Thursday, September 20, 2012

centering on the beade

back in 2005, i had to step back and focus all my intentions towards my health for a little while and then go on to choose a different direction for my life to go in.  i was stuck at home and bored and thought it might be cool if i could make some strung beads like i did when i was young.  i was seeing them sold over and over at flea markets and in clothing stores and such.  i liked them and apparantly so did other people.  they tended to sell in multiples for layering.
so i took up bead stringing.  that lasted for a short period of time and the next step came along which was to mistakenly order a subscription to "all wired up" magazine.  since i was lazy and did not fix it, i read the magazine and that led me to youtube.  the first wire-wrapper i came across was Magpiegemstones.  so there you go..... i was on my way to learn all i could.  susan szarka gets a lot of credit for teaching good skills.  and she teaches ethics and honesty and she sells good beads.  she also hangs out with other great artists like sherry from "Sherrys'jewels"  and Karen meador of "Dreamcatcher's designs".  they are good teachers all.

i also benefitted by reaching out and finding other ways of surrounding beads and wire together from lots of artist/teachers on youtube.  "Camille" let me watch her videos till i learned what she was teaching me and then she kind of poofed and dissappeared from the radar screen.  by then, i was on fire.  i found "Off the beaded path" and owned by a delightful woman named Kellie dale.  she introduced me to seed beads and bead weaving.  i want you to know, i throw a mean peyote stitch now.  that is if it is even count.  if it's odd count peyote, i am going to try to run away and do something different.  i still have things to master....
i have yet to make a kumahimo braid with beads incorporated into the weave.  it's on my to-do list.

the to do list..... i had the worst work table in the world according to mess.  wirework stuff, leftovers from other projects, just needing to be put away, today's mail, a dog toy, and a gazillion projects started and then stopped.  there were focals and cabs over there, at least all in one place, more or less.  strands of beads that i did not want to foget i had and waiting for the magic to happen whe i saw design ideas in my stash.  but my stash was on my desk.  so was my hammering block.  my work desk was turning into another bead storage place.

now..... we are adding in one more piece of the story.  kalambach books asked me to be a contestant in a "bead-soup necklace contest" and i accepted.  they sent me some bead soup and in the rules, i need to used some of their stuff and gather from my own and take pictures of before and after.  i knew i was in trouble over that desk and needed to do something right now.

i have gathered up all the started and stopped projects and put each one in a zipper bag and listed it on a to do list.  i have 2 big projects on the list to do.  each of them have deadlines.  the bead-soup contest has the first deadline and the design has only begun to flesh out in my mind and on some paper what it's going to do.  the other project is a custom job, making a "bandolier" of little bells for a you woman for ren-fest after halloween.  i already have the stuff all together and only need to make some braids and attach the bells and beads.  easy.

my work desk is as clean as it's been in a long time.  it won't stay that way, but that is okay.  this is a start.

this is my new desk scattered with some beads i have pulled for the contest.  i even have my visitors cleaning my own bead soups by color so i can see what i have in my stash for this thing.  i got to mark off 2 of the 22 chores that need to be done on the to-do list. 

the next picture shows what i got from Kulumbach.
it's not a great picture.  taken with my phone.  ;the rest of my desk is what i pulled from my stash so far.  i will likely put lots of it back, but this is part of my process.

i hope to get a better handle on consistancy here.  i need it.  someday, i may even find i have to take back my grammer tools and write old-fashioned so people will be able to read easier.

Friday, July 13, 2012

recalcitrant muse

i seem to be having a pitiful time doing things i think i should already know. 
i'm having to rebuild 2 bracelets because of not measuring the length on some links in a wire wrap chain.  i am aggrevated at myself for wasting my copper wire.  i know it doesn't cost as much as silver, but it's still a cost i don't want to make.  not to mention the time i lose in remaking.  i am peeved at myself looking at my exploded hot mess of a work table.  it's so messy.  i have been trying to clean projects up so i don't have so many unfinished things here and there and over there and there.....  and i keep running across things i want to do and i put it on the worktop to remind me not to forget, instead of making a note or taking a picture on my phone (that might work) <<<!!

i have to restring a necklace i was working on last night.  it's a wire wrapped pyrite freeform cab strung on this good heavy copper cord i have.  i don't even know where i came by it.  it's a beadalon product, anyway, it's dear to me.  i managed to unthink my way into leaving a whole component out of the second half of the necklace and making a total mess.  of course i realized it after i had blown through 2 sterling crimps, the beading wire and my time.  i was so mad.  so i sat and simmered for a minute, then told keith he should sent the kiddos to my room when he went to bed because i was going there now.  so i did.
i will tackle it all again today.

Friday, July 6, 2012

making a molehill

i am busy trying to clean up the work that has accumulated over my work table. 
last year, my seed bead collections began to grow quickly and the smaller 4mm and 6mm beads that are used with seed beads grew as well.
of course, i spend a lot of time learning new stitches and this means practice and many restarts and do-overs and half finished little dealie-bobbers with a yard or so of thread hanging off of them.... these accumulate like gerbils.  right now i am in the middle of making a butterfly pillow and i have to stop and search for parts.
i will explain.  i got a butterfly with prongs on it for making "cold-connections".  i did not want to begin learning to cut and finesse copper sheet metal, so i made a one inch square of peyote stitch and poked the blades of the butterfly through the stitching and folded down the blades so it was anchored to the beading. i made the back of the pillow and zipped stitched them to cover the blades and give the pillow effect to the butterfly.  it got a few more embellishments and made a pretty neat summer necklace.  i used a picot stitch to make a neck chain. 
i cannot find where i put the butterflies. 
i know i cannot find them here on this blog.... so i will be back.
this is the original design.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

i found the orange pencil!

i've had i struggle to learn the mechanics of things.  i've come back here over and over to try and figure out how to add a new entry to this blog.  i finally found an instructional video.  mechanics are hard for me to learn.  this drovedrives me a little nuts when i handle wire.  oh, and i hate math.
this year, i learned a few more things about wire.  i learned to make my own headpins with a torch. 
i had to learn about fire and metal.  i had to learn the differences in sterling silver and copper with fire.
copper is softer, but takes more heat and for a longer time.  i have been experimenting with fire on copper for a artistic patina on the metal.  i'm not having much luck with it so far, but i have lots of scrap copper metal to practice on.

my grandchildren are here with me this summer.  hannah is eleven years old and is from around dallas texas.  and her cousin benjamin is going to be eight years old later this month and lives in arizona.  we will have his birthday party here at our house.  he is excited over the idea of cupcakes and sponge bob square pants.  we even have a group of kids to invite to the festivities.

ben had his first bead haul this past week.  i sat with ben while he looked at all the beads i have.  i let him have 2 beads of whatever he asked for.  when we came across some blue furnace cane beads, his little brain went wild!  he loved them and kept making noise.  i gave him all the blue ones and told him we would use them to make him a bracelet with macramae.  yesterday we had our class time for bracelet making.  he did very well and now knows two knots, and has a cool bracelet.  i did not help much with the actual knotting.... i undid knots and  made the last knot good and tight.    he did very well.  he wants to make one for his mom.  i think we shall pick a different button for it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

what is this? 
a new page.... it looks like actually does something. 
*knocks on pc screen*  "can you hear me now?"

i am making a blog about what i do to get through a day with my beading.  i call it that no matter that i am bending wire and making head pins with a torch.  it's my beading that i am doing.
the reason that i'm making this blog is obvious.  i want you to come with me and let me tell you as i go.  i don't think it's a boring story.  but then i'm biased.

i made a good trade today.  about 2 months ago i signed up to follow a "free-cycle" group for this area so that i could offer some material i wanted to be done with.  and the person that responded came by the house to pick up what was supposed to be one box of sewing notions and some scraps of material.  i talked to her about the many more boxes of sewing and crafting stuff i had gathered and she helped get it all gone to people that could actually be happy to have it.  lots of stuff was still in it's packaging. 

i am not a hoarder either.  i would shop a sale and buy material when i was getting a wicked good price.  and i would pick up trims and cute buttons and whale boning.  if you needed it to sew with, i probably had it.
i'll get back to our story now..... we talked.  i said i wanted to figure out a way to get a group of folks interested in trading goods and services.  i would pay in jewelry of course.  she asked if she could do something for a trade and i was happy to tell her i would love to have a small bag. bigger than an amulet bag, to carry my phone and maybe a little thingie that reads my o2 saturation level for the days when i don't have any pockets.  i wanted it to be comfy and pretty too.  i traded her for a bracelet.  she loves the bracelet, i love the bag.  the other big bag in the picture is my normal going places bag.  i can't wear that one around my neck in my pj's.

i had more stuff to give her today.  she is going to make me a vest i had wanted to make...  and never did.  of course i have all the stuff for it.... and now she does.