Wednesday, January 27, 2010

UFO rapport update - one more down, MANY more to go!

In August 2008 I was sitting at home with two months old son, browsing internet while he was asleep. That month, I have discovered the Firemountain Gems galery of designs and learned my first name in beading - Tatiana van Iten. I loved her work, but could not figure out how it was made. Googled the name and came across her tutorial for the Russian leaves at That is how I learned my second name in beading- Zoya Gutina.

Why do I love their work? It is beautiful, it is crazy, it is ornate, it is different from anything else, and it is so... Russian.... in a way....

I really wanted to figure out how to make those things. Guess, I did it. Not sure if I would ever try to make another one of this kind again, though - we are talking straight 60 hours of coralling! Mind I'm a Gemini!

It is heavy. It is over the top. It is something I'd wear once in a year (at most). But I did it ;)

And the close-ups of the gorgeous stones of picture jasper:

Zoya and Tatiana - thank you so much for the inspiration!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pictures from Esther :)

Another of my "new year resolutions" is to take pictures of my jewelry more often - in the process of work, as well as to take pictures of my jewelry in general. Very often I am too quick to send the item to a customer, or to give it away to a friend or relative. So, my jewelry often finds a new home living very few memories behind. And with my current state of mind, my memory is good as the one of a goldfish.

Esther was kind enough to take pictures of the pendant that I made for our swap in November (here is what I got from her in return) .

Cheers, Es!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Year resolutions? No thanks!

I never promise anything to anyone. Or, rather, doing my best not to... The reason for that - there is always a chance that a promise can be broken: lack of inspiration, something urgent can come up, one can get sick, etc. And then you are standing there, bound by your promise, feeling stressed and guilty. No Thanks.

New Year resolution is also a promise. We can put it this way: just before the New Year I thought that it could be a good idea to finish at least some of the UFOs lying around in my studio.
At the moment, I am fighting total lack of inspiration. There are three semi-finished embroidered collars just lying and looking at me. And I have no idea how to finish them...
Oah well...

Last week I was trying to be a good girl and finished two of the UFOs.

Pink bracelet (hate pink, but this is a nice shade of it):

The central part for it was done last may (shame on me!), when I was taking an online course (read here). I've just added flat spiral on both sides of it. You cannot go wring with Swarovski! ;)

La Seine de nuit
: another attempt to do bead embroidery with soutache.

I've captures the round larvikite bead already in august last year, while preparing for a beading contest (read here). Still got a box of gray and black Swarovski and firepolished left after that contest, and it was a good way to utilize some of those beauties.

Finally: the bracelet called Lila. It was not really UFO, because I've made it to show on my bead embroidery class. I just never got time to take pictures of the final "product" ;)

Well, that's all for today! ;)
Have a nice weekend, All!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

WARNING for a virus - Leatherwork!

When time allows, I am hanging in Russian beading forum at Many of those ladies seem to have beading in their blood, and it is an extremely inspiring environment. Now and then, new trends are popping out and resulting in outbreaks of creativity among the forum users. Work with soutache was one of them. I was lucky not to catch the "triangular" virus (the entire population was making triangles in peyote). Another, more recent and way more dangerous bug is called leatherwork.

It all started with this brooch description. And then girls have shown some of their creations (just look at this one, or that one!). I am easily infected by those "creativity bugs", so I caught this infection in no time.

In the very beginning of my beading life, I bought one kilo pack of leather scraps. The only leather that is thin and soft enough for this sort of work is black, giving sort of a gothic feel about the jewelry. Also, this technique is perfect to hide uneven edges of hand-cut stones, as well as any other "problems" in the cabs that otherwise are difficult to mask.

Proserpina is listed in my Etsy-store.

More pictures of Pluto's Garden are here.

I also made this bracelet, using suede scraps. The surface looks extremely rough on the pictures, my camera just does not want to show the way it is in real life. :( Here are some more photos.

Next step is to continue experimenting and mixing beadweaving and leatherwork.

When on Earth will I have time to finish my Ocean entry? ;)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My preciousssssssssssss!

The most important part of this story, The Beginning, you can read in Rachele's blog.

I really liked the idea of swapping original beadwork. Rachele is a very talented beader, and I really enjoy competing against her in couple of latest EBW challenges ;)

This is the original picture of the Forest Path, the bracelet that I made for her, based on the "vibes" I got from talking to Rachele online. The stone in the middle is pyrite, which has told me that it prefers company of greens and bronzes.

And this is the fabulous bracelet that I have got back! I totally love it! Rachele not just made the embroidery, she has also made those stunning cabs by herself! The bracelet is just screaming "Rachele's Originals" all over it. I have had it on me every day since I've got it. THANK YOU, DEAR! That was such a lovely New Year present!

Well, there is another New Year present I've got! This time, it is from Holland, from Madame GreenEnvyDesign Esther Nejman herself!

I went to Utrecht in Holland for couple of days in November to talk work and molds with the local professionals. Since you can reach any part of Holland by train (and because everybody knows by now that Essie is my Karma Twin), we just had to meet! And we did. And we had fun. And we were drinking wine and talking beading. I made a pendant to Essie, which I have had no time to photograph. Essie, if you read this, would you be so kind to take a picture of it? Thanks a million, mate!

Essie has made a necklace for me that she has forgotten at home on the day we were supposed to meet. No worries, European mail service came to rescue and I got it! It is fabulous! I love those colors and the design is amazing!

Just look at this central piece, how cool is that?!

Essie, Rachele, THANK YOU GUYS!
I am very glad and honored to have a piece of/by you!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Me and my avatars

I have been thinking to change the look of my shop for quite a while. Went browsing other web-sites, asked around, searched Etsy... Finally, I came across a wonderful shop of MamoPlanet and saw those beautiful custom-made banners.
It klicked instantly and the search was over. MamoP made this beautiful banner for my shop. Amazingly, it just felt perfect once I saw it. And the dragon.... My very own water-winged dragon! I LOVE THAT DRAGON!

And there are two matching avatars that I will be changing between now and then (depending on the mood, I guess) :

Mamo, Thank You!