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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - Z is Zing

We have finally reached the end of our creative journey thru the alphabet. We started with A is Art and are ending with Z is Zing.

Zing is defined as vitality, zest or a quality or characteristic that excites the interest or enthusiasm (from

Creatively zing could be the finding of that one color that will make you finished project different and special.  Here is an original variation of Julia Pretl's vase, with a matte olive green leaf color. The new variation I switched many colors including the leaf color to a silver lined lawn green. The use of the contasting purple for the flowers gives the new vase another needed zing.
Original variation, beaded by J. Woolverton
Revised variation, beaded by J. Woolverton

During her recent visit to Ukraine Maria met up with a fellow beader, Iryna Berdal-Shewchuk, who uses ndebele stitch with zing.  Here are some of her necklaces made with ndebele stitched beaded beads.
Assorted beaded bead necklaces, beaded by I. Berdal-Shewchuk

She also has an amazing way to share her creations with the world. She created this wonderful video showing her necklaces artistically arranged on the interesting and unusual manhole covers in Lviv.

Inspired by Iryna's use the ndebele stitch, Maria started to play with this stitch with zing. She played with variations of a basic motif to create this beaded bracelet. Maria will be teaching this new project at beadFX on Tuesday January 28.
Variation in ndebele, beaded by M. Rypan

Finished bracelet, beaded by M. Rypan
I hope that this past year Maria and I have inspired you to try something new with the same zing that Maria did after her visit with Iryna.

Maria and I have enjoyed taking on this creative journey thru the alphabet this year. In January we will each share some of our favourite posts.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative New Year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - Y is Yarn

Yarn is defined as a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable to use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving. Since I’m approaching this from the beading angle, I’d like to present a few examples of how yarn is used as the carrier of beads and show a few examples of how the combination works. 
"Bobbles by the Yard" by Flo FLory
Project in A Needle Pulling Thread, Summer 2011

I’ve been told the beads have to be put onto the yarn before beginning to knit or crochet. This is something that needs to be prepared in advance. You can use and finer thread and needle to hook your yarn into a folded knotted thread OR use a split needle to catch the yarn and string seed beads for your project.
"Threading beads", Knitting with Beads,
VOGUE Knitting has an excellent intro to Knitting With Beads. There are two ways: random or planned placement called “beaded knitting” where the beads fall over the stitches rather than between them. There's the stockinette and the slip stitch method for single beads embellishment of knitting.
"From the wrong side", Kntting with Beads,
'From the right side", Knitting with Beads,
The other was is ”bead knitting” where the beads are placed between each stitch for a solid beaded look. I haven't found a video tutorial on bead knitting. Guess you'll need to take a class with Flo and learn from a master.

Knitting with beads was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries and used for purses of other elaborately decorated items. It’s called “bead knitting” or “purse knitting”. It is created by placing on bead between each stitch, so that the knitting stitches are completely hidden by beads. Intricate patterns can be created in bead knitting by threading beads in reverse of the design which  must be completely accurate.

"Hearts", knitted reticule by Flo Flory, ON
I have had an opportunity to get a closer look and feel at Bead Knitting through fellow Toronto Bead Society member, Flo Flory’s work. Flo designs and teaches bead knitting and was kind enough to come over with her beadwork when I was preparing an inspirational visual presentation, “Beadwork: The Most Versatile Art Form” in Oct. 2011. Better yet, it was great when we were able to pass around her finished knitting work during my presentation. Folks got to feel how soft and fluid the purses and accessories were. The larger the piece, the heavier it gets because uses glass Czech see beads for knitting. Haven't found a video tutorial on bead knitting. Guess you'll need to take a class with Flo and learn from a master.

"Looped Evening Bag" bead knitted bag with bead trim, 2011
by Flo Flory, ON 
"Sea Breeze  Bag & Bracelet, bead knitted bag and bracelet
by Flo Flory, ON
Project in A Needle Pulling Thread, Summer 2007
'Houndstooth" bead knitted zipper case, 2008
by Flo Flory, ON
"Magic Tube Necklace", bead knitted
by Flo Flory, ON
Beaded Tie, bead knitted by Flo Flory, ON
(l.-r.) "Teddy Bead,, 2005, TIe and Beaded Star, 2010r,
all bead knittedby Flo FLory, ON

There are a lot of video tutorials on adding a few beads here and there. See Theresa Grisnati’s tutorial of how to add a single bead into your knitting by using a crochet hook as a tool to add beads as you are about to for the knit stitch.

Theresa Grisnati, knit hat with bead embellishment. See youtube video

Bead can we used as trim in a knitted piece. There are many different technique for effects, but single space aout beads are the simplest embellishment. 

Beads and yarn also go together in crochet. My sister-in-law Lynn Wasylkevych crochets with beads on yarns for a soft hand and on wire for a harder edge where the beads appear to float, but that’s a different story.

"Winter on the Blue Ridge", by Lynn Wasylkevych, NC,
for a competition at a Bead Society, 2009

Detail of "WInter on the Blue Ridge". Crocheted base with wire crochet trim.
"Green Apples", bead crochet bracelet
by Lynn Wasylkevych, NC, 2009
Hope this blog gives you an appreciation of how well beads and yarn go together. It's yet another great way to show a little creativity.

Happy beading,

Monday, December 2, 2013

ABC's of Creativity - X is eXtra

Whether you are working on a personal project for yourself, a special commission for a customer or a gift for someone special you can create a piece that is just ordinary or give it something eXtra special.

Here are some way in which beaders have added that something eXtra.

The addition of this beautiful heart shaped closure makes this piece a wonderful necklace as an anniversary design for the 25th fall Creativ festival in 2012.
Chic Chevron Collar, beaded by J. Woolverton

Crafting your own closure will ensure that your piece is one of a kind. Here Kathy Foernzler not only added her handcrafted closure but also the added sparkle of Swarovski dangles.
Beaded by K. Foernzler

What to do with those few beads remaining at the end of a design? Here a dangle is add to this fire-polish crystal and pearl Little Black Necklace, it is the finishing touch.
Beaded by J. Woolverton

Here again I had one left over stone ring, the dangle echoes the pattern of the necklace.
Sodalite Necklace, beaded by J. Woolverton

This piece was commissioned by a young lady for her graduation. The classic netted collar has the eXtra special addition of a looped edge and the simple chain (as an extender) with a loop on the end. 
Looped Net Collar, beaded by J. Woolverton

For this project I wanted to have a versatile necklace. It is long enough to use for wear a badge at a show. It can also be wrapped twice around my neck to become chocker length. The Swaroski crystal cubes and focal closure are the star of the design. They are front and centre when wearing as a chocker. They are to one side when wearing a long badge holder.
Diagonal Weave, beaded by J. Woolverton

Here is another eXtra special versatile design. It can worn with or without the pendant. For this vintage lucite project I wanted to use as many of the beads I was given as possible. 
Beaded by J. Woolverton

Another way to add that eXtra something to project to to make it a set, with either earrings or a bracelet.

When my co-worker, Carrie, was leaving our branch I wanted to make her something special. Using Rose Alabaster bicone I made this scalloped lace necklace as seen in the December 2008 Bead & Button magazine. There was no earrings with the original project, but I wanted to have a complete set to give Carrie. A pattern for another designer worked well with the necklace.
Scalloped lace & earrings, beaded by J. Woolverton

Here Maria's Netted X's and O's collar has the added eXtra earrings for a complete set.
Beaded by M. Rypan

I had to resize a necklace I had made a few years earlier for a friend. I remade a smaller String Quartet collar, as designed by Melanie Potter. With the left over beads I made a bracelet that matched the clusters of pearls in the necklace. My friend was surprised by the eXtra bracelet when I returned the necklace.
String Quartet, beaded by J. Woolverton
Quarted bracelet, beaded by J. Woolverton
I hope that you will be inspired to add that eXtra special touch to a project. 

Happy Beading!