Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Off Loom and Stringing Fusion: Dancing Crystals Choker Class This Saturday July 2

RAW* and Stringing with Soft Flex Metallics | Photo by Bettina Al Bakhit
Our original design has been revisited and recreated for a new take on one of our most popular classes.  The concept came about when I was recuperating and bedridden for two weeks back in 2006.  The idea of creating a melodic dancing sequence of crystals with the use of beading wire and off loom weaving.  As the crystals jump off their lines they sparkle and play along the neckline.  I wanted to create a piece that would drape and enhance the collarbone area differently on each wearer.   
In this interpretation, the base is created in RAW* (Right Angle Weave) whereby it naturally curves along the neck due to the various sizes employed.  It has a creature like feel and sometimes also reminded me of the cantilevers and structures of the huge wires suspended from bridges.  Employing our Soft Flex Metallics Beading Wire to suspend the crystals in an airy and playful manner. Each time the piece is made it is never like any of the other Dancing Crystals.

Detail with Czech Bicone Crystals | Photo by Bettina Al Bakhit
 Learn how to merge and combine two distinct applications of Off Loom Weaving and Stringing.  This class is an excellent pre-requisite for those wanting to perfect the Right Angle Weave.  In addition, a new application to create the closure will be presented.   

Date:  Saturday July 2
Time:  9:30 AM- 1:30 PM
Venue: Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 House 13 (Side Basement Entrance)
Technique:   RAW* (Right Angle Weave)  and Stringing
Level:  Advanced Beginners
Instructor:   Lubna Saif Abbas with the support of Bettina Al-Bakhit

For more information on class details, materials required and class fees you can send us an email at info@lbojzazz or call us at 2261-0686.  We recommend you Pre-register at the shop as there will be a limited number of kits. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Spend This Friday July 1 At Our July Meet & Bead

June 2011 Meet & Bead
For all you beading afficianados our monthly gathering is just around the corner.  You can bring projects you feel like completing, start a new one or just hang out with your fellow beaders for a relaxed and casual evening.  It seems like many of you have lots  of projects and latest creations to share that Bettina and I would love to see.
Mona Al Hmoud's take on Peyote Cuff
Hanan Al Shaye's Luscious Lariat

In addition, we will have the full Events and Class schedule for July available for you to peruse and choose from well in advance.  So, bring your bead stash and join us.  Friends and guests are more than welcome to join you too.  This evening is open and is free of any charges.  (Except for any beads you may want to purchase!)

Date:  Friday July 1
Time:  6:00 PM-9:00PM
Venue:  Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 House 13 (Side Basement Entrance)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cross-Angle Weave 102: Desert Rose Class | Saturday June 25

In February 2010, Bettina took a day trip visit exploring the area around Bubyan Island and the desert we so rarely get to experience nowadays due to urbanization and lack of preservation measures.  Here is what she had to say:

In the absolute moment that a question was asked, “Is there anything that inspires you while your designing a piece”? My immediate reply did not give justice to the moments I experienced last week in the Kuwaiti desert. Like a little child, I rushed around the desert marveling at strangers I was meeting for the first time in my life! Flowering shrubs and cacti stood proudly and exerted their new presence throughout the Northern desert.

Life had returned to the desert with fragrant purple flowers and masterfully and heavenly created succulents/ cacti breaking through the earth reaching to the sky, relishing the sun. Thanks to the unusually heavy rainfall this season, our desert is turning into a garden. In tribute to the new life given to those fascinating desert “acquaintances” I have encountered, I dedicate the 
“Desert Rose”.

The first inspiration and colorway for Desert Rose
With shear joy and in awe of Bettina's new “friendships”, the Desert Rose Bracelet has been developed and designed using an intricate yet simple technique called the Cross-Angle weave. Several varieties of color palettes will be offered in our up-coming class. Please do join both Bettina and myself for this rewarding class.

Technique:  Two Needle Cross Angle Weave/Embellishing  
Level:             Advanced Beginners                 
Date:              June 25 Saturday
Time:            9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Venue:          Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 (Side Basement Entrance)

Pre-registration at our Shaab el Bahry store location is recommended. You may contact us for more details at info@lbojzazz.com for information regarding materials and tools required, class fees and any other questions or place a comment below.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 21 Class | Explorations In Peyote: Petals and Leaves

Small yet intricate shapes evoking Petals and Leaves
The ancient stitch of Peyote yields many rewards as it can mimic and evoke shapes from nature.  Whether it is playing with odd or even count stitches, simple techniques can allow for more embellishing and fringing elements.  These techniques were perfected and inspired by the master bead weaver and teacher Laura McCabe and can be modified with practice.

Participants will learn how to properly set up and hold the bead work along with quickly building up these foundational design elements using cylinder and seed beads. You will also see finished pieces that incorporate these elements to trigger new articulations for future objects of adornment. These pieces can be added to other projects, however, you will also be able to incorporate these elements in a future class. 

Date:  Tuesday  June 21
Time:  6:00 PM- 8:30 PM
Level: Beginners / Foundational
Technique: Peyote
Venue:  Jabriya Block 9 Street 6 House 13 (Side Basement Entrance)

For more information on class materials, kit information, class costs and any other details please email us at info@lbojzazz.com. 

This class is designed and led by Lubna Saif Abbas and supported by Bettina Al Bakhit.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fly My Butterfly

It's a time like this that a hand-made item made with love can never be replaced by anything purchased.  For my 18 year old daughters' Prom night I wanted to make jewelry she would cherish and which would hold many emotions and feelings starting from the hands that made them to special moments spent that evening with her friends.

Starting off, I thought to make her a necklace that would be elaborate and striking.  Her request was miles off the mind track I was on! 

"Mommy make me something elegent and simple.  I don't want a necklace, only a bracelet".  Talk about throwing me totally off track! 

Frankly, I must say I thought about it for 2 weeks.  Looked through magazines in hopes of getting inspired.  Three days before Prom, it dawned to me what materials I would use for the earrings first.  A Swarovski Rivoli I purchased years ago from one of my trips to the United States would be the focal.  Thanks to Laura Macabe class, I decided to implement the circular Peyote technique around to frame and encase the Rivoli. 

As my daughters' request was for the color blue, I decided to introduce two different blues, sky blue and torquoise seed beads. For an accent color I used dark topaz AB seed beads at the inner most frame circling the Rivoli.  When that was done, I strategically introduced Swarovski crystal pearls, bicones, and butterfly beads in order to give warmth, softness, youthfulness and character to the earrings. 

Thankfully, after showing my daughter the first earring I got her blessings and went straight ahead to complete the second.

"Fly My Butterfly" earrings was born.

Drawing a complete blank the next day, I decided to approach it the way I always have and just create as I go along.  I laugh as I recall my little bracelet journey only because I ended up learning something new myself. Naively I thought I would be able to finish a bracelet faster if I used wirework rather than off-loom.  Ha! The joke was on me.  But I must say, I like the outcome.  A complete row of wirework with butterflies. So delicate and liberating just like the feeling a young person has when graduating.  Perfect.

As more color and softness was needed, I decided to string 2 rows of crystals;  one crystal pearls and the other  row bicone crystals.  All strung and connected to a 3-loop sliding clasp, I made the deadline and was extremely pleased.  Most importantly, my most important and precious client was pleased too. 

The past 11 years of beading all came down to this one critical moment- making something with my own 2 hands for my daughter to compliment her beauty on this special day in her life.  Allah ya7fetha.

Fly My Butterfly...

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Why Behind LB o J'zazz: Spotlight Segment On Al Watan

A few weeks back, one of our followers Fessal Rajab who has been keeping a keen eye on most of the images we publish of our off loom weaving and other work, contacted us to do a ten minute feature for a program he worked on called Spotlight on Al Watan TV.  So, we agreed to set the date and time that they would interview both Bettina and I whilst working in our workshop studio. 
Initially, we were going to focus on the craft in terms of process, however thanks to our answers and the dialogue the approach quickly shifted to the 'why' of it so to speak.  Bettina in her first published interview in Arabic turned the whole segment around with her refreshing honesty and authentic take on why we as human beings take the plunge to move away from the contemporary trappings of a career and what societies and people expect from us. 
We had over thirty people in our workspace, lighting specialists, Nouf Al Modhayan the presenter, Fessal, the director, producers and what not.  Thanks to the Al Watan Team for the pre and post production. 
I leave the rest to you the viewer.  Apologies for those who do not speak Arabic as there are no subtitles.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Joys Of Teaching 101

This past Saturday we got the chance to teach the Luscious Lariat for a second time this season, and it's amazing to see how this piece evolves and became a medium for self expression.  We had five colorways and the freedom to add and embellish at will.
Starting the Spiral Stitch | Photo by Maryam Al Rashed

My working sample during the class- Murano Disc Bead | Photo by Maryam Al Rashed

What was also interesting when I pulled my latest purchases from the Venetian Night collection and spontaneously incorporated it in the tassles and focal point on one side of the lariat.  This is definitely a class that can be modified and redefined and will be offered in different modulations.  Will be posting the finished Luscious Lariats as soon as the samples are completed.

Maryam's take she grabbed some beads from another stash

The best part of teaching is getting to see the sense of accomplishment and more importantly fulfillment that our students express.  They leave light and smiling despite the long hours of demos, practicing and learning that they go through on beginning early on a Saturday morning. 

Ebraheem said he would redesign the Lariat so.... | Photo by Maryam Al Rashed