Beading Books

Blossom Bezel and Beading Classes

I took a class with Sabine Lippert a couple of weeks ago, and she did inspire me to try different techniques with rivolis.  I never thought that chatons could easily be used with beadwork (that they were too small), but her class changed my way of thinking.  Not to mention all the jaw-dropping-gorgeous examples of her work that she brought in for display!

(In case you don't know, Sabine is the author of the Beaded Fantasies book on Amazon.  And yes, I have the book myself and got Sabine to sign it.)  🙂

This is a big piece of jewelry!  The entire project had this as the center of a necklace that would please the most bling-seeking person, but I decided to stop with just this portion.  The center rivoli is 18mm and the front center rivoli is 12mm.  The rest are 8mm rivolis and chatons.

Even  Teacher Needs Lessons

While I don't really need any lessons in right angle weave or cubic RAW, I went to this class to soak up new ideas, and new ways of putting beads together to form jewelry.  So even a teacher like myself needs to have lessons at times.  🙂

I have to say, Sabine is a wonderful instructor!  She doesn't get over here to the States very often (she lives in Europe), but if you ever get the chance to take a class with her....grab it!  I got the chance to sit with her for a bit and talk one-on-one about some of her pieces and the thoughts behind them as she designed.  One bracelet had me drooling; while much of her work is very ornate, the bracelet was very tailored, but with loads of rivolis.  A perfect blend of elegant bling!

Inspiration?  Oh Yeah!

Since getting back from her class, I have been experimenting with different designs with rivolis and chatons.  Some of them I look at and wonder what I possibly could have been thinking, while others I ended up liking.

This one to my right is kind of straight-forward in some ways.  It's got RAW and peyote bead weaving, along with some other stitches thrown in for good measure.

The rivoli itself is only 14mm, so it makes for a nice smaller pendant.  Put it on a 16 or 17 inch chain and it sits nicely at the base of your neck, shining bright.

I was able to use some of my size 15 charlotte beads (the silver around the rivoli).  They are kind of tough to use because the holes are so very small, but in the end, it was worth it.

To the left are some other designs I dreamed up.  While none of them turned out like I had originally envisioned, they have possibilities.  I used a lot of bronze-colored seed beads, while gives these a more antique-y look and feel.

I think I'll try the design I used in the one at the top, with a different color scheme.  I want to alter the design a little, so there is no telling what the "new and improved" version will look like!

That's it for now.  Have a great day (or evening, depending on the time you are reading this) and catch you later!

Flea Markets, Beads and Jewelry

For the first time in awhile I went on a flea market search for beads, beaded jewelry and vintage signed costume jewelry.  What fun I had, looking through the piles!  But my eyes hurt from squinting to see the signatures on the jewelry (even with a loupe it was difficult at times).

My mission today was simple; I was on a hunt to find vintage costume jewelry with one of the three "R's" -- re-sellable, re-usable or restorable.  And yes, I found nice examples of all three.

I took my husband David with me, and he was a big help, in pawing through the jewelry looking for signatures.  In fact, he found two pieces that I immediately snatched up!  And he suggested that we go to a much bigger flea market tomorrow to see what we can find.  So we'll go early and probably stay all day (it's a very, very large flea market).

Were They All Treasures?

Well, I did make a few mistakes, about $2 worth.  Don't ask me why I picked up 3 Christmas pins that I didn't mean to buy...but I bought anyway, by accident.  They are pretty, for sure, but I realized that one tree had a branch broken off.  Another was a necklace that I thought had a particular designer's signature, but I didn't check with my loupe.  Oops, once I got home, the signature wasn't what I thought.  But at 50 cents each, my mistakes didn't cost too much.

Like Vintage "Redux"?

Jennie sent me an email this morning about a book by Kalmbach publishing (you know, the Bead & Button people) about taking vintage pieces and remaking them into new pieces.  Naturally, I checked on Amazon and they have it (for a much better price).  If you think this is a cool idea, check out Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry for some ideas and inspiration.  So, if this sounds interesting to you, why not pick up a copy (I have one in my Amazon shopping cart right now).

Well, I'm going to go for now and go play with today's finds.  So I'll leave you with some [nmslink:vintage bead lot, ideas for redux supplies] (if you don't have any good flea markets nearby).

[nms:vintage bead lot,7,1,9]

Beading Books I Like – Three Reviews

Beading books have been a staple for me, ever since I became interested in bead jewelry.  I've mentioned before that I don't have much in the way of bead stores near to me.  And unfortunately, a lot of their classes are held during the day when I'm at work.  While they do have weekend classes, most times they aren't the classes I need.

So, beading books have been more the rule than the exception for me. I've both learned a lot and have been inspired by various books. From lampworking, to seed beading to other types of jewelry-making involving beads, I've got the books! So, I thought I'd share my reviews of some of them.

The first is The Beader's Guide to Color by Margie Deeb. Ultimately, this book is about how to choose colors for your beading projects. But to me, this book is about eye candy and inspiration! There are 135 pages with tons of color pictures. Sure, it goes through the standard analagous/complimentary color pallets, but it also describes combinations I had never thought of before.

One photo and "color set" that I really liked was page 63, with a piece called "Rhapsody in Flowers - Cascade". The colors, and the necklace itself, are lovely.  Although the book is far more about seed beads than anything else, there is some lampwork.  I think the necklace on page 32, done up in earth tones, is something I would wear in a heartbeat -- absolutley gorgeous!

There's a short bit at the end about how to do some of the seed beading (peyote, brick and loom work), but it's more of a refresher than really how to do the stitches. I do like this book, and recommend it to anyone who is looking to break out of their standard color combinations. Or anyone who just loves photos of beadwork!

Let's see, the next book is one I put in the "coffee table books" category. It's called Beadwork: A World Guide by Caroline Crabtree and Pam Stallebrass. It's a big book, hardcover, with tons of (mostly color) photos. It details beads, beadwork and beading traditions from around the world. It's not exactly a book that you want to read straight through. Instead, it's one to be savored slowly, over the course of days or weeks. But it isn't just pictures; there's a lot of good information on the history of beads in different cultures -- actually fascinating reading.

And I just love looking at all the photos.  The chair on page 71 is totally awesome; I don't even want to begin to think of how long that took to make!  If you're a Star Wars fan, you will immediately recognize the "look" of the Mongolian woman in the drawing on page 113.  And since I am a fan of colorful designs, page 122 appealed to me.

So, I recommend this book if you are a dyed-in-the-wool bead lover. And have a coffee table strong enough to hold the book!

The last one for today is called Passing the Flame by Corina Tettinger. If you are interested in making lampwork beads, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I bought it at the original price of $75, and now I understand that it's under $60 these days. Even at $75, it was totally worth it!

Corina's style and my style of making beads are about as opposite as you can get, but you know -- it didn't matter. The information she gives can be applied to about any bead style. So if you want to learn lampworking, and can only buy one book -- this one is it.

Those are the beading books for today. I'll write more reviews here and there of other books I think are worth sharing. Meanwhile, have a great day!