Monday, January 26, 2015

Mismatching Watercolor Earrings

"Mismatched" Flower Earrings

I had finished a "new" bangle for my Spring 2015 color line, and as it sat on my desk one evening during a serious cleaning of the office/bead studio, a few earrings popped right out of the pattern.  So I Photoshopped the shapes out:

And came up with a "leaf pattern" which consequently looks a bit like hopps or upside down corn.

And two different versions of the flower.  At first I thought the small flower and the leaf would make a fun "mismatched" pair of earrings.  But as some comments rolled in on Facebook and Instagram, I started a second flower earring, slightly longer, to mismatch with one of the two I had already made.

In the end, I really prefer the two "mismatching" flowers together. So I'm making a match for the leaves now.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Car Meets Bicycle

In the bicycling world, car and bicycle meeting on the road usually is not a happy outcome, especially for the bike and/or rider.  It seems its a similar outcome for my beaded bike bracelet too.   My friend who is an avid biker and wears one of my "Bicycle Race" bangles religiously was almost too scared to tell me that she had taken the bangle off, put it in her lap, gotten out of her car and it fell in the road. She also didn't realize that this had happened for a while, so when she went back, the bracelet was pretty beat up.

I told her I'd like to see just how bad it is, and also how well it held up.  Glass seed beads run over by who knows how many cars I wasn't too hopeful, but I could re-use the beads when I made her a new one.

I have to say that I'm really impressed at how well it held up! Its bangle shape is still sturdy and there are a number of broken beads out, however the rest of the beads are hanging in there, almost as if nothing happened in some of its parts.

A repair like this is pretty big, and there are enough beads out that many black threads would be showing on the inside of the bangle. I usually just pop a few new beads in and push the threads to the inside but in this case I'm going to make a new one.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Watercolor Bangle 2015 Re-do

This pattern is a re-do because the original bangle that I made ended up too big.  I had miscounted on my graph paper when I was drafting this piece and I think I was something like 10 beads too long, which is really quite a lot.

The original pattern had a lot of interesting aspects to it, so I decided that when I got around to re-doing it, I would use various parts of the first draft.  A few weeks ago  I ran into this pattern while I was cleaning my office/bead studio and thought it would be a good match for the colors I was working with for Spring 2015.

I had the time to actually clock making it, which took me about 8 hours total.  This doesn't include the prep for editing the original pattern and computer-work.

I've gotten a few earring ideas going to match this piece, so look out for that blog post on it's way!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Other Blogs Mentioning Myself and/or My Artwork

Uprooted 2 (detail), Photographed by Luke Anthony Photography

On occasion while checking Google to see what comes up under my name (Jenny Schu, JennySchu etc..), I come across some gems. I really appreciate other bloggers and websites contributing comments and reactions to my work.  I often wish that when someone mentions me in a blog, they'd just shoot a link my way, however, I realize as a blogger myself, that's just a little bit extra work. So here's some links mentioning me, or even about me (programs mostly) that I want to share.

I popped up on the Lakeshore Weaver's Guild Blog from the program I presented to them in April:
Jenny Schu: Beadweaver Extraordinaire

ArgoKnot's Blog related to Convergence in Providence, RI this summer talks about "She can't See the Forest through the Trees (thank you for the wonderful compliments!):
And the Fun Continues!...

Dulcey Heller's Tumblr (this bracelet has been long-sold and Ingrid wears it, it's nice to see it popping up still):
Beautiful Plaid Beaded Bracelet from Jenny Schu

and my favorite that I stumbled across this weekend was the Buellowood Weaver & Fiber Guild's Blog:
A Visit to the Porkies for Jenny Schu - August Artist in Residence

ALSO, I was on a panel with my fiber-colleagues last night at the Ann Arbor FiberArts Guild Meeting, we were all talking about our "Fiber Journeys" and a friend of Jan Waller's talks about it on her blog:
Fraught with Meaning: 2015, Day 12

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Holiday Party Bracelet

I'm a little behind on posting about this December I took a break from finishing projects that are already started to play with some color. I have a portion of beads pulled for a Spring/Summer 2015 collection so I looked at what I had set aside.  The dress I wore for one of our holiday events is a Nicole Miller with a ton of different colors which gave me lots of options to play with new beads.  

I had picked up these great green twisted bugle beads from Bead Haven when I was in Frankenmuth then decided to use them with a stitch that I learned from Huib Petersen's class that I took a number of years ago.  The bugle beads were longer than I had used in the past, so I decided to try using larger seed beads too.  

This bracelet uses size 8 seed beads along with the 11.5 mm long bugles.  It was really different for me to try to weave with these beads.  Larger holes make it so the needle falls in and out of them much easier than I'm used to, and I had quite a time trying to get the stitching to tighten up, I ended up passing a lot of thread through the entire bracelet.  The bracelet ended up being approximately 7 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.  In retrospect I had some issues with the edges of the bugle beads being sharp and having to weave back through with my thread.  Being much larger bead holes I should have tried some thread other than nymo.  I do have spiderwire along with some other threads on hand in a pinch.  If I have another issue I'll try re-doing it.

This is the Nicole Miller dress, 
the colors are really much brighter than this image...

I'm not sure I would do this stitch this big again unless it was for an installation piece.  I like it much better in a smaller, more delicate size. Usually when I stitch this bracelet it's about .75 inches wide (I use shorter bugle beads).

As I play catch-up on jewelry that I've been making and compile a bead order based on projects that are waiting for more of a color (I now have 3 pieces that are waiting for me to order from Fire Mountain gems) here's a teaser of what's to come: 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Eureka Springs, Arkansas = Love

On our way out of Hot Springs we knew we wanted to get through Ouachita National Forest but didn't have a plan beyond that drive.  I had picked up a swanky looking pamphlet about the art in Eureka Springs and decided to look into it.  I booked a hotel, but in retrospect if I go back I really should look into booking one of the cabins or bed and breakfasts in the Historic Loop around Main Street and Spring Street.  

After checking in to the hotel I went out to a restaurant/bar.  The restaurant side is the Pied Pipers Pub, the bar side is the Cathouse.  There was great live music!  I can't remember the opening act (Amanda Mae maybe?) she sang a few songs, one of which was called Sewing Machine.  Then the main act was Lou Shields.  Not only quite the entertainer, but all of his guitars/instruments are handmade by friends, many of which incorporate his old skateboards (including his foot-percussion pieces).  Most notable was the "Shitar" (instead of Sitar) which he showed off well.

I was excited to explore the downtown the next day. I parked way up Spring Street because I kept stopping to look at all of the interesting details of the old houses and the immaculate shape they've been kept in.  I walked down street lined with houses perched above the sidewalks and rock gardens inset along the path with stairs and springs in them.  

(I love they way they decorated hanging baskets with colored icicles and ornaments in the basket)

Along with a number of galleries Eureka Springs has a hat shop (Hats, Hides and Heirlooms), bead store (Cresent Moon) and yarn/needlework/weaving/knitting shop (Fleece & Flax).  I could settle down right here and stay!  

Lunch was at Local Flavor.  I followed the Foursquare suggestions to get the Sesame Goat Cheese salad and was not disappointed.  Also the French Lavender Martini: (vodka, lemon, calendar syrup, champagne) was amazing.

I didn't want to leave, but I eventually have to get back to Lansing so back on the road and landed in Springfield, MO for the evening.  Other birds we saw today: blue jay, black vulture. The bird apps just aren't the same as flipping through Petersen's bird guide.  I have also gotten a bit more beading done.  I imagine there will be a significant more to do tomorrow. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hot Spings National Park Hike

The first hike of the New Year was around the Hot Springs National Park.  I didn't bother with the observatory tower since it's been foggy and rainy.  There wasn't much rain this morning so it was perfect to venture into the woods.  There were wonderful pops of colors through the fog and rock formations.

There were also some areas where we saw many different birds flitting around.  Most interesting were the Brown Creeper (a bird I've never seen before!), Titmouse, Junco and the Downy Woodpecker.  Adding to the 2015 bird list are the Sparrow (not a house sparrow, need to look that one up), Robin, Gold Finch, Crow and the Cardinal.  

I love the coloring of these mushrooms growing off of dead-fall.

After the hike I got cupcakes from Fat Bottomed Girl Cupcakes (great name!) and headed toward Ouachita National Forest.  By the time we hit some trail heads it was raining pretty hard so I drove on toward Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  

I also have been getting beading done.  On the way down I finished a purple bangle and earring set for New Year's Eve.  Then I started in on a bangle bracelet idea that I had sketched out and have picked the colors that I'm looking at for Spring 2015 (above).  More on this bangle later!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

NYE Earrings

Happy 2015!!!! I posted yesterday with the bracelet and a small pair of earrings that I had made to go with the dresses that I packed for our New Year's Eve Gala. I had been looking at Pinterest for some inspiration for a larger pair of earrings and I ran into a number of lacy crocheted and tatted earrings and thought maybe I could go with that look with my 15/0 seed beads. 

On the drive from Missouri to Hot Springs, Arkansas I started looping off of a St. Ptersburg chain base and I was really pleased with the above results.  I want to play with this style a lot more now!

I had my hair styled at the salon at the Arlington Hotel which came out really poofy. Different for me, but fun.  I didn't realize that my hair could go that big really.  So I decided on the full length (senior prom) dress and the earrings were big enough to show from under my hair.  The Gala event was wonderful and we danced to a live big band at the Arlington's Crystal Ballroom.  2015 is already off to a better start than 2014.  I'm ready to do this!

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...