Friday, August 26, 2016

Work in Progress: Nefertiti Stripes

My adventures with stripes and fringe are still going strong, and projects are chugging along at a much better pace. I had thought that I would want to try a new project once the latest necklace was complete, but I was still really in the mood for fringe, and herringbone necklaces are just the most satisfying way to use it right now. For the new necklace, I had a craving to do something a little more Egyptian, so I put together a jeweled palette. I was a little worried at first that the pattern would end up being too busy. I think once the entire piece is complete and the fringe is added it will come together just fine.



The last necklace turned out great. I hadn’t given any thought to accent beads when I chose my palette, and it turns out that the only thing I had in my stash that would match with the opaque colors was African Christmas beads. This is perfectly fine by me! I had fun picking out just the right beads to use and putting on the final touches.



What are you making right now?

Mortira

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bead Color Ideas: Sunscreen Hues

There are so many different ways to find color inspiration in the seasons, and many of the ones we turn to again and again are natural. For summer this might be the colors of the beach, summer fruit, or even a purple-and-gray thunderstorm palette. Then again, traditional and nostalgic color palettes are pretty inspiring as well – like the red, blue, and white of a rocket pop. This summer, I wanted to explore some colors that would bring to mind some of the best things about getting out in the sun, and perhaps the scent of coconuts.

Kids Sunblock Bead Palette Idea

The first palette was so easy to create. Nothing says sunscreen like aquatic blues and yellows. For this Kids’ Sunblock trio I used canary yellow, transparent capri blue, and opaque turquoise blue. It’s fruity and vibrant, and definitely has a beach feel to it. I would love to see this palette in something with lots of exotic, playful fringe.

Suntan Oil Bead Color Idea

Next I went in the opposite direction and concocted a trio for lovely coconut scented Suntan Oil. I started with opaque terracotta, though I would have loved to use some transparent rootbeer as well. Next I added smooth orange luster and lustered pearl cream. This palette has so much warmth. I think it would look great in a spiral design, particularly a double spiral rope with lots of chunky accent beads.

Sport Sunscreen Bead Color Idea


Finally, I combined both of these palettes for a final trio inspired by everyday Sport Sunscreen. This time I went with the transparent rootbeer and opaque patriot blue, finishing with a dark Ceylon cream. This palette is more shea butter than coconut, and would be perfect for a geometric cuff or perhaps a colorblocked rope.

What colors and scents make up your favorite summer inspirations?

Mortira

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Work in Progress: Ongoing Stripes

I have been enjoying my summer down time immensely these past few weeks, just working and relaxing – and getting lots of beading done. I have definitely found a good groove with working multiple projects at once, and giving myself permission to pick up whichever one I happen to feel like working on at the moment. It also helps that I have a great series to watch to keep me coming back to my workspace. Star Trek: Voyager got me through the coconut necklace, the last mini collar in my scrapped challenge, and the new stripe necklace.

Coconut Dagger Necklace

Mini Chevron Collar


It was a treat to finally complete the fringe necklace. I picked a fun assortment of beads for the strands, including a couple that I purchased while on vacation. I couldn’t resist popping in to the bead store that caused a lot of confusion for me last year. It’s still the same, but since I didn’t pick up any of the bone beads last time, I decided to give in just for fun. I only spent $1.50, but I felt happy about adding something to the design that I didn’t have on hand before.

Olive Fringe Necklace


I’ve decided to continue working with stripes for the time being. Looking back, I realized that no matter what type of project I’m working on, if it has stripes – particularly black and white ones – I never get bored or feel like the project is taking too long to complete. I’m usually pretty content to keep stitching stripes. The new necklace will be another herringbone rope with fringe, which will give me a chance to play with lots of different accent beads. I find that this is a great way to keep from getting a creative block – there’s very little commitment to using a mix of lots of different beads in small quantities.

Stripe Herringbone Necklace in Progress


What are you working on at the moment?

Mortira

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Inspired Beaders: The Thembalethu Beaders

Today my guest is Adam Jordan, co-founder of the Thembalethu Beaders project of South Africa. Supported by gorgeous beadwork designs, and founded by Thuli Dumakude, their mission is to “Increase global awareness about the economic, education, health and political inequities undermining the magnitude of women and children and produce sustainable, dignified and liberating opportunities for women and children.”

Thembalethu Beaders Jewelry


Inspirational Beading: How did the Thembalethu Beaders project begin?

Adam: Thembalethu Beaders was born in the pursuit of a meaningful contribution towards the rising levels of unemployment in the rural communities. We further recognise that training and education would serve no meaningful purpose unless it is linked to job creation – and to ensure the success of any such initiative, it is imperative that all of this becomes self sustainable.

Inspirational Beading: What are the most popular materials or colors for the beaders to use?

Adam: Most popular materials are loose glass beads, and the popular colors are [green, red, yellow, blue, orange, white, and black].

Seed Beads Used by Thembalethu Beaders


Inspirational Beading: How has the project affected the community so far? What’s on the horizon?

Adam: The concept of Thembalethu is based on a holistic approach and a new philosophy towards people, training, development, empowerment and business. Thembalethu believes that an innovative and creative approach to the numerous challenges we are facing in South Africa, will unleash great opportunities for those rural women with the ability to rid themselves of the limiting beliefs of the past.

The result is an income generating community of rural women. These ladies, who generally meet in groups for their beading activities, are able to talk to each other and in this way, are developing solutions around the various issues on HIV and AIDS which impact on them. Several of these include AIDS orphans resulting in children raising children [and] grandmothers left to feed and care for their grandchildren.


You can learn more about the project, and see many more designs at ThembalethuBeaders.org.

Mortira

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Work in Progress: Beadwork Potpourri

My tentative steps back into my normal beading routine have begun, and I have actually had some time to sit down with beads over the past couple of days. I decided it was time to just pick a project and go with it, then took some time to decide what I really, really wanted to do. For a while, I plan to just make things that I want to, and avoid anything that feels obligatory (though that doesn’t rule out a tutorial or two!).

Two Necklaces and a Bracelet in Progress


I finally decided to do something with stripes, and to just go ahead and use some of my favorite colors without worrying about quantities. This new project is all about fun. So far I’ve got the beginnings of a nice herringbone rope. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to add additional colors or just stick with the olive green.

To help keep things interesting, I’m also chipping away at unfinished projects, rather than dedicating all of my time to a single piece. Changing things up a bit may take away from the progression of each project, but I still feel a sense of accomplishment with each new stitch. Although I can’t say that I’m dead excited to sit down, it does feel familiar to be beading again, and there is comfort to be had in that.

Bob Ross Inspired Paintings


Part of my newfound motivation is thanks to finally getting another creative project out of my system. My bead helper and I did some paintings this week that turned out pretty great. We’re planning to do more as soon as we get the chance, and to experiment with techniques and themes. The joy of making something is definitely helping to bring back my need to bead.

What are you working on right now?

Mortira

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