Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Scarlet Woman

Another challenge piece for the Beading Forum - this one with the theme "Scarlet Woman". I had this idea as soon as I saw the theme and just had to do it. The funny thing ... when I was making her, my eldest (9 yrs) came along, saw her, loved her, and then commented on her big boobies!!! Oi!!! Boys!!!!!

Update: Just found out today that I won this challenge, which I'm totally stoked about considering that all the entries for this week were totally beautiful and there were a couple there that I wouldn't mind getting my little mitts on LOL.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Lotus Flower

Well my fingers are a bit sore from this one LOL.

Done for a Wirework Challenge on the Beading Forum with the theme "Oriental". When looking at inspiration for this challenge I came across the meanings of symbols, and the Lotus flower intrigued me .... could I make one, that was the question.

The Lotus Flower

In the East, the lotus flower is viewed as a symbol of spiritual unfoldment. The lotus has its roots in earthly mud, but as it grows upward in aspiration toward the light, its petals open out in a beautiful flower. Om Mani Padme Hum, meaning, "Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus" is the sacred mantra of the Tibetans.

The blue dichroic I've placed in the middle represents the water from which this beautiful flower springs from.

I'll be putting a brooch pad on the back of this and making into a chrissie pressie for my mum .... she's been covertly hinting at a brooch for a while.

Update: my son looked at this last night and told me he didn't like the dichroic in it for Grandma ... could I change it to a pearl. LOL - he's 7 yrs old mind you. So I changed it .... he's like it much more now. Will pop in a photo soon of the updated Lotus. I like both of them so it doesn't really bother me which one goes to mum.

LOL wouldn't you know it ... my mum opened her pressie a week early. Good on ya mum!!! Anyway I'm pleased to say that she loves it and she wore it to a Christmas party last Friday night, AND she'll be wearing it to the family's Christmas do.

Monday, 1 December 2008

DQ piece

I made this piece weeks ago ... but because this was another Challenge piece and I couldn't post it until now. Made with beads and the gorgeous ceramic pendant from Cranberry Beads here in Australia. I went with my first bolt of inspiration when I did this, and after looking at some of the other entries I think maybe I should have let it sit on my desk while my imagination mulled on it for a while ... but having said that, I'm extremely happy with how this turned out. I love it!!!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Winner announced .....

Well, it's finally been announced ... the winner of the 2008 Create Your Style Swarovski Competition is .......... Caroline Lan-San Fung with her gorgeous piece, " Dance of the Fire Phoenix". Congratulations Caroline.

I think all my fav pieces from the comp made it into the top 25 - with most of them in the top 10. Totally amazing pieces and you should check them out.

It was a really tough competition and I feel very privileged to have participated. My piece "Raindrops" didn't place in the top 10 (as I knew it wouldn't), but it did make into the top 25 finalists ... and I've said it before, I am so amazed I made it that far. Congrats to all that made the final 25, you all deserve the kudos.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Glasswork Exhibition

Recently I was asked if I would contribute to a Glasswork Exhibition for a new Gallery opening up here in town. I've made a few glass pendants, beads and Dichroics over the last year and although a bit hesitant at first, I agreed. So I got busy beading around and making up some of the glass pieces.

This is what I came up with:

This first one is Citron iridised on opaque white - I've embroidered around it with green iris and green seedies, with some little purple crackle beads and peridot swaros for good measure. It reminds me alot of Tuscan vineyards.

This pendant is also Citron Iridised on opaque white - I fused some fine silver in there to act as a bail. Wired it with green foil beads and lilac Czech fire-polished beadies.

One of my dichroics - rainbow on clear which I fused onto a turquoise coloured glass - it has some beautiful colours in it which you just can't see in the photo. Embroidered around with some beautiful bright blue seeds, a purple/blue mix seedie and purple velvet swaros. The necklace part is my first foray into RAW ... something I'd like to do more of, but more chunkier maybe.

Some little beadies I made with the Citron/opaque white mix again - also fused some fine silver between the layers to act as the links. Wired it with some Czech leaves and fire-polished beadies. Really pretty!!!

The dichroic bracelet I made a few weeks ago, which is in an earlier post, will also be included ... as well as a couple of my other pieces.
Opening night is this Friday night (21st), and if I can just get over this horrible head cold I might actually enjoy myself tomorrow night.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Dichroic Bracelet

I've wanted to do one of these for a while now - had this bracelet blank sitting here just waiting for me to pull my finger out and do up the little dichroic squares. My fingers were so sore after rounding off the corners - note to self, wear gloves the next time I'm grinding 9mm squares of glass. The colours didn't come out as bright as what I would have liked, but in the right light there are some gorgeous flashes of colour.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

I've been tagged

Well ... apparently I've been tagged. Didn't know what it meant until I got it LOL. Thanks to Elizabeth from Evy Designs for tagging me.

OK these are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

OK now to think of 7 things

1. I hate seafood - except maybe calamari and that has to be crumbed.

2. As a kid I was scared of the dark - as most of us are as kids. To get over it I use to make up stories and generally talk those stories aloud to get myself over the fear and eventually fall asleep. I'm sure I was going senile back then LOL.

3. 30 yrs later .... I still talk to myself when I can't get to sleep. (I'm such a sad case!!!)

4. Originally born in Brisbane, Australia - lived in many places since with moving around as a child, and moving around with my now hubbies work.

5. When I hang up the washing it has to be all towels together, all shorts together, all jeans together ... everything together in its sets. Probably the only thing I'm really picky on.

6. Love the rain! Except for when it floods. I love watching my kids run around in it and getting soaked and having fun .... then coming in for a lovely warm shower.

7. Love going for drives to the beach and sitting there watching the waves roll in, watch the sun setting ... generally relaxing and chilling out.

So there you have it. Ok, now I have to choose my 7 taggees ... but I'll do them tomorrow. I seriously have to get off here and go and make dinner, or the kidlets are going to gnaw my leg off soon. So until tomorrow .......

OK it's tomorrow ... or today ... well you know what I mean :-)

My 7 taggees are ....

1. Hooked on Wire
2. Nellies Treasures
3. Z'annes Bazaar
4. The Ardent Sparrow
5. Sheba Kitty
6. Calla does craft
7. haven't got a clue right now, but I will put one in here :-)

My apologies if you've been tagged already - I'm pretty sure you don't have to do it again.
Have fun.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

What to do with an Agate Slice

I have many of these Agate slices in my collection . These slices don't have a hole in them so besides beading around them to make a piece, I also wanted to wire around them as well. This is something I've been working on and off for the last few days. I used a tute that I got from a very thoughtful Beading Forum member for the wire base frame around the slice, and I basically went freeform from there.

Made with Freshwater Pearls, Swarovski Crystals (love my bling bling), and silver. I personally think it's a bit tizzy, but then again, I'm not the greatest girly girl sort of person, so pink is usually out for me .... but, having said that, I am happy with how this one turned out ... and I'm sure someone will love it enough to buy it.

Dichroic Glass

For those that don't know, I'm also doing a Certificate in Visual Arts at TAFE .... and one of the many things I've been learning about is making and using Dichroic glass. Here's my latest batch of Dichroic pendants, just picked up from being fired.

This one below is going to a special friend who is having a birthday next week (27th Oct) ... sssshhhhhh don't tell her.

Now ... if I could just convince my husband that I NEED my own kiln here at home.

Monday, 13 October 2008

There's seedie work afoot!!!!

That's right ... I've been seed beading again and incorporating my new love of bead embroidery. Shock ... horror!!!

These three pieces were done for challenges on the Beading Forum - the first one with the theme "The Masters", the second theme of "Two's Company, Three's a Crowd", and the third theme being "Moroccan Bazaar". All challenging in terms of what to do.

The Masters
I was inspired by Monet for this piece. Casually checking through pictures of his painting and I came across the ones he did of his gardens in Giverny. The colours that he used in the painting are what caught my eye the most .... so I based my piece on these colours. Lilac, orange, green and blue.

The gorgeous flat-backed lentil is by a very talented lampwork Artist here in Australia by the name of Jan Cahill. I loved this bead when I first saw it, and when this challenge came up I just knew I had to use this. Using seed beads I made a netted base and sewed the bead onto the centre of the piece. Around the bead I did alot (and I mean alot) of fringing around it to represent the water and his gardens. This bracelet is so heavy, but I think it's gorgeous ... and will be going into an exhibition of my work that hopefully will be opening soon.

Two's Company, Three's a Crowd
I wanted this to represent the 3 hearts that are involved in the three's a crowd side of things. Two hearts competing for the love of one - this being the bigger centre heart bead. I used pretty lilac and pink colours ... so unlike me by the way ... and using foil hearts, freshwater pearls, swarovski crystals and, of course, seedies. I also wanted to represent that love gives us wings - or at least that's what it does for me ... so I shaped the piece into the shape of wings.

Moroccan Bazaar Challenge

The rules on this piece was that it was to be a pendant and we were to swap with another person from the forum. I'm happy to say that the person who received my pendant loved it ... as did I. We were given a photo full of colourful tangine pots as inspiration, and the colours that caught my eye (well they always do) were turquoise and golden brown. So I went with these colours. Using Chinese Turquoise as the focals and turquoise and silverlined brown for the seedies, this is what I came up with.

Many thanks go to Kazco (Karen) from the Forum for the lovely pendant that I received in the swap. Red is not normally my colour, but I love this, and I'm pretty sure I can find something to wear it with (or maybe I could buy something hehehe).

Monday, 6 October 2008

2008 Create Your Style Swarovski Competition

Well, to add to my complete surprise at getting through to the 1st round of finalists for the comp .... I've made it to the final 30 with the "Raindrops" piece. I was floored with that one. Then when the final 30 were made public on October 1 (view final 30 here), I just couldn't understand how my humble easy peasy piece made it through, because the calibre of entries, and the sheer talent of my fellow finalists, far exceeds my humble piece.

Anyway, I'm just stoked that I've got this far ... totally unexpected, but stoked just the same ... and LOL, I'm even thinking of designs for next years competition. Can't wait for the winner and 10 finalists to be announced - I have my personal ideas on who the top 10 are going to be, and I'm so hoping that some of my fav entries from an earlier post will be included in there. Go Beading Forum members!!!!!!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Imagine my surprise

Imagine my surprise when ..... on the Friday 8th August I got my little email stating that I'd made it through to the 1st round of finalists for the 2008 Create Your Style Swarovski competition. I was so excited and shocked at the same time, only because I firmly believe that there are better pieces out there than mine. But I'd made it. I honestly don't care if I don't go any further in the competition, I'm just stoked I got this far.

This is the piece that got through to the next stage -

and these are the pieces I'd made that didn't get through.
Golden Flower Choker

Winter's Icy Heart

The Colours of Autumn

The Olgas

Thursday, 31 July 2008

2008 Create Your Style Swarovski Competition

Well that time of the year is nearly over - as of midnight tonight entries to the comp will close and the judges can start sifting through the multitude of entries that they have.

These are some of my favourite pieces from this years competition.

Rise of the Phoenix - Huan Pham

Dance of the Fire Phoenix - Caroline Fung

Moonstruck - Melissa Player

Daoine Sidhe - Lauren MacGregor

Across the Universe - Annette Sharpe

and finally....
Splash - Noel Wyres

You can see the entries here hope you like looking at them as much as I have.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Beaded Agate Slice

As the name says ... I've beaded around one of my collection of Agate slices. Now usually I'm a wire person, and I would wire around said Agate slice, but I decided to take advantage of my new love of seedies and try to encase it instead. Well after this piece I'm sure my love of seedies has waned a bit ... I don't think I've sworn at a piece so much, and I had to unpick the damn thing about 3 times ... ggggrrrr. Those little buggers just didn't want to sit right around the slice.

To make things worse, I broke the middle finger on my left hand a couple of weeks ago, and it just made things so much slower and ever so slightly painful if I held it the wrong way.

Anyway it was finished this morning ... still undecided as to whether I will put a fringe on it, but the more I look at it the more I like it. I'll be visiting a friend later - who is an excellent seed bead artist - so I will ask her opinion.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The seedie bug bites me

Yes ... I'll admit it ... I love the little buggers. I've crossed over to the seedie way of thinking, and I can understand the passion that you seedie ladies (and men) have for these little beadies. Who would have thought that I, me who hates small beadies with big hands, would make anything with seedies.

Once I finished my Davy Jones Locker piece I knew that I had to try this bead embroidery stuff that I've been seeing around the net. So off I went and got myself some Lacy's Stiff Stuff, some ultra-suede, and a new supply of beadies. Now to choose cab to bead around. I didn't have to go far - I have so many polished stones in my collection that one of them must do. I chose a gorgeous stone, whose name escapes me right now, in deep brown and creamy coppery tones.

I must say that at first the passion escaped me until I got past the bezel part. Once I got past that everything just flowed, and by the end of it I was totally in love with yet another part of beading. I love the effect you get with bead embroidery .... I have found a new passion. LOL

I would like to, one day, teach myself to do a spiral or netted rope to hang these beautiful creations off, but I'm taking one step at a time for now. No use rushing these things. :-)

Anyway, here is my first beaded cab - simply strung onto ribbon/cord.

2008 Mackay Show

Well, THAT time of the year has come and gone, again. Yes, June marks the start of Show season around here. Now I wasn't going to enter this, for various reasons, one of them being all the hoo haa that surrounded last years show. But I decided at the last minute to make an effort and enter.
It's not important to me to enter competitions with the sole aim of winning - I'm realistic ... I know there are ladies (and men) out there who are far more talented at this game than what I am, so my expectations are always pretty low. So I entered four pieces - 3 x wire work pieces, and 1 x threadwork.

Imagine my surprise when I went into the Show on the first day to find that not only had I won 1st prize for three of my entries, but I also had won Champion of Show for the second year running. I was gobsmacked, and just a little bit humbled by it all. I had great pleasure in texting my hubby and letting him know - he is my greatest critic and still doesn't understand my passion for this craft. I think he secretely hopes that one day I'll pack it all in and go back to being boring old Maryanne. Not a hope in hell darl :)

Anyway here are my entries for this year's Mackay Show. Enjoy.

1st Prize ~ Threadwork ~ Necklace

1st Prize ~ Wire Work ~ Necklace

and finally ....

1st Prize ~ Wire Work ~ Bracelet
Champion of Show

First foray into Threadwork

Now it's common knowledge that I generally hate seed beeds, or for that matter any small beads. Me with the big hands that I have and small beadies just don't go!!! Well recently on the Beading Forum they had a Challenge with the theme being "Davy Jones Locker". So with that in hand I decided to bit the bullet and make something that was predominantly seedies. I researched how to get started, and decided that freeform netting was probably the easiest of stitches I could go for ... and I could do a smattering of peyote in there somewhere.

Now I had a certain image in my head when I started, and true to form I changed it as I went along, and the fringe, well that was an after thought!!! LOL.

Anyway it took me a while to do it, but the end result is something I am sooooo happy with. Presenting "Lost Souls" ~ it represents the jewels scattered over the ocean bed (sand), the fringe representing not only seagrass, but also the outstretched arms of lost souls reaching out for a treasure they can never obtain. Pretty deep hey .. LOL it sounded good at the time.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Musical Theatre

On the Beading Forum they have weekly challenges, incorporating a different theme each week. This week's theme was "Musical Theatre". I love the theatre, and even though I haven't been for years, I still have my old theatre programs. So when this theme came up I rummaged through all the programs to get inspiration for this challenge. I found my inspiration in "My Fair Lady". This first pic is my inspiration photo from the program and following on from that is my interpretation of the piece.

Our local little beadie shop doesn't have much in the way of stampings/filigree, or at least what I had envisaged in my head. So I purchased the biggest bead caps I could and pounded them flat to make these cute little filigree pieces. I then wired some pink freshwater pearls and crystal AB Swarovski Crystals into them to make my interpretation of the theme.
Presenting .... "Eliza"

Note to add: I just looked on the forum at the poll results and I WON!!! WOW I completely gobsmacked. It's not very often I win something, the talent on the forum is just so much greater than mine ... but I won. LOL, if you can't tell ... I'm happy. :-)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Include a Pearl - pendant swap

Recently on the Beading Forum, I participated in a Metalwork/Wirework pendant swap, with the theme "Include a Pearl". Everyone's pieces were beautiful, I'm amazed at the talent of people. Anyway a lovely young lady (beadybaby) did a beautiful pendant for me ... for a beginner in wirework she certainly did herself proud. Thankyou so much Beadybaby. :-)

This is the pendant I made for my recipient. I took the Pearl theme and created something that represented the swirling waters that surround the Pearls while they are being made. I'm so glad that my recipient loved it ... in fact I loved it that much I nearly didn't send it off ... so with that I'm going to make myself one in different colours.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Such a long since I posted

Ugh ... it's just been such a busy year ... LOL so far, and we're only in March.

OK to go over what's been going on, beading wise, since October. After the River to Reef Festival I went back to doing nice sedate market days, and surprisingly did quite well with them as well. I was also finalising the orders I got from that "big" day ~ all of which turned out really well, and I had happy customers.

Since Christmas though, things have been fairly quiet. The markets here tend to have a bit of a rest period until the heat of our summer dies down. So in the interim I have been getting ready for the main market to start back up again ... which is at the end of this month. YAHOO!!!!

Been making lots of beady goodies, buying up lots of beadies ... ssshhhhh don't tell my husband LOL. I've started playing with wire again, which feels soooooo good. I've been entering a few challenges on the Beading Forum ~ which I have enjoyed so much ... I love creating things to a theme.

I've also started studying at TAFE (Technical College), part-time. I'm doing a Certificate I in Visual Arts. Glasswork and Drawing are my subjects this semester, and oh I am having soooo much fun. I have a new appreciation of what it takes to make glasswork. It's an amazing medium to work with. Cutting glass to make something, and then firing it to see the end result ... beautiful. I love the way glass melds in together without losing it's form ... I may just have found another expensive hobby. LOL

My main news though is that I'm having another Jewellery Showing/Party, with my very good friend Penny. We're invading the country town of Collinsville with our beadies!!!! We have so much fun at these events, and Penny has friends and family in Collinsville, so hopefully it will be successful.

Well, I think that just about brings you up to date with what I've been doing beading wise. Hopefully I'll remember to keep posting here on a more regular basis.