Beaded and wire-wrapped flowers

I’ve been doing a lot of beading this summer - but mostly at night in front of the Boob Tube. I never feel particularly creative then. (For this I’ll blame the television. Right?)

This is my first attempt at beading free form. I made these “flowers” from old buttons, 28-gauge copper wire and beads that I was about to discard - until I repurposed them today.

I’m keeping this little beaded bouquet on my kitchen countertop.

Beads in carousels

Few things scream “summer” like a corny carousel. Corny as in really cool.

I’ve been back from Europe for some time now. But I still have a few bead dropling stories to post. 

This carousel is located in Honfleur, France, a most lovely artist colony on the water. 

The carousel is in the heart of the city, and its loud music is catchy despite its odd tonalities. It’s France. It’s summer. Corny somehow becomes “tres chic.” No?

I plopped this little beadling right here.

Do you see it on the floor of the carriage?

A quick zoom out shows the carriage in its entirety.

So pretty in pink. 

I almost forgot. I did a second bead drop in Honfleur. The city, known for its art, also has quite a bit of chocolate shops. Chocolate, after all, is art. No?

An Amsterdam drop

So we arrived - at this part in our journey - in Amsterdam. Land of the leggy blonds/blondes and intrepid bicyclists. Did I say intrepid? I mean FEARLESS.

I witnessed a biker who got hit (albeit gently) by a vehicle. He swerved and kept going - the bicyclist, that is.

This bead drop took place at the Felix Meritis Society. I know nothing of this society except that they had a generous menu of foodstuffs. 

I asked the waitress if Amsterdam was known for a certain type of coffee drink. She said not really. She recommended that I order a cafe au lait, which happens to be my go-to caffeine beverage anyhow.

It arrived - hot, mind you - in a tall glass. I was content and the third bead drop commenced. 

First comes food, then come beads

Food and beads complement each other wonderfully. Beads are something shiny to look at while consuming gobs of food. Beads can also be a way of saying “thank you” after a particularly relaxing meal.

This bead drop took place in Berlin on June 9 - in the former East and blocks from the spectacular New Synagogue. The specific location of the drop was at a restaurant with the English translation resembling something like “Go to the Black Rabbit.”

Well, I went.

Our lovely waitress was very sparkly and fashionably dressed. 

I was a lady who lunched that day on beer, lentils and homemade noodles with mushrooms.

Thus commenced the second drop.

Bead droppings

In the great tradition of “yarn bombing,” I decided to do my own version of spontaneous craft love across Europe: It’s what I call “bead droppings.”

Here’s the premise. I brought over an assortment of beaded things, mostly beaded triangles that I made throughout the past months. I dropped them with a little business card attached to them. Or I gave them to the friendly souls I met along the way in my travels throughout Germany, the Netherlands and France this past month. 

Over the next few days I’ll post photos of these bead droppings, along with brief little stories of the why and when. 

I was inspired to bead drop because of two gentle souls who I met briefly on my travels some years ago.

Back in 2007 I was on a flight from Dublin to Boston. A man a few rows ahead of me had an adorable deck of cards that were decorated with sheep and other Irish symbols. I guess he saw me eyeing them because he told me he’d give me the deck of cards once the five-hour flight ended. Wouldn’t that be nice, I thought.

And then he did. Today, I can’t get on an airplane without that tattered deck of playing cards. On airplanes I am the solitaire maven, thanks to the gentleman whose name I don’t even know.

The second gentle soul was a young woman (in college?) who I came across in the Munich airport in 2009. We were both at the same gate, waiting to catch a flight to Krakow. She was making a blue and white friendship bracelet. 

That’s nice, I said to her.

She just smiled.

And then right before we boarded she finished the bracelet and ever so gently handed it to me. I keep that bracelet on my dresser.

These gentle souls have inspired me. Their little gifts are not precious in monetary value but I’m quite keen on them. They are little token reminders of my travels and strangers’ kindness. There’s something spontaneous, fun and uncertain about leaving bead droplets at a little destination, wherever the whim strikes me.

Please stay tuned for the posts that will follow over the next few days about these little droplets. 

Open studios

I’m so excited for my stuff to be on display at my aunt’s open studios in Needham, Mass., this weekend. Judy Greenberg is an amazing - an exceptional - artist. There is no other artist like her. And she’s showing her work in the Boston area May 5 & 6. 

Here’s the adorable flier she designed for me. I love the idea of talking big mouths. I will have to capitalize on that idea …

And here are some items that will be on display. (Photos: Matthew White)

A pet-able bracelet

This design sprang from a basic peyote stitch that needed some … pizzazz. I added a bit of Swarovski crystal and a touch of shiny gold seed beads. And all of a sudden the bracelet became so … pet-able. So alive.

It is 3-dimensional indeed. (Photo: Hinda Mandell)

After I made this gold version I made a shiny blue one for my mom, for Mother’s Day. Good thing she doesn’t read this site!

Getting ready for the Mayday Underground craft show

Tonight was a night for inventory, since I’m getting ready for Saturday’s Mayday Underground craft show in Rochester. 

(Photos: Hinda Mandell)

I had 15 big mouths surrounding me earlier in the evening, waiting for labels and price tags. They looked like they wanted to say something.

That’s when I had a realization. What if the big mouths began - suddenly, abruptly - talking to me? If that were to happen then I would know things were a bit … precarious. I had a similar thought once with my dog, Nigel. When he first came into my life I remember looking at him. He looked earnestly back at me. I thought: If you begin talking to me then we’re both in trouble.

But Nigel didn’t talk back. Neither did the big mouths.

They’re now all labeled and ready to make their debut into the world. 

Hope to see you Saturday!