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.


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


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


The rebuild on my little broken bracelet is complete.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


Taking a Break, Artbeads!, & Wandering Into Craft Stores (Post #298)

TAKING A BREAK FROM 'BROIDERY: I'm feeling overwhelmed; the creative flow has been diverted, I have so many projects planned out I've lost the oomph to work on any of them, and I've been rooting through my static bead stash so many times nothing is sparking new ideas. I feel like I'm doing the same stitches over and over and it doesn't feel like fun. So I set my bracelet box lid aside for a while and I'm taking a short break from the bead embroidery. I want to do Something Else. Something Interesting. Something New.

BOPPING OUTTA THE COMFORT ZONE: Yesterday was errand day - doctors' appointments, laundromat, grocery shopping, picking up mail from our post box - and YAY! My Artbeads order came in -

I kept coming across their website whenever I would play with the Stumble toolbar and search for beadwork. Since I spend so much time with my nose in the seed beads, I had no idea there were so many colors and sizes of Swarovski pearls - I'd been thinking about doing a mixed media cuff and the 3mm ones will be perfect for what I've sketched out.

*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.*

KICKING AROUND IN CRAFT STORES: Asa needed to shop at a natural grocery, which just happens to be in the same shopping center as Big Name Craft Store. So I wandered in there - UNSUPERVISED - and gravitated to the bead aisle, where there's a 50% sale on some nifty stuff but I managed to escape only $30 poorer. Then Asa wanted to look for some Ian Rankin books at the Hastings across the street, which just happens to have Rival Big Name Craft Store in its shopping center. Once again I wandered around - UNSUPERVISED - and found the big clearance section that just happened to have a few beads and bounced outta there with a $35 dent in my wallet. Good thing errands were done at this point and we could head home, me hugging all my new loot to my chest like a life preserver.
I spent the afternoon happily sorting through the new stuff, matching it to some old stuff, drawing new sketches and getting ready to play with my new tiny pearls - the river of creativity is flowing right by my front door again. It's a shame I have to work the day job today - but since it's State Fair season, it could be slow enough to have some play time.

AND REMEMBER: We're almost at Post Three Hundred! KEEP WATCHING!!

(This makes things seem a lot more exciting than they will ultimately prove to be)


Facebook, The Day Job, A Memory & Some Progress (Post #297)

CALLING OUT MY OWN BRAIN BURP: If you came to my Facebook page and wanted to "friend" me (I shudder at the grammar there every time) and I didn't respond (or worse - ignored you) please try again! I'm still finding my way around and I hit all the wrong buttons during my first few days - it took me three days to see where the Inbox was!

WHY I LOVE MY USED BOOKSTORE: Yesterday morning a fellow beader brought some of her beading books in to Bird Song to sell. I couldn't believe how many there were, what great condition they were in, and how she could bring herself to sell them. Still, I'm glad she brought them to us.
Here's the link to the bookstore blog, wherein I have posted The Haul.

I have a box of personal pieces that need some repair - I made this piece almost 15 years ago with absolutely no idea what I was doing.  The thread has broken in several places, some of the beads have broken - I've beaten it up pretty good.  I was all set to do some repair when I realized the thread - some bargain bin sewing thread - had rotted almost all through it.  I decided to take it apart completely and rebuild it.  I had to take a picture, though, to remember it - and it will be interesting to contrast what it becomes with what it once was.
PROGRESS ON THE BRACELET BOX LID:   As of this morning, here's where I'm at:

REMEMBER: Keep watching this space! Post #300 is just around the corner!


Post #296

The current work in progress is inching along verrrrryyy slowly. But at last I have a new picture to share.

Here's a shot of my beach glass freeform wirewrapped bracelet:
I really love this - I wear it all the time. It's gotten quite a few compliments.

EDIT: I forgot to stuff this in - I've been reading, and enjoying, this blog: Callin' Out On Etsy. I'm glad SOMEONE is watchdogging - clearly the administration at Etsy is unable (for whatever reason) to do the heavy lifting - there are so many jewelry makers on the site, it makes it even that much harder to reach an audience when you have resellers posting crap from Indonesia at ridiculous prices. Consumers are easily distracted by the shinyshinycheapcheap (I know I am). And the same holds true for other crafters - woodworkers, potters, and so on.

So now we're only four posts away (counting this one) from celebrating my 300th post, a giveaway (or two) and a course correction. Once again, I bid you to

(good thing there's only four more to go - I'm running out of appropriately themed fine art posters)


Post #295

That's right. I've succumbed to the most pervasive way ever invented to waste my time and not do any beading. I spent the whole day over there setting up some photo albums, digging up all my old jewelry scans and whatnot. If you'd like to "friend" me (what hideous grammar) - you can find me by searching with my email address: AnotherCountry@q.com

I really am crap with social networking, so forgive me if I don't respond right away!

That brings us one more post closer to the Big Three Oh Oh - I hope you will


Post #294

I was asked the other day if I ever got around to replacing my broken lamp. It HAS been over a month since I mentioned it (I snapped the hinge on my trusty "Sun Light Lamp" from Lights of America).

The answer is no.

I love this lamp. I have a floor model, too, but it's a bit unwieldy so I couldn't drag it up into the 'rumpus room'; however, I worked out a way to keep the table version for a while longer.

There. I fixed it.

The day job has completely eaten my time the last few days, but I'll get back to the beadwork with the next post - which will bring us one post closer to the magic Post Number 300, the drawing for a fabulous prize, and news regarding my new blogging direction.



Post #293

The title of this post is to let you know I'm going to do a giveaway raffle thingie when we hit Post #300. Which won't be long now. It will also signal a new direction for this blog - and I'll tell you all about it when we hit that magic number.

For now, here's an update on the progress of the bracelet box lid: