So, one UFO (UnFinished Object) bites the onto the next one. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 13, 2009


The going is slow on my hummingbird collar, but I'm pleased to report that all I have left to complete is the clasp. And therein lies my dilemma...I have no idea what sort of clasp this piece *needs*. A bead-embroidered clasp? An S-clasp or toggle clasp? A bead-woven clasp? Any suggestions gratefully accepted!

Suggestions for boys names are also being accepted ;-) LOL

Here is the collar with the completed fringe:

And a close-up of the fringe:

I thought I would try a vertical, rather than horizontal, picot edge on this collar. Mostly to hide the foundation from showing through in a couple of places. I'm fairly happy with the result.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Lemonade Award

It's been a busy few weeks, and I feel awful that I have only just gotten around to posting about this lovely award.

My gorgeous friend, Sharon from
Mana Moon Studios, has bestowed upon me The Lemonade Award. The sentiment behind this inspiring award is that when life gives you lemons, you somehow manage to turn them into lemonade. The ability to turn a bad situation into a good situation, if you will.

I can't say enough wonderful things about Sharon, she's just too lovely for words! Her blog is one of my daily reads, and her warmth and humour really come through in her writing. Not only is Sharon a gorgeous person, but she is an extremely talented artisan also! With Valentines Day just around a corner, you may just find a gift for your special someone on Sharon's Etsy shop. Make sure you drop in for a visit!

Rather than pass this award on to one of my many deserving blogging friends, I would ask that you click on one (or all!) of the blog links to the right ----------->

Each and every one of my web friends is capable of turning lemons into lemonade (and some do so on a daily basis) and are therefore deserving of this award, so please show them your support and pay a visit to their wonderful blogs! :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Colour Blue...

Wow, is this pregnancy flying along. I'll be hitting the halfway mark next Monday. We had our 19 week ultrasound today which was very exciting.

All is good in Babyland...'Nemo', as bub has been affectionately known since day one ('IT' just doesn't roll with me, I need the baby to have an identity), is absolutely perfect and healthy with everything in the right place. All that us parents can ask for, really :)

And did we find out the gender? You betcha!


I'm thrilled to announce that we are having a bouncing baby...


*cue confetti and fanfare*

We couldn't be happier. My husband *knew* from day one that 'Nemo' was a boy, but I've changed my mind more times than I've changed my daughter's nappies in the last 16 months (that's a lot, trust me).

But let me just say that there was NO mistaking that our little man is, in fact, a little man ;-)


Now, bring on the blue shopping!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hummingbird update

Just a quickie from me today.

I'm sitting here dripping in sweat from the heat and humidity, and my bun-in-the-oven is trying to kick me off the computer...from the inside. Cheeky little monkey is going to be a footballer, me thinks. Or a karate champion?

Anyway, I digress. Here are my latest happy snaps of the hummingbird collar in progress. It is still a long way off being finished, but I'm making progress as quickly as a fat, sweaty pregnant woman can. The backing is done and I've started work on the fringe.

And the backing...I was rather pleased to find this fabric with it's blue swirls being so similar to the swirls on the front of the collar. I think it works. Not so sure about the royal blue edging beads, but can I be bothered re-doing them? Nah. I figure they'll grow on me. Maybe...

Waddya think?