Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ode to Czech seed beads

Thought I'd treat you with another creation of mine (modest? moi?) ;)

Seriously though, this is one of my favorite pieces, made almost entirely of Jablonex seed beads. On Facett, we had several hours to complete a piece that was made only with seed beads and beads of max. 3mm in size. No books, no internet, just beads we've got with us or that could be found in shops on the show (selection of just seed beads was quite restricted).

BUT, there was one shop that I loved. Here is the link: Beaded Jewelry. The owner had an amazing selection of 13/0 and 15/0 true cuts, as well as Jablonex 11/0, and I just went for it.

I wanted to make a carnation, and it was challenging to make it look different from the gorgeous hibiscus flowers of Kerrie Slade - an artist whom I respect a lot.
That flower is made with 11/0 garnet and some Matsuno 15/0 ruby red AB. It is the largest in this bouquet, masuring 1 inch (2.5 cm).

The crocus on the left is made of the charlottes 15/0 (so beautiful in real life!). The stamens are made of 15/0 charlottes, plated with 24K gold, and their heads are made of 1.5-2 mm Swarovski crystals.

The entire composition is 7 cm long (a bit over 2.5 inches).

First prize in "Small bead jewelry" competition. I won a big pack of marvelous Czech beads!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back from FACETT-2010!

Sweden is smaller than Russia or U.S.A., and there are less beaders living here. This weekend, MANY of us, Swedish beaders, have gathered for annual Facett beading convention in Stockholm.
That was so well needed beading vacation! I met many old friends and made many new ones, gave two workshops in freeform and took one myself (polymer clay). It was just SO MUCH FUN, you cannot imagine! Organizers, you rock!

I spent fortune on beads ;) However, I've managed also to win some... After three days of non-stop beading, I came home with six new additions to my Etsy store - those will be added gradually.

One of the beading competitions that I have entered was named "Maffigt!", that could be translated as "Bib". The stuff made for it was supposed to be just that - bib. Earlier that day, I've bought some sparkly dichroic cabs, Czech charlottes 8/0, round 6/0 mix and Bali-style beads that were somewhere inbetween bronze and gold. The idea struck me like a lightening. The huge glass cross came into the picture a bit later that night, it was necessary for ballancing the composition.

I called it "Gothic Magpie". It feels a bit vampirish-gothica-something, but not that dark. The cabs remind me of the european magpie (Pica pica). Had to link to a picture, because the Australian magpies look totally different :)

Will be on display in my Etsy shop as soon as I find a measuring tape ;)

P.S. Oups, forgot to mention - my Magpie won first prize!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flowers for Patricia - EBW Spring Swap

It is always fun to stretch ones comfort zone just a bit.
To be honest, I am not so fond of beaded flowers (actually any man-made flowers that is). However, sometimes, beaded flowers can be pretty, and what is much more interesting - they can be challenging to make.

Another thing that I am not comfortable with, is a combination of green and pink. Once again, when put in the context of "challenge" it is becoming a really fun thing to try!

This necklace was made for Patricia Vener, a talented beader from the U.S., a fellow member of Etsy Beadweavers Team. I am trying myself in ndebele stitch, making beaded flowers, and mixing greens and pinks ;)

To see more of absolutely wonderful creations that my team members made for the Spring Swap, please visit the blogpage of Christine's Beadwork.

I am patiently waiting for my swap piece by our dear Naan... It was sent from Italy couple of days ago, but, together with most of the European airmail, has been delayed by the volcano in Iceland. No comments ;) Just hope it arrives safely! I adore Naan's spirit and the beadwork that she does. It is going to be a nice surprize, I am more than sure about it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dreams of Pandora: The Dragon Rider

This is the next necklace of the "Dreams of Pandora" series (see Avatar The Movie for details). At the same time, it is the latest of "my own, my precioussssssss" series as well: it was intended for display in my Etsy store, but I just do not want to part from it.

I just wanted to make my version of Toruk Makto: the Dragon Rider of Pandora. It is a bit like ancient people were recording stories in their dress embellishments - I was telling my story about Avatar ;)

Here is toruk, and an ikran flying besides it:

Here are the eyes of Jake and Neytiri:

There also are the braid of Na'vi and the holy tree of Eiwa:

And here is myself, exhausted by writing FREAKING scientific grant applications...

Two more weeks of this madness and the last application must be turned in. Wish me luck, ppl!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Beauty of The Spring

Spring has finally arrived even to Scandinavia!
The snow is gone, but it will take a while before everything will get green. First flowers start to pop up here and there.

So, what have we got here? A combination of spring, longing after flowers and a generous offer of the blogging program of Artbeads.com. I have chosen to work with several types of glass beads this time: a HUGE Swarovski cabochon, my favorite Toho seed beads, Czech firepolished (4 beads, to be exact) and some tiny-winy 2 & 3 mm Swarovski bicones.

The rope is made in 3D RAW. It certainly looks best with even beads, and Toho has a great shape for this sort of work. I've picked some transparent seed beads to mimic the gentleness of first flowers of spring: bluebells and liverwort. Sparkly Swarovsky bicones draw a bit extra attention to those.

The focal Fancy Oval is just the quintescence of SPRING, as I see it. It is sparkly, but does not overwhelm the composition (IMHO). I've captured it with RAW.

The necklace will appear in my Etsy store soon.
Sorry guys, I gotta brag a bit about my own little spring oasis!

DISCLAIMER: the beads used to make the necklace were kindly provided by Artbeads.com free of charge, within the Artbeads Blogging Program.