Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last One Off the Bead Board

So...if you've been following you know I've been trying to clear a few of 2011's UFOs and last night I finished the last one I planned to complete before the year fades out.

So the second version of the Embellished Corrugated Peyote Bangle is done. This one uses bugles and the new Twin beads....which as luck would have it were released just as I was thinking "gee, I could use a two hole bead for this bangle" . Sometimes things just work out right :)

I managed to get four pages of illustrated tutorial done yesterday, then I was feeling so proud of myself I had a glass of wine with dinner, not thinking it would make sitting at the computor and doing the last two illustrations impossible. But it did so I didn't finish.   I should get it completed and published today though and that's before the end of the year so it's good :)

I had hope to pattern up the bangle too before we turned all 2012 but as I was doing the second version I realised it was going to be a bit more involved than I thought....gee, really Mikki....two designs in one pattern is more work? I bite off more than I can chew at times....the problems of an over-achiever!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Clearing the Bead Board

Making progress on clearing the bead board before the ball drops at the end of the year.   Completed last night my herringbone Deco Medallion bracelet.

As you can see I used two different medallions for this one but I think a bracelet of either one of the medallions would be pretty too.  When I get to writing the pattern I think I'll put all three styles in because it would just be the joinings that would be different.   Of course I'll have to make two more bracelets :)

This was the first time I've used Delica 15/0s for more than just the small beads in a bezel but I felt these designs called for something delicate.
I'll probably try working them up in other beads too...maybe I'll be surprised :)

Anyway...that's one more UFO off the bead board and leave just one to go....not that I don't have a bunch more UFOs but there's only one left of the group I planned to be finished before the end of the year.

I'm hoping to finish the tutorial for the Corrugated Filigree Necklace today...six pages but I think I can do it.  That would leave tomorrow free for one last easy one, the Embellished Corrugated Bangle which is also the last and current piece on my bead board...the second version, embellished with the new Twin beads.

And yes...."My name is Mikki and I'm a workaholic"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Conveyor Belt on my Conveyor Belt

This week has been a return to my productive little self and my bead board has resembled a conveyor belt as unfinished pieces rolled across it to be completed.

The latest is a piece I think of as "The Conveyor Belt" necklace as it reminds me of the conveyor belts that used to move freshly baked sponge cakes along the factory line to find their boxes at my summer job when I was at college.  Funny where inspiration comes from.

The large Steampunk button seemed the perfect pendant to go with this industrial piece. I love the way the corrugations undulate and I'm sure I'll be playing with more versions of the undulations as designs pop into my they are doing right now :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Beadsmith Project......DONE!

 Finally finished the two projects for Beadsmith, I ended up with two necklaces purely because I couldn't find a matching delica for the silver clasp that I was happy with.  After seeing some of the other amazing pieces people made I think mine are a little on the simple side.....maybe I approached the challenge differently?  My thought was to make something that showed the clasp off and was simple enough to make people think "I could do that" they'd run out and buy the clasp.  The black piece in particular....because I figured even if you are a stringer you could work something up similar.

And my sprint to the end of this year

I'm now working on what I call a Steampunk piece though it's not like any I've seen.....the idea for it was a cog on a conveyor belt or gear on a bike chain. It's sort of got an Egyptian feel to it...don't ask how THAT!
Sometimes I think my muse and I think very differently.   Anyway....I have a couple of inches and a clasp to go on that pictures should be up tomorrow.

Today I'm back at the drawing board...the computerized version, of course.
I completed three pages of the Corrugated Filigree Necklace tutorial yesterday,  I can use ten pages for the two components that are the same as the bracelet I figure I have another ten or twelve to write and illustrate.  Five new components in the necklace.

The goal is to finish the tutorial and write another (simpler) one.
To finish the Steampunk necklace, make the final link for my Deco bracelet, and finish an alternate using Twin beads of my embellished corrugated bangle.
All by the end of the year...I can see me being up at midnight on New Year's Eve....and not to see 2012 in :)

As for  what 2012 holds......
I get my life back
I start sculpting with beads
I paint again
I get on the teaching circuit
Please God!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Finally managed to complete and publish the tutorial for my 
Industrial Chic: Corrugated Filigree Cuff

You can get it right here !
I've got a sale going too.....spend $50 and get 20% off
Use the code 20OFF50

Plus....I've included a discount coupon in the tutorial so that if you want to buy the necklace tutorial too....should have it done by next week... you'll get a healthy discount :)  Once I get the necklace tutorial up it will have a discount code for the cuff too.  I feel as some of the components are the same you shouldn't have to pay for them twice :)

I am almost finished with my second piece for the Beadsmith Project.  After not liking the match of the clasp with the bracelet I originally designed I switched gears to create an asymmetrical necklace with a variety of ropes. I just have the large back rope to make and it will be a wrap :)

It's sort of a mad dash to finish things before the end of the year so I can start 2012 with a clean beading board. Is that only me?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Whatever Floats Your Boat

I'm in full Christmas hermit mode, not a grinch, I hope the holiday is everything people want, but for me I'll just hold tight till it's all over.
For some of us this isn't the happiest of seasons and can actually be pretty rough but I think the best thing we can do is fly under the radar so we don't spread the sadness. So I'm kind of avoiding the social media and all Christmas shows :) 
So...if you love the season I hope you enjoy every minute of it and if you're like me....hang in there, normal programming will resume shortly.

Struggling with work right now....I seem to be in permanent slow motion...a Baywatch beader.
I hope to finish writing the words and checking through the Filigree Corrugations bracelet today and hopefully list it tomorrow. 
The necklace should be a LOT quicker as I can use a lot of the illustrations from the bracelet.  I do plan on attaching a discount code for the necklace tutorial if you buy the bracelet tutorial and vice-versa.

I've been thinking a LOT about art lately, having the urge to paint or sculpt again.....just not the room or time to do!  Being an artist sure does take up a lot of space.  And I dream of both a wet studio and a dry one.
I am trying to form a plan for the new year, to get the heck out of dodge and find my life again.  I'm gathering projects that I think would be good workshops and hope to put a brochure together so I can set up some classes in California beginning in April....hopefully I'll be living there by then and if not, well, it will be the break I need. So if you have a bead store in California and you would like a new instructor...drop me a line :)

I'm hoping Santa brings me a big shovel for Christmas...or maybe a back hoe so I can dig for all the positivity I need to make the changes my life desperately needs.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sneaky Peek Saturday

Working amidst all the distractions is proving difficult lately plus I think the only thing I haven't gotten back fully is my attention span...what used to come easy is like pulling teeth lately.

Still.....while working on pattern writing I have managed to keep working on some beading in the evenings and here's a sneaky peek at some of the things in progress.

The turquoise skull piece is for me, a beaded chain maille necklace.
Another piece in the Industrial Chic Corrugated Peyote series and a Deco bracelet that was to be for the Beadsmith Project but on seeing the picture I'm not happy with the match between clasp and beads (that's why it's not even in the picture).  Back to the drawing board on that one, I think.  Though I like the bracelet so I'll just have to come up with another clasp.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Branching Out

I've been thinking a lot about bead sculpture lately, mostly because pattern sales have been very slow and I need to make a living.  When we eventually move to Fresno I hope to get back in with the art crowd there and possibly get back to painting but I'd also like to do some bead sculptures.

What to bead though....I had a couple of ideas but I don't like just random things....I like to create lines and collections.  So...some old ideas raised their heads the other day...a number of years ago I started making some soft sculptured imps or elves and it occurred to me they would be awesome in beads so I think that will be one line. Another is a set of very stylized, happy, dancing people which I don't just think would be fun to make but good for my soul too.  Both sets have names but I can't share that as I've had names stolen before so I play it close to the chest now.

How to make them is the next step. The imps will be fairly easy as the armature could be soft with a wire inner....just as the sewn ones were. I will have to sculpt the faces and as my clay is already packed for the move and in storage that will have to wait.

The dancing people however will need a much firmer base and have to be sculpted.  I'm thinking I might do some bead embroidery on those too....not something I've done much of though I've done a LOT of thread embroidery. I'm looking at balsa wood for the bases....boy is that expensive!  The coffers certainly can't afford that right they may have to wait.

It also dawns on me that I need a LOT of space! One studio is not enough, I need a 'smelly' studio for painting, claying and sculpting and another for beading and sewing.  I dream of a little house in the Tower District where I could turn a garage into a studio and be able to open it up for Art Hop and Rogue Festival.

So much to think about....but it's good to have a plan.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Down, One To Go

I finished the first piece for the Beadsmith Project yesterday!
If you missed me talking about it, Beadsmith has gathered a group of designers from around the world (some really big, intimidating names) and given us the challenge of creating pieces around their Elegant Elements clasps.

We each got to choose two and this is the first of my choices.
Some see is as an angel but my skewed brain saw it as a bow :)

So, with bows in mind and herringbone stitch, which is a stitch I know people have been asking for more designs using it, I created this wedding style necklace.

The clasp can be worn front or back which is something I know to be important for a wedding necklace or wedding the back of the bride is seen as much as the front during the ceremony. This really is a perfect clasp for a bride's necklace.
I did an opera length but as this is "bow links" it's easy to make it any length you like.  Even though this isn't my Gothic/Industrial personal style I would actually wear this one as I think it's a fun take on classic pearls.
It was actually challenging for me as I didn't want to over power the clasp and I've been heavily embedded in the chunky Corrugated Peyote designs so the switch took some time.

The next one is about halfway done and is a bracelet taking this design up and out and it's already making me want to do spin-offs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Planning & Getting on Track

After distraught discussions at 3am I'm going along with 'The Plan' though not convinced that all the work I'm going to have to do won't end up hurting me or setting me up for another round of 'Blame & Beat Up Mikki'
At least I now know I'm not the only one concerned about my physical safety or the only one to have a defense plan.

So...once's the fight to get back on track and see how long I can hold on before the demo ball hits me this point there's no reason to believe it won't.
For those of you who have shown concern...thank you!

The progress on the Beadsmith Project has been slow going...mostly because I'm very picky and want things to match perfectly.  I've had to accept that there's just no perfect silver delica to match the clasps I chose.....unless someone knows something I don't.
The necklace which has decided it wants to be a choker is almost there, three or four more links to go. And it will work with the clasp at the front or at the back. I'm really liking it even though it's not my personal least it will be an easy pattern to write up :)

On the other hand the bracelet will take quite a bit of writing up.
After working on about six variations and not happy with any individual one I laid all the components side by side to see which one I liked the best and realised they actually looked good together though each one needed a little tweaking.  So now I know where it's going it should speed up the progress.

After I get through my long list of chores today I hope to finish the tutorial for the Corrugated Filigree Cuff

Then I get to work on the necklace tut which should go a lot quicker.  
Trying to get both finished for the weekend.

Something that cropped up yesterday was Heather Collins and I having an occurrence of JBS (Joint Brain Syndrome) or GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike)
Heather published a picture of her "Door Hinge" pendant sending me into a tizzy to get photos taken of my own take on the 'hinge'....something I've been working on for well over 6 months. is Heather's "Door Hinge" clasp pendant

And here's my "Hinge Pin" clasp cuff. 
This also shows my Medieval influence :)

I have a lot of "Hinge" designs including a pendant which has been a UFO for a number of months. Too many ideas and not enough time...I could probably spend the next five years just working from the design sketches already in my design book.

OK.....must NOT overwhelm myself.....playing it way too close to the line these easy go into 'static' mode.

Monday, December 12, 2011


After being hit by another mac truck I'm trying to be positive.
I'm trying to not let it destroy me.
I'm trying to be hopeful.
I'm trying to be generous in any way I can.
I'm trying to stay on my diet even though Mom is sabotaging me.
I'm trying not to cry all the time.
I'm trying to work.
I'm trying to be thankful.

But I feel empty, alone and tired of trying.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Waiting Game


I'm waiting for a bead delivery that will bring the last rivoli I need for my Corrugated Filigree necklace. I'm really proud of this falls into the 'opulent' category and I'm totally having fun discovering just how versatile my corrugated peyote is. For me a design is good if it has versatility.

Last night I started working on a Steampunk pendant utilizing corrugated peyote. I must admit I was getting a little disappointed that it didn't pack the punch I wanted but it was early days and the corrugated peyote was working just as I wanted.  Before I went to bed last night I realized another way I could work the corrugations that would be way cool and this morning I woke up with the perfect way to incorporate the new idea into the pendant. My muse likes to work when I'm asleep :)

I have some new things to work on too.  I have been selected as one of the designers to create new designs utilizing Beadsmith's "Elegant Elements" clasps.  I got to choose two and they arrived yesterday :)

There were a LOT too choose from and my first selection was this Arte Deco style....a style I love working in.  The design for a bracelet using this one is already in my sketchbook and components should be arriving today or tomorrow.

My second choice was this very unusual clasp which I wasn't even sure how it worked :)  There's a little box clasp behind one wing.  This is a challenging one....because I plan for it to be up front but it's also small and very delicate. I had in mind a necklace and I'm going to have to bring all the delicate creativity I have to make this work.  Of course it would be the perfect back clasp for a wedding necklace when the back is seen as much as the front.

I have to order some things for the design I have in mind and I have to try the idea out first to see if it will work.
BUT what fun!
I love these type of challenges! So thank you Steven Weiss for including me in what is a very impressive group of designers...a little intimidating to be up there with the likes of Jean Campbell, Marsha Wiest-Hines, Linda Roberts (who suggested me...thank you:))  my bud, the amazing Heather Collins and a bunch of other terrific designers :)

Here's one of Linda Robert's designs using an "Elegant Elements" clasp it's called "Enticement" and it certainly is! Thank you Linda for setting the bar so sarcasm there at all ;)

And I just found out Heather chose my second choice in gold....oooo....competition!