Search This Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beaded Beads IV

Long ago I made these earrings:
It was cloudy the day I took the picture
The pattern was for a "caged beaded bead" by Carol Wilcox Wells (March/April 2000 issue of Beadwork), but I made two, adding a loop to one end and fringe to the other.

I had leftover beads, so why not make more in the same color scheme?
(Actually, I didn't quite have enough beads, and lucky me, they no longer make that shade of purple, and the metal beads -- actual white gold if I recall correctly -- are super expensive now.  I did find a darker matte purple for the larger bead.)

These three are Wonder Beads, designed by Sue Jackson and Wendy Hubick:

A saucer-shaped bead in different colors, just because
The basic patterns can be found in the April 2001 and 2005 issues of Bead & Button; the designers encourage customization (not that I did a whole lot of that).

To go with them, as spacers, I made these Peyote Donuts by Sharon Bateman (Beadwork April/May 2003):
The construction on these was kind of neat -- you bead the inner circumference first, expanding out both at the top and the bottom, and sew the rings shut along the outer circumference.  I'm thinking of repeating this on a much larger scale to make a bangle. (I'm not sure if the structure will hold, though.)

All together, now:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Book and the Brotherhood by Iris Murdoch

I've been meaning to read more of Iris Murdoch's work for quite a while -- not only is she one of the most highly-regarded British writers, she was a major influence on one of my favorite authors, A.S. Byatt.  And what better to read than The Book and the Brotherhood, one of her best?  Set in the 80s in England, it opens with a long, richly detailed scene at an Oxford reunion that introduces the characters and sets in motion the events of the rest of the novel.

This is a highly intelligent, deeply-felt novel, full of ideas, descriptions, and emotions.  The perspective shifts from character to character, giving us an opportunity to inhabit the mind of each one -- his or her hopes, disappointments, strengths, and weaknesses.  All characters, that is, except for one who is the catalyst, directly or indirectly, for everything that happens.  Fittingly, we never truly understand him, leaving us to wonder if he is a fraud, a madman, or a true believer.  Instead we see the expectations the others have placed on him, and how it reflects their own understanding of who they are.  The result is a smart, honest, moving read about the need to find one's place in the world.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Beaded Rings

The April 2014 issue of Bead & Button had an intriguing pattern for "Basketweave Rings," designed by Nina Raizel; unfortunately, it did not work for me at all. For one thing, because of the way it is designed, the ring can only be made "approximately" size 5, 8, or 12, which is not a very useful range.  I wear an 8, though, so I thought it would work for me anyway.  So I constructed the base from hex-cut delicas:
The key word is "approximately" -- the ring was just a bit smaller than size 8, making it uncomfortable to wear, especially because it's such a tall ring; closing my hand squished the band on that side.  I didn't even bother making the strips to weave around it.  Instead I flattened it into a rosette, and will add to to my beadweaving screw-up/failure project.

The chevron ring from the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Make it Yourself, designed by Claire Elizabeth, was a much more successful pattern:
It would be easy to customize the design, too, since it is a simple peyote band.