Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Beading!

Today is my birthday, and also the anniversary of reciving my first bead loom...20 years ago.  I started to work on a project on the loom, but as a 4th grader had a hard time understanding just how to take the piece off and make it into a finished bracelet.  So there it sat, and next to it sat a pie-crust-tin-full of seed beads.  That tin of seed beads inspired me to start stringing beads, which I must admit, has never been my favorite thing.  My mother bought me the best bead book ever: "Native American Beadweaving" and in it had the pattern for a little beaded indian doll.  These tiny dolls were where I began teaching myself the peyote stitch.  Weaving each bead together one at a time seemed to grab me much quicker than lining them up on a string.  Those little Indian dolls are 11 beads around.  My bangle bracelets that I now make are about 160 beads around, with nicer beads.  :)
I still dabble on the bead loom, and only in the past year have I began to take an interest in stitches other than the peyote stitch.  I love the Russian Leaf stitch, and I have grown quite passionate about the St. Petersburg Russian Chain stitch with tiny little 15/0 beads.
Tomorrow I am taking my first bead workshop ever.  I have always been persistent on training myself with my beads, but I'm taking a leap and hope that I can learn from another long time beader and fashion artist, Huib Petersen.  I have to admit, I haven't been that inspired by Herringbone Stitch since I have taught myself this month, but I figure this will open new doors. 
2010, look out for great new bead designs to come! (Including beaded blob accents that are in the works!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Delicious Seed Beads!

These are the seed beads that I can't seem to live without for my Spring 2010 jwewlry designs!   I found them on our trip up to the U.P. (see http://jennyschu.blogspot.com/2010/01/beads-and-yarn-in-upper-peninsula.html).  I have plenty of seed beads but I always seem to collect more.  My current fetish is for size 15/0 beads (2 sizes smaller than your average seed bead, the 11/0).  This necklace is only 3/8 of an inch wide and it look very delicate.

 I've gone through the first 10g bag and am on the second with this Russian Chain necklace that I'm working on.  I bought the only 2 that were left in the store and it looks like I am going to need more.  They're this delicious fuschia/red color that has a fiery finish to them.  This piece will be sure to make any outfit pop!  Be on the lookout as I will put it up on my Etsy site before it hits the Grove Gallery Co-op. (This necklace will be similiar to my "Midsummer's Fairy Dream Lariat" that sold in January. 




Also, on the same trip to the U.P. I had found this fabulous yarn that I couldn't help but buy (even though I never spend $22 for a ball of yarn).  I had mentioned it in that blog and here's a photo of it.  It's actually making me think about learning to spin.  My mother can spin but I never had any interest in it.  Now, knowing that I can spin anything together is making me chomp at the bit.

Yummy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Back on the Loom!

Do not leave yarn to run rampant on your loom, as it may jump into your nearby wine!

The next Technology Innovation Center showing has the theme of "Where the Heart is" and I got inspired.  I'm taking a look at my shift from being raised on the farm and being a home body to loving living in a city (or multiple cities) and being close to everything.  It has to start with the barn I grew up playing in.  It stands alone as the place to escape to when you wanted to get away and feel the warmth of old wood and dry alfalfa flakes.  I guess it represents the me that never wanted to go anywhere or do anything, I remember saying that I had no need to travel or want to go anywhere because it was expensive and if I never saw it, then I never knew what I was missing.  I guess I've grown since then and am so excited to go to Europe for the first time in March.  Yay!  Below is my cartoon sketch that I pin to my tapestery as I weave.  I love to make my work become it's own thing, so the colors are not necessarily going to be what it ends up looking like.  I do the same with beadwork.  It's the lines that are most important to me in my sketches.



The shifting colored spirals have been with me and within my artwork for as long as I can remember.  I think they're the one this that will always exist in my work.  They not only represent my love of natural forms, but of movement and lack of control.  Spirals and vines fly out of my drawing utensils while I'm not even looking, it's my constant daydream.

I have also been enjoying tapestry weaving because it is so easy to use up my stash. I love picking up yarns and remembering the trip I was on when I found a particular one.  This piece will have hints of Mendicino and Oakland California, living in Madison Wisconsin, the stockings I knitted this Christmas, and the warp on the loom is the leftover from the wraps I wove my bridesmaids in March of 2009.  And yes, this is my first weaving since!



I know it doesn't look like a lot right now, and we won't know exactly what it looks like until I pull it completely off the loom.  It's much quicker to work from the back of a tapestry than the front.  Plus it helps push me along to finish  because I really want to know what the end-product will look like.  Each of my pieces have a bit of a mind of their own.

Hopefully I'll be able to get this tapestry off loom and ready to hang by its due date for TIC!

Halloween, Earrings and Kittens (oh my)

Wow, I've been so busy that I haven't had a minute to blog and take photos.  Mainly I've been working on fill for galleries f...