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


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!


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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

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.