April 2010Melanie de Miguel
I believe almost a year has gone by since I was last able to write my Bead Blog! It’s amazing how much has changed at home, with one child flying the nest and another coming back home to roost. Our family bizz has kept me so busy, I haven’t had much time to bead. Same old, same old.
I did manage to get some good beading in around Christmas time when I rescued a beautiful, large glass bottle from the woods at the back of our house. I think it was originally used to hold chemicals, and I’d intended to use it in a project one day (yes one of those objects). Well, it found its way into the woods at the hands of the despicable but beloved one, who decided it was never going to be used and that ‘she’ would never miss it.
So once it was smuggled back in I had to get cracking fast and, pushing my colour boundaries out of the usual peacock/sea shades, I made a deep, plum-coloured peyote band around the neck, and resolved to work in rich reds and golds. Oh, and one massive change I’ve made to my beading is that I now stand and bead. No, really! I spend all day every day in my office, sitting at the computer, so the last thing I want to do is sit for hours whilst beading. I just can’t sit any more. So I’ve installed myself at the end of our high kitchen bar, which defines where the kitchen ends and the living room begins. I can stand there comfortably for hours with no problems. It’s also helped to strengthen my knee which I messed up in September (no, not while skating, but I’m dying to get back on my skates).
So I stood throughout the Christmas holiday and beaded my bottle. I’d been reading a wonderful book about the Byzantine Empire, and I suppose on some subconscious level it must have influenced me, because the beadwork became more and more ornate, and I just went where it took me. Each row of my Byzantium Beaded Bottle was so satisfying as I was using many different techniques and loved the effects they produced. Beading away whilst all around me others were panicking about wrapping presents and writing cards, I felt cocooned in a little peaceful bubble. AND very smug too, because I’d done all my wrapping etc hah. No-one needed to be in that spot, I didn’t need to move, I was untouchable and didn’t need to put anything away. Triumph!
In January I was champing at the bit to do another bottle, but this time a slightly smaller project and in my favourite end of the spectrum. So using some of the same techniques, I beaded a little apothecary bottle in no time. Again it was immensely satisfying and…. I completed another project!!!
This month I’m going to be teaching an old favourite of mine, Scintillating Spheres, at Stitchncraft (see Dates and Events page). I sent samples to Lynn at Stitchncraft and of course, handling them made me want to reel off a couple for fun. However I didn’t stop there. In the last 2 evenings I’ve played endlessly with modifications of my method and have come up with some lovely new shapes of hollow, beaded beads. Working them in 2mm silver, plain, round beads I made 4 new shapes and interspersed them with some gorgeous old beads from a broken necklace, that look like coral, and made a bangle. It has a distinctly Chinese style about it and I’m happily wearing it right now. I’ll add a picture asap. I’m calling the new shapes “Cube, Lozenge, Pastille and Chinese Lantern”, and they are an absolute must for a workshop – Dynasty Beads for the Dynasty Bracelet. I love how an idea takes off and turns into an avalanche. I’ve ordered some sterling silver, 2mm plain, rounds and 9kt gold ones to make some more Dynasty Beads and use them with some beautiful hand-carved turquoise beads.