Saturday, November 30, 2013

A new Star and new Tutorial - Anahata Star

I have been experimenting with Christmas decorations again and this is my fifth design and my second tutorial "Anahata Star" One star with two different sides.

Symbolism of the "Anahata Star":
Heart Chakra - Anahata - related to the thymus, located in the chest. The Thymus is an element if the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It is the site of maturation of the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Anahata is symbolised by a lotus flower with twelve petals. (See also Heart/Mind) Anahata is related to the colours green and pink. Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.

Perfect for this special time of year, attributes definitely required for Christmas celebrations.

Just click on the image and it will take you to my store or click on the purple avatar on my side panel.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More Christmas Stars

I have been playing some more making different stars in time for the Christmas Season.

To the right is my "Stellar Australis" star and the first version of my "Anahata Star".

On the left is one star different on each side. I am currently writing the tutorial for this one after being requested to do so.

I think I could spend a lot of time making Christmas designs as they are great fun to make.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stellar Australis - the seven point star

I have just finished writing a tutorial for a Christmas decoration I am calling "Stellar Australis" - a seven pointed star - after the star on the Australian flag.

My previous six point star attracted so much attention on Facebook I felt I wanted to simplify the design and write a tutorial so those who purchased it would have time to get in what they need and still have time to make it for their Christmas Tree.

If you are interested in a tutorial just click on the image and it will take you to my Artfire store.

Religious/occult symbolism of the seven point star:
The heptagram was used in Christianity to symbolize the seven days of creation and became a traditional symbol for warding off evil.
The heptagram is also the symbol of perfection (or God) in many Christian religions.
The heptagram is known among neo-Pagans as the Elven Star or Fairy Star. It is treated as a sacred symbol in various modern Pagan and witchcraft traditions. Similarly, it has been adopted as an identifier by some members of the Otherkin subculture. Blue Star Wicca also uses the symbol, where it is referred to as a septegram. The second heptagram is also a symbol of magical power in some Pagan religions.
In alchemy, a seven-sided star can refer to the seven planets which were known to ancient alchemists.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My first Christmas Ornament.

A few mornings ago I thought I would have a try at making a Christmas ornament. I was in need of making something different for a change.

I have learnt a few things from doing the rick-rack designs and wanted to put the learning into this star.

I worked on the 'front' side of my star - image to your left - and was very happy with how it looked but overall I was disappointed. I felt the back had to look nice also and the very tips of the points didn't bling enough so I put it aside, not certain I would finish it or pull it apart.

I left it alone yesterday morning as I just wasn't into playing with it anymore. I spent the morning tutorial writing instead. This morning I woke and thought I would continue tutorial writing, got my computer ready, made my coffee and as I sat down I looked at the unfinished star.

I immediately wanted to play with it again, with an idea of what to do for the 'back' side. Needless to say what I intended to do and what I did do were completely different.

I covered the rivoli back with size 15/o seed beads only to decide I preferred it uncovered. I went ahead and surrounded the bezel back in 2mm crystals and made a smaller 'star' like shape emanating out from the crystal ring. As I placed the teardrop crystal on each star point I was also enhancing the 'front' as this teardrop could be seen both sides.

To give the 'front' star points more bling I added a Swarovski marguerite flower crystal to each point. That sure took care of the sparkle.

To your right is the 'back' of my star with a pale centre and the teardrop points. To the left is the 'front' of my star with a gold and white centre and the teardrops on the back can be seen here also.

Overall I am very happy with the results and glad I didn't pull it apart. Sometimes we need to leave things alone for awhile before we can move forward again. This is a perfect case of the benefit of being more patient and waiting to be re-inspired.

I am a little late for writing a tutorial for this in time for people to make for Christmas but it shall be written and ready for Christmas in July and definitely for Christmas 2014.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Second Rick Rack design.

Here is my second venture into a Rick Rack design from Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.

I had a specific idea when I started out on this piece, but along the way the ideas for variation flowed so readily. I had to turn that "voice" off in my head and go with feelings in the end.
Too many options was becoming too confusing. These are a lot of fun to make and I can see I will continue to explore with them but not before I order more delicas.

It was running out of two colours that determined where I finished. I am happy with the results though.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork

There is a book called Contemporary Geometric Beadwork put out by Kate McKinnon. 
The book ISBN 978-0-9816468-0-0 

I have had this book for awhile and found it has amazing images of a huge variety of designs. Every time I thought to have a go at making one I would put the book down not knowing where to start or which one to try.

Finally I persevered and here is my finished item I call - "Whimsy". 

I started with a Modified Right Angle Weave - MRAW Page 157 - as it allows you to increase/decrease to get your shaping straight away. I then did a few rows of my patterning and removed the MRAW and it comes off so easily. Some people include the MRAW to achieve a double layer edging. I did mine with a double layer peyote edging.

I found making this very addictive and was always wanting to see how the patterns would look so it became very hard to put down. After doing quite a bit I was disappointed I had started with 7 peaks in the design so I then decided to see if I could make more peaks, feeling I had nothing to lose.

Well that was a great move as I ended up doubling the peaks to 14 and little "windows" to embellish became evident.

All the time I was making it I kept my mind on 'play', just play with the colours, play with the patterns, keep it fun and not get precious about it.

I think that was the right decision to make.

When I finished, I sent a picture of my design to Kate McKinnon who has since 'interviewed' me on it, asked for more images and has promised my "Whimsy" will be in her next book
Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volume II

Should you wish to see more of Kate's amazing pieces here is a link to her website.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Featured in Marcia DeCoster's new book

Quite some time ago Marcia DeCoster asked if I would like to participate in a new book she was planning called         "Marcia DeCoster Presents", featuring 30 bead artists and their work. Naturally I jumped at the chance. 
Being able to share my ideas and creative process along with all these other artists is a great opportunity.

Today they released the cover image for the book and now I am finding out who the other artists are being featured. Some of them I already have a Facebook friendship with and I am thrilled to be grouped with such talented artists. 

I met Marcia at a workshop she taught in 2010. I was very keen to talk with an international beading artist and learn what goes on 'out there' in the big beading world. Marcia was very gracious and more than willing to 
share her learnings, and has been very supportive of me ever since. I have huge gratitude when I think 
of how supportive Marcia has been. 
Many thanks to you Marcia.

The picture above is a link to pre-order Marcia's book if you are wanting one. Just click on the book image and it will take you there. 

It is all very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing my work in print. I will show some images of pieces I have in the book soon, as I've not shown them before.