Tuesday, December 16, 2014

So grateful!

'T is the time of year... to look back at the goals and celebrate

End 2013, I wanted to send a newsletter to wish all my contacts a wonderful time and couldn't, because I hadn't asked people to subscribe to it. I created a newsletter with mailchimp and have subscribers. I feel so happy that there are people in the world who want to have news from me. Thank you for making me feel special.

I am happy with the sales in my Etsy Shop this year - nearly 900 sales in total! This is wonderful! You have no idea how much happiness this brought to me and my husband. For example, it allowed me to offer him a big aquarium for his birthday. A dream come true! And now I also have very sweet little birds. I am so grateful for your continuous support! Thank youuuuu!

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol II has been published in October and it is fabulous. I'm honored that Kate McKinnon, who masters the art of writing with such precision and beauty, wanted me on board of the edit team again and am proud of my contribution to this amazing book. I am very grateful for the experience too.

Earlier in 2014, I announced that I would perhaps work on 3 projects. One hasn't started, one is paused - I will continue on it when time allows, and one is well on its way - the draft of nearly 2/3 of the book about Diamond Weave is ready. I celebrate this because it is a long, slow process, difficult and even if the last third is a big job, and will take a lot of time to finish. It is difficult to not show my beadwork. I work hard, but it strangely feels like not being very productive. So I wanted to share this picture of a Diamond Weave necklace called Colombina (click on the image to see a larger picture).

This year, I also created  a group on Facebook called 'Tutorial Tuesday', which purpose is to share designs of other designers with the public and make their day. Many seem to play the game. I hope that it will continue in 2015 and that the many people who joined the group will participate even more. We all need kindness, also on Planet Bead.

'T is the time of year to offer yourself (or the beader in your life) a treat!
CGB with a yummie dress
and lovely beads

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork I and II are available from Kate or on Amazon. On Kate's website it is also available gift-wrapped with lovely tubes of beads.

My Ishtar pattern and KITS are still available from diMarcaOnline.com, in three colors, an awesome reddish-topaz, a black and silver and a marvellous metallic green. One of the test-beaders said to me that it was CGB on its own. This is not really true, because CGB is soooo much more than Ishtar, but Ishtar is indeed using plenty of elements from volume no. 1 - an MRAW start, horns and a helix skirt, plus a partial Elegant guide round (from volume no. 2). It think that the most elaborated part, however, is the open work at the top, which is something I love. For advanced beaders.

Ishtar Collar is the piece
I wear in the picture on page 269
of CGB vol. II.

And because It's the time of year, you can also download the pattern in my Etsy or Craftsy shop and have another one sent to a friend, or choose another one for yourself. See the special X-Mas discount at the end of this article.

'T is the time of year to offer a present to those who count, which you do.

For the CGB Pattern Library, I am offering a pattern for free, and it is the Kanagawa Wave Bangle. 3 test-beaders gracefully helped me to make this pattern better than good, just in time for the season! You can download it for free from my Craftsy shop - where you can also still find the free pattern for Ayatee, another bracelet.
I hope that you will enjoy beading it - maybe during the holidays?

Last but not least, you can profit from a special 2 for 1 sale in my Etsy Shop, which will remain valid until 31 December 2014. To get your free pattern - of the same value as the pattern you purchase, you need to mention in your comments which one you would like to receive and I will send it to you by e-mail. You may also convo me to offer the same pattern as you purchase to a friend.

I wish you and your beloved ones a very peaceful, joyful time of year.

PS: if you too would like to receive news from me from time to time, you can sign up in the little form on the left of this page, just below my profile.

Monday, October 27, 2014


A bird has chosen me. I feel so special.
The girl bird who arrived
from donowhere.

It is what's called a "Diamant Mandarin" in French (a zebra finch?). Funny that it arrived on my balcony while I'm working on the book about Diamond Weave. When we tried to catch her she came inside. We couldn't find her owner, so we kept her. I bought her a boyfriend and all the things she needs to be well and happy, a cage, food, a bath and more, still to arrive.

She and her boy friend
get along very well

I made a brief video of her and her companion discovering their beautiful new cage. He sings all the time and she loves to bathe. It is very pleasant to hear them chit- chatting. It brings more life in my life and I think that it is a perfect addition for my "smell-the-roses" programme.

It's my birthday this week and I have to buy quite a few things for these new friends and by buying my patterns, you are making this possible. To celebrate and thank you I'm  having a 33% discount off of all my patterns during the next days - valid until the 31st of October 2014 only.

and the code to enter on Etsy is


Not valid on jewelry - sorry!

I had my flu shot this morning and feel not so good, so I'm keeping this post short today. I just wanted to let you know that I am having a sale in my shop. Your support is very welcome and highly appreciated. Thank you very much!!!

Much love to all,


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Perfect Present

When I learned that the theme of the Etsy Beadweaver's Team Challenge of November was  "The Perfect Present", I immediately knew what I wanted to make. You can see the listing here.

Years ago, my dearest friend Isabelle gave me a small vermeil Hamsha hand, to protect me, as she said. I think that she is the only person who has ever given me something protective, but that comes from the absence of supersition of my other beloved ones.
Click for a larger image - the Hamsha
hand in this photo is the one I received
from Isabelle
I wasn't superstitious myself, and didn't realize how adorable it was to receive (or give) an amulet, or talisman until she gave it to me. Since that day, I consider "Evil eyes" which actually symbolizes the eye watching out for evil, Hamsha hands (God's hand), Maneki Neko (lucky cats) and many other little beads and charms as Perfect Gifts. Small objects, durable representatives of the loving attention and affection from one person for another. It doesn't matter that you believe it or not, what matters is the intention. "Be well, stay safe". It is kindness, friendship, love, dedication. Symbols are the result of culture, and culture is the result of thousands of years of human evolution. Some symbols have an incredibly deep meaning.

The Evil Eye in this beaded component is a rare vintage Venetian glass cabachon, which I received from the adorable Ruth Buffington. She sent it to me along with other beautiful beads and cabachons within the framework of the January 2013 PIF which went viral on Facebook - a lovely action where one commits to send a gift to 5 persons who, in return, simply must pay it forward. Ruth is a very talented beader and seamstress extraordinaire.You certainly will like to discover Ruth's works for this year's Steampunk exhibit at the Lyam & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfiel History, 3 exceptional costumes with incredible beadwork and beaded accessories, are amazing.

Click for a larger image to read Nesli's note
I ordered 22Kt matte gold-plated Hamsha charms to match the cabachon, little coin charms (also symbol of good fortune) together with a few other items from an Etsy shop in Turkey, TukishEyeSupply. The owner, Nesli, sent more than just the items I ordered. She added a little bag full of goodies plus a 'real' Evil Eye bead, with a note saying:

"This is a Nazar Boncuk (Evil Eye) handmade by Turkish Artisans.
 For thousands of year it is believed to be protective. I hope it will protect you and brings you good luck too..."

I don't know Nesli personally, and feel very  grateful.

The cabachon is glued on Lacy Stiff Stuff, backed with turquoise leather. I made a butterfly rope structure around the cabachon. The oval peyote structure is supple. It makes the component cup nicely, which is practical for the chain to pass behind. I used beautiful materials - 24Kt Gold plated Delicas, Goldplated Firepolished rounds and Permanent Finish gold Toho seed beads for extra durability.

For my beaded pendant I initially planned to make a long Butterfly rope, but Debra's lovely Seed Bead Chain pattern (available for free in her Craftsy Store) is matching this project even better, in particular when worn on the hand.

There are two chains for this item: to wear it as a bracelet (34cm chain for a 71/4 inch wrist) or as a hand adornment with the longer chain (38cm). The two chains together make a 72cm long chain to wear the component as a pendant.

The tiny little coins are fantastic little 'helpers' to attach the clasp.

Please let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Smell the roses

Before (when I still could work like 'normal' people), I happened to tell myself that I would be able to smell the roses when this or that job would be finished. But that never happened because each mission, project, or work morphed into more missions, more projects and more work. There never came an end to it, but there always came an end to me (my spirits, my strength, my enthusiasm, etc.). Before, even if I had been confronted with employers who screamed (yes, they exist - I am a magnet for unpleasant employers), I never feared to leave and take on another job. I was strong, I could do it.

Now it's different. I haven't healed completely from the burn-out because of the mobbing. Mobbing leaves very deep, invisible scars. It is known for pushing people to suicide. I am not at all a suicidal person but my photosensitivity somehow excludes me from the outer world... I don't know if it is related. My doctor sticks to "fibro can provoke all sorts of strange affections".

please love me...
I always felt obliged to do better than good. It is my philosophy to do my best, but I needed the encouragement. The thanks you's, the compliments. I think that I still do. Who doesn't? But... being an expat, high potential and highly sensitive are all part of the explosive equation. For example: I always wanted to be accepted in a group (I never was) even if I didn't fit in at all (I never did - HP and HS nearly fit in nowhere). I wish that my parents had known how horrible it was but they were not HP and didn't (maybe couldn't) have the slightest notion about it. I continued as I could. Searched for "aproval" and worked for 2. This got me into trouble, because there is no better victim for a mobber. I have noticed that most women who have fibromyalgia have this in common: we want to be 'good girls' so much and one day, we break. Hypersensitivity is not something which can be changed, it is something we learn the hard way that we are like this, and then need to learn to cope with. I am wondering if fibro is a result of years of crazy multitasking without breathing correctly.

To compensate the big reduction of my income and to keep myself from going insane, I needed to find a solution and the only solution is to work for myself, in a secure and light-free or light-under-control place: my home.

Writing a book about Diamond Weave with no other boss than my own self, at a self-imposed pace brought new insight: smelling the roses is not a question of having time - I had all the time before, but didn't smell them. It's a state of mind, a lifestyle, something I have to learn. I nearly overworked myself again, of course, but this time I am the boss who is shouting at my computer (Windows "Hate" is frankly horrible) and I got to the point where 'I had to talk with my boss'. Yes, the problem is me. Meditation imposed itself. It slowly sets me free. I can't blame anybody else for the amount of work, the timing, planning, mistakes, stress, etc... Nobody else but me.

I conclude that to enjoy life, we need to work hard at something that is ours, something we love and enjoy, push our own limits and then have those moments of peaceful breaks - moments where you are satisfied with yourself... every day! Even if compliments are really great, not a million of them will replace that special feeling.

Working so hard at something that I love so much brought me a back on the path to the roses.

I have discovered that peaceful, timeless place somewhere inside of me. It is like having found the way back home after having been lost during forever. I didn't expect this and am grateful. Now the challenge is to find the right balance between work and roses. It is not easy to access that place inside. I need to improve the quality of my meditation. Not just scratch the surface and get a glimpse. I also need to do more exercice. Luckily I have a wonderful physio who helps me well, and I exercise in the warm pool once a week. But that is not enough.

I have discovered a series of seasonal Qi Gong exercices on this website and  made the promise to myself to do them very regularly during the coming 4 seasons, like a ceremonial. One year. To do myself the favour of being better for myself.
To stop and look at the sacredness of everything and softly celebrate it. A state of bliss I want to experience more often. It will need a bit of discipline.


Did I say that I love my 'job'? I do!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Flowers for Friendship Wreath

I wrote my last post more than a month ago, and so many things have happened in the meantime... Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol. II is in the process of being printed and bundled right now, and it is very beautiful. I am so proud of my participation as a beader as well as a member of the Edit Team - I'm not of English mother tongue and haven't attended University, so this says a lot.

It is not that I could not go to university, it is just that I didn't know what I wanted, didn't know what to do... My mother died at that very crucial moment in my life where I had to make decisions and I decided to not make any decision. I simply started working as a telephonist - my English was good enough to get hired by an import-export office in Geneva and I wanted to leave my family's (father and brother's) appartment asap to have my own life. I regret not having decided to to go to France and learn to make perfume, which was something I had in mind before the world became upside down... Loosing your mother at 18 is ... indescribable.

But life goes how it has to go: on. I went on too, became a secretary - learned eveything on the job, and later, much later, I became an administrative assistant for the IUCN. My dream! to work to protect nature! I'm an animal lover and of course Terra lover.

In the meantime, the Internet had grown, and I became ill...But I had started beading. Beading helped me to not let illness bring me down and ... now I am part of the Edit Team of this amazing book! Wow!

I am now dedicating my time to get the book Diamond Weave out to the world. Writing, illustrating, beading and photography are what I'm most busy with. It's a huge job and I know nothing about editorial work except what I learned at the IUCN and from Kate and what I learned from her might not even be the 'correct' way to write a book, because she is not following specific rules either, but that's fine. In fact, it helps me because I somehow am the same. I follow my nose like I've always done and somehow things will work out right. I love what I'm doing.

Beading and the Internet are two things which impacted my life tremendously. In particular as a human being, psychologically and creatively. I am grateful for what I've learned and received. Planet Bead is my world, and I meet beaders from everywhere thanks to Facebook. Maybe one day my photophobia will heal and I will travel the world to meet them in reel.

Yesterday I learned that beaders in Kiev, Ukrain, are planning to make a Friendship's Wreath. This is to commemorate the victims of the Ukrainian conflict and of the Boeing777 desaster. The wreath will be exhibited in Kiev on exhibition "Golden hands of masters" 15-17 October 2014. Anna Bystrik is coordinating the project. I love this!

You too can participate and send (a) flower(s); here are the "rules", also posted on the Facebook Page of this Event:

1. Flower from beads can be any shape, any color and made in any technique. The only limitation - the diameter of not more than 7 cm
2. Finished flowers should be mailed to Anna (you can contact her via Facebook for her address, simply send her a personal message)
3. Finished pieces should be sent in such a way that before September 20, they are at her place for the assembling of the wreath.
4. The final destination of the wrath is to either be sold by auction. In this case, the money will be used for charitable purposes, or to be exposed in a museum.

What Ukrain needs most is peace, so I made Peace Lillies. They need the positive vibes.
The entire world needs more love. Love from the heart. Kindness.

BTW I created a Facebook page for Diamond Weave. I hope that you'll like it! There is not much to see there, but if you ask for updates from the page, you will receive the important info when it's posted.

I also finished a tutorial for a very lovely little pendant with exchangeable crystal stone, Trapezino, and it is in the hands of my wonderful proofreader.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I'd like to Cathify Jewelry à la Diane Hyde

The lovely Diane Hyde
I felt pretty miserable over the past weeks for not being able to print laser images... And yesterday my printer, an ink-jet with remarkable fine pixels, died. So I had a quick look at laser printers, but the good ones are far too expensive and not worth buying for the rare occasions I need images for my jewelry. It was a tough decision though, because this really looked like a reach-out of the universe to me, as if to say: 'you wanted one, now is the occasion to get one and make your own buttons for Diamond Weave, and your own cabochon backings and printed material for beautiful necklaces and bracelets, à la Diane Hyde.'

Did I tell you that I love her book "Break the Rules". It is not just about Bead Embroidery!

Diane's Book - a Must
I love it because
- she shines through. One can nearly hear her voice, see her smile and feel like a good friend sitting together with her in her studio et café à volonté.
- she makes me feel confident to use things I like, which I didn't dare to use before, because I feared to (excuse my French) fuck them up. And there are things we don't want to fuck up. Diane has tested it all. Her advice is highly valuable. It takes so many years of tryal and error to find the right glues, varnishes, materials and techniques to use for this type of mixed media jewelry. Her tips are exactly what I needed to make the step.
- she broadens my horizon. She transforms my way of looking at things: everything becomes a potential element to incorporate in jewelry.
- she saves me time. I am busy writing tuts myself, but I really would like to make some mixed media jewelry with those particular things which are close to my heart. I started already, with my Tristan & Isolde Necklace, strongly influenced by her beautiful work, but very hesitating - I didn't have her book at the moment I made it. Now I don't need to search for disseminated information anymore - all the how to and what to use is there, in one publication. The pictures are excellent and the explanations very clear. It really is a toolbox, and we love toolboxes!
Tristan and IsoldeScented bottle necklace

I can't tell you how many times I have renounced making something just because I didn't know which product to use and didn't want to buy the whole store, nor work with  images which wouldn't last. So I had to either buy products made by others, or resign. I generally resigned, because the images I would like to use in my projects are different from those available.
But that's over now.

I will find a solution for printing durable images. Hubby has come up with several good ideas.

Now even if the price of inkjet printers has dropped over the past years, I must say that I still would have preferred spending the money on other things. You sure understand what I mean, don't you? ;)
If you like my work, then feel free to use coupon-code NEWPRINTER in my Etsy - you'll get a 25% discount - valid only until Sunday :)

Thank you so much for your support!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hard won simplicity

The 'final' proofs of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol. 2 are going back and forth between Kate and the Edit team which I am part of. It is a sparkling beautiful body of work. People from everywhere around the world have contributed to take the beaded Triangle to the level of Spatial Hybrid Structures, and Kate applied Multiple View Geometry to her excellent Photography, and put words on what was impossible to express, or to name... Like a botanist, she had to find coherent family names for all the pieces to be able to describe and sort them in chapters. Rick Rack, Zig-Wing, All-Wing, Horned Bangle... It's an encyclopedia. I am wondering if she could imagine what was behind the door she opened the day she took upon her shoulders the orchestration of such a huge collaborative project, but she opened it and the enormous mountain of possibilities shook, and a lawina of beaded awesome tumbled down, each piece more beautiful than the other.

I am proud that some of my pieces are in the book, but even prouder to have contributed to some of the newborn delights with Jalisco Bangle, which happens to be an All-Wing, with serious spatial intentions. I wish that I could make more pieces with huge wings and peaks and pods, but my own patterns also request time and I need the extra income. I am also working on a book together with Gerlinde Lenz, about her fabulous Diamond Weave, and also want to make something for myself from time to time, without patterns or books in mind. My studio has never been such a mess.

Esmeralda's bag with
'Jalisco' opening
My time dedicated to Contemporary Geometric Beadwork is a gift, and my rewards are to be part of the fabulous (every day) and the thrill when seeing others come up with designs where I can see my modest influence (sometimes). It makes me feel warm inside, proud, but admirative too. It is amazing to see where the beaders take the techniques. It is incredible how one idea morphs into another.
The book also features wise and interesting quotes about all kinds of things, such as architecture and color. My second favorite, right after the one by Seneca which Kate gracefully accepted to put in one of the pages showcasing my 'Moonrise' cuff, is this one, by the British-Swiss modern-times philosopher Alain de Botton (listen to his talk, you'll love this guy):

Click to see larger image
of 10-pointed  pod
“For us to deem a work of architecture
elegant, it is not enough that it look simple:
we must feel that the simplicity it
displays has been hard won.”

Hard won simplicity. That's what Jalisco Bangle is. It was born from the Yukka flower: I increased the hole in the center of the flower, didn't add beads of different sizes and didn't close the tips. I stripped the design, simplified it. Doesn't that sound odd?

Samurai pod
What I call the Yukka flower was born from the Fork and the Fork was born from my wish to fold a triangle over a rubber cord so that I could wear it point-down. Not just any triangle. June Huber's Totally Twisted Triangle. Such a lovely design, we all wanted to make it here on this side of the pond. It wouldn't fold, so I thought: let's make a square. And a hexagon. And an octogon. Or only two points - that was the Pepper. I also made pods... tiny, multi-pointed pods... I still have no idea how to explain the Samurai pod design in a tutorial. If only I weren't photophobic, I would organize a retreat. Because anyone who has a good beading background can make it and a retreat is so much fun. It is so hard to explain spatial things - this is why Kate's and Karen's and Christina Vandervlist's work is so admirable.
Tiny Tulips - 3D flowers
with MRAW stems

I sometimes think that I should rewrite the Pepper, Fork and Yukka Flower tutorial so that the intermediate beader could try it too (I taught it to a beginner with success), but CGB opened my eyes on how things need to be brought to a student in writing; it takes an entire book and I am already busy enough. Since there is some 'reading between the lines' counting on the beader's profenciency, PFY will remain something for advanced beaders, or at least for the fearless ones. So far, only one person told me that it was not detailed enough and I helped her out, of course. I strive to make more precise explanations now, and my more recent patterns, like the Tiny Tulip pattern, are very detailed.
But still not for wussy pants.

“It is not because things are
difficult that we do not dare; it is
because we do not dare that
things are difficult.”
- Seneca -

Another example of 'Hard won simplicity': Some time ago, I found another use of the simple 6 wings (all increase): it wanted to become a chain. The elements can be placed in any order, like Lego.

Just because of the quote, I decided to bead it up, between two proofs, in two days.

This said, I would also like to shout out how proud I am that my very first entry in the Etsy BeadWeavers Team Challenge of the month of June has won the first place in the public poll! YAY!!! I am so grateful! Many thanks for your support! The Tristan & Iseult Scented Bottle necklace was designed to tell the story of the two unfortunate lovers and is for sale in my Etsy shop. It was made with Steampunk style in mind, an embellished MRAW band around the bottle, a Yukka flower with tiny Maypole stem and lots of love.

Tristan & Isolde Scented Bottle Necklace

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Special Summer Sale

A quick update for you all following me here on my blog. I am so sorry for not being very active here. These days my writing skills are fully dedicated to the book Diamond Weave, a collaboration with Gerlinde Lenz I told you about last month. I am a slow writer and so blogging is a bit calm... I can't do this many at the same time.
Mosquito net

Of course I am beading a lot of things for this wonderful project and do enjoy the process in every way, but I regret not being able to show you my work right now. I also am trying to put together the pattern for the Tulip many of you asked for, and hope to have this done by the end of the month. Time goes by so fast. I wish that there were 48 hours per day. I have so many design ideas which I would love to make. I even bought glue and varnish for paper... maybe I will be able to make that little pendant "à la Diane Hyde" I'm dreaming of...

The weather has improved tremendously and I can finally bead, or work on the book on the balcony. I

call it BOTB-ing - Beading on the Balcony.  Hubby and I have eaten there last night and tonight and it felt great to be 'nearly outside' thanks to all the birds singing. With hubby, we went to buy mosquito nets for all he windows of our apartment because last year we had an invasion of hornets in the area, and a few of them tried to establish a camp in our bedroom... I also bought little flowers which have a lovely smell!

Potentilla and Heliotrope
Summer holidays are often the moment a beader can find a bit of time for a favorite project and so it seems to be the perfect moment to offer you a special discount on my patterns in my Etsy shop.

Check this out: if you buy one pattern, you may chose another pattern of the same or inferior value, for free. Simply let me know what you would like to receive and I will send it to you. This is valid until May 21, 9pm UTC (that is 21:00 in Geneva, Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona)

Happy Beading!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring fever

Little Thumb
It is Spring, I am busy as a bee. It seems to me that I'm most active during this season. It might come from the awakening of nature, the smell of the ground, the beautiful weather, the light. I might be light-intollerant, it doesn't mean that I like darkness. As long as I can remain in the shade of the building where I live, it is ok. I can't wait to bead on the balcony again.

Little Red Hood
This year Spring is much nicer than the past 2 - 3 years. My Hortensia is growing a bit too fast, but that's often the case on a balcony. My bamboo is a bit thirsty, because I was reluctant to water it, fearing that it would freeze, which generally happens in March. But this year it was nice nearly the entire month. It's not a big issue - it grows like grass... (which is normal, because it's the same family). April is nice too, the temperature is lovely. The heating doesn't even function here in the flat...

Hyper Eddie hasn't left and it's nice, because I am really having fun with beads. There are 3 new files with pictures on my computer, Fairy Figurines, Creepy Creatures and Jeannie.

'I dream of Jeannie' Barbie
As part of the Facebook Group Bead Dollie, I wanted to follow Diane Hyde's advice "Play around and just make something quick, little, and fun." So I made a Little Thumb - because I've always wanted to make little boots based on my Calla Lily flowers. The little figurine shows the moment when Tom puts the fairy boots on and they adapt to his size progressively. A little Red Hoot soon joined him. I have started a 3rd character of the 17th-Century writer Charles Perrault. This is really fun!

Tiny tulips - "Oranje Boven"
For an informal challenge to make clothes for Barbies within the framework of Contemporary Geometric beadwork, I made a bellydancer outfit for the doll Kate McKinnon sent too me. The bustier is the first thing I wanted to make with the pear cup shapes of Gerlinde's Monte Carlo bracelet. You may already have seen the Monte Carlo pattern I wrote in collaboration with her; well this little bracelet has opened a breach in my imagination.
Little Angler fish
I made little orange tulips for the very first King's Day in the Netherlands - until todayDutch National Holiday was Queen's day, but now there is a king...

I also made a tiny Angler fish based on the peyote structure and a 3rd "Creepy creature" is already in the make.

And all this while continuing writing tutorials for you. Today, I am really proud to announce that the 2 tutorials to make your very own "Souls" necklace and/or ring and earrings (or both patterns together) are now available in my Etsy Shop. This was a labour of love when I made it for the Battle of the Beadsmith back in 2013, but also writing the tutorial was not the easiest thing. It was nearly as hard to explain how to make it than to make it. I hope that you will be as happy with yours as I am with mine.

Last but not least, at Contemporary Geometric Beadwork the editorial work of the Edit team (which I'm part of) has started.
Did I say that I'm as busy as a bee somewhere?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Geometric Jewels Designs - First tutorial

The original Monte Carlo bracelet
Maybe you'll remember my blog post from November 2013, about Gerlinde Lenz's visit at my place. What a wonderful time chatting, beading and exploring techniques we had. Together, we discussed the possibility of publishing her designs which many a beader admires, including me, and because she doesn't see how she could possibly find time for both beading and writing instructions while also taking care of her two parents, we decided to team up to publish a few tutorials.

The design I wanted to make first is what I called the Monte Carlo bracelet because the movement makes me think of a pin bend, and Monte Carlo is famous for  their Formula 1 circuit. And because it is reversible. I immediately wanted to add pearls in the little pear-shaped cups and am very happy with the result.

I entirely remade the bracelet to find the best way to teach it and make WIP pictures, and came up with two ways: either by making all the little cups separately or using an all-with-one-thread method, for the more advanced beader.

I am pleased to announce that the first Geometric Jewels Pattern is now available in my Etsy Shop in the section "Geometric Jewels". 

And if life allows, it will not be the last design. Soon more!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

SamohtaC Etsy-B-Day

Tomorrow my Etsy Shop SamohtaC will be one year old. It's been a lot of work and learning and love and I am very grateful to all those of you who encouraged me, inspired me and who bought/buy my little patterns. You make my life better! Thank you so much for choosing my designs, for liking them, sharing them, favoriting them, and adding them to treasury lists.

You are wonderful. I hope that our walk (or dance?) on the beady roads, together, will last many more years.

Tomorrow, to celebrate the Birthday and to thank you, you can use the following coupon code to get 25% off of your order:

Happy Beading! and much love!
 and just because this made me smile out loud and the colors match my blog so well:

(tomorrow means 21st March...)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Are hyper Eddie, the Universe and the Subconscience One?

Butterfly Ropes: Matinée, Lariat
and 3 strand-bracelet
Yes they are, because of It.

I blogged about a creative whirlwind not long ago, and beaded like crazy, so many ideas popping up in my brain, beading them up immediately, writing tuts immediately too... The Butterfly Ropes in January, two new creations this month and wonderful other things I cannot show you now... Of course my shoulder said stop. And I will have to listen because the stitching / weaving movement certainly may become responsible for about 50% for RSI or a frozen shoulder, the remaining 50% being Fibro's fault. So I will not be able to bead for the Battle of the Beadsmith or another big contest. Fortunately I will have adorable visitors from Paris next week. Perfect timing! That will rest my arms and lift me up.

Keira Bracelet - made me think
of a bracelet of a 'piratesse'
My muse, Eddie, (I think of him as a guy), is hyper, and driving me nuts. I love to have so many ideas... what I like less is having only two arms in not so excellent condition. Eddie is the imaginary personification of my creative juices. My studio is in a typical after-hyper-Eddie state: Hiroshima. I will tidy up while having this forced break. This is also the reason why I bead in such an incredible mess: I know that there always comes a time that I can only fondle my beads by putting them back in tubes and bags. I don't waste time doing that when my arms are good enough for beading... 5 beading trays are always covered with stuff.

A few days ago, a video with John Cleese presenting a talk about creativity went round on Facebook and it was so good, that I can't help but sharing it here. This long one is full of funny jokes,

and this second one, shorter, is also good but more serious and straight to the point. Watch both! or at least the short one now.

I discovered with my latest design, the Keira Bracelet, that everything he said, the exploring aspect, the playing (with beads), an 'open mode' (spirit) as he calls it, enough "pondering time" (especially long in this case) and a 'closed mode' after the 'open mode' (to let experience and technique master the job) are certainly the key to new designs. He explains this extremely well and I encourage you to watch both videos, really excellent, sure funnier than goats...

Pippi with black cat and gold
fishies, an autobiographic necklace
I just don't know if, as he says, it is our subconscience working behind the scenes, or the Universe. The name of 'It' doesn't matter, because It is the same thing, for sure. It is also the same thing which the Japanese wish to let flow when practicing an art, the essence of what makes them consider the handling of arcs and swords, drinking tea, practicing calligraphy and Ikebana as an art. It must be some sort of universal energetic flow which wants something to come to existence and uses me, and you, and them, to co-create.

I am writing about this because I am generally not a 'what-if' person - I am used to have 'It' talking to me (or through me) pretty loudly and I think that I practice the open / closed naturally. The nature of beads is greatly encouraging open-closed switches of the brain. But the Superduos / Twin beads which I always though of as 'that fatty little double-hole-bead provoking tons of weaving with other tiny little seed beads to hide the thread' obviously needed a long, very long pondering time to suddenly become a favorite.

Keira Beaded Bead
The use of it as a design element together with pinch beads first came up in my Pippi Longstocking's necklace (which I submitted it in the Design Contest organized by Bead Style Magazine). I actually focused on them because I could use them as anchor points for headpins... Then I made the Butterfly rope - which was already designed by the Universe because I had dreamed of it before, and now this. Hurray! They are a catalyzer and not an obstacle anymore and now have my full appreciation.

And while Keira wanted to become a beaded bead, a choker to go out to a wonderful theatre in Milan in Italy and another bracelet and earrings too, I thought by myself that it is good to sit down, play, ponder, wait, and see things unfold in our hands.

Sera alla Scala
You may have noticed that I sell my jewelry very rarely. I have offered the jewelry set (necklace and earrings) Sera alla Scala to Linda Roberts as a fundraiser to support her daughter and son-in-law who is facing tremendous difficulties with his health and, as happens often in such cases, they have to deal with many bills to pay... See the fundraiser here in her Facebook Album.