12.31.2009

Have a Happy New Year ANYWAY.

I'll be on hiatus for a bit, what with the end of year paperwork for the day job and our only vehicle getting stolen. You can read about it HERE.

See you on the other side, and really. Things can only get better from here.

Right?




Right?

12.20.2009

A Brief Intermission From the Mission

I've been looking at the next few projects in the book, "Creative Bead Weaving" by Carol Wilcox Wells and I have to admit defeat here. I don't like big earrings. I don't like big round earrings. I really don't like big round fringed earrings. That being said, I still wanted to try my hand at circular peyote. So I followed the instructions for the 8th project, Double Mandala Earrings (designed by Carol Wilcox Wells) on page 56. More specifically I did Step 1, creating the base. Okay. I get it. I only made the one, and now I can't find it to take a photo. It wasn't much to look at anyway.

I previewed the ninth project, The Hollow Beaded Bead with Tubular Necklace, also designed by Ms. Wells.

No.

Just. No. I don't have enough cylinder beads laying around for this one. I don't care for the shape of the hollow bead, and I just can't work up the oomph to express this one any differently.

I promise I'll do the next project in the book, the Black and Gold Beaded-Bead Necklace, designed by JoAnn Baumann. Just not in black and gold. And I'll have to find my stash of wooden beads. I know they're around here somewhere. They're bound to turn up. Probably after the holidays.

All my holiday preparations are complete. Half a dozen loaves of orange/cranberry tea bread, another half dozen loaves of gingerbread, and two dozen loaves of chocolate chili bread have been baked. Two pounds of peanut butter-filled pretzels have been dipped in chocolate, as have a pound of almonds & cranberries, one box of cinammon graham crackers and two bags of animal cookies. Our tiny apartment REEKS of chocolate and most likely will for several days, but at last the kitchen is clean and I have a few moments to myself. I've opted to do some meditative beading.

I received some wonderful Yule gifts, one of which is this:


I am now insanely in love with making right angle weave rope bangle bracelets.


A bit of red and green for the season - well, brick and khaki to be more precise, but you get the idea.

Cheers, and Season's Greetings to all!

12.03.2009

Here Comes Another One




And I have not been idle - I've been doing a lot of jewelry repairs and reworks - here are two examples:





Now it's time to do the holiday baking.

Yoikes and away!

11.30.2009

Redeemed in My Own Eyes

Ta Da!
Carmella

This just makes me smile. I need to refine my design a tad - make the arms a little more narrow - and I can attach her to a keyring or make her into a tree ornament, hang her from a pin finding or use her as a pendant on a chain. I really like the keychain idea, myself.

11.29.2009

YIKES

When I was a kid, back in the 50's, I had this little beaded necklace - the strap was a daisy chain and the pendant a little peyote stitched figure made to resemble a Native American in full dance regalia - headdress and all. I loved it. I can't imagine where it is now - gone like so many of my childhood memories. The older I get, the more I realize I've lost.

My learning objective with this project was to suss out a way to recapture a bit of that childhood memory. I may have achieved that goal, in spite of the problems I've had with this one. First off, I have no idea why it has to be done in odd count tubular peyote. I find it hard to keep track of the number of rows I've done, and it's tedious to keep going back to count them up. I chose my colors using the face bead as my guide, and they were much too muddy. And I don't care at all for face beads. They define a piece in much too narrow a set of terms.

When I made my art dolls, the selection of the heart shaped gemstones for their faces was deliberate. When you hold one of my dolls and look at their faces in just the right light, you see your own face reflected there. When I made my beaded journal, each page contains a representational figure of myself, not an actual depiction. It gives more of a sense of universality to things. I'm having trouble explaining myself and for that I do apologize.

Personal Opinion Alert:
I really don't care for jewelry with human faces. I've seen those "amulet bags" that look like beaded doilies folded in half with a doll's head stuck on top. GAH! I think they are hideous. I don't much care for cameos, either. Moon faces and sun faces I can deal with, but wearing a human head around your neck or pinned to your clothing strikes me as, well, disturbing. And creepy.

So I made the "Mortimer the Figure Pin" and must confess. I haven't made anything this ugly in a very long time.
I dislike everything about this - from concept to color. I gave it a mullet to try and lighten it up, but it's still a nightmare. I've taken it apart. Normally I keep my practice pieces, but honestly - the lessons learned with this aren't worth the beads I'd be wasting by not recycling it.

I figure if I substitute glass pearls for the hands, feet and head, use just one color for the whole body and make the arms, legs and torso from shorter even count peyote tubes I just might have something more interesting. We'll see.

Next time: Project Six My Way.

11.27.2009

Project Four Complete; Project Five Abbreviated; Project Six Begun

The purse is complete.  My objective in doing this project was to practice tubular even count peyote, a bit of odd count peyote, and following a chart.

Set The Controls
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The chart I created is my own version of a Native American sun symbol.  I decided to make a wristlet strap with beaded crochet instead of the longer, braided leather strap I initially intended.  The finished dimensions of the purse are approximately 4.25" wide by 4/5" tall and .5" deep.
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Now to Project Five:  Two-Carrot Earrings, designed by Liz Manfredini (Creative Bead Weaving, pp. 50 - 51).  I read over the directions and realized I didn't have any felt in any color on hand.  I figured I could just make the beaded form then stuff it with polyfil, which I do have.  So I began and as the carrot started to take shape I knew it was much larger than anything I'd ever wear.  I scaled it down considerably by making the starting round with only 12 beads and making it much shorter. I made the carrot leaves smaller and shorter as well.  I made a baby carrot and it didn't need stuffing either.  It wanted to be a pendant, not a pair of earrings, so that's what it is.
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 One Carrot Necklace
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I've now begun work on Project Six, Mortimer the Figure Pin designed by Merri Beth Hill (Creative Bead Weaving, pp. 50 -52).  I'm looking over the materials list and I see it calls for a face button.  I don't have face buttons, but I do have some glass face beads.  I've got everything else, so looks like I'm good to go.  The techniques are odd-count tubular peyote, decreasing, and fringe.  I'm thinking I might do a bit of surface embellishing as well.  

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Here's a little bonus.  I've been going through my bag of old pieces that need reworking/remaking/recycling.  I found a leather pouch with a beaded accent piece that I haven't used in a dozen years.  I reworked the piece into a necklace.  It's my goal to finish taking care of all the pieces in the rework bag before the end of the year.
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Cheers!

11.24.2009

Project Four - Home Stretch

After completely finishing the principle beadwork, lining the bag and attaching the magnetic clasp, I sat back to decide what sort of handle I'd like on this.  That's when I realized I'd finished it UPSIDE DOWN.
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A few hours later, after completely finishing the principle beadwork, lining the bag and so on, I've decided what sort of handle I'm going to make.  But that's for the final post on this project and another day.
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Attaching the chamois lining to the top.
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Preparing to stitch up the bottom.
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I want to have this done before Thanksgiving, as I'm kinda eager to get going on Projects Five and Six (Two-Carrot Earrings and Mortimer the Figure Pin).

11.16.2009

Project Four In The Middle


Made a few changes to the chart, and the colors.  This is more fun than I thought it would be.

I made a cardboard support tube to keep the bead weaving relatively even, since I'm using different types of seed beads.  Just 'cuz it says size 11 doesn't mean they're the same dimensions.


It's a little bit wavy in places, but I'm going to try blocking it to get that to even out.  In so many ways this way out of my comfort zone.  Bright colors, following a chart, no improvisation - I'm actually enjoying this.

I need to get back to the beading.

11.12.2009

Beaded ArtVenture; Project Four: The Early Days

We're still plowing our way through Carol Wilcox Wells' book, "Creative Bead Weaving."  This time, I'm going to attempt the Maui Evening Purse, designed by Catherine Harris (pp. 46 - 49).  I've read through the directions and I'm going to do this one my way right out of the gate.
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I'll be changing the colors, using my own chart, leaving off the flap and the loopy fringe, swapping out the fiber cord for leather lacing and attaching the cord to the outside of the bag instead of inside, lining it and giving it an interior snap closure. 
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Basically, I'm keeping the dimensions and the techniques.  
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The materials list includes size 11 seed beads - YAY!!!!.  I won't need the accent beads since I'm not doing the looped fringe but I will need some size 3 seeds for the strap.  Cardboard tube - hmm.  I didn't use one with the last project, but this one is much larger in diameter so I'll give it a shot again.  For my variation, I'm also going to need a big snap and some lining fabric.
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The techniques include even count tubular peyote and odd count flat peyote.  Since I'm not doing the flap, I won't be decreasing, but I got plenty of practice on that with Project Three.  They don't call reading a chart a technique, but I think that's a skill, too, and I'd like to work on that.  Not only reading a chart, but creating one, too.
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After a few years of "test-driving" the software, I resolved to get serious about creating my own charts and I purchased the program.  It's BeadTool 4, and it is AWESOME.  I spent a few days trying to chart my design with bead graph paper and colored pencils, wasting a lot of time and not being able to read my own pattern.  With the BeadTool I had exactly what I wanted within an hour.   I couldn't be more delighted.

Now, this doesn't really reflect what I'm actually going to do as far as the colors go, but I know what I'm up to and that's what matters.  Finally I can get down to the beading!

11.08.2009

Project Three Complete


Momma's Sunday Suit
When I finished this today I sat back and looked at it and was completely taken by surprise.  It reminds me very strongly of my mother's favorite church-goin' wool suit.  Salt and pepper tweed with fancy buttons.

I guess I ended up doing this my way after all, with the exception of the seed bead type.  I really would have used seed beads instead of cylinder beads.  One of the lessons I learned from this is that tubular peyote with cylinders results in a very stiff structure, and I prefer a much more supple weaving.  I also got lots of practice making uneven flat peyote and fringe.
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How I changed the pattern:  I used a mix of colors instead of solid blocks of color.  I left out the "window" in the back of the body of the bag.  I decided to use the front window as a buttonhole and used a vintage button for a closure (Kathy's pattern uses the window as a decorative accent).



Instead of splitting the strap and connecting the halves with bicone crystals, I worked short pieces of uneven flat peyote and connected them with Picasso jasper cubes.  I was running very low on the beads after I finished the fringe and decided to finish the strap with chain and give it a toggle clasp (Kathy's pattern has a continuous strap with no closure).
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So with this one, I'm gonna call it good.  One's enough.  But it DID confirm my opinion of cylinder beads.  And whenever a pattern calls for them, I'm going to do my dead level best to substitute seed beads.

Next time:  Maui Evening Purse (massively modified)!

11.07.2009

Still Working on Project Three


I opted to work on the flap separately - it was easier to manipulate the piece what with the decreases and putting in the 'window.'

This is a shot of the front with the flap open.  I started the strap as I attached the flap to the body.

And this is the back view.  Kathy Robin's pattern has a "window" in the back, but I thought - what would be the point of that?   And as I look at the one on the flap, it looks like a buttonhole to me.  Next thing I know, the box of vintage buttons calls to me . . . 
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I'm looking over the directions for the strap and I don't think it's going to work for me.  More adaptation ahead - but the fringe!  This pattern calls for THREE ROWS of fringe!  If I didn't know fringe technique before, I sure will by the time this is done. 

11.04.2009

Working on Project Three

Project Three being "Electric Blues Amulet Bag" designed by Kathy Robin, from the book, Creative Bead Weaving (Carol Wilcox Wells), pp. 40-45.  Going through the materials list, looks like I can substitute all of the accent beads for things I have on hand.  But . . . cylinder beads.  Again.

This is my second try at coming up with a color combination.  The first one was so bad I ditched it faster than I could record it for posterity.  I want to remember my mistakes - that's how I learn.

This is turning out to be a much bigger headache than I anticipated - primarily because it's those freakin' teeny cylinder beads again. I don't have anything like enough of one color for this project, and it's taken me three tries to be happy with the solution I'm settling on. Which wasted my entire day off.


I really like this combination - has a sort of winter tweed feel to it.  Of course it means I'm tossing out the charted pattern, but I am keeping to the shape of the design. 

In the materials list, it says "cardboard tube."  As I started the beading I really tried using one, but it felt so clumsy, I decided just to use my fingers instead. 




I know I was supposed to finish making the body of the bag first, but I was so curious as to how the mechanics of making the bottom of the bag would work that I went ahead and did that.  And it was interesting.  It certainly broke up the monotony of doing the tubular peyote part.  By tomorrow I can move on to the next technique - uneven flat peyote with decreases.  Should be a challenge.

10.31.2009

Project Two - My Way


Hecate's Lariat
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The beaded beads for this went MUCH faster - each one took about 8 minutes.  I used black size 11 seed beads, shiny and matte,  and they whipped together like a dream.  I think they look like blackberries, actually, which gives me an idea for a bracelet . . . but that's for another time.  
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I'm the first to admit this is nothing special, but I wanted to finish it in time for Halloween - I sort of cheated by using the red rose beads instead of making as many beaded beads as I'd originally intended.   Later, I'll most likely do a few things to it - add more silver, subtract some of the red, trade size 11s for the size 8s I have strung between the beaded beads and skulls - stuff like that.  Right now it feels a little on the clunky side, but it has the impact I wanted and for tonight, that's all that matters.
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Next time: "Electric Blues Amulet Purse."  Cheers!

10.29.2009

Intermission

This is just a short break between projects to ask all my readers to visit Beadedbear's Nonsense and Complete Waste of Time - and if ever a blog was misnamed, this is it - and read THIS POST.  Sig totally nails this very important issue.

And tell all your beading/crafting friends to check it out, too.  I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important the information she has to share truly is.  So, go.  Read.  And heed.   Everyone be safe.

10.27.2009

Project Two - Their Way (sort of)

The next project is the Small Beaded-Bead Lariat, designed by Deneen Matson (Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells, pp. 38,39).
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Aw jeez.  More cylinder beads?  Nothing against the teeny tubes, mind you.  I can see the point of using them in certain circumstances - but they're so TINY!  My fingers don't like them.  And I don't think they're very interesting. Each one exactly like the other - that's great when your design demands uniformity, but my eyes just slide over their surface and don't catch on anything.
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This project is an exception, as it includes surface embellishment on the beaded beads, but still.  My inventory on these is pretty low, so I have the problem of working out if there are enough.  I found this really handy website: All Info About Jewelry Making and it should help, but honestly.  Why hasn't anyone made a chart of bead counts per teaspoon?  We ALL have teaspoon measures - life would be so much simpler.  *sigh*
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My Cylinder Bead Stash
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The materials list is pretty short and sweet - just two colors of size 11 cylinder beads. 10 grams (or 1900 beads) of each color, if the conversion chart is to be trusted. Hmm. How many size 11 cylinder beads in a teaspoon? About 550. I just counted them. So - almost four teaspoons? Umm - I only have about 2 teaspoons full of any one color. So instead of two colors, I'm using maybe ten. And as I think about it, each of the larger beaded beads  uses 40 beads for its base. I'll need around 1250 for the bases and another 300 for the stringing between the beaded beads. Maybe 1000 tops for the embellishment and a little fringie thing at each end. I should have plenty of beads for this. I hope.  
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The techniques list indicates 1. even count flat peyote (I know this one), 2. odd count flat peyote (Yay! something I've avoided in the past and now must tackle) and 3. surface embellishing (I've done a lot of this with free form peyote so I grasp the concept).
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Okay. The first step is to make 32 'pieces.' The second step is zipping the pieces into tubes. Seems like it would be easier to just zip as I go. So I'll make 32 tubes. The pictured lariat has 7 tubes/beaded-beads of one size, 21 of the same size but a different color, then four more of another size. Step three is the embellishing - I love that word. This is where I can go sort of nuts with personalizing the design.
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Whoa. I have to check the size on these. They seem awful tiny to me - like 15s. *sigh* yup, the 11s really are that small. Didn't seem that way when I was working the flat peyote piece - but trying to bend these little tiny buggers into tubes is tricky. (note to self - what about making a bracelet length tube for a bangle?)
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Linking them together seems simple enough - but I think stringing four or five non-embellished beads in the middle makes more sense - the lariat would lie better along the back of the neck.
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The final step mentions adding "a few fringes to both ends of the necklace." Page 31 has the basic info for adding fringe. Another place to individualize the project, eh?

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Good lord. It took me all freakin' day to figure out how to do the embellishment. I kept trying to add beads to the surface all around, instead of making a band around the bead attached only in one place. Adding beads to the surface was kind of cool, but I wanted to at least try to follow the instructions. Now that I've rounded that particular learning curve I can get on with this. 
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So weave the base, zip it up, attach the band. Deneen refers to the bead base size by width and depth, instead of column and row (which I'm more familiar with). I'll vary the width from 8 to 11 beads and use a depth of 10 for all of them. I'll use different colors in the same family for the embellishment bands on about half of them.

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Each bead took me 15 minutes to whip up because of my fudgy fingers. All told, I think this took about 8 hours to do.  Check this out - it's an online stopwatch! Now you too can figure out just how long it takes to bead a beaded bead (say that three times fast).

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So here it is, their way. Sort of. I veered away from Deneen's design in that I decided not to make some of the beaded beads look like little dumbbells, I used a lot more colors than suggested and I made the beads that will lie along the back of the neck without embellishment. I put 11 beads instead of 9 between each beaded bead as I was stringing them together. I gave each end five fringes instead of three and made them a little more delicate in appearance. Other than that, it's exactly the same! ;-)
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Now to have at it, my way! My version should go a LOT faster! See ya next time!!

10.22.2009

Project One - My Way

For every project that I attempt during my ArtVenture, I'll be creating my own variation on the theme - and so here's my version of the Beaded Barrette.

I don't know about other beaders, but I always have one heck of a time trying to estimate how many beads I'm going to need for a project.  Being neither a drug dealer nor pro bead seller (insert your own joke there), I don't have access to a little calibrated scale that I can use to measure out a gram of something.  So I never really know until I'm deep into beading if I have enough of a particular color or size on hand.  This is one of the many, MANY reasons I love free form peyote.  Don't have to over-think things.

With free form, I just round up a bunch of beads I really like, throw them all in a dish to see if they play well together, and then go for it.  One of the interesting challenges with making a free form barrette is making sure the piece will be light enough.  Have to stick with smaller, less ornate beads.  It'd be a drag to invest a lot of time just to end up with a barrette that slips down from its own weight.

I have always loved Picasso jasper, and I had some small rounds and cubes in the stash.  My prototypes usually end up in my jewelry box, so I go with my main favs.  After about two hours of beading, here it is.
 
Shades of the Deep

 
My friend (and professional artist) TJ says most of my free form peyote looks like how she imagines dry riverbeds in Faery must appear.  I like that description.  I wore the barrette all day; it's lightweight and comfortable.  And it looks great in old lady hair, too.

I'm still having fun, and I hope you are, too.  Next time:  The Small Beaded Bead Lariat

10.20.2009

The Beaded ArtVenture Begins!

I'm starting off my ArtVenture with the first project in the book, Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells - pp. 36,37.  The designer is Wendy Ellsworth.  I can't show you the actual pages from the book here, or print out the instructions (for obvious copyright reasons), so I hope what I tell you about my experience will be descriptive enough that you won't feel you need to run out and buy the book to follow along.  Not that you shouldn't buy the book.  It's a pretty terrific book or I wouldn't be doing this.  Most beaders have a copy of this anyway - or so I'm told. Enough lead-in - let's get to the action.

My first step: look over the materials list.  Hoo boy.  Hex cut cylinder beads?  I'll be lucky if I can rustle up ANY cylinder beads, much less hex cut.  French-style barrette.  I have no idea what that is, but I know I bought a bunch of barrettes at Big Lots a few years ago, and I think I know where they are.  Leather strip, leather glue, bead glue - check, check and check.



French barrettes.





The barrettes I have on hand.


Close enough.  It sort of HAS to be.
I found a box with some tubes of Delicas and Toho Treasures - leftovers from a long-ago project . . . and none of them are hex cuts, but I don't think that's going to make any real difference.  There is a little problem, though.  The size is much, much different.  The finished size of Wendy's barrette is 3"x3/8"x3/8".  My barrette will be 1 7/8"x1 9/16".  Guess the design chart is out the window.  But that's okay - I'll just adapt Wendy's diamond pattern - make it a God's Eye.

I'll work a small piece of flat even count peyote and mount it to the barrette's face - looking over the instructions that would mean I don't need the leather or the leather glue.

Now I need to figure out how many beads wide and high.  I strung 32 beads and it looks like that should work for the width.

Drawing the chart was fairly simple - I have lots of colored pencils, and plenty of beading graph paper, thanks to the nice folks at the Black Giraffe.  And if anybody thinks following a chart is easy, even if you drew it, THINK AGAIN.  Especially if you're easily distracted or have too much going on at once (just call me Princess Short-Attention-Span).


Once I got to the center of the pattern, I realized it would end up with too many rows.  I pulled out the first few rows, and it evened up okay.

I like how this came out, and while it's inspired by Wendy's design, it's divergent enough to call my own.  But I love the texture and visual interest of free form peyote so much more than flat even count.  My next post will be my adaptation which will bear NO resemblance to the original and we'll compare and contrast.

Are we having fun yet?  

WE HAVE A WINNER!!


Yay Arline!
abeadlady, check your email!!  And many, many thanks to everyone who left a comment, and to all the followers of this blog - all 56 of you!!!

Next post, I'll attack the Beaded Barrette.  I need to come up with a good name for the overall project.  Hmm.  How does "The Beaded ArtVenture" sound?

Aside:  Big congrats to Darcy - The Jade Dog - for her big win!  You go, grrl!!

(lead-in graphic is from Papyrus Designs via Print Shop Deluxe 15)

10.11.2009

TA DA! 300 POSTS!! WOOHOO!!!!

I finished my bracelet box, too!


Welcome to Blog Post #300! It's a milestone for me and I'm celebrating with a drawing for a Fabulous Prize - leave a comment on this post and your name will go into my trusty pith helmet.
EDIT:  CONTEST HAS  ENDED!

EDIT: CONTEST HAS ENDED!

After ten days, I'll have a drawing (supervised closely by Montag and Carmen) and announce the winner here! There's a picture of the prize at the end of this post (CONGRATS TO ABEADLADY, WINNER OF THE DRAWING!), and now on to the regularly scheduled nonsense:

You've all probably heard about the movie, "Julie and Julia." Before it was a movie, it was a book - "Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen". Before it was a book, it was blog - The Julie/Julia Project. If you haven't heard about it, here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_and_Julia

Briefly, It's the story of a young woman attempting to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," in a year.  Me?  I hate to cook. It is absolutely not my thing. Which is not to say that I don't cook. I do, and I do it well. I just don't enjoy it. I think it's boring.

However, I DO love to bead interesting things. This IS my thing. On reflection, though, my repertoire of stitches is actually quite small. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that I feel the need to grow my skills. I want – no, I need to learn every single seed bead and beadweaving technique that exists. And not just learn them - MASTER them. Sometimes when I'm designing a piece, I don't know exactly how I'm going to take it from sketch to three dimensional object and I end up making all sorts of compromises.

Well, no more. With Julie Powell inspiring me to be tenacious, having a library full of the best instructional and design books a beader could want, armed with the ability to learn just about anything from a book and possessing an ENORMOUS stock of beading supplies, I've decided I'm going to make almost* every project in the following books:

Creative Bead Weaving by Carol Wilcox Wells
The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells
Seed Bead Stitching by Beth Stone

And as if all that were not enough, I'll tackle the projects contained in four of the "Beadwork Creates" series: Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings and Beads.

That should fairly well stomp to death every seed bead technique that exists, but if I've missed any, I'll gladly take suggestions. I'm not saying I'll be entirely faithful to all the directions, and especially not to the suggested materials - to copy designs exactly would be far too boring, but more importantly my bead stash does have its limits! I'm determined to enjoy this, and if the going gets ho-hum, I'll do my damnedest to rev it up to where I need it to be. I plan to make each of the projects MINE. I'm not going to buy any more beads until this is through, so I'll most likely make a LOT of interesting substitutions.

My blog here is now the chronicle of this endeavor - and with luck my daily efforts, be they brilliant successes or abysmal failures, will provide entertainment for us all. All this will kick in as soon as I get back from vacation, in about 10 days – right around the time we have the drawing, so don't forget to leave your comment!

Next Episode: Morwyn vs. The Beaded Barrette (from Creative Bead Weaving)

Oh,and before I forget - here's the prize for the drawing -

The Beader's Guide To Color by Margie Deeb

EDIT:  CONTEST HAS ENDED!

* I say 'almost' because if its a stringing project, I'm skipping it. For me, stringing is - well, you know.

9.25.2009

Post #299 - Catching Up & Clearing the Decks, Parts 1 & 2

Everything is going slower than I'd like, so rather than wait until this post (and what that entails) is all tied up with a bow, I'll report on the state of things around the studio at the moment. I'm working with a slight handicap this week. I managed to make mincemeat out of the tips of the fingers on my left hand. Suffice it to say, typing - and beading - are a much larger adventure than ever intended. I've made progress; I can actually see the corners and edges of my worktable.

THE ICEMAN WILL SEE YOU NOW:

I had finished all the beadwork quite some time ago, but was puttering along on the shadowbox.

HERE'S MY CARD:

The right angle weave practice piece turned into a nice little business card case.

REGENERATION:



The rebuild on my little broken bracelet is complete.


LOOMING HEART:

I haven't done any loomed bead work in a long time and decided I needed to practice - I have an idea for some eyeglass cases - so I worked up this chunk. It became a (not very good) bracelet that I've taken to wearing all the time. In the beading process I worked out all my mistakes, and also decided I'd rather try square stitch than loomwork for the project I have in mind.

EDIT: Had to bring things up to date but I'm not ready for Post #300 yet, so here we go.

RONDO A LA ME:

Darcy (The Jade Dog) sent me some of her handformed rings for chainmaille, and I put together this somewhat simplified version of the Rondo a la Byzantine pattern. It's also my first shot at oxidizing metal. It turned out pretty cool.

ARIZONIA:


Techniques here are bead crochet and stringing. I used lampworked beads from three different makers - the center focal bead is from Canyon Echoes, the large spacer beads are from Scotty Beads, and the smaller spacer beads are from Studio Rent. This looks great with a black cowboy shirt.

SOPHEA:


I had to shelve my plans for the mixed media cuff - I couldn't find several of the elements I wanted for it, but as I was storing some of the bits I had collected, I realized they'd work up nicely into a fringe bracelet. I haven't made one of these in over a year - I'd forgotten how much fun they are to work up. And those 3mm Swarovski pearls I got from Artbeads are peeking out here and there - the subtle sheen of the colors add just the right touch.

*I have received the products free of charge from ArtBeads and I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.*

6 October: Here we are again, up to date. Still on the docket are that bracelet box lid bead embroidery and yet another pony - I found it half finished in a forgotten swag bag, along with a cache of lampwork beads and another partially worked bead crochet rope. The more I think about it, the more I realize I'd rather move on to My Next Phase than finish the pony, do something with all those lampwork beads or finish the rope, so I'm putting all my concentration on completing the bracelet box.

Seems like it never ends. Or at least, I hope not.

And remember, Post #300 (and the Big Drawing for a Prize) cannot be far away now, so



KEEP WATCHING!

Oh, and one more thing - do any of the readers of this blog have any opinions on the selling venues of Art Fire or 1000 Markets? Let me know what you think!