Friday, June 24, 2011

Pearls and Bicones Galore!

Crystal and Brick Revival Earrings by Julia Hecht

Ode to the Bicone

I just love the simple crystal bicone. No matter what shapes and designs Preciosa and Swarovski come up with, I always find myself gravitating back to the that simple bicone bead. I remember my first encounter with bicones was in 2003, a few months after I had discovered beads. I took my 2nd class with Margo - the Clover supplement to the Botanical Invention. Margo suggested using crystals as "buds" and embellishments to the very detailed and intricate clovers made of size 15 beads. (I also love size 15's but that's the topic for another post entirely). I just marveled over the beauty of those crystals -it is such a simple shape - but those crisp crystal edges and the sparkle just get to me. I can't resist. Aurora Borealis takes it to a whole nother level. Whew!

In contemplating a nice Intro to Brick Stitch project, I wanted to add my own personal twist to the design. It is only natural that I include crystals. Many people are familiar with the hippie earrings popular in the 1970's that have a beaded triangle at the top and long fringe, usually with bugle beads. You can still see them around New Mexico today. Many beaders got their start beading by making those friend taught another, etc. Brick stitch was my first bead weaving technique (self taught from the book by Diane Fitzgerald). I'd like to pass it on. So I created the Crystal and Brick Revival Earrings - a class for all levels. I'll be teaching it on Monday evening August 15th 6-9 PM (cost $25). There will be a Saturday afternoon class sometime in the fall, TBA.

History of Brick Stitch in America

I see many Native Americans selling brick stitch earrings. I researched the history of the Comanche / Brick stitch among Native Peoples using David Dean's book Beading in the Native American Tradition. He explains that both peyote (Gourd Stitch) and brick (Comanche stitch) were adopted by the Kiowa and Comanche people of the southern plains between 1870 and 1890. It was taught to them by Europeans who used those techniques to make purses and items for use by women, with floral and dainty feminine motifs in flat form. Native Americans adapted peyote and brick into tubular form for religious regalia and changed the color schemes. Back in the day, these stitches were used exclusively by men for creating items for use in ceremonies. Women were prohibited from making these items. Nothing was said in this book about the brick stitch and fringe earrings. So, I suspect that these were developed for the tourist trade, and are not rooted in Native tradition. But I could be wrong and would be happy to be corrected or receive more information about the history of Native earrings with Comanche / Brick Stitch. David Dean's book, chock full of interesting information and pictures, is available at Poppyfield.

Pearl Update

I just beefed up my Swarovski crystal pearl selection. It was good and it is now superfantastic!! I am happy to announce that I have 3 new colors: Coral (a gorgeous cantaloup color), Maroon, and Bordeaux (a dark deep brick red). I have 20 different colors of 12 mm pearls. These work in the Mexican Fan Earrings and Fan Dance Necklace (see class page) and a lot of projects that you see in the magazines. Several customers have asked about 3 mm pearls and I now have them in 12 colors. I filled the gaps in colors in the various sizes so I feel safe to say I've got the best crystal pearl selection on display in Albuquerque. Come check it out!

Class Update

Poppyfield Bead Company to Host NM Bead Society Workshop
Monday July 25th with
Bonnie Vigil: Open Lace Rope
Contact NMBS to register
Materials for this class will be available for purchase at Poppyfield

Open Lace Rope by Bonnie Vigil

We had 2 wonderful classes full of students wanting to expand their jewelry making techniques. Susan Skinner's Milagro Chain was a fun-filled evening of wire twisting. Participants left with confidence to make wrapped looped chain, rosary style and spiral dangles. She also taught an original "fish clasp". Two customers already came in with finished chain proudly shining .
My Mixed Media Medallion class SOLD OUT!! This class teaches how to capture a paper graphic in a beaded medallion. We had such a range of medallions emerging: Frieda Kahlo, Tinkerbell, a treasured family photo, a black bird, and many more. This was my first bead class in about 2 years, and my first class at my own shop -- It was so exciting for me. So much more fun than teaching how to do spinal taps on babies. Life is good! There will be one more class on Mixed Media Medallions Sat, July 16th from 1-4. There are still a few places left. So call or come by to register and learn this fun and versatile project.

There are still places available in the following classes...but they are filling up.
Mixed Media Medallion with Julia Hecht: Sat, July 16th 1- 4 PM, $25
Mexican Fan Earrings with Julia Hecht: Mon, July 18th 6-9 PM, $25
or Sat July 30th 1-4 PM, $25
RAW Bon Bons with Margo Field: Sat, July 23rd 1-4 PM, $25
Crystal and Brick Revival Earrings with Julia Hecht: Mon, Aug 15th 6-9 PM, $25
Fan Dance Necklace with Margo Field: 3 Sats: Aug 13th, 20th, 27th 1-4 PM $65
or 3 Mondays: Sept 12th, 19th, 26th 6-9 PM $65

Diane Fitzgerald All - Day Workshops in November (4th, 5th, and 6th)
Gingko Leaf Lariat, Moorish Tile Beaded Beads, and Tropical Bauble
$85 per class

Please check the CLASS page for pics and details of our classes

A word about the Poppyfield Return Policy
The policy is that there are no returns. The only exception I can make is for defective tools - purchased within 7 days.
Many people come to the store wanting to return beads for a variety of reasons - too small, not what they expected, color doesn't match what they have at home, changed their mind, or they need other beads and don't have the money to buy more, so they want to trade in what they have and other reasons. While I feel for my customers, and wish I could accommodate all your needs and all your returns, the nature of the small bead store business prevents me from accepting returned products. Thank you for your understanding.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More Classes From Bead Masters

Diane Fitzgerald Classes Open For Registration
Gingko Leaf Necklace - Moorish Tile Beaded Beads - Tropical Bauble
3 Full-Day classes November 4, 5, 6 - 2011
$85 per class

Diane is an internationally renowned bead artist and award winning teacher who lives in Minneapolis, MN. She is a prolific and pioneering designer who is often on the forefront of bead design. She is also known for exploring traditional beadwork of other cultures. Her books include Shaped Beadwork (my favorite!), Zulu Inspired Beadwork, and The Beaded Garden, among others. Her Gingko Leaf necklace and Tropical Bauble (shown above) are being offered at Bead and Button this year. They are both sold out and cost $180 and $190, respectively. The Moorish Tile Beads are intricate beaded bead designs that make a fabulous necklace. Below is a close up of 3 of the beads. It is unlikely you will ever have an another opportunity to learn from Diane at the Poppyfield price of $85. Don't miss out!

Moorish Tile Beaded Beads

Fan Dance Necklace with Margo Field
3 Saturdays: August 13th, 20th and 27th 1-4 PM
3 Mondays: September 5th, 12th, and 19th 6-9 PM

Fan Dance by Margo Field

There are still some places left in:

Phoenix Phlower with Margo Field: Saturdays, June 4, 11, 18 1-4 ($65)
Milagro Chain Intro to Wirework with Susan Skinner: Monday, June 13th 6-9 PM ($25)
Mixed Media Medallion with Julia Hecht (me): Monday, June 20th 6-9 PM and Saturday July 16th 1-4 PM ($25)
Mexican Fan Earrings with Julia Hecht (me): Monday July 18th 6-9 PM and Saturday July 30th 1-4 ($25)
RAW Bon Bons Bracelet with Margo Field: Saturday July 23rd 1-4 ($25)

Check the classes page for details and pics


Poppyfield Bead Company will be CLOSED on Monday July 4th, Friday July 8th and Saturday, July 9th. We will be OPEN on Tuesday -Thursday, July 5th, 6th and 7th.

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Studio Poppy
Come in from the heat and bead in good company!
Meet other beaders, get inspired, find community.


3, 4, and 6 mm bicone crystals available in single color strands or interesting mixes.

125 yard spools for sale in crystal and FLAME GREEN

These are used in the Mexican Fan Earrings - now available in 14 different colors, plus 2 stones: Blue Mist Agate and Red Botswana Agate
12mm Faceted Rounds