June 30, 2012

African Stripes String-Along Begins

When I think about African beadwork, I envision lots of beads... a multitude of necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and headgear.  The African Stripes String-Along has just started and I've been making swatches of bead crochet to check both patterns and colors.  It occurred to me that I shouldn't waste those pieces as an armful of brightly colored bracelets would complement the pair of necklaces quite nicely. It isn't that hard to string 42" of beads and make the swatches into 7" bracelets.  It's also the perfect place to use an art bead as the closure.

 Marlene Brady  had the same idea, but with great polymer accent disks.  I hope more of the participants follow along and we see some different colored bracelets show up - enough for an armful. 
Meanwhile, we've been busy talking about bead colors and types. This is an adventurous group as I've heard plans for doing the necklaces in 15's, 10 Delicas, and 11's. Can you mix Toho and Miyuki beads?  I do and don't think it's a problem.  However it can be a totally different story if you mix Japanese beads and Czech beads.  Their shapes and sizes are different.  If you want uniformity in a rope, it won't happen with that combination.

Section #1 is out for crocheting.  I'm jumping into the deep end with drops in a section of triangular rope to serve as a transition area.  I'm working on the next section and I'm excited as I think the two are coming together better than I had imagined.

It's always a challenge to design to an image in one's mind and not have the beads force it into a different direction.

June 23, 2012

Black & White Vs. Colors

 It's finally Summer in New Hampshire and a couple of hot 'n muggy days has highlighted it.  I'm waiting for my big bed of orange day lilies to bloom.  It's going to be one huge splash of orange in about a week.  Day lilies in bloom tell me that the summer holidays are really here.
I guess I wasn't thinking that I'd crave light, bright colors in June.  Back in February I picked a palette of colors  for the African String-Along and decided to start with a black and white necklace.  For a couple of months now I've been playing with black and white patterns for the first necklace.  Yes, it fits the theme of an African mud cloth with both patterns and colors.  However, I'm really wanting color - bright colors.
If I had the time, these are some of the two color combinations that I would think about using.  I'm especially drawn to the pumpkin and blue at the bottom center.  I've often wondered how fashion designers manage to always be working with color a season (or three) ahead of time.

The African Stripes String-Along is ready to start next week.  I hope to be able to share what a creative group of 40 people do with my patterns as we go along. They use my colors or pick their own combination and I give them a pattern section a week til the necklace is finished. Once again, this will be an interesting journey.

June 15, 2012

African Stripes Countdown

There are only 5 spots left in the African Stripes String-Along. If you were thinking about joining in, now is the time to do it.  If all the slots are filled I'd start the project a bit earlier than July 1st.  Meanwhile, the early registrants  are considering what colors they want to use, buying beads, or sorting through their stashes for good colors to use.  I did two swatch bracelets to see just how my light and dark colors are going to work in the Mud Cloth Necklace. If you join in, this is the first pattern you'll get so that you can get your feet wet before we start in on the first 50" necklace.

Come join us for some bead crochet fun

June 12, 2012

Epic Fail

My son had a Birthday yesterday and today I sent him this photo.  I had good intentions and started out to bake him a birthday cake.  Well, that cake just didn't want to be a cake.
          * it didn't rise... it was flat as a pancake and sort of  like two dry cracker
          * I set it aside to make coffee.  Next thing I know all of the cake crumbs ran
             off the plate.
          * danged sugar ants are going to drive me crazy in the kitchen, no matter what
             I do to get rid of them.
          * so I set the plate out on the deck and made my coffee - boy did I need a
             cup of coffee!
          * Later I went to get the cake plate and there was a red squirrel sitting in the
             middle of the plate, happily munching away. Surprised the chipmunks didn't
             find it first.

The remains have now gone to feed my compost pile.  The way things have been going in the kitchen lately, I think I may just have to retire as a cook.

June 10, 2012

African Stripes - Registration

African Stripes String~Along 
Open Registration

We will be making a pair of 50" bead crocheted necklaces that will be designed to wear together. Participants will get a pattern section (or two) each week to string and crochet.  At this point I don't have any idea what the final pieces are going to look like as I'll be designing them as I go along.

My colors or colors you choose, come join us for a fun journey.  It's sort of like the old serialized magazine stories - you don't know what's next...

Africa - mud cloth and Zulu love letters - are the inspiration for this pattern set.  The cost of the entire string-along is $34.00 through PayPal. Limited to 40 participants.


You should be comfortable with the slip-stitch bead crochet technique. You will be working with 8/0 beads,  pattern graphs, stringing tables and adding each section to the last one. A FaceBook Group has been set up to share progress, colors, inspiration, and photos. It works like an extended workshop with lots of help, discussion and a few giggles thrown in.

June 8, 2012

African Stripes Reminder

Registration opens
12 noon EDT on June 10, 2012
 I visited the African Village during the Tucson Gem Show back in February. It gave me so many ideas for an African inspired set of necklaces.  What great graphics and beautiful colors.  We're going to start with a Mud Cloth Necklace in just two colors and then do a Love Letter Necklace in seven colors.

My problem is choosing which two colors to work with for the first necklace.  I've done bracelet swatches with both black and white as well as brown and tan.  They both look great.  And then I'm thinking that later I may want one in turquoise and coral, and ...... so many bead colors!

Mark your calendar as the group is limited to just 40 participants.
I sure hope I get my AM's and PM's right for a scheduled blog post with the sign-up stuff as I won't be home when it starts.

FLYER with more information is here.....