Saturday, July 31, 2021

Beaded Blob Earrings in Southwest Colors

I don't make this beaded blob earring style often enough. I just love them, and when I do make a pair the next thing I know it's been sold or they're off to a gallery.  I put together a really fun color pallet with the Wide Southwest St. Petersburg Chain Bracelet and decided to apply it to my beaded "blobs."  

These are heavier than my earrings usually are but they have a nice swing and a lot of personality.

I was thinking of beaded blobs from the past, here are a pair from 2016.

A blue pair from 2017.

And a purple pair are in this post from 2010 (before I started mixing colors and bead sizes).

Do you want to see these new earrings in person?  I'll be at Art Feast 2021 in Old Town Lansing on August 21st, 10am-5pm!  Come visit, check out local artists and food trucks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wide Southwest Stripe Bracelet and Earrings


In my effort to focus on larger statement jewelry I decided to make an extra wide St. Petersburg Chain Stitch bracelet. I started with the idea of the structure and then went to Pinterest for color inspiration.  I like to pin fashion/color-trend-based images by the year and these Southwest-feeling colors were very dominant on my 2021 Pinterest board. 

I pulled all the beads from my stash that had that color feel to it (and were the correct sizes and styles I needed for the design) and started stitching my stripes.  I really wanted to have this bracelet started in order to be able to have something other than the sample bracelet to show to my St. Petersburg Chain Stitch Zoom class.  I had a good chunk of it going already so when everyone seemed to have the stitch down I switched to working on this bracelet to show how I work it for the class. 

When I got to the end of this bracelet I noticed that it fit my wrist perfect, which isn't necessarily great for everyone, or if it's hot out. I decided to add on another row of netting loops to clasp the pearls through.  Not only does this extension work really well, but I love how the additional detail looks on the piece as a whole.

And of course I mad some tiny earrings to match which have come in hand when I need something quck cute and light for work:

All of these will be at my next outdoor booth show in Old Town Lansing, August 21, 2021 for Art Feast. (Unless someone contacts me to purchase them before that).

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Teaching Beadweaving on Zoom for the First Time

On June 18th (2021) I taught my first beadweaving workshop over the internet via Zoom. I had  a lot of reservations about teaching over Zoom but through much encouragement from the Kalamazoo guild I decided to go for it.  We don't learn new ways of doing things until we move forward and just do them, which is where I finally was at with teaching online. It's a really cool opportunity and I know weavers like Rebecca Mezoff have been teaching online for years.


Everyone can see on their screens what my hands are doing with the stitch.  St. Petersburg Chain moves in a lot of different directions so being able to sit in one spot and keep doing the stitch for the students repetitively, or slowing it down when there were questions was awesome. In a live class I have to go to each person and show them, or gather everyone in and huddle and/or draw it on a white board. I usually do all of the above.

When everyone has the stitch/rhythm down I can move to showing them a piece I'm working on that has a variation of the stitch we're learning.  I've never had the time or opportunity to do this in a class before. Everyone moves at different speeds so those who are moving fast can learn how I manipulate the stitch further while I can always jump back to the original sample piece to show the stitch again. This is pretty difficult to do in person.

On a personal level, I actually got a piece worked on and was able to finish the sample bracelet I made  with the class all the way to the end where I could show how them how to add the loop and pearl closure.  I usually am just doing this with each individual at the end of the class, sometimes running over time.

6 hours was perfect for this bracelet. We did 3 hours, an hour break and then another 3 hours. 

My set up, laptop logged in, smartphone logged in


Not being able to see each student's work in person can be a problem when I need to figure out where the stitch is going awry. Holding beadwork up to the camera wasn't as bad as I thought it might be but I'm pretty hands-on when figuring out where someone is making a literal wrong turn in a stitch. 

Advance preparation was very time-consuming. I really like to have a bunch of colors available to students to pick out in the class. Getting photos of bead options out to students to pick out with correct colors, the time I needed to place a bead order in the event everyone wanted more of a color than I had, prepping kits and mailing them is a lot more time than I suspected it would be. Everything worked out fine though so that was a relief.  

I may need a new phone. This is just a personal con, but the camera on my phone has been weird about capturing photos and video with a choppy zoom function.  We got through and maybe I was the only person who noticed but it's something I need to keep in mind for next time.

My finished bracelet, which will actually be perfect for the 
Mustard Plug show we're going to in August!

All in all this was a much easier way to teach (I never thought I'd be admitting that a year ago) and I look forward to doing this again.  I have a few things to get done around the house before I commit to more online workshops (today is replace the back storm door day) but keep an eye out for more workshops via my newsletter and social media! Or feel free to reach out to me in advance and I'll make sure I let you know when I'm getting students together for a class.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Gray Checker Bangle and Earring Set

I was really struggling trying to get good photos of this set. I've had one of those weeks where my motivation is non-existent and then when I did get to taking photos I struggled getting the color correct and the lighting kept being off. I do love how this set turned out though. It's not as aggressive as black and white checkers cane be, it's a nice, more subtle piece. 

I created this bangle after finishing my first checker sets which people seemed to like at the Block: Aid event. I was using the tiny bangles that I'm working towards removing from my stock on both ends of this piece also. For the earrings I pulled similar colors from my delica bead stash to match up but still be slighty different.

The photos don't really show it, but the grey beads have a little bit of a rainbow tinted into the matte glass.  They're really lovely.

I think the colors for this set were spurred a little by the Pantone colors for this year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. 


Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...