A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: off-loom beadweaving

May Little Altars – an elephant and beads for me

Little Altars - Elephant May (2 of 4)Here was May’s project.

Once again, my own collected and unfinished treasures provided the inspiration for this month’s Little Altars spot.  Since I was making the spot “for myself” meaning my exchange this month was with me, myself, and I, this was an interesting and sort of indulgent endeavor.  Some sort of serendipitous spell came over me as I wondered around my little places of projects and treasures, and I pretty quickly came up with something that I thought I’d really like.  Nice when there are very few false starts, and that’s what happened this time.

I’m an elephant fan, so the opportunity to use an elephant bead that I’d probably never put on a piece of jewelry was a plus.  And the flat beaded disk has been teasing me to do something with it ever since I made it.  Of course it was supposed to be part of a larger project, but now it’s in a perfectly happy place, pretending to be a water place for the elephant.  Both now live on top of my currently favorite play materials: watercolor paper, watercolors and gouache.

Little Altars - Elephant May (3 of 4)

Little Altars - Elephant May (1 of 4)

July Little Altars – Big Full Moon

Stick and Leaves (1 of 3)This month I got to do a favorite bead thing: bead a stick.  My little stick has been waiting for this spot for months, so it’s happy that July is here.  Since this was a “double” spot (two long skinny shapes next to each other to fill in the same month), my stick needed a companion or two.  I’ve never done beaded wire flowers, but last year got the bug to wire some leaves.  I had a plan in mind for them, but that plan went through a few changes, and when this opportunity came up, they found a perfect home.

Steel Wire and Niihau Shells

Steel Wire and Niihau Shell Earrings

Steel Wire and Niihau Shell Earrings – click to enlarge

A few days ago I sold these earrings in my Etsy shop.  They are a favorite pair, and I want to mark for myself the realization that I’m accomplishing one of my goals of moving into working with metal: the joining of beadwork and metalwork.

Niihau shells are special to me because they were treated as very precious things when I was growing up in Hawaii.  Many years ago (now) I inherited a couple of Niihau shell leis and love them dearly.  But my life does not lend itself to wearing them, and I decided to take a few shells off to play with.  This is one of the results.  I’m feeling like I want to do more.

Portfolio updated

I’ve updated the Portfolio on my Beadwork page today!  More to come….

A Right-Angle Weave Pendant

Right-angle weave is my favorite off-loom beadweaving stitch. But not the regular four-sided form. I love, free-form right-angle weave (RAW). I love the soft texture, the “hand” you can get. In this piece, I used beads of all the same size (11), but I also love to mix the sizes for maximun texture.

This is a two-sided heart pendant. Each side is formed independently and stitched to a length of rat-tail cording. It’s stuffed with a clear/a.b. shredded material (kind of like easter-basket grass), so it’s tranluscent when held up to the light. The stuffing adds a little fuzz when it pokes out. The heart hangs from an embellished ndebele (herringbone weave) cord.

This piece is just fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Are you a free form right-angle weave fan like me? How do you use it?