Sunday, May 3, 2009

my obsession of the last six years...

I'm really not a very patient person, which is why I hate sewing. It can take days to make something nice, and almost every sewing attempt has ended in some kind of a disaster, like sewing one piece to another at the wrong place and having to rip everything out and start over.

Knitting also requires a lot of patience, especially if one wants to make something interesting. Knitting something beautiful not only takes a lot of time, but it can be very tricky to recover from mistakes with it. I decided, after stabbing myself with a knitting needle during an attempt to make a simple sweater for one of my children to be, that knitting wasn't really my thing either.

I do like crochet very much, though. I have made numerous scarves, and in my younger years even invented a small bag to hold my set of jacks and rubber ball. I made bags for my sisters, too. Crochet only requires one tool, the work goes relatively quickly (it's possible to make something beautiful in just a few hours), and it is also rather intuitive and easy to recover from mistakes.

Another type of handwork that I have always appreciated is beadwork with seed beads, especially that of Native Americans, and in my teens, I experimented with weaving beads and trying to replicate some of the patterns. I remember making a rather complicated and beautiful amulet of an eagle on a chain of beaded flowers for a close friend of mine and although I was very satisfied with the result of my efforts, I found the work tedious and didn't feel inspired to try making anything else after that.

I was therefore thrilled when my older sister taught me the art of beadcrochet in 2003. This craft which puts seed beads and crochet together has given me countless hours of pleasure in the last six years and I still feel driven to find new patterns and color combinations. I've made more than 400 bracelets and more than 40 necklaces. Each bracelet takes about four hours; necklaces take longer, depending on the length.

Following are scans of a few of my favorites.

This one with the dragonfly has a matching necklace and I wore them with a red gown to a ball at the Vienna Hofburg one year. The dragonfly is not crocheted, but is made with beads and wire.

The above bracelet was inspired by the colors in a painting in the home of a friend of mine. I like to wear it with an orange braclet on one side and a red one on the other.

This flower pattern is one of my favorite patterns. I made the above bracelet for a friend of mine who suggested the colors. I really enjoyed working with the bright orange beads.

I made the bracelet above for another friend of mine who wanted something with yellow, orange and red in it. There are approximately 30 different beads in the pattern. The pattern was kind of an accident, but a good one!


Merisi said...

I wouldn't want to have to chose among all these beautiful pieces. I imagine it is very difficult to get the single beads to fit exactly into the pattern.

I have tried a bit of sewing and knitting, but I am simply not patient enough and as you say, mistakes really take the joy out of it (and me too).

What I liked sewing though were Halloween costumes for my children. Not that I am too proud, some of the pictures of them in my creations make me crinch. ;-)

Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment on my blog!

Allie said...

Your beadwork is absolutely marvelous! You are quite talented.


Tango daddy said...

My Grandmother whom I suspect was Metis, taught me as a young boy how to work a crochet hook. I never accomplished anything on my own but I did aquire an appreciation of the value and beauty of her work, tedious and mind consuming as it was a hand crafted table cloth or bed spread was a work of art. But most of all the tranquilty that my Grandmother achieved while doing this was something I saw on many occasions this is another form of spiritual development this kind of creatvity. Making somethin useful from a piece of string is ancient!!

marain said...

Thank you for visiting, and leaving a comment on my blog, Merisi! I so love your photographs - truly magical, they are!

Merisi wrote: What I liked sewing though were Halloween costumes for my children.It's great that you could do that! I'm sure they were much appreciated and enjoyed!

Earlier this year, my youngest daughter was a designer for a fashion show at her school and before New Year we went out to a place just beyond Klosterneuburg with more fabrics than I've ever seen in my life to find the materials she needed. She picked out fabrics, threads, and zippers for her designs and had sewn most of them before the end of the holidays - without patterns! She must get this ability from the other side of the family!

All the best to you!

marain said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, Allie! All the best to you!

marain said...

Hey Tango Daddy! I have missed you! Your icon disappeared for awhile and I thought you had abandoned me! I'm so glad to see it back again!

I've been so busy, which is why I haven't been blogging very much lately.

On my Dad's side, I have some French Canadian ancestry (from La Prairie). I had always thought that crochet is a French craft, but various people have told me that this type of beadcrochet rope is made in places in Africa. I do know that it was very popular in the 1920's, and I have seen some antique belts of beadcrochet rope, as well as necklaces and bracelets in various antique stores here at very dear prices.

Tango Daddy wrote: But most of all the tranquilty that my Grandmother achieved while doing this was something I saw on many occasions this is another form of spiritual development this kind of creatvity.

I think one of the reasons why I have enjoyed it so much is that doing it makes me feel very tranquil - the colors of the beads are enchanting, the working is kind of meditative, and I love having something beautiful after just a few hours.

Making somethin useful from a piece of string is ancient!!I think you are so right about that!!!

All the best to you!

Aurora said...


marain said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Aurora! I so enjoyed finally meeting you last year and seeing your lovely beadwork up close.

All the best to you!