Thursday, October 12, 2017

Beads in my Bedroom

Except on paper (sketching), I had never beaded in my bedroom. But last Monday (October 9th 2017). I decided to go there for it is the only quiet place to film a video explaining how to do fast peyote with increases, using two threads. I talked about this method on Facebook, and one of my beady friends said that she was waiting for somebody to show it to her for she didn't get it right. So I thought that it would be nice to show it to all. It is a cool, fast method, and spares the tendons.


You'll see that I am far from being a pro at making videos. There are a couple of big sighs in it, because I have difficulties saying things right - I've always had, also in writing: I often say later what should come first, and vice versa. I also tend to mix up 'stitch-string-add' etc. Because of fibro, I forget to mention things I wanted to mention... and count the beads more times than shown in the video. This results in a lot of editing in both writing and filming. I hope that you will understand it despite the little cuts.

I am happy with the sound from an avian point of view. My first attempt to film this technique was ruined by a lovely, but deafening Figaro. I love my birds and Figaro and Charly are no exception, but they are noisy beasts. Seeing that I can't ask them to shut up, the bedroom appears to be the right place. It is actually really odd to not hear them at all when I am not talking. Next time I think that I'll leave the door open to at least hear them a little bit. I miss them :D

Figaro, Fluff' the Puff', and Miss White, sun bathing.

They are quiet at night, but then I still can't film because I'd need spots and those of you who know me, know that I can't use spots - also not for photography. The natural light in the bed room appears to be good enough - there is a huge window, letting lots of light enter the room without direct sun light.

Now there must be a fire polished bead somewhere in a corner of the room, because I am sure that I heard it fall. It makes a different sound than a seed bead, and seeing that I was adding those lovely faceted bead to the belly of my fish, there were FP on the BOI-board.

So now you may ask what fish?

May I present to you Takato, named after his 22cm real-life model, a big oranda living with us:

Takato and Takato
It is a purse that came together completely naturally. I had a little purse that I kept in my stash to reuse to make this fish. It had a very precise idea in mind since I wrote the book Diamond Weave (DW) but never got to make it. Then one day I saw Julia Turova's beautiful bead-knitted frog and it reminded me of my project.


I didn't want to bead crochet or knit. I wanted to use the beautiful pattern I imagined with the Diamond Weave Chinese Coin Motif stitch (variation 10 with Thread Cover Beads - TCB) for the back of the purse. It was a difficult project, but with plenty of "luck" - many things were made without having to undo or redo them, like the fish butt. I can't believe that I made it right immediately, because I actually was like "OMG how am I going to join it all and give that fish a nice shape? And there, a petal initially made for the gill plates that was too small got transformed into a "butt", which even appeared to be the perfect support for the tail. I call this beading with the Universe. Ask and you are answered. The next petals that I made for the gill plates were again too small, so I kept them for the tail. I really had many "how could I do this, improve that", and each time I asked myself, the answer came like magic. Everything fell in place better than I could have imagined. For those who wonder, petals are a two-increase form that is a very versatile component, The free tutorial can be downloaded by those who are part of my "From Petal to Pod Group" on Facebook - if you want to be part of the group, please drop me a note.



The head, tail and gill plates are peyote petals. The pectoral fins are pear-shaped peyote, based on a Monte Carlo Bracelet (a design by Gerlinde Lenz tutified by me at her demand), the pelvic fins and dorsal fin are made with herringbone with increases and last but not least, the tiny little anal fin was made with brick stitch. The bezels around the eyes were made with circular peyote.





I also used Diamond Weave - the full hexagonal variation no. 3 with TCB - for the belly, which I embellished with a myriad of fire polished beads (which was something I had the feeling it was begging for repeatedly, lol).

Beading this purse was something awesome. I posted in-progress photos on FB and had a myriad of encouragements, which I appreciated very much. It helped keeping the motivation up. It took

11 days of intensive beading
2 days of forced rest, a bit of physio
Orange AB seed beads size 11/0 - 24g.
Red AB seed beads size 11/0 - 21g.
Topaz AB seed beads size 11/0 - 14g.
Dark gold permanent finish seed beads size 11/0 - 12g,
less than 1 g. coral lined size 15/0
less than 1g. 24Kt gold plated size 15/0
2 glass cabs
1 permanent marker, black
1 red coin purse
3 needles (size 11, 12 and 15)
1 bobbin of Hana thread "Gold Fish"

And voilà!

With the left over beads I am thinking of beading a lanyard - for the purse frame has some sort of loop for that, a chain tab. But I have to go back to work and write tutorials to add to my shop, for I need to feed my other (real) pets. Did you see that I listed the tutorial for the Pinwheel cuff, and another tutorial for a pretty, dainty bracelet, "Florets"? It is made with the same DW variation as used for the belly of the fish. So fast to make, it will knock your socks off.


I hope to do a tutorial for this, when my video skills and illustration software will have improved, for that are actually the reasons why this and some other designs are still not tutified - like the Samurai Pod and other 3D things. Working hard on it, and the video about fast peyote is part of the learning process.

 




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

National Beading Week & Perlen Poesie

Cosmic spirals
Hello dear friends,

I should take the pen more often, for now I have plenty of exciting news to share with you and for some things, I really am late (and sorry about that). For other things, I had to wait for a green light...

I didn't procrastinate the past months, oh no. I beaded a lot. I studied the behavior of several Cosmic Spirals, using heptagonal Diamond Weave. It seems that it took forever to create the tutorial, but finally it is here! It is some sort of master class, for advanced beaders, and knowledge of Diamond Weave is necessary. If you have never done Diamond Weave before, there are other tutorials in my shop that are less difficult to start with. There also is a free video showing you the basic stitch, available on the FB page of the book, which I made for the second birthday of the book, as well as for International Beading week. I hope that you'll find it inspiring.


International Beading Week, what is that? In July, with National Beading Week (NBW) coming up at the end of the month, we beaders all got excited about the many "bead alongs" organized by talented designers, like the lovely Katie Dean of Beadflower. NBW is a beady celebration taking place the first week of August. It was initiated by the Beadworkers Guild 3 years ago in the UK to bring beading to a broader audience. Lots of free tutorials are offered by designers for this occasion. Among my contacts on FB there were plenty of people not in the UK who also wanted to be part of it, and we thought that it should be International Beading Week. So without further thinking, I created the International Beading Week group on FB for them, to share the fun with the whole world. I also contacted the Beadworkers Guild about it for it is not something separated, it is the same as NBW. Did you know that the Beadworker's Guild is open to members around the world? If you become a member, you will receive their awesome quarterly journal and more. Learn more about it here.

IBW August elements
IBW September elements.
As the Swiss say, the above information comes a bit "like a hailstorm after the grape harvest", but it took much more time and effort to set up the group than I thought it would, and I had many other things to do and write.
However, know that you can become a member of the FB group any time. We are slowly heading towards the 2018 edition of Beading Week by making each month something in the color of the banner. It can be anything. I made peyote hexagons and peyote Yukka flowers. When we'll have all the colors of the banner done, we'll assemble it all and celebrate IBW/NBW 2018. You can participate if you wish. It is fun!

You may also like to read Katie Dean's blog post about IBW/NBW, and visit the dedicated website sponsored by the Beadworkers Guild for more information about the 2017 edition.

Faraday Cuff
And now the news I couldn't tell about earlier: I created a project for the beautiful Magazine Perlen Poesie for the month of September and one for December. Let me present to you the Faraday Cuff, named after Michael Faraday, known as the inventor of electro-plating!! and his famous anti-electromagnetic cage made of metal mesh, that stops radiations / emisions.

It is a bracelet with beautiful Art Deco flair, made with a Diamond Weave octagon-stitch. I hope that you will love making it, especially those of you who have so many bugle beads and who told me that there are not enough patterns using them ;-).

I will list my own tutorial for the Faraday Cuff on my website in November. In my tutorial it is explained in my style, and in the Perlen Poesie issue of September, you will find it with their explanations in their style. Note that is in good company.

Perlen Poesie no. 34
Perlen Poesie is a beautiful beading magazine available in German and in English. The two founders of the magazine, Andrea and Freddie Ott, travel around the world to meet with beady people and discover everything beady to share it with us later in their columns. In this number (#34), the wonderful Nadya Gerber is in the spotlight, and her cover project is awesome. In addition to that, there are many other talented artists who designed beautiful projects for this edition. I really love the name of this magazine, because when you think about it, this is exactly what we make. Poetry. Poetry with beads. We often tell stories with our beadwork, and this as beautifully as possible, exactly like a poet artfully tells stories with beautiful rimes.

Now the most exciting news: Andrea and Freddie came to meet this crazy bird, fish and bead aficionada that I am, in my old flat here in Switzerland... They are totally adorable. We talked and laughed and had coffee and cake and I showed them my creations and how I work. And we talked some more. They took plenty of photos and ... 
... drum roll ...

The lovely Andrea and Freddie Ott sandwiching me :D
in December you will be able to read their article about yours truly!

There are no words to express how much this honors me, but let me try to describe it: being on the cover of this magazine is like having your very own star on Hollywood Boulevard! I have sort of an "I can't believe that it is true" feeling. It's a dream!


About the project in the December issue I cannot reveal more but one thing: what you will learn from the Faraday bracelet will be helpful for the next project. ;-)
Happy beading!!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Shop, New Designs, and my Toho Challenge piece in an Advertisement in Bead and Button Magazine

Today 16 May 2017 is the day of the opening of my beautiful new shop. 

I left Etsy, or let's say it as it really is: I'll let them 'suspend my seller's rights' on the 18th, because their new mandatory payment system is not very sustainable for us here in Europe. I hesitated to do this when their obligation to collect VAT on our sales of electronic files resulted in 30% increase of the price of a tut for some customers in Europe, because they are a gigantic platform. But I'm not. I stayed because Etsy's advantages still outnumbered the disadvantages. However, their rude e-mail, less than 4 weeks ago, not giving us a reasonable deadline to change (on purpose, I guess) ended up being the incentive I needed. Please forgive the mistakes and imperfections - tell me about them so that I can improve your shopping experience. Or just write to say what you think about it, I'd be really pleased!




I thank Mikki Ferrugiaro who paved the way and opened a shop with IndieMade a simple, inexpensive solution to easily build a nice website for stand-alone-artist like me who don't have a phd in i-technologies. I also thank Heather Collin who gave me a simple but very efficient tip that was that the listings, once transferred by csv file from Etsy to Indie, could quite easily be modified to become digital items instead of physical items. Certain things among which shipping need to be adapted. I suggested a profile be created for a bulk modification and maybe you will soon benefit from that option in the future. Their support is extremely fast and good. And sofar the cyber attacks of the past days haven't affected the shops hosted there. It may be a little bit slow at some moments, because of the firewalls being active, but that is another reason why I am happy with them.

Sadly I will loose the 5-star feedback you folks gave me on Etsy. I would like to thank you for that, and for your support over the past 4 years. If it wasn't for you wonderful peeps and for beading, this would never have been possible. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.




Note: the thank-you coupon code which was valid in my Etsy is also valid in my new shop (the Etsy shop will be closed on the 18th of May 2017). I hope that you will visit often to discover my new designs, or maybe order something custom-made. I love to make OOAK jewelry, things with a meaning. 


To welcome you to my new shop, you can have a special 25% discount on your first purchase. Use coupon code

CATHSNEWSHOP

to include before you complete your order.


This is valid only during 2 days on your first purchase

***correction - this is valid until the 20th of May 2017***

In French they say that "a good new never comes alone". In English it is always plural, and it's true:

My arms are better and my desire to create and write tutorials is back. I'm working on pretty designs and tutorials for you. Preciosa Ornella sent me Farfalle beads and Twin beads to participate in two challenges in February and March that greatly inspired me, and both designs I made were chosen as winners. 

The tutorial for the February design is already available, I called it Farfalle stitch, a new pentagon stitch mixing DW variations. It draws lovely little butterflies, bows or pretty flowers.


  

I will soon work on a tut for the Pinwheel cuff, winner of their March contest:


 

Right now I am working on the tutorial for the beautiful Cosmic Spiral (below left) based on Colimaçon spiral (below right) part of my Toho Challenge. It offers lots of options, you can use many sorts of beads, and make it spiral a lot or a little.


  

"Time has Wings" will be exhibited in Milwaukee in less then a month - it pleases me to be at the show somehow! Toho chose my design to appear in an advertisement in Bead & Button Magazine, which makes me feel very proud:




The photo in the ad shows only the Wings of my piece - see everything and learn more about i in my blog article about the inspiration and wip regarding this piece. I am so happy with how this piece came together. It represents two months of true creative bliss. This piece made me realize how much I love beading.

You can see more photos on my blog, but also in the portfolio on my website where you can (re)discover my work other than the tutorials (still adding photos).

Last but not least, you probably know that the book Diamond Weave was finally published on Amazon through their Print-On-Demand press. I couldn't be more proud of it! I was happy with the POD option because printing only what is necessary represents a limited toll on Mother Earth, which is a subject dear to my heart, as you may know. However, Amazon is admittedly very expensive when a book exceeds a certain number of pages, so if you have been waiting for the book to be published electronically, you might be happy to learn that it is available in my new shop as a PDF, an even more ecological solution! The reviews about the book are very positive, which makes my heart sing. I hope that you will enjoy it too. It is a 200-page bundle of bead bliss and knowledge with great projects, beautiful photos and clear illustrations.


  


Writing about all this, I felt the sudden need to found the group of Indie Beadweavers, which I immediately did. I nearly started working on the blog, but I really need a good rest now, and many things need my attention: my plants are nearly dead and my apartment needs a good clean.


I'd love to have your feedback about all the above!

Thank you very much for your support!
&
Happy Beading!


Cath


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Friday, May 5, 2017

Time has wings - TOHO Beads Challenge 2017- I put my soul in every bead

I'm so happy that I could participate in the 2017 TOHO beads challenge! There is something really exciting about getting the same beads as fellow artists and to see what others will come up with. And to have my piece exposed in Milwaukee and then in Japan is truly an honor.

Today I heard that my piece was featured in an ad in the Bead & Button magazine, and got the ok from the organizers to show you my work. I wrote this blog post back in March, when I sent the beadwork to them, for wanted to tell everything when the beadmat was still hot from beading. It is a bit long, I hope that you don't mind. I had so much fun!!!

The Swiss customs blocked the package with the beads because "free samples" was not enough for them, they wanted to know the worth of the beads, etc. They're so punctilious. *Sigh.* But beginning of January I received the beads. yay!

My tendons had been bad during more than 3 months, but I rested them well, and I fortunately could bead again. It is the computer I had to stay away from, and so I enjoyed 2 months of wonderful creative time with this beautiful challenge assortment.

Time has Wings
I loved the colors and beads I received. The beautiful purple, gold and cream selection immediately invited me to create something steampunk, but the capri blue beads didn't charm me as much as the other beads, because it was ice-cold outside and I prefer to use this color in the summer. Nontheless, even if used scarcely (and mostly in size 15/0) they play an important role in the composition, without taking the lead.

We had the right to use all sorts of materials, like silk and other materials, but only one "focal" bead or cabochon. My focal is an explosed watch. I used chain as if it was fabric. I beaded the wheels/gears/fans  to avoid using more metallic findings or parts and am very, very happy with the result.

The whole piece is called Time has Wings. Below you will learn more about the 3 parts and their symbolism, the inspiration and the making of the piece.

The necklace is composed of 3 parts, which all have a meaning. There are several possibilities to wear the jewelry. On the left are the ways I recommend, on the right the other options:

1. A Colimaçon spiral

Colimaçon with clasp at the back
Colimaçon with clasp at the front











I called this new spiral a colimaçon, which means spiral in French, specifically to describe a spiral staircase. The bugle beads draw a railing typical of those staircases in castle towers and lighthouses, where the railing is in the centre. A beautiful example can be seen on this page. Spirals are representative of time in all cultures, etc. This spiral is made with a mix of tubular Diamond Weave variations.

2. Wings

Wings at the back
Wings at the front





















The meandering lace-inspired bib-style collar should be worn in the back with an open-back dress. "Time has Wings" means that time flies, fast, but those who know how to meander - wandering with no particular aim - reduce the pace and enjoy the present moment more intensely. The wings are primarely made with Herringbone stitch with extension beads, split at some point, and brick stitch.



3. Paradox (Pendulum)


Paradox with watch clasp
Paradox without watch clasp
"A pendulum is a body suspended from a fixed point so as to swing freely to and fro under the action of gravity and commonly used to regulate movements (as of clockwork)."(Merriam Webster).

This pendulum is a folded All-wing made with dimensional peyote (CGB language), including a double Cellini spiral at its top. It makes me think of a miniature time machine... It hides a miniature hourglass.
Unfolded, it would be quite large. Time sometimes feels as if it was stretcheable, like an accordeon.

The DW flat rope is reversible
Pendulum

















To connect the pendulum to the spiral I made a separate DW flat rope, which is reversible. It has no name yet. I had a track of a railway in mind when making it. But I am not sure that track rope or rail rope sounds good for a beaded rope. Suggestions for a name are welcome!

Inspiration: the colors of the 2017 Toho Beads challenge also made me think of films: Alice through the looking glass (2016), Hugo Cabret (2011), and a little bit of Wild wild west (1999)

The beautiful steampunk decors, the clocks, mechanics, trains and time machines and lacy corsets all inspired this piece.



Alice through the looking glass (Sacha Baron Cohen as Time in the heart of his realm)

Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield as Hugo, rewinding a clock mechanism)

Wild Wild West (Salma Hayek as Rita Escobar, in lovely lace)

WIP of Time has Wings.

First I made the pendulum, then I made the colimaçon spiral, and then the crescent buttons and the herringbone lace. I had real lace in my stash awaiting inspiration and time to make a beautiful necklace à la Marsha Wiest Hines. Visit her blog to see her Persephone's Return, it is absolutely stunning. In addition, she also received her Toho challenge and got published in ?

Reading about Marsha's creative process made me realize that the lace would not be strong enough for my project. I decided to bead my own lace and started by making the little wheels and then the meandres.

If the colimaçon spiral ate up the thread, the lace needed the most time, in particular "thinking time", even for the chain.

Then I embellished the pendulum and created the flat rope and the watch clasp.

Second the spiral
First I made the pendulum



Third the lace

I cut out the central herringbone
v-shape and started it over

Decisions, decisions...




Study how to attach chain. The center part
of the collar is still not complete.

Once done, the piece looked much better without the pendulum.So the pendulum got its own rope.

The very last bead added to this piece was a tiny melon bead right above the watch face on the collar - I had lost it, and it was my last melon bead! I was happy when I found it back (yay!) It hink that it is crazy how one bead can alter the look of a piece. Then I made the watch clasp, and suddenly everything was perfect.

I hope that you think so too.

Thank you for reading me! Know that if you go to visit the exposition of all the Toho Challenge participants in Milwaukee at the Bead & Button Show, you can get your very own mini challenge kit from at the Toho booth.