The Best of Step By Step Beads

I got a nice surprise this week when I learned that  my Tokyo Rows beaded bracelet project made it into Interweave’s  collector’s edition of  The Best of Step By Step Beads.

The Japanese Flower motif is not original with me but I love it because it lends itself to so many variations.   It’s easy to take one flower and make a simple pendant, and that’s just one example.

Here are some brooches based on the same motif

I once thought that  Japanese bead work made the most interesting use of the beaded flower until  I saw some stunning Brazilian pieces using this motif when I visited Rio De Janeiro a few years ago.  Here is one of the bracelets I bought there, that’s a variation of the design.

With forty projects, there’s plenty of material in The Best of Step By Step Beads to keep you busy for awhile.  The best part of developing a design, however, is when someone takes it in a new direction.   Triche Osborne ‘s  Candy Wheels Necklace is just one example of how you can take a beading concept and make it your own.

Thank you Interweave!

Beading on the Copacabana

I am so cold! I disagree with T.S. Eliot. February is the cruelest month.   It was 14 today in Philadelphia and I wish I was below the equator where it’s summer now.    The hot sun, the white sands of the Copacabana and some Samba music would be be nice. I always like to buy local bead work and crafts wherever I go. Here is a picture of a bracelet I got on a trip to Rio De Janeiro.

I think I’ll wear it and pretend I’m back on the beach in Rio.


Sand Sculptors of the Copacabana

     There’s a lot of coffee in Brazil, or so the song goes.  There are also a lot of poor people.  According to some estimates, Brazil has the largest number of people living in poverty in Latin America.  

     Artists don’t let the lack of traditional materials stop them from creating.  And sometimes, the need to feed one’s family provides more motivation to make art than than waiting for one’s Muse.  These forces converge on the beaches of Rio De Janiero where artists have found a way to make art and money from the sand and the ocean.   

     As you stroll along the beaches,  you pass by realistic, intricate,  larger-than-life sand sculptures.  Looking is free, but if you want to take a picture,   you stuff a few Reals in a can chained to a post in front of the sculpture.  The artist spends the day with the sculpture, to maintain the fragile sand and water creation and to keep an eye on the  can of money. 

     In the pictures above, you can see the artist stretched out on a blanket behind the sculpture.  He raised his hand in thanks when we stuffed some money into his can. We, in turn, thanked him making our walk on such a beautiful beach even more special.

To see another incredible Brazilian sand sculpture, click Here
For more information on sand sculpture click on Sand Castle Central