Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Beading Book Love - Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies

Having been beadweaving for about 5 years now, I have managed to accumulate my fair share of beading books. But if I asked myself of these books, how many of the projects within them I've actually sat down and beaded, well, the answer would be a number rather smaller than the number of books on my shelf! Not that I don't love these books - they've provided me with heaps of inspiration over the years, but often when there was the choice between following a project and trying to create something new myself, I have tended to go for the latter.

My recent book purchase of Sabine Lippert's hotly anticipated 'Beaded Fantasies' book has made me think about using some of my book collection to further my beady education. There are so many wonderful projects in Sabine's book it's hard to know where to start. Eventually, thought, I couldn't help but kick things off with the very popular 'Granada' brooch. I had to order a few supplies - for some reason I owned virtually no 6mm round beads (something which I have now ammended!), but then I was ready to get started. 

The thing about my own beading is that I often like to start flat - I find thinking in 3D in terms of beading difficult to get my head around. If my beadwork designs end up 3D, it is 9 times out of 10, a pure accident of the combination of beads I have used. Sabine's book has really helped me to start thinking more 3D and about layers too. When I was beading the Granada brooch I found a gap on one part that made me question if I was following the instructions right, only to realise that in the very next step, the beads added would come in to fill the gap. If I'd been trying to do that sort of thing by myself, I'd have seen the gap and though 'no, I'm on the wrong track here.' This is the good thing about working from the tutorials/instructions of someone else, it pushes your ideas and opens you up to new approaches.

So here's my version of the Granada brooch, beaded in my favourite 'Metallica' colourway as I have come to think of it. 

I am in love with this piece and Sabine's design - I can definitely see me making more of these (I'm sure if my Mum sees it she'll be wanting one!). 

The other project from the book that I've completed is the Scherezade pendant - a fab combination of RAW and netting. Again, this piece tested my ideas about construction and layers in 3D beading, and I love the result. 

I've worn this piece a few times - I've had it on a long chain with the chain just looped through the pendant with a larks head knot. It is very sparkly thanks to the silver and half coat vitrail firepolished crystals I used. I could see me making this design again, but perhaps a little smaller - you can see from my hand in this photo that this pendant is fairly big, and it definitely has some weight to it too.

I'm sure I'll be making many more things from this book and I'll of course share finished pictures here when I do. Next on my list are some of the designs which use 8mm Swarovski chatons!


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Beading for Me

So it's been a whole month since I wrote a post for the blog. The reason for this is that I'm currently in the midst of writing up my PhD thesis i.e. 4 years worth of work. I am my desk 6 out of 7 days a week, most of those working all day on it, and even when I do take a bit of time out of an evening or on a Sunday, it's still there on my mind pretty much 24/7. 

This means that beading has really taken a back seat in the last few months. Even when I have taken time to be creative, the stress of the thesis means that it's hard to focus and feeling like I *need* to create new pieces for my online shops is adding to the stress. Beading is something I love, and it is supposed to be fun and something to do to take my mind off things, as well as earning its keep through sales. 

So here's what I'm thinking - I need to do a little 'beading for me.' I still feel like I have plenty to learn about this art from those artists I admire. I have new techniques I want to try out without feeling the pressure of 'this needs to be good enough to be sold online.' Earlier in the year I wrote a post about how I wanted to make a piece from tutorials written by other beadwork artists, one a month, to expand my knowledge and inspire me. This didn't happen...well, I made 2/3 of one earring, because I have so little beading time that I felt that time spent beading other peoples' designs was my own beading time 'wasted.' 

The webshops will all remain open - I have pieces in stock that are already made, plus a few half-finished things currently on my bead mats and I'd also be happy to still take on custom orders. But, I'm not going to put myself under pressure to churn out beadwork purely for the shops. If I happen to have an idea and that ends up as a finished piece of my own design, then sure, it can go online, but that isn't going to be my main aim for the next few months at least whilst I get my thesis finished. I've just received a copy of Sabine Lippert's new book 'Beaded Fantasies' which is full of stunning projects that I really want to try. I really like her style and I want to take a little 'walk in her shoes' beading wise. I've got some supplies on order to do a few of the projects - including some gorgeous Swarovski crystal stones, and I can't wait to get started.

I'll endeavour to update the blog with what I'm beading - plus if any new work goes up for sale, I'll let you know. I've included a few pieces I've listed in the last week or so at the bottom of this post. 

 Jet Black Swarovski Crystal 'Halo' Necklace

Blue Flower Brooch

 Teal Swarovski Crystal 'Halo' Necklace

But this beader is taking a little bit of me time for now.

That's all for this post.