Friday, June 16, 2017

June Challenge Peacock Paradise Results
Congratulations to Raven Pena of Tatooedraven who took first place for the public vote and Albena Weibel of AlbenaArtDesign who won the team vote!

Here are the numbers:
Team vote: 35 votes cast
1st place - Peacock bracelet by AlbenaArtDesign with 14 votes (40%)
2nd place – Crystal Statement Necklace by SpringColors with 9 votes (26%)
3rd place - Peacock Grandeur by tatooedraven with 7 votes (20%)
4th place – Blue and Yellow Tiger Swallowtail by beadn4fun with 4 votes (11%)
5th place – Your Wish Necklace by Kleopatrisija with 1 vote (3%)
6th place – Peacock Earrings by WizardIslandDesigns with 0 votes

Public vote: 135 votes cast
1st place - Peacock Grandeur by tatooedraven with 53 votes (39%)
2nd place - 1st place - Peacock bracelet by AlbenaArtDesign with 51 votes (38%)
3rd place – Crystal Statement Necklace by SpringColors with 16 votes (12%)
4th place – Your Wish Necklace by Kleopatrisija with 8 votes (6%)
5th place – Blue and Yellow Tiger Swallowtail by beadn4fun with 4 votes (3%)

6th place – Peacock Earrings by WizardIslandDesigns with 3 votes (2%)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

June 2017 "Peacock Paradise" Challenge

Here are the entries for this month's "Peacock Paradise" challenge!  VOTING WILL BE OPEN FROM JUNE 9TH UNTIL JUNE 15.  Please choose your favorite entry from the images or links below, then select your choice in the blog poll that will appear on the right sidebar during the days that voting is open.


Click on the image mosaic or links below to learn more about each entry and see larger, detailed images of each piece. 






PLEASE VOTE ONLY ONCE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ENTRY.
Image Map  








 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Shop Feature! Cath Thomas of SamohtaC


Make sure to check our Cath Thomas'

Etsy Shop

Blog

Facebook

Cath wearing "The Leaf" - 3D Peyote Shapes and Diamond Weave Collar


You seem to have a real passion for beadweaving and bead embroidery. What first brought you to the world of beading?
My mother's good friend and art-therapist, Berthy Bijlard, introduced me to beads and cross-stitching when I was about 14 or so. I continued to do cross-stitching because it was easy to find that material. Only as an adult, I got comptelely hooked on beadweaving with seed beads and bead embroidery. That was in 2004, when I saw the beautiful Bead Dreams contest pieces. Before I even could buy beads, I drew my own "Dream piece", and searched the web to learn everything from the materials to all the techniques. Where I am living there was nobody doing this, no shops, no workshops, nothing. There was also no translation for these things in French either. Eventually, I learned the basics and evolved by learning to solve problems by myself.

Neytiri's - Scored 1st place in the FMG seed bead beading contest 2016 "Bib and collar style" category.

I understand you are a bit of an expert at Diamond Weave. You even wrote a book in collaboration with the inventor of the stitch. Is this your favorite stitch?
All stitches have their advantages and for that, I love them all. However, some please me more than others. If I had to choose only one stitch to bead with, I'd have a hard time chosing between Peyote stitch, my first & much loved stitch, and Diamond Weave. There is so much one can do with DW and still so much to discover with it.

What are your favorite subjects when designing your pieces? You seem to draw inspiration from both the natural and geometric worlds.
Mother Nature and Geometrics are indeed my main inspiration. My left brain is the control freak attraceted by geometrics and my right brain is a poet in love with nature's splendor and all living beings. I try to marry the two of them, which is much harder than you may think. I essentially want to speak with beads (because I like to tell stories) in a way that blends geometric and organic, like the flaming cuff Embers, or the leaf that can be seen in my necklace "The Leaf" created in negative space thanks to the little Trapezino bezels. I am also quite happy with my petal to pod creations, like Neytiri's and a piece made for a charity, the Jane Goodall Pendant. I also  like bead embroidery for it allows the use of a variety of non-beady materials which can also be very inspiring, like the images, metal stamps and perfume bottle used in "Seduction".

Embers Cuff - Partially Zipped All-Wing Bangle
What made you move on from beading to selling and finally teaching and tutorial writing?
In 2006, I subscribed to a francophone forum. It appeared that in the seed beads section there wasn't as much to learn as I hoped, but that I had knowledge to transmit. I was particularly active in the hints and tips section, which resulted in some beaders calling me the "MacGyver" of beading (LOL!). I didn't sell patterns back then, I just wrote simple tuts and shared them for free, which allowed me to learn how to use software to explain things. I wish that tutorials for tutorial writing had been available back then, but I developed my own style, which imho is not so bad. The first pattern that I wrote "for sale" in 2009 was in fact a complimentary pattern I sent to each person donating for charity when the Fukushima disaster happened. Only when I had to stop working for health reasons and my income dropped significantly, I decided to sell tuts to pay for beady supplies.

Mokuren - Scored 2nd in the Bead Mavens Vernal Visions Contest
 
 Your piece "Souls" is incredible (and I must admit, the tutorial is on my wish list!) You describe it as the most mindful pieces you've ever beaded; can you tell us a bit more?
Thank you! Souls is very special. It is an allegory of the walk of life or lives, and one of my first 'petal to pod' creations. I think that my left and right brain did a great job together. It tells the story of souls, which never die, but go through stages of development. I made pods with a rainbow of colors on the inside. A soul is in a body like a seed resides in a pod, and gets liberated when time has come. The colors are the chakras we have in us, like a rainbow, a stairway to heaven. Here and there a soul falls out of its pod, sometimes it is too much in the green or blue or red zone... Each color is of equivalent importance. To become enlightened, every step needs to be made, experienced. Therefor necklace has a very organic look, curling, moving, making tours and detours. The soul which has experienced everything and evolved to a miraculous level of consciousness has not one specific color, it has them all. Pure light is made of all colors, not none. The crystals at the far end of the necklace represent boddhisatvas, the enlightened.
And finally, on the inside of the necklace, there is a long 'diamond' (cupchain) path, that cannot always be seen. Things may sometimes seem to go awfully wrong, but whatever happens, wherever you are, the walk is paved with diamonds. They are not always visible, but they are there, all the way long, all the time, at every step. Because life is glorious. 

 
More details about Souls can be found here: http://samohtac.blogspot.ch/2013/06/rainbows-of-color.html
Also, there is a "Petal to Pod" group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PetalToPod/

Where do you prefer to do your beadwork?
Anywhere in a calm place, in a good chair with arm rests near a window, but not in the sun. I would love to bead outside, or in public, but my light sensitivity prevents me from doing that.

Tribute to Jane Goodall - A double-sided pendant / Sculpture / Toy - The doll's skirt protects the gorilla.

I understand that you blog about your beading adventures. Does writing about your beadwork help the creation process?
No, the creation process results in writing about it, in particular if it was a long or special work. I like to share my experience with other people who would like to learn about it as much as I like to read about the WIP of other beaders, like Marsha Wiest-Hines. This is how we can learn from one another despite the distance between us. It is also a way to tell people what they can do with what I teach in my tutorials if they take the step of exploring further and improvise.
 
What tips or advice can you share that has helped you lead such a successful beading career? I don't consider my beading activity as a career, but Maya Angelou said one day:
'Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.'
and maybe that is what makes my beading a successful journey.
 
Seduction - Finalist in the FMG seed bead beading contest 2016
 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Challenge Results
Congratulations to Sandra Allen of Bliss Works Studio who won both the team and the public vote!
Here are the results:
Team vote:  46 votes
1st place – Slice – Bliss Works Studio – 16 votes (35%)
2nd place – Strawberry Cream – CraftNicheDili – 10 votes (22%)
3rd place – Tropical Smoothie Beauty – 4uidzne – 8 votes (17%)
4th place – Sugar Skull Sugar Cookie – tattooedraven – 5 votes (11%)
5th place – Pavlova – SpringColors – 4 votes (9%)
6th place – Fuchsia Necklace – WizardIslandDesigns – 3 votes (6%)

Public vote: 165 votes
1st place – Slice – Bliss Works Studio – 74 votes (45%)
2nd place – Strawberry Cream – CraftNicheDili – 40 votes (24%)
3rd place – Sugar Skull Sugar Cookie – tattooedraven – 26 votes (16%)
4th place – Tropical Smoothie Beauty – 4uidzne – 17 votes (10%)

5th place – tie with Pavlova – SpringColors  and Fuchsia Necklace – WizardIslandDesigns – 4 votes each (2%)

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 2017 "My Favorite Dessert" Challenge

Here are the entries for this month's "My Favorite Dessert" challenge!  VOTING WILL BE OPEN FROM MAY 9TH UNTIL MAY 15.  Please choose your favorite entry from the images or links below, then select your choice in the blog poll that will appear on the right sidebar during the days that voting is open.


Click on the image mosaic or links below to learn more about each entry and see larger, detailed images of each piece. 





PLEASE VOTE ONLY ONCE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ENTRY.
 








Image Map

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Interview with March "Greenery" Challenge Winner

Interview by Patti Parker

Albeny Weibel of AlbenaArtDesign




Q: First I would ask you to write a little about your background such as where you are from and live now, and what your occupation or life focus is.
A: I was born and grew up in Bulgaria. There I graduated at the Music Academy with Piano and Oboe. As a musician, I came to Switzerland, where I still live since more the 20 years. I’m married here and have two children. As my daily job, I’m selling electric appliances, such as Hairdryers, Microwave-Ovens and others…
I can’t live without beautiful things around me. I need music, flowers and colors. Flowers, for me, are the food for my positivism and optimism.
My jewelry is always a mirror of this. They are always like a duel between strong colors.

I love everything romantic: Sunrises, sunsets, romantic evenings and moments. This everything flows into my work.





Q:. How long have you been making and selling your work?
A: I’m not working with beads for a very long time- maybe 2 years. But therefore, I started very intensive. And I am so happy, that one month ago, I opened my shop in Etsy, which you can find here:
https://www.etsy.com/de/shop/AlbenaArtDesign?ref=hdr_shop_menu



Q: What inspired you to start working with beads?

A: The first thing I started to do besides music, was painting pictures. There everything started. I event had the chance to show my paintings in exhibitions here in Switzerland, what went very successful.

Then I decided to create more flowers. But this not painted ones. So, I started to model them from sugar paste. This was the moment, when I started to decorate cakes with sugar flowers.

These were a lot of experiments, giving me a lot of experience, which I decided to use for making flowers from leather.







A: I first started to work with beads was, when a local fashion designer asked me, if I could make him a necklace for his new wedding collection. Then I started to watch a lot of tutorials with beading techniques and started to try. Every time I finished something new, I started to get more and more excited and confident. In the end, I succeeded to create my first wedding necklace.
This was the moment I really started to work with beads. Here is piece of the wedding jewelry, I made for the fashion show:


Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?

A: My most favorite materials to work with are beads, leather, Shibori silk and Soutache. I always experiment with new materials and techniques. 



Q: Which techniques do you enjoy using, and what are the things you like to make most?
A: Mostly I use stitching and embroidery for creating my jewelry.
One of the biggest challenges and joy for me are leather flowers. The way they start to live and bloom during the process of making them. How they start to shine after I painted them all the shades and shadows to make them look real.
Sometimes I combine the above materials with macramé or tatting.




 
Q: Describe your design process.
A: First I start with a drawing. That’s a quite long process, to figure out all details. Sometimes I start with one idea, but the result is completely different. It’s very flexible and organic process. 
Q: Are there any favorite places that have influenced your designs?
 A: One of my most favorite places, inspiring my work, is my balcony at home.



Every year it looks different. But always, it’s full with flowers and looks like a real garden Eden. I really love to watch, how the flowers grow and I enjoy all the beauty and greatness, nature gives to us. I really admire the range of colors, nature has to offer.
Every time I see a flower, I always imagine how I will transform it into a piece of art, made from leather or beads. To me, nature is the biggest inspiration.


Q: Which artists or beaders do you admire?
 
I’m very lucky to be a member of a Bulgarian group of beaders, named “Beautiful Bulgarian beadwork”. A lot of the members there have so many great ideas and creativity. There I learned a lot of new things, when I started to work with beads. And I have to admit, that the Bulgarian beading school is very good.
Another artist I really admire is Serena Moreno. She was a great inspiration for me to start with beads, shibori and soutache.
A great help were also the beading tutorials of:
Gina's Gem Creations