Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

The Plan: String a bunch of beads onto spools of upholstery thread so I have projects to take with me on road trips. Bead crochet is a great thing to take along on trips because the beads are all captured ahead of time, and I don't have to keep track of any kind of pattern (other than making sure I didn't goof up in the stringing).

The Reality: I just couldn't wait to crochet the beads I strung on Saturday.

Can you blame me? These beads, which I purchased from a lovely Etsy seller named Shannon (aka beadsandbabble), were just too tempting sitting there on my shelf. You may remember prior gushing about Shannon's beads, as I've posted pictures before of some of the picasso finish beads I bought from her. She has a great selection (over 900 listings, I think) and first rate service.

So off I went to the gallery on Saturday, taking with me some projects to keep me occupied. I grabbed the beads, a spool of thread, a needle, and (this is what did me in) my crochet hook. I suppose I shouldn't have taken the crochet hook with me if I really intended for this to be a "future" project. But there it is.

And here it is. Mulberries in Heavy Cream. A luscious, gorgeous (if I do say so myself), wonderful necklace.

And now guess what? I need to string some beads to take on our impending road trip. At least two or three lariats' worth, I think. I just hope I can refrain from crocheting them until we're actually ON the road.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Monday

Do you ever have times when you forget what day of the week it is? I do. It never used to happen. When I was working, I always knew what day it was and even the date. Now? Nope. Sometimes I forget. Today, for some reason, feels like Saturday. As I typed the "when I was working" phrase, I realize that it's now been FIVE years since I had a real job. Do I miss working? NOT FOR A MINUTE!!!

I know today's Monday, but I had to think about it for a minute. I actually spent my Saturday filling in at the Art On Depot in Waynesville. The ceramic artist (Cathey Bolton-Moore) who owns the studio/gallery just had a baby girl, so I volunteered to work there on Saturdays for a few weeks.

For someone like me, who has no discernible schedule (because getting up and having two lattes every morning does NOT constitute a schedule), it was really strange to go somewhere to "work." I didn't want to be bored, so I took some projects with me. Knowing that the studio has pretty good lighting, I grabbed the box of jewelry I'd finished and never photographed so I could take some long-overdue pictures.

And look! I took pictures of this brand new bracelet, which I named Black and Old Brass. This is a simple design, but I love making these bracelets so I can play with my massive collection of old buttons. This one uses a cool looking antiqued brass four-hole button, so I used brassy-colored delicas and shiny black delicas for the bracelet.

I actually managed to take a few pictures at home, too! This bracelet, an olive and silver version of my Fabric design, was created for the Bead Art Originals color mosaic. You can visit the BAO blog to see past color mosaics, and the one that features dark and light olive will be posted later this week.

Time for my second latte of the day. What a schedule, eh? :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeMille

That famous line has been quoted for years as Norma Desmond's line (and, not being old enough to remember Gloria Swanson, I remember it being said by Carol Burnett).

Well, sometimes I think that's what my jewelry would say if it could talk. You see, I'm really good about MAKING things but not so good about PHOTOGRAPHING them. I blame it on two things. Number one -- I don't really have good lighting in this house, or a good place to set up my light box, so it's always a challenge to find a spot for pictures. And number two -- I'd much rather be making things than taking pictures of the things I make.

Some day I'm going to have a dedicated spot for pictures. In the meantime, I'm still happily beading away and waiting for just the right time of day and just the right window to use for photographs.

Here you see a PILE of pieces that have been recently finished... all waiting for their closeups. Where's Mr. DeMille when you need him?

In case you're curious, there are six bracelets and one bead crochet lariat in that pile. Eegads.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Celebrating Every Day

If you're reading this post, there's a good chance that means you spend what could be termed a significant amount of time on the internet. Right? I admit I spend a lot of time with my laptop in my lap, usually with umpteen tabs open to satisfy my gnat-like attention span.

So what does that have to do with celebrating? Well, as I was trying to figure out what I could write that related to celebrations (the current theme of the Art Bead Scene Carnival of Bloggers), I realized that many of the sites I visit have celebrations going on...

For example:

Judith Bertoglio-Giffin just celebrated the completion of a five-year project, a new e-book called Triangular Bead Crochet Ropes.

I'm a big fan of bead crochet, and I already own several of Judith's previous publications (in hard copy form); so I was doing my own bit of celebrating to see that this e-book is now complete.

Anyone who's ever tried to design a bead crochet pattern knows just how tricky that can be -- getting the right number of repeats in the stringing pattern and getting the pattern to repeat properly without being able to actually see it until you start crocheting. Well, Judith has apparently come up with a new method of patterning that solves those problems.


A friend and fellow beadweaver, Triz, celebrates the completion of a gorgeous beaded leather bag on her blog, Beading Mania. The bag was a long time in the making, and Triz gets to celebrate a little every day as she carries this bag with her.

She's another blogger and artisan who regularly celebrates her new creations. And with good reason!

I am in complete awe of her talent, and I've spent the past couple of weeks drooling over her latest venture into leather and beaded cuffs. They are incredible, as you can see by visiting either her blog or her Etsy shop.

Another friend and fellow beadweaver Carol Dean Sharpe writes lots of celebratory posts in her SandFibers blog.

On Saturdays she goes "window shopping" on Etsy to celebrate the artistry she finds there. Her finds are always drool-worthy.

On Thursdays she posts pictures to the treasuries which have featured her work during the past week, something always worth celebrating.

And being a prolific beadweaver, she often writes happy posts about her newest creations, as in this one entitled: A Brand New Cuff for a Brand New Week!

I know there are lots of occasions to be celebrated: Birthdays, holidays, new jobs, graduations... It's a pretty endless list.

But how many of you celebrate something every day? Even celebrating a small thing will give you a momentary mood lift that might carry you into the next moment with a different outlook. I notice lots of celebrations on Facebook (where I spend an inordinate amount of time). New puppies. New projects just finished. A new recipe. From the biggest, best occasions to the mundane, celebrating something just makes it better.

As I began writing this post, I started thinking of random things relating to celebrations.

Kristen Wiig, as the Target Lady on Saturday Night Live, celebrates every time a credit card is approved. It cracks me up every time.

It's November. And that means pomegranates are in season. I did my own little celebration in the grocery aisle the other day, seeing that big bin of delicious fruity goodness.

My husband celebrates every time he goes to the refrigerator and sees a fresh bowl of Jello I've made for him.

Have you ever played on a sports team? Or participated on any kind of team, for that matter? Doesn't it make you feel great when your team gives you a big "WOO HOO!" for something you did?

It may sound silly, but I think you should find SOMETHING to celebrate every day. It'll make your whole life better. And that's worth celebrating.