Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Link Full of Eye Candy

I have been remiss in my posting, and it is likely to continue for the next few weeks. I am moving to Cleveland Ohio from South Carolina.  I am gathering about me a few essential items: pots, pans, utensils, dishes, coffee grinder, clothes, toothpaste, a couple of good books, my computer, and boxes of beads.  The rest of my household will be in storage for a few months. 

Most of my beads are packed and stacked.  Despite that, I keep finding stray tubes of Delicas and bags of swarovski crystals.  How is it they are so fast to migrate from their home?

While my life is in chaos for the next few weeks my posts are going to be scarce and lacking photos.

To keep you dropping by I will try to write something insightful and to keep your aspirations high I will post a few links.

To that end, have you ever seen the work of Marilyn Radzat?  Spectacular!  Ms. Radzat makes fantasy art through sculpted figures.  Put aside an hour or more and page through her gallery for breathtaking dolls.  Do not miss a gallery- there are 9 of them.

Her website can be found here:  Marilyn Radzat

One last thing before you leave, if you know anything about Cleveland and are willing to share I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Really Big Giveaway

I don't enter every contest because not every contest features items that I use; I understand that if I do not enter it will increase the chances of some other person winning.

I also don't blog about very many contests for pretty much the same reason.  Although, the trade-off is that I am also not pointing other people to places they might not find anyway.

Today, I am both entering and blogging.  Art Bead Scene has a really big giveaway.  There are already over 250 comments from people wanting to win- including 2 from me.  I am guessing that many of those comments are from people who have blogged about the giveaway, since I read about it from other blogs that I follow through my RSS feed before I ever saw the contest in my google reader.

This is quite a giveaway.  There are beautiful headpins from Havana Beads:

There are yummy wood tile pendants from More Skye Jewels:

I just love those colors.

There are charms from Hint Jewelry (in my RSS feed) and Marsha Neal Studios:

And there are a lot more...  enough to remind you of what it felt like to be a kid with a big pile of gifts just waiting to be opened.

So, drop on by this post at Art Bead Scene and drool over all the pretty beady goodness then enter to win.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Horace Goodhue: Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns

I was just reminded by Mandy at Beads for Brains: 365 of one of my all time favorite books: Horace Goodhue’s Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns: Chain-Weaving Designs and Bead Loom Weaving-An Illustrated "How-To" Guide
Horace Goodhue Book Cover
I purchased my first copy of this book in the late 1970’s at the museum at Cahokia Mounds.  Cahokia Mounds are the largest mounds north of Mexico and they were designated a World Heritage Site in 1982.  If you are ever near St. Louis take an afternoon and go for a visit.

I have since purchased two more copies of this book, and if need be I will purchase it again.  It is not fancy.  There are no color photos and in what photos do exist the details are difficult to discern.  The diagrams are hand drawn.  Mr. Goodhue developed his own acronyms, e.g. TB for turn back.  Nonetheless, this will always be my favorite beading book.  Apparently I am not alone in my fondness for Mr. Goodhue as the first review in Amazon is by none other than Diane Fitzgerald.

When I picked up this book, I was a beginner.  I am absolutely sure that instructions these days are a better vetted for clarity and the diagrams are more informative.   Yet, I still recommend it for beaders at all stages.  This book includes instructions for Oglala Butterfly, Daisies, Ladders, Peyote, and much more. 

One of my favorite patterns is the Apache Leaf pattern.  It makes a beautiful short necklace with just a simple embellishment.  I am sorry I cannot post a picture my necklace has been misplaced after 30 years! 

I am also quite fond of the pointed zigzag which makes a great band for supporting a focal.  It is a quick stitch with substantial width that lies nicely on the neck.  I used this stitch for the neck strap of the necklace pictured below. 

Pointed Zig Zag neck strap from Horace Goodhue's instructions
This book can be picked up directly from the publisher: Bead-Craft or from your favorite used book dealer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Celtic Knot Loomed Necklace

Full length Celtic knot loomed necklace
This past week I have exchanged comments with Gwen Fisher on a variety of topics including loomed bead work and Celtic knots.   Gwen created a short video showing how she creates Celtic knots.  I wish I had seen something like this when I was painstakingly graphing this necklace. 

I love this necklace.  I love the colors: amber beads with an iris finish, silver hued dark green, and ivory colored beads with a pearl finish.  I love the crystals and pearls of the fringe.  I revel in the feel of this necklace; it is smooth and silky to the hand and let me tell you that fringe is great fun to play with when you are wearing the necklace

What I don’t like about this necklace is the length.  From end to end this necklace is 27 inches.  When I designed this necklace I counted the rows of another loomed piece.  What I didn’t count on is that my size 11 beads were larger than the beads in the necklace I used to calculate the number of rows I would need. 

Despite the length, and my short stature, I wear this necklace on occasion.

For those of you with an interest in extraordinary loomed pieces, please see Erin's blog: Beads Beading Beaded.  I guarantee you will be inspired.

Following are more pictures of my loomed necklace.  Click on the pictures for a larger view or visit my Flickr stream which can be found on the side of my blog.

Front center knot, showing fringe
You will note on some of these closeups a bit of fuzz where the nymo has frayed a bit with age and wear.
Finished end of knot work pattern.
Another closeup of the finished end of the center knot work pattern.
I used the knot pattern below as a "spacer" between parts of the necklace
Repeating knot work pattern

Middle knot work pattern

The back part of the necklace was a rather more simple braid pattern.
Back or Top of necklace featuring braided knot work.
Finally, below is the back center of the necklace.