Friday, April 29, 2005

Mirrix Loom Opinion

Hi, just thought I'd add my two cents to the loom debate on Canadian Beaders! Although the Mirrix can be used like any bead loom, the main difference with a Mirrix loom is that it is best used for weaving with a heddle. If you're into tapestries and fiber, then this may be the loom for you. Using the heddles has a steep learning curve - the set up is MUCH more involved than in warping a traditional bead loom. On the plus side, if you have back problems, this loom sits upright. Otherwise, there are tons of wood looms out there that will function just fine for regular bead looming.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Last Night at SpaHa

The bead gathering last night at SpaHa (a contraction of Spadina and Harbord NOT to be confused with the other SpaHa - Spanish Harlem) was attended by seven including me. The service was greatly improved, and we decided to go there again for the May meeting. June, July and August will be held at the Grenadier restaurant in High Park. YES! Beading outside :)

Patricia started one of Maria Rypan's kits, and Jo-Ann was working on one from Cathy Lampole. Bennett had red beads worked into a triangular RAW bracelet that's in Chris Prussing's new book (I confess to not being overly fond of the book). Kim was working in white and blue, stringing on cotton to prepare for crochet - she's an expert for sure! I almost completed an embellished Ndebele bracelet - a variation on the "ribbon" in fun summer colours, using a bead mix I bought from Nancy Meisner at last weekend's CSNF.

It was convivial as usual. A fun time was had by all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Toronto Bead Gathering: Wed April 27 2005

Just to confirm that I've decided that this month's gathering will beheld at SpaHa (Spadina and Harbord) as usual. The main reason is that as I am no longer the organizer of the m#*t-up group, I can't change the location, and don't want anyone to "fall through the cracks" so to speak...We can talk about the May and June meetings then. If you haven't joined, click on the button to the right. See you Wednesday!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Peacock No. 2 - True

Designed and executed by Heather Taylor, copyright 2003
I'm wearing this today, to cheer up a bleek rainy day. I made the first peacock necklace, which I called due to the way the fringe fanned out like a peacock's tail. So of course I had to make a second one that has peacocky colours. I used opaque dark blue, opaque turquoise, silver lined emerald and silver lined rainbow rootbeer. For this one, I HAD to add the peacock's crown or tuft of feathers at the top. This piece was a finalist in the Fire Mountain Gems 2004 Bead Competition, and is published on their site.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ndebele with an Increase - Bracelet Project

I'm teaching this weekend out at Beads of Colour in Dundas a bracelet using ndebele with an increase. The store is amazing, as is Debi, the owner and bead artist in her own right. Teaching there is usually a break even proposition!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

No warps, no pulling, loomed bracelet.

I finished a wonderful bracelet this weekend - a loomed bracelet with out having to deal with warps in it. I modified my loom and hope to have a picture for you soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Peacock No. 1 - Subtle

Split loom necklace:
Designed and executed by Heather Taylor
copyright 2003

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


I love this photo of the egg peaking out from under the mom...

New Group!

Greedy has made me come to a decision. I'm no longer organizer of the Toronto Beadwork Group, and have moved over to Yahoo! The new group is now called Toronto Bead Gathering (want to wash my mouth of the M**tup word forever), and I hope you'll join us.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Looks Like Metal Mesh, But It's Glass

Diagonal Ndebele Cuff Bracelet
Variation on NanC Meinhardt's Super Froth
Variation designed and executed by Heather Taylor
copyright 2004

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Bead Storage - Solution No. 4

Fishing Tackle Boxes! I've purchased these Flambeau Storage Boxes from Canadian Tire, along with a soft tote to carry them in. They have their uses: great for taking beads to classes, I can carry a large assortment easily. It even has a place for fishing line (so handy to bead with), and a hole for pulling it through. Downside, the dividers, if they lift up, means your beads will get mixed up. Also, if you change your mind about one section, you have to use a narrow scoop, and really work to clear out the section. I have quite a few, and still use them to sort large quantities of larger beads (like when I purchase crystals wholesale). I've abandoned these as a way to store seed beads.

I haven't tried those screw together round plastic tackle boxes. The stacking idea doesn't appeal to me.

So, today's recap, in my studio there are (not in order of preference!):

Fishing Tackle Boxes
Parts Cabinet
Vintage Glass Mason Jars
Round Aluminum Watchmakers Cases

Friday, April 08, 2005

Eggy update!

Five eggs now!

Super Froth Cuff Bracelet

This cuff bracelet has four seed bead colours in the fringe (transparent amethyst, transparent root beer, copper plated charlottes and yellow lined aqua) which all work off of Vera's beautiful raku bead that I used for the focal bead. It's hefty and can ONLY be worn by someone with chutzpah. Thanks Dwyn for the photo. Oh yes, my own personal variation? Velcro clasp!

Bead Storage - Solution No. 3

How else can you store beads???? Well, how about those parts cabinets for storing screws, etc, you get at probably any hardware store? Yep, I've got one of those too! I have a drawer for needles, a drawer for cording, etc. etc. etc. Mainly I have many of them labelled for "bits", shiny bits, copper bits, wood bits, leather bits - you get the gist. Found objects that maybe aren't quite beads, but could certainly be used in projects, some with holes, some without. All the drawers are labelled.

So, today's recap, in my studio there are (hopefully I won't get to twelve, like the twelve days of Christmas):
Parts Cabinet
Vintage Glass Mason Jars
Round Aluminum Watchmakers Cases

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Bead Storage - Solution No. 2

Next up, glass jars salvaged from my kitchen. Everything from mason jars to tiny spice bottles. They take up SO much room, and break. I have since culled most of those jars, and only use vintage mason jars (with lovely glass and zinc lids) for when I buy 1/2 a kilo (about 1 lb. to you Imperial types)of seed beads. The jars are lovely to look at on their own, and filled with colourful beads, make a wonderful sight. I'm happy to take any off your hands!

So, to recap, in my studio there are:

Vintage Mason Jars with Beads
Round Aluminum Watchmakers Cases, some in aluminum lidded boxes, some in cardboard

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Bead Storage - Solution No. 1

Okay, I think I have tried almost every type of bead storage going. Stores sell beads in a variety of ways, in little tubes, vials, ziploc baggies and in hanks (strung). What do you do with them when you get them home?

Tubes and vials work only for some types of beads (typically seed beads). Tubes, especially fall down... Ziploc baggies eventually lose their zip, and once you cut the hank, where do you put those beads???

Solution No. 1 that I tried were the little round aluminum tins that come with a clear top, and several fit into an aluminum tin. They are beautiful, and it seemed like a wonderful way to store beads. They sell them at Lee Valley Tools, and John Bead(a wholesaler). Of course they come in lots of sizes, BUT, and this is a big BUT - the lids just sit on the top. Making bead spilling ever so easy LOL. So, even though I bought a bunch of these, I now tend to use them for colour palette work (i.e. dumping various bead into them to see how I like them together). The nice clear lid means I can glance at them, and it keeps the dust off.

If they ever decide to make them with screw top lids, I may buy more.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Bead Class

I taught NanC Meinhardt's Super Froth Bracelet (by permission) at BeadFX over the weekend. Some of the usual suspects were there (Maureen, Betty and Sue), and a few I'd met before (Tina and Cheryl), and at least two relative newbies and one rank amateur. It's a challenge to teach such a diverse group, but I try to keep my focus and give everyone the help they need. I love seeing the colour combinations that everyone makes, and how each person's beading style affects the outcome. Some pieces seem larger, some are looser, some cleaner in the design. I assisted Ruth Ann in selecting colours, and she had a great silk top that we used as a guide. I started a piece myself (which I usually do when teaching) using 11/0's and 15/0's and a subdued autumn palette. Just what I needed - another project to work on!

Friday, April 01, 2005

beady eyed bird

These are photos I've captured from the online Kodak Birdcam

beady eyed bird babies

So, I know they're not babies, they're eggs, but I just love the alliteration. I'm not a bird watcher, except in my windowless cubicle. Today the beady eyed peregrine laid her second egg. I'm so excited!