|“Dream Garden” necklace © Andrea Adam 2014|
“Dream Garden” bead embroidered necklace with vintage glass cabochons. Many of the beads and stones feature an aurora borealis coating. This finish creates beautiful play of light effects, which lend an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
This is an original design, and it will not be repeated. I’ll probably play with the theme again in the future, using a similar neckline and garden elements, but this combination of stones and colors will not be reproduced. If this piece speaks to you, you can find more pictures and purchase info here 🙂
|© Andrea Adams/Beadmask 2013|
This crown is a recent commission. The customer was really nice — not only because of how patient and positive she was with me, but because she commissioned this piece as a gift for a friend. She told me that the recipient nearly cried when it was given to her, and that she decided to go someplace very special for New Year’s Eve so that she would have a reason to wear it!
That makes me incredibly happy. I love creating pieces that are “talismanic” for the wearer… pieces that make women feel beautiful, special, powerful and/or remind them of their own growth and/or healing. I like making pretty things, but what I really strive for is to create pieces that people connect with. Pieces that empower the wearer on some level.
|© Andrea Adams/ Beadmask 2013|
Interestingly enough, the woman called to say “I love the headdresses that you have on your website, and I wondered if you have any more that are not up there yet?”. I told her about this one, which had been sitting unfinished since Jan 2013. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but between the move and a whole lot of custom work, I just haven’t had much time to actualize my own ideas this year. As it turned out, my plan for this piece was right in line with what she’d been hoping for … so I suspect that maybe it was just waiting for her to find me 🙂
Made from hand cut and sculpted leather, accented with a 1960’s vintage aurora borealis glass cabochon, Swarovski crystal, 1930’s vintage German crystal and glass seed beads. The snowflake medallion at the center uses a series of rough quartz points and a single piece of kyanite.
|© Jeff Wood 2013|
Not sure if I’ll make this a regular thing again, but today I feel like sharing a random assortment of art that has inspired me recently:
|Mendocino/Humbolt county line photo © Talia Rose 2013|
Another person who is inspiring me right now is my friend Talia. In truth, she always inspires me and for more reasons than I could possibly list; but one specific reason that I’ll share with you here is her wildlife photography. I’ve shared a few of her photos on my blog before, as they’re always amazing. Recently her work, her skill and her passion for it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. It’s incredible to watch! She has created a facebook page called “County Line Wild” if you’d like to see more.
|© Mat Enloe 2012|
The beadwork to the right was created by my new friend, Mat Enloe (AKA “The Beadman of Santa Cruz”). He creates amazingly intricate and impressively large bead embroidered works. I chose this image because the fact that he is holding it helps to give a sense of scale; however, he has several equally amazing pieces in his facebook photo gallery.
His images are set to public, and I did get his permission to share them 🙂
|“Fire on the Mountain” © Raina Gentry 2013|
Last but not least is a new (newer?) piece by Raina Gentry. Her work just speaks to me, and I especially love the vibrant colors in this one.
Interestingly enough, I wrote about her work last year in one of my very first “Inspiration Wednesday” posts. Talia’s work was featured in another such post. Maybe that’s an indicator that it’s worthwhile to pay attention and follow the work of those that inspire you … as they may continue to do so 🙂
At times like these, I instinctively reach for my beads. Creativity has a healing element to it, and of all of the crafts that I do, this seems most true of beading. It’s hard to explain, except to say that there’s this very zen space – a meditative place – that I go to when I bead. It soothes me and helps me to let go, and in the process I often find creative solutions. Last night as I sewed, I remembered this story that my friend Beki Haley tells about her Nana, which sums up that feeling so much better than I can:
My grandmother did almost every craft imaginable, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, tatting, shrunken apple head dolls, ceramics, watercolors, we even made toilet seats out of resin with seashells trapped in it! She was a very energetic and sometimes nervous woman who couldn’t seem to sit still or calm down. Until she picked up her beads. Then she would become very calm and quiet.
When I was about 8 I asked her, “Nana, how come when you play with your beads your leg stops shaking and you get so quiet”? She called me over to her chair and said, “See all these little beads in here? Do you see the little tiny holes?” I nodded yes while squinting my eyes to look into her metal cigar box lid that she used for her beading tray. She said, “When I bead I climb inside that little tiny hole and there is no room in there for anything else to bother me. No worries, no aches, no stress.”
At 8 I didn’t quite understand how that made her leg stop moving. But by the time I was an adult I fully understood and her words have never left me. I climb inside that little tiny bead hole whenever I need just a moment of calm.
Thank you Beki, for giving me permission to save and share this story <3
|Bead embroidered cameo necklace © Andrea Adams 2012|
I’m still trying to participate in NaSeBeMo. I say “trying” because I have not been able to bead every day as I had hoped. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I have had a TON of custom work this month, so most of my creative energy has gone to that.
Still, I’ve made a conscious effort to get in as much beading time as I possibly can. While I have not been able to bead daily (which is the goal of NaSeBeMo) I have managed to do a bit of beadwork at least 4-5 days a week. This is significantly more beading time than I have had all year. Hopefully I can continue in this vein.
Most of my projects have been small ones. I took one evening earlier this month, and glued a bunch of cabochons down to a beading substrate. I mean a whole bunch… there are vintage glass stones, old Swarovski, and an abundance of jaspers and agates. This prep work has made it possible for me to work in a bit of bead embroidery whenever I have a spare minute or two. Many of the stones will decorate my leatherwork, while others will be bases for me to build into more complex jewelry pieces.
|“Lunar Eclipse” labradorite necklace © Andrea Adams 2012|
In addition to the smaller projects mentioned above, I’ve completed the two necklaces shown here, as well as an assortment of earrings and bracelets. They’re all simple pieces, but it feels really good to be getting back into the habit of beading again.
Another factor in all of this is that I recently got glasses. I have needed them for some time, but kept putting it off because the adjustment period is so intense for me; as a self employed artist, I really can’t afford to have impaired vision for an extended length of time! I’ve been wearing my new glasses for 3 weeks now, and I still have some rough side effects (dizziness, nausea, headaches) but it is getting easier. So while the transition phase is slow and uncomfortable, I expect a long term benefit to my beading practice. I am already noticing a huge improvement in my vision, which should make beading a lot more enjoyable 🙂
|Nov 6th – iolite and blue titanium quartz earrings|
For the past few days my NaSeBeMo projects have been small, but I’m still feeling pretty good about it. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I do have quite a few custom orders in the queue right now, and those have to take priority. With that being said, the fact that I am getting in any beading time at all is really good. In fact, I’m finding that my desire to bead is motivating me to try and finish up these orders a bit faster so that I can have more time to play with beads!
The 6th was pretty busy, so I just made the mate to an earring, and added some dangles to the hair stick from the other night. On the 7th I gave myself permission to take a night off, since I’d had painful dental work AND the early signs of a migraine — not a fun combo.
|Nov 8th – branch fringe earrings with blue quartz points|
On the 8th, I created these branch fringe earrings with more titanium quartz (yeah, I’m on a little kick here) and on the 9th I started a matching bracelet. I’ll post pictures of that one when I complete it.
Thus far, the majority of my projects have been small ones, but I’m enjoying the process. It’s been quite some time since I made an effort to bead every day, and I’ve really missed it. I’m hoping that these little efforts will grow to be a steady practice again.
|Nov 5th – a beaded hair stick and a single earring|
Last night’s NaSeBeMo results are rather slim. My first project — or rather, attempt at a project — was to turn one of my UFO’s into a bracelet. The piece features bead embroidery around a vintage brass filigree and I thought it would make a lovely little bangle. Unfortunately, the filigree was too rigid to work well for a bracelet. I fought with it for far too long, stitching beads and then ripping them back out (for the uninitiated, this is known as “rippit stitch” 😉 before accepting my defeat. That piece will have to be a pendant or barrette.
I did manage to work on a couple of smaller pieces before the night was through. One is a beaded hair stick with a vintage WG glass cab; I’m on the fence as to whether or not to add dangles to this one. The other will be an earring. It features a stunning titanium coated quartz crystal and a faceted iolite. Maybe I’ll make the mate tonight.
|Mosswood beaded cuff © Andrea Adams 2012|
My NaSeBeMo project for November 4th was this beaded cabochon cuff, which I’ve dubbed the “Mosswood Cuff”. It features a larger moss agate cab, cut by Shawn Lockheart. The cab is set in a beadwoven bezel of glass seed beads, and accented with raw emerald, faceted tiger eye and moss agate beads.
The beaded stone had been sitting in my UFO box for some time because I was undecided about whether it should be a necklace or a cuff. Last night the cuff idea won out, so I added the gemstone accent beads, stitched it down to the ultrasuede and did the edge stitching to finish it off.
|November 2nd seed beading efforts|
Now that Halloween is over, I just want to hibernate with my beads for awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mask making and leatherworking in general; but the pace of Halloween can be very intense for me, and usually once it’s over I find myself drawn to the slower more meditative pace of beadwork. With that being said, this post from Dulcey Heller about NaSeBeMo seemed too timely to ignore. The premise is similar to that of NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) in that participants are encouraged to practice their craft every day for one month. I think that NaNoWriMo has a specific goal for how many words one should write, whereas NaSeBeMo is a bit more open ended — the goal is simply to bead every single day during the month of November.
|November 3rd’s beading efforts yielded this dragonfly slide|
In a sense, I am starting from behind since I didn’t even learn about it until November 2nd; but that’s cool, I’ll just extend my commitment by a day and strive to bead something every day from November 2nd- December 2nd. My first two days worth of projects are relatively small, but they were still very satisfying. On November 2nd, I bead embroidered 2 cabochons, one was used on the blue birch leaf hair slide shown here, and the second was used on the leather owl feather that is sitting next to it (this will be a component in a larger project).
My beading projects for Nov 3rd included the bead embroidered beetle wing on the dragonfly barrette shown here, along with the some nominal beading on the maple leaf slides shown below. In the realm of seed beadwork, these are small simple projects, but I’m happy just to be beading again! I still have quite a few custom orders for masks and leathercraft that require my attention, but I should still be able to carve out a little time for my beads each day. Hopefully I’ll be able to “ramp up” from little projects such as these, and on to more ambitious efforts once I clear out some of my commission work.
|Nov 3rd beaded maple leaf barrettes|
Jennifer VanBenSchoten’s recent blog post on the subject gives some very practical tips for participants. The first idea is my favorite. She suggests finishing up UFO’s… that’s bead jargon for “unfinished objects, and I have plenty of those flying about. I’m hoping that this will motivate me to finish them off as I ease back into the practice of beading more often. Wish me good luck!