Tuesday, 25 February 2014

I do like a challenge!

Challenges come in many shapes or forms - and as blogged before - I love the restrictions of a challenge pack or a kit!  The beauty of a challenge is that there are three dimensions to it - the beads shape what is possible, imagination realizes the potential of the beads and the excitement of seeing what your peers have achieved with the same beads.

After purchasing from these stalls at the Big Bead Show - was thrilled to see the combination available for the challenge.  Pop over to see how to participate.  Fingers crossed......


Saturday, 15 February 2014

Baking, bead clubs & braids!

Third Saturday of the month has been devoted to beads for almost 5 years - I have been a member of Darlington Bead Club since it was established in the summer of 2009.  This group meets at Northern Beads - 10:30am to 2:30pm - format being that you take your own project.  I love seeing what everyone has created over the month - some fab Soutache creations from Karen.  Roll on the summer when I get to play with this medium again.

Valentines day saw me experiment with a new bake from a blog I follow - easy-black-and-white-cake.  Chocolate can now easily be sourced from a deli in Grainger market - ages since I've had white chocolate buttons!  I substituted coconut milk with whole milk - and the bake proved popular at bead club.  

North East Beading Buddies (NEBBies) featured on the Sunday Experience.  Afternoons see NEBBies meet a Coopers Cafe in Ferryhill, 2 to 5pm - format being that we work on the same project or bring our own.  Today there were several projects on the go - many were doing wirework spiders - others beaded braids.  I have been waiting for Bead & Button to hit the shops in the North East  - as I loved the cover project by Kerrie Slade.  2014 has seen me tackling stash - so replaced the glass bell flowers with lucite - really happy with the braid - might need to invest in size 11 beads for the beaded end caps..........

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Works in progress.......

I seem to be in that stacking bead mats phase.....working with a variety of mediums - copper wire is out, kumihimo disc is loaded, bead embroidery and stitching projects on the go .....  problem seems to be that I'm getting side tracked with new ideas and not completing anything!

I love the cuff I'm working on - but as it's for me...often put to one side to work on something else.  Started the project last summer at a two day workshop in Torquay with Jean Power   - project joined me at North Tyneside bead club......after unpicking a row for one rogue bead......now making progress again!

Good evening - and made even better as I had funds for beads from sales through the Box Clever scheme at Rosewill Cottage.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Baking & Beads!

I bake a lot - as well as bead - and did consider calling this blog baking beads!  I have the autoimmune conditions coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.  Further complicated by a sulphite sensitivity......in real terms it means I make everything from scratch.  

Orange Shortbread baked tonight for North Tyneside Bead Club.........hope they like - first time they've being subjected to my gluten free baking!  Great gluten free recipe - but do prefer them when they spread and are crispy!  The tips provided with the recipe are great - the addition of freshly squeezed orange juice helps with the binding process - something that is an issue in gluten free biscuits.  Resting dough in the fridge helps with the flavor.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Mathematician at dawn - that beads by dusk!

Geometry shapes how I design beadwork - I visualize structures and the next challenge is to create what's in my head.  I rarely sketch my work - often ideas occur on my long commute to school or as I'm about to drift to sleep......I struggle to follow patterns and always have variation ideas as I stitch a design.  What would happen if I change the size of the bead? How could I graduate? What would make this twist?  How can I maintain a structure that defies gravity?

My latest design Copper Curvy Pearls & Bicones was created for the geometric challenge set by the Bead Barmy Blog.   The challenge was to extend the structure of the earring design across 7 inches rather than 2 inches - to create this stunning 6 inch bracelet with copper closure - the angular twists and turns in the design influence the circumference.  It is a perfect fit!