Ndebele Necklace

Women of Africa’s Ndebele tribe are known for their elaborate beaded necklaces. Across the pond in Europe and North America this pattern is called herringbone.

It’s an old design. Some say it goes back to ancient Egypt, where the stitch was used in gold chains. And it was used in embroidery and weaving long before beaders adopted it.

Whatever its name, the stitches are instantly recognizable — slanted rows of tilted stitches that form a zigzag pattern.

One of the things I enjoyed about doing this piece was the almost meditative mindset of repeating stitches.

I’d originally planned to include a large focal bead in the design but decided to stay with the basic stitch — the bright colors don’t seem to need any enhancement.

You can see more of my beadwork here.

Week 5: Hands

This week’s Virtual Art topic is hands — but they seem to be in short supply. Maybe they’re full of gardening tasks at this time of year, rather than pencil or paintbrush.

Wendee Cloutier took these photos on a beach in Mexico. “Such a wonderful, happy family,” she writes.

Would you like to join our Virtual Artists’ group? Just drop me a line. It’s open to anyone, anywhere. We have weekly challenges but you can submit copies of your work at any time, whether they’re on topic or not. It’s a fun way to share our interest in various forms of art, wherever we live.

Going to Weather

Marlene Dixon has submitted the first colored pencil drawing to our virtual art gallery.

She writes: “The subject of weather brought to mind sailing our boat on San Francisco Bay. In this picture, we are “going to weather”, which means pointing into the wind on a rather windy day.”


Week 4.5: Clouds

Somewhere along the way our group began doing clouds. I don’t think it was an official theme. More like Platform 9 3/4’s where Harry Potter and his friends caught the Hogwarts Express. Hence the 4.5 designation 🙂

Wendee Cloutier captured these clouds floating over the Sonoran Desert.

Marsha Knopf also found clouds on the Sonoran Desert — gotta love those Arizona sunsets.

And some days it’s wet and gray with nary a shaft of sunlight anywhere.

This is neat. The clouds look like a waterfall pouring over the mountains.

The desert is a land of surprising contrasts.

Week 4: Pets

Not surprising that the Pets theme brought images of dogs and cats.

Marlene Dixon writes: “This picture looks like it is meant to be of my rocking chair, but the main focus is our cat, Suzie, who likes to sleep all day better than anything else! The rocking chair has been in my family longer than me — my Dad bought it at a garage sale for 25 cents when first married.”

Marilyn Jackson captured two dogs on her easel.

The theme for Week 5 is hands.