Friday, October 11, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things and a Special Giveaway~Twyla

Favorite Thing # 1:

As some of you that know me are aware, at times I like to dabble with a little mixed media in my  jewelry making. One of my favorite things to do is combining bead work with filigree or metal stampings, so I thought I would share with you my #1 favorite  place on the internet to purchase filigree and metal stampings from. Whenever I am looking for a unique but affordable piece of filigree... this is my go to site!! Vintage Jewelry Supplys
The site is owned by Susan Street and as I said, has one of the best selections of filigree and stampings to be found on the web.... AND the prices are incredibly affordable!! Not only do they carry filigree and stampings.... but you can also find beads, cabs, settings, findings and even chain. 

Susan has kindly agreed to give our maven readers a free gift with their first order. Immediately after you place your first order send an email to the attention of their shipping department ( mention the Maven blog post and she will send you a free gift of a bead size guide along with your first order!!

Favorite # 2.... Drum roll please......

Cabella's Braid scissors!!

These little gems are the bomb! How many pairs of scissors have you ruined cutting fireline? I was on my third pair when these were made known to me by a good friend. They are about four inches long, very lightweight and are specifically made to cut fireline and the braided fishing lines! They are stainless steel and have tiny serrated blades and talk about affordable.... only $3.99 for these scissors at Cabella stores everywhere! It is so nice to cut the fireline and have it be a nice even smooth cut--no more mashing or fraying for me! Find them online here:  Cabella's Braid Scissors

Favorite thing # 3:

I am sure all of us would love to be able to afford a pair of the wonderful Craftoptic lenses, right? I know I would.... unfortunately, I am not at that place yet.... so for me the next best thing is my magnifying readers. I love them.... You can find them at Fred Meyers, Walgreens or Walmart for about $7-8 dollars, among other places  and they come in varying strengths. I like them because they give me the flexibility of being able to look over the top of them to see normally or to look through them and see things up close and personal. No more neck and back strain for me, thank you very much! :)

Favorite Thing #4:

Last but not least.....

I mentioned in my bio that Kelly Wiese is one of my favorite Bead work Designers so I thought it would be a fitting culmination to the "Few of my Favs blog post"  to do a Special Giveaway of her newest and latest book: A Beaded Romance, plus I am throwing in a pair of the Cabella Braid Scissors!! What do you have to do to have a chance at winning this prize? Simple.... Go to my personal blog: Lady Abeada ,follow my  blog and leave a comment on my blog telling me why you would like to win the book and the scissors. If you are already a follower of  the Lady Abeada blog.... just leave a comment for me. The winner will be chosen by random draw and announced on my blog October 17th, 2013. Good Luck to All!!

Do you have some favorite things you would like to share with everyone??Please share them with us in the comment section  below! :) Til next time--Bead True to Yourself!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Welcome Back Guest Blogger and former Bead Maven Callie Mitchell :)

I must admit I was thrilled when Callie accepted my invitation to be a guest blogger...I loved working with Callie on the Mavens so it's great to see her back in a guest spot :)

Callie Mitchell

Many thanks to the fabulous Bead Mavens for inviting me to be a guest on their fabulous new blog!  This page is fast becoming a “go-to” site for all beaders interested in great design and the latest news in all things Beading.  It’s an honor to be here, and it’s great to have the Bead Mavens back again!

I’m also glad to be back designing again after a summer-long hiatus from beadwork. 
Sometimes it really helps recharge the batteries to spend a little time doing other things.  I find that I think about beadwork design almost constantly, even when I’m not actually at my work table with beads in hand. And my summer break was a good time to reflect on where I’ve been as a beader, and where I’ll head in the future.

Kathryn Howard Necklace
 When I got back to work, one of the first pieces I wanted to complete was the Kathryn Howard necklace.  For the past several years in an on-again, off-again way, I’ve been creating jewelry pieces to represent Renaissance Queens.  I’ve made a cuff for Mary Queen of Scots, a bracelet for Elizabeth I, and necklaces for Isabella of Castile and Catherine of Aragon.  Translating designs from other periods, made with different materials and techniques, is always a challenge.  I deliberately kept the palette soft and rather monochromatic in this design, as the details were quite varied – scalloped St. Petersburg chain, chaton-embellished structural component and natural pearl accents.  I was trying for a fresh and youthful, though elegant look.  The necklace is an investment in time to create, but it’s definitely glamorous. 

Carousel Cuff
 After Kathryn Howard, I wanted something simpler to work on.  Geometric beadwork designs are very much in vogue right now, and though my Carousel cuff isn’t a dimensional piece, it is every bit geometric.  I chose bold color palettes for this one, in primary colors and gold, as the shapes are geometric primaries in themselves – triangle, rectangle, circle.  As I worked on this piece, it struck me how much the design evoked childhood memories of a carousel, with pennant flags waving  in the breeze and shields brightly blazoned around its overhang.  Peyote stitch, both flat and circular, as well as brick stitch are employed in the design, and it makes up fairly quickly.

Noughts and Crosses Bracelets

During my “quiet time” this summer I also began to think about a future direction for my beadwork and found myself really going back to my roots as a beader.  I’ve spent a good bit of time these past few years exploring dimensional and complex designs and I find that I’m yearning for simplicity.  This week I worked up a new Tila bead design that fills this bill for me.  The “Noughts and Crosses” bracelet can be made in under an hour but is nevertheless richly textured and has, I hope, a “more than meets the eye” quality.  I chose really rich color palettes for this style, to act as a counterpoint to the simplicity of the design itself. I'll be working up tutorial for this fast and simple bracelet in the coming weeks.

I think simplicity in design can – and should – nevertheless be sophisticated and varied.  Designwise, right now I’m heading back toward basic ropes, flat work, beaded beads worked up in deep, rich colors, suitable for daytime, night time, any time. 
 I’m glad to be back at my beading table, and thanks for having me here, Bead Mavens!