Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beading Hall of Fame: Heidi Kummli And My Finished Project

Earlier this summer I received Heidi Kummli's The Spirit of Bead Embroidery which I pre-ordered on Amazon, sight unseen because Heidi Kummli is well.... Heidi Kummli, one of the most talented, inspiring beading artists of our day. I first became acquainted with her work in the book The Art of Bead Embroidery which she co-authored with Sherry Serafini, another BHOF (Beading Hall of Fame) member! Both books deserve a prominent location in every beading library.

Heidi's work is as much or more about nature as it is about beading. Also, the pure engineering of the pieces is a challenge alone. Take the below creation, for example. You use a foam ball and masking tape to build a pattern which must be sewn together in beaded pieces. I dread to think of the many possibilities for me to mess this one up!
Creator Heidi Kummli

Here's another one called Bear which actually was in BeadAndButton or Beadwork quite awhile ago. I saved that issue for the day when my skills are sufficiently advanced to give it a try. And don't worry that all the patterns are advanced, there's a good variety of difficulty for all expert levels. I highly recommend the book and anything else that Heidi happens to do.

Creator Heidi Kummli

In case you think I am taking the lazy way out focusing just on Heidi's work, I wanted to show you the finished piece I mentioned in my last post. I have been working on the pattern Floral Memory, a design by Jacquelyn Scieszka from the February 2011 Bead&Button as a piece requested by my dear Aunt Dee as a gift for her sister. I likened it to building the Hoover Dam and below you see the finished product as well as the original design. It's just a bit different as Aunt Dee didn't want the individual rosettes on the side. So I just made the herringbone connectors a bit longer and used matching pearls between them for visual interest. I think my favorite element is the nosegay closure.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thank Goodness for Personal Hotspot!

Getting ready for work yesterday morning, I checked email as part of my everyday routine and horrors! no Internet service. Thinking there must be a bird on the wire (which happens regularly out here in the boonies), I re-set the modem but still no luck. I picked up the phone to make a call and you got it - no dial tone. Long story short, after I made some technie miserable for 20 minutes, I learned that the line was out (well yaaa) and repair was not possible until Sunday. How can that be? Two 1/2 days without Internet? Muttering with frustration, I proceeded to get ready for work and had a Eureka moment when I realized my new iPhone has a personal hotspot. Glory Be! So here I am with you today.

I realized that I haven't posted much about beading in my recent entries. You heard about my button obsession and my lunch with the girls but nothing about my beady projects. No, I haven't hung up my needles, I'm just knee deep in a commission piece for my dear aunt-in-law. Aunt Dee is my surrogate Mom and she asked if I would make her a necklace for her sister's birthday this year. I sent her 8-10 pics of designs I thought might be appropriate and she selected  Floral Memory, a design by Jacquelyn Scieszka from the February 2011 Bead&Button. It's a good thing she gave me plenty of time (birthday is in early December) because it's like building the Hoover Dam - only prettier. Here's a pic of the work in progress.
You  make each of the little florettes and then stitch them together in three's. Then you stitch the three sets of three. Not to mention building the adorable closure (in the background) which looks like a little nosegay. Now I am working on the strap. I'll come back with a pic of the finished product in a couple weeks.

Plus how do you like how I gussied up my pic with PicMonkey? I used to use Picnik all the time but when they were bought by Google, the features seemed to change. In one of Michelle Mach's recent posts, she wrote about photo software to try and low and behold, PicMonkey seems to be where some of the Picnik engineers have landed and I did a happy dance to find an even better product than the old Picnik.

And, since I have beaders' ADD, I have several projects going at once. Some dear friends game me a gift certificate to Fire Mountain Gems and I took the opportunity to buy my first-ever loom. Of course, what to try for a test pattern? Why a Steelers bracelet of course. Here is that project-in-progress.

And, last but not least, a design by my idol, Sherry Serafini and her pattern called Ripple Effect, which appeared in the June/July Beadwork 2011.

I started this project several months ago and it's pretty time consuming. So I have been taking lots of breaks to work on other things. I think I like my colors even better than the ones in the mag! OK, now back to work. I have to finish something!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lunch With Olivia Newton-John!

Actually, our waiter told us on the QT that Olivia Newton-John was dining a couple tables away from us yesterday when I met two friends for lunch at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. I have loved Olivia ever since her "let's get physical phase" and all I can say is that time should be that kind to all of us. We didn't disturb her for an autograph but did pass her table several times just to be sure it was her!
Lon's and the Hermosa are "must-do's" on the Phoenix historical and culinary trail. It was the third in a series of visits we decided to make this year to fabulous resorts in our own backyard. Our first two stops were to Rita's Kitchen at The Camelback Resort and T. Cook's at The Royal Palm. Our crowd size varies with more ladies in attendance during the cooler-weather months and this lunch found just three of us and.... Olivia Newton-John according to our waiter.

Resort Romp at Lon's
The Hermosa is a wonderful Old Phoenix place, much more comfortable than some of its over-the-top cousins. Interspersed among lovely little casitas are fantastic art works, some by the original owner, Lon Margargee, and a newly-acquired collection featuring sculpture of Native American artist Allan Houser.

Here's just sample of the Hermosa Inn art:

And what would a girl day be without shopping? When I saw my friend Janet in these sandals, I just knew I needed a pair too.
Shopping: End to a Perfect Afternoon!
© Cave Creek Beads