After a few years of NOT having a specialised art quilt competition (I think there was a lot of grumbling at the first competition) The Festival of Quilts in the UK has another art quilt competition. Have a look at the finalists.
I particularly enjoy the story telling in this piece by Laura Kemshall – In and Out of Love.
In and Out of Love by Laura Kemshall
It’s weird – I’m known for not liking realistic or photo transfer quilts but this absolutely draws me in. I think the content is so meaningful, the imagery so beautifully presented and somehow one feels the push, pull of a relationship in the way the portraits are layered, they are looking forward, away and towards each other. This image will probably stay with me for a long time.
For those of you in the know, I look after the Portland Bead Society website. As I am not a driver I try to volunteer for things which don’t involve the ubiquitous car. I’m a Brit, doncha know – and we avoid cars at all costs, probably because they DO cost. A lot.
Slight detour there (get it? Oh please, cars, detours? Never mind, forget I wrote it…). The point is, we had a committee meeting and disrupted everything. Well, we changed a few fings. So now we have a new SquareSpace theme and lots of lurvely white space for pictures.
The HomePage banner is a selection of beads from my stash. You can imagine how long it took to put all those puppies back in their kennels. But it did give me a nice colour selection to work with at some future time.
I always make several versions of my bead patterns. This is a shiny gold option made from the Pebble Bracelet pattern. This one is made with gold coloured seed beads, and amethyst and gold coloured fire polished crystals.
If you would like to make this bracelet – in whatever colours you chose – go buy the pattern.
When I lived in Florida I was part of a beading group which met every Thursday. It was my first experience working with beads – and being with others who beaded and shared their talent.
Jerri Heer, along with all the other amazing work she produces, teaches how to make gemstone trees. I bought one of her smaller kits to try my hand.
I chose gold wire and amethyst gemstones. The package was a brilliant surprise – it contained just about everything I needed to make the gemstone tree, including a twisting tool, toothpicks, wire, gemstones and a lovely stone base. The only thing I had to supply was patience, and glue!
Gemstone tree by Rose Rushbrooke
This encourages me to continue on and make a larger gemstone tree for a complicated piece I am working on…….
If you would like to make your own tree, Jerri Heer not only has the kit but she has an excellent tutorial video available for free on her Etsy site Nature’s Arts.
The professional group I’ve belonged to for 20 years or so has produced a video about the association. This film includes member interviews PLUS beautiful artwork. Find out more about SAQA’s history and how the members get inspired to create.
Back in 2012 Beadwork magazine celebrated their 15th anniversary by presenting a challenge. They offered 4 months of beaded bead patterns and we had to come up with our own colour choices and design a piece of jewelry using the beads. The original piece I created was VASTLY too complicated and was basically a mash up of a needlecase necklace and this beaded bead necklace.
Eventually the penny dropped and I realised I needed to simplify the necklace – which I did – and it’s a better piece for the reduction.
Made with seed beads, pearls, tila beads, and semi precious rounds. The chain is in herringbone stitch and woven with cobalt delicas. I love the contrast of the bright blue with the warm browns and creams of the beads.
Here are close ups of the individual beads:
Beaded bead 4 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 3 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 2 by Rose Rushbrooke
Beaded bead 1 by Rose Rushbrooke
I didn’t win a place, not surprisingly seeing as the original necklace was totally over-worked, but in its simpler version I bet I would have!
Every year the Portland Bead Society holds a retreat. Usually at Cannon Beach in Oregon. We also have a bead challenge.
Orange You Blue by Rose Rushbrooke
Last year I entered my Orange You Blue necklace. This year I entered a piece I like so much I’m going to work on it some more and you’ll just have to wait until it’s finished before I put it online (PS. I did win second place!).
Here are a couple of beaded goodies I particularly liked. And if you would like to see more you can go to the Portland Bead Society Artists page and have an idea of what we get up to.
Turtle by Pamela Jensen
The Animal Within by Linda Olsen
Rabbit by Anna Chase
I particularly like this rabbit necklace by Anna Chase. It’s very subtle and needs looking at. She made the brown shaded polymer beads herself.