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Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was getting submissions ready for our juried show for the World of Beads VIII and thought that I would post a photo of the bracelet I made in Karen Frankfeldt's All Seasons Bracelet class. Our Bead Society has a workshop/class category so that folks can see the kinds of projects that are made in our classes; so I am entering my version of Karen's design in that section.

This was the first time that I had used the Swarovski glass pearls that make up the main body of the bracelet and I was quite pleased with them. Even buying the Swarovski pearls from Fire Mountain Gems, I was shocked at the price, but there was no waste in the pearls.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I spent Sunday afternoon giving two friends an oya lesson and examining an assortment of possible threads for oya making. One of my friends passed on the website of Mizue Imari, a Japanese oya maker. Here is a bit of eye candy to enjoy

Monday, April 20, 2009


Saturday I was volunteering at the NY Bead Society table at the Bead Fiesta show in Manhattan ( and had the the pleasure of spending a few hours with Evelyn Letfuss, a fellow Bead Society member. I was so tickled by Evelyn's free-form peyote necklace Montauk Beach that I asked for a photo to post. Evelyn gathered shells and glass from the beach and then fashioned a fun necklace from the scavanged objects and a variety of sand-colored and green seed beads. Hap Sakwa took the photos of the neckace. Enjoy the beach!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Our speaker at the Textile Study Group of New York was Orly Cogan, a fiber artist living and working in New York City. Ms. Cogan takes vintage textiles and found embroideries and stitches her own "line drawings" of nudes on the textiles. I must admit that, as a costumer and textile historian, I was alternately bored after the tenth nude and horrified by the alteration to old needlework but there is something intriguing and pretty about her creations. Her site-specific thread drawings were very interesting and the fabric sculpture dessert table was a lot of fun.
I have included her website if you want to see her work but want to warn more conservative viewers that Ms. Gogan is exceeding fond of nipples, public hair, menstrual blood, and male genetalia. You can see some of her work at

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Now that I am learning Turkish needlelace (oya) construction, I thought I would mention the books available on the subject. I first bought Oya Culture Since the Ottomans by Dr. Taciser Onuk, the Turkish book that covers needle, bead, crochet, hairpin, shuttle, and cloth oyalari. The book is written in both Turkish and English, although the English instructions aer a bit wonky. Unfortunately, this book is out of print but can be bought on Ebay sometimes.

A friend brought me a copy of Igne Oyalari, published by Ondori, from Japan. Like the Japanese beadwork books, there are clear photos but the book is in Japanese.

Both books have clear illustrations but each uses a different method to make the necessary know, so Iwas confused. Then I stumbled upon my personal Rosetta stone, ThreadTeds Oya Needle lace by Berta Hensen-Minten. A teddy bear artist and oya maker in the Netherlands, Berta has written a clear, concise booklet with lots of photo--in English! Her book is available at or on Ebay. The kit includes the oya book, a pattern for a oya flower and bear pin, a small booklet with instructions for an oya flower, two cards of oya thread, and even a needle and square of felt to get you started. With Berta's book in hand, I made my first row of triangles and my first oya flower. Her book helped me to understand my other two oya books.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First Successful Oya Flower

Thanks to Time Warner and Earthlink, I have had lots of time to practice my knotting while I waited for a new cable modem to get back on line. The result is my first successful oya flower shown above. I have not tracked down the thread that the Turkish oya makers use, but found "F" Silke made by Utica to be a decent choice for oya. You could also use size 70 cotton crochet thread.