Thursday, February 24, 2011

Winter Illuminations Necklace

I completed my piece for the latest round of the blogger program, this time in a "Winter Enchantment" theme:
To be honest, I was somewhat wintered-out after finishing the Wintery Mini Ionic Polyhedra set and my Ice Queen necklace last November, and I thought that I couldn't possibly think up another icy, wintery design before suffering from brain freeze. So I turned to another interpretation of wintertime:
Photo © Peggy Holsclaw 2011 

In Japan, several of the parks, shrines, and temples are lit up in the evenings during holidays and seasonal events (their Fall Illuminations are particularly spectacular). My sister Peggy is currently living in Japan and took some beautiful photos of the Winter Illuminations in the bamboo forests of Arashiyama, a district on the outskirts of Kyoto.
Photo © Peggy Holsclaw 2011 

Photo © Peggy Holsclaw 2011 

This photo really spoke to me: something about the combination of silvery bamboo leaves with the intense blue bamboo stalks communicates a fresh crispness without being overly cold. I used light sapphire AB Czech pressed glass lentil beads to mimic the shape and shade of the bamboo leaves, dark indigo AB2X Swarovski crystal bicones for the intense blue color, and a collection of black, hematite, and silver Japanese seed beads to complete the design. After a couple of attempts I created this beaded bead design, which is a cousin of the Double Pagoda beaded bead:
I made five of them total, and paired them with additional Cosmic crystals complete the necklace:
Finally, for a limited time Artbeads is kindly offering a 15% off everything coupon code to such awesome readers such as yourself. The coupon code is ZZ-DESIGNER-0211, and is valid until the end of the month. 

What wintery-themed pieces have you created this season?

Full disclosure: The swarovski crystals and Czech glass lentils used in this necklace were received as a gift from No payment was made for the review of these products.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dodecahedral Balloon Box

I finally finished a work of beaded art that I had been meaning to get to for a while. It's a dodecahedral version of my Balloon Box design.

The colors are from Margie Deeb's The Beader's Color Palette, specifically palette #48, "Persian Pottery." At over an inch and a half in diameter, it's too big to incorporate into jewelry, but it would be very appropriate for an ornament. I think it would look really nice in red and gold, or perhaps dark blue and silver. 
The structure is hollow and solid like the original Balloon Box. The overlay of seed beads in this piece uses the same bead count and sizes as the original, but if I make this dodecahedral variation again I'll probably change this up. As it is now, a little bit of thread shows between the seed beads in the overlay, which can happen when using the same technique for different polyhedra. It shouldn't be too difficult to fix though. 
What's your favorite type of variation? Size, shape, color, or all of the above?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Margie and Me Color Challenge: The Modern Madrid

For Marcie's latest Margie and Me Color Challenge, I chose Margie Deeb's "The Colors of Constructivism," or palette #102 from The Beader's Color Palette. Lots of grey, black, teal, and more grey in this palette. Not my usual choice of colors:
I made a Double Pagoda Beaded Bead pendant since I just finished its tutorial and therefore had this design on the brain. I went for teal and grey round seed beads, teal Miyuki drop beads, some shade of AB2X Swarovski crystal (Indian Sapphire?), and black Czech drops:
I think I pretty much failed to match the colors called for in the palette. With a little planning, I would have picked up some of the newer Crystal Silver Night Swarovski crystals, which I think would cool down this pendant but still give it some sparkle. I still like the pendant though, enough to keep it for myself :)
Be sure to check out all the other Margie and Me challenge pieces on Marcie's blog

Have you ever worked in a color palette that just didn't fit your style? If so, what did you come up with?

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Tutorial: Double Pagoda Beaded Bead

My newest beadweaving tutorial, the Double Pagoda Beaded Bead, is now complete:
It's a little bit bigger than the Pagoda Beaded Charm, and uses a similar collection of shapes and sizes of Czech glass teardrop beads, Swarovski crystal bicones, Miyuki drop Japanese seed beads, round Japanese seed beads, and the newish 2 by 4 mm peanut-shaped Japanese seed beads which I love so much. However, 8° Japanese seed beads can be substituted for the peanut seed beads in both designs, as in these two charms below:
I've categorized the Double Pagoda as an advanced design since it uses a combination of non-standard weaves, but intermediate beadweavers should be able to follow the tutorial since I included numerous detailed photos and illustrations. It's the perfect size for a petite pendant. Here's one in electric emerald:
I also finished a necklace derived from my color-matching experiments with one of Melissa Vess's gorgeous lampwork focal beads:
The focal is complemented by two Double Pagoda Beaded Beads and over a dozen cube beaded beads, made to match the colors in the focal. 
Finally, since I still had a leftover Double Pagoda that didn't quite match the focal, well as one extra cube beaded bead, I paired them with a simple variation of the Double Bubble Jacks beaded bead for a doubly-double (quadruple?) cascading pendant:
The Double Pagoda Beaded Bead is available in the tutorial sections of both my Etsy and Artfire shops on my website if you'd like to make your own. I think I'll make another one myself for Marcie's latest Margie and Me color challenge this weekend.

What will you be beading this weekend?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Origami Interlude: Hollow Blue Cube

My husband took me on an origami paper shopping spree for my Christmas gift last December, so I picked out several sheets of beautiful Washi paper. I decided to make this modular cube:

It's a Tomoko Fusé design from one of her many origami books. The book is called Cranes and Fans, and it's only in Japanese as far as I know. 
While the edges of the cube are constructed from washi paper, the faces are constructed from TANT origami paper, which differs from standard origami paper in three ways: it's thicker, textured, and colored on both sides. I like it a whole lot better than standard origami paper for such 3D structures that contain so much open space, because the thicker paper helps to stabilize the model.
This model uses 12 sheets of washi and 6 sheets of TANT paper, each at 4 inches square. It holds its shape well without adhesives.
Have you tried a new material within the past few months? How did it work out?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...