Monday, October 03, 2011


One of my non-beading friends asked me the other day why I had decided to bead my way through Rachel Nelson-Smith's newest book, Bead Riffs.

There were a few reasons why I wanted to do this. First of all, ever since I saw Rachel's first book, Seed Bead Fusion, I've been totally captivated by her style. I love her techniques of making peyote stitch bumps on a base of right-angle weave, the way she creates bezels to capture rivolis and cabochons... I especially love the way she uses Swarovski crystals. I've never been much of a sparkly-beader kinda gal, but Rachel uses crystals in a way so that is so subtle, you really don't notice them. So when I first took a look through her book, I was just totally inspired to start stitching up every single one of these projects.

Another reason why I was motivated to stitch up all her designs was because I don't often get a chance to stitch up another artist's designs. For the last few years, I've been so busy making beadwork for inventory and working on my own designs that I just haven't had time to make up designs from someone else. That was always something that I loved to do when I first started beading and brought home a new beading book - I would make up little lists on sticky notes with all the beads I needed to buy for each project, and my hours after work were always spent sitting with Tom and watching movies and beading. I thought Rachel's designs are just so beautiful and so WEARABLE that I had to give them a try!

I've also been feeling a little stifled in my own beading designs lately as well. I'm so used to the ideas flowing easily into my sketchbook that this most recent dry spell has left me feeling a little bummed out and a little worried about if the ideas will ever come again. (Of course, on some level, I know they will, but right now, it feels like I've been hung out to dry by my Muse.) I'm hoping that getting a peek into Rachel's process and her designs will help ignite some of that inspiration in my own designs so that I can start designing my own pieces again.

So, enough of that for now. We had a fabulous weekend up here, complete with roaring fires in the wood stove to chase away the damp chill from the rain, a HUGE (60+ pound) box of assorted squash, a big pumpkin that Colden picked out all by himself, and a dinner of roasted vegetables and tempeh with a big loaf of Tom's homemade bread.  If this is autumn in the Adirondacks, I say bring it on!

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