Sunday, February 28, 2010

See, that wasn't so hard!

Take this

And turn it into THIS!

Take one pattern that looks fun (and turns out to be easy as well! ), add colors you love, then keep on embellishing til it looks and feels right. Ingrid Regan showed us her version on Beaddreamz yahoogroup, and I loved how it looked. I am not a fan of loose strands of beads draping across my beadwork, however, as I am one of those that will hook them on something, then wheeeee, all the beads go flying! I did love how she kept embellishing the original Wiggle Room pattern by Julie Glasser, featured in the Special RAW edition by Bead & Button Magazine, so let my beads tell me what to do when I got to that point. I wanted bling, as I am wearing this to jury duty call tomorrow, but not 'in your face' bling. I also wanted it to feel smooth, but look textured. I think the final product was exactly what I wanted, and worked up in just a few hours!
Take that, you silly Ruffle Cuff ( where these beads were originally to go)!! My Muse and I will go and enjoy a cuppa Constant Comment, a bit of Dog Whisperer on Hulu, and plan our next project together!!
Click on any pic to make it full size.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

More than just a project

For me, beadwork represents how I interact with the world, and can be a true reflection of what I am supposed to pay attention to at that time, learn from, and move on...alot can be gleaned from how we choose, bead, react to and interact with our beads and patterns.
Case in point;Rachel Nelson-Smith's Retro Ruffles Cuff, which graced the front of the Beadwork Vol 13, #2 Feb-March 2010 issue.
I knew I loved it when I first saw the cover.
I knew it was going to be a PITA, even tho I love brick stitch, and probably should just enjoy the photo, instead of beading the bracelet.
I knew at BeadGroup I should ignore that this was next week's project, bring my own project to do, and have fun with the group.
Did I listen to any of the above?
This is the learning part, and a part that is essential to growing into ourselves; do we listen to that small, still voice that both encourages and warns, depending on the situation?
Call it your Muse, your conscience, your Higher Self, your Inner Master- call it what you will, but ignore it at peril of time, energy, and the ability to move forward, past blocks that hinder your growth.
The colors, bead sizes and styles, even the clasp 'button' were not issues. Everything seemed to fall right into place. The first row went well, and as I noticed her photo showed tubular, straight-sided 6o beads for that center portion, I avoided the mistake of using the more donut-shaped 6o Czech beads. Mine sat nicely next to each other, at least until I got to the loop for the clasp.
Ever try to get tubular beads to turn into a nice loop, end to end?? So doesn't want to happen!
Still, with a bit of coaxing at the thread points, I managed to open the outside ends a bit, and got a sort of oval loop. At least my center row wasn't all wonky, like those who used the Czech 6o beads were experiencing.
Not bad, I thought....shoulda paid more attention to that little voice. It was saying "This is your first warning....this pattern is NOT for you!"
Marching on, I managed to add the 8o beads along both sides of the 6o center, not adding too many as I filled in the gaps, so that it laid fairly flat. On a bit of a nudge from the Muse (I never ignore the creative nudges), I then added 3- 15o copper charlottes over the top of and between each 6o, using the previously added row of 8o to anchor them. Now, that looked nice. The loop was coming more into shape, and my turquoise stone heart for the clasp fit through it OK, so added an 11o copper-lined bead into each 6o end that was going to show in the center of the clasp.
VOILA! No more thread showing there. Good ideas, eh?
Pressing onward, I added the two more rows of 8o, and noticed the bracelet was getting mighty stiff. I know myself, I know I bead tightly, and was trying my best to just let the beads sit closely, without pulling on the thread for dear life after each bead, but still this bracelet was stiffening up like crazy!
Another warning from the Muse....this ain't gonna work out the way you want it to, Dearie.
Do I pay attention?
Hell no.
I press onward, add first one row of 11o ( well, I can't tell if it isn't going to work out if I don't really try it with them, can I?), then another...
I sit and admire my work so far; the colors are nice, the finishes on the beads are really complementing each other, it IS a LITTLE stiff, but I can work with that- it will 'ride down with wear', as Mr. Humphries would say on Are You Being Served.
I get the bright idea to bring the sides together, poke the Heart clasp end through, and see how THAT looks.
Damn thing won't lay right, won't stay in the hole, and looks awful!
OK, maybe I need more beads between the Heart and the end.
Cut off Heart, add more beads, put together again, Heart won't stay in.
Mumble under breath.
Curse softly.
Dogs get nervous, cats decide to warm themselves elsewhere.
Big decision to make; do I keep going, find a different button for the end, give up, keep it to remind myself to listen to the warnings in the first place, cut it up?
Take a good look at it- should have changed out tubular 6o for the Czech donut 6o around the loop- this would have made the loop lie flat, I think.
Maybe not- the original in the photo seemed to curl up, as well.
It was going to be stiff and wonky.
I am not really a fan of either.
Keep or cut...hmm, not a choice for me. Too OCD.
Cut away- interesting how fast it all comes apart and actually almost separates itself into the correct colors and size beads in piles- now THERE is a sign for ya!
Making something else with same beads, the 2nd project in the RAW special B & B magazine- Wiggle Room. It is practically making itself.
Lesson accepted, and I hope, learned.
Listen to that small voice- it is your best self, trying to get your attention.
So, what would YOU do, faced with these choices....there are lessons in all of Life!
Happy Beading!
ps, no I didn't get a photo of it before cutting it up- that, alone, should have been a warning sign!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Last WT teaser pic

Final WT swap pic...can't wait til these arrive home, so I can post the full
pics. It is amazing to me how having beads that I am unfamiliar with has
sparked the creative Muse!!
Thank you, Penny and Bev, for sending me these beautiful beads to play with!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

More WT Swap pics

This is for another swapper...can you guess what it is?? Details after they receive it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What the (WT?) Swap at BDZ

here is a tiny preview of what I made for my swap partner, Penny in UT...
I hope she will like what I created with her beads.

For Gail

This is for you, dear Friend, who watches our Tippy when we have to leave town (and spoils him rotten, and laughs off his faux pas!), fixes us tea, shares hours of interesting conversations on any topic, and doesn't mind me organizing or rearranging her home!
She is also my Mary Kay rep, so the colors are those....wear them in good health, Gail!

Oh Happy Day!!

a packet from Out On A Whim, or Whimbeads, as it is more commonly known, arrived today in my PO box!! In it were two darling silver spiral cat charms, a cute gold cat face, and a 'made with love' silver heart! I already have plans for all of them...and will try to get some earrings made tomorrow with the larger cats. They are all adorable!
And then there are the seed beads, in colors I DO not have-hooray!! Some awesome brown AB 6o, which I cannot get to photograph true to save my life, matching 8o, multi-iris 8o, SL olivine 8o, a SL green which I think is more emerald (think Wizard of Oz Emerald City!) and a mix called Natalie's Jungle Wench!! I love all of them, and have my wonderful friend in Australia, Lynn, to thank for this lovely surprise!
Click on any pic to make it larger..

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Last, but not least

A bit of Turkish crochet, in the form of bangles; one for my FL hostess Friend, Bebee and one for my transportation Queen, Harleen.
I will be taking this form of creating to the upcoming jury selection March 1, in Bryson City :-).

Chocolate Cookoff Coming!

And I enjoyed making this set of a puffy heart, using
Swarovski 4mm bicones and 11o seed beads, with
Hani-Ami technique Earrings that used 3mm Swar
bicones and 14o charlottes. Both are on Sterling Silver.
They are to be the People's Choice Award at the cook-off,
which is this 20th of February in Bryson City, and
benefits the Marianna Black Friends of the Library.
The MBFOL is moving into a real store, and is excited
about being able to truly support the library for a change!
They have been in a 8 X 10 storage unit for the past few
years, not conducive to shopping for used books.
I am most happy to be able to contribute to this worthy cause!
Click on any pic to make it full size.

Ahhh, Florida in the Winter

Nothing like a trip to the semi-tropical climes when it is freezing in the mountains. Of course, it was colder there than usual, but still beautiful. Stopped overnight in St Augustine, which still has my Heart, to visit North Beach and ramble about town in the early morning, visiting old memories. Then it was on to Osteen, which is more like the Florida I remember from the early 70's- unspoiled wilderness, for the most part, warm folks, lots of palmetto scrub, palmetto trees, and wildlife;deer, raccoons, rabbits, hawks, eagles and....plecostamus???!!! Seems someone once thought those fish would be a great idea to clear the algae from Lake Ocachobee, but they are now burrowing into the dike, and putting the boat-bottom cleaning businesses out of business! Plus, they die in cold weather, and even the buzzards won't eat them! Strange.
Click on any pic to make it full size.
Had a wonderful visit, and lots of new memories to keep me warm, until the sun again shines here in the mountains of NC.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Version

This is from the pattern Eidelweiss, on the cover of the October 09 Beadwork. It looks fine flat, but hangs strangely when worn, so I made it hang lengthwise, and added a large carnelian drop and more pearls to go through a hole in the focal beadwork. It is too much work to tear apart, but that was my first impression after finishing may still happen, but will try to enjoy it first. It is comfortable.

Samuel J Catt moves in

The latest member of the family, a young male and very vocal tabby- you rarely see him with his mouth closed, unless he is eating! He will have to go off to get, um, tutored when I return from FL, but is a nice kittie and he and Flashcatt are, if not friends, at least done fighting it out.
Flash does feel like he has been invaded by a teenager, as you can see by his expression!!
The dogs are very curious, and want to get to know him, but Samuel isn't quite ready yet..

Harleen's Starfish Necklace finally done

Patient friends are awesome!
The strap is brass chain, liver of sulphured, with a center of vine beading.