Friday, July 22, 2011

Attack of the Drive-By Muse

Components, components.

Sometimes a vision is just a lot of components and you have to trust that your muse knows what she's doing.  That's how I feel about this fascinator I'm working on.  So far it's starfish and spheres with loops and twists and just a faint idea of how it will look when finished.

This is one of those things that I have a feeling about but it tends to make my knees shake wondering if I can pull it off.  I had the same feeling with my Urchin Choker and that turned out great so I keep reassuring myself with that.

Of course, there is always the issue with finishing a big unusual piece.....sometimes it just doesn't happen. The piece below is still sitting on my mannequin waiting to be finished.  It's a little bit further along than the picture shows although the fills have been taken out because they just weren't meeting my vision.

Sometimes our muses have more faith in us than we have in ourselves.
Or maybe they just don't have a grasp on how long these pieces take, and don't realise how frustrating their drive-by design attacks can be.

That said, I am endeavoring to live up to my muse (who might also be visiting Lady Gaga thesedays) and create the wilder, off the wall designs.
As someone who makes her living solely from selling tutorials this is quite scarey but I'm trusting that the components for these crazy pieces will lend themselves to more wearable designs and sales.
I'm not sure how creating a beaded sonic screwdriver will translate but it sure has me excited...and that's just how I need to be.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kermit Days

Yesterday was a Kermit Day.
(What the heck is she talking about now?)

Someone, I think it was Heather Collins, explained to me that when she had a day of beading where more time was spent ripping out than actually beading she called it a froggy day as in "rippit, rippit".  I tried to put a happy spin on it by thinking of Kermit when I'm having one of those days (if you listen closely you can hear me humming "It's not easy being green") so I now refer to those days as my Kermit Days.

And what had me so flummoxed?
A bigger version of this baby, my new Spiral Star.

The plan is to make a bigger one that I can use to create a fascinator, one of those pretty little hat thingies.  Of course, I want to do it now so it means working from my stash and that means working with different shaped beads. I had it going quite well, two spokes done with 4mm magatamas in place of the pearls when I realised I was going to be 14 magatamas short. Grrrr!

Rippit, rippit!
It ain't easy, Beading Queen.

I will say Nancy's post on the Bead Maven's blog about knotting your work, finishing threads as you go, because trust me it works for bead weaving too!  I had thought ahead and finished off the thread when I finished the bezel center allowing me to actually cut the spokes off without disturbing the part I was happy with!  So, all ripped out, beads sorted, magatamas tubed again I pulled out some lentils.

Now, the magatamas and the lentils both change the design somewhat, they decided they wanted to lay backwards....lazy little buggers....however, I decided that maybe they were right.

Now, I'm about finished with the first spoke and I sit back and take a good honest look at it....get my critical eye out of my pocket and brush the lint off it.  I then throw said critical eye against the wall.

Rippit, rippit!
It ain't easy, Beading Queen.

The problem this time was that starting the cellini in the way I had been doing did not work for the lentils, too close too the center made them choose to lay in the wrong direction and this time they were not right.

So it was back down to the center bezel again...boy, I'm happy with that though :)  I'd had enough for the night and decided to watch a little TV, people buying and selling houses. You can learn a lot from those shows and as that is in the near (please God let it be the very near) future, Mom and I have taken to learning as much as we can.

This morning I'm looking at that sweet little center and hoping that today I can get it right.
Kermit....take the day off buddy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Christmas in July???

Ok, so I'll be the first one to say I'm not fond of these kind of's summer, I don't want to think about Christmas.  However....after seeing all the 'Christmas in July' notices I started to think about it.
A sale of tutorials in July makes a lot of sense....for anyone who wants to bead gifts for this Christmas. By the time you've figured out what beads/colors you need, ordered them and they finally arrive so you can start beading unless you're a super fast beader you don't want to be deciding all this in November.

So...I rearranged my thinking and there is now a sale in my Artfire 10% for the rest of the month :)
Here are just a few of the things you can save on....and when it comes to beading Christmas IS just around the corner!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Tutorials ~ The Crab Collection

Finally all the illustrations are done and the words are written and launch day is here...YAY!

 Now available in my Artfire Store are my Crab Chain, seen above, which features tutorials for the necklace bracelet and earrings and my Crab Lace, seen below which also has tutorials for the necklace, bracelet and earrings.

I also listed my Medallion Bracelet which came about from the clasp on the  Crabby bracelets.

I've listed all three separately but you really make a killing if you buy the collection...a saving of $17.50 and, bonus, you get my Tutorial of the Month with any order $20 or more.  July's Tutorial is my Floral Ring....totally fun to make and wear!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It's summer!  For me it's never officially summer till July 4th and the fireworks have announced it.  I spent my Independence day relaxing and actually playing with beads.  I took advantage of the day to create my entry for the Etsy Beadweaver's August Challenge which has the theme "Summer Juicy Fruit". As you can see, my fruit was watermelon....THE summer fruit!

As I didn't have time to  design a completely new piece I used an old design and spiced it up.  In my efforts to teach a difficult stitch, cubic RAW, I had designed this 'conjoined twins' bracelet.  Actually I originally designed it as a bangle because I wasn't happy with any of the clasps I could find but with my exploration into magnets I managed to create the perect clasp for it this time.

This picture shows the construction the best, the twin strands coming together in a block medallion and the ends coming together for the clasp.

I'm really happy with how it turned certainly screams summer for me and it's good to revisit old designs and breathe new life into them.

Today it's back to illustrating for me...Sand Dollars and DecaDiscs.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Working hard & Recovering

It's been a while since blogged, after all the hassles with the wedding and then Mom's angiogram but I'm back working hard on lots of new tutorials with I'll be releasing this month. 
The tutorials I'm working on are the ones I had originally thought would be a book. After looking at it from all ways l decided to release into a collection of tutorials. So, there will be 4 main tutorials all with 3 to 6 projects in each, and 2 bonus tutorials, one for each pair of tutorials. Plus, I'll be offering a discount if you buy all 4 tutorials. I'm hoping to release everything by the middle of this month. So stay tuned :) While you're waiting for that why not shop my 4th of July Sale ~ I did a bit of numerology to come up with this one.
 July 4, 2011 = 7+4+2+0+ 1+1=15, so it's 15% off Storewide.

Other new things, three of the Bead Mavens including myself have purchased Wacom Bamboo tablets, and are helping each other learn how to use them. They are a totally fun tool and I'm actually writing this post with mine ~ not typing, writing! This means can sign documents online :) While we all bought them to help with writing and illustrating tutorials, they make drawing threadpaths so much easier, we've discovered there's a ton more you can do. Watch for our review on the Bead Mavens' biog. At the moment Heather,Callie and myself have Bamboos but l know Nancy & Linda are intrigued:) I know. it's silly but I actually have so much fun writing with it. You teach it to recognize your handwriting and it translates it into type but every now & then it screws up and puts in some totally off the wall word. Cracks me up!

For those of you interested, my dog is still with us, he's sleeping and breathing better thanks to the new meds, however, his incontinence has gotten worse so he's in a belly band and pads ~ and I got to clean carpets yesterday :(

It's been a productive week and I hope next week is just as productive, it's amazing how much you can get done when you're sleeping well. After a week of sleeping 8 full hours I feel like my old self again!.

Well! hope everyone has a great 4th and don't go playing with fireworks, you might lose a finger, and you need all of them to bead! :)