Sunday, July 12, 2015

I need 2 other me

The last months, I didn't write anything here. I thought that I would write one post per month, but couldn't find time/energy/material to write something. Not that life is boring. I'm just too busy with the book Diamond Weave. The thing I regretted not blogging about was my Etsy shop's B-day, but the special sale had a great success. I'd like to say that I am deeply grateful that there are so many of you out there liking what I create, and even taking time to tell me that you do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I wish that I had 2 other me. I'd bead, my second me would work, my 3rd me would be with husbest taking a holiday. But even with that math, there are so many beautiful beads, so many designs crossing my head, so many lovely things I would like to make, I don't have enough of a life to do it all. This is why I like to put things out to the world and see what others come up with.

Today I am happy to share something new with you. But first an update about the book about Diamond Weave.

Seduction, necklace and collar
with the crystals on the outside
Everything is in place. 200 delightful pages of photos, illos, texts and graphs. We are nearly done with the corrections and more corrections and more corrections (it seems to have no end). I'm fortunate to have wonderful proofreaders who come up with great suggestions and encouragement. I'm deeply grateful.

The last steps are the hardest. I learned and re-learned a lot. For example: I have been doing and undoing a necklace a gazillion times just to find out that, as the French say "better is the ennemi of good". Read: you cannot always obtain the result you envisioned with this or that material in this or that design and forcing it won't solve the problem. Right. I hate that. I generally succeed in making what I envision, lol. In my latest neklace, 'Seduction', the embroidered part also reminded me to not overdo things. Read more about this necklace farther in this post. 

It's been a struggle translating my best knowledge in the clearest possible way to enable the future readers to make all the projects in the book. There is something for everyone. For all levels. My friend Darcy Rosner says that all the beaders will be beginners with this stitch. That sounds surreal. It means that everything I write, each word or expression about the weave and its variations will have double impact. It makes me feel responsible, and vulnerable too. In fact, publishing something, a photo of a creation, or a text, is somehow quite frightening. I rethink everything a million times and still doubt "couldn't I say this better" or "wouldn't there be a more accurate word for that". For example, with DW, cylinder beads wedge into one another, mutually stabilizing each other by ... imbrication? overlapping? capturing the corners? What's best? This has taken a lot of time and work from both Gerlinde and myself trying to find the best description, explanation, and simple and precise words. And then suddenly I rewrite whole pages because we found better. Dang. Writing in English is not natural for me as French or Dutch. It takes a lot of concentration and time. But it's nearly finished!

When I get tired from Diamond Weave and writing and illustrating, I bead something with a different stich. This is Klapukin, with a cab from Kinga Nichols, and kheops beads from Puca, and the idea for the setting from Klazine de Bas-Verdonschot. Klapukin sounds like the name of a game, which it actually is. Playing with beads. I hope to write a tutorial for this soon.

Complex Bail

I also made a complex, jeweled bail with dimensional peyote and would like to develop it further, make it easy enough to explain in a tutorial too. It initially was supposed to be a bezel for the pendant (from Nikia Angel's Etsy Shop) but it is the small size. If I had the big size, it would look more harmonious, I think, but... I would perhaps succeed in making the bezel and wouldn't have made this bail. It's a beautiful mistake. I hope to make more mistakes like that in the future.

It may sound silly, but playing with other stitches is an antidote these days. Not that DW is poison. Not at all. I love it, it is marvelous. You will love it too! The poison is when work, work and more work puts the fun in the shade. Kinga Nichols describes that very well in her blog post of a few days back.

I made my latest necklace when I needed a break. It is a nice beady adventure. A combo of Diamond weave and Peyote, MRAW and bead embroidery.

DW embellished flask
Top of perfume bottle
It started as a gift to myself - a lovely little perfume bottle - and as a challenge to myself - the colors Custard, Tangerine and Marsala are not my comfort zone. I regret not having a photo of the 'nude' flask, its body is light topaz with lovely cream speckles, and the top is opaque in exactly the color of the brick red pearls I used. Now I adore the colors and also what I made. I thank Nancy Dale for sending this lovely flask made by Tan Grey to me. I embellished it with Diamond Weave in the Round.

Positioning of artwork

I also created a collar with 'collapsable' links to make a beaded curb chain. Something I hadn't seen before. I bought beautiful 25mm red magma Swarovski asymmetric flat back squares, matching perfectly the curve of the links with their 'wonky' aspect, and a huge pile of firepolished beads. I hesitated between using the crystal stones or beautiful artwork and suddenly though 'hey, use both - to protect the back of the crystals and for a reversible collar.

I made a short video to better show the MRAW links the collar is made with. I appologize for the quality, I am really not at ease in videos. Also, I thought that cable chain was the right word for this, but voilĂ , now I know better.

I had another hesitation. I loved both the perfume bottle alone and the curb chain alone... Here again, I decided to use both together, but freely. They still can be worn separately. Design-wise it was quite a challenge to put together the two parts; in short, I went through all stages of creation to find the best middle part offering balance and transition of color and use of beads. I'm very happy with the result.

Bottom part alone
I started the bead embroidery over and over. The griffin's and the dragon were more beautiful on their own than surrounded by beads so I finally ripped off the bead embrodery. The result is lighter, better balanced if worn without the collar.

The 'bezeling' method of the image is made as in Diane Hyde's book, Break the Rules. It is a very nifty way to embellish and frame an image. If you haven't tried it yet, you should. The fan-shaped brass blank is from Diane Hyde's shop. I printed and sealed the images myself. Plenty of images. It took some time to find the right subjects.
The closure was a real adventure. This collar needs to be hold firmly, otherwise it could unfold. An ordinary clasp would not have helped. I though of using a shunky magnetic bracelet clasp, but it would not have been reversible, and I would not have been able to add the second part of the piece.

Here you can see a photo of the open link I made using two Elegant Guide Rounds on the inside of the link, to pass memory wire through the extra beads. The memory wire forces the link to remain closed even when both the necklace and the collar are hung from it. The collar is kept well in place. It still is a bit prototypy. In fact, it was very difficult to make due to the angles in the wire. I would like to improve the concept but I don't have enough time now. As said, I need 2 other me.

Closure with both the collar and the necklace attached.
It can be used for the necklace alone too.
Closure in the make

I wish that I could go to Boston in October to meet with those of you who are going to the the seed bead summit organized by Kate McKinnon, to show you how gorgeous it looks when worn in real life. But, as you probably know, I have to stay away from lights, sun, neons  or spots... If you can go, do yourself the favor! I will be present in spirit.

See below the photo for the names of the masters and their work shown in the images.

Seduction, shown with the artwork on the outside.

Squares from left to right:
Frank B. Dicksee, The Mirror 1896
François Boucher, Jupiter in the Guise of Diana, and the Nymph Callisto, 1759
Leopold Schmutzler, Young Girl with Jug 1864–1941

Fan shaped image:
Dicksee, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, about 1890

Thank you for reading this far. Now I'm going back to work. :-)