Triffid – beaded sculpture

Took me a while to absorb what the email was telling me but eventually it dawned – my entry into Bead Dreams 2018 had been juried into the competition. Holy Cow!

You can imagine the butterflies in my stomach while trying to get the critter safely boxed up and ready for mailing.

Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke

The whole piece was put together in sections. The flower and stem, the venomous stinger, the 3 claws at the base of the stem, the body, and the ground base. Some of the work was planned, and some I just prayed.

Here is the statement which accompanied the piece:

IS IT REAL? OR IS IT SCIENCE FICTION?

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The Day of the Triffids, written by John Wyndham in 1951 was one of the first science fiction books I read and decades later the story still haunts me.
You awake one night to watch a dramatic green meteor shower in the sky, and the next morning you’ve gone blind. Sooooo not cool.
And to top it all, suddenly 7 foot tall, man-eating, walking plants are striding around your streets. Holy Cow! One strike from the venomous stinger and you’re a goner.
Strictly speaking, a Triffid is probably a bio-engineered, carnivorous critter and not an extra-terrestrial. But this is speculation. It’s never made clear in the book where the original Triffids came from, or the green meteor shower.
Whatever the truth (and it is ‘Out There’ – for X-Files fanatics), the Triffids are my favourite possible ET’s.

I’ve not done bead embroidery before so this was a good excuse to see what all the Sherri Serafini type fuss was about. I enjoyed finding special beads and rummaging through my seed bead stash for interesting colours. The design came easily as it is curved sections and each one got filled in as I went along.

Bead embroidered base of Triffid by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Bead embroidered base of Triffid.

These vintage chartreuse wire balls were sooooo perfect. They look like tumble weeds. I found them, along with the looooong bugle beads, in Bead Bullies, a terrific bead shop in Tigard, Oregon. Wish I drove, I would be there all the time. Such a great shop.

Close up of Triffid base. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Close up of Triffid base.

I found all sorts of ways to use Czech glass beads, tilas, lentils, spikes. All a challenge and amazing colours. And finally I found a way to use the dragonfly button.

Closeup of Triffid base. Beaded sculpture by Rose Rushbrooke. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Closeup of Triffid base.

I managed to squeeze in ammonites, more bugle beads, and a funny little nest of interesting round beads. The basket weave worked out pretty well.

Triffid flower, stem and venomous stinger.  Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Triffid flower, stem and venomous stinger.

The whole thing is made around a coat hanger, styrofoam ball, and cardboard! The stitching for the stinger is herringbone, and the flower and stem are peyote stitch. I tried to grade the colours on both the stem and flower to give some dimension.

Still taken from Facebook video taken at Bead and Button show 2018 Bead Dreams showcases.
Still taken from Facebook video taken at Bead and Button show 2018 Bead Dreams showcases.

All in all, I’m very happy with this piece, and even happier it was selected for Bead Dreams 2018. This is a still from the Facebook video.

Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff

Having gotten excited about bead embroidery (wasn’t keen at one time but my Triffid got me into it), I decided to make one of those amazing bead embroidered cuffs. Am very happy with how it turned out.

Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

Here are some other views:

Top view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Top view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Back view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Back view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Side view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Side view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Other side view. Brown Ceramic Focal Cuff made with handmade ceramic oval, crystals, and glass beads. Embroidered with faux leather lining encasing copper cuff. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.
Other side view. Image copyright © Rose Rushbrooke.

The cuff is embroidered with a handmade ceramic focal made by Jenny Davies-Reazor, crystals, and glass beads. This covers a copper cuff and is lined with faux leather.

Needleturn Applique with WonderFil Invisafil

New tutorial video from WonderFil using Invisafil thread. I’m always interested in hand work – so much is done with machine now in the quilt world. Got nothing against beautiful quilts made quickly but the meditatitive and tactile benefits are lost when sitting behind the wheel of a sewing machine or long arm quilter. Picking up a needle and thread is good for the soul….!

Have a look at the video – https://youtu.be/gAo4NG53rVs

Visit to Shipwreck Beads

Well. I paid my first visit to Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, WA. A long road trip with friends but sooooooo worth it. Since I moved to the Portland area I’ve been dying to go to the fabled store.

Having been to the Bead & Button annual show several times I knew wandering around the store aimlessly wouldn’t work. So I put together a list of delicas, findings, and certain beads which would work with various projects laid in heaps on my worktable.

And, of course, this meant leaving plenty of space in my budget for ‘things I did not know I needed’…… of which there were a few!

Somehow 3 hours went by and I swear it was only a couple of minutes. Well, my bag of goodies looked small, but oh so powerful. And expensive….

But lovely, and I can get going on a couple of ideas immediately.

Needless to say, though I will, it is so worth visiting bead stores just to get an idea of what’s out there. And to bring home some exciting products which get your juices flowing and back to the drawing board.

Cube Bracelet

Cube bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke
Cube bracelet by Rose Rushbrooke
I made a square stitch checkerboard bracelet a while ago and had quite a few larger cubes in my stash. Which is why this simple gold and neutrals bracelet got made as the look is quite classic.

I only found it a few days ago and now I wear it every day. I know – I’ll get bored soon and there’ll be another bracelet adorning my wrist soon, but until then I’m enjoying being so sophisticated!

Coral Pendant necklace

Coral Pendant beaded necklace by Rose Rushbrooke
Coral Pendant beaded necklace by Rose Rushbrooke
This pink/coral coloured pendant was lurking in my stash. There was a clever bail design I wanted to try out, a chain pattern which looked useful; so pendant, bail, and chain all came together nicely.

The chain is 24 inches long, made with glass seed beads, the bail incorporates Swarovski pearls and the pendant is pink glass and approximately 1 1/4 inches by 7/8 of an inch.

Portland Bead Society Traveling Library Show 2017

Portland Bead Society Traveling Show 2017 Tigard Libary
Portland Bead Society Traveling Show 2017 Tigard Libary
Each year the Portland Bead Society garners beautifully made beaded pieces from our members and these artworks can be seen in a variety of libraries around the area. This is a picture of the show mounted at Tigard library, Oregon. You can see a slideshow of the display on the PBS website.

WonderFil Spagetti – 2 new colours in store

Aqua WonderFil Spagetti solid color thread - 100% Egyptian cotton 12wt 400 meter spool SP444
Aqua WonderFil Spagetti solid color thread – 100% Egyptian cotton 12wt 400 meter spool SP444
Bright Aqua WonderFil Spagetti solid color thread - 100% Egyptian cotton 12wt 400 meter spool SP445
Bright Aqua WonderFil Spagetti solid color thread – 100% Egyptian cotton 12wt 400 meter spool SP445

WonderFil have added some more colours to their popular cotton thread. Here are 2 of them: Aqua and Bright Aqua.

A good, strong thread which lays on top of your fabric and adds another dimension to your quilt.

Reversible Gladiator Cuff by Hummingbeads

Reversible Gladiator Cuff
Reversible Gladiator Cuff
How many times do you hear people tell you they started a project years ago and still haven’t finished it? UFO’s I believe they are called – or Unfinished Objects. Hmmph.

Well I am certainly one of the people who says this. As the Reversible Gladiator Cuff can attest to. This was begun several years ago at a Bead and Button class given by the Hummingbeads Sue Jackson and Wendy Hubick. I loved the idea of getting 2 bracelets for the price of one. And I alao thought it was a very clever pattern.

Down the road I’m just glad I finished the blasted thing. It seemed to go on forever with lots of little components. Fiddly sew on snaps etc. I really couldn’t believe it when it was done. And I almost still can’t believe it when I see it on my wrist!

I would say quite honestly it’s a classic piece of jewelry and can be worn with anything, anywhere. Worth making the effort as you’ll probably use it a lot.

The reverse side looks like this:

Reverse of Reversible Gladiator Cuff
Reverse of Reversible Gladiator Cuff

And both sides opened up:

Reversible Gladiator Cuff opened - pearls
Reversible Gladiator Cuff opened – pearls

Reversible Gladiator Cuff opened - crystals
Reversible Gladiator Cuff opened – crystals

The worst part was sewing the snaps into the band. Phew. Hard work. But it makes a nice concealed clasp and boggles my mind how it works – but it does. Sort of like one of Eschers paintings…..

Here’s the clasp:

Sew in snap clasp
Sew in snap clasp

You might want to make one of these yourself, in which case hie on over to Hummingbeads and email for a kit.

Hedy Campbell – 2 ISLANDS – Life in Paradise Exhibition

Cheez Whiz
Cheez Whiz

More than 20 years ago I lived on an island in the Caribbean. Last weekend these islands were devastated by Hurricane Irma. Barbuda was where my now husband taught me to snorkel. We sprayed Cheez Whiz into the water. Yes, weird I know but it attracts fish.

I met and married David in Antigua. While we still lived there we went through several major Hurricanes and watched the destruction of property and the appalling looting which took place in the aftermath. Always makes me sad to think we harbour such revolting characteristics in our nature. Fortunately there are also those who don’t descend into depravity. There are people who put their best foot forward and help to re-built homes, infrastructure, and lives, and thank goodness they exist. David and I spent a very long 3 days in our neighbours house waiting for Hurricane Luis to move off the island. We married shortly after as we felt we needed a party! People were so generous, offering Harmony Hall for our wedding and reception.

Harmony Hall, Brown's Bay, Antigua, West Indies
Harmony Hall, Brown’s Bay, Antigua, West Indies

Hedy Campbell and I became friends while we lived there. She taught me much about art and life, though she may not know it. We both exhibited at Harmony Hall. They have an excellent Art Gallery. In fact, I had my very first solo exhibition there which is an incredible memory. I sold all but one of my paintings during my reception which was gratifying.

Textile artwork by Hedy Campbell
Textile artwork by Hedy Campbell

Hedy still vacations in Antigua every year. I haven’t been back since I married. However, Hedy and I keep in touch. We both continue our art careers and like to follow each other’s progress and change. Hedy’s work still reflects the warmth and Caribbean style she developed. Above is a picture of the sweetest textile piece incorporating a tiny Caribbean coloured sweater!

Dancing Rasta by Hedy Campbell
Dancing Rasta by Hedy Campbell

Recently Hedy sent me an Artscene article from the Prince Edward Arts Council. A terrific write up on her exhibition at the John M Parrott gallery in Belleville, Canada. I’m always charmed with images of her work and the picture they chose to represent her show doesn’t disappoint. A lovely Dancing Rasta floats across the canvas. Hedy tells me she intends wearing the same outfit when she gives her artist talk.

Love it.

Hedy works from her studio in Picton, Ontario – Rose Cottage Studio and Gifts. She has a delightful colouring book available – An Artist’s Garden.

An Artist's Garden, colouring book by Hedy Campbell
An Artist’s Garden, colouring book by Hedy Campbell