Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010

This has been a year of mixed blessings. Happiness and sorrow, plans made and changed... things never quite turn out the way we think they might when we begin a new year, do they? There are parts of 2010 that I'd love to be able to go back and change, but I know that's not possible. So onward into 2011 with hope that it'll be a good year.

I do have some things to look forward to in 2011... I have a whole new bunch of family members to get to know; with any luck at all, we'll start building a new house in the spring; and we may even work in a vacation or two this year (I'm planning to attend the Bead and Button show this year in Milwaukee, so that's a major vacation).

Since I spend so much of my time beading, I thought I'd put together a little mosaic that shows a piece of my beadwork done in each month of 2010 (I keep track of my creations in a spreadsheet, of course - doesn't everyone?).

Even though I keep a spreadsheet to track my creations, beads used, prices, etc., I'm not always diligent about recording everything I make. There are a bunch of UFOs (UnFinished Objects) which haven't been recorded. And there are a few pieces that ARE finished that haven't been photographed yet and haven't been recorded. But by my estimation, I've created more than 200 new pieces this year. Not bad, I think.

This year ends with me working on a custom bead crochet rope. At this point it's about halfway finished, which means I have almost 30" of it done. The beads in this one are some gorgeous metallic sage green/gray size 11s and some transparent cola colored 11s. They're all vintage, so they're irregular in size and shape, resulting in a rope that has a really organic look to it. The rope will have a few different patterns in it, and I'm stringing each section separately so I don't wind up with yards and yards of strung beads to keep untangled.

And with that, I say farewell to 2010. And Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all have a wonderful year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't Take My Kodachrome Away

It's official. Or it will be official tomorrow. No more Kodachrome film. The end of an era. The last lab in the world that processes the film is discontinuing the processing tomorrow. Kind of makes me wonder just how many people scrambled to get a last batch of pictures taken and that last roll of film sent off to the lab.

Years ago, I used rolls and rolls of Kodachrome film to take pictures underwater. The colors of the corals, sponges, and fish were so vibrant when processed on Kodachrome that it was my film of choice, even if it cost more than other films. I have hundreds of slides with that little Kodachrome label on them. Truth be told, since I'm such a packrat, there's probably a stray roll of film or two sitting in a camera bag.

It's kind of a funny coincidence, but I recently created a peyote cuff for the Etsy BeadWeavers' monthly challenge. The challenge was to create something inspired by a Simon and Garfunkel song, and even though it's not really my favorite of their tunes I thought it would be fun to create a Kodachrome design because of my affinity for the film!

So I guess this Kodachrome cuff is my tribute to my favorite Kodak film. Good bye, Kodachrome. I'll miss you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Can you believe it's Christmas Eve!?!? We were supposed to go visit relatives for Christmas, but we've both managed to come down with colds and have decided not to share them. So we're sitting around the house, drinking lattes and yogurt (not together!), burning scented candles, and watching TV. The excitement is almost more than I can stand. :-)

As my Christmas present to you, to illustrate the reason for the season, I thought I'd give all my beadweaving friends a pattern. I created this design a couple of months ago, but I haven't had a chance to bead one yet. The pattern is for the Ichthus (or Ichthys), the ancient Greek symbol meaning "fish" and the once secret symbol used by Christians. According to tradition, ancient Christians used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.

The design as shown measures 1.27" (32.4mm) wide and 3.54" (90.12mm) long, so you'll need to add beads to either end to center the design on your bracelet. I'm providing the indexed chart here for you to use.

By printing this pattern, you agree to the following:
- to credit either time2cre8 or MaryLou Holvenstot with this design in any listing, photograph, or posting. Likewise, if you make slight modifications to the design or use this as your inspiration, you must also give credit.
- to sell any work made and sold from the pattern ONLY if you created the piece yourself.
- to NOT resell or distribute this pattern in any way.

The gift of this pattern to you in no way implies purchase or transfer of copyright, which shall remain with time2cre8 / MaryLou Holvenstot. Thank you for supporting your pattern designer's rights!

You may share this with your friends by providing them with a link to this blog post.

Before I go, I also want to mention that I listed a brand new bracelet in my Etsy shop, Jeweltone Stripes -- the perfect accessory for a party!

Visit the Bead Art Originals blog to see how you can receive a 20% discount on anything in my Etsy shop from now through December 30!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Never Enough Time

I wrote earlier this summer about how excited I was to have reunited with my Dad, after a 37-year separation (a long story).

Now I've spent the past week mourning his passing.

My best estimate is that I spent fewer than 21 days with him during my life. I met him when I was a teenager and spent about a week with him and with my siblings and stepmother. Then I reunited with him this July. It took me a long time to make the decision to meet him again, but I'm so happy that I did. I can never get back those 37 years, but so many people close to my Dad have told me how happy he was that I was back in his life. And I'm happy I was back in his life.

Even in those paltry 21 days he made an impression. I already know I'm going to miss the phone calls, which almost always started with his shouting, "Whaddya know, Kiddo?" It didn't seem to matter what we talked about - he was just happy we were talking.

If only there was a giant rewind button that would allow me to go back in time and change things. I didn't think 19 years was enough time to have with my Mom, and 21 DAYS certainly wasn't enough time to have with my Da
d. My stepmom had 51 years with him, and it wasn't enough. My Dad's sisters and brother had 75+ years with him, and it wasn't enough. It's never enough.

I am thankful, though, that I at least had some time with him. And I'm thankful for all the new family I have. A sister, a brother, a stepmom, aunts and uncles, nieces and a nephew, and a whole bunch of cousins - all of whom welcomed me into the family with open arms.

I'll miss you, Dad.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

All Kinds of New Stuff

New patterns, a new cuff, and new bead crochet lariat! Of course, they weren't all created overnight, but once again I'm trying to focus on getting some patterns ready to publish and getting some pictures taken of the growing pile of finished pieces I have sitting on the table.

Here's a quick look at the new goodies:

Salt and Pepper Bead crochet lariat made with opaque black and white beads, crocheted six around and with four different patterns (five, if you count the little stripey sections I used to separate the other patterns).

I went to Cincinnati over Thanksgiving week to visit with my newfound family, and I took a whole bunch of beads with me so I'd have something to do when we were just sitting around relaxing. (What? Doesn't everyone bead to relax??)

This design wasn't even really planned. I just started stringing beads on the fly, not even keeping very good track of how many I was stringing. Sometimes that's more fun than planning something.


For some reason I just decided I wanted to make another version of this cuff. It's quite an undertaking, since it's more than 2.25" wide and is done in two drop peyote stitch.

When I was a kid, I remember my Mom telling me that blue and green didn't go together. I think she might have been wrong, because I really like the combination of lime green with cobalt blue and white.

She was right about everything else though.


I've also been working on getting some more patterns published and listed, and I managed to finish two so far this week! I received requests to publish both PAINT and SWOOSH, so those are both done. Now I'm working on the next one on the request list, DAHLIAS. Just in case you haven't seen it yet, all my patterns are on sale (already marked down) PLUS if you buy three or more on a single invoice you'll receive an additional $1 off per pattern (refunded through PayPal). Yay!

Of course there are always things to distract me... working on more new pieces, going out to eat, and one of Etsy's new thingies, the Activity Feed and Circles. I wasn't sure how the Circles thing was any different than "hearting" a shop, but it's kind of cool because it lets me see what my favorite shop owners like. And they like some COOL stuff! The Activity Feed is just fun because it lets me know when my stuff has been hearted or included in a treasury.

And now it's time to get ready to go out to eat at a new restaurant (well, new for us) and then watch the Waynesville Christmas parade. :-)

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Perfect Group

It's nice to know I'm not alone. So far, I'm in the company of 39 people who apparently share my affliction -- I'm a messy beader.

I had no hesitation whatsoever in accepting Jennifer VanBenschoten's invitation to join The Messy Beaders' Club. (You may know Jennifer from her beady posts on Especially when I saw the picture Jen posted of her workspace. The ONLY thing that saves me from having a workspace that looks like hers is that I do most of my beadweaving on an old cutting board with one of those mats on top of it. The board is 12" x 18", so that's the size of my "Current Project Beady Mess." That doesn't mean I don't have a mess. It's just in another place, namely the shelves in the living room and dining room (at least that's where it is in this house).

Here's a relatively recent shot (ignore that date in the lower left corner, the result of my not changing the date on the camera)... That's my husband there pretending to be Macaulay Culkin. And that's me in my normal beading attire - cartoon pants and a sweatshirt - with my legs scrunched up underneath me (yes, I sometimes get up and feel like a pretzel). My little Ikea light is a great task light. Laptop is poised and ready for action at any given moment. And there you can see my cutting board piled with projects. And for those with inquiring minds, that IS a witch's broom leaned against the wall next to me, just in case I have to dash out on an errand. haha. :-)

I try to organize. I really do. But beads are cantankerous little critters. They don't want to STAY organized.

My Delicas are all sorted. I think I spent two days making labels and punching holes in the tops of zip-top bags to hold them. I was sick of trying to dig through all the little plastic tubes and plastic bags the beads came in, and I'm much happier with this system. I just have to make myself put the little bags back on their metal rings after I've finished with them.

Not too long ago I sorted the bulk of my other seed beads into some of those plastic shoe box containers. They're divided by color. They just need to STAY divided by color. I always wind up with a pile of tubes, hanks, and bags that need to go back into their assigned containers. And then there are the beads I don't want to sort by color, the special ones that I like to keep together, like the ones with a picasso finish.

That bit of organization is just the little beads, sizes 15/0 through 6/0. There are also containers of art beads. Lots and lots and lots of art beads. And pearls. Crystals. Assorted glass beads. Wood beads. Findings. Needles and tools. A container of wire, even though I don't do much with wire. I want to be ready. And another container of thread for bead crochet.

Some day we'll get our house built, and I intend to come up with some sort of method of organizing all this beady goodness that will allow me to (1) find what I want when I want it, and (2) not require vast amounts of effort to maintain. I'm not sure such a method can be found, though. You see, I also suffer from the "I Must Have More Beads" affliction; and that means the collection is always growing...

If you're a beader, particularly if you're a MESSY beader, check out the blog Jen created: The Messy Beaders' Club. It's sure to be fun. :-)