Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Woodcutter, a review and reveal

OTTBS (Operation Tackle That Bead Stash - a Facebook bead group) has these lovely challenges, one of which is to read from a selection of books, then bead something that the story has inspired.  I chose The Woodcutter, by Kate Danley, for it's powerful messages of how Power attempts to destroy Love, in the format of beloved fairy tales, such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and others.
Here is the book, offered on Amazon:    The Woodcutter by Kate Danley
In the story, Pixies are misused by a Wicked Queen and her Consort, to attempt to remake our world in a fashion that better suits their evil machinations. The Pixie dust they collect appears as a cloud of snow in part of the story.
I wanted to make a bracelet that had the colors and sparkles of Pixie Dust, but show with the very controlled stitch, embellished RAW, the turning of what should be a free-flowing substance is now strictly bound. Here is the final result, laid flat.

The 3mm crystal AB bicones, size 11 white AB charlottes, light blue AB 11s, and crystal AB 6s all provide a look of Pixie Dust.

I used 3mm crystal AB faceted Firepolish Czech beads on the base, so it would be smooth next to skin.

Being of a somewhat practical nature, I made the surround over the top into a pencil holder, so I can keep track of my pencil at work, in a sparkly manner. Of course, this just adds to the idea of turning 'Pixie Dust' into something quite out of its free nature.

Here is how it will look when worn.

I hope this inspires you to try The Woodcutter, by Kate is an adventure you will not soon forget!

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!