Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Africa-challenge: I did it!

Pfew, I'm done with the Africa challenge.

First of all, I discovered that I know virtually NOTHING about African art. Ok, voodoo, masks and sculptures do not count. And I knew a little bit about kitenge or kangas, the fabric that can be used as a gown or as a baby-carrier, here is the picture of the one I use for my kids:

But back to the challenge... First that came into my mind was batique and those huge spiral wire necklaces and earings that masai women are wearing. But then I learnt that batique was brought to Africa by Europeans. As to masai necklaces, they indeed are gourgeous but hardly comfortably wearable.

And than my husband took me for a day-long trip to Stockholm right after the Christmas. We were browsing in the Old City and I have discovered a tiny shop of African art not far from the royal palace. There I've saw those fantastic bronse handmade beads, made by craftsmen in Burkina-Faso. I just got to have them. There were several multistring necklaces on display there as well and all over the sudden I understood what I wanted to do. This is my little tribute to African folk art:

I've put it on display in my Etsy shop, somebody perhaps might like it enough to buy. ;)

Still figuring out the Beach and Tropical Hollidays...

Monday, December 29, 2008

I need YOUR help to identify those stones! Thanks!

This is a freeform peyote bracelet that I made for Etsy and called Arctica. The cabs that are used in it were bought from Firemountain Gems in a half-kilo pack of assorted stones. So far I have two guesses - it might be a sort of white opal mined in Russia under the name kaholong, or it might be a moonstone. The first guess comes from girls from a russian seed-bead site, the other one is a guess of a lapidary artist from a little shop in Stockholm. He even said that the stones are of superb quality and rare to find nowadays. I am a bit doubtful about his guess, since the pack of one pound has costed me only 12 US dollars. What do you say?

Stone Nr1:
Stone Nr2:
Stone Nr3:

And this is just a picture of it on our patio:

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Challenges / Utmaningar

Happy Hollidays wherever you are!

We have survived Christmas :)
My generous Swedish maternity leave has come to its end. I will start working on 12th of January. That might mean less time for beading. Or, it might also mean as much time for beading as before, but less time for sleep ;) Will see, will see.

Now, to the challenges. I have become a member of Etsy BeadWeavers (EBW) Team, and would love to participate in their monthly challenges. Here you can read more about the EBW December challenge. January topick is Tropical Holliday... So far I've got nothing besides aloha and orchids on my mind.

As a member of PärlPlatsen, I have two more challenges due in January: Africa and beach. It seems that peopleare gitting tired of winter here ;)
I've made some research on African art and bought couple of gorgeous handmade brass beads from Burkina-Faso i Stockholm yesterday. It will be a necklace, I think.
As to the beach-theme, I think it will be a bracelet with amber. More I dare not say, I had some ideas that did not work.

However, my biggest challenge this moth will be finding time to bead for those challenges ;)

Stay tuned!

P.S. Spell-check is out of function. Sorry about that ;)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa's Little Helper

Last weeks I've been beading like one of the Santa's elves, making Christmas presents. Let me show you some of them.

This one is for my mother in law, I called it Aurora Borealis (check out the gorgeous pictures of the phenomenon taken by Jan Curtis).

The stone is labradorite, one of my absolute favorite stones. It might look gray and simple at the first glimpse, but when the light hits it - oah my... it sparkles and shines in all the colors of rainbow! I think the stone reflects a bit what kind of person my mother in law is...
I do not know why, but people tend to use labradorite mainly in combination with silver, perhaps partly due to is main color. I think that this stone looses a lot when surrounded by beads and metals of similar "shades of pale". I think it deserves gold (or in this case - gold filled).

The second necklace is called Lycopodium or Galadriel's moss. Lycopodium (stag's horn clubmoss) is one of the most ancient plants known on this planet, its spores are known for their healing properties.

Why Galadriel's moss? I just love Elves, that's why ;) The rope of the necklace is crochetted with Miyuki 15/0 and C-lon D. It was a pain in the neck to make it, but well worth the effort! The rope is thin and shiny, and just runs between the fingers. The central piece is made using coralling technique with Miyuki Chartreuse drops on the end of each branch.
Who will get it? Fiancé of my husband's best friend, all three are hopeless roleplayers ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Angel has been finished.

I've been idle for a while, both kids were sick. But now it is finally over! And I can upload the last pictures of the Snow Angel.

I had some trouble with fringes. I tried with Sherry's inspired ones first, and it did not work at all, judge by yourselves.

But they looked nice anyhow ;)

Than I have tried three more versions and have finally made up my mind. Even my husband, who was very much anti-fringe at the beginning, has agreed that the necklace looks better now ;)

This is the finished Snow Angel.