An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shop banners - what attracts you? What keeps you looking further?

I have just started a new thread in the Etsy shop critique forums titled the best and worst about this banner. A fun and constructive way to get some feedback about my shop banner and for others to do the same about theirs. Please join in if you have an Etsy shop and would like some friendly critique of your shop banner. It's also a great way to see other Etsy shops.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

When history was made for a country, a beader and a black pearl that was not black

Thursday 24th June 2010 history was made. It was the day that Australia gained its first female Prime Minister - Julia Gillard. It was also the day I became the proud owner of a beautiful Cellini necklace strung with black pearls, carnelian and smoky quartz beads. Mind you my black pearls, like many black pearls are not really black at all. Mine are a wonderful soft grey-green with the deepest pearl lustre. Confusingly, black pearls come in many colours ranging from black, champagne grey, peacock green, eggplant, bronze, cream, pink and gold. They are called black pearls because the pearls are created by the black-lipped oyster found in French Polynesian waters (the 'Pinctada Margaritifera' oyster). So, it’s not surprising that my first meeting with a black pearl was in Tahiti. (More of that shortly!)

My wonderful necklace will remind me not only of a historic day for Australia but of the delightful colleagues who gave it to me at my farewell morning tea at the University at which I have worked for the past 15 years. Ironically, and unknown to my colleagues it also has historical significance in my life as a beader. I met my first black pearl in Tahiti some 15 years ago. That holiday is memorable not only for being a wonderful holiday with my partner and seeing my first beautiful black Tahitian pearls but because on that holiday I created my very first peyote stitched amulet bag. I used fairly poor quality seed beads and the peyote weaving is very uneven but my love of peyote stitch was born on that holiday under palm trees overlooking a wonderful coral reef lagoon. What a place to fall in love with peyote stitch? My wonderful new necklace of black pearls that are not black is already full of history. How fitting for a farewell gift.

Some links to follow if you’d like to know more about black pearls.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Celebrating bead weaving across time and styles

At the weekend I went with two beading buddies to a delightful exhibition of beadweaving and bead embroidery at an art Gallery in country Victoria. If you have a chance do pop by. My only niggle was the lack of consistent signage that told us the story of each piece - who made, when and how. My favourite piece was a vintage bead embroidery bracelet made from the tiniest beads you have ever seen - probably size 24/0. I would have loved to know about it's maker and it's history.
Brilliant Beads at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (Victoria, Australia) is presented by the Ballarat Branch of the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria as part of its 50th Anniversary.
  • Dates: Thursday, 6 May 2010 - Sunday, 4 July 2010
  • Venue: Timkin Community Gallery
  • Admission: Free.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Etsy Treasuries galore

Thanks to fellow Etsyians who have featured my pieces in their treasuries over the past week. Here are the wonderful collections they have put together to showcase the work of folks on Etsy.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dax Designs - now on Artisan Co-op