Three days ago an article "Boys Who Bead" was released in an internet magazine called Beading Daily.
I was the first for their article and I am pretty thrilled about it and very grateful to Jennifer VanBenschoten for inviting me to share my story. Thank you Jen.
I have been receiving congratulations for two days from people all around the world and from so many I have not chatted to or knew.
I received emails from complete strangers telling me they had been watching and admiring my work and are so thrilled seeing a story about me, so thrilled I am now releasing tutorials. I have had fellow Australians post up the story about me and offer congratulations to one of 'their own'. All were wishing me well and good luck and well deserved.
I know there are the Facebook 'knockers' out there in the big, wide world but my art and my passion would be very isolated if Facebook didn't exist. Think about that !
Now I can sit in the comfort of my own home, doing something that I truly love, playing with lots of shiny little things and seeing if I can make them into something wearable, something beautiful, something that somebody might get a little bit of pleasure making. I call that channelling JOY and how nice is that I ask???
I have Facebook to share that passion with and friendships that have developed because of that common 'playing ground', and believe me there are lots who gravitate to that playground.
From the sharing of my passion my world has grown enormously and mid year I will be travelling off to USA to meet people I have known on line for years and I am pretty thrilled about that.
Also through sharing my passion I am invited to teach my designs in Orlando, Florida in June and I am pretty thrilled about that too.
This Blogpost started out being a story to share my gratitude to Beading Daily but has turned into more a post to say thank you to Facebook, because none of it would have happened if it wasn't for me having a playing ground to share my passion on. So THANK YOU FACEBOOK
If you would like to read the article click on the picture and it will take you there.
Yesterday I received 5 copies of a book released by Lark Publishing called "Marcia DeCoster Presents" - Interviews with 30 Beaders on Inspiration and Technique
Why did I get five copies?? Because I am one of the 30 Featured Artists - pages 16 to 19.
Some of the jewellery I had featured were created in 2012 specifically for Marcia's book and not shown before.
Here are a couple of the items
to the right.
"Sputnik", directly below and my "Venetian Mirrors" bracelet.
I am in amazing company with all these wonderful beading artists, here are a few examples of who is also included -
Marsha Weist-Hines, Miriam Shimon, Kerrie Slade, Melissa Ingram, Beki Haley, Betty Stephan, Sian Nolan, Helena Tang Lim, Edgar Lopez and twenty more.
It is a lovely edition to have in your collection so check it out
It is great reading and a way to see what inspires other artists and how they design. Well worth a look.
In 2010 I joined the Bead Society of Victoria. This is the main and only beading organisation in Australia. The BSV run competitions for its members four times a year and I decided to enter a design in one of their competitions next time they run one. In September 2010 they set a challenge asking for submissions for a bugle bead design. The entries had to be 70% bugle beads.
The bracelet on your left was my entry into their competition and the image on the right, of the Chrysler building in New York City, was my inspiration. This is a classic piece of Art Deco architecture. I won the competition and I received a 'First Time Entrant' award as well.
I certainly was a happy boy, never having won much in my life before. I have shown this image here on my blog and on my Facebook before and I often receive a lot of comments.
It is almost four years later and my design has come to the attention of a lot of people on Facebook and again I've been asked to write the tutorial. I hadn't intended writing this into a tutorial but recently the requests became very strong and I thought I would be crazy not especially when so many ask for it.
I felt it needed a remake and made a little more sparkly.
Here is the the new version with a Swarovski Marquise Fancy stone as the centrepiece and as the sparkle. I also added a little extra colour and highlights into the design. The tutorial was released on Friday and it has been received with a lot of interest and comment. I think it is nice when your designs are so well received and requested. I guess that is what keeps me doing what I love to do.
Well 2013 has passed by and we are now into 2014. I hope your New Year's celebrations were fun and may 2014 bring you good health, much joy, and whatever else you desire.
I have been pondering the year passed and was thinking what does 2013 mean to me? How will I remember 2013?
My one reply to those questions is - I conquered any resistance I had to writing tutorials.
I had been learning the program to illustrate my designs for quite some time. I felt frustrated not having enough skills - talk about impatient! - I get really cranky when I have a learning challenge and my poor teacher wore my cranky-pants voice a fair few times. I found writing took me away from beading and it was too much like 'work'. I didn't want to write and yet I was continually being asked for tutorials.
In late August I finally released a tutorial for my Tapestry design and it was received really well. Now earning some dollars from illustrating my designs seemed to change my attitude to writing. Funny about that eh??
In late November I released two Christmas decoration tutorials and they 'shot through the roof' with sales and one of them has become my best selling item so far. So more ornaments will follow in time.
For the 25th of December, I had my first sale giving 25% off all my tutorials and at the same time I released my thirteenth tutorial "Isabella". Not having had any experience with having a Sale I was absolutely amazed at the response. My regular followers were always there to support me and lots of new customers were ordering 5, 6 or 7 tutorials at a time. I actually worked hard on Christmas day sending out all my orders. Talk about Santa being kind to me.
Yesterday I released my fourteenth tutorial, the first for 2014, for my newest design "Annabella". The tutorial has illustrations for three variations. To the left is one version.
I am very pleased with this design, it is so very pretty in person. Sometimes I have personal favourites when I design this piece is one of them.
So, 2013 will always be seen as the year I started illustrating and writing my designs. What is in store for 2014? I am still pondering that one.
Yesterday I had an idea for a pendant and sat to experiment. I made the centrepiece for this quite quickly, embellished it and all was going well.
Time for the edging. I did MANY different edges on this pendant.
I had 2mm crystals involved - no didn't like it.
I had 3mm crystals involved - no didn't like it.
I made it larger and had more twin beads - no didn't like it.
I used the silver 15s near the red twins - no didn't want silver near the red.
I used size 15s and 11s - some warping happened.
I eventually worked out the warping and played with colours to come up with the one you see above. It was okay and thought I would sleep on it and see how I felt in the morning.
I woke this morning and was quite okay with how it looked, took pics and posted it on Facebook.
I sat to make another one so I could get the steps into my mind and under two hours it was completed and I had an edging I love - the one on the right.
Something I enjoy doing is decorating my home for Christmas.
For the last four years I have spent Christmas at home alone as I have been completely over Christmas by the time it has come around. i am glad I did that, however last Christmas I did not enjoy being alone and vowed I would spend it with friends again in 2013.
Well I am thoroughly enjoying it being Christmas this year. I guess having those alone times has re-invigorated me to get all inspired and have friends around again. I have old time 'jukebox' music on, bopping around the house, decorating, singing and Facebooking, all at the same time and now blogging as well…..LOL
I have been decorating the house for an early Christmas Sunday lunch, tomorrow, and I thought I would like my sister Sue, in Perth (the west coast of Australia) see what I have been doing so she feels a bit more involved. I miss her.
Above is a wreath I decorated for the front door. Each year I make it a bit different. On your right is a Christmas tree I made and each year decorate it a little bit different also.
Below are flowers I have on the mantle for tomorrow's lunch. You can see a self portrait - when I was 41 - on the wall and another in the mirror - what I look like now LOL.
On the bottom right is another tree with all my beaded stars on it. I thought I could have this on display tomorrow also.
So sister Sue, here are some pictures for you darlin' so you can see how my home looks during Christmas. Loads of love to you and your family, Merry Christmas.
This morning I started out making one thing and after half an hour I pulled it apart and started another star. Obviously I am not finished with these Christmas stars as yet.
It started out being a bit of a problem and eventually I was able to get it to work. I enjoyed making this one very much and feel it is my best star so far.
The points are different. each second point is concave and then alternates are convex, so it has a sculptured look and catches the light more. The reverse side is similar, just slightly different and also beautiful.