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:
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.
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.
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.
I’ve used the smaller spools of Soft Touch for hand appliqué but it’s nice to have a larger spool of thread when using it on a sewing machine. You can get some really flat seams when piecing. Here you have a good range of neutrals – Grey, White, and Natural.
I love unexpected surprises when I wear jewelry and having the clasp in front is fun. This Burgundy and olive necklace has a spiky focal made with a glass spike, seed beads and Swarovski crystals. It’s fastened with a snap clasp.
Here it is unsnapped.
The diamond shapes in the chain give it a nice textural effect. The necklace is 27 inches long from end to end when unsnapped.
Cute. Specially as we are trying to find a black miniature poodle to join our household. This one is white but I totally love it.
There are more photos of this turtle but the back design really got to me. Very attractive.
Not sure I would want to be visited by this creature but you gotta admire its creation.
More critters I want for my household. My husband asked for a ‘talking’ cat as our last, much loved tortie, talked to him. As far as I am aware, most Siamese cats talk – a LOT. Aren’t these as cute as they can be?
You don’t see so many hedgehogs in America. In fact, I never see them. They were common in England when I was living there – we had one which visited our back garden all the time. Fascinating animals.
Ever since I got involved in the quilt world I’ve been fascinated at how modern quilters interpret old block designs. Each year a classic block is put out there by the National Quilt Museum and each year I am amazed at how they are interpreted.
This year is Flying Geese.
At first I looked at the winning quilt by Susan Morgan and didn’t really get it. But somehow the colours and design stuck in my mind, and when I saw the title it made sense. Very clever.
I used to think I would make one of these quilts one day but I think I’ll leave it to the experts! Go see some of the other winners.