Monday, August 11, 2008

A Platefull of Pendants and Beads

I am thinking ahead today about the Annual Artists' Studio Tour that takes place where I live. This year will be the 21st Annual Tour. Wow!! I can remember back when the tour brochure was a handrawn map and no pictures of the artists' work. This year we are all getting color photos of our work. The picture above is for the postcard I plan to make for the event. My brochure photo is going to be a closeup of one of my freeform peyote stitch necklaces with my handmade ceramic raku fired beads.
The tour almost always takes place in November. This year it will be on November 7th, 8th and 9th. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is presented by the St. Lawrence County Arts Council. Hilary Oak is the director of this wonderful organization that supports and promotes the arts in St. Lawrence County.
I always like to do something special for guests who come to my studio--to give them a first hand experience making art with the materials that I use. This year there will be Ceramic Bead Making and Glazing; Felted beads and flower making and Fused Glass. One of each on each of the days of the tour. Last year we had a great time making art. And happily for me, many folks chose to purchase one of my handmade pieces.

What a Veggie Garden Year

It has rained almost every day this summer and the veggies are growing like crazy. And those giant sunflowers in the background are almost 9 feet tall now and the buds are just beginning to form. Since I haven't had a veggie garden in quite a while I am so thrilled and grateful for every fresh organically grown zucchini, cucumber, green bean and radish I pick. So far we have had lots of these. The tomatoes are plentiful but not ripe. Soon I hope. The peppers are big but I am still waiting to pick them since I want to freeze a few too.
And that field of pumpkins I planted for the grandchildren has really come through for them. As I said in my newsletter they are up to my waist or my neck. They just keep growing and spreading.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Book Review

Below is the review I wrote of Sherri Haab's new book for
Sherri Haab's new book Beaded Macrame Jewelry interested me from the start since I used to make a lot of jewelry using macrame. In fact that is how I got started making ceramic beads. I couldn't find commercial beads large enough to fit the hemp cord I was using then. Well now things have changed a lot. There are many wonderful handmade beads on the market that have large holes and wonderful new cords and material to use with them. This book is focused on using many of the new large holed handmade beads. Although lampwork beads are usually featured, the new ceramic beads you can find on Etsy and Just Beads on the Internet would work equally as well. And you know I am biased on the subject of ceramic beads. The book shows you the basic Macrame knots in clear large illustrations and then goes on to introduce you to a number of attractive projects. I have been having a lot of fun with the Japanese Cord Bracelet. I was attracted to this project because I had some of this wonderful Japanese Noro cording on hand in several different colors. By the way this stuff is gorgeous. Here is an example of my interpretation of the Japanese Cord Bracelet.

And now I am using this same technique to make a necklace.

There is another reason I love this book and that is the very simple sliding closure that makes it possible to adjust the size of any bracelet or necklace. She gives you two versions of this very handy adjustable ending.
There are many attractive projects in the book ranging from leather cord bracelets, macrame rings and earrings, to complex necklaces and even a purse using yarn and ribbon.
This book is available from and other books stores.

Raku Bead Video Part III