Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The "Lard 'Tunderin Jesus" Bead

I just received my copy of the latest Beadweaving Master Class series from Lark Publishing, Maggie Meister's Classical Elegance. This is a terriric book with many useful techniques and projects.  I was fortunate to have been able to take a class with Maggie and she is a real inspiration for beaders looking for a both new ideas and challenges.  I chose the "kilim" beaded bead for the first project to make out of the book.  
So why is this post titled as it is?  There is a well known cartoon in Canada where I live in which a canoe is....well, see the cartoon. The caption is usually "Lard 'Tunderin Jesus!", an oft heard expression in the maritimes from which I hale.

This bead has a very intricate construction, with a framework built first and brick stitch panels added into the structure.  The framework went fairly easily, although I admit having had the class with Maggie it helped that I understood some of her construction methods.  The first two panels went in easily once I reviewed brick stitch, a stitch which I like but don't use as often as others.  The third panel was getting a touch more difficult due to the overall space between the ribs.  When I finished the first half after a few ripouts I sat back to admire my progress when I noticed that there was a rib behind that I had missed. 
So I ripped out again, attached the panel to the right rib, and eventually finished the bead.  This was a terrific project, and this is a must have book for serious beaders.I apologize for the strings remaining, but as usual with beaded beads I love making them but they often sit in my beaded bead jar for admiration before they get made into something useful!
Anyway, I hope this gives all you beaders something to chuckle about today!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Loomwork with Delicas

My interest in loomwork continues.  I love the evenness of the loomwork, and am still addicted to the little pop as the beads slip into their place in between the warps. This is a bracelet adapted from a Bead and Button pattern "Capture the Spirit of the Victorian Era with Floral Patterns" for a split necklace by Jennifer Creasey.
The little rose motif is easy and quite nice in terms of how the colours of the rose make the image seem natural. I continue to be thwarted by the warp ends.  I tried to sew these in but finally resorted to gluing a piece of fabric to the threads.  I have signed up to be in the Bead Interventions group on Facebook and am hoping I to learn some better ways to deal with the ends.  In the photo below I added a three bead picot edge with size 15 seedbeeds and the overall effect is very dainty.

Our regalia pieces for the project are coming along very rapidly.  The students doing the loomwork are getting quite fast, and seem to enjoy it.
My little homemade loom works very well, and now I am giving it to the artist mentor to do her next regalia piece, so I am working on my next prototype. 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Loom Work Pendant

This is a picture of my homemade loom with a pendant started on it.  After looking at pictures of various looms, and also understanding that you can warp a loom in a way that you don't have ends to deal with, I designed this one with the help of my very talented husband.  There are still some tweaks to do on the design, but overall it works really well and can be used with various techniques.

I learned a technique for doing the warp from the artist mentor who is leading the beading project.  She uses one continuous thread rather than tying off individual threads.  I have tried to use a no  end warp technique as well, but although the concept works, the actual process is so far a lot of trouble, and I am not happy with the tension, so I have done my first 2 projects with the traditional approach (which means a lot of ends to deal with afterwards!)

This pendant is a project by Heidi Kummli from Bead and Button  October 2005, p. 116. The patterns has two variations, both of them lovely.  I beaded the piece with no problem.  The backing technique used masking tape, and I was not hapopy with result, so I took that off and developed my own way of gluing the ends onto lightweight interfacing, then backing the whole piece with ultrasuede.  That worked well.  I used more info from Heidi's book to help with the finishing, and overall it is a very attractive pendant.

I really enjoyed the loomwork, and have another project to post soon.  Because I had lots of warp thread, I was able to do a little pair of matching earrings on the same warp.
Another helpful book in terms of the actual loom technioque was the one by Margie Deeb entitled Out on a Loom, ( which is not readily available but I found one in a remainder sale.)  It has good info on necklaces and how to deal with increases and decreases.

That's all for now folks, I have one more loom piece coming soon.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Heading into a New Beadwork Genre

I have been away from beading pursuing other obsessions for several months, but now I am back to the beads.
I have been working with an artist and high school class who are doing a beautiful regalia, and this has inspired me to learn more.
Last year the class in Native Studies worked on some regalia pieces but also made medallions under the guidance of an artist mentor.  
Here is  a picture of the medallion I designed and made.  The technique is to do bead embroidery applique on a material called tara cloth.  It is sort of like a thin oilcloth.  After the beading is completed, then the piece is backed and an edge beaded border done.
The dedication of the students was impressive.  Their beading designs were very intriguing and they incorporated various personal meanings into the design and colours used.

In seeing how much the students were enjoying the medicine pouches that were this year's project, I suggested to the artist mentor that we incorporate some loomwork.  The loomwork piqued my interest, and my next post will feature the results of my first serious loom piece.