Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"Rivette" magazine tutorial

I am pleased to share a pendant I designed - called "Rivette" - which has been published in the December 2015/January 2016 Beadwork magazine. 
This is my first US magazine tutorial and hopefully won't be my last. 

Already I have had some ladies send me messages on Facebook saying they love the design
and pics of their pieces have been sent to me.

I hope you like the pendant and enjoy making one also.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

As 2015 comes to its end I often reflect on the year and take stock.

Less travel this year and no teaching commitments made for a more relaxed schedule. 
Although I felt somewhat lost for a good while there. It was strange not having to be 'on-the-go'.

I had bronchitis early in 2015 - the sickest I can ever remember feeling.
They say when you relax is when sickness can happen. Kind of making room for it.

I again entered the Battle of the Beadsmith with my "Francesca" design and lasted for a few rounds, That was nice to have happen.
I released my "Francesca" tutorial and it is one of my best selling tutorials. 

I entered an Australian competition and was in the top ten finalists. Since it was my own beading community, being in the finalists was very gratifying.

I accepted a teaching gig in USA for 2016 which I am really looking forward to - (more details later).

I managed to have a tutorial published in Beadwork magazine, that was great to achieve. 
You know it takes a year for something like this to happen. Sheesh!!

So, on the achievement level I haven't done too badly.

My passion for beading fluctuated throughout the year, coming and going, returning then leaving again.
New designs have been created - but not shown -  as I have plans for these in 2016.

A long friendship came to an end, without regrets. An even older friendship was renewed and strengthened, with much joy. Wonderful how nature balances !!

My attitude to retiring has shifted somewhat. Having wanted to retire at age 55 (but financially unable to), I am now 65 and financially able to. Earlier this year I realised I enjoy working two days a week. It gets me out of the house and interacting with others - not to mention it pays most of the bills  LOL !
Maybe the "wisdom" gene kicked in as retirement loomed nearer. 
So my job will continue as long as they want me there ! 

Having lived in my current home for over 22 years I am feeling in the need for a change of scenery. 
Maintaining a three bedroom house with front and back gardens is more than I wish for these days.       I have been craving a sea or tree change further out of Sydney but still reachable. 
I am thinking I'll rent my home then rent a property where I would like to live. Sort of  'try before I buy'.  I shall be exploring this further in 2016, after I get my home ready for rental.

That pretty much sums up the events of my year. How would I describe the year ??  
I would say 2015 was 'Grounding' - bringing me back to earth, back to myself, helping me to see 
where I want to go in the near future.

So with the ending of 2015 I wish all a Very Happy New Year
and may 2016 bring your heart's desire. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Friendly Reminder - Christmas Ornament Tutorials in my store.


The time for making Christmas presents and gift box ornaments is upon us already

I am taking the liberty to remind you I have a few items in my tutorial store on ArtFire.

If you like any and want to purchase the tutorial/s just click on the ArtFire link on the righthand side of my blog.

STELLA AUSTRALIS - the seven pointed star.

THE CHRISTMAS TREES - a tree ornament, gift box ornament, and earrings (if made in 15s)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Where is my Mojo? What do I Create Now?

I have been very busy fulfilling beading commitments and lately I have not had a lot of time to sit and play with beads. Since these commitments have been slowly fulfilled and taken off the 'to do' list 
I now sit at my bead mat, look at all the abandoned sample pieces and ask myself
"what would I like to make now?"

I wouldn't have a clue !!!

I have sat there, I have sat there and I have sat there.
I have taken samples, pulled them apart and put the beads away, just to give myself something to do. 
I have opened drawers of finished items and looked at them - asking myself "how the hell did I make this one?" "Do I want to make another?" Nah - that was then this is now!! 

I have been in this space before - no design ideas flowing.  Not knowing what to make, not liking what I do attempt to make, wanting a new direction, not knowing what that direction is.
I occupy my time, putting new beads away, tidying up my bead table - all in the hope something will trigger an idea. 

The longer I am in this space the more it begins to affect my mood. I find I become short tempered, irritable, the cat gets yelled at - even though the cat is the cat and doesn't change from one day to the next!!!  
It is me and I am disgruntled, I lose patience with other things, and I just begin to feel, lost, directionless, not very fulfilled. I worry that maybe my design mojo will not return.
Heaven forbid !!!

Who would have thought that beading governs so much of my everyday life?   

Is it the beading that governs?? or is it that small part of my day whereby I shut out the rest of life and immerse myself in "the NOW" - like the buddhists say we should do each day - meditate. 

When I bead I am totally focussed on what is in my hand, what I am creating - immersed in the NOW.
Am I missing the beading, the making of something new, or am I missing that time whereby 
I live in the moment?

To me it is a combination of both. A combination of time out (from life) to play (and create). 
That is what I am missing, causing me to feel unfulfilled. 

BUT - there is good news!
Whenever I have been in this space before - and there have been a few times - when my mojo is ready to flow again, generally new passion is forthcoming.  

I am looking forward to it so in the meantime, I deconstruct and tidy, making ready for the Mojo!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Christmas Tree - an eTutorial newly released

I recently finished writing the tutorial for my Christmas Tree.
This pattern is a beginner's level pattern and can be used as earrings, a tree ornament, a gift tag ornament for presents, as well as a Festive Season pendant if worn on a chain.

I hope you like them.
Click on the image and you will be taken to my Artfire Tutorial Store if you wish. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Sydney Bead Show - Part 1 - Lampworkers

Earlier this month I was happy to attend the Sydney Bead Show. Whilst there I got to thinking how we have so much talent in Australia and I was wondering if the rest of the world would like to see some.
I asked the Bead Show organisers if I may do a story or two for my blog and with their permission I would like to introduce you to some of our lamp workers and their art - in no particular order.

Wendy Bergamin - Bergamin Beads
I started lampworking around May 2007 I have been involved with art and crafts all my life, ever since I learnt to use a sewing machine at age six. I trained as a secondary school Arts and Crafts teacher and taught for over a decade. I then started beading wedding dresses for a private firm and had three finalist entries in 'The Gown of The Year' as 'The Little Aussie Beader'
After that I started a children's clothing label 'Birichino' followed by several years of making collectable teddy bears out of German mohair. This led onto making lamp work beads which in turn led me into making jewellery. I wanted to get more into jewellery so I went to several classes both here and in America with lamp work bead artists and lapidaries.
I have traded in shows around Australia with both the bears and then lamp work beads. I then went onto trading at the Bead and Button show in the U.S. I have been trading there for nine years now and for the past two years I have been at The Best Bead Show in Tucson. I sell lamp work beads, gemstone cabochons, which I polish myself, and also finished jewellery, combining both lamp work beads, cabochons and other gemstones.
For the last four years I have attended classes with Native American Indians and have been learning more metal working. I now do a lot of gemstone in Viking knitting and Kumihimo braiding with gemstones. My work is available on my website, at shows and also at The Studio at Flinders art gallery.

 Yunita YUDODIHARDJO - Yuri Glass Art  -

​I started lampworking around May 2007 after a 3 hour beginner class with a nice lady that worked at Finn's Glass, Revesby, NSW.​  I then read a lot of books, watched online tutorials that I could find, asked lots of questions on lamp working forums, with lots of practices in between. So basically, I'm self taught.

Encasing floral beads was the main reason I wanted to learn lampworking.  Jan Cahill and Kerry Harper are my favourite Australian lamp workers.  I mainly working on soft glass but occasionally I work on boro especially for sculpture works. I'm using cricket and mini CC torch with oxycon at the moment.  I mostly only melt glass on Saturday because I have full time job. (I work Sunday night - Friday morning)

Denise Smith - DKS Lampwork 
In 2003, I was talked into doing a lamp working class and fell in love with the process of melting glass to make beads. My beads are varied but feature a lot of flowers and geometric designs. 

All my beads are handmade by me in my studio in Sydney, Australia and go through the proper annealing process. I primarily use soft glass from Italy and the USA for their quality, vibrancy and colour.

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Brigit" The Goddess of Spring

When I first started beading we had a yearly Bead and Gem Show but with the global financial crisis the Bead & Gem Show became smaller and smaller and eventually ceased happening altogether.
 We were left without a show in Australia for a few years, which made it difficult to see and touch any of the new products coming into the market. 

Last year a new Bead Show began and was very successful (more will follow on The Bead Show soon) This year they held their first competition.
Generally I don't bother competing in anything, I don't really see myself as competitive, but this time I thought - why not have a go??

In April I designed "Brigit" and entered her in The Bead Show's inaugural Inspired Colour Competition. Here is Brigit's story and my inspiration.

In her maiden aspect the Goddess Brigit is honoured at the festival of Imbolc, which celebrates the first stirrings of Spring in the Celtic/Irish culture.

In my garden, due to a canopy of mature trees, not a lot of blooms happen. 
The first indication that Spring is on the way are my Clivias – luckily a shade loving plant and very prolific when flowering.  

Clivias can be found in a limited colour range with most of the common variety flower in varying shades of orange, therefore
I used the Clivia orange/s for my colour inspiration.

Not wanting to be too literal,  
the diamond shapes in my ‘rope’ represent leaves and how they bloom in varying shades of greens and different sizes. The three centrepieces are to represent the "flowers" of Spring.

I am not one who enjoys waiting to show a finished design so entering a competition in April and waiting to show images in September has been challenging and frustrating, but I managed.

Last week I received an email advising I was one of ten finalists in the competition. That was nice to know.


On Friday I attended the Bead Show and they announced the winner. Unfortunately it was not me but a beading buddy of mine. I was happy nevertheless as I am now able to show my design, and I hope you like "Brigit".
Will I enter next year? only time will tell.

I am very grateful to the presenters of The Bead Show and its sponsors for supporting Australian Beaders. 

If you would like to see the ten finalists and winner click on the link below

Sunday, August 23, 2015

eTutorial for my "Francesca" necklace is now available

Click on the picture above and you will be taken to my Artfire store for the "Francesca" tutorial.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Making the Count

I thought it a good idea to start sharing some of my beading insights and skills after all I have been beading for nine years now and surely have learnt some "tricks of the trade". I would also like to make this a practice on my blog and aim to share something more regularly - if I dont get too busy.

To start I would like to talk about doing a peyote bezel for a rivoli or a lunasoft cabachon - especially since I use so many of them.
My Seed Bead Count for Rivolis using size 11/0s:
In the nine years I have been beading I have found it easiest to double the millimetre size of the
rivoli and add four seed beads - it is as simple as that.
12mm Rivoli   12 x 2 + 4 = 28 seed beads
14mm Rivoli   14 x 2 + 4 = 32 seed beads
16mm Rivoli   16 x 2 + 4 = 36 seed beads
18mm Rivoli   18 x 2 + 4 = 40 seed beads

I know other artists will dispute this and that is okay. I have heard, and tried, other designers methods and over time found my method to be reliable - because I make it so.

You may say - "but what about the different types of seed beads???" That is a good question.

For this post, I am talking about using Japanese seed beads. Not Czech, Not Delicas, just Japanese seed beads and there are a lot of varieties.

Here you see a pic of some seed beads on a needle. You will note there are a variety of sizes even though they are the same seed bead from the same tube. Most seed beads have variations in size - you will get very thin ones, thin ones, medium ones, largish ones - all within the same tube of seed beads.

Artist's Tip: When beading, it pays to weed out the seeds that are too small and/or too large. I do not put them in my work. Whenever I have included noticeably different sized seed beads in my work my eye always notices that 'bump' or that 'dip' in the work. Very annoying!!  So I recommend you get used to culling seed beads.

You may ask - "But what about Toho seeds or Miyuki seeds?"  Yes, there are those seeds that are really good at being the same in size - BUT - you will still get some that are smaller/bigger.

This is where my theory comes into play.
I want to make a centrepiece, I want to have 10 pearls around the outside coming off the rivoli bezel. I require four seed beads in between each pearl to make it fit and not warp -
10 pearls x 4 seed beads in between = 40 seeds around my bezel. An 18mm rivoli is needed (see above chart).

When I am about to bezel a rivoli, I pick up my required number of size 11/o seed beads, I put my needle through the first bead picked up to turn it into a circle. I then place my rivoli inside that circle to see how it sits. Is it too small/tight??  Is it too large/loose??

Here you have a pic of two rings with a rivoli inside each. The seed beads are from the same tube, the rivolis are an 18mm, the seed count is the same.

The top one is picking up any seed bead from the tube and is too small.

The bottom one has a mixture of medium to large seed beads from that same tube. Notice the difference??  It fits the rivoli better !

The third image shows the seed bead rings and you can clearly see how much larger the bottom one is.

Is this confusing??  What I am saying is look through your seed beads and pick up the size of seed bead that will give you the count you require.

Making the Count to suit the seed bead: I wanted to use a particular colour Czech seed bead in a bezel once. I also wanted forty seeds in my count. Czech are smaller and would have required 46 seeds. So to achieve my needs I picked up 40 Japanese seed beads in the original ring to fit the rivoli,  then I used the Czech seeds in the peyote. That worked well as each time we do a row we want the bezel to reduce in size to surround the rivoli.

This method is simple and easily achievable. I hope my examples and the explanations are easy to understand. Should you need further clarification drop me a line.