Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Her Name Is Lola

As part of my pet portrait commission service, I am working on a piece for my friend T.  I present Lola, in process:


The basic applique on a base of Pellon 40 interfacing.


Lola appliqued to her background, embellishment/quilting stitches in process.  I went with this yellow fabric because Lola stood out from the background and the sunburst print gave a really festive feel to the piece.  I know T loves bright colors and this felt like the right choice.


A detail of the stitching.  I am using sashiko and DMC perle cottons so far.

And what is art if not inspirational, especially for the artist?  Here is Lola in the Sky with Diamonds :


50 cent craft paint, Souffle pens, hand carved stamp and commercial stamp, star paper punch.  This is in a Bee Professional series sketchbook, with heavy paper that takes wet or dry media.  So much fun!


Detail of her face.  She reminds me of a dingo or hyena, some kind of Trickster.

Art about art, sometimes the most fun you can have without leaving home.  Though I surely would like to put Barry Manilow on ‘pause’ (“Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl….”)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Open Letter to Governor Strickland

Dear Governor Strickland,

I am writing to ask that you reconsider the proposed budget cuts for the Ohio library system. Libraries are so important now, more than ever, as people use their resources for job searches, resume help, a non-judgemental place where one can find out about services for people in need, and yes, even as community centers. In our small town, the library serves as a place for our children to go after school, and provides snacks and activities during the summer for all of our children. These budget cuts would be catastrophic, as our library would be shut down, leaving the children with nothing to do after school.

We have used the libraries when our power or water goes out; they are always a haven, especially for those who are elderly or who are home with small children, giving people a place to go which is welcoming and free. The libraries provide gallery space for local artists to exhibit, exposing many people to the pleasures the arts can bring into their lives. The libraries also provide low-cost meeting areas for groups of all kinds from La Leche League to local conservation groups, and programs for patrons of all ages, including yoga, writing, local history and more. The loss of these services would be devastating.

Please, please, please reconsider and do not cut funding to our libraries. They are too vital and too important to let go by the wayside.

Thank you for your time.

Andrea L. Stern

If you are in Ohio, find out more about saving our libraries at these sites
Athens County Public Library (lists the budget committee members)
Save Ohio Libraries (Facebook page)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beading With World Beads Giveaway

The new book Beading With World Beads features 38 beautiful projects made with beads from around the world, including beads from Africa, Thailand, and Tibet. I am proud to have 8 projects included in this wonderful book, and am inspired by the work of my fellow designers. Today I put together this pair of earrings, inspired by “the good earth” pendant designed by Candie Cooper.


In Candie’s wonderful design, she dangled a bone face bead from a filigree star pendant. I took a page from her design and made the loop extra large on the wire so that the star pendants could dangle in front of the long bone spears. The piece is completed with Tibetan prayer beads, ostrich eggshell and carved wood beads. (Bone spears are from Becky at St Theresa Textile Trove, the other beads have been in stash so long I’ve forgotten where they are from).

Ok, I hear you asking “But you mentioned giveaway in the header of this post, where’s the information on that?”

Here’s the details. You can win a signed (by me) copy of Beading With World Beads if you are the lucky winner chosen on July 7 (Ringo Starr’s birthday :) You can enter up to three times, by

A: Leaving a comment on this post telling me what your favorite world bead is (mine has to be the wonderful Thai silver I used in the Temple cuff)

B: Adding me on Facebook and leaving a comment here that you’ve done so (I am Andrea L. Stern on Facebook)

C: Following me on Twitter, or tweeting about this giveaway. Leave a comment here and let me know your user name so I can follow you back!

I chose July 7 because it is Ringo Starr’s birthday, and he was my favorite Beatle when I first re-discovered them at age 12. July is also full of birthdays of my loved ones, including my Gran and my BFF for longer than I can count, Beth. I figured this is a great way to celebrate those happy days!

To whet your appetite, here are a few teasers from the book:

The cover, with delicious coral and turquoise Mumbai Melody by designer Jamie Cloud Eakin.

beading with world beads


The Temple Gate Bracelet, image from the book, above, and on my wrist, below.


Silver Dragon necklace, live and in person (project is on page 104 of the book). Chinese turquoise and Chinese silver, with some African turquoise cones on the bottom.



Zambezi Journey, illustrated from the book and live and in person below. So simple yet so funky.


I really love everything about this book, from the designs (and not just mine!) to the layout and the photography. The editor Ray Hemachandra and crew, including the magnificent Beth Sweet, really knocked themselves out for this one. This is a volume you will come back to again and again for inspiration and fun. Remember, you have until midnight on July 6, 2009 to enter. I will choose the lucky winner on July 7th. Good luck and happy beading!