Engineer by day, beadweaver by night (mostly), I like to look for answers to questions.
How do things work? What inspires you? What do you wonder about?
Explore the journey to creativity together.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What to do with my last bunch of grapes?

This autumn the grapes growing on my back porch inspired me to design a beaded bunch of grapes. I had enough 4 mm round purple beads to make 3 bunches of grapes. I used 2 of them to make a pair of earrings. Now I have one bunch of grapes left.

I thought maybe I would make them into a necklace. But what kind of necklace? Something simple? An elaborate stitch? How wide should it be?

After some thought, I decided to try spiral stitch, using the colors in the grapes. Spiral stitch works best with 5 colors, so I added a darker purple and a darker green.

I took some pictures of the necklace in progress. I'm glad I went with darker shades instead of lighter. I think I also like the little gold cube beads at the center of the necklace. What do you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Mother's Necklace

These are pictures of a necklace you will never see for sale. My mother, who is my greatest fan, wanted this one. It was a little long for her, so I took out two star-flower shapes from each end and made them into earrings.

It is truly wonderful to have someone who loves me and supports my dreams like my mother does.

Thank you so much, Mom!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OT: Frogs!

While we were camping this summer, my youngest son found some little frogs living near the boat ramp. They lived in a pile of broken asphalt on the lake shore, and when it was warm enough they came out to... well I guess I don't know exactly what they do. Frog things? They didn't seem to go far from the asphalt pile.

The frogs really delighted my son - he spent hours watching them move around. He was especially pleased that he was the one who discovered them.

I had one picture of 3 frogs together, but the exposure was bad, so I won't make you suffer through it :)

These little guys are really well camouflaged, so I had to zoom in really close and then crop the picture so they would be visible. It was a little bit like photographing jewelry, except these guys kept hopping around!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bollywood Winner

The votes are in for the Etsy Beadweavers Bollywood Challenge!

You can see photos of the winner by clicking ---here---

This was the piece I voted for myself.

Congratulations to Marsha of Haute Ice Beadwork!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The September Etsy Beadweavers Team Challenge is here! The theme for this month is Bollywood. I love this theme! The entries are truely amazing. To vote for your favorite, click on the link below:

---- Click here to see the entries and vote! ----

Monday, September 6, 2010

From the Idea of Grapes to Beaded Grapes

I've been working on turning my grape vine inspiration into a project. I made my first attempt while camping. The colors are wrong because I did not have my green and purple beads with me, but what I was trying for was a good grape shape....

...I wasn't happy with the result. The shape was more like an acorn than a grape. Also, it didn't have the light-filled glowing quality I wanted.

When I got back into town, I tried a different design. This time I had the correct colors. I like the shape of the grapes, and I like the way these grapes hang from the stem.

But them my son walked by and asked "What's that green thing?" I decided that having green and purple grapes on the same stem was too jarring.

I was still attached to the idea of portraying ripening grapes, so I decided to mix green and purple together in the same grape. The result was a little too confusing to the eye.

I tried adding more grapes, but that didn't really help. It was too hard to see the spherical shapes when the colors were mixed.

For the final design, I simplified to all purple grapes and added a grape leaf. It took me a couple of tries to get the grapes to hang right on the stem, but now I am happy with the result.

Maybe this bunch of grapes will become half of a set of earrings, or the center piece of a necklace.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Sky's The Limit

Have you ever walked outside, looked up at the sky, and thought "Wow!"... This happens to me all the time. The sky is full of light and always changing. It is a real source of inspiration. The photos to the left are of clouds in the Willamette Valley. They often look like this in spring and fall, when the weather is alternating between sunny and rainy. Clouds like this always make me want to run home, pull out my silver-lined matte grey beads, and make something cool.

The sky can have incredible variety, though. Years ago, I went to graduate school in Alabama. Sometimes the sky down there became so dramatic it looked otherworldly. Sadly, as a poor graduate student I didn't have a camera, so I don't have any pictures to post for you.

I've put together my first treasury - a collection of Etsy Beadweavers Team pieces with the theme "sky inspired". I encourage you to click on the link below to take a look and enjoy these artist's vision. If you like what you see, you can even leave them a comment.

>>> Click here to see "The Sky's The Limit"