April 12, 2010

Bead & Button: Memory Lane

Yep, it is right around the corner!! The Bead & Button show is much like attending the Super Bowl of bead shows. With nearly 650 classes to chose from you can't go wrong. Of those 650 classes I will be teaching a mere 11 of them. It is akin to a marathon of creativity and jewelry making!

When this show first began it went under the name Embellishment and was first located in Texas. In those days I was a budding obsessive beader who dreamed that one day I would be able to attend. The chance came when the show changed its location to Sacramento, CA for one year.

The day before the big show I went on a date. We ended up going to a nude beach (I was 20 something and a bit firmer) in Marin County. Lesson learned: wear waterproof sun block at nude beaches when swimming. Needless to say, I burned my top half to a light shade of purple. But there was no way I would miss that show! The temperature in Sacramento during that weekend was a paltry 108F. I didn't know if the stars before my eyes were of excitement or heat stroke.

I haven't missed a show since. These days the show is located in Milwaukee, WI. I am looking forward to this years show, busily making mental notes of what to bring and jewelry to wear.

I'd love to hear from the other side of the monitor. What are your favorite shows and why?

April 05, 2010

Alverda's Collar

This is a story of finishing something I began before I knew what I was starting.

I admit there is quite a lot of laziness to my work. More often than not, the goal of my work is to complete enough structure that the piece can be worn and pose as jewelry. For those of you who are familiar with the blog you have heard this story before and finally it is coming to a close. Or so I believe at this moment.

The crocheting began with my grandmother Alverda Moore's death in September 2009. Funny how we take something so crushing and remake it into something of a dream that glistens in the light. I think she would be very proud of this piece.
After returning home from her funeral I found regret was deep inside me, as I am sure it is with all of us after losing someone we love. Why didn't I call more, why didn't I take more time to sit with her, why didn't I pay more attention. Why do I still resent her attempts to make me a calm girl who can cook, sew and serve her family well.

A bit obsessively, I began crocheting wire with her crochet hooks.
At first I did not intend to incorporate beads into this project. But as time passed, I noticed I was losing my focus and lifting many of the rosettes to complete other projects on the side. I began using beads as a means of claiming certain pieces to my grandmother project. Solidifying them in stone so to speak.

After completing the rosettes I decided to patina the metal. This was a hard call, as polishing crocheted wire with beads is no easy task. But life tarnishes use all in the end to some degree so why not embrace what we know will come with or without us.

Over the course of creating this piece the layout changed about many, many times. My first intention was to keep it small but impressive all the same. Deciding when we are finished is one of the hardest choices we make. Letting this project come to a close is the end of a chapter I have spent nearly six months on. During the entire process I have felt that I was serving the memory of my grandmother, but what does it mean now that I have finished?

I love you Grandmother and I will think of you often and fondly. Maybe some day I will learn to sew.