Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hint for July's Page

I promise I won't go overboard with the music links.

Here's a hint for July's page.

This Old Dog's Learned a New Trick!

Thanks to the Lone Beader I've learned something new - embedding music. Her blog is inspiring - link's on the side - take a look. Thanks, Lone Beader, your blog has taught me a lot!

This song is a hint for August's page... after all, it has been 30 years. Elvis has left the building... thank you very much. (Copyright won't let anyone post the entire song... that Cilla's a smart woman...)

Elvis quote for today: Don't criticize what you don't understand, son, you never walked in that man's shoes.

My June Piece is Done

My first piece of the Beaded Journal Project is complete (at least the hard part is, now I need to put the backing on it). I learned a lot and pushed my creative envelope, which is what I had hoped to do. This is my first beaded embroidery piece.

I kept craving Fanta orange soda and Cheetos. My sister wanted to have a orange slice candy, a coworker thought of Pepperidge Farm's Goldfish, and my mother wanted an orange popsicle.

The idea behind this piece is that the blue fish is swimming in a different direction from all of the other fish.

Title ideas: Swimming Upstream, One Fish, Two Fish..., any others?

Today's quote: One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. - A. A. Milne

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cons of Beading Out on the Deck

Yesterday I was reminded of one reason why beading on the deck is not always be the smartest thing to do - I dropped my needle and it fell between the boards. Not just in between the boards, but it sat a at a 90 degree angle to the gap between the boards.

This was not just ANY needle - but the needle that's been working like a charm for me on the Beaded Journal Project. I was crestfallen.

Then I remembered that a magnet should pick it up. Ran into the kitchen, found a refrigerator magnet, but that didn't work. I remembered wearing a bracelet with a magnetic clasp last week that was picking up silverware. I found that, it was flexible enough to fit through the crack and twist in order to retrieve the needle. SUCCESS!

Beading is more that threads, beads and needles. It is problem-solving!

Today's Quote: The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. -Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lilies are in Bloom

Lilies were so pretty today that I had to take a picture and play with the photo in Photoshop Elements.

A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers. - Chinese Proverb

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Creative Quotation for the Day

You start by copying other peoples paintings or music or whatever. You get all of those skills before you branch out. Really creative people have a fantastic ability to copy things and then combine them in new ways. And whether we’re talking about genes or memes, recombination is the real heart of creativity. - Susan Blackmore

Okay, so maybe I should be better at sharing my work in progress...

A Challenge Blog I Forgot About

Check out this blog if you'd like to take on their monthly challenge, create something using beads and perhaps win some Art Beads. They have a different challenge every month.

The link is in the orange title above - I'm still learning how to work around the blogger template.

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana?

I'm continuing to work on my June page for the Beaded Journal Project. I'm one of those people who doesn't like to share her work before it's done (unless I'm in class) so I won't be posting any in progress pictures.

The theme for this month, was orange. I'm using 99 percent orange beads of different shapes and hues. Monochromatic can be a challenge. This is my first bead embroidery piece, so I'm sure I'll learn quite a lot.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Making Faces

This piece was done by my friend Carla. She wanted to showcase a polymer clay face that another friend of ours, Ann Cook, makes by hand.

Ann sells these faces. If anyone's interested, they can leave me a comment and I'll get back to them.

I love the profile!

I have a different face that will show up in a BJP page someday.

Playing Hooky

The weather was so nice this afternoon that I came home early from work to have some fun beading on the deck.

This is some of the resin I made in the resin workshop with Susan Lenart Kazmer. The reflections make some of them hard to see and the pieces aren't finished yet, but I already know I've found another media that has grabbed me. Look for some resin in my beaded journal pages.

I worked on my page for a while, but I've discovered that I really don't like silamide. That @#*& thread shredded three times in the stiff stuff that I'm using as a background. It doesn't thread easily, either. I really really like Fireline. Maybe I'll have to try that instead in bead embroidery.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Header

I hope you like my new header - I was finally able to gain enough space on my hard drive to load my photo editing software.

The piece in the header is a big fat Mardi Gras bead called Lagniappe - a little something extra, as they say in the Big Easy. I made the bead the first Mardi Gras after Katrina in honor of New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in the country.

I'm a photographer and I love to manipulate them - no darkroom - how cool is that? Once I get a chance, I'll add more of my photography.

I hope to get some time to work on the beaded journal page tonight, but someone from work is retiring next week and I want to make something for her, so the page will have to take second place.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Started My First BJP Page

Thanks to Marlene Vail (pictured here) who, with her team, put together an awesome Bead and Button Show!

Last night I started my first Beaded Journal Project page. Harder than I thought, but I was at my parent's house working on a tv table with bad lighting. I hope that working in my regular space will make it a bit easier for me. Everyone else's work is so beautiful - just waiting to make some interesting pieces.

I have ideas for about 4 pages. My ideas don't always seem to translate as well as I would like them to to the finished piece. I'm also working on silencing that terrible inner critic.

I mostly do bead weaving with a little stringing on the side. I seem to really have an affinity for anything tubular. I may not be really proficient at the flat version of the stitch, but the tubular version calls me.

I don't plan to post any of my BJP work until September. As soon as I can get another hard drive installed and do some other computer work, I'll have more edited images to post.

Found this quote - this is something for me to practice:

Cease practice based
On intellectual understanding,
Pursuing words and
Following after speech.
Learn the backward
Step that turns
Your light inward
To illuminate within.
Body and mind of themselves
Will drop away
And your original face will be manifest.

- Dogen (1200-1253)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gypsy Wire Earrings

I can't wirework at all. Never have been very good at it.

My sister decided to give wireworking a try and she's really really good at it. She's been wireworking for about 2 years now and just took the Gypsy Earring class at Bead and Button that Janice Berkebile taught.

My sister makes amazing earrings and necklaces. She just learned how to solder and can fuse fine silver as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Awesome Beads on eBay

I absolutely love the beads that this German lampworker makes. Her name is Melanie Moertel.

However, she uses eBay as her store and I can't use eBay.

Oh well. Saves me some money, but aren't these beads beautiful?

Follow the link in the title to get to her latest offer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

All My Giddy Up Has Got Up and Went!

I'm still recovering from Bead and Button. Work today was a shock of real life.

The best thing I found at the show was Aiko beads in dichroic colors. Man were they expensive, but I've never seen them anywhere else! I bought them from Judy Walker, a teacher at the show. I did not see them on the show floor (but I didn't look at every single booth, either.)

I also found the smallest cubes I've ever seen! Jane's Fibers had them in size 14.

Planning to begin the Bead Journal Project this weekend by preparing the fabric. Still haven't settled on a size for the whole thing or a specific idea for June. Can't seem to get moving on it - real life has been getting in the way (dishes, laundry and the animals...)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's Over.

Here are some final parting shots of the Show. I'm done. Crispy critter. Overspent.

It was so worth it. I'll do it again next year!

Top image - a booth full of semi-precious gemstones.

Second image - Church of the Intercession. Best in Show for Bead Dreams. Non-wearable piece by Nicole Schlinger of Iowa.

Third image - Engine Co 6. Second place for Non-wearables by the Lone Beader (Diana Grygo of Massachussetts).

Fourth image - American Traveler by Patricia Kraemer of Minnesota.

What creativity and craftsmanship! Congratulations to all! Your efforts inspire others.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Beadapalooza Part Two

The ladies on the right are Lory Citta, one of the ladies I take beading classes with, Kathy Feldman who is in the Loose Bead Society, and Brenda Schweder. Brenda was signing her new book about found object jewelry called "Junk to Jewelry". I also took the resin class with Brenda.

Thursday was my class called Les Perles de la Mer with Marcia DeCoster. That class used right angle weave. I was concerned that I wasn't proficient enough in right angle weave. I got it, but she had to help me more than the other students. The beaded beads turned out pretty well. I need to make a couple more in order to finish the bracelet, but I really went to learn right angle weave and to take a class from Marcia. She was also a good teacher and she was patient with me which I appreciated. There were two ladies from Japan in the class. Neither one spoke English, so they had an interpreter.

I have met people from Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Australia so far. This show really attracts people from all over the world.

What struck me the most was the contrast between the two classes. One was so chaotic and messy and fly by the seat of your pants and the other was so structured because you had to have a base before you could embellish. One was very right brained and the other extremely left brained.

Shopping came next - what list? I didn't overspend that night - knew I'd be back for more the next day.

I went back yesterday to make my seed bead purchases from WhimBeads, but I still haven't made it all the way through the show floor. I get overstimulated easily and my brain turns into mush.

I'll be back on the show floor today with a couple of friends. I have a couple of things I want to pick up, but I'm pretty much done buying beads. (I hope.)

I'll take more pictures today.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Bead and Button Show

Wow. What a whirlwind the past few days has been. Didn't sleep much at all Tuesday night because I had to be downtown at the Midwest Express Center by 7 am to pick up my registration packet. That's early for me these days.

(Picture - Out on a Whim's rainbow display of seed beads. As my sister Brenda would say purrrrrrrrrrrrr...)

Wednesday was the resin class with Susan Lenart Kazmer. An absolute blast and such an explosion of ideas and creativity. Shared my table of chaotic creativity with Brenda Schweder, Julie from New York City, and Pam Brown from Redmond, Washington. The class was everything I expected and more. The medium has so many possibilities open to the beginner and they are not difficult.

Susan was a wonderful teacher. She had a lot of information to share and was an inspiration to all of us. We all had the same directions, but there were so many different projects and ideas going on in that room that it was mind boggling. I'll have pictures of the resin soon.

Wednesday night was the Meet the Teachers Social. This year it was not a mosh pit - there was more room and the tables were spread apart. It was difficult to get near some teacher's tables because they were so popular or they had wonderful kits.

Ann Cook had some handmade polymer clay faces for sale. I'll take a picture of the one I bought in case anyone's interested. They're perfect for dolls.

Laura McCabe's table was mobbed. Couldn't get close, didn't try. So was Sherry Serafini's. Marilyn Moore makes beautiful wire baskets and is a great teacher. Took her twined little jewel basket class last year with my sister. Took me a while to finish the basket, but it sits on my computer table to inspire me.

Picture on the left: The Lone Beader's entry into the Bead Dreams contest: "Waiting for Dad."

I think that's enough for tonight. More pictures and stories later.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Excitement Mounts!

Today is the calm before the storm. In some ways it'd be much easier to go to Bead and Button if I didn't live here. Then I wouldn't come home to my regular life and chores that always seem to wait for me. But then I wouldn't have my snuggly bed to sleep in, either.

But I am looking forward to tomorrow's class! Resin with Susan Lenart Kazmer - who I really consider an artist first - we'll see what kind of a teacher she is. I'm so excited about the medium that I don't think I care what kind of teacher she is. I found out that a friend will be attending with me and that there will be other very talented people in the class who I can't wait to meet.

After that is the mosh pit that they call "Meet the Teachers." The most popular teachers are mobbed and it's crowded and noisy, but it is one way to meet people and get a look at what kind of work they do. They also sell kits, which if you couldn't get into a class and can complete a kit, is a good thing.

On Thursday I get to meet another BJP participant! thebadliz will be in Marcia DeCoster's class with me. Now, for that one I'm going to need a patient and good teacher. Some BJP people have told me that she's a good teacher and I hope so. My RAW is not the best, but I love her Bellissimo Beads and can't wait to find another way to make beaded beads.

Then comes the SHOPPING! Shopping begins right after class on Thursday (okay, so I get to cool my heels for an hour.) If you ever come to the show, make sure you take at least one class so you can attend the preview shopping on Thursday for attendees only. Lots of deals and discounts!

Here's to Marlene Vail and her gang at Kalmbach Publishing that put this show together. They do a wonderful job! Each year gets better and better.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Bead and Button Show

Here's the article the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel published today about the Bead and Button Show.

Strings of beauty

Simple ways to enhance your beading experience

Special to the Journal Sentinel

Photo: Kalmbach Publishing

Posted: June 1, 2007

Have you ever been called crafty?

If so, you're not alone. According to the Craft and Hobby Association, interest in crafting has increased in recent years, and beading is among the most popular crafts.

Whether you've just dabbled in a bit of bead stringing or are a beading pro, you'll be amazed at the variety, beauty and size of this year's Bead and Button Show, expected to attract more than 14,000 people to Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center next weekend. The show will feature more than 360 vendors selling beads from all over the world.

Figuring out which beading project fits your skill level can be tricky. Linda Augsburg, editor-at-large for BeadStyle Magazine, a sponsor of the show, suggests sticking to a budget and browsing the entire selection before you decide on purchases. Then, follow these simple guidelines to expand your beading experience:

Use techniques you know. "Once you know how to crimp and make loops, you can make all kinds of jewelry," says Augsburg, adding that projects that combine at least two basic techniques are a good way make more advanced beading projects.

Invest in quality basic tools.
While there are specialized tools out there, a handful of basic tools will allow you to create more complicated projects without complicating your budget. "My personal four-piece basic tool kit for most of my jewelry-making contains wire cutters, chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, and crimping pliers. You can find a good-quality set of the four basic tools for less than $40," Augsburg says.

Take a class. "I really believe that taking classes is more than just learning to make a certain project," she says, noting the 480 classes available at this year's bead show. "Besides the skills you learn, teachers offer tips in conversation, you overhear solutions to other people's problems, and you share ideas with classmates who have the same core interest."

Practice your skills. Before you take a big leap to a new technique or tool, practice the skills you learn. Solid stringing, crimping and loop-making will set a solid foundation for advanced techniques.

Start with a pattern. Starting out with an established pattern will help you build your skill set. "Though I like to design my own projects, I have found that it's not the best idea to try to learn a new technique while still working the kinks out of an original design," Augsburg says.

Experiment, play, have fun. "I think the biggest mistake that an eager beader can make is not letting themselves experiment or play with different sizes, shapes and types of beads," Augsburg says.

Right next to this article the paper had an ad obviously placed there to help me get out of debt after the show...

Women, Get Out of Debt
We can help. Free Debt Relief Consultation.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Time to Clean Up the Workspace

It's time to clean up and sort through beads to figure out what I really need or I will go berzerk at the Bead and Button Show and buy things that look good to me at the time and then I get them home and wonder "what was I thinking?"

I also must practice my right angle weave. In order to do all of that, I have to clean up the workspace and organize a bit. That's easier said than done - will be a big task. And I really should finish the finger weaving project I've been working on for over a month.

I'm also a little concerned about classes next week. Sometimes when I take a class, I feel like I have to be creative that day and sometimes that feeling makes me just the opposite. I don't always perform well on command.

Here's a link to a really cool morphing video that a friend sent me. Enjoy!