Sunday, January 29, 2012

Giveaway Time

So, as I mentioned last week it was time for a milestone Giveaway  :)
It was to celebrate my 300 followers milestone, however since then not only have I well passed 300, I also passed the 1000 items sold in my Artfire store and had my biggest month ever!
Makes me feel like this bead designing thing might actually earn me a living ;)

So...rules for the giveaway are :

You need to be a follower of my blog to get a ticket and make a comment on this post.
If you bought/buy from my store this month (January 2012) you will automatically get a second ticket.

Simple huh?

"What do we win?" you ask.

You get to choose one of anything below :)



Either the Silver or Bronze/gold 18" Angel Bows Necklace designed for the Elegant Elements Challenge


This multi rope 25" necklace, with 2" drop to lowest rope, also designed for the Elegant Elements Challenge

Either one of my Podflower cuffs which are featured in Perlen Poesie
These can be adjusted to fit a 6 1/2" to 8" wrist...let me know the size

This pretty beaded bead 19" to 20" necklace

This Denim Blues cabochon necklace (not sure of the stone)  with vintage Swarovski. 20" with a 2" drop.

Oh...and this is up too...the photo fits a size 7 to 8 finger :)

So...there you go.  
Start commenting...Rude or mean comments disqualify :)

I'll be randomly choosing a winner next Sunday.....good luck :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Putting Your Eggs in More Than One Basket

Oh my Lord! What is she on about now?

I could have said "where there's a will, there's a way"
As those of you who know me on Facebook already know I took the components of the Finger Armor and created a bracelet :)

I'll just have to do a couple of new illustrations for it, nothing major.
It  has all the techniques I wanted to teach with the Finger Armor and I'm including the single ring tutorial too :)

So...the winners of all this craziness are my followers and customers because not only do you get a bracelet tut and the ring...I've decided I want to share this so much I'm listing the commercial edition at a mere $15
I had planned on the Finger Armor alone being $25
So...check my store Friday :)

One thing I do need help with....a name!
I've been calling it the Bracelet Born of Ring but I'd love to hear your suggestions.

I'm working hard to get my Angel Bows necklace out on Friday too....the tutorial is written and I have just two more links to make on the silver version but I am also making a gold the Elegant Elements clasp comes in both colors and Steven Weiss of the Beadsmith was kind enough to send me the gold one :)

I haven't forgotten the contest....just with all this baloney to deal with I'm behind on it.   I'm going to schedule it for this Sunday so check back on Sunday to see what you  can win and how you can enter :)

I hope everyone has a great day and thank you all so much for the support over the last few means a LOT!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Hitch on the Finger Armor here's the deal....the release of my tutorial is on hold.
Why? You ask.
Yes, it's ready to go and I got up to find a note telling me I have infringed someone's copyright....and now a threat to sue me.

Now this is a story that goes back two plus years.
When I first started beading I frequented a beading forum and there was a loomer/beader who posted a picture of a very pretty (but for me overly feminine) two section ring. It triggered a memory for me of a design I'd done a few years earlier when I was heavily into chain maille.   Being a kind of fiesty, costuming gal I was interested in jewelry based on armor just as I had made clothes out of chain maille.  And I had designed some finger armor based on gauntlets.

And something else that I had come across in my foray into armor...the arm wraps....look familiar? you can research led me to seeing that a hinge was needed to create the design I had in mind. I didn't get past the design stage and in all honesty I wasn't bead weaving at the time so hadn't thought of doing them in a technique I didn't know existed.  And it wasn't till seeing this gal do something with the basic idea in bead weaving that my memory was triggered.  I dug out my old design sketch book....and I had even drawn up a pattern for the finger armor. I got to work translating my original pattern into beadwork and posted my pictures in the forum.
She had a problem. Even though, as everyone said, mine looked completely different, different style, different look.  This gal said she was patenting all bead woven rings that covered more than one section of the finger....and then asked me how I hinged mine, because it looked different from her technique and she'd like to include MY technique in HER patent!!!!!  WTF?

Anyway, it was a huge thing on the forum with most people feeling she couldn't create a patent like that....that it would be like trying to own the rights to fabric arm coverage...sleeves.  A few legal people wrote me in support telling me to go forward....but I didn't push it.  

Since then....multiple jointed rings have really come to be quite common with Beyonce's hand jewelry being right up their in the lead.  Notice those hinged joints :)

And here are just a few of the armor inspired multiple section rings out there.

Now....what about bead weaving, you say? the years since this all started I've seen a few people do multiple joint coverage with bead weaving...I know Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, who I actually met through all of this, did a combination bracelet and full finger coverage piece. Recently Sabine Lippert did a beautiful multiple joint ring.
But apparently I'm the only one being sued.

So....sorry folks I cannot release the tutorial today.
But.....I am thinking that I might release a couple of ring tutorials and maybe a tutorial on creating hinges in beadwork :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The 300 Milestone

Back in the days when I started this blog I never imagined anyone would actually read it let alone follow it and yet here I am having hit the 300 followers milestone.  WOW!

Time for a giveaway methinks :)
You have to be a follower of my blog to play and I'm still working out the details but consensus is that the prize should be winner's choice of finished jewelry or a gift certificate.  So in the next few days I'll be routing through my finished stash to find suitable pieces that I'm willing to part with :) Stay tuned!

Last night I realized I was already falling behind with my weekly workload....yeah, on Monday night...not good.  I blame the cold weather, it makes me stay in bed later....I have heavy blackout curtains in the winter so I have no clue how late it is and even when I do wake up it's too dang cold to get out of my nice warm bed.   One of the pitfalls of working for yourself is there's no timeclock to punch.

Yesterday I did finish all the illustrations for the Finger Armor and just have the words to write now (not a small task).  I did this a little differently I illustrated a section at a time and tested it by working from it.  Below is the test ring which at this point just needs it's hinges strengthening and thread worked in.

The thing I was most concerned with about this pattern is fitting/sizing. I've made enough of these to be pretty confident about sizing them but getting all that info to you...well, that's the thing.   The tendency is to make your actual ring size and that ends up being too small.  You kind of have to make this to fit your index finger if you want to wear it on your ring finger.....just the nature of the beast.  I will have a whole page devoted to sizing.
Anyway...the tutorial will be in my store Friday.

The beading part I am behind with is the black tweaked version of my Cufflette.  I'm going to try it with a different bead too...not sure it will work in practice but it makes a lot of sense in theory.  So, I did get the beads onto my bead board last night and by the time I go to bed tonight I plan to have the cuff part done ready to start the lacy part.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

When Rights Are Returned

The end of this month sees my rights returned for my "Gothic Urchin" or as Beadwork magazine named it "Gothic Butterfly" bracelet.  My muse kept me awake till 3am this morning jabbering on about this, throwing design ideas at me....along with three more designs using Corrugated peyote. I sincerely wish someone would tell her how long it takes to develop what she comes up with and write the tutorials so she might consider slowing the heck down.

 Anyway....I've had many requests to write my own tutorial for this....with all my step-by-step instructions and illustrations rather than the abbreviated type that magazines need.  I'm not one to redo things like that so I had to give it a lot of thought and decided that if I was going to publish something that had already been in a magazine I wanted to add to it, tweak it, do something different with it.  Though the instructions for the original bracelet will be included.
I've also had a lot of requests for the tutorial for the Urchin Wings choker which is made up of the same components...not going to do that...but as many people think this is actually a bracelet (those would have to be some tiny assed beads) I thought I might see if I can do a bracelet variant. There will be a pendant based on the choker I'm 99% certain about that :)

These designs will be going on my 'To Do' list for February before you ask ;)
Hopefully to be in my store end of Feb/beginning of March.

In the background....things I can't show you that I'm working on are: 
a reversible pendant hopefully for B&B magazine (they asked me) which I'm almost finished with the second colorway but elements for the chain are backordered so it's probably gonna be on hold for a bit,
a summery flatwork cuff, (again because B&B asked me),
and a whole bunch of Corrugated Peyote designs that I'm hoping will come together as a book, if I can get a publisher interested.  I've been collecting supplies for these designs and am anxious to start working on them but I have to limit myself to working on them Friday through Sunday evenings.
On top of that I am working on a design that I hope will be a workshop possibly at BABE this year.....IF I can get it done in time to submit and IF they accept it. could say my plate is as full as a food addict's at a free buffet :)
This is life with an over active, slave driving muse! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Working Hard

To say I've been busy would be an understatement, I've been a productive demon the last couple of weeks.  I am the typical over achiever never happy no matter how hard I work or how much I produce so I'm a little disappointed I didn't manage to finish the Finger Armor tutorial this week too. But I'm not going to beat myself up too much because it's more important to make sure the tutorial is correct and has all the information needed.  It will be ready for release next Friday though.
I have decided that Friday will be "Release Day" as it gives me a goal/deadline and also anyone who is waiting for a release will know which day to look for it.

Today's release is my Sand Dollar pendant

It's shown here with Kabela Design's Antique Brass Filigree Wreath which is available from Artbeads. It's fun to try lots of additions and anything with a center hole of 11mm to 15mm will work.

Reversed the Sand Dollar looks more like a flower

Though I show an elegant version in the tutorial you can fun this one up, switch out the crystals for firepolish and use multiple colors.
These are the flatter version of the Sand Dollar....the tutorial has optional scaffolding to ensure the height of the dome and on the ones below I also skipped a couple of the center rows for the flatter disc.

My Crab Chain was actually designed to work with this pendant and seamlessly works into the design as shown in the tutorial but you would need to purchase the Crab Chain tutorial as the instructions for it are not included.

I have listed ten sets of magnets in my store and I have more on order. The magnets are used in the center component.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Opening a Design Door

So, the piece I was struggling with a couple of months ago when my brain was not cooperating is finally finished.  Well...the prototype is, this will need some tweaking but I'm happy with how it turned out overall.
I love lace, love wearing it, love making it....and I've really wanted to capture the beauty of crocheted lace in beads ever since I discovered bead weaving.
So this is my first piece....a bead lace version of my crocheted lace Cufflette.

Here are the two cufflettes together

It was an interesting project one where I realised my brain needed to be in bead mode for the cuff part and crochet mode for the lace part.
I get it now :)
And it opens the door to so many possibilities my muse is jumping up and down screaming in excitement with "what if"s.  Which actually can be quite annoying when you already have a full schedule.

I have started day 1 of seriously packing up the house, a slow start but I plan on getting a lot done before Monday.   I still have to bead because, well....there are beads and there are ideas....and I need an income.
Bead & Button contacted me a bit back asking if I would like to submit a couple of projects and the fixings for one of them have been sitting on my bead board for at least a month and I am hoping to get that one beaded this weekend.  It's a's reversible,  uses filigree, and one of those big rubber disc beads....and that's as much as I can's also as much as I know right now :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back in Gear

I am finally back in gear and working like a normal me again :)
Not that I'm remotely 'normal' as my family frequently remind me and I'm not sure in a good way ;)

But normal for me is over-achieving workaholic and that can definitely be said that that's how I've started 2012....focused and nose to the grindstone.
I did start 2012 early with my release of the Industrial Chic: Corrugated Filigree Cuff in December but I've continued with the release of the matching necklace and the embellished bangle.  If you want to buy the tutorials just click on the pictures and it'll take you right to where you can buy them :) 

If you want both the Filigree Cuff and Necklace and want to save some $$$ they are available as a package :)

As we really need to get the house ready for sale ASAP I'm cutting my work week down to four days...which means four days of pattern writing or at least one pattern a week though I'll be beading every evening.  The goal is to have sold the house and be in Fresno by the Spring...I'd love to be there for the beginning of March in time for the Rogue Festival....but we'll see.

I have a bunch of things that need patterning, I'm presently working on finishing my Sand Dollar tutorial which has been waiting for it's center to be written and I've had the request (many) to write a tutorial for my Finger Armor so it is on my schedule for next week.

These are some of the ones I've made in the past.

Well....lots of eye candy this morning....hope you enjoy them :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Sparkling Brand New Year!'s here, it's finally here. I've been waiting for 2012 for over 30 years ever since learning about the Mayans and their incredible predictions.
I guess how you feel about the prediction says what kind of person you are....optimistic or pessimistic, whether you have any hope left.
I definitely fall into the optimistic group because I feel December 21st, 2012 will bring about a positive change. I'd like to think it would be a great big dose of common sense, compassion and understanding released into the world-wide water system.  My money (hope) is on solar flares taking out all wireless!  It would totally mess things up, satellite TV ...gone, cell phones....gone (who you gonna text?), and a myriad of things we have become  so used to using. We'd actually have to speak to each other again....the new neurosis of face to face contact would keep the shrinks busy :)

I doubt it would last too long....maybe a year? But it might give people time to think and reevaluate.  

I'm reading a book right now called "Alice in Darkland" and it's very relevant, I feel. Yes, a take on Alice in Wonderland but with Alice as a gun wielding freedom fighter trying to get the truth out about politicians and the rich getting together to 'thin' the population and bring back slave camps. Yup....the 1% enslaving the 99%....this time by turning people into zombies so it's easy to understand the need for the genocide and make the remaining humans 'pliable'.  Of course if you're rich enough, or connected enough there's a vaccination.

The Queen in this is one of the biologists who helped create the vaccine but took it after she had been bitten by a zombie so is half human/half zombie....which I can't help picturing our English Queen in the role as she shows no emotion and has dead eyes :)  The White Rabbit and Mad Hatter are zombies of course.
I'm about half way through the book and it's the perfect thing to read as we enter the year of! Of course, only if your dark side is out of the closet :)

My advice for the year.....have a cable connection, a landline, get out and talk to people face to face and load up your Kindle to capacity now  :)  And I'm only half joking!

Happy Armageddon!