Sunday, October 30, 2011

Testing, testing, testing

This past week has been full of tests:  French exam (which I'll re-take in January, grrrrr), dental exams (It was a challenge to sit still in the chair when all I really wanted was to pull my sore tooth out of my head), pain meds (How many vicodin can one take in a day without being too stoned to breathe?), and finally, testing out new photo arrangements on the Etsy site.  We'll see how successful this proves to be...

So, when I ran across this picture of a Romanesco Broccoli on Kim Miles site (, I thought, why not?  Doesn't this look like the ultimate seed bead adventure to recreate?

I have lime green beads of all different sizes on order.  We'll see how successful I am...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Freya Necklace

 Nothing subtle about this necklace except the colors. The Norse Goddess Freya is known as the goddess of love and magick. She is also associated with the birch tree. To me, Freya represents the strong, independent woman - one that follows her dreams and loves with her whole heart. 

Scandinavian myth tells the story of the Goddess Freya.  Her search for knowledge brought her to a secret cave, which was home to four dwarves.  These dwarves were master craftsmen, each keeper of the sacred mysteries associated with their elemental names.
East honored Air, element of new beginnings, of thought and inspiration.
South held sacred the Fire of transformation, of passion.
West represented Water, the cauldron of rebirth, the tides of emotion.
North, guardian of Earth, brought forth stability, protection and the ability to withstand anything.
With these dwarves, Freya shared her wisdom of love, the greatest mystery.  In honor of this, the dwarves created a magickal necklace, “the Brisingamen”, as a gift to the Goddess.

This necklace has a 4" print of "Freya" under beveled glass mirrored by a piece of birch bark under glass, surrounded by seed pearls and seed bead embroidery. Neckpiece is made up of 3 strands: large pearls, beach glass and smoky quartz, and gorgeous lampwork from gubbyrooglass. 16" in length.

For additional pictures: 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inspired by Picasso

Picasso’s surrealist period is one of my favorites, especially for his use of faces, mirrored images and circles.  The repeats of colors form unexpected patterns that create a complex but almost neutral background.  Picasso’s artwork has a sense of fun, even in the darker pieces.  Picasso saw himself as a medium for the patterns and symbolism in his work.  Rather than create direct conscious representations, Picasso sought to reveal the unconscious.  The man-made object becomes abstract.

This necklace, an entrant in the October Etsy Beadweavers challenge “Inspired by Picasso”, is loosely based on Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” (, one of my favorite paintings.  I chose to highlight the circles and primary colors in the painting, using bright cabs of orange and green mixed with spiral patterned buttons.  I kept the bead embroidery consistent throughout the piece, creating the illusion of consistency.  The cabochons mirror each other, but just like in Picasso’s work the pattern isn’t an exact replica.  To illustrate the stripes and boxes of color, I finished the piece in a strongly patterned edging, with pops of peacock daggers for a bit of unexpected play.  The center piece, a fabulously expressive focal (from Yvonne Irwin of My Elements) grounds the necklace and adds a touch of familiarity, much like the faces in Picasso’s work.  I love to add faces to my work as they are so open to interpretation.  Is this face happy or sad?  Contemplative or goofy?  To add a sense of movement, I added a vibrant swirled lampwork bead to the neckpiece, accented by cobalt blue Czech glass and orange mother of pearl beads.  I also backed the necklace with a funky animal print ultra suede, in honor of Picasso’s enjoyment of the unexpected.  Necklace is 17” in length, 7 inches across.

You can see more pictures of this piece on Etsy.  Just type in justbrez or EBWC.  or the address is:

Please visit our team blog, between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry.