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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fan Wheel Snowflake ornament

This is my Deluxe Fan Wheel snowflake gracing the Christmas Tree. I love how the Crystal AB Swarovski crystals reflect the miniature tree lights. Being 3-D, it looks wonderful from all angles.

It's available in a beadwork kit or in Beaded Ornaments for the Holidays and Beyond book from BeadStyle magazine.

Best wishes for a Creative New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Zulu Angel ornament

This angel ornament was made by Zulu women. The heavier wire outline has free-form beadweaving inside. Contrast wings and trim around give this angel a personality.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Legend of the Spider and Christmas Tree

This beaded ornament represents the spider that saved Baby Jesus’ life in the legend told to me by my teacher friend.

When King Herod was going to kill off innocent babies after Jesus was born, Joseph took Mary and the baby to escape the city so Jesus would not be killed. They ended up in the hills past the city. Mary had to stop and feed the baby. They hid in one of the caves where a spider wove a web at the entrance. When the soldiers came by looking for baby Jesus, they passed the cave where the Holy Family was hidden because the spiderweb was intact.

Best wishes for a Blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little Christmas Tree

Here's our little tree full of handmade ornaments. It was decorated by my husband as I baked cookies from my favorite recipes. I enjoy giving mini paper-plated cookies as gifts. The fun is to bake a variety of flavors, shapes, and textures. Best of all, there's no trace after I split them amongst family and friends. I didn't say there weren't any calories. Yum....

As time goes on, I'm going to show off the different beaded ornaments from my gorgeous little tree. We Ukrainians have a long Christmas season between the Dec 25th (Gregorian) and Jan 7th (Julian) calendars.

Off to Detroit to start the with "Sviat Vechir", a traditional Christmas Eve celebration on Dec 24th. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Last weekend we went on our annual Christmas Tree hunt with friends in Erie, PA. Even Eugene's goddaughter can home from Scotland's year of study for this not-to-be-missed event. What a difference a day makes! Friday's driving trip was cancelled because of snow and I-90 road closures. However, Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and picture perfect as we drove in from Toronto. It was exactly as I ordered... "roads clear with lots of snow on the side!". We did manage to find the perfect tree. Played in the snow like kids... It was exhilerating!

Later that evening, we attended a Nativity play called "House of Hope". It was really well done and helped put the season in perspective. Let's all share a little kindness.

Best wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Creative New Year!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Iryna Senyk Memorial - White Aster of Love

TORONTO - I had a chance to talk about the White Aster of Love project at the "Метелики спогадів" memorial tribute for Iryna Senyk on Dec 6, 2009. Pictured with me is UCWLC member Bozhena Iwanusiw who often visited Iryna in Ukraine and attended her funeral Oct 27, 2009 in Lviv. I'm holding my portfolio of embroidered garments created from Iryna's 50 fashion sketches smuggled out in 1989.

The publication of White Aster of Love and its gala multimedia book launch in 1992 was my most satisfying accomplishment to date. I was commissioned by UCWLC St. Demetrius branch in Toronto as the fashion designer to help interpret Iryna Senyk’s unique fashion sketches into wearable art. I consulted with 27 women and helped each one recreate a dress style based on the sketches, as well as embroidered samplers trying out their colour schemes. Then I designed and produced the bilingual deluxe book shown below. Iryna’s poetry was translated into English and each one was illustrated by her unique charted miniature embroideries. On Sep 27, 1992, each lady modeled her dress at the premiere fashion show which included a montage of Iryna's poems, transparencies of her fashion sketches and show of original embroidered creations at the Marriott Hotel Ballroom in Toronto. Iryna's presence at the Book Launch was our dream come true because after all, it was her poetry and fashion sketches. Afterwards, 1,000 books were shipped to Ukraine for distribution to schools and libraries. The Premiere show was repackaged into a traveling slide show which made its rounds around Ontario, Montreal and Detroit, USA.

Iryna Senyk, poet, former political prisoner who spent 34 years in Soviet hard-labor camps and exile, member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Helsinki Group (UHG), died on October 25, 2009 at the age of 83. Indescribable suffering, hunger, degradation, failed to crush her invincible spirit.

May Her Memory be Eternal!

"Вічна її пам'ять"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Since Canadian Thanksgiving, second Monday in October, was spent in MI at GLBG Bead Bonanza, I declared Sunday, Nov 22, Thanksgiving Day. This is my one chance to prepare an American-style celebration for Canadian relatives in Toronto.

We had fun with the fresh new set-up for our dinner. The large square table (really two 5'-ers) was a hit! A single square tablecloth set on its point provided an inviting surface for the delectable dishes, while the new gift "turkey" place mats designated every one's place. A glass "turkey" wine stopper and ceramic "turkey" added to the decor. The mandarins and pomegranate were real, as was the official turkey carving at the table. My sister-in-law's pie topped off the evening! Yum......

Best wishes for a blessed Thankgiving to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Around the Wheel" with Margie Deeb

Thanks to Toronto Bead Society for inviting color expert Margie Deeb to Toronto last week. I was thrilled to be in town and in Margie's class about the Color Wheel. Not only is she a keen-eyed intuitive artist with a passion for color and author, but she is also a wonderful teacher.

Color theory came alive with colored pencils used to fill in appropriate slices on miniature wheel graphs. The complimentary "cmy primary mixing wheel" spinner quickly became an indispensable tool.

The challenge of combining paint swatches into pleasing color palettes was great fun! There was a synergy with everyone learning from each others combos. And the learning didn't stop there. At the TBS meeting Nov 11th, Margie showed "Finding Inspiration Anywhere" with examples of extracting colors for beading. What a perfect conclusion to a colorful day!

Top l-r: Maria, Bennett McCardle and Margie Deeb. Bennett is wearing a medallion from one of my loomwork classes. Bottom l-r: Maria, Margie and Jackson Dunlop with swatches galore. Thanks to Jo-Ann Woolverton for the photos.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rypan Designs in Dutch newspaper

What a thrill it was to hear back from Sandra once she returned home to Holland! In her quest to learn everything she possibly could about beadwork, Sandra found the Oasis Bead Show on the internet. She came to Toronto specifically for the show and managed to cram in seven workshops in the space of three days. As her first "teacher", I was proud of her accomplishments in my "Suspended Swags" beadweaving class and gave her a copy of my BEADWORK Oct/Nov 2009 as a souvenir.

After a brief visit to New York City with bags full of tools and beads, Sandra delivered on her promise of getting her story about her beadwork odyssey published in a Dutch newspaper. Here's the intro in translation:

"Sandra's Atelier/Sieradenparadijs has already got a good name on beautifull and her exclusive jewelry, but Sandra is always looking for new posibilities to make the new trends and techniques fit in collection......"

Visit Sieraden Paradijs. Engage the translator. Better still, the eye candy needs no translation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Silver Shadow Snowflake Collection

A very unique and $$ Vitrial Czech 6/ seed bead inspired this Limited Edition. As seen above, they work beautifully as the inner circle and base for Swarovski Silver Shadow 6mm crystal tips on the 20mm or 30mm twisted bugle V's. I love how this Vitrial combo has transformed the pictured elegant 3-D Snowflake into chic ornaments.

These Silver Shadow Snowflakes, as well as the entire collection of pearl and Swarovski Crystal AB bicones on bugles ranging from 15mm to 30mm, straight or twisted, will be available at The Hobby Show. Write or call for your choice of one or 3-pack Snowflake beadwork kits.

Crystal Elevation Bracelet

Seems I'm on a Vitrial kick this season! Here's my "Crystal Elevation" solid Swarovski Bracelet developed specially for the Creativ Festival last month. There are a few left. Then there's a "Margarita" bracelet with round Vitrial crystals on the base...

The chic Vitrial Snowflakes and a few bracelets will be available at The Hobby Show or by simply contacting me directly.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Painted Stripes Collection

An impulse purchase of two hanks of uniquely hand-painted
pony beads with fun-colored lining inspired this collection.
I found less is more when you have such amazing miniature
art beads. Teaming them with jet black showed off the
multi-stripes best. Strategically placing them in simple
beadweaving patterns also worked well. These three styles
are a great place to learn bead weaving. There's netting in
form of a Textured Net Lantern necklace or as a Chicklet
Bracelet. Try the Diagonal Weave with enough beads for a
bracelet and necklace or lanyard. Make a great fashion
statement with these fun accessories.

This Painted Stripes Bead Kit Collection is a very
Limited Edition. It will be launched at the TBS Bead Fair
this weekend and hopefully be available for the next one
at The Hobby Show in Toronto.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Bead Fair season

Last week's Creativ Festival in Toronto kept me super busy with teaching and exhibiting. There were so many styles of beadwork kits and patterns, I displayed the easel overflow on the well-lit shelving unit in back of the booth. You can easily check out the styles one by one in my catalogue.

Here's the overall booth display with Jo-Ann, my #1 assistant, sample beader and blog guru, in the midst of it all on the morning of Day #1.

My next show will be on Halloween Weekend at the Toronto Bead Society Bead & Jewellery Fair. The show will be held at the CNIB, a new venue easily accessible by TTC. I look forward to exhibiting in one large room with fellow beaders, lampworkers, suppliers of beads and findings. There's classes too! Come, be inspired and stock up!

This will be followed Nov. 6 to 8th by a new venture, The Hobby Show, where I am going to bring beadwork to a whole new audience of hobby enthusiasts. Click and get a discount show coupon and see the variety of activities, seminars and races, in addition to our beadwork demos in Booth #115.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall Bead Shows

Just returned from GLBG's Bead Bonanza where I displayed my latest article and dolly wearing the Platinum and Champagne Gold "Scythian Gold" Triple V featured in BEADWORK Oct/Nov 2009.

Since the warm woolies season is fast approaching, make your own Star Pin shown on the chenielle scarf. The stars are suspended from netting which is cleverly attached to three loops of a kilt pin. It's an instant gratification project ready in minutes. 50% off for readers of this blog and at the upcoming Creativ Festival, Oct. 16 to 18th, in Toronto, booth #534.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The New Pathway reprints "Conversations..."

Hot off the press! The New Pathway, a Ukrainian weekly newspaper in Toronto, did a great job with "Gerdany - Past to Present: A Conversation With Maria Rypan on Ukrainian-Style Beadwork" on its Culture page 8. This was possible thanks to permission from BEADWORK magazine to reprint my interview from the Oct/Nov 2009 issue. The photo of editor Melinda Barta and myself holding the article at my booth at Bead Fest, PA, show what I'm up to these days. The photo of my "Scythian Gold" gives an idea of my project following the BEADWORK article. Catch it on the newsstand.

Love the New Pathway banner with my Crystal Wedding neckpiece for Sonia Kulyk.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Studio Tour

Another glorious day of exploring the back roads of Ontario....

On the way back from singing with my choir at a Barrie, ON church, we followed "Wallhangings" signs right through a series of winding roads up to a log home in a spectacular natural surrounding. Here we met Peachie Hill and her Dream Weavings hung outside on driftwood hangers all around the square log walls of her home. This was the most memorable visit! We also toured two studios on the Caledon Hills Studio Adventure route. Stone Ridge Studio was full of leather handcrafts. There were flora and fauna creations, as well as leather beads and disks strung into innovative neckpieces and accessories. The photo of the blazing tree against their home sums up the day. Randy McLeod's turned wood vessels were as much of a visual treat, as the locale. This was a great day was for the soul.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

2010 Toronto Bead Society Calendars

The 2010 Toronto Bead Society Calendars are ready. Since I've been a Calendar Girl four straight years, my "Scythian Gold" is pictured on the "cream of the crop" page. This year's proceeds go to Bloorview Kids Foundation and the Bravery Beads program. A $10 donation will help children turn disability to possibility, while the calendar will inspire you all year round with awesome beadwork. Would you like one?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Detour yields unexpected treats

A simple ride with friends on the back roads of Ontario turned into a day full of surprises... On the drive up towards the Forks of the Credit, an antique sign beckoned. We turned left instead of going straight. The short ride revealed Beaumont Mill, a historic structure full of antiques and collectibles in Glen Williams. Inside it felt like a treasure hunt with loads of nooks and crannies upstairs, downstairs and in between. All the jewelry was in one room.

I found a pair of white seed bead earrings which I figured would go with an heirloom necklace passed down to me from a relative in Ukraine. From the bald spot near the clasp and few loose beads, the necklace appears to be series of white seed bead loops stitched through a thick cord. The earrings I bought at the Mill feature a seed bead knot with four twisted fringe loops of seed beads. Check out the similarity! Looks like both pieces were made from the same beads. Could they be Czech?

Meanwhile, outside the Mill there was a rally of antique automobiles from 1920-1930's. What a treat! Who would have expected such a welcome? Apparently they meet twice a year at designated spots and this was one! Our timing could not have been better! We followed the vehicles down the road into the village of Glen Williams where the local town folk were dressed in period costumes. They got to drive into the village. We in our modern vehicle had to park and walk across the bridge. Famished, we dropped into the Copper Kettle Pub for a bite. Who would have thought we'd be treated to live music? The musicians sang around a table in the center of the room. They were were great! The entire place was full of character(s). You'd never believe it was 2009!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: You never know what you may be missing if you don't turn around the corner.

Friday, September 25, 2009

First reflection

I'm Maria, a beadaholic and designer of Rypan Designs, taking baby steps into the world of blogs to share information about beading, folk art and eye candy.