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Friday, December 31, 2010

Connecting with Facebook Friends

Rypan Designs - "Sedona Kilim", TBS 2000 Bag of Bead Challenge

Rypan Designs now has a page on Facebook. So do I... Thanks to my friend and #1 assistant Jo-Ann, I'm starting to get the hang of connecting with the wide world of Facebook. I never realized how small the world really was until we were just checking out features. There's someone I know, and as I'm clicking on "Add as Friend"... and then there are Mutual Friends.... There is no end... If you're reading this, don't be shy about "Adding me as a friend". Let's keep in touch.

My "Sedona Kilim" is my "face" for Rypan Designs. My "photo" is for my personal page. They're interchangeable because we want to share beadwork ideas and news where ever it's most suitable.

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Creative New Year!

З Новим Роком, бажаю Вам натхнення та творчих ідей,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Christmas Tree in Toronto
Hard to believe it's Christmas Day already! I had many good intentions and lots of traditions I like to observe. By the time I got around to them all, here we are blogging on Christmas Day in Detroit!

This year's Christmas card mailing was huge! Twice the usual amount because I combined it with thank yous to all the wonderful people I met in Ukraine in my family visits, folk arts and beadwork research quest. How do you stop and print a few photos for keepsakes when you snapped 2,000+? There goes a full week/weekend trying to edit and selectively print "just a few"... Then there's the handwriting of each card. Began to feel like a dinosaur when I mentioned it to folks. Seems like cardwriting has fallen out of favor in today's busy crazy times. I continued on because I believe it's important to personally thank each and everyone and send a token photograph of our good times... they'll get it in time for Ukrainian Christmas on the Jan 7th.

My husband Eugene picked up the tree and decorated it while I continued writing cards. The baking was done in shifts. Pinwheel and honey poppyseed log cookies were sliced and baked on the 23rd morning before packing. The baking pans and ingredients for other favorites were thrown in to finish baking in Detroit once we arrived after a white-knuckled drive down Hwy 401 near Ingersoll, ON.

Yesterday morning I assembled gift cookie plates. Then worked on a few gifts and off to my brother's we drove for a Christmas Eve celebration. Family and friends came from far and wide. Traditions were observed. New twists were added. It was really nice... perfect! Later, we drove down to my parish for Midnight Mass. The church was full of families and classmates because everyone came "home for the holidays". What a wonderful time...

Christmas Eve 2010 in MI - Maria & Eugene

Merry Christmas! Best wishes to all for a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas. May the spirit of the season continue throughout the year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowflake Decorations

Snowflake ornament on my tree

"Snowflakes", TBS 2011 Calendar, December

It's hard to believe it's time to decorate the tree again.... Luckily, I have some of my snowflakes handy from last year. Glass bugles, seed beads and Swarovski crystals never spoil... Since they're specially interlocked in like a fan around a circle of beads, they keep their shape forever.

This extraordinary snowflake can be made quickly once you get the knack after you've made your first one. A very fine beading wire, .010 SoftTouch by Softflex, is the secret to holding the crystal-tipped long bugle V's in place around the circle of seed beads.

Several ways to get the instructions: See page 90-91 of Beaded Ornament for the holidays and Beyond from Bead and Button and BeadStyle Magazines by Kalmach Publishing Co., 2009.

Order an all-inclusive Snowflake kit with a choice of 15mm, 20mm or 30mm bugles and crystal pearl or silver-shade vitrial finish from Rypan Designs. Or get patterns for use with your own bugles and crystals. The instructions are available in printed pattern with a Supply List or a downloadable .pdf. Shortly it will be available in a Ukrainian .pdf version soon as I get the illustrations matched up to my translations.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

Sizing up the tree in Winter wonderland

The season has begun.... The annual drive to Erie, PA, was delayed a day. Buffalo got dumped by 3' of snow and I-90 was closed because of the lake-effect. Luckily, we were able to drive in on Saturday. The pressure was on because it was the only weekend where everyone was coming to search for the perfect tree.

The trip was "picture perfect" with snow on the trees and fields instead of the interstate. Side roads were a different story... especially the one to the tree farm. This year we turned left instead of the usual right and this is the tree that caught our eye. It's pretty perfect all the way around despite its interesting top.

There's something special about going out to the country. I love it when it's snow-covered and peaceful. Such a wonderful change from the crazy pace of the big city... A chance to appreciate beauty and peace with friends. Photographing helps keep the memory alive. Inspiration abounds. What a wonderful world!

Best wishes for a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lexi & Don's Wedding "Korovai"

"Korovai" baked by Rosey Parubchak

I should be beading, but no.... I'm having too much fun putting together a iDVD for Lexi and Don from their wedding in Buffalo, NY on Oct. 9th.

It's a challenge as I took well over 500 photographs. I've been called a "chronicler" by Mary, so this is what I'm about to do. I'm trying out another "new" toy that came with my MAC. Should be very interesting...

As you can see, this was not your average wedding. There were traditions pulled in from all sides. The Ukrainian wedding bread is called a "korovai". It was baked by my sister-in-law Rosey in Toronto. Read all about the "korovai" in the write-up below.

The "korovai" and periwinkle wreaths on a specially embroidered "rushnyk"

Mary, the Mother of the Bride, embroidered an original "rushnyk", a ritual cloth which served functions throughout the wedding day. She incorporated symbolic patterns and motifs from both her and the groom's family into the 'rushnyk'. The wreaths you see on the altar represent the crowns of gold and are a folk custom from Ukraine. It was nice to see them blessed and worn for part of the service.

Don & Lexi Dixon hold the "korovai"

Lexi's family has a unique little ritual and requested a special smaller "korovai" ring be made. During the reception it was tossed and caught by the couple. The one with the larger half is the "boss". Guess who got the bigger half?

Small braided ring to see who's boss

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Glamorous Channel Chains

Chandelier Earring

Perfect for the holidays. All Swarovski-ELEMENTS here... The Chandelier Earrings and Cuff use several lengths of channel chain and have 4mm bicones between the links. Glamorous dangles of a bicone sandwiched between two pearls finish off each bicone stack on the bracelet. There's a lot of versatility and room for creativity in the earrings. Choose to add a bicone dangle or end it with a cup chain. It's also an excellent exercise for working with head and eye pins.

The Channel Chain accessories were created for teaching at Swarovski NA Ltd's beadwork classes in Tucson. I have a few more limited edition kits. The instructions are all color photographs because the components and methodology are unique. There are four variations for finishing of the Chandelier earrings. Patterns are available for your unlimited creativity.

Channel Chain Cuff

You have to admit this is a departure from my usual beadweaving. Working with the channel chain was so much fun. It was very satisfying to step outside the box with such glamor.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Embellishing Your World" show

Maria and Naomi Smith with a printout of the opening slide

It was great sharing my "Embellishing Your World: Beading & Surface Designs" with fellow beadmates on Nov 10th at the Toronto Bead Society. This was an inspirational seminar with beadwork examples and stories from around the world.

What was special that evening was that Naomi, a fellow TBS member, brought her collection of First Nations Beadwork. I featured photographs of her collection in the first five slides of my PowerPoint. We combined the best of two worlds for the benefit of our members. I projected images and pointed out interesting details about the unique artifacts of the Mohawk and Tuscarora Nations. Naomi brought the genuine articles so people could then see them up close. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for TBS members.

For my half of the display, I brought my collection of beaded "Pysanky" eggs. Several were beaded by Vira Pavlova Witkovska plus other bead artists from Ukraine. The beaded "Lilacs" were made by Oksana, a young student of an after-school Craft Program in Kolomyya. They're so life-like it's hard to believe they're just beads on twisted wires! Amazing... Love it!

Maria's collection of beaded 'pysanky' eggs, ornaments and bead wire "Lilacs"

I'll be presenting "Embellishing Your World..." to the new West Toronto Beading Guild on Mar 8, 2011 at their regular monthy meeting. We're going to combine it with a hands-on beading workshop on learning how to do the versatile Diagonal Weave. I'm looking forward to inspiring the new beaders!

If you'd like an inspirational program by a passionate speaker, just let me know.... I'll be happy to share this and other beadwork presentations.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bead Unique - Snowflake Kit

Snowflake Kit by Rypan Designs on the top left of pg. 16

Hot off the press! Bead Unique offered up a spread of "Cool Kits" in this Winter's edition. My "Snowflake" ornament starts off this feature. They've just listed the basic components for one size. Patterns with instructions for two different lengths of bugles are available in printed version and a new 3-pg PDF.

Truth be told, once you have the pattern, snowflakes can be beaded in a host of colors and sizes. See my Student's Gallery for Jo-Ann's personalized gifts for her collegues. No two snowflakes are alike!

Rypan Designs Kits are available in two series: Swarovski ELEMENTS Crystal AB with pearl seeds and s/l crystal bugles; and Silver Shade with vitrial seeds and twisted s/l crystals bugles. See my Catalogue for all-inclusive beadwork kits with bugles ranging from 15mm, 20mm and 30mm.

Start now to be ready for holiday decor or gift giving. Enjoy!

Winter 2011

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Iryna Senyk's 1st Anniversary

Iryna Senyk 1926-2009

It's hard to believe a year has gone by since dissident Iryna Senyk passed away in Boryslaw, Ukraine. It's ironic that she was returned "home" to Lviv, albeit she was forbidden to live here after her release from 34 years of prison and exile. Boryslaw was exactly 100 km away from Lviv, so that became "home".

Iryna's death was definitely the end of an era of heroines and start of a new one. She started a fresh new row of OUN Freedom Fighters at the entrance to Lviv's venerable Lychakiv Cemetery. I visited her grave on my way back from both of my great grandmothers and relatives.

I've included the story of Iryna embroidering prison numbers with a fishbone for a needle and her signature miniatures in my newest presentation about "Embellishing Your World: Beading and Surface Designs". It also includes a few slides about the "White Aster of Love" Book Project.

People marvel how someone who was surrounded by horror, could create such beauty. Very inspiring....

Slide from "Embellishing Your World: Beading & Surface Designs" PowerPoint

Iryna's marker at Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv

Iryna Senyk's grave in the OUN section of Lychakiv Cemetery, Lviv
"Вічна її пам'ять"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Embellishing Your World

I'm just putting the final touches on this newest inspirational presentation about beading and surface designs (needlework, mixed media, etc.). This seminar will debut this Sat, Oct 22nd, at 3 pm at the Creativ Festival in Toronto. Here's what it's all about:

Transform the mundane into beautiful with an array of technique and design ideas presented by bead artist Maria Rypan. Be inspired to embellish a few things once you see how people in different parts of the world meet the challenge to create beauty with materials on hand. Breathtaking photographs of decorated objects and their stories will motivate you to transform a few of your own.

PS: There is so much eye candy! So many incredible artifacts from First Nations people, Pashtun tribes, Zulu chiefs, Ukrainian artisans, school kids and a former dissident, US crafters and a Canadian bead artist! Plus a chance to visually "meet" some of these talented people with their folk art.

I would love to show this PowerPoint presentation around the world. Just say the word, and I'll be there. Let's talk....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scalloped Hearts

HRT1 - Scalloped Hearts in Dark Montana & Navy Iris bugles

New color combo... Another road trip project... This was done while returning from a wonderful wedding in Buffalo, NY this past weekend.

I needed to make a new sample, as well as do a test run on my Scalloped Hearts instructions for an upcoming workshop at the Creativ Festival next week. It was quite easy. Was it experience?? Was it the detailed illustrations with the thread paths clearly drawn? It was definitely the latter.

This is a unique beadweaving technique found in contemporary gerdany from Ukraine. There are a lot of twists and turns for each heart. The most important rule is to follow each step exactly as drawn. Once you've made one, the rest are easy because they repeat. It's easy to get carried away with all hearts all around the necklace. It could be a choker too, or a bracelet. Getting more ideas just sounding out as I write the blog. Scalloped Hearts kits are also available in amethyst, pearl gold, padparadscha to name a few. Patterns give the ultimate in creative license.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Twig Willow Twist

TW-WL-TM -Twig Willow Twist in copper

Metallics continue to dominate the accessory scene. Copper leads the way with brass moving up in popularity. The TWIG WILLOW TWIST takes all the newest in glass beads and combines it into a stunning piece. Have you ever seen twisted bugles edged with copper or brass? How about glass triangles with a metallic core? They’re sandwiched in between metallic seed beads for maximum impact. It’s all about texture, shape and silhouette.

Beadweaving gives you the ability to manipulate stunning beads into a glamorous piece with just a needle and thread. Learn from the master, Maria (that's me), who's got her finger on the pulse for what's unique in neckpieces and bracelets.

There's still space available in the 3 hour Twig Willow Twist workshop at the Creativ Festival in Toronto on Fri at 1 pm. Or catch Maria and her beadwork kits, patterns and books in booth #717.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Miss December - 3-D Snowflakes

TBS Calendar, December 2011 - Snowflakes by Maria Rypan

The new 2011 Toronto Bead Society Calendar is out and I'm Miss December! Really, my 3-D Snowflakes grace that month's spread.

There are many ways you can make your very own snowflakes like those pictured. You could take a workshop Fri, Oct 22nd at the Creativ Festival in Toronto and get tips and tricks from the master, that's me.

You could get a Rypan Designs kit and choose your favorite from a multitude of bugle sizes and two Swarovski crystal finishes. If you have a bead stash, just get the pattern. The insert clearly illustrates how to space out shorter v.s. longer bugles. Check the Student's Gallery to be inspired by my samplemaker Jo-Ann's multi-colored snowflakes. Each one is different to match her colleagues personalities. They make great gifts!

You could also find the instructions in Beaded Ornaments for the Holidays and Beyond from Bead & Button and BeadStyle Magazines. Waukesha: Kalmbach Publishing, 2009: 90-91.

The proceeds from the sales of this calendar are going to The Native Women's Resource Centre to support youth programs and craft classes for women of all ages. Would you like a calendar full of eye candy and inspiration for 2011?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Presentations in Ukraine

How appropriate for the PowerPoint slide from OH to be the lead in for my presentations in Ukraine...

So much has transpired between the visit to the Ukrainian Museum-Archives Aug 13th and Sep 13th. There was a visit to an amazing Pysanky Museum in Reading, PA on the way to Bead Fest at Valley Forge. Then there was a two week trip to Ukraine for research and family visiting. I have tons of photos and stories!! These will be told a little at a time between shows and trips.

Maria at entrance to Ivan Honchar Museum, Kyiv, Ukraine

It was a great pleasure and privilege to share my "Contemporary Beadwork in Ukraine" PowerPoint with beaders and folk art enthusiasts in Ukraine.

I thought it would be interesting to show my presentation to master craftsmen, beaders, museum directors and staff who graciously allowed me to photographed some beadwork in their "fondy" archives. I wanted to show them how I've incorporated their work and stories into one of my many presentations. This one covered the different styles of beadweaving, gerdany, loomwork, embroidery with beads, metalwork, wirework, beaded eggs, etc.

I presented the "Contemporary Bead in Ukraine" twice. First on Sep 6th at the Educational Metodogical Center in Ivano Frankivsk, Western Ukraine. Then on Sep 13th in a great hall lined with display cases full of incredible artifacts at the Ivan Honchar Museum in the capital Kyiv.

A photograph is worth a 1000 words and provides a
stunning contrast to my contemporary outfit.
The Ivan Honchar Museum is dedicated to preserving traditional
folk arts through photograph and artifact collecting.

Maria tells about Ina Wasylkevych's cabochons and leatherwork in Truskavets.

A great buzz was created at the Honchar Museum

It was really wonderful to see so many beaders hanging on to every word, even photographing the the slides as I was showing them. Great questions came afterwards, as well as even greater expectations and ideas of what to do next.

Thanks to my brother, Paul Wasylkevych, for the photos and assistance with the PowerPoint presentation.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Contemporary Beadwork in Ukraine at UMA, OH

On the way to Philadelphia for Bead Fest, we'll be stopping at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Ohio on Aug 13th and 14th. I'll be presenting my Contemporary Beadwork in Ukraine and a Trunk Show Friday evening.

I've pulled the best photos of the most fascinating beadwork seen in my many recent trips to Ukraine. You'll see several bead artists/vendors at the Vernisage, a piazza full of folk art next to the Lviv Opera. Visit master craftspeople’s homes. See how the rich legacy of beadwork evolved into contemporary colored accessories. You’ll be amazed at the variety of beadwork styles, bead embroidery, wire bead flowers, beaded eggs... and more.

My RYPAN DESIGNS Trunk Show will feature books, beadwork kits and patterns related to Ukrainian-inspired themes and more. Refreshments will be served.

There will be two Gerdany Beadwork Workshops on Saturday for an excellent hands-on intro to the world of beadwork. Be sure to sign up for classes. This could be your new hobby! Advance registration required for workshops. Space is limited. See Contact: (216) 781-4329 or email Ukrainian Museum-Archives Inc., 1202 Kenilworth Avenue, Cleveland OH 44113-4417

Wintery visit to the museum in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland

Ivan Franko statue by Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964)

Two BEADWORK Favorites Stitches

“Fan Wheel Necklace” & “Scythian Gold” by Maria Rypan

These two projects were reprinted in BEADWORK Presents: Favorite Bead Stitches. Interweave Press LLC, 2010: 100-105.

The Fan Wheel Necklace was inspired by contemporary beadwork seen at the Vernisage, an art piazza in Lviv, Ukraine. The wheel is a circular fan whose points are topped with crystals and whose shape echoes through the wavy crystal-studded band. It was originally published in Aug 2007.

The Scythian Gold is a twist on contemporary Ukrainian beadwork. The V-shaped netted collar features an embellished diamond-shaped opening. The project’s name relates to one of the original habitants of Ukraine, the Scythians. It was published in Aug 2009 following my interview "A Conversation on Ukrainian-Style Beadwork with Maria Rypan" on pgs. 60-62.

Crystal encrusted open diamond in the Table of Contents

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mi'kmaq Museum, NS

Travel necessities - map, camera, beads, stringing material, brochures

Mother Nature forced us to find an indoor activity. The Glooscap Heritage Centre in Truro, NS had an amazing bilingual multimedia presentation about the history and folklore of First Nations people and early European immigrants.

The artifacts were displayed in cabinets equipped with press buttons which shed light on the objects when touched. While this was a great preservation idea, it was a bit of a challenge when taking pictures. We had fun trying to photograph the displays with one hand on the button and one on the camera. No complaints when a friend pressed the far corner one for an overall lit shot.

Here are two examples of traditional quill work with an introduction of a beaded trim. These are ideal for inclusion in my new seminar "Embellishing Your World: Beading and Surface Designs" which I will be presenting at the Creativ Festival this October.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tidal Bore at Tidal View Farm, NS

View of St. Croix River, Tidal View Farm, NS, 5:19 PM

We had an opportunity to marvel at Mother Nature's powers at the Tidal View Farm situated half way between the North Pole and the equator. This vista was perfectly situated overlooking an expanse of the Miller Creek of the St. Croix River flowing from the Minas Basin of the Bay of Fundy near Windsor, NS.

The Tidal Bore occurs as the incoming tide "works its way" up a river which is flowing downstream to the sea. The first photo shows the incoming tide as it advances against the current of the natural flow of the river. The last shows the wide river bed full of water in a very short period of time.

Check the schedule for the twice daily tidal bores for the day you plan to come. It's worth rearranging your itinerary!

Close-up of first whirlpool created by the bore

The elbow of the river filling in

Swirling of the two currents create white caps

Wide river bed was filled in a scant 10 miniutes