March BJP - Mad Men Edition

A kitchen remodel begun in February has expanded to a complete first-floor renovation, leaving precious little time for anything else. I did safeguard two things on my calendar - watching the Season 5 premiere of Mad Men and making my March Bead Journal deadline. Happily, I was able to combine the two!

This month's project takes its colors from a wonderful image of Mad Men's Betty Draper in her "sad clown" party dress, which she wore for days after a particularly dreadful row with husband, Don. (The image is from illustrator, Dyna Moe. You can see her set of Mad Men illustrations here.) I turned the colors into a fun, just-a-hint-of-psychedelia, mid-sixties swatch. I could see Betty wearing this pattern as a fitted blouse with some city shorts and a mod clutch, martini in hand, this season.

And finally, last Sunday, the Season 5 premiere! Was it worth the year-and-a-half wait to ogle the enthralling costumes of the men and women of Mad Men? Absolutely!


Crazy for CRAW

I am totally hooked on cubic right angle weave! It’s a mesmerizing stitch that results in beadwork that has great structure and at the same time is amazingly soft and fluid.

When I was asked by an area bead store if I had an interest in teaching a beadweaving course,  I immediately thought of CRAW because it can be a difficult stitch to learn from written instructions.  Here are a few pieces I stitched up as class samples.

These lampwork beads with their bold expression of color were meant for a rope woven in size 8 seed beads and finished with a Vintaj clasp and chain. The rope is embellished with size 11's, with 2.5mm crystals surrounding the lampwork beads.

 This lighter, softer version in size 11’s features a dichroic glass focal framed with vintage Czech glass and drop beads. I  finished this necklace with a toggle of tubular RAW, which is a first cousin of CRAW.

This fun and fabulous finishing touch is from Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs.

The lampwork beads and dichroic glass were a recent find on a trip to South Carolina to meet up with my sisters-in-law for a yoga retreat. I stopped in to visit Lesley at YaYa Beads in Augusta. I love Lesley’s blog, Sweet Freedom Designs, where her posts always inspire, entertain or educate (oftentimes all three in a single post!) Her store is home to an amazing collection of artfully purveyed beads, findings and pendants. Oh, and her fabulous finished pieces, which I could have ogled for hours! And a store dog! I spent such a fun hour at YaYa, and brought home a small bag chock full of inspiration. Now, if I can just finish up this kitchen remodel so I can dig into the rest of those beads!