Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Tutorial - Tila Buckyball Bead Beaded with Bugle and Seed Beads

Here is a new tutorial that will show you how to weave beautifully spherical buckyballs with two-holed Tila beads (or half Tilas), bugles and seed beads.
beaded buckyball

The design is based upon the structure of a soccer ball. When made with shiny metallic beads, it has lots of facets that reflect light like a disco ball. The beaded bead is remarkably hollow with lots of large holes that let you see inside.
beaded buckyball

This tutorial is suitable for intermediate bead weavers who know have already beaded a dodecahedron of some sort. This beaded bead is a relatively quick project that will push your spatial reasoning thinking to new places.
beaded buckyball
Presented is a very efficient and intuitive method for beading the beaded beads and earrings, both in two sizes. Yes, that's right, you can make matching earrings in two sizes, and they weave up rather quickly!
pentagon earrings
 Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jersey Tunic Shirt Dress Reverse Appliqué

For the last several years, I have been working towards merging art and clothing. To that end, this tunic top is entirely hand stitched with love and care.
I used techniques I learned from books by Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin to transform fabric and thread into a delectable and comfortable work of wearable art. 
To start making this piece, I designed and cut my own stencil.
I used the stencil to paint the design on the front and back with fabric paint.

The bodice is two layers of delightfully soft bamboo rayon jersey that is hand stitched with soft, thick, green thread to hold the layers together. I carefully cut over 100 windows in the green fabric to let the black layer show through the green one, using a technique called reverse appliqué.
I left the cut edges as part of the design. The cut fabric edges are quite sturdy. They will curl with wear and washings, but shouldn't unravel if you treat it well. Dress it up with a skirt or dress it down with leggings or jeans. This is the complete front panel before assembly.
After I assembled all the pieces, I found it to be rather tight in the hips.  So, I busted apart the side seams and  added godets. Now, it is fuller around the hips and butt. Here is what one godet looked like before I finished the embroidery.
Here you can see more of the embroidery.  It is US size 8-10 and very soft and stretchy with a lovely drape. If you want details on the measurements, just ask.
This piece is so very soft and comfortable. The materials and craftsmanship are top quality, and it's the only one like it. If you like avocado green, it will quickly become your favorite top. In fact, I made it for myself, but I would be happy to sell it and make more. So I'm offering it for sale for a limited time.

Maybe you would like to have it? Get more info here:

If it doesn't sell by winter time, I'm keeping it. Thanks for looking. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cats with Knots Quilt and Beaded Celtic Knot Earrings

I've been playing with fabric recently, and found a stack of unfinished quilt tops in a drawer. I used to quilt before I found beads. My quilt UFOs have been stashed away since I started beading in 2004. I decided to finish one into a quilt. It's called "Cats with Knots," although this section is more of a knot with some cats.  The quilt has more knots and more cats, all in fully saturated colors like you see here. 

I was inspired to make this quilt after I wrote a paper on the topology of Celtic knot designs with Blake Mellor. In this example, the knot is square with side length 3.  So, by Theorem 1 in the paper, it has 3 components.

The knot design in the quilt is the same knot that I beaded years later and wrote about in my first tutorial on beaded Celtic knots

I need to hang the quilt to get a good picture of the whole thing, but I will, eventually. Then you can see more cats and more knots!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pentagonal tilings

Do you like pentagons?  How about tilings?  There is a new one on the scene.

Yes, Casey Mann, Jennifer McLoud, and David Von Derau, of the University of Washington–Bothell, found a new pentagonal tiling! 

I saw them speak about this work in April 2015 at the PNW MAA, and they explained how the were searching using all of the ways the angles could sum up. There are a lot of cases when you consider non-edge-to-edge tilings. They turned it into a big algebra problem. As of then, they hadn't found one yet. I'm so pleased to see their effort paid off with such a quirky new tiling.

Want more?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Tutorial - Tentacle Bracelet Beaded with Honeycomb Weave

I recently released my newest tutorial for a bangle bracelet. I called it the Tentacle Bangle because the way the embellishment looks reminds me of the suckers on a octopus' tentacle.
Beaded Tentacle Bangle Bracelet
This tutorial explains how to bead weave a bracelet with one size of seed bead, round or bicone beads, and thread. No fancy shapes required! The Tentacle Bracelet is hollow and somewhat flexible. It is quite substantial, measuring 14 mm wide.
Tentacle Bangle Bracelet
This tutorial includes step-by-step instructions for weaving the bracelet into a continuous bangle. This tutorial is designed for intermediate bead weavers. The tutorial is 12 pages, including about 75 illustrations and photographs. The tutorial is a PDF file that gives step-by-step instructions for the bracelet and earrings in the photos.
This design uses the honeycomb angle weave. It’s like right angle weave (RAW), but with other angles. If you like RAW and want a new challenge, you’ll love this. However, you don’t need to know RAW to follow this tutorial. This is my fifth tutorial using honeycomb weave. The first was the Daisy Chain Cable.
Daisy Chain Cable Bracelet Tutorial
Second is the Delta Queen Necklace.
Third is the Honeycomb Chain Bracelet.
Fourth is the Solaris Bracelet.
And here you can see one last photo of the Tentacle Bracelet.
As you can see, honeycomb weave is a very versatile weave.  Somehow, I think I'm not done designing with it yet.  As always, thanks for looking.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Tutorial - Victorian Parlour Earrings Beaded with PRAW

  Victorian Parlour Earrings
Victorian Parlour Earrings are little earrings made with seed beads and thread. The fan shaped drops are woven with beaded prismatic right angle weave (PRAW) and herringbone stitch. PRAW is a close relative of cubic right angle weave (CRAW). This tutorial is very detailed, written for advanced beginner beaders. Basic knowledge of beading is recommended. Knowledge of CRAW is helpful.
  Victorian Parlour Earrings
This tutorial includes an illustrated discussion of Prismatic Right Angle Weave and how it relates to CRAW. I provide detailed instructions for how to bead PRAW for this design. In the process, you can learn how to read charts like the like those found on my blog at
  Victorian Parlour Earrings
Materials lists and photo galleries are included for all 5 pairs of earrings shown.
  Victorian Parlour Earrings
The tutorial is 14 pages, including about 100 illustrations and photographs. 
  Victorian Parlour Earrings
The tutorial is a PDF file that gives photos, illustrations, and charts to make the beaded earrings shown. If you would like to have a pair of these earrings without actually making them, check out the Earrings Section in my Etsy shop.  I put a few of these pairs in there today.
  Victorian Parlour Earrings
 Thanks for looking!
 Victorian Parlour Earrings

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bridges Paper - Highly Unlikely Triangles and Other Impossible Figures in Bead Weaving

I have been going a little crazy saving a surprise for you all, and today is finally the day to share it!  Meet the Highly Unlikely Tetrahedron.
These are photos that I will be presenting with my paper at the Bridges Conference in Baltimore this month.
My paper is called, "Highly Unlikely Triangles and Other Impossible Figures in Bead Weaving." It is now available from the Bridges website. You can download the free PDF file here.  I hope you enjoy it!
Be sure to browse the entire collection of papers in the 2015 Proceedings of the Bridges Conference.  There are so many great contributors this year; it will be impossible to pick a favorite. Seriously, go brew yourself a pot of coffee, start at the beginning and click on any title that looks interesting. Candy for your brain. If you can make it to University of Baltimore on July 29 - August 1, 2015 (Wednesday - Saturday), you can even go to the Bridges Conference and listen to the authors talk about their papers, which is way more fun than reading them because you can meet the people who wrote the papers and ask them questions.
If you don't know about the Bridges Conference, neither did I until about 2003, when I heard a talk at the Joint Mathematics Meetings by Reza Sarhangi, a Bridges founder and generally fascinating fellow. Reza talked about this meeting where people discuss connections between mathematics, science and the arts, including visual art, architecture, music, poetry and theater.  As I listened, I thought, "I think I have found my people." It was a big moment for me, listening to Reza speak.  So, I went home and wrote a couple short papers on quilting and math, and submitted them for review.  Next thing I know, I was presenting my work to a group of like-minded people, other mathematical artists and mathematicians who loved art. They had many fascinating ideas to share, and they educated each other, plus they had interest in my work and opinions about it. I was in math-art-nerd heaven. I went to four Bridges conferences in so many years, and then I left academia to be an artist, and stopped going, and started going to Burning Man instead and doing art there with that community. Then, after last year with the Genie Bottle, I decided to take a year off of Burning Man, and go back to Bridges this year instead. So I wrote a paper on beading impossible figures, they accepted it, and I booked my tickets.

Then, Kelly Delp and the other organizers sent me an email. They thought my paper was so swell that they asked me to give a keynote address to the whole conference.  That means that I get more time to talk and show slides, and there will be no other concurrent sessions while I will be speaking.  I also get a little spot on their website here among the other keynote speakers, including John H. Conway, Ingrid Daubechies, and Alan C. Kay, who all have their own Wikipedia pages, by the way. So, you get that I'm excited to go and see and meet all the people. They asked me to make a mosaic for their website, which you can see here. 
The mosaic includes photos of our jungle gym Bat Country and the Genie Bottle, two Burning Man art projects that I created with the help of my friends in Struggletent.  The beadwork includes a circular Celtic knot, my cover of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts with an Octahedral Cluster and a Seirpinski tetrahedron, bacteriophages, DNA, a Highly Unlikely tetrahedron from my Bridges paper, and a few photos of cellular automata, which is the project I'm currently working on.  So stay tuned for that. It's going to be cool. You'll like it.  I promise.

I hope to see you in Baltimore!  As always, thanks for looking.
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