Monday, August 13, 2018

Bolas Canastas & Cellini peyote freaks

You may have noticed by now that I am a Cellini Peyote freak. And a pearl aficionada. My moto could be

"If it ain't got pearls, it's got to have swirls."

Because I love pearls too. I love to use them together.

Cosmic Spiral (not Cellini peyote, but it's got pearls and swirls)
After coming up with the dimensional Cellini peyote shapes within the framework of my 'Waves and Flames' study, I asked you, people of Planet Bead, if I should make a tut for each  or for all, and if I should create a group on Facebook where to share ideas and many answered that you wanted "all". Of course!

Lotus Bangle, Mermaid Tails,
Parrot earrings, Precious
Pomanderand Tulip Tassel
"Open Heart" - pendant, earrings,
bracelet and necklace
So I made nearly all the tutorials, individually, and also listed them as bundles: duos, a trio and  a quintet for the pieces I made with the 'Flames start; and 1 tutorial for several designs made with the 'waves' start.
I haven't made tuts for everything yet, but I have created the proposed Facebook group, to share ideas with like-minded beaders, who love this stitch too: the "Cellini Peyote Freaks" group. You are welcome to join.

'Waves and Flames, unfinished'
In this group you will find my paper about the principles of the "Waves and Flames" start, including guidelines to make a "Waves and Flames, unfinished" bangle. If you are not into Facebook, you can send me an e-mail via my website to ask for it.

To have something new to photograph for the banner of the group, I beaded up something swirly, of course: a Cellini bezel, which became a beaded bead.

The Cellini bezel is an old idea, left in a drawer, which I took out for the pink ice CZ in Anthea's Tiara - I wanted the bezel to match the Yukka Flowers. It is based on diagonal peyote.

Pink Ice cubic zirconia on top of Anthea's Tiara

And as explained in my previous post, this gave me the idea to make a gigantic bezel for a tape measure.

Cellini Measure Tape
My first try was not what I wanted for the tape measure and so it became a beaded bead.

Because of its resemblance with Mexican woven basketry (canastas), I called it Bola Canastas. 
It provoked something inside of me. Something I cannot explain in words, but these bolas are addictive. I made more. 
And more.
And more!

Rounder, longer, double etc. 

It's so much fun.

Because I have to take a break to rest my arms, instead of adding this to my pile of stuff to tutify, I posted a short, pretty bad video in the group, to show the beady world how to do it. It's just a technical trick... Amazingly, many beaders got instantly hooked too. Enthusiasm is infectious! I love that. But my video was unclear, so I made a graph and a new video, which you can watch here too:

In the Cellini group, many members seem to actually never have done Cellini, so I created class rooms and made the first graphs for 2 basic techniques, so that they can get started. There is still more to do. It's a nice place, with advanced beaders and beginners, and members are helping one another. Isn't that awesome?

Interaction with other beaders is what I love most. It is what keeps me going and writing patterns and inventing new designs. "Drink me" will probably be a tutorial (perhaps the tape measure too!). Perhaps even a kit, but I will have to find a better quality tassel.

Unfortunately for my arms, all this provoked massive tendon-overload, so now that my video is up, and you beady peeps can fly, I am going to slow down the pace, and thus...

I need help

I need a little help in the group. Thankfully Elisanne M. McCutchen joined nearly immediately as Admin. I am so grateful for her help. But we need moderators. So if you have a passion for beading, are inclined to help fellow beaders, and know Cellini peyote, maybe you will like to help moderate the group? It's not complicated: approving (sometimes rejecting) new membership requests, help newbies finding this or that information and perhaps delete a post that is off-topic.

My dream team would be composed of one more person in the Americas, two from the East (Asian, Australian), one or two more from Europe / South-Africa (or anywhere in between) and a Russian and a person from the Middle East. That would really be awesome. One instead of two would already be awesome, but you've got to aim for the moon to land among the stars, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said so well.

Enter the rabbit hole. Let's celebrate Cellini peyote together.

Thank you!!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

IBW "All year long bead along"

Beading is important in my life, so I am a proud IBW ambassador. IBW means International Beading Week. It takes place the first week of August every year and is meant to bring beadworkers together, to celebrate and promote beading to a wider public. IBW started as NBW, National Beading Week in the UK, under the flag of the Beadworkers Guild, a registered charity dedicated to supporting and promoting the art of beadweaving and is open to beadworkers and bead artists everywhere.

In the IBW Facebook group managed by moi, to have some fun in between last year's and this year's events, several members participated in a year-long-bead-along, e.g. making each month one component in the color of the IBW banner, and assemble it during this Beading Week.

All 9 Yukka flowers, in company of the pentabezels

I made two designs, one with pentabezels for the Meryl bracelet, which you can learn in the  Facebook group during beading week (you can still join and participate), and one with the Yukka flowers.

Here are the marvelous pieces made by the designers who participated:

Karan Parker made a unique design and covered one of her friends with hugs and kisses - in the IBW FB group you will see how amazing the necklace looks on her.
Coral Johnson also had an awesome idea: she made 12 beautiful twisted triangles (a June Huber design), to make a mobile with them!
Teresa Shelton made her own design, the "Sawblade Bangle" using her astonishing folded triangles.
Erin Markowitz made a gorgeous rainbow garden. She used the explanations from the Petal to Pod document to make little leaves for nearly all the components she designed for her necklace. I think that it looks like a paradise!
Amanda Cape-Davis took a very unique take on a design by Marsha Wiest-Hines - Lilac blossoms, by using a base color and adding each month flowers to it with a color from the rainbow. Something very special and beautiful.
Beth Clark made a beautiful collection of beaded beads in delicious neon colors and sent all her beads to participate in the IBW 2018 draw, and become part of the big Beadworkers Guild collection. Knowing that my own beaded bead is there now too, maybe sandwiched by hers, puts a big smile on my face.
and yours truly made a tiara (I describe the making of this piece in this article about the inspiration behind it).

My compliments to all the participants!!! Thank you for participating!

Anthea's Tiara

I made tons of photos while assembling my design made with the Yukka Flowers to show you during IBW... and then discovered that I had no SD card in my camera for most of the time. Arrghh! But I will describe the making of briefly below. First I would like to explain the inspiration.

Yukka flower with cubic zirconia 
The idea of a tiara made with "Yukka" flowers has been in my mind since I added an 8mm crystal chaton inside the flower for the first time... And although I had a metal diadem base from Bobby Beads since forever in my stash... I was convinced that it would be too heavy and didn't have the courage to bead so much for simply confirming that. 

So for the IBW 'year-long-bead-along', I had other hair accessories in mind: hair sticks. Flowers in 9 colors to match any outfit, with a zirconia in their center... awesome sauce.

Hair stick made with a chop stick
I planned to use the remaining 3 green colors for petals. Perhaps you remember me asking in the IBW FB Group for the colorful IKEA chop sticks that were out of stock world-wide? I finally found colorful plastic chopsticks for kids, but not in all the colors. In the photo on the right you can see an attempt with January's purple flower, using green "petals" for the end cap. I don't like it. It did not turn out as I hoped it would. 

Then I thought of making 2 barrettes, but the weight factor indeed became an issue, and the flowers slipped on the barrette in every direction. I struggled with their unwillingness to stand tall, and the flowers were too close to each other, which looked unattractive. It didn't do the lovely swirls justice, and ruined the rainbow effect. That actually didn't encourage me to make a tiara, and I felt a bit disheartened.

But in May, a real-life fairy tail happened: a beautiful girl from California became a British royal princess, and while wondering what to do with my flowers, my FB news feed got flooded with photos of tiaras. That pulled the trigger: I had to make that tiara I imagined with my swirly flowers and find a way to have them stand tall... As you may know, I believe in signs from the universe! And I think that I did well, because

It worked!

Here is Anthea's Tiara

Anthea's Tiara - front view
Upon suggestion of a Facebook friend, I kept the yellow flower with its rebellious swirl. I like that it shows that the flowers can be made with the swirl in the opposite direction. Somehow it balances the whole. May's malachite, June's olive and July's peridot can be found in the little bees, and the beads used to cover the diadem and to make the little petals (on the sides, and as bee wings) are July's too.

Anthea's Tiara - back view. I love zirconias because the light shines through
It sits really beautifully on top of the head, as you can see in the photo below.

Why Anthea's?

In Greek the name Anthea means: Flower; Lady of flowers. In Greek mythology, it is one of the names borne by goddess Hera, who received a garden from Gaia when she accepted to become Zeus's spouse. The guardians of this garden were the Hesperides, the "Nymphs of the West" (where the sun goes down or Evening Nymphs), believed to be the grand-daughters of the Evening star. Their number is unclear. The Evening star is nothing less but Venus in our constellation, and Venus is the goddess of love.
Hesperoyucca whipplei
or Western Yucca

Because I named my 'Yukka' flowers after the Western yucca flower (hesperoyucca whipplei) just before opening, I think that they represent the Hesperides well;
Because my muse obliged me to use the remaining, but larger pink ice CZ left in my stash by hiding my 8mm, suddenly Venus as the Evening star was beautifully represented too;
And because a garden needs bees, I made two earrings representing little bees;
The whole forms the beautiful rainbow.

It feels amazing to wear.

Do you think that Hera would wear it?

Making of the tiara:

I used only beads, thread, zirconia and a metal diadem base. No glue and no fabric. 

8mm zirconia in flower
I covered the diadem with beads in 3-drop peyote (lesson learned from the barrettes). Beading on the inside of the curve inside the diadem was challenging - I had to bend my needle and be really careful to not break a bead. The flowers stand up so well that it surprised me. Thread tension was key. I feared that the whole would flip over, but even without the small bezels between them, the flowers stand perfectly tall.

bezelled 8mm zirconias
Initially, I hoped that, standing straight, the flowers would hold the 8mm zirconias well inside their 3 points (as you can see in the photo right). I abandoned that idea after loosing the pink and aqua stones, found the aqua back and bezelled them all (photo left). They now sit between the flowers on the tiara, which looks much better than without them, actually...

Bezel before adding
the zirconia
Bezel after adding the
The large, pink ice CZ is captured inside a flat Cellini peyote bezel. Of course this made the Tiara heavier... I really wondered if it would remain on my head or tip over.

About the Cellini peyote bezel - this pretty technique gave me plenty of new ideas, like a bigger bezel for a tape measure, beaded beads and even a rope - doesn't it look pretty? I wanted to take a break after all that I have made the past months, but Eddy won't leave me alone :D, so I created a Facebook group to share our mutual passion for this stitch.

I put everything on the diadem with the combs "to the bottom" as if it was to be put on the head like a crown, but this resulted in combs pointing towards my front. Although this probably is technically incorrect, it appeared to be the best thing I could have done: the weight of the beadwork leaning to the back somewhat pushes the combs to the front, and it remains in place. It sits perfectly well on my head. If I had mounted the piece with the combs pointing backwards, the combs would slip out of my hair and the tiara would certainly fall.

Because so many happy coincidences made this piece come to life, and better then I had hoped for, it makes me believe that something out there wanted this to come to fruition. I call this "beading with the Universe". I love it when that happens.

About the Yukka flowers pattern: you will find a new, improved pattern in my Indie shop.

So log in, and download the new version! Contact me if you need help.

And join the Cellini Peyote Freaks Group!

Thank you for reading and for beading with me!