Sunday, December 16, 2007

2008 Bead and Button Show

The 2008 Bead and Button Show class catalog was published online on December 14. You can browse the classes, order souvenirs and special events tickets; and in just another month you'll be able to register for your favorite classes online!

The show, touted as the premier beading show in the world, is held every year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year it's at the Midwest Airlines Center from June 1 through 8.

There are hundreds of classes and workshops offered during the week of the show, in all sorts of techniques and media. This year they're introducing Fundamentals in Techniques workshops aimed at beginners, instructing them in a specialized area of study over three days. There are also Master Classes which focus on intermediate and advanced students; and there are General Education Classes which include bead stitches, loomwork, wirework, bead embroidery, bead crochet, and a huge variety of other techniques.

If you live near Milwaukee, or if you just want to have a vacation where you can overload on BEADS, check out the website. As a past attendee, I must warn you of a few things:
- The hotel (the Hyatt Regency, in downtown Milwaukee) has a block of rooms available for show attendees. Those rooms go quickly, so make your reservation early!
- Some of the classes fill up quickly, too, so if you're thinking of taking a class make sure you sign up as soon as they're available.
- Take lots of sturdy suitcases with you to haul away all the gorgeous beads you'll find offered by the exhibitors.
- Forewarn your family members that you're going to be beading like crazy for months after the show.

I've attended the show for the past three or four years, and I can't wait to return. The exhibits are open on Saturday and Sunday; and it takes both those days to make it through all the offerings. A lot of the exhibitors have special show pricing, so there are some great deals to be had.

Check out the website to see more info: Bead and Button Show

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Etsy BeadWeavers in Step by Step Beads!

We love it when our members' creations are published, and if you peruse the pages of the January/February 2008 issue of Step by Step Beads you're sure to recognize Carol Dean Sharpe's signature cuff. Turn just a few more pages, and you'll find Leslie Rogalski's Comet Anemone bracelet!

Carol Dean Sharpe, whose Etsy shop is called SandFibers, creates cuffs in just about every color and pattern imaginable; and the patterns are, in most cases, her own designs. Within her shop you'll find everything from randomly-assembled blends of bead colors to stripes, braids, triangles, her signature spirals, and even a houndstooth pattern! Browse her shop some more, and you'll find rings, pendants, necklaces, amulet pouches, and other beautiful beadwoven masterpieces.

Leslie Rogalski,
whose Etsy shop is called Leslie19083, is the editor in chief of Step by Step Beads, as well as a contributing editor to two other publications. To me that sounds like a full-time job, but Leslie also manages to create original, unusual, and finely crafted bead jewelry! Her shop contains just a few of these goodies, but it's obvious from just viewing those few pieces that you're seeing the work of a talented bead artist.

Kudos to both Carol Dean and to Leslie! It's wonderful to see beadweaving presented as the artform we all know it to be.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What Inspires Us!

We asked our Etsy BeadWeavers, What inspires your beadweaving? Not surprisingly, their responses are as individual as their creations.

Kim of Regal Beads: I've never really thought much about this before. First of all, I believe that God has given me the gift of creativity.

How things come together for me? Well, sometimes I really love a colour personally and that inspires me to use it in some way. Sometimes I am looking at my beads trying to decide and some colours just jump out! Other times another's work will inspire an idea. (And I am grateful that, when this has happened, they have gladly told me it was fine!)

Beadweaving is one of my main creative outlets. It seems I am forever wanting to try something in the back of my mind, while in the middle of my current project!

11-11-07 Caught in the Net Treasury

Trish of SkyesMedicine: Anything and everything. As I am not an amazing designer like so many of the others out here, I bead what catches my eye. A lot of native influence since that is where my knowledge of beadweaving comes from, but if I like it I bead it...

11-16-07 bead, bead, bead away Treasury

Ann of Inspired Jewelry by Ann Burke: I get inspired when I see something in nature, in a magazine or anywhere, that looks like something I like, kind of a different thing. That is probably why I like freeform so much. I do patterns sometime and do 2 or 3 to get the hang of it, but always return to freeform. Putting together different colors and shapes of beads, is my favorite.

11-16-07 Etsy Beadweavers are Fabulous Treasury by myfairladyvt4

Dawn of DawnChastain: EVERYTHING, if I see metal work, I wonder how I can get the same shape with beads. If I see a shell I wonder how to attach beads to it. If see a great color combination I try to recreate it with a bead mix.
I find that if I am spiritually "right", not stressed out, mad or worried that I am totally more creative.

11-18-07 Caught in a Net Treasury by noeasybeads

Cyndi of Beauty in the Beads: A lot of inspiration comes from fellow beaders, Beadbug in particular. She has always been an inspiration to me. Some of the things she comes up with makes me want to learn more stitches and more techniques. Before I met her, I was strictly a loom beader (for over 35 years)! I now know how to do a lot more with beads than I ever dreamed of! She inspires me to be all that I can. When I see what other beaders can do, it inspires me to try something new. I am part Native American, and I was taught how to loom bead when I was 12 years old by a close family friend (we called her Auntie) who was Choctaw-I actually think she was one of my real aunts. She has since passed on and I am deeply grateful for all the beading knowledge that she passed on to me. Other than a physical inspiration, is nature. Most of my beaded items have a nature theme (Summer Sun, Winter Chill, Ocean Deep, Sea Waves, Earth, Water, Fire, etc).

11-18-07 Beadiful things Treasury by noeasybeads

Bev of NoEasyBeads: Art beads inspire my beadweaving. I like to us them as focal points. Different shapes and size of the beads inspire my work.

11-18-07 EBW wove it up Treasury by GreenEnvyDesigns

Jean of Totally Twisted: There are many things that inspire me to bead. I think the biggest inspiration would be color. I see colors in nature, in fashion, in the beads themselves and I have all sorts of ideas and patterns I want to try floating around in my head. I guess being an artist (abstract painter) I am very influenced by color. I like to play with color and use unusual color combinations to create my jewelry. Another thing that is inspiring to me are other beaders, especially on EBW - when I see the beautiful items they are all making it makes me want to strive to do better - to get to the next level in my work.

11-21-07 Black as night Treasury

Sarah of TheBeadedLily: The same thing that inspires all my beading, the beads themselves. I love the colors, shapes, finishes. I love to form the finished product. I love seeing how one set of beads makes another set gleam. I love that people wonder what the inspiration is when I'm just having a blast with beads. I love that the finished product is beautiful, that it's art.

11-21-07 Beadweaver Creativity Treasury by myfairladyvt4

MaryLou of Time2Cre8: The better question would be, 'What doesn't inspire my beadweaving?' A trip to the garage, and I find interesting bits of hardware that just call out to be incorporated into a necklace or bracelet. A walk on the beach, and I gather stones and bits of glass that have washed up; and then I try to figure out how to incorporate them into a bead woven creation. I love books, and while I don't spend much time at all copying a pattern directly from a book, I do spend a lot of time paging through them and being inspired to create something similar to the pieces I find. Colors and patterns are everywhere, and it's so much fun to try to take plaids, stripes, polka dots, and diamonds and translate them from fabric or paper into beads. I'm never short on inspiration, but I'd love it if there were more hours in the day...

11-23-07 Delicate Delicas Treasury

Wolf of Dante's Spirit: Life in general. Sometimes a movie will give me an idea (Calypso's Dream was inspired by The Odyssey), sometimes Nature itself inspires me. Sometimes my imagination just takes over.

12-2-07 All that glitters Treasury by skyesmedicine

Ivey of Enso: My beading is inspired by modernist and minimalist fine art and music, the colors of gemstones and simple forms to best show them off, and by decades of modernist fashion and ornamentation. The expandable, fluid nature of woven forms allow for infinite possible shapes, colors, and scales.

12-2-07 Tension can be good Treasury

Judy of BeadBug's Boutique: I am inspired primarily by nature as many of my beading involves flowers and leaves, but also by colors. I gravitate towards shiny beads but sometimes use matt.

12-4-07 Beadweaving Brilliance Treasury by myfairladyvt4

Esther of Green Envy Designs: Inspiration to me is the beauty I see of this planet. So for my "visual" pieces I use a lot of animal and nature references. For instance my swan handflower or my ocean dream dolphin embroidered necklace. Yet I also find inspiration in many other places! One of my favorites are contests/challenges because they usually give a theme and that always gives me an excuse to beat my best and explore new ways of beading.

12-5-07 All decked out for Christmas! Treasury by RegalBeads

Morwyn of Another Country: The natural world, poetry, literature, Impressionist art, classical music, science fiction and fantasy novels and movies, trance music, video games, the history of costume, European decorating magazines, Pre-Raphaelite art, books on color theory, and other beadweavers' work.

12-5-07 Our addiction Treasury by RegalBeads

Claire of ClaireCreations: Many things inspire my work. Designs I see from other mediums that I try out with beads, the look and feel of different beads combined with different gemstones. Beautiful work I see from other beaders makes me want to create something of my own. Like I said. Many things inspire my work.

12-7-07 It's a Beadweavers Christmas Treasury by myfairladyvt4

Sooz of Sooz Originals: Really the beads themselves. I am amazed that stitching these little ones together one way or another can make such a diverse product! I love the colors, and the finishes and they inspire a piece or a direction.

10-26-07 Studies in Monochrome

Melody of Salamander House Studio: That's a hard question. I go in streaks. For a long time, I was working on Greek and Roman myths, and I think that particular obsession was fueled by reading the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. Right this minute I'm very aware of the natural world and the odd color juxtapositions thrown out there by Mother Nature. Vintage fashion is another thing that makes me think in beads, as is geometry. And chemistry- or anything seen through the microscope, I want to reinterpret the very tiny with the very shiny.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming . . .

Monday, December 3, 2007

While we were at the ballot box

Three of our BeadWeavers found themselves on the Etsy Front Page, at different times.

On November 26, Mrs. Peacock, in the Atelier, with a String of Pearls Bead Embroidered Purse by Darcy (aka thejadedog)graced the front page in this treasury

11-26-07 thejadedog makes front page!

The very next day, Susan (aka ClinkscalesArts) saw a pair of her beautiful crocheted hoop earrings on the Etsy Front Page for the second time. Here's a screen shot of the treasury they were on:

11-27-07 ClinkscalesArts on the front page!

And to start the month off on a perfect note, on December 1, the All that Glitters Recycled LP Bracelet created by Kelly (aka Tresijas) appeared on our monitors to brighten our morning:

We celebrate all of our successes, not just those on the beadweaving front ;) Congratulations, Darcy, Susan, and Kelly!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

And the winner is . . .

The voters have decided on a winner: MistyRidgeBeads' Bead Woven Netted Gold Flower Bracelet!

Congratulations, Swanee! ;)

Swanee will get to pick the theme for our February challenge. Why not for December? you ask. Well, stay tuned . . . the Etsy BeadWeavers have a special treat planned for the next challenge!