Friday, October 27, 2006

Improvisational Bead Embroidery ~
Great Example by Karen Cohen

Bead embroidery by Karen Cohen, mirror or picture frame

Karen Cohen, who learned improvisational bead embroidery from my book, One Bead at a Time, just sent me this photograph of her recent accomplishment. It's a frame for a mirror. Isn't it grand! This is the kind of frame I need... where I'd be looking at the frame all the time, and not my own face. I shouldn't kid about this... it really is an extraordinary piece. The more I look at the details, the more I see. Take a look at some of her work featured here and here (earlier posts).

By the way, if anyone wants an intensive workshop with me on this subject at an absolutely gorgeous place, check out Valley Ridge Art Studio in WI. The class is Sept 8 and 9, 2007. As you know from my recent post about teaching, I plan to retire from this part of my beady career soon. So if it's something you've wanted to do, this may be the last chance.

Here's a quick update on Robert's surgery. It went well; the surgeon was pleased with himself. Although he still has to deal with a lot of pain, Robert improves a little each day. We're home, I have a doozie of a cold, and he needs to nap a lot... quite a pair. Thanks to all of you for your good wishes and crossed fingers, toes and eyes... it all helped!


  1. Anonymous7:05 AM

    I never did too much improvisational bead embroidery. I think I've only made a couple of beaded buttons like that. Anyways, Karen's work is wonderful.

    Also, I hope you & your hubby are feeling better soon:)

  2. You must be so proud. That is just stunning! I think anyone looking into that mirror would immediately feel very grand in deed. =)

    Wish I could get out to Wisconsin. *sigh*

    Both of you rest and feel better soon.

  3. Karen's work is really inspirational. I love the inventive stitches - the little bead "bows" on the right and what looks like a bead ruffle on the bottom!

    I'm glad Robert is on the mend and hope you are both feeling better soon.

  4. Oops, I meant bows or bridges on the LEFT.

  5. This is so gorgeous it takes my breath away. Thank you for sharing it here. I have to go look through the rest of your blog now to see if there are more riches like this. Wow

  6. Stunning!! If I had a mirror like that I'm sure I'd stare at it constantly. You should be very proud that your book was behind this creation.
    Glad to hear you're both feeling a little better. Sure wish I could make it to WI.

  7. So glad to hear you and robert are ok...

    lovely work by karen!

  8. The mirror frame is dazzling! Thanks for posting it.
    Robin, I was so glad to read that Robert's surgery went o.k. Now that the weather has cooled and gotten rainy, enjoy hunkering down and recovering together in the slow lane.....

  9. Karen's work is totally wonderful and amazing. I love that it moves me on an emotional level as well as astethic level and how can I but admire the technique! Love it!

    I'm so glad colds don't last forever and neither do 'owie' backs. I know it seems like they do, but they don't. You have to love that!

  10. I looked at the mirror and had a "du'h" moment. It's superb! I have been trying to figure out how to frame some of my pieces, and I just think that the light bulb just clicked on over my head.

    Hope Robert is doing well. My father just had back surgery at 86, and I am glad to say that he is also in the recovery stage.

    Fingers crossed for both

  11. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I had so much fun doing this piece. I wanted to let you know that what someone called my "bow" design, I call a firecracker. It's easy to do and allows an easy way for a short fringe to fall off the edge of a piece.

    BTW - I teach at an art camp in Washington, ME called Med-O-Lark Camp (see in case any of you have kids 12-16 and want to send them to camp. I also teach enameling there. it's a wonderful and safe place for your kids to learn performing and visual arts during the summer.

    So, take care and happy beading. See some more of my work at
    Karen L. Cohen

  12. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes. I'm almost back to normal, except for a nasty cough that still keeps me awake a bit at night. Robert continues to improve as well. I'll try to get a new post going this week. Thanks again!

  13. I'm glad to hear that you and Robert are doing better; you remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you (and Karen) for sharing the photo of her amazing work. It's simply stunning!

  14. Robin, gosh I do hope you are feeling much more on top of the world, :o) I know just how you felt having a rather harsh cold kicks the stuffing out of you. I am just now feeling better after weeks of it.

    Your friends work is yes stunning! I have been inspired "mind you I know nothing about it! lol lol" but I am in a christmas swap and so would like to embellish a christmas stocking with some beads............O! well I can but try my best.

    see youa gain real soon.

  15. Anonymous10:01 AM

    Wow. It's always nice to have a student excell, & then let you know about it. It makes you feel good to know you were a good influence on someone else.

    Hope Robert improves quickly!

  16. I wanted to take bead embroidery class since I saw your beadworks for the first time at your website. It was 2 years ago.
    Unfortunally, I live very far away from USA and I didn't have opportunity to go to States just because I was a student and I din't work. And my parents couldn't afford bying an airplane ticket.
    I'm graduating in December, I've been studying economics for 5,5 years and I realise I don't like it at all. I just want to receive an economics degree, find a good job, save up some money and go to British Higher School of Arts and Design to get another education and become a designer. I realized that it's never late to change your life, especially when you're only 22.
    I'm really frustrated to know you plan to retire and this is my last chance to visit your bead embroidery workshop in 2007.
    OMG, I wrote so many words (=
    Hope you both are okay there!

  17. That was my comment


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