Saturday 24 May 2008

Water - work in progress - Part 5

bag 9

After 10 days sick with the flu and most of it spent in bed, coughing, sneezing but mainly blowing my nose :-) I finally got round to tackling the strap for this bag.

I decided to try out a new technique - by new I mean new to me, I think it's been around for thousands of years :-) - Wrapped Rope - I have been meaning to try it out for some time now, and finally took this opportunity (10 days in bed) to finally do so :-)

I followed the instructions given in "Zulu - Inspired Beadwork" by Diane Fitzgerald - however, as I really don't like to be told what to do :-), I simplified them, instead of wrapping with two strings of beads I did it with one :-) The author states that this technique can be done with as few as one strand and as many as six. I'm not sure how I would handle 2 strands let alone 6!!!! I did find this technique, although simple, quite fiddely, it was hard to turn the fabric and hold the tension all at the same time, but then again this is my 1st attempt :-)

bag 11

First I made 4 beaded beads in square stitch and passed my lovely turquoise silk (once a sarong) though them. Then I started wrapping the silk fabric with turquoise Czech beads.

I'm quite happy with the result, although there is definitely room for improvement :-) but as this bag is for myself, it's good enough :-)

One reason I really liked using this wrapping method is because the beading worked up really quickly. E.g.: it took about the same amount of time to bead one of the beaded beads (30 minutes) as it did a whole section of wrapping - so it could be said that it's about 3 times quicker or even more.

I will be introducing a beaded bag line, in addition to my beaded jewellery, sometimes in the near future, so stay tuned! :-)

In the mean time, if you are new to my blog and would like to see the previous posts on the progress of this bag from the start, please click on the links below:

Water - work in progress - Part 1

Water - work in progress - Part 2

Water - work in progress - Part 3

Water - work in progress - Part 4

Monday 19 May 2008

Water - work in progress - Part 4

Yes!!! Ok!!! so it's becoming a bit of an epic :-) I am now on part 4 and it still isn't 100% finished!!! :-) having said that, I am thoroughly enjoying this!!!!

I've been sick since Friday... my son gave me whatever he brought home this week :-) I think it's the flu... or a really bad cold... not that I know the difference... in fact I don't even know if there is a difference :-) anyway.... so the last couple of days, even though I still felt like utter and total crap, I took my "water " piece to my room and spent the days in bed advancing with it... First of all I have to mention that this will not be going for sale... it is mine!!! all mine!!! :-) I just love it too much!! That and the fact that I have a terrible bag fetish which I have not been able to fulfil in the last couple of years, I ave decided that I'm keeping this one! I really, really love it + I'm so proud of myself for making a suede bag!!! I honestly didn't think my sewing machine would sustain the extra thickness... but it did!!!

Here's the body of the bag:

bag 6

I made the outside with the suede from an old suede shirt I've had hanging in my cupboard for at least 9 years.... (I'm so glad I don't like throwing things out!!!!) I think I only bought it because I loved the suede and the richness of the colour... and it was relatively cheap... and now it's been turned into what will probably become my favourite bag of all times!!!! apart from my Fendi baguette that was stolen from my house by a house-guest years ago (but that is a whole other story, and am still hoping one day it will come back to me with the jewellery and watch that was also taken - so if you are reading... :-) and I do know who you are, no hard feelings, just please give me my stuff back!!! ... as I said a whole other story :-D) So, I was saying.... I used the old suede shirt for the body of the bag and for the lining I used one of those lovely designer sample fabrics that my neighbour gave me last week.... I think it may be silk, but am not sure...

bag 8

For the flap I chose one of the heavier sample fabrics and then cut a square of suede of the same size. I then glued and stitched the bead embroidered piece onto the fabric, did some more embroidery, glued the fabric to the suede and beaded all around the joint pieces. And here is what came out :-)

I'm so over the moon with the result... and I'm definitely keeping this one for me :-)

I still have to make a strap for it, although I actually don't think it needs it, but for practical reasons, walking around holding one 3 1/2 year-old in one hand and the dog leash in the other, it makes sense to put a strap :-)

I sort of have an idea in mind involving an old silk turquoise sarong... and some beaded beads... lets see if it come out like I envision it... in the meantime, here is the back view of the bag:

bag 10

obviously not finished :-)

Did I say how pleased and proud of it I am??? :-) amazing what one can do with an old shirt, some scraps and a few beads!!! ;-)

Come back soon and check out the finished piece :-)

Saturday 17 May 2008

EBW Food Chain Challenge Results!!!

And the results are in for this month's EtsyBeadweavers Challenge!!!

1st place - Food Chain in the Enchanted Garden - Pouch by EnchantedBeads










Congratulations EnchantedBeads!!! stunning bag!!!

To see the rest of the results please go to:

Friday 16 May 2008

Green, Purple and Pearl Necklace

Well... I can happily say that my bead rut is officially over!!!! :-) and this is a new piece I made in the last couple of days - Green, Purple and Pearl Pendant - yes I know, hardly original, but as I have no idea what inspired me to make this... it just sort of happened... :-) I could not come up with a name for it.... Maybe someone out there has a suggestion.... if so, feel free to leave me a comment, it may be fun to see what everyone comes up with :-)

purple-green-pearl neck 02a copy

For more details on this piece please visit my shop :

Water - work in progress - Part 3

progress 12 Remember "Water" work in progress? Yes, it has been a while but this piece has always been on my mind even when I've been working on something else. In case you want to refresh your memories of this piece here are the previous posts:

Water - work in progress - Part 1

Water - work in progress - Part 2

So my beading rut has thankfully ended and my beading angel seems to be guiding me once more :-) so I started playing around with the idea to incorporate this piece into some sort of bag. The funny thing is, DSCN4099when I first started beading, I started because I wanted to learn to make beaded components for my knitted bags, however.... I got so hooked (ok, obsessed!) with the actual art of bead-weaving that I forgot all about wanting to make bags.... but... this piece scrams to be on a bag... and my neighbour popped up the other day with a huge bags of fabric samples from the furniture shop where she works!!!! Of course I have to make something out of all these wonderful pieces of fabrics!!! so I started playing around with some ideas. Understand that I've only ever made knitted bags... I have no idea how to construct a bag.... I do know how to sew, I have a B.A. in Fashion Designs and obviously we had to learn how to sew, but I HATE sewing!!!! :-) seriously!!! beading is not sewing :-) So armed with little knowledge :-), lots of ideas and lots of enthusiasm, here is the slow advancement of "Water"!

bag 1 bag 2bag 3 bag 4 bag 5

Ok... so here you can sort of see where I'm going... sort of :-)

I've used bead-backing as backing for the suede. The gorgeous chocolate brown suede is recycled from an old shirt that never got really used, the fact that it's slightly distressed or at least doesn't look new adds interest and texture and I like it a lot!!! :-) and the beigy fabric is from one of the samples I received from my neighbour (you can see the bag of samples in the second photo from the top)

I have no idea if this will turn out or not... but I've dusted my sewing machine and have started making something.... a bit worried about attaching the lining to the suede and backing...

I have a bag fetish.... I love them, if I could I would have a zillion, as it happens I have quite a few, but not a zillion.... so this one may just stay in my collection... whatever the outcome :-)

Will be posting updates, so come back or subscribe to receive my monthly blog newsletter by e-mail (top right under "About me")

Sunday 11 May 2008

Photo Set Up - and Finally a new piece!!!

I sometimes get asked about my photo set up... and I try to explain it, but as they say a picture is worth 1000 words... so here is my photo set up :-)

photo set 02

photo set 01

As you can see... hardly high tech!!! :-) I use my dining table because it's in the corner of two very well lit windows, so the light coming in is superb... the mosquito net screens provide just the right amount of light diffusion.

photo set 03I lay my black plastic-like sheet, that I bought from my local art shop (please don't ask me what it's called as I don't know, all I can tell you is that it feels like plastic, it costs around $1.50 and it comes in a few colours)

I lay the plastic sheet over an object (in this case my fruit bowl) just to give the photos some depth. You could also set it up on a chair, but this works for me.

and that is basically it!!! :-)

Things to remember:

  • Turn off the automatic flash on your camera.
  • Do not go into direct sunlight, take shots in the shade outside on a bright day, or if you are lucky like me, on your dining table, but not in the sun.
  • Steady yourself and your camera on a tripod, a table, or as I do, the back of a chair :-)
  • I personally like to use very low angles and like to be close up to the item I'm photographing, but just have fun, experiment, move around, move the jewellery, till you get the shots you like. The best thing about digital cameras is that if you take 100 shots and none of them are any good, you can take another 100. No film waste, no paper waste but most of all no time waste, as you can go straight to your computer and check if anything decent came out, and as I said, if not.... take some more :-)

And the reason why I had to take photos this morning.... well, I don't want to speak too soon, but I think my beading rut is about to come to an end. So yesterday I made this pendant for a friend... I hope she'll like it... :-) I've also listed it in my Etsy shop Black & Pearl Pendant and will be making one for me this coming week end, because I absolutely love it and really want one too :-)

Black & Pearl Pendant 01 copy

Black & Pearl Pendant is the perfect complement to Black and Pearl Bangle

Black & Pearl bracelet 02 copy

Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of my beading rut!!!!

and hopefully my friend will love it... or at least like it ;-)

Thursday 8 May 2008

EtsyBeadweavers May Challenge - The Food Chain

EtsyBeadweavers Challenge for May is The Food Chain and look what a wonderful job the EtsyBeadweavers have done with the interpretation of this theme. Due to my total beading rut, I didn't enter this challenge, but seeing all these beautiful pieces has definately inspired me!!!! I already have a few favourites!!! and now I have to go and pick just one?!?!?! Go check this great selection of beadwork and vote for your favourite. Voting lasts 6 more days, so don't put it off!!! :-)

Beadwoven Goodies!!! Treasury

and 3 is a hat trick!!! oh wow!!! I have gone from treasury desert to the land of plenty!!! :-)
Thank you so much Kathy's Krafty Kreations for including my Wall Flower Choker in this lovely treasury!!!!
I don't want to sound like a broken record... you know what to do... but in the off-chance that you are new to my blog :-) go check out the treasury, check out each gorgeous piece and leave a comment :-)
This treasury runs out on Saturday 10th May at 10.38 am (US time)

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Little Black Dress - Treasury

Now look at this beauty of a treasury that I found myself in a few minutes ago!!! Wow!!! Talk about the perfect jewelry for your little black dress!!!! Well done RegalBeads for putting this amazing collection of beadwork together so beautifully and thank you so much for including my Black and Pearl Blossom Earrings!!!
This treasury expires Saturday 10th May at 2.25 pm (US time) so go check it out, click on the amazing pieces and leave your comments :-)

Tuesday 6 May 2008

EBW Rock!!!!

EBW Rock! That is the title of this wonderful treasury... and that is exactly right!!! EtsyBeadWeavers do rock!!!!

I feel very honoured to have my Sunflowers included in this great selection! Thank you so much TotallyTwisted!!!

Go check it out, leave your comment, click on the gorgeous beadwork!!! :-)
Some of my favourites beadweavers are in this treasury which runs out on Wednesday 7th May at 11.02 pm (US time) so hurry!!! :-)

If you would like to see how the Sunflowers evolved, please click on the links below to go to my January/February posts on this piece:

Saturday 3 May 2008

Beading Rut!!!!

You may or may not have noticed.... that lately I have not posted anything about my beadwork. Well, the reason is.... I'm in a total rut!!!!!!! I have all these projects that I started, but can't seem to spend more than a few minutes at a time on each... and they are advancing at a snail pace... I don't know why I'm feeling so uninspired, and therefore decided to do a search on Etsy to see what my fellow beadweavers are doing in an effort to break this horrible dead-end feeling that I have looming over my beading table.... where are you beading angel???? Yes I actually believe I have a beading angel that watches over my shoulders while I'm beading, inspiring and guiding me!!! Ok, so you may think I'm totally nuts but, I do really believe it!!! and yes, some of you may think I'm certifiable... and you may be right!!! I know some of my dearest friends may agree with you :-) so here are some of the EtsyBeadweavers that I've been looking at whilst looking for inspiration (they are not in any specific order of preferance, just what I found randomly that caught my eye):

This is by no means an extensive list. There are so many more beautiful pieces that I just didn't have time to add (my son needs his bath and story before bedtime).

So please go and check out the rest of the EtsyBeadweavers and pick your own favourites from a selection of ever-growing amazing talent!!! but in the meantime check out these, visit their shops and blogs!!! :-) and who knows, if my beading rut continues, then I may post another selection :-) Till the next time... happy beading to those of you who are not in a rut!!! ;-)


Yeahh!!! I'm in a treasury... I haven't been in a treasury for so long, I don't even recall the last time I was in one.... although I have to say, that I haven't been able to enter the treasuries in such a long time, so I may have been in one and I wouldn't have known... but thank you so much TotallyTwisted for including my Pink Flower in this gorgeous flowery list!!! This Treasury expires on the 4th May at 11.48 pm US time. Go check it out, leave a comment, check it out by clicking on each item ;-)