Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a Safe & Merry Holiday

Christmas lights in the city

Every morning I have been greeted in the subway by a man playing Christmas tunes on a trumpet in order to raise funds for Salvation Army and when I emerge onto the streets I see these twinkling lights. I hope you have holiday filled with joy and peace.

A second view of city lights

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Next Button

Do you follow blogs via an RSS reader?  It is a great aggregator but it is not always the best way to view posts.  You miss the side lists: on this blog my flickr stream, on other blogs links to the most recent posts of blogs the writer is following, contact information, other links of interest such as etsy, and direct access to comments.  Of course, you also miss the ads, which I am really good at tuning out.

Instead of reading posts in my RSS feed, I make use of the Next button my tool bar.

When I click on the Next button my browser takes me to the next unread post on the blogger's web page.  Not only am I able to see all the additional goodies I also have easy access to comments.  Even better, my visit is counted in the blogger's statistics. 

To set up a next button from your Google Reader, choose the options gear in the upper right hand corner of your Google Reader and Select Reader Settings.

Once on the Options page, choose the Goodies Tab. 

In this tab you will find the Next Button that you can drag to the tool bar on your browser.

This is a great way to view your favorite blogs.

Have a wonderful holiday. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bead Storage

I have a lot of beads, and a lot of those are seed beads- Delicas, Charlottes, Czech and Japanese. 

My previous storage method- spice racks just wasn’t working anymore.  The spice racks were great for hanks of Czech beads.  They are, however, heavy and large when you have 150+ jars.

A spice rack full of Czech seed beads

I will always believe glass containers are the best as they are more transparent than plastic.  Plastic baggies were not an answer.  I really dislike the plastic tubes many of my beads are sold in so those were ruled out. 

I thought I found the answer in 4 dram glass vials.  These are a generous size for 10 grams of Delicas.  You can get these at bargain prices on e-bay if you wait for an auction.  The glass vials did not work out because the tops came loose when the plastic storage boxes they were stored in were moved.  Not every top came loose, it was always just 1 and not the same top every time nor every time I moved the storage box.  Nonetheless, it was clear this was not going to work out. 
Storage New and Newest
This left two choices: a more expensive glass jar or plastic.  Since money is almost always a consideration I chose plastic. 

More choices followed.  I considered those tic-tac style boxes because you can store them on their side and it makes viewing the colors easy.  However, I read that the tops are not always tight and that is why I gave up on the vials.  As I sometimes travel with my beads I did not want “stacking” jars.  Each container had to have a lid.  I opted for Darice Bead Storage Jars labeled as Clear “EZ” View with Screw Top Lids.  I bought sets of larger jars measuring 47 mm (2 inch) high for my Czech beads and 21 mm high jars for my Delicas.  The 21 mm jar holds about 10 grams of Delicas. 
Lots of Czech Beads
More Czech Beads
They are not as nice as my spice jars, but they are smaller and lighter.  The lids are not well finished.  Nonetheless, I expect the lids to stay on.  I am much happier with these than the tubes the beads came in. All of my seed beads will soon be stored in like containers allowing me to assess my options as I begin a project. 
This is one of the things that has been keeping me busy, moving beads from one jar to another like a mad scientist.

One final note, I create labels for inside each container with Bead Style (e.g. Delica) Color Name, Size, Source, Identifying Number (if applicable) and cost. 
Just another photo of the same Czech Beads

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Do You Do It?

I have no idea of how all of those successful jewelry makers and bloggers manage to do it all.

I have a full time job, no children or significant other to take care of, and I just can't seem to find the time I need to organize which would free up time to create.

Week days are filled with the tasks of daily living and a full time job + commute time.  

Weekends are spent taking care of all the things I don't have time for during the week.

One of my weekend tasks is a visit to the delightful West Side Market. The market is a short train ride from my home and I try to visit every Saturday.  This indoor market features small vendors selling a plethora of good food. I buy my poultry from vendors who purchase from the local Amish population which makes me feel better about my main source of meat.  I buy all of my fresh produce at the same market. When I want bread, other than Einstein Brothers Bagels, I buy from one of the local bakers at the market.  What a great resource the market is.  This weekend, for $27.00 I got: a small Italian loaf of bread, 4 apples, 5 oranges, 2 types of onions, 3 red peppers, 1 banana pepper, 1 head of garlic, 3 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 4 links of sausage, ohhh, and from the spice vendor an ounce of fennel seed and an ounce of cayenne pepper for some Christmas baking.  I am well blessed to have such a resource, even if it means I have to make an additional trip to a regular super market for canned goods, milk, and some packaged food.

I am still getting organized.  For every step forward I take one step backwards. I did a little bit of beading and now there just isn't a clear space to work.

Actually, it only looks bad it would just be a matter of minutes to re-organize the mess to make work room.  The problem is I would just be moving the mess from one space to another to be cleaned up later.  Here is my bead storage- this includes display, packaging, photo storage as well as beads, findings, and a few other things bead related.

In addition to all of the above, I am trying to find time to scan boxes and boxes of documents so I can get rid of boxes and boxes of paper and cut down significantly on my storage needs.  I am also copying a box full of floppy discs to my computer.  Somehow I neglected to do that years ago and now I am have to make up for lost time.  

So how do you fit in work, commuting, exercise, cooking, laundry, cleaning, shopping, organizing, reading (a big downfall for me) and still find time to create, photograph, and blog? 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Buying a Camera

I spent quite a bit of time researching cameras before I bought one.  It was not a fruitful search when my search criterion was “macro.”  Although it seems logical that you zoom in to capture a macro shot, macro is not the same as zoom. 

Time to cut to the chase I bought a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS. 

I restricted my choices by setting a dollar limit of under $200.00 and aimed for under $150.00.  I was able to purchase my camera at a local big box store for a bit over that $150.00. 

I visited multiple stores over a period of months and asked questions. I even visited a shop specializing in cameras.  When I was ready to make my purchase I asked the young man why he was working in the camera department.  He replied that he knew a lot about cameras.  I followed up by telling him the camera I wanted and why and asked if he would recommend something else.  He came up with one option which was pricier and told me that my choice was good. 

As I hinted above I read reviews. The review that convinced me was from CNET my favorite resource for impartial reviews of tech toys.  The review stated that this camera was slow and the AA batteries ran out quickly. I wasn’t worried about slow but now I am thinking I need to get some rechargeable batteries for my camera.  The convincing line in the review was that this camera worked well in low light conditions.  All other reviews I read of cameras in my price range said that the cameras did not do well in low light conditions.  I don’t know about you but I take pictures of my jewelry inside in natural light, not quite dim light, but not bright either.

I am still at that steep learning curve with my camera, but I am quite satisfied.  The three things mentioned again and again that photographers must learn are ISO, aperture priority, and shutter speed.  I can set all three and white balance with my camera.  I have a macro setting.  I have a delay setting.  I like that I can switch between fully manual and automatic. I have auto everything, including focus.  This was a great choice for me and I would recommend this camera to anyone interested in photographing jewelry.

Additional resources for your reading pleasure:
Baubleicious wrote a post about her choices in photographing her beadwork.  She purchased an Olympus' Stylus Tough.

Pearl at The Beading Gem was one of the first posts I read about choosing a camera.  She chose a Lumix.

The review for my camera is linked above, but CNET regularly reviews cameras

Etsy has quite a few resources, but the one I bookmarked was Studio Quality Product Photography With a $12 Set Up 

Digital Photography Tips and Tutorials, particularly the article on macro photography

Life Hacker had a great series- Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide
Photo Net is another great learning resource.  I bookmarked The Missing Pages column  which addresses the details left out of your user manual. 

Hmm… I think I might just have to add an additional subheading on photography to my list of links.

I am off to enjoy Thanksgiving.  Have a great holiday. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Links

It has been a busy week and the month of November is going to remain busy. My Aunt, who  generously presents my jewelry at her shows, will be having two events in November. I will be assisting.

I took my latest creations to work to show what I had been doing and sold two necklaces and gained one repair job. I have to finish the second necklace and repair job today.  I will try to take pictures.

I have been busy adding links to my RSS feed, which explains in part, why I have over 300 un-read blog posts in my reader. The new links are available on the All My Blog Links page under the subtitle New Links. There are 28 new links, all worth a visit.

I added 3 Polish blogs, and probably would have added more had I had the time to follow links on those blogs. Check out: Bizuteria by Dominikana for beautiful wirework, Margita- hand embroidered jewelry for stunning and bright soutoche, and Haft koralikowy by Jagienkaa for exquisite bead embroidery.

If you are looking for patterns, don't miss: Gyöngyékszer minták.

I find quite a few links through Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party which is where I found: Objects and Elements a truly awesome site with step by step tutorials.  The last two tutorials were for wearable journals.  The step by step instructions made it look easy to create these metal covered, hinged, journals.  What more could you ask for?

I am at heart a bead weaver.  If you want complex multipart tutorials for big finished pieces, do not miss: Tutoriels perles, Créations Laure.

The link for Bead Perles is a shop, but they have great interviews with European beaders.  What a great resource.

Finally, I posted a link to my friend Karen Landis.  I expect some day she will be well known.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Look what I won

A platter filled with beads

This generous 5 pound package is from Judith B Designs.  What a treasure trove it is, chips, crystals, lentils, stone, brass, and more.  Judy was making room for new purchases and put together this package for a giveaway.  This was delivered last week and I intended to blog about it last weekend but this being Cleveland's record breaking year for rain I didn't have enough light to take a decent picture.

Thanks Judy, these will be put to good use.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Plan

Do you design jewelry and in the process redesign and redesign again?  I do.  Which is why I don’t quite have a bracelet to share with you today.

Several months ago I purchased a pattern for a peyote puffy heart from Kreativ Keller.  There is no English translation, but Google translate worked quite well and the diagrams were great.  The plan for this weekend was to finally get around to trying out the pattern.  Now, that plan worked just fine.

Puffy Heart, pattern by Kreativ Keller
Having successfully made the puffy heart, the plan was to make a bracelet using these silver plated tubes as a quick and simple finish:

Silver Plated Tubes for bracelets

The plan also included the use of this carved bone frog as the center of the bracelet:

Plans don’t always work. 

Upon reflection the carved bone frog did not fit with the delicacy of the seed bead elements.  I am disappointed.  I think I have had the bone frog for a few decades.  The color was a perfect compliment.  The size was just right.  However, it just wasn’t going to work and I would not have been satisfied with the finished piece. 

New plans were quickly hatched.  I rummaged through my box of white beads and found a mother of pearl disk.  It was the right size and color.  However, when I put it together it was to long for a bracelet.  Which means the silver tubes will also be put aside for another day. 

The bracelet will now become a necklace, once I make it to a shop and pick up some silver plated chain.  Here is the unfinished piece:

Not Your Mother's Pearls

I am really happy with the way this turned out.  I am also well pleased with the instructions from Kreative Keller, they were well done, easy to interpret and follow, and the design is quite clever. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Better Notes on Beaded Beads…

Okay, I should know better than to go from my scribbled notes.  I should have remade the darn beaded bead when I was getting ready to post my notes.  Corrections and clarifications are in red.

Here are the corrected notes:

The Beginning:  Thread 29 size 10 Delicas and tie a knot creating a circle of beads.  The tail should be equal on both sides, with needles on both sides. 

Size 10 Rows:  Peyote 8 total rows of size 10 Delicas; that is 4 rows on one side of that original circle (for future reference this is named the north side) and 3 rows on the other side (this named the south side.) 

Size 11 Rows:  Peyote 3 rows of size 11 Delicas on the north side and 3 rows of size 11 Delicas on the south side of the beaded bead. 

Size 15 Rows:  Peyote 1 row of size 15 Delicas on the north side and 1 row of size 15 Delicas on the south side.

Netting Rows:  On the north side exit from a size 15 Delica, add 5 size 15 Delicas, skip a size 15 Delica from the final peyote row, and enter the next size 15 Delica from the final peyote row.  Rinse and repeat.  Assuming my counting is correct you should have 7 scallops.  Repeat on the south side.

Note:  See my pictures below.  On the beaded bead I made today I had to use 5 beads on the south side scallop and 7 beads on the north side scallop. 

Final Row:  On the north side exit through the middle (3rd) bead of the size 15 netting row, add a bead, and enter the 3rd bead of the next size 15 netting row, rinse and repeat.  When the circle is complete pull your thread tight and weave back through your bead work to tie your knot.  Repeat on the south side. 

Below is a collage of the beaded bead I made today, a heart beaded bead that I will post more about tomorrow when my new bracelet is finished, and the pair of beaded beads showing the difference in the final netted row with 5 beads and 7 beads.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Notes on How to Create Beaded Beads and a Personal Update

Many months ago Mandy of Beads for Brains and I exchanged e-mails bemoaning the fact that a simple round beaded bead made with Delicas never quite turned out to meet our high expectations.  It seems all my efforts showed too much thread, the underlying bead, or was slightly unbalanced.  I finally made a beaded bead that works.  

Here is one that doesn’t work- notice the thread and the bead on which it is woven?

Having pointed out why it is unsatisfactory, it is only fair that also tell you that beaders that I showed this bead to thought it was just fine.  Macro pictures show every slight flaw.  Here is a different view of the same bead:

Here are two other views of the beaded bead that worked:

I told Mandy I would share my notes when I found them during the process of unpacking.  These are notes, not a diagram.  If you are not familiar with peyote this is not going to be much help, if you know peyote this is what worked for me.

You will need:
  • a 5/8 inch wooden bead.  Available at Michaels
  • Delicas in sizes 10, 11, and 15
  • Needle, Fireline (or your preferred thread)

The Beginning:  Thread 29 size 10 Delicas and tie a knot creating a circle of beads.  The tail should be equal on both sides, with needles on both sides. 

Size 10 Rows:  Peyote 8 rows of size 10 Delicas; that is 4 rows on one side of that original circle (for future reference this is named the north side) and 4 rows on the other side (this named the south side.) 

Size 11 Rows:  Peyote 2 rows of size 11 Delicas on the north side and 1 row of size 11 Delicas on the south side of the beaded bead. 

Size 15 Rows:  Peyote 1 row of size 15 Delicas on the north side and 1 row of size 15 Delicas on the south side.

Netting Rows:  On the north side exit from a size 15 Delica, add 5 size 15 Delicas, skip a size 15 Delica from the final peyote row, and enter the next size 15 Delica from the final peyote row.  Rinse and repeat.  Assuming my counting is correct you should have 7 scallops.  Repeat on the south side.

Final Row:  On the north side exit through the middle (3rd) bead of the size 15 netting row, add a bead, and enter the 3rd bead of the next size 15 netting row, rinse and repeat.  When the circle is complete pull your thread tight and weave back through your bead work to tie your knot.  Repeat on the south side. 

I love this beaded bead, it is simple, it is clean, it is even, no threads show, and I really like the top and bottom.  As the top is netted you may want to try a trick I picked up on other blogs and use nail polish on your wooden bead prior to beading to give it a more finished look.  Maybe at some point in the future I will draw some diagrams.  Hopefully these notes will be enough for you to create your own unembellished and simple beaded bead.  If you decide to try out these directions, please let me know what your results were like.

You may recall I recently purchased a camera.  The pictures in this post were an exercise in learning about my new camera.  I am still on that steep learning curve and hope to post about how I chose my camera in the future.  The beaded bead pictures were done on different settings.  Thus, this blog post served two purposes: a commitment kept and a camera test.  The names of the pictures include my notes on the settings I used.

I moved this summer and had my furniture delivered in July.  I tell people I have finished unpacking; which strictly defined means I have opened all the boxes and created a large pile of things to be given away.  I have scanned all my hardback books into a spreadsheet so I know what I have.  I have also washed everything, including at least 24 curtains.  What I haven’t quite accomplished yet is getting the decorations out or my bead studio and table organized.  Also still on my to do list is scanning all my paperbacks and scanning the boxes of paper I have to my computer. 

To toot my horn about my accomplishments and to show you what needs to be completed here are a few more pictures- these were taken on the “easy” setting of my new camera.

The hardback books:

The paperback books:

My bead studio storage more is planned and necessary as these are not even my best beads:

My bead table- scattered with many things that don’t belong and a clean corner where I took my photos this morning.

Now, it is time to go and do some organizing.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Win, Win, Win...

Want a chance at a great give-away? 

Visit e-workshops written by Riki Schumacher's for four fabulous prizes, and I do mean fabulous. 

First is a tutorial about how to solder rhinestone chain.  Can't you just think of a million ways to use that skill?

Second is a really great destash.  That should inspire a second million ideas.

Third is a bee kit.  Not quite a third million ideas, but quite a buzz.  (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)

Fourth is a video about how to wire rubber cord and make a clasp.  Now that would be fabulous with any number of beads, but mostly I am thinking of beaded beads. 

I discovered RikiSchuacher's other blog Riki Jewelry when I followed the link from the picture of beads she sent for the Bead Soup Blog Party.  I added her to my RSS feed and when I next update my link page I will add her to the ever growing list.

I have to tell you that I do not enter every contest, nor do I add every blog to my RSS feed, but you will be sorry if you miss this opportunity and I don't just mean the contest.  Riki's work is dazzling.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I can't tell you how many hours I spend agonizing over color choices. 

Because choosing colors takes a large portion of my design time I have pick up books on color theory, follow decorating blogs and enjoy decorating magazines for more than just the lush decor, hold the Pantone color forecasts in high regard, pay attention when I walk through Target (color is how Target gets me to part with so much cash) and love blogs that feature color palettes.

In my RSS feed I have a subcategory titled: Color.  Topping the list is Beverly Ash Gilbert.  One of my favorite references is Margie Deeb's The Beader's Guide to Color.  Which is why I was delighted when Beverly Ash Gilbert announced that she and Margie Deeb have teamed up and published a color journal.  Waste no time in visiting Beverly's blog to download their first journal: Ask the Color Queens

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still Too Much Left To Do

I have at least three things that I need to blog about ASAP, but you can tell from the title that time remains an issue.  First, there  there is the new camera a Canon Power Shot SX 130 IS.  That blog post will have to come later.  Second, is Isle a Beads, a great eclectic bead shop in Cleveland.  Again, that blog post will have to come later.  Third, is actual beadwork.  I have a friend who is going on a cruise in October.  She requested a "purple necklace."

Two weeks ago I bought a purple swarovski rivoli for the purple necklace.  I bezeled and embellished the rivoli.  I knew if my friend didn't like it that I would use it in another piece. I presented the focal to her and it did not suit her- she had a simple single strand necklace in mind.  Here is the focal:

This is based on a pattern by Eva Kovács, which can be found here:

My apartment is still a shambles, I have opened every box but not everything has been put away.  It took me 20 minutes to find my box of purple beads so I can work on a pretty necklace for my friend.

More posts to come. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

That is All of My Blog Links...

There weren't that many more blogs to add to finish the alphabet.  Be sure to stop by Wickwire Jewelry- Nancy hasn't updated her blog for some time, but every piece she does causes me to think I should learn wirework.  (Her keys are to die for!)

World Artisan Gems is an irregular blog, but it is well worth putting into your RSS feed.  Every post features a new artist. 

That was the end of the alphabet.  Following that is a list of 13 blogs that I have added to my reader since I began publishing my list.  Pearl4U has been in my list for quite some time, but was listed as www.pearl4u so it was not listed with the other P's.  Riki Jewelry was added today when her partner in the Bead Soup Blog Party posted the beads she had sent; which in turn led to Melissa Manley Studios.  All of which is a prime example of how my list got to be so long in the first place.  I am looking forward to seeing more of these great artists.  Do not miss The Beading Yogini, who I discovered via Lorelei Eurto's shadow box challenge

In addition to the jewelry links I have two small additional lists: Non-Jewelry Inspiration and The Business of Jewelry.  The Non-Jewelry Inspiration is primarily, but not solely, for color inspiration.  The Business of Jewelry is a list of blogs offering business advice to artists.  Two of those blogs you should recognize from my jewelry links: Olive Bites Home of Uncorked + Polarity and Pretty Things.  Book mark these, add them to your RSS feed, do something so you do not miss either of these blogs if you are interested in selling your jewelry.  Blacksburg Belle has become a favorite for business advice.  Last, but not least, Luann Udell is one of my very favorite artists.  Her work is brilliant and her business advice has been spot on, and she is a pleasure to read.

My list will continue to grow and I will add a post when I add new blogs to the list.  I know some of these blogs are no longer active, but they are still worth browsing.  Let me know of any broken links. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More and More Links

Toady I posted T - V.  Thank goodness I am an avid blog reader because it has given me an opportunity to keep posting while I am busy with my life. 

Mandy at Beads for Brains has been posting about some of these blogs recently.  See, for instance, Try to Bead.  If you love bead weaving and need a complex pattern this is the place to start. 

I think Mandy may have missed Unicorniopasion.  What a great spot for inspiration.

I know Mandy has mentioned both Vezsuzsi Gyöngyei and Vyolina at Skyrock.  Both are great resources and both are non-English blogs.  Vylonia has posted many free patterns.  Vezsuzsi sells patterns and teaches and if you read through the archives you might find a free pattern or two.  I commented on Mandy's blog that the reason why I love her site is because of her bold color choices. 

Enjoy.  I will get back to scanning my books.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

25 More Links!

I have been neglectful of my blog. I have also been neglectful of my beading- it has been two months since I have made anything! 

Today I posted 25 more links on my All My Blog Links Page. 

Let me point out just a handful.

Olive Bites Home of Uncorked + Polarity should be a regular stop in your blog browsing.  Cat's style is fabulous and very different from my own.  Nonetheless, she is inspiring, creative, and a great resource for those of us looking for professional marketing ideas.  She is also a generous in her support of other artists. 

Next, is Operation Tackle That Bead Stash!  What a great concept.  This blog regularly presents challenges to use your stash. 

On the off chance that you have not discovered Pretty Things be sure to visit Lori Anderson's wonderful blog.  Lori is one of those special people who just make the world more comfortable.  Lori is the organizer of Bead Soup Blog Party; this event draws several hundred jewelry designers from around the world together to exchange components and post the end result.  I love these events.  More than that, Lori is unstinting in her support of other artists and is a great resource for inspiration and practical advice. 

If you love peyote stitch, do not miss either Perlicoti or Perlicoti-Peyote.  Perlicoti is a beautiful French blog featuring finished pieces.   Perlicoti-Peyote is a companion blog featuring patterns. 

Last on my list is Helmitarha's Stories of the Secret Garden.  Helmitarha makes beautiful jewelry.  I added Helmitarha to my blog list on the last Bead Soup Blog Party, her reveal was spectacular, the colors luscious. 

There are still more blog links to come.

On A Personal Note

Warning:  This blog post is only distantly related to jewelry and beads and features no pretty pictures.  In other words, I wouldn't be at all offended if you moved onto the next blog post.

As some of you know, I started a new job in June, in a new city, 9+ hours away from my previous home.  At the very end of June I had my belongings shipped from storage.  I have been unpacking since!

I took my Mother's advice and set up my bed first.   That was not a difficult decision after sleeping on an air mattress for nearly a month.

It only took me a week or two to hand wash and dry 20+ boxes of kitchen wares and organize my kitchen.  Cooking and cleaning is just a daily part of my regular routine. 

I also unpacked and organized the bathroom in those first two weeks.

Thus, after two weeks, life was liveable.  This may partially explain the slowdown.

I am a book lover.  In the process of moving, I lost the pegs to put together my bookshelves.  The replacement pegs arrived in late July.  I shuffled boxes and furniture to set up my bookcases and have been unpacking books since.  Now this is one part of unpacking that I truly enjoy.  This time it has been a bit of chore.  I recently purchased an Android phone and discovered a Book Catalogue application.  Oh My Gosh! If you are an organized book lover I cannot recommend this application enough.  Using your phone you scan in a bar code, or enter an ISBN number and add your books to a database.  You can create shelves, e.g. Beads, to organize your library.  You can export your library to your computer.  Best of all, when you are out shopping you can check the database on your phone and determine if you already have the book in your library.  (Now I need a similar app to catalogue my beads.)  This process has slowed down my unpacking.

Currently, my living room is littered with boxes of hardback books:

I have already unpacked quite a few of my hardback books:

In case you didn't catch it, those are just my hardback books; I haven't even touched the paperbacks:

I chose a two bedroom apartment in order to have a bead room.  You could not guess that was the purpose of this room:

Eventually, all of my beads and supplies will find a home on these shelves:

One final picture:  Below is where my decorations are currently residing.  They will eventually be scattered through the apartment.  If you look closely you will see that I have two beautiful glass cabinets, these are currently filled with beads.  I am going to have to get an extra shelf for my bead room.

There has been a lot going on in my life and I am looking forward to finally settling in and finding the time to create.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Challenge

As you know I follow lots of jewelry blogs.  What you may not know is I also follow quite a few food blogs.  Amongst the food blogs I follow is Ms. Adventures in Italy; which, as the name implies is about Italy as well as food.  Today Sara Rosso jumped on the 7 links meme.  I haven't been blogging long enough to give a fair response to the links in question.  However, I really enjoyed Sara's post and thought I would pass it along to those of you who have been blogging for some time and are inclined to review your past works.  Here are the 7 links you are to supply:
  • Most beautiful post
  • Most popular post
  • Most controversial post
  • Most helpful post
  • A post whose success surprised you
  • A post you feel didn't get the attention it deserved
  • The post that you are most proud of
Take a look at Ms. Adventures in Italy- it is a great blog with wonderful pictures.  Should you feel like a bit of adventure yourself, click on Sara’s link to her other blog: When I Have Time Tips, Info and How-To’s to Bridge the Gap between Meek and Geek.

One more thing, the 7 links ends with nominating other bloggers to participate.  Since I did not post my links I will not nominate anyone.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Special Link

NED Beads is having a sale to help cover the cost of care for Nikita, her pomeranian.  Visit her site for details. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Even More Links

Yes, more links.  I did mention that I subscribe to quite a few blogs. 

28 new links: L-N. 

I added a new B: Be and Bead.  Don't miss this link; there are quite a few downloadable patterns. 

I added a new C: Colour Lovers.  This is not a blog, but it is a tool to help you choose colors and patterns. 

I have an entire category on my Google RSS feed named Color.  I don't know about you, but it takes me forever to pick out colors.  Thus, I pick up every color tool I can, and save clippings from home decorating magazines that have color schemes I find appealing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Blog Links

H-K links have been added to the Blog Links page. 

There are many already on the list that I would say are my favorites.  Today I added two that you shouldn't miss:  Joslin Jewels always inspires me to want to take up wire work. Irina Slobodyanik may be the only Russian link I have, and she doesn't post very often, but don't miss the opportunity to visit her site to see some stunning beadwork.

LOL Let me repeat, there are many that are my favorites.  I visit many blogs, follow many links, and they all inspire me which is why I subscribe via RSS; if the blog is in the list, it is special and you should visit. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Blog Links

Have you noticed my new page? 

It is the start of My Blog List.  I subscribe, via RSS feed, to well over 100 jewelry related blogs.  Over the years I have shared my list with friends and acquaintances.  Each time I share the list I spend hours editing and updating.  Since I am currently in the process of unpacking and have no camera I thought this was the perfect opportunity to work on a more permanent way to share my list. 

So far I have done A-G.  Stayed tuned for the rest of the alphabet. 

Monday, June 27, 2011


I need some advice. 

I do not own a camera.  I had previously borrowed my Mother's camera to take pictures of my jewelry.  Now that I have moved that is no longer an option. 

Thus, the need for advice.  What kind of camera do you have?  What is your experience?  What have you heard about other cameras?  My budget is more point and shoot and less SLR. 

I am generally a painstaking consumer and will read everything before a purchase.  However, those reviews and consumer reports do not really address my specific needs.  Any advice you can offer will help and it will be much appreciated.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Link

I am still overwhelmed with the move and new job- my furniture is arriving today so lots of unpacking and cleaning ahead.

I promised inspiring links and I just can't help but pass this one along:

The link leads to a great sampler necklace featuring beaded beads in multiple shapes. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I won

Here is what I won:

My Winnings
A wonderful package of silver colored base metal beads arrived in the mail yesterday from Cindy Lavin at  The package included rondells, barrels, and toggles from Cherry Tree Beads from Asheville, NC.

I have purchased beads from Cherry Tree Beads at the Intergalactic Bead Show.  If you get an opportunity be sure to visit their booth- they have a great selection. 

As for the beads I won- the picture is only part of the story.  What you can't tell is the weight of the beads; they feel solid, rich, and substantial.  These beads will hold up to daily wear! 

Thanks Cindy I will put these to good use.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More Than Enough

That is, I have more than enough to keep me busy...

Within the last 2 weeks I have moved 544 miles, found a new apartment, and started a new job. 

I packed up my car on May 30th with what I thought were enough necessities, pots, pans, plates, enough clothes for a week of work, TV, and beads, lots of beads.  The rest of my household is in storage 544 miles away.

You know about plans, they never quite work out.  I moved my trunkful of goodies into my new apartment on June 5th and started my new job on June 6th.  A week of new work left no time for breaking out those beads, but enough time to load them into the bookcases next to the fireplace in my new apartment.  That was progress.

When the weekend rolled around it was time to shop for a chair.  I hit 5 consignment stores and 3 thrift stores and just couldn't make up my mind. 

Sunday was reserved for grocery shopping, big box store shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning...

All of which is to say I had more than enough to keep me too busy to play with my beads.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that I have over 300 posts in my RSS feed. 

I promised inspiring links.  Many of you are familiar with the work of Maggie Meister, if you have never seen her work, now is the time to visit, if you haven't visited recently now is the time for inspiration.  Here is a link to her gallery: Maggie Meister Gallery

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Link Full of Eye Candy

I have been remiss in my posting, and it is likely to continue for the next few weeks. I am moving to Cleveland Ohio from South Carolina.  I am gathering about me a few essential items: pots, pans, utensils, dishes, coffee grinder, clothes, toothpaste, a couple of good books, my computer, and boxes of beads.  The rest of my household will be in storage for a few months. 

Most of my beads are packed and stacked.  Despite that, I keep finding stray tubes of Delicas and bags of swarovski crystals.  How is it they are so fast to migrate from their home?

While my life is in chaos for the next few weeks my posts are going to be scarce and lacking photos.

To keep you dropping by I will try to write something insightful and to keep your aspirations high I will post a few links.

To that end, have you ever seen the work of Marilyn Radzat?  Spectacular!  Ms. Radzat makes fantasy art through sculpted figures.  Put aside an hour or more and page through her gallery for breathtaking dolls.  Do not miss a gallery- there are 9 of them.

Her website can be found here:  Marilyn Radzat

One last thing before you leave, if you know anything about Cleveland and are willing to share I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Really Big Giveaway

I don't enter every contest because not every contest features items that I use; I understand that if I do not enter it will increase the chances of some other person winning.

I also don't blog about very many contests for pretty much the same reason.  Although, the trade-off is that I am also not pointing other people to places they might not find anyway.

Today, I am both entering and blogging.  Art Bead Scene has a really big giveaway.  There are already over 250 comments from people wanting to win- including 2 from me.  I am guessing that many of those comments are from people who have blogged about the giveaway, since I read about it from other blogs that I follow through my RSS feed before I ever saw the contest in my google reader.

This is quite a giveaway.  There are beautiful headpins from Havana Beads:

There are yummy wood tile pendants from More Skye Jewels:

I just love those colors.

There are charms from Hint Jewelry (in my RSS feed) and Marsha Neal Studios:

And there are a lot more...  enough to remind you of what it felt like to be a kid with a big pile of gifts just waiting to be opened.

So, drop on by this post at Art Bead Scene and drool over all the pretty beady goodness then enter to win.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Horace Goodhue: Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns

I was just reminded by Mandy at Beads for Brains: 365 of one of my all time favorite books: Horace Goodhue’s Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns: Chain-Weaving Designs and Bead Loom Weaving-An Illustrated "How-To" Guide
Horace Goodhue Book Cover
I purchased my first copy of this book in the late 1970’s at the museum at Cahokia Mounds.  Cahokia Mounds are the largest mounds north of Mexico and they were designated a World Heritage Site in 1982.  If you are ever near St. Louis take an afternoon and go for a visit.

I have since purchased two more copies of this book, and if need be I will purchase it again.  It is not fancy.  There are no color photos and in what photos do exist the details are difficult to discern.  The diagrams are hand drawn.  Mr. Goodhue developed his own acronyms, e.g. TB for turn back.  Nonetheless, this will always be my favorite beading book.  Apparently I am not alone in my fondness for Mr. Goodhue as the first review in Amazon is by none other than Diane Fitzgerald.

When I picked up this book, I was a beginner.  I am absolutely sure that instructions these days are a better vetted for clarity and the diagrams are more informative.   Yet, I still recommend it for beaders at all stages.  This book includes instructions for Oglala Butterfly, Daisies, Ladders, Peyote, and much more. 

One of my favorite patterns is the Apache Leaf pattern.  It makes a beautiful short necklace with just a simple embellishment.  I am sorry I cannot post a picture my necklace has been misplaced after 30 years! 

I am also quite fond of the pointed zigzag which makes a great band for supporting a focal.  It is a quick stitch with substantial width that lies nicely on the neck.  I used this stitch for the neck strap of the necklace pictured below. 

Pointed Zig Zag neck strap from Horace Goodhue's instructions
This book can be picked up directly from the publisher: Bead-Craft or from your favorite used book dealer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Celtic Knot Loomed Necklace

Full length Celtic knot loomed necklace
This past week I have exchanged comments with Gwen Fisher on a variety of topics including loomed bead work and Celtic knots.   Gwen created a short video showing how she creates Celtic knots.  I wish I had seen something like this when I was painstakingly graphing this necklace. 

I love this necklace.  I love the colors: amber beads with an iris finish, silver hued dark green, and ivory colored beads with a pearl finish.  I love the crystals and pearls of the fringe.  I revel in the feel of this necklace; it is smooth and silky to the hand and let me tell you that fringe is great fun to play with when you are wearing the necklace

What I don’t like about this necklace is the length.  From end to end this necklace is 27 inches.  When I designed this necklace I counted the rows of another loomed piece.  What I didn’t count on is that my size 11 beads were larger than the beads in the necklace I used to calculate the number of rows I would need. 

Despite the length, and my short stature, I wear this necklace on occasion.

For those of you with an interest in extraordinary loomed pieces, please see Erin's blog: Beads Beading Beaded.  I guarantee you will be inspired.

Following are more pictures of my loomed necklace.  Click on the pictures for a larger view or visit my Flickr stream which can be found on the side of my blog.

Front center knot, showing fringe
You will note on some of these closeups a bit of fuzz where the nymo has frayed a bit with age and wear.
Finished end of knot work pattern.
Another closeup of the finished end of the center knot work pattern.
I used the knot pattern below as a "spacer" between parts of the necklace
Repeating knot work pattern

Middle knot work pattern

The back part of the necklace was a rather more simple braid pattern.
Back or Top of necklace featuring braided knot work.
Finally, below is the back center of the necklace.