Tuesday, February 11, 2014

OTTBS, or how I learned to love blogging, again

Beading is my passion! Designing, creating or just playing with the little bits of colored glass, stones, thread and needles brings me great joy. Left to my devices, I would do little but bead, morning to dusk.  If it weren't for my immediate family getting me up for walkies, play and food, I would be found, shriveled to a husk, needle in hand and beads before me!
Blogging used to be so fun. It was easy to add some photos, write a bit of text, then post and see who shared in your dreams and excitement. Then, Google made it all 'important looking' and much more 'nerdy'. I am sure that, with time and poking about, the new format will make sense to me and I will dash off a blog with no more care than before the changes.
The newest impetus to do so comes from a wonderful Facebook bead group Operation Tackle That Bead Stash. The group sponsors several challenges a month to help us reduce our stash, so we are not overwhelmed and covered in all the beads we have, along with all the new bead styles, colors, shapes and sizes we covet. Part of the challenge includes blogging about your entry. This is just the push I needed!
The earrings above are from the newest challenge, Beads In Motion, Beads, Book and Bounce . Mouse over the wordage, then click on the link for more information on either OTTBS or the book and challenge.
  The pattern for the earrings pictured above is a free one, and the link is contained within the Beads in Motion, Beads, Book and Bounce post on the blog. I didn't have the chain required for the bottom bit, so got creative and used size 15 seedies, instead. I substituted Swarovski Element Crystal Pearls, Chinese faceted roundelles and Czech FP in the dangles, as well, to go along with the fun look created by the colors of the main parts.
The pattern was easy to follow, and I had only a little bit of trouble with the flat part that holds the dangles. When it was embellished, it was much too tight to allow my seed beads through. I think even the chains would have had difficulty being pulled through, next to the main circle. I created a second piece, adding two rows to the base, which solved the problem. I really feel part of this was due to the beads I chose for the main circle, which were frosted, matte 11s. Those can be slightly thicker than plain, opaque seed beads. Add to that my tight tension, and it needed just the two extra rows to be a perfect fit.
My loving hubby, Kurt, bought me both copper and black, diamond-cut fine chain, when he visited our chiropractor earlier this week, as a surprise! Now, I think I will make the pattern just as Marcia DeCoster designed it!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Freya's Cat






Freya, Norse Goddess of Beauty, Love, and War- loves the moon(his real moonstone crown), spirals (on his back), tritek (the symbol on the back of his head), and the Rune 'Cen' or Torch, symbolizing magic and knowledge. Her cats pulled her chariot, or cart, sometimes flying if needed.
Strangely enough, there are images of cats with vestiges of wings, and these real, everyday cats have extra bones at the shoulders, and their feathery fur looks much like the Angelina fibers shaped for this cat.


Created for the Stone Goddesses and their Winged Creatures Challenge at Beaded_Art_Dolls yahoo group, he started out as an ordinary Mickey D toy, that was rescued from being pinned to a wall as a joke at an art exhibit. Now he is his regal self, ready to serve the Goddess Freya, as needed.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Update and Spring




This is a completed piece, from my free pattern a few weeks ago.
It is always interesting to see what direction a particular piece of beadwork decides to go. I thought this would be a nice bracelet, and it would, for someone in cooler climes, or who doesn't sweat like a racehorse! I was afraid the dyed purple Delicas would not stand up to it.
But I just couldn't stop. There was all that warping that would be wasted, and the nit-picky needling through the beads, avoiding the warp threads. Soooo
One day, it struck me! This is to be a bit for the center of a piece that will be a wedding gift. It will be sewn to a fabric-fronted piece of heavy Pellon, then bead-embroidered around the edges of the loom piece, then open space all around, then bead around the edges of the Pellon. Sort of like a double frame, is how I see it. My DH will do some nice calligraphy with their names and wedding date on a piece of hand-made paper, and that will be appliqued to the bottom, and bead-embroidered around.
Now came the fun part; picking the beads that will embellish this.
Why, oh why do I always want to pick the beads at night, when it's dark in the house, no matter how much light I shine?? At least I had sense enough to go to bed afterward, and play Let's Triage This Project's Beads in the morning on the deck.
This is what I started with- lots and lots of colors and styles I thought would work.
This is what was left after triaging, and will probably be further culled, but I like that each of the colors in the loomed piece is represented in each seed bead size.
I can't show you what the fabric looks like, because I used a spray glue to attach it to the Pellon, and it needs an hour to dry, so that will be later.

But, in case you thought this was all I was doing, here are a couple more projects;
A pair of wire and lampwork earrings- Sharon 'Harry' Solly made the lampwork- I did the rest. Tracy Smith of the UK designed the original. I played with it, and made these from her photo.
Also did a bracelet from one of the bits that got torn apart in my cleaning and clearing frenzy!
Embellished it to within an inch of its life!

Then, there is the 3-4 mile walk around our loops every day with TippyDogg, who also got a bath and a haircut. Lots of wildflowers to see and learn where they are. Here are just a few- more at another time.







I know these are the more common ones, but they are the only ones I have ready to go!
Happy Beading, Walking and I hope your Spring is wonderful!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Snip-snap! Free patterns out of all the cut up beads!


Just click on each photo to make them singular for printing, and full size, so you can see the beads. The top one is about 3" wide. The bottom onw, who know? Probably best for an amulet bag cover.
They both came from a pattern I found on the internet of free Moroccan patterns.
Here it is:
I had a bunch of beads that just wouldn't behave to be lengthened from a flat pendant into a bracelet. Sigh. That odd count peyote with cutouts and straps is best done all at once.
So came up with this pattern, using those colors.
The purple is Delica 1345, the bright pink is Delica 56, the softer pink is Delica 1066 (matte), the green inside the 'skirts' and hearts is Delica 122, The white is Delica 883(matte), and the background is Delica 332(matte).
I think it looks like a magic carpet. Hope it takes you for a nice ride!!
Hppy Beading!
Aryd'ell

Monday, April 29, 2013

Create, copy, or what?

Orignal design by Genny Smiith.


There has been an interesting discussion on copyright, with a new twist, over at the Beaddreamz yahoo group. It all began with a member sharing the link to Jean Power's blog post over this, and two articles in Bead and Button magazine.
Here is her post:
"If you've seen the Bead & Button Feb. '13 issue, you may have read the article
(yes, another one!) on copyright thoughts by famous designers. The same issue
included a pattern for a 'knock off' of an Elizabeth Taylor necklace. This
bothered lots of beaders, including Jean Power. Jean has just published her take
on the issue, and it is a long but good read for ALL beaders. Here's the link to
her blog post:
http://www.jeanpower.com/blog/2013/04/19/
This has also been linked on her Facebook page where scads of beaders have also
 left their comments. Put the needle down for a bit and please read"

This was my reply, mostly in agreement.
"Here is a photo of a bracelet variation on a pattern by Smadar Grossman. I am
lucky (or anal enough) to be able to see how to do many patterns by other
beaders, after years of beading.
So, this bracelet is a variation on hers- I made it thinner and put crystals
down the center bits, and used two colors in a different design.
Would I write out and sell this pattern as mine, now?
No.
Do I give Smadar credit for both inspiring me and the original design?
Yes.
If someone wanted to buy this off my wrist, would I turn them down?
No.
Would I make a lot of them and sell them on Etsy or Artfire?
No.
The latter would be more because I am not fond of making the same thing twice,
but still, if I wanted to make and sell them, I would contact the designer and
ask if it is OK.
That is just common courtesy.
After watching a friend, who is struggling to support her family while holding
down a full time job, and creating, then spending hours and hours getting a
pattern with photos and diagrams just right, to supplement what her family
needs, I can understand the teensy extra she adds for commercial use patterns.
If someone is going to be teaching a class, making way more than the extra $
paid for the commercial use pattern, why would they complain? They don't have to
figure out bead counts, thread paths, etc. The students that don't finish in
class end up with a pattern they can take home (that was NOT purchased from the
designer!). I don't understand why this is a problem.
I do not see a problem in teaching a friend who loves something I am wearing how
to do it, though. I am not making money on it, and they probably would not
purchase the pattern.
This is Earth, not a perfect world, and so we have to accept that people are
what they are; some nice, some not, and try to not get our knickers into twists
over it. That takes our attention from beading, enjoying our lives, and being
nice, ourselves.
I do have to say that if someone sees a design of mine, and takes the time to
figure it out without purchasing a pattern, I am more than flattered! That is an
awful lot of work, often involving much frog stitching, and that they would go
to all that trouble means they really like what I created. I hope they would
give me credit for the original design, but if they don't, the Universe is not
going to stop spinning, I will not stop designing, and Life will go on being
happy for me, because I decide to make it so.
Karma is a b*tch with a long memory, so I do my best to play fair, I give the
others the benefit that they will do the same, and don't worry about the ones
 who don't. It will all catch up to them eventually."

The photos above are:
Earrings, my design after seeing a photo of some a friend made, using a different style hole crystal, and a different stitch altogether.
A bracelet I watched a friend design, that I understood the principles behind how the stitches went together, and had a photo she shared that helped with bead counts.
A bracelet I figured out from seeing a photo online.
In all three, I give the original designers credit.
Why would I not?

But, bottom line is, if you put it out into a public venue of any sort at all, even just wearing your creation to the grocery store, you run the risk of someone copying it.
Realize that, and let it go.
Life has many more challenges that require our attention.
Be happy. Be nice. Play fair.
You will sleep well at night and your friends will love you.
Happy Beading AND Creating!
Aryd'ell

What I am doing now- a couple great thread tips

Do you ever get tired of grabbing your Fireline or other large, flat spools, and finding the little pieces of tape that hold the thread from coming off have given way, or disappeared altogether?
Do your spools tangle?
Are you disappointed in the spool holders you got in the fishing department, that are supposed to keep the spools in place, with little rubber-lined openings for the threads to be pulled out? Do these work fine as long as you keep them at home, and don't knock them around, but as soon as you take them somewhere, the threads come off their spools as they rattle around, and tangle when you pull the threads? Do you gnash your teeth when you have to open the box and once again tighten the thread around each spool?
Do you throw the entire thing across the room?
Do you have regulation-size thread spools of Sono or other threads, that the thread end just won't go into or stay into the little cut on the side of the spool?
If you can claim any of these, there IS a solution.
I have to give credit to Sherry Grove, for first showing me this.
I must hang my head in shame for waiting 3 YEARS to implement this wonderful tip.
Sigh. I don't know if I am stubborn, or just lazy.
But, I am glad I started now. That little purple pencil box now holds over 900 yards of various threads, with room for about another 600!
And, the thread will never, ever, EVER tangle again!
The trick?
Kumihimo bobbins!
These are the smaller bobbins, though I did purchase some of the larger ones to try, this past weekend.
I used our cordless drill, two children's paintbrushes, and a nose tissue.
Put the spool you wish to empty onto the wooden end of the paintbrush, and hold it upright between your legs, while you are sitting comfortably.
Put the empty bobbin onto another paintbrush, sliding it down the handle toward the bristles until it is firmly in place. You can use a dowel, or whatever the bobbin fits snugly onto, that will fit into the end of your drill.
Place the wooden end of that paintbrush with the bobbin in place into the drill end and tighten firmly.
Wrap the end of the  thread around the opened bobbin in the direction that will allow it to fill. You will have to redo this if you wrap in the wrong direction.
Holding the thread that is stretched lightly between the drill and the spool on the paintbrush between your leg with the tissue, start the drill with your other hand. Watch to see if the bobbin is filling or unwinding. Use the tissue holding the thread to both clean off the black and to move the thread up and down the bobbin you are filling, so that it is filled evenly from top to bottom.
The 125 yard spools of Fireline, Dandyline, Power Pro and SpiderWire Stealth all fit perfectly onto the spools, up to the 10# size.
The 300 yard spools of Fireline fit onto them, up to the 8 # size.
If your thread is 20# or more, you may need two or more bobbins.
YOU WILL NEED TO THREAD THESE FROM THE END YOU PULL, NOT THE END YOU CUT.
This is the opposite of what you do, if you use the thread from their original spools.
Otherwise, you risk more tangles.
Remove the paintbrush from the drill, take the bobbin off, make sure the thread is near the inside of the fold, then fold over the other edge.
Voila! No more escaping thread ends! You can toss these into any container without worry.
Now, for the smaller, regulation style spools of thread, like Sono, KO, etc, I put them onto my sewing machine and used bobbins from a machine that I no longer own, that will not work with my current machine. A full spool of 125 yards takes two sewing machine bobbins. I wish I had had enough kumihimo bobbins to put these threads onto them, but I didn't, and was impatient. I did give each their own TINY plastic bag, with the thread coming out of a hole I poked into it. The bobbins just fit and turn inside the bags. I don't know where I got these bags, but they were perfect. So far, the thread comes off without tangles, but I will put any new threads I buy onto the kumihimo bobbins, as they are more easily purchased, and self-close.
These threads you will need to put onto the end you cut, just the opposite of what you did on their original spools, for the same reason listed above.

Now, for the past tip, and I do not remember who first told me this. Again, WHY did I WAIT so long to try it??
Geez Louise!
Here it is, and it is so simple. Please don't disregard it like I did, for so long....
Use beeswax to run your Fireline through before using, especially the smoke!
The black won't come off on your hands (and no amount of running it through cloth, paper towel, etc really gets it clean) and it will tangle much less.
So, there you go.
Have fun playing with these tips, and Happy Beading!
Aryd'ell