Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Chopping Block Today....

Well...not the chopping block....but hopefully these babies will be eradicated from the 'To Do' list today as I plan to have the tutorial done by days end.
Of course I have to remember how I made them :)

I am definitely ending the year with a burst of energy, getting lots done. I don't think I've ever been quite as prepared and organized in my work as I am now....I really think having the big white board as my 'To Do' list helps. It's so rewarding to see blank spaces appear as I wipe off each accomplished task.
The board was filled with everything I have to do through April so to see white space already is crazy...crazy good! If I keep going at this pace by mid January the board will be empty!

I also have my new day planner for next!
I get to schedule everything and be on top of it all....ok, so I admit, I'm a list maker. It's the only way for me to get anything list and my mind wanders aimlessly.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Waiting For Godot....or Someone

I feel like I've been away from the beads for ages and I'm still not feeling like I'm back in the swing of things yet.
It seemed like there was a lot to do for Christmas this year which is so weird because our family had agreed not to do gifts this year and we'd decided to have a more relaxed Christmas without having to prepare a big meal.
Our visitors were late...six hours late.....each day!
So...most of our Christmas time was spent waiting.
I've discovered there is nothing worse than waiting. You can't start anything because you may have to put it down any second, so it's hard to focus. I've also discovered Morganna, my muse, gets really bored waiting and as she doesn't have to stick around she takes off....who knows where she is, I just know there's a hole in my brain where she usually is.

Anyway....the piece I was working on before the wait set in is this piece.
I bought this stone about eight months ago, much bigger and heavier than I usually work's 2 1/2" wide.  The size was cool for doing a decorative bezel but boy, did I have a problem with the bail.
Creating the perfect bail for a piece is sometimes challenging and this was more than most. Such a large stone needed a substantial I planned on adapting a Nancy Dale trellis rope which requires a generous hole.
My first attempts looked too long and threw off the balance of the stone and I realised I needed to create a wide bail.
After a couple of atttempts I finally worked a piece of tubular peyote and echoed the bezel at the sides. A little tricky to attach but I was finally happy. Of course I could have made life a lot easier for myself by using the stone portrait rather than landscape...but I'm not known for making my life easy :)

So...pendant complete, on to the rope.
Nancy has created a sweet trellis rope and was kind enough to gift the pattern to me (you can buy it here) and this was the perfect project for it.
After playing with the design I opted to add a kind of beaded bead cap that, once again, echoed the bezel at each end of the trellis. This worked great and I was off and running...well, beading.
Then I got whacked up side of the head!
All of a sudden the center beads of the rope looked too blue to me.
I hate that!
I think I knew it from the start but thought because they would be in the center of the rope I could get away with it....and maybe I could. The beads do match the very darkest turquoise of the stone but I just think it would be better if they matched the lighter shades.

Anyway...the project got set aside. Still wanting to play with Nancy's rope I chose another stone, pulled out some vintage gold beads that matched it perfectly and started the rope first.
And then the wait set in.
My studio is now the home of two new UFOs. were your holidays?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Know Who I am Today

I'm a procrastinator.
Well...that's what I'm doing at the moment. I should be working on a Triquetra rope but I am so bored with it, this is my third in a month and I want to be working on new things. I think I may have the attention span of a goldfish...well, maybe a bit more than that.

The thing with seed beads and why I don't think I'll ever get bored with them is that there is no limit to what you can do with them. Fantastic for me, challenge-wise but it also makes me want to move forward continually so I don't really get long to enjoy my successes. I create something new or master a technique...say to myself "that's great, pat yourself on the back" then three beats later it's "what can I do now?"

I actually envy people who can create different colorways of who comes to mind is Leslie Frazier (her Spring Dreams shown here), seeing her designs in different colors at the bead show just made my jaw drop.
Gorgeous work enhanced by the different colorways she had and the thought in my head was "why can't I do that?"

The answer is I'm basically a Designer.
I'm happiest when I'm designing something new. does not matter what job I'm doing I will/have always managed to bring design into it somehow, someway. If I was cleaning toilets my design brain would be creating a new toilet seat cover or flushing mechanism.
I am also someone who likes to share knowledge so designing bead patterns and techniques which I can sell/teach is the right place for me to be.
So what I'm doing with my life now is incredibly fulfilling and right for me plus by finding some wonderful bead elves I am able to have different colorways even if I didn't bead them all myself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who Am I?

I am actually asking myself that question because things are going smoothly and I'm ahead of myself design wise.
Maybe putting up the big white board is helping , having to look at it all the time makes me want to be able to fill spaces in and cross things off.
I only have three spaces left to fill for my Pattern of the Week schedule which means I've designed and done the patterns into April....and it's only December!!!!

I actually found time to sit and bead a flatwork design....the inspiration for this one is Japanese kimonos...I've always had a thing for those embroidered satins. This one is called Kimono Royale and I should have the beading finished today:)

I'm not as far ahead with the tutorials....the plan here is one a month, though December will probably see two as I will be offering a freebie over on the Bead Maven's blog....we plan to do these once a month but they will only be up for three days, then you have to buy it. The perks of following the Bead Mavens :)

I've also been playing with a project I'm think of submitting to teach at Babe next will require more playing before I get it just where I want it. day will start and end with beading...with errands in between.
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ridiculously Organized

Don't ask me how it happened cos I really don't know but somehow I have managed to plan at least 30% of my work for 2011.
And not just
Monthly tutorials designed and some written through July.
Flatwork designed, written and ready to go into March.

I guess my brain is just thinking ahead to the move and wants all the work to be done so I don't miss a step in all the upheaval.  And, of course, I do have a habit of changing my mind about things so some plans may be replaced.
But...I have to say I'm finally feeling the benefit of the revamped classes and thinking I may actually have time to write that book.
I have a few themes in my head for a book...or three, and that's a problem cos I'm not sure where I want to go first.

What would interest you the most....structural beading, Gothic designs or a book about components?

Other things....the past has crept into my life this week and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I'm up way too early today because I had a nightmare about past events stirred back to life on FB.  There are good memories but only if I leap past the bad ones and apparently my sub conscious isn't going to let me do that. you let sleeping dogs lie? Take the risk of them waking up and biting?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Do Lists

I'm not sure who's brilliant idea it was to create 'To Do' lists but they might want to duck about now.
So after a reorgnaization of the beading section of my studio I decided to drag out the big white board and make myself a 'To Do' list where I could see it. Typically I write my lists on various pads which I manage to lose in the rubble of my creativity.   I gave it a lot of thought...put in the schedule for my Pattern of the Week so I could keep track, added my class schedule with due dates for the prep and finally a general 'To Do' list for the monthly tutorials, shop displays and beading needing finishing.

A few hours later and I'm already a day behind....WTH??
So..I then had to think what I did last night that got me behind schedule ALREADY! was Morganna's fault....she decided to work on the Vernal Visions idea I have.  So I guess I have to erase any non-essential deadlines I've written because a certain contrary muse doesn't like deadlines.

I will say that looking at the board makes me think I am going to totally outdo my goals this year. I already have seven months of tutorials scheduled and eleven Patterns of the Week designed....and it's not even the new year yet. But I think I better get everything done as early as possible given we should be moving in the spring. will leave room for me to over's a personality disorder, but one of the better ones :)

Anyway...I'm sure the 'To Do' board is going to take some hammer but at least I can find it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Busy, Busy!

It's been a busy week full of new things.
We announced the new Bead Maven's Challenge....Vernal Visions!

I think we're all really excited about this one as there are so many ways to take it...and, we're really thrilled to have the new category.
"What's this?" you say....
Well...being teachers we know that everyone isn't at the level of designing a fully original piece and so they get excluded/scared away from a lot of competitions. We Mavens know from our own personal experience that challenges are one of the best ways to take a learning leap forward so we've set up a new category in our challenges.
Best Adaptation of a Bead Maven Tutorial/pattern.
Obviously, due to copyright it has to be from our tutorials but you can blend any of the Maven's tutorials, tweak and expand to comme up with your own variation.

I introduced a new thing to my Artfire store...Pattern of the Week.
As I now have some very wonderful beading elves to work up my flatwork designs it means I can offer more of the designs that swirl around in my head but that I just didn't have the time to bead. So, each Saturday there will be a new pattern featured and for that week it will be offered at 10% Off, $6.75 rather than the regular $7.50.
I put five new patterns into BeadTool yesterday all ready for my elves, Suzanne and Katie to bead up....I love my elves!!!  Suzanne even came up with a fabulous colorway for next week's Pattern of the Week, Chichen Itza.

I also created some new herringbone leaves and I'll be making that pattern available as soon as I write it. Ditto for the new rope which I haven't even named yet. I will also be writing a Basic Bezel tutorial for the Bead Mavens blog...this is a new thing we started at the end of last month with Linda's Bead Embroidered Brooch. The tutorials will be up for three days free to our readers and then they will be taken down and sold in our stores.

Always lots to do in the land of beads.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Would Someone Please Kidnap My Muse?

These are what got me up at 5am today.
Morganna was a-prodding, whispering in my ear to get up cos she had an idea.
It's not that I don't appreciate having an active muse, I do, really I do...but, she does not know when to quit!
As I was taking these photos she's now whispering...."wouldn't that look good as..." "wouldn't they be great in..." Grrrrr!!!!
I just need time to write the dang patterns.

Cindy and I were talking the other day about what our goals are and we both said we liked to do a new tutorial each month. That is a good pace.
I can also add in four new flatwork patterns in a month and still be at a relaxed pace.  But I swear I can't keep up with the pace my muse sets.

I know, I know, a lot of you are thinking I'm lucky to have such a problem but honestly, it's as bad as having a lazy muse but with less sleep.
I think my epitaph will read "Her Muse, in the studio, with too many ideas"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December? Already?

I say that because December always flashes by me but at least it's just December and not November as well, as it used to be.
For me November was the start of the 'expensive' period of the year, my Dad's birthday (but sadly, now he's gone), my ex-husband's birthday (he's not so sadly gone), Thanksgiving....then my grandfather's birthday (sadly gone) my birthday, my Mom's birthday, Christmas, New Years and my niece's birthday.

This year money is tight all way around so we're not doing Christmas gifts this as we haven't been thanked for last year's yet, some people don't deserve anything but a lump of coal. They sure don't deserve 'designed exclusively for them in their fave color jewelry'!!!!
I've been through this before and then I made a have a great gift but you have to come visit to get it....they were just an hour away and sometimes less...I learned to get gifts I could use because they never showed up. Since living with Mom I went back to sending gifts and not recieving thankyous....five years of it and it's back to the old rule, and Mom's with me this time.

I used to really enjoy Christmas...choosing gifts for people, wrapping them beautifully and it wasn't like I expected a gift in return...the joy was in the giving. But when you don't get so much as a thankyou it really sucks the joy out of it and leaves you feeling sad.

Next year we should be in California and there are lots of Christmassy things to do there, I'm hoping both Mom and I can get our Christmas spirit back by creating a new tradition, not sure what that will be yet...but I'm dang certain it will be fun.

I truly hope your Christmas will be fun, full of thankful people who are more thankful for family and friends than the gift haul.