Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For some reason, working on the star with luster transparent Delicas, was so hard on my eyes that I stopped making stars (besides the little fake tree was getting overloaded) and went back to bead crocheting. The colors totally entertained me while I listened to Christmas carols even after the gift-opening splurge. I love these lime-rose magatama beads because their spring-like colors held me over the dark history of the music.
I tried using some of the dark blue magatama but they feel as if they have been covered with a plastic coating and have no "zat" or depth at all.

I did post my 'treasure list' on Etsy but though one person liked my title "So you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas" only about 25 actually looked at the list. I enjoyed making the list, do not think I am good at that, and wonder at the time spent on it. I feel I have done all I could to guide business to my site except add more items but am seriously considering whether all that work is worth it. Then I look at the shop stats and see that 15 -20 people visited the site and I realize that is more pairs of eyes on my stuff than I would get with a shop in either Gualala or Point Arena - and it is a lot warmer here on my computer by the heater and have to rethink my laziness.
My decision today is: do I take down Christmas decorations and set up my photo corner again or do I sit and bead? And if I bead, is there a life beyond a crocheted rope? I am waiting on two orders of brass stampings and if those are waiting at the post office today, they may propel me into something new.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I hope you are having a Merry Christmas!

My e-greeting to you!

\o/ Jane

Friday, December 23, 2011

As you can see, beads have invaded my Holiday Greetings. I have no excuse for my reasons for this except this is the image came to my mind and I could not get rid of it until I took the photo. I kept thinking there had to be a better photo in the idea and kept photographing the set up as the light moved around only to find, are we surprised? that this first shot was the best one.
I have many other things to do, things that need to be done, yet I am happiest making more of these stars! Reminds me of the starfish faze I was in this summer! This must have been a stary night year for me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday was our Christmas bead meeting. We had two tables of foods (I did not photograph), one of give aways, one of show and tell. Gorgeous foods. People were torn between filling their plates and finding the best give aways. Marianne had made a basket of goodies and a Fire Mountain gift certificate (that made Vicki gasp) as thanks for all her work placing the orders for us. Marianne also had gifts for each of us - a bottle of Delicas so we could all make stars for our next year Festival of Trees. Fortunately I had given Cindy one for carting me to the meeting so everyone got a look again at it. I was amazed that Suzanne had materials with her, opened the beads, used a paper plate as mat and started beading. That's her in the foreground. Bobbie moved back just as the shutter snapped so I missed her. Marianne and Vicki were discussing how to make the lovely necklace Vicki is working on. Cindy and Sandra are listening. I missed Jan Edwards who was around the corner finding the best beads from the give aways. Both Cindy and Marianne bought some of my clear ball beads and I meant to give Jan one and got side tracked. So much going on and so much laughter. I have been a hermit too long!

Got the strings on the nest necklace and am pleased with the effect. All that work layering the strings paid off. Sandra and Cindy stopped by after the bead meeting and at first they thought it was made of feathers. As they touched it and lifted the threads they were amazed at the play of colors between white and natural. How fortunate that I had some of the fuzzy yarn floating in among my potholder staple of 'sugar and cream.'
The centerpiece of jewels is just hooked in. I have not yet see how that should be finally. Maybe bigger? I tried hanging the earrings next to it but that looked like too much.
At least I know how this is going to be and have over a month to ponder the finish. It is for the Etsy beadweavers challenge for February.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A good day with very little computer work left me with enough energy to get started on the cloud for the "Living on the Edge" exhibit in January. Nearly made a terrible mistake of rolling the finished parts. Thank goodness an inner voice said, Remember you decided that rolling this would mess up the layers? So I am just accordion pleating it so the top and the bottom are separated by the layer of fabric. Those many sleepless hours in the night that I spent mentally making this piece is, I hope, paying off.
The fabric being so gauzy it is fairly easy to check that the string of beads is pulled up tight against the button. I hope to figure out some way of checking them all in the end as I was surprised how many ways a thread could get tangled in the beads. I comfort myself by saying that if a couple are messy I can just clip and forget them. Still I am patterning the beads across the expanse so they do not feel completely random.
I hope to get this done in a couple more days so I can clean the room and put up the tree. So far I have only allowed myself the advent candles.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

This entry has no photo and soon you will be thankful.
Last Friday Vicki called to say the Fire Mountain order had been delivered early. The past couple of months they had come too late for distribution at the meetings so Vicki sent in the order early to have the extra time for them to be late. As the world goes - the order came right through as if there was no Christmas mail.
Werner was just ready to go out the door for the trip to town so I held him up while I wrote a check and reminded him where to put it. He came home exhausted but delighted with himself that he had had enough energy to make the stop at Vicki's for me.
After I put away all the groceries I hurried over to the plastic bag by the mail because I was eager to see the angel wings in the order. As I tore into the green plastic bag I thought Vicki usually packages the orders better than this. Then I noticed tiny things spilling out on the counter and thought, Oh dear a bead box has broken open. Tearing the plastic bag open wider I saw what was in it.

Cat poop!
Werner had brought home the bag Tom had used to clean out the cat litter box! My order is still at Vicki's so before I get those angel wings and get started on them I am determined to work on the show piece.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I soon was bored with just pouring beads into a glass ball and began to think of what else I could put in through the tiny hole. Soon I was poking threads in and then threading in copper wires. And then there were beads on the wires - but only the tiniest ones. Once Jan Edwards had given me some very old (judging by the strings they were on) Charlottes in a fuchsia color. The beads were somewhat corroded (metal surely) and not evenly made enough for beading but it felt good to save these old, old beads in the glass balls.
Yesterday I said the holes on the balls were not flat but as I worked with them I realized the decorated headpins I was using were not straight. I found that even when they were straightened beads would leak out so I removed all of them and wrapped the wires at the loop instead of making the simple eyelet. This tightened up the end closures and now no beads are straying.
This is the last challenge of the year for the Etsy Beadweavers' in the December "Arabesque Style" contest. You are invited to vote for your favorite in the public poll at http://www.etsy-beadweavers.blogspot.com/ I have nothing in this contest but hope you will enjoy looking at the contestants and will vote for your favorite.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another effort to avoid doing the show piece. While tooling around Etsy I found someone offering pendants made with the clear glass balls from Fire Mountain. I had gotten some just before I stopped making the Scrotum Series (they do not sell!) so I dug the clear glass balls out to see what I could do with them. The holes are very small - size 11 beads will not go in. So I filled this one with 15s. The outsides of the holes are not flattened and often have one side higher than the other so it is hard to get the head pin to sit flat against the ball. The lady on Etsy filled hers with glitter but unless she found a way to stop the hole better than I could, it seems to me the stuff inside would leak. She made hers horizontal (which would help when the necklace was worn; I can image the jewely box becoming a snowy landscape) which I did not like. I must say I get a great deal of pleasure from touching the glass ball, rolling it in my hand and watching the beads swirl in it. (I am easily entertained.) I tried to think of something else I could put in it but the holes are so small. Maybe threads? Maybe I have another project so I can avoid starting the big work. It is 18 feet long and just thinking about it exhausts me.

I am doing everything I can to avoid having to work on the cloud piece for the January show. The latest issue of Bead Style came the other day and in it I found earrings made like this. Only recently had I discovered a bunch of one-inch head pins Debbe had given me and was thinking that either I should use them up or pass them along in the December Bazaar Bizarre at the bead meeting. The black pair of earrings was so easy (a few months ago I got a new tool that bends the loops perfectly) that I went on to make the white and pink pearl and crystal ones. In a recent order I got the two-strand package of assorted teardrop pearls (for angel bodies) and now am finding so many uses for them - as demonstrated here. These were too easily made and then I nothing more to do. . .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I see I forgot to show you how the angels ended up. It was amazing how all at once I knew exactly how they should look and what it took to make them be my vision. At first I was putting on silver hearts to 'match' the silver wings but when I figured out that their hearts should be gold, everything fell into place. Accidentally I picked up larger pearls for the heads than I had tried previously and I feel these are much better. They have a presence and a being. I can almost imagine the face of someone who shines.
There is something in me that wants to order many wings and make a bunch of angels for Valentine's day on Etsy and yet there is the Stevenson side of Scotch ancestry that says, "Go slow. All the profits could be swallowed up by over production of something you like. Too often you are not in touch with the likes and dislikes of the rest of the world!"

Stop the presses! So I just ordered thirty pairs of wings. . . and some interesting beads for bodies.

I am so excited about these new lizards. You can barely see in this scan, but along the sides I am now using copper hex cuts so the lizard has better body definition - i.e., fatter sides! The hex cuts are slightly longer so the thread cross-overs are minimized and the belly and back are farther apart. Plus on this color I used black thread which helps hide it.

Also in a moment of inspiration I used three beads at the end of the nose and now it looks like a dragon. I look down my photography set up in preparation of the Christmas tree in that corner but now I feel I need to get closer with the other camera.

And today I sold another of the lizard bangles so have posted two new ones on Etsy. Hopefully their holiday-like spirit and color will chase someone else into the line of buyers! I think people do not truly appreciate how there is a double thrill for a gift that is bought from the artist. I often feel I get a greater lift of spirits knowing someone has bought something I made than I do from a gift given me. So when you buy a homemade gift you give twice the thrills - one to the maker and another to the recipient of your gift.