About Me

Lindsay M Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Beadwork Collaborations: Episode 2

For the second instillation in this series, I will talk about a current project I am working on with my friend Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame and My MicroMacrame.  What Sherri does with cord just blows my mind!  You can see her work on her Facebook page, her Blog, and peruse her Etsy shop anytime.  We've been bead buddies for several years now, and we've done one swap before.  You can read about it HERE on Sherri's blog...unfortunately I wasn't blogging at the time, but she did a great write up about her process.  Well we had so much fun with that, that we had been talking about a second one for awhile now.  Finally the stars have aligned so we both had the time!

We decided to do a WIP swap...what does that mean, you ask?  Well, Sherri and I both have odds and ends of macrame or beadwork floating around.  We decided to each pick out a few pieces to send the other person, to be assembled into a finished necklace by the recipient, then sent back to the original creator.  I knew, with my past sewing experience, that I would have no problem attaching threads and working off of Sherri's macrame.  But I needed to do a bit of work to make my pieces workable for her - they needed to have loops that the cords could be wrapped over, or larger beads that the cords could pass through.  You will have to check out Sherri's post  to see a picture of what I sent her...I was to excited to pop them in the mail to take a proper pic!

I eagerly awaited the arrival of Sherri's pieces...and I was not disappointed!
Isn't she beautiful?  Sherri used one of my polymer clay faces, and made an awesome macrame capture for her - she is covered front and back!  Then added a hoop, and made the lovely, lacy web radiating out from the face.  She also included a couple of smaller macrame disks to incorporate.  And off I went thinking about my inspiration.  As soon as I saw the little face, I started thinking about an Inuit girl with a furry parka drawn up around her face.  I grew up in Alaska, and that visual reminded me of the phrase "land of the midnight sun"...officially any part of the earth that is above the Arctic Circle.  In these regions, the winter months are marked by darkness, only broken when the sun peeks slightly above the horizon for a little while.
I found this image on Pinterest - I figured that even though there wasn't a ton of purple, and a few colors I knew I didn't want to use, that I would take cues from this palette.  I really like the feel of this picture - the serenity of a cold winter day, the sun peeking through a gap in the mountains, the need to be bundled up in order to enjoy the scene.

I had some trouble starting though.  Everything I tried at first either looked like a bad hairdo, or a beard.
I ended up with this swath of golden luster farfalle beads, drawn up around her face like a shawl or wave.  It hit just the right feel for me, but after all the struggle I had to put her down for a couple of days...I stitched a circular peyote disk, slightly larger than the macrame disks in the meantime...circles are a recurring theme in this piece.

But how to attach the circles together?  All on one side, or distributed between the two?  Did I want a more literal interpretation of the midnight sun?
I woke up one morning with this sun in my head...I knew exactly how to attach and stitch it.  And it turned out exactly like I had envisioned!  It's really gratifying when that happens...makes up for all the times something doesn't.  At this point, I knew all the circles needed to be on one side - like a cascading reflection of the sun.  But what to do for the other side of the strap?
I ended up attaching 3 strands of beading wire to the opposite side of the face ring - the width of 3 strands balanced the visual weight of the circle side of the strap.  But this combo wasn't working for me.  And I still had the dilemma of how to finish off the circle side...it just wasn't going to be long enough.  I kept re-stringing, re-working things until I was happy, adding a bit more at the bottom of the face as well, to balance out the heavier side of the strap.  Here are the results of my endeavors!
I just love how she turned out.  This is the second time I've tried a looped fringe woven together with 2-holed twin beads.  You might remember the first effort from my recent Auction necklace.  I got a bit more elaborate with this one.  I had to add some more embellishment to one side of the face ring too - to balance the strung side of the strap, both visually and physically.  I am so happy to have found a home for that fish bead...I know I bought him when we were still living in Alaska!  
 She looks warm now, right?

Reflections of the sun?  Planets?  Magnified suns?  Ripples in the water?  You decide!
Three straight strands just weren't doing it for me - they were just too stark of a contrast to balance the circle side of the necklace.  So (after a friend suggested it) decided to pass all three strands through large vintage lucite beads in sections...I like the swoops that the wire now makes, plus the corresponding circles of the larger junction beads.
To finish out the circle side of the strap, I decided on wire links, partly to pull some coppery colors up the strap, and also to add some physical weight up there.
You can see it better here:

The clasp is a neat hook and eye clasp with a lampwork bead and an enamel ring that Sherri sent.  I used a bit of purple coated copper craft wire on the ring, just to keep the strands evenly spaced.  
And you know I always have to end on a beauty shot.  I love how serene she looks here!

I do encourage you to check out Sherri's pages, especially her Facebook page...she's always posting neat pictures.  I'm sure she's going to do another blog post when she's done with her piece too.  You can follow along with my beadly exploits on my Facebook page, or shop on Etsy...look for lots of new listings next week!  As always, thanks for looking, and don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Sunday Funday!


  1. I am amazed at your talent and creativity every.single.time! I really like how you mirrored the spoke pattern and the spiral from the small macrame pieces in your bead weaving circles and even in the glass beads on the other side. She's gorgeous! And that last photo? Perfection.

    1. I love how she turned out too! I can't wait until you get her in the mail...it's going to be like Christmas!

  2. Sherri, I would say that you two created a museum piece. I can appreciate the Land of the Midnight Sun because we lived in Norway. Beautiful.