Friday, September 13, 2013

I'm really bad at blogging. Lesson learned.

Hello all!  Sorry I've been gone so long.  Pretty much forever in internet time!  I've been busy, but not all beading (unfortunately for my bead mat)

I have started to exercise more, so I've been out of the house a lot more often (hence the blog absence).  I've managed to drop some pounds already and I can feel the difference.  I've also recently started my part-time school year job again, working for the local elementary school in the cafeteria and kitchen.  I love working with kids, I always have, my first job was working at a daycare and I've worked at a few since then.  The school definitely makes sense for me, even though it cuts into beading time.

I've been doing a lot of thinking this summer about what I want to do with my beads.  Where their future is headed and what I want to get out of it.  I would definitely love some input from fellow beaders out there.  It's never been my intention/goal to write tutorials (although I am working on one - slowly - just to give it a shot) as I much prefer the actual beading.  I can crank out pieces pretty quickly and that's just what I want to do.  With all of the debate in the bead community about copyright, I've started to go through the pieces I've made and take out the ones from designers that will allow me to sell the pieces I've made from their pattern.  These will still go to craft shows with me, the others will end up as gifts to relatives and friends someday.

I'm not sure I really have the motivation and will power to put into making jewelry a full time business for me and I really enjoy when it is closer to a hobby for me.  I got way more stressed out than I ever thought when I was trying a more full time approach and it really affected me.  I didn't like what it was doing, so I want to stop (being stressed.)

I know this isn't everyone's option or preference and to those that CAN do this full time (like my beading idols - Jill, Mikki, Marcia, Rachel, Laura, etc)  I applaud you.  I am extremely grateful that I have my Hubby to fall back on when I'm indecisive, but I almost don't feel like this is that.  I know I don't want to go full steam with jewelry, I'd much rather spend half my time jewelry and half my time working with children (which is why I love my job)  So the situation I have right now is the perfect one.

I wanted this blog to be about my beading journey (and it still will be) but that's also not all there is to me, and maybe the reason I've been so terrible at keeping up with it is because of that.  So I will still post all of my beady treasures and the books I'm working through, but I'll also include things that happen at work, home or just in my regular life.

I will definitely still be beading, there will still be pieces for sale, I'll still do craft shows (but I'm going to only do local shows), I'll absolutely still be at Bead & Button next June, so I'm not leaving the bead community, just changing how I participate!

Thanks for letting me ramble this time around. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bead & Button 2013

  I started my journey on Tuesday by driving to my mom's place and staying overnight.  Then we (Mom and I) left from Minneapolis on our way to Milwaukee on Wednesday.  It was an uneventful 5 hour drive there filled with excellent music and snacks.  Got checked into our hotel room on the 12th floor and this was our view:
Went to do our registration for the show and check out all the Bead Dreams pieces.  I saw this one for a great friend of mine that's getting married and has sunflowers as her accent color:
and then I fell in love with this piece because it is just so dang cool:
We went out for a bite to eat before Meet the Teachers and Mom had a Tiny Beer as I have decided to name it.  She was actually taste testing one before ordering it, but it was so cute I couldn't help it!
and then our delicious food arrived, and it was delicious as we had no leftovers to take back to the room:
Then it was finally time for Meet The Teachers where I finally got to meet Jill Wiseman IN PERSON:
She was SO ridiculously friendly/nice/all other good things.  It was fantastic to meet her and a pleasure to journey through her book and take her class!  If you've been keeping up with my journey, you know I've made every single project in her book Beautiful Beaded Ropes which you can find here.

Thursday began with an all day class for me.  I took June Huber's Arabesque Cube and this is a half day of progress for me:
I did eventually finish, but not until I was home from Bead & Button and had worked on it for quite a bit longer!
And here I am with June, who was kind enough to take a picture with me after class:
 Mom's class was also an all day one with Dianne Dennis, Wildfire, and here is her progress after class all day:

We did a bit of shopping, here is my haul:
and Mom's:

 and then ate at the Italian place across the street from the hotel for dinner (which I have no pictures of) and then set up in the Gathering Place to bead for a while in the evening.  Where I met another beading idol of mine, Mikki Ferrugiaro!!!
She was incredibly delightful to talk to and we had such a great time that we stayed in the Gathering Place until 1am! It was almost too much fun :)

Friday was my birthday and I had only one class: Light My Fire in the evening with Jill Wiseman.  So Mom and I spent the day in the Gathering Place beading where we took up quite a bit of space:

We took a break for lunch and went to Rock Bottom Brewery where it was nice enough to eat outside.  This is Mom and Domino who comes with me on all my trips now:
Then we went for an extended walk back to the hotel so we could walk across the river:
And saw some cool stuff, like this painted building reflection on the side of another building:

Then it was time for class with Jill, which was so immensely fun!  I finished my bracelet in class ( I have earned my nickname: Miss Speedy Gonzales ) and then we had fun looking at all of my projects from Jill's book.  As requested, here is a shot of me, Jill, and all the projects!

After class with Jill we went out for a quick birthday dessert, which was mouth-watering:
Then came Saturday and it was time to start the journey home.  We went antique shopping on our way and I found some very cool BakeLite Mahjong tiles that will be some new earrings for me very soon:
We took the scenic drive along the river on the way so this was my view across the river:
And Mom's view of the cute houses and the hills:
I stayed overnight at Mom's place and headed home on Sunday.  It was a complete whirlwind of a trip and it felt much too short, but here I am, back at home sweet home:
Until next time,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Wonderful World of Beaded Ropes

I've left you all waiting and for that I'm sorry!  I DID in fact finish Jill's book so here are the remaining projects:

Bali Dreaming:

Finding Balance:



Josephine's Fortune:

Bubbles & Bumps:

Ladies Who Lunch:


And last, but definitely not least (and with the most color!) Ray Of Light:

It was such a fun journey to work my way through this book.  I found some new things to make, I learned some new skills, I got MANY new ideas, and I discovered a versatile type of beading that will be extremely useful in the future!  I want to say a gigantic Thank You to Jill for all of her support and for how wonderful she is in person! (I'll tell you all more about that in the next blog - I didn't want to overwhelm you) I had a blast making all of these projects and sharing the progress with all of you!

Until next time (which will be soon, I have all my Bead & Button pics after all)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Update on time!? Heck no!

Of course I've been too busy with the new house to update you all on any kind of regular basis.  Ugh.  I've not even had much time for beading lately as I've been working at a couple of 'real' jobs at an elementary school and as a nanny.  Thankfully, the school year is almost at its end so I'll have the summer to myself!

In the meantime:

I tried one of Carol Dean Sharpe's patterns when she had a fantastic sale going on.  I haven't yet made it to the other patterns I purchased but I will get there!  So for now, I have done 'Ohm'

After that, I joined a new beading group on Facebook (new to me!) Operation Tackle That Bead Stash, which challenges you each month with a project that you use only your stash items to complete!  This is perfect for me since I buy waaay more beads than I use :)  So, here is my April Stashbusting challenge:

My May & Color challenge Stashbuster:

And the Pastel Color challenge:

I also decided on a project from the new issue of Bead & Button, I have decided to call my version Galaxies as that's what they look like!

Then I finally made my way back to Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes book and started with Dancing Waves:

Finally, I finished a project that I am very proud of personally.  Designing and creating my very own Beaded Dice Set.  It's a full set of 7 dice for Dungeons & Dragons!
I have yet to figure out a way to add the numbers on, but I'm working on it!

And that's all for now in the beady world as I get back to the grindstone trying to finish Jill's book before Bead & Button show in Milwaukee in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!  In which, I will be taking one of Jill's classes!  I'm so excited to meet her in person I can hardly wait!!  Don't worry, there WILL be pictures of my adventure there. :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Officially Past The Halfway Point!

Yes, it's true, I've officially made it halfway through the book!  The adventure just keeps getting better as I go, even though I've completed a few of what I think are the most time consuming projects, each NEW project I undertake keeps throwing something new at me.  This book really is wonderful, and incredibly useful and versatile, not only do you learn the projects presented in the book, you are learning all kinds of techniques that can be used in other endeavors.  That focal piece you've had sitting around because you just couldn't find the right necklace to put it on?  Solved.   Enough talk, here's some pictures of my progress through the Heirloom necklace, with the color scheme suggested by my Mom!

I had barely started this in the picture above and it did take me longer than I suspected to do this one because of the type of stitch, but MAN is it cool once it's done, but first, a picture of the outside rope, before anything substantial is holding it in shape:

And now, the finished product:

Not only did I complete Heirloom, but I whipped up a version of Winding Road as well, which puts me just over the halfway mark at 14 out of 24 projects completed:


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Journey Continues!

Another couple of projects down!  I specifically chose my next couple of projects because they would be shorter, to give me a break after Abundance was done.  What comes after?  I'm not sure, there is absolutely nothing on my beading mat right now, which I will fix in just a moment!

First up is the Dew Drop Spiral, originally a  necklace in the book, but I thought I would like it better as a bracelet:

Next up is the Bohemian earrings, which are so light I can't even tell that I'm wearing them:

And lastly, the Heavenly Hoop earrings.  I chose a very contrasting color scheme so the outside spiral embellishment would really stand out:

And that's all for now!  Onto the next!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The next chapter

The next project I tackled is probably the most time consuming one in the book.  Abundance.  I started this journey by using only the beads I have (something I pride myself on doing, I hate having to buy beads for a project) and it seemed a daunting task.  There are multiple layers of rope on top of the previous one, which gives the piece not only depth but structure as well.

Here is the beginnings of the progress:

Then I finished the first layer of the rope and moved on to the second, after which I continued adding to a smaller section to create the focal area.  After many hours, this piece was finished:

There it is!  Abundance!  I am incredibly proud of this piece, it looks beautiful (to me anyway) with white lined white sapphire and glossy black beads.

After taking on such a large piece, I wanted to do a much smaller one, that I knew I could accomplish in a much shorter amount of time.  I decided to give Forever Tango a try and here's my result:

That will be all for this evening, so for now I bid you all adieu!