Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NYE Beading in the car, Bangle and Earrings

I booked a formal Gala Ball for NYE in Hot Springs Arkansas so I packed some beads to make something to match my dresses (I'm  still not sure just how formal I'm going, I packed 2 options, both blue/purple).

My drive from East Lansing to Potosi, MO took about 8 hours. I set my timer while beading.  I finished the purple bangle in 6 hours and the little purple earrings took about a half hour.  Not bad, I thought the bangle would take longer, I have been working more on the Pattern Play Bangles, as they get wider they're slower to stitch, but keeping these smaller certainly cuts the time down.

Since I was making these bangles particularly for myself I decided to make them 4 seed beads smaller around than my usual bangle size. They are snug to slip on but work perfectly.

These photos aren't bad for my cell phone-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-hotel photo shoot.  Hopefully I'm happy with how they look with the dresses! And Linda thought that I wouldn't be able to whip something up in time :)  I may work on a larger pair of earrings on the next leg of our drive.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Bead Store: Bead Haven

Merry Christmas from Danielle! 

I hadn't been to Frankenmuth since 2006 and I keep hearing about a fabulous bead store there.  Frankenmuth is the place where us Michiganders go to see "Bronner's Christmas Wonderland". If you need something Christmas-related, it's, well, a sight to see.  When I first drove into town the place was nuts, so I decided to hit the bead store and have a traditional family style German chicken dinner first.

Bead Haven is the bead store and the rumors are true!  Being someone who is specifically looking for seed beads, an entire room of tubes and baggies of seed beads covering the walls is very exciting.  I really didn't need any more beads, but I have had a color palette for spring floating around in my head so I purchased a few tubes for that and some filler of a specific purple shade that I am low on (tubes below).  You can see that I bought two tubes of a greenish turquoise seed bead.  I had originally bought this seed bead in Marquette at Bella Beads  on my way to the Porkies and I used almost the whole tube while I was living in Dan's cabin. So I was happy that Bead Haven (a mere hour away rather than 6-7 hours away) carries Toho, which I don't usually order (I lean towards Miyuki seed beads).

I also have to say that Bead Haven not only is a really put-together store (with lots of room so you're not bumping into other shoppers and knocking beads off of displays) but their website is pretty thorough, beware, it could be dangerous.

I hope everyone enjoys their holidays and hopefully there is beads or yarn or your favorite fiber involved! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Jewelry Trunk Show Deals

I have my second and last holiday sale tomorrow, Wednesday, at the law firm that I work part time at.  It's open to the public and you're welcome to swing in and see our office in Lansing over towards the Hall of Justice.  The address is Speaker Law Firm 230 N. Sycamore Street, Lansing MI 48933  There's free two hour parking on Ionia Street and the office is an old house on the corner of Ionia and Sycamore.

I have been going through my jewelry stock and there are pieces that I have had for much too long and are taking up valuable space.  SO I'll have some steeply discounted pieces on Wednesday, here's a few examples:

No additional discounts will be applied to these pieces, no bartering and as usual, all sales final.  If you can't make it or are not local, you're welcome to contact me via email or by leaving a comment below on Thursday or after to see what I have left and I can ship it to you for flat shipping, whatever you're looking to purchase.

If you want to join the event via Facebook, feel free to HERE.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weaving Yardage....possibly never again....?

I have been trying to finish off some projects that are long-started and neglected for one reason or another.  This feels good to have it off my loom and Delilah folded up for a little bit to make room to finish other projects that are growing issues in my mind.

Back in August of 2013 I was taking a class with Mary Sue Fenner making a jacket out of our handwoven.  I'm not very good at prepping for classes (as I certainly discovered here!). I had decided maybe two months before to use up my hand-dyed rayon leftover from college and lord knows what other projects to weave yardage for this class.  Clearly, I did not get this fabric woven in time and then it sat and I picked at it. Over a year later I got this darn yardage off my loom.

I am constantly inspired by other weavers who weave beautiful fabric and then make it into wonderful clothing pieces.  Daryl Lancaster has been a source of inspiration since she spoke with the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild a number of years ago and she has been to the Michigan League of Handweavers Conference & Workshops....maybe this is ready to go for one of her workshops?  Or I'll find the perfect Vogue Pattern and be ready to go? Also, a Kalamazoo weaver Helen Duffy of Axtell Creek Designs is always making something cool. Bonnie Kay and Ellen Wilson of the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild create amazing pieces with their handwoven....just to name a few I can think of this morning....

This fabric is hand-dyed rayon woven in a weave pattern that involves breaks or recesses in the cloth, which is giving it's springy feel. (page 164, figure 757 in A Handbook of Weaves)  I wanted to use all 6 shafts on my loom...because I can. Its set is at 20 ends per inch.  

I now know that I could do this, I have the knowledge to go forth and do so, but all I've been thinking about is my next double weave pick-up wall hanging and the tapestry that I started in the Porkies.  This may not be for me, not right now anyway.

Confession:  I hated the idea of hand-washing 7.5 yards of fabric and I have a new washer that has a hand-wash setting.  I stitched the edges of this fabric down like Mary Sue had taught us (since I don't own a serger), crossed my fingers and threw it in the machine.  I decided not to put it on spin, so it came out sopping wet and I hung it.  I mean, if I do make this into clothing, I will be putting it in the machine, so it better hold up, right?

It held up, whew! After washing it, I love this fabric even more....maybe I will weave yardage again one day.  The light soft give to this fabric is already begging to be made into something. I'm already perusing the Vogue patterns I own and some online.

Older references to this yardage: Weaving it in January  &  a Video of this being woven

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Uprooted 3: Growth

I started Uprooted 3: Growth while at Blueberry View Artist's Retreat, and I have just finished it last week.  I love making the beaded tendrils and parts of the woodworking, but the sanding and finish work I tend to procrastinate on.  Lucky for me, Luke of Luke Anthony Photography could squeeze me in this week for professional photos of a few of my pieces.  This is the first of posting his awesome photos:

It's secondary name is "growth" because that word really represents my artwork from 3 years ago to now, lots of growth, in my work, as an artist and within myself.  I have had things come up in my life recently that have caused me extreme amounts of stress.  In the past few weeks I have had a lot of personal growth and it feels like a wave has washed over me.  I am calmer than I have been and I am getting my focus and excitement back and centered around my art.

The next two photos I took, because I thought it was unfair to do this post without showing that this piece can also hang on the wall.  When I had finished Uprooted 2: Big Ugly, I had wished that I could hang it on the wall.  I like it fine as a free-standing sculpture, but I always like options.  Uprooted 3 easily lent itself to hanging on the wall with it's flat bottom, so it wasn't a lot of extra work to consider making a small nail-hole.  

This particular piece wasn't growing on me very quickly at first, but I have to say, there was an immediate sense of satisfaction when I put it up on my living-room wall this morning.  I think I will be admiring it from here for a little bit.  It really comes out at you.

I need to thank everyone for their love and encouragement recently.  I know that sometimes posting to social media makes you feel like images and daily progress can go unnoticed, but between Instagram, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter I've had many lovely comments and encouragement to keep going and finish this (among other) pieces. Also a huge thanks to Luke for getting photos so quickly, my next few blog posts are going to be more beautiful with his eye behind the camera rather than mine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gold and Black St. Petersburg Chain Jewelry

When I blend in multiple colors together I usually just do a mix in one of the sections of my bead tray and pick up beads at random.  I decided to change up the fade from black to gold in this set of jewelry by utilizing the straight line angle that the St. Petersburg Chain stitch lends itself too.

I'm really enjoying the outcomes:




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Back to Beaded Jewelry: Teal Gold and Black set

I tend to go on a bit of a jewelry-making binge as holiday season comes up.  I decided to go with a combination of dark teal, dark gold and black this year.  Here are some of the new pieces that I have made.

Cluster Earrings

Leaf Bracelet


Double Pod Earrings

Lariat Necklace 
3 Leaf Pendant 
Tiny strip pod earrings 
Pod Earring with pearl

Monday, October 6, 2014

Japan Vacation: Ending in Tokyo

I ended our last four days in Tokyo after our Japan Rail Pass was expired. There's lots to see still and I did lots of walking.

Fake-lace chain link, but still cool (the design was hooked in separate)

Window displays appreciating skeins

Traditional dress in front of Tiffany's

The floor of the museum, I couldn't help it, I'm inspired by the inlay.

Beautiful gold foiled panels.

So much anime in Electronic Town, this was a bunch of girls dressed as characters, it was in an outdoor expo sort of area.

Back to Ueno park, we hit the Zoo.

So long Tokyo, until we meet again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Japan Vacation: Atami/Izu Peninsula

I was really tired after hiking Mt. Fuji but got in a nap at a hotel in Mishima and found this great teriyaki place for dinner.

This is their attempt at writing out an English menu.

One of my favorite manhole covers!

Ajiro Station where our host for the Atami Red House that I booked picked us up at 
(more than a few times!)

The only traditional guestroom I stayed in at Atami Red House.  It was a lovely spot.

Oh the slippers! The main ones had little dogs, then there were slippers for the toilet too,

Our hosts took me and another guest for a drive along the sites.  We went to Ajiro's public Beach.

Atami Castle

Atami castle allowed photos of the armor and helmets, which are just beautiful.

I couldn't read anything at the Atami Castle since it was all in Japanese, so I still have no explanation for some of the below images...

(They would carry the lords around in these little boxes)

Atami is known for its dried fish....these are all out in the open markets.

Excellent sashimi, except the cuttlefish....I decided that one wasn't for me.

Zack couldn't help but play with the fish head.

Atami Beach

Private bathhouse that our hosts had access to, hot springs inside and outside on the top story overlooking the bay.


The National Park in Ito...took a wrong turn and had an all-day hike...

It has the largest wax myrtle in Japan.

There's a herd of kitties that live on one of the bluffs along this hike!

The second homemade delicious breakfast at Atami Redhouse.  The bread on the left actually has cream cheese, figs and raisins in the middle.  YUM!

Neon with Muted Greens and Tan Jewelry Multi Loop Checker Earrings and Bangle

Between perusing Pinterest for current color ideas and watching the movie  Poor Things  I had the urge to play more with the neon green-yell...