Friday, February 27, 2015

Inspiration: Jevda

I ran across this artist last summer - Jevda.  Her work takes my breath away.

All photos from Jevda's website.
Amazing detail on her work.  Hand sewn.  Bright colors.  Texture that makes the work seem alive.

Can you imagine what it would feel like to wear something this beautiful?  Or make something this stunning?

A few months ago, Jevda was featured in the magazine Where Women Create (the Fall 2014 issue, I think).  I'm glad that she got the recognition that she so richly deserves.

I can see where our design sensibilities mesh.  What I lack and what Jevda has in spades is technique.  But I'm working on it.

As well as acquiring a stash with the goodies that she has in her studio.  Oh my!

Can I have a studio like this, please?


Maybe, if I work really really hard, I can play with materials like this.  Create wonders like this.

I love the idea of making art shawls.  I've got some sketches I'm working on, some unique ideas.  Not sure how they'll work out, but that's part of the adventure in design.  I think exposing ourselves to work that we find amazing, find inspiring is a big part of moving design forward.  I know it keeps things fresh for me.

So does surrounding myself with the "stuff" to make beautiful things.  More on that later.

This is, after all, the year of plenty.  :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

I really am in love

With these belts.

Simple.  So pretty.
Shades of red - burgundy, rose, crimson.
I've got 11 belts done.  Honestly, I think I could make 40 more and still be having fun.  Which I'll probably do, since I'm trying to plan early for summer and fall shows.  I know, I know.  Months away.  But thinking of spring and summer will hopefully get me through the rest of this gloomy, brutal winter.

This reminds me of a mermaid belt.  I was going to add lots and lots of shells but decided to keep it simple.  Kinda.
Wouldn't this be a beautiful addition to a bohemian wedding dress?

I like thinking about who will wear these - the different ways they can be used, what kind of outfits they'll be worn with, what types of parties they'll go to.  'Cause I'm certain these belts are made for parties.  For showing off.

Wouldn't this be pretty with a t-shirt and jeans?  Even the lining is great.

I'm happy with how the belts wrap, though I do think I'm going to switch to cotton laces.  I worry that ribbon will be too slippery for dancers.  

I just love the color combinations I can get with the roving.  So blend-able.  So textural.  And I admit, it's been bunches of fun to hunt for the trimmings.  Since it's been below freezing here for the past month, I've moved most of my supplies into the only available space - my bedroom.  Looks like a fabric closet in there!  (I'd post pictures but I'm too embarrassed.)

The brown flowers on this were once part of a brown lace shirt.  I like it better in this incarnation.
I've got a stack of bead embroidery orders that I need to work on in the next few weeks.  Along with school and a trip to Kansas to see my youngest brother and his family.  So the belts will be on the backburner for a bit.  But at night, when I'm trying to fall asleep, I'm thinking of designs.  Which piece of embroidery scrap goes with what roving.  And I'm anxious to work on the ideas I have for scarves.  And clothing.  And upcycled clothing.

So many ideas, so little time.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dream Boards

I've used a journal version of the "Dream Board" for many years.  I have about 7-8 photo albums that are filled with photos and quotes and magazine clippings - things that I want to try, things that inspire, things that I want to remember.  Of course, this is in the pre-Pinterest days.

Last year, I made an actual dream board, spending time printing and cutting out clippings, then posting them to a white board.  I sat it next to my beadtable/desk, so that I would be inspired.  I really do believe that staying focused on a goal helps it come to pass.

Looking at this now, many of the goals on this poster are long term goals.  PhD, getting a house with a kitchen, teaching, that fabulous storage cupboard in the corner.  While it would have been nice to have all of that come to pass in a year, whew!  

But, I do see how the things pictured here have fed into current goals.  Or steps towards my current goals.  And look how intertwined my life is - school, work, art, home.  Everything feeds everything else.  

I like the balance.

So maybe this is the best view to come from a dream board.  Being able to visualize what I'm dreaming about and how it all connects.

 Oh, and if you want to visit my pages on Pinterest, you're welcome to!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dreams Do Come True

Felted Belt, 2015
Early in my beading career, I made beaded/embellished bras.  So much fun!  I did bra and panty sets for strippers.  Belly dancers and drag queens loved the bras.  So did "regular" women, who wore the bras for special occasions or as resort wear.  But, as a fan of tribal dance, I've been wanting to make belly dance belts for YEARS!  Finally, finally, finally - here they are!

Front view, 2015
Can I just say how much fun these are to make?  I love doing collage.  I love felting.  I love embroidery.   For me, these belts are the best of all worlds.  Hey, they even want to make me dance.

Tribal belt, 2015
I love mixing different fabric scraps, embroidery, lace and ribbon together, blending them with the felting.  Adding the beads and charms is just icing on the fancy cake.

Check out my Etsy shop for more belt listings.
Not all of the belts are "bling-y" either.  Here's one I started, that J said "I love just the way it is."  So, it's hers.  Of course.  (And usually, she's more bling-y than I am!)

J's belt.  Simple.  Stunning.
I've made the belts between 28 - 34 inches, with ribbon ties that are at least 30 inches each.  I'm thinking this will keep them very adjustable for sizes.  Someone can cut the ribbons to suit.  Or double, triple wrap them.  They can be worn at the waist or at the hip.  Someone adventurous could even wear one as a headwrap.

What do you think?  I'd love some feedback.

Friday, February 13, 2015


It's been a harsh winter.

Full of loss.  Full of frustration.  Full of setbacks.

I know that spring is right around the corner.  I wish it would hurry up.  In the meantime, I'm trying to spend some time under the cold clear skies (when we get them, here in snowy Michigan).

I believe the universe works on a system of balance.  Sometimes 2% light, 98% dark.  Sometimes the other way around.

The light is coming.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Booth set-up as art experience

Every time J and I set up the BrisingBeads Designs booth at a show, we arrange it differently.

Wings Stadium show, December 2013

I admit, it's me.  J is (quite) more organized than I am, like things more linear.  Not me.  I go for that funky, bohemian feel.  Mostly because I think it compliments the jewelry design.  And partly because, well, it's what I like.

I know some people like an emptier booth.  Not us.  Here, J and I agree.  Put lots out and keep it accessible.  If people have lots to look at and touch, they stay around the booth longer.  The longer someone is there, the more likely a sale is.  And, having customers in front of the booth also attracts other people.  Gotta see what the fuss is about, I guess.

Wings Stadium show, 2014
This year, we went UP with our display.  We found a gorgeous three section mirror at a thrift sale over the summer.  Perfect display piece.  I also use decoupaged nesting boxes to place displays at different heights.  We have wire mannequins that we wrap with scarves.  I also found a wooden box and a wooden shelf that are perfect for the other end of the display.  Which I apparently didn't get a photo of.  Too bad, since it became the sweet spot of the weekend.  Everything placed in one spot on this wooden shelf sold.  Everything.  I bet 8 pieces sold from this spot, almost as soon as we placed something new there.

Felted bracelet display, 2014
One of my luckiest junking finds last fall was running across this spool thingy in a corner of a dusty old barn.  I have no idea what it was originally (wire wrapper?  rope winder?).  It has four spokes for hanging stuff on and a wooden handle that turns everything.  Perfect display for my felted bracelets!

During the show, we had many customers comment that they were drawn to the booth because it looked "interesting," or "unique," or "fun."  Yes!  I think this speaks to the reality that people like to have an experience when they shop.  At least, most people.

I continue to be amazed at our customers.  At how varied they are, how adventurous they become when trying on our things.  I can feel the tide turning, as more and more people become aware of the value of art.  People purchase the experience of going to an art show as much as they buy something they like.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Decisions, decisions

I love the fabulousness of this photo and quote.  (Though, sadly, I have no idea where I found it.)  As someone who is making big decisions and planning big plans, I'm taking the quote to heart.

If I remember who I want to be, and what kind of life I want to have, then it's bound to happen.  'Cause that's what I'll work towards.  And, what I'll draw to me.

One thing I know for sure - I want to dress as colorfully and stylishly as the woman in the photo above.  Love.