Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a Great Challenge!

I just have to say that I am thrilled with the response to the Bead Mavens first challenge. The Ice Queens are amazing and we are still haggling over the winners...lol!  A really TOUGH job!

The winners will be announced tomorrow! And the Mavens are all excited!!!

We're getting ready to announce our next challenge, so keep your eyes open so you can get a jump start on it.  We'll be giving you a bit longer to create your masterpiece for the next one but it never hurts to start early!

I already have some vague ideas for my piece...but we'll see how it goes.

On other fronts...I should have some kits available for the Gothic Butterfly/Urchin Wings bracelet this week...still waiting for things to arrive....holiday hangups.  I also have two new flatwork patterns almost ready for publishing....thanks to my bead elf Suzanne :) who beaded the designs up for me.

I do need to write up the new rope pattern too....though I want to work the stitch in flatwork too. So  much to do....always!
I did finish the first of my Angel Wings brooches last night...there's a red one coming too :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mrs Duell

Mrs Duell was a woman I hardly knew but who deeply impacted my life.

Back in my California days I was a temp and my agent used to sell me as a 'troubleshooter' so I got some interesting jobs, the most of which were working for companies who built theme parks. The Duell Corporation is one such company and they built/build theme parks around the world. Mr Duell was riding the ferris wheel in the sky but Mrs Duell was still with us.
At 92 she would still drive herself into the office once or twice a week, where she would go to her office and work on her computor (and this is 20 years ago). She would always be dressed very smartly, spend time chatting with people and was always interested in what everyone was working on and able to ask good questions and give informed answers.
My 'troubleshooter' job this time was to organize the chief architect who had now spilled out of his SECOND office.  Boy...talk about unorganized, I filed things that went back 10 years....and he is why I never feel too bad about my mess.  They had booked me for a couple of months as they figured that was how long it would take but three weeks later I was done. They liked that, they liked me, so they gave me more areas of the business to 'troubleshoot and organize'. One of those things was the library which only could be called that due to books and shelves...zero organization! So, I Dewey Decimalized it.

When I finished doing the library, Mrs Duell came up to me and asked
"Is there a class I can take to learn how to do this?"
And at that moment she taught me a huge life lesson....if you keep learning you will stay young...well, your brain will. I believe if you stop learning you will grow old and wither away. I believe that the Font of Knowledge is also the Fountain of Youth...and Mrs Duell taught me that.

I have a lot of things to learn in the near future if I'm going to do what I want to do. I need to learn how to work a video camera, how to take good videos of myself....(no I'm not starting video dating), how to edit and create good videos. Because the new year will hopefully see some how-to videos for my beading projects.  It's a daunting challenge and why my thoughts are of Mrs Duell right now....she inspires me....still!

Now....if you're looking to learn something new here are a couple of suggestions:

You could pick up the latest issue of Beadwork and turn to page 76 and learn how to  make my Gothic Butterfly/Urchin Wings bracelet...and once all the delayed beads get here I will even have some kits available for them.

You could go over to NEDbeads and purchase Nancy Dale's very pretty Trellis Necklace Tutorial

Or over to GoodQuillHunting and buy Christina's stunning Venus Necklace Tutorial

Or how about trying a Net Options Bracelet by Jewelry Tales?

So....there you have some options to fill your Font of Knowledge.
Keep learning and stay young :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life Just Gets in the Way, Dagnabbit!

Ok...so it's been a while since I posted here...though I was keeping up with the Bead Maven's blog.
The truth is my life had hit a bad patch...familial issues..ugh! And if I had blogged it would have been full of whining, complaining, anger and frustration...so I thought it best to just go bead and wait till the s***storm passed.

Fortunately for me stress seems to make me creative and I've ended up with lots of new designs and even TWO new rope stitches!  I'm not sure I can take credit for the second one as my muse, Morganna, is completely responsible....making it while my brain was on vacation and I was in auto-pilot mode.

Many of you have seen and even bought my new Triquetra Rope tutorial...and I thank you kindly :)  As you can see this rope is worked over a bead base...is very easy and versatile.

I haven't written up the tutorial yet for the second new rope which is kind of oval, worked in three layers and has a chevron pattern...I love doing it in a few colors as it has a tweed look to it.

Of course I'm not the only one putting out new tutorials....Good Quill Hunting and I traded my Triquetra Rope for her Manja Necklace available to you in her Artfire store

Cynthia Newcomer-Daniel also has a new tutorial out....for her Ice Queen Bracelet!!  You can buy this one at her Artfire studio Jewelry Tales.

And I can't not mention Sandfiber's Blooming Bead tutorial...I think we'll be seeing a lot of Blooming Beads showing up everywhere...I may even have to jump in on this one myself. You can buy this tutorial here.

And if you don't feel like beading something yourself why not head on over to my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale and scoop up a MAJOR bargain....I blame the bump on my head for these silly prices. You can tell all your friends I've lost my mind and they should shop before I find it :)

Hope you all are recovered from Turkey Day and didn't get trampled in the sales.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Early, I'm Awake, Busy Day

It's pre-yard sale day...oh joy!

I'm heading out to the bead store to avoid the morning's mess and will do my part this afternoon.
One class to go before the craft store I teach at shuts down it's classroom so it can use it for storage of all the Black Friday and Christmas sales stuff.
I'll be using the time to work on the house to get it ready to sell and focus the business on new patterns, though my students aren't happy about six weeks without  beading class so maybe we can squeeze in an open bead.

I'm actually rellishing the fact that I'll have time to do some pattern writing because it always seems to get pushed on a back burner, not because I'm procrastinating, it's just that my design brain doesn't shut down and keeps churning the designs out faster than I can write.  My muse is an over achiever, what can I do?

 I do have a couple of nice ladies who are going to help bead some of the flatwork designs..I think I have at least six waiting to be beaded...and I could easily design six a week....the inspiration photos are stacked up!
I was looking at the work of some wonderful beaders this week and I have to say I get envious....they have each of their designs made up in a few different colorways, less designs but it looks like such a more relaxed way to do things than the frenzied way Morganna makes me work.
Maybe I need to weed.
Maybe I need to choose a few designs and concentrate on them.
Maybe I need to slow things down.
Maybe I need lock Morganna in a closet.

A team of bead fairies would be nice.
A machine that translates designs directly from my brain into printable patterns would be nice, I'd even be willing to have an implant for that.
Or a little elf who comes in and tidies my studio each night, setting out the next day's work for me.

Wishful thinking...thinking full of wishes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Day to Vote

If you can you should go vote today.

I say "if" because I'm not one of those who can....not an American citizen.  I hope to be...one day...when I can afford the time and the money. I'm still recovering from the huge amount it took to to spend two years without income and huge legal fees all for a five minute interview to reinstate the green card I'd had for 16 years which was suspended because of a form that wasn't recieved (the ex was given it to mail). That coincided with my wanting to claim unemployment after being laid off my job of ten years. Hmmm.....

Water under the bridge...another hurdle in my life jumped.

I'll be honest and say I'm not sure the whole political system works, it seems to have come down to "who has the most money wins". The shame of it being that the big money comes from big business who want to sway politicians to vote on bills in their favor. And I'm not talking about one party or another, I'm talking in general.
I think some politicians start out with the right intentions but it takes a very high integrity to avoid the pitfalls of Washington and as we see constantly an integrous politician is something of an oxymoron.

I'm not sure there's any fix for the problems the world is in...there's certainly no quick fix, no easy fix.  And four years is not enough time for any president/leader to turn things around, I don't care who he/she is.
There is one thing that would really help turn things around....and that's working together, stopping all the fighting, name calling and nastiness, for the parties to stop behaving like street gangs out to take the other gang down....lord, they even have colors.

There is one thing about taxes I will say.....
anyone with an off shore account used to avoid paying taxes should be taxed heavily for that account. If you have money you can afford a high priced tax attorney to find you all the loopholes so you can get away paying less tax...and we all know they do.
If you're making $1000 a month 1% of tax nets the IRS $10, and if you're only making $1000 a month that $10 buys you the gas/busfare to get to work, it may be nothing to lots of folk but it can mean surviving or not to some.
And what can that $10 do to help the economy? Buy some government official a couple of lattes on their expense account?
Now if you make $1 million a month (Charlie Sheen reportedly makes $2 million an episode of Two and a Half Men!) that 1% becomes $10,000.
$10,000 is a number you can actually do something with...it's almost enough to cover a year of government assistance for a disabled person.
And will that $10,000 affect the life of the person paying it? Well....they'd have $990,000 left so I think they be able to make that mortgage payment, and put gas in their car....all their cars!

As for the people who say they deserve to make millions for their job I challenge them to work for a month as a CNA and live on that wage and then tell me if they work harder, have a less pleasant, more meaningful job that deserves so much more reimbursemnet...because I doubt you could pay those people enough to do that job....and they'd probably pay to get out of it.

Anyway...my point is, we live in a screwed up world and there's no quick fix.
If we all cared about our fellow humans enough to not want them to suffer and struggle...and were willing to step up to the plate, to forego our luxury needs to help someone meet their basic needs there might be a fix.

To some helping the less fortunate makes them a Good Samaritan.
To others it's called Socialism.

Ok...off my soapbox...go vote!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Professional in PJs

As I sit here this morning in my jammies, unshowered and even the hair unbrushed, sipping on my morning latte I don't exactly feel like a "professional" person.  However.....when I click on the new website created for the Bead Mavens by Nancy Dale and her hubby I feel decidely professional and I get all tingly.
Click on the logo to go to our new website and see for yourself :)

To see a dream come into fruition is an amazing thing and I am certainly thrilled to be part of a group who are as into making things happen as I am.
We have a forum, a blog and now a website which we all hope will get the word out there not only about our work but about this artform we call beadwork.
It's great to see the membership of our forum grow, to be able to help other beaders when they have a question and to inspire people with our challenges.
We are getting great support for our challenge and the prize list is growing, regular sponsors are Kandra's Beads and Artbeads with independent bead artists rounding out the prize list with their own wonderful work.

This has proved to me that if you have a dream and you're willing to dedicate yourself to it, work really, really hard and have the courage to reach out to others you can make your dreams come true.  Success doesn't happen overnight, nor does it come knocking on your door and you don't get to sit back and put your feet up at the first sign of success. When it does start to happen you need to work even harder to keep it.
Will everyone cheer for you when you are successful?  A lot will, but be assured there will be some that won't, some people will put you down, try to break your resolve and may even try to sabotage you.  Don't let these few stop you, stay focused, believe in yourself and go after your dreams.

Now I may have to go shower and make myself look as professional as Nancy has made me feel....thanks Nancy!