Monday, September 26, 2011

Adding Texture To Peyote Stitches

One easy way to add interest and a little texture/depth to peyote stitch can be accomplished by using different size seed beads in the work.  This tubular peyote stitch necklace was made with even count rows starting with 10 beads alternating between no.11 size seed beads and no. 8 seed beads with each "step up".  I used no. 11 silk finish beads to add extra sparkle.  The first and last row was made with a complete row of 10 size no. 11 beads.  Additional fringe work was added around the closure and main sections leading into the glass lampwork focal bead.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ancient Jewelry

It never hurts to look at ancient artwork and jewelry for inspiration in the things we like to wear today.  I can't help catching myself saying, "hey, I could make that!" ...and hitting the realization that many metalworking and fabrication techniques I am familiar with have lasted through the ages. To say it more clearly, the bronze ages. The ancient Greeks (Mycenaean civilization) used a number of techniques including a process that involved stamping out bead forms from gold sheet using dies. Gold was imported by the early Greeks and used quite prevalently. The beaded gold and cornelian necklace shown in the photo below is known to be Cypriot (island of Cyprus) with a Mycenaean influence from 1400-1200 BC.

                                    Photo by Jastrow

*For more information on ancient jewelry check this link:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Old Saguaro

It was a beautiful fairly cool morning today.  Went on hike into the desert and found the "old bones" of a huge fallen saguaro cactus.  It was truly massive and I have been told saguaros this size live well over 200 years. How inspiring to find something like this completely intact still holding the complete shape of what it looked like when it was alive, cactus arms and all.  The second I saw it I knew I was going to have to try to make something that would always remind me... The shape and flow of the bones that make up the trunk are so undulating and graceful.  So here before me lies a new challenge. I think it will be a pendant or neckpiece from precious metal clay.  Not sure what the final piece will actually turn out to be at this point but I will post it and let you see.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interesting Beads...

-Found some really great clay beads that I plan to make into earrings or a bracelet and thought I would share them here. I visited Sedona (AZ) last weekend and found them at one of the shops at Tlaquepaque. Yes the spelling is correct -Tlaquepaque is a little village of art galleries and shops featuring southwestern art. Sedona is definately a place to stop if you happen to be in Arizona.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sewing Is A Healing Craft

Thumbnail for version as of 00:28, 15 October 2009So here we all are nearing the 10th anniversary of 911. Much has changed and yet much thankfully has remained the same. I saw an amazing newscast recently about the journey of an American flag and the communities it has touched. This particular flag flew at the World Trade Center before and after the events of 911. During its final days at ground zero, it reached a severe state of disrepair. The flag was eventually removed from where it flew at the side of a damaged building and was put away.

Seven years later the flag found itself among a community of people who took it across the country to be restored stitch by stitch. Local heroes of more recent tragedies were invited to stitch the flag. Its final tour for restoration was completed last month. It will be returned to the site of the World Trade Center to hang in the 911 Memorial Museum scheduled to open next year. Sewing is a healing craft.

photo by Bill Koplitz

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Color Trends For Fall

Time to start incorporating some of those wonderful fall colors -and don't feel limited to the classic browns, rust, and gold. Pantone's fashion report for fall 2011 based on surveys of all the top trend setters includes great luscious colors with my favorites: emberglow17-1547, cedar16-0256, coffee liqueur18-0930 and orchid hush 13-3805. Where do they even get these names from? I think they sound stupendous! Lots of inspiration here for all our new wardrobe and design projects! Want to guess Pantone's readership favorite fall color? So far today, 26% say Deep Teal.  Follow the links to Pantone's Fall Fashion Color Report 2011.
bamboo PANTONE 14-0740emberglow PANTONE 17-1547honeysuckle PANTONE 18-2120phlox PANTONE 19-2820cedar PANTONE 16-0526deep teal PANTONE 19-4914coffee liqueúr PANTONE 18-0930nougat PANTONE 16-1320orchid hush PANTONE 13-3805quarry PANTONE 15-4305

code 9VPZS8Z4F4SD