Sunday, May 28, 2006

Birthday Party

What an incredibly busy weekend I've had so far.
To start off yesterday, I finished organizing all the materials needed for my girlfriend's daughter's 7th B-day party. She had invited 10 little friends, and Deb thought they'd like to try making their own necklaces.

I agreed, and thought Memory Wire would work really well for everybody. No clasps to fumble with, no needles, no scissors, just beads you 'string' onto the wire, and I finish off the ends. The party started out slow, with a few claiming boredom, until they all got to go to the lower level to run around and scream their little heads off at an ear piercing decibel... (what IS it with girls anyway, what's with that loud shrieking? And how do they make that sound? Dear Goddess, it's enough to make you cower under the nearest boulder for the rest of eternity...)
Okay, so, we cleared the table of all foodstuff, and I got busy setting it up. It didn't take long for all the girls to pick a seat around the dining table, and I was surprised to capt their attention so easily. The were all ears as I explained and demonstrated how to use the materials. I pointed out their Memory Wire forms in front of them, and then showed them the 'surprise': each little girl was going to get a cute lady bug pendant for their necklace, and each was getting to chose 2 bags of seed beads. Then the fun started. They all became so enrapt in their work and so quiet with concentration, that when I looked up at Deb, she actually mouthed the words "Thank You!".... It was the quietude. LOL!

We all had a great time actually. Some of the girls got a bit 'bored' with the process (Meethinks that kids today are gratified much too easily, and need to be taught some patience), so I'd help them get to the center of the piece so they could finally add that ladybug, and then told them they'd have to do the rest by themselves. Even Deb got in on it, and on the way home, asked me if I'd be interested in teaching a group
of "grownups", LOL! Of course I would!

1st to finish: Briana with ladybug necklace

2nd to finish: Lucy!

And 3rd: Nicole, the Birthday Girl!!!!

Now, for the rest of this morning, I'm going to sit, relax, and enjoy this XL cup of Tim Horton's coffee I just got myself... And come 11:00, I'm going to open my door to my girlfriend Andrea's two little ones, so she and her husband can move from one abode to another peacefully. I'm thinking of taking them all to the Carousel for the first ride of the year. But we'll see. I think there might be a smog advisory on today, it's looking pretty 'thick' out there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

It's My Party, and I'll Cry if I Want To....

Yesterday, I spent all day, and I do mean ALL day, working on what I call a "Sabrina Cuff", which was for an expected custom order. I suppose it's one of my signature pieces, as I haven't seen one anywhere, and came up with the design myself...

After 6 hours of straight work (no, I'm not kidding...), I took a short break to get my daughter from her school bus. We took our time getting back home, dilly-dallying, picking dandelions, singing songs... Then we got home, turned on the T.V. for a post-scholastic show, and a snack. DH called, and informed me that he was going to be very late at work. It looked like it was going to be a quiet evening for Jaimée and I. After a nice dinner, I gave her a bath, and went back to work on my cuff. James was so tired, she fell asleep on a huge comfy chair.

I kept working on the cuff until about 9:00, I only had about an inch to go to completion, and then I noticed that I'd accidentally wrapped my thread around an adjacent fringe two rows back (for all you non-beaders out there, let's just say that's not a good thing...). Being that I'm always careful not to pierce my thread when I'm beadweaving, I tried to retrace the threadpath, all the while patiently taking the newer fringes appart, and keeping the beads organized on the side... Everything had gone on without a hitch when I finally got to the original spot, but once I tried to go through the one bead, I realized that I had somehow managed to tangle my thread inside said bead hole.... Uh-oh.... Okay, let's try a few more times, just to see if I can manage....

Well, what a relief. My needle and thread finally slipped through no problem... Phew! - That's when I heard a little "Ping!".... I look on the table, and I've got a few beads on there, that weren't there mere moments ago.... Oh no....
I look at my work, and you know what I did? All those careful passes through the bead with my needle? Well, I managed to snag my thread a few times, and sliced it.... and not just the fringe thread, but the 'base' thread....
You see, the cuff is done in two steps. You have to build the base first, and then you do the surface embellishing (sort of like icing a cake after it's been baked.... ). And as any good baker knows, if you break a chunk off a cake while icing it, you can't fix it, and have to start all over again...

I broke a chunk off my cake. I mean cuff... I had to take the whole darn thing apart last night. And I had almost finished it!!!!! I honestly and truly thought I was going to cry. All I kept thinking about what how many hours I had litterally poured over this piece. How I'd taken my time, painstakingly adding each fringe (the most time-consuming part of this design), and here I was, slicing it with my shears, taking each bead off the thread, holding back hot, prickly tears.... My DH, having returned home by this time, was dutifuly trying to cheer me up... I just looked at him and told him that though I truly appreciated his efforts, at this point, there was really nothing he could tell me (unless he pulled a time machine out of his pocket) that would make me feel better.

I finished taking all the beads off the thread, discarded said thread, kissed DH good night, and went to bed. All I can try to concentrate on now is "Today, is another day", and start fresh.... Literally.....

Here is a photo of the original "Sabrina Cuff". According to it's proud owner, it's still in good shape, so I have no worries about my designing skills at this point... My patience however? That's a different story....


Monday, May 22, 2006


My newest creation is a self-supporting beaded bead.
I think this could be my most expensive one yet, based on the materials alone...

The beads used were turquoise, wood, and silver for the base, which I then surface embellished with size 8/0 marble-finish, 11/0 black matte, and 15/0 black opaque.

A self-supporting beaded bead is formed by the size of the larger beads, combined with thread tension, without any base or other bead on the inside. My next issue is how to showcase it. I've already started a tubular Ndebele rope in black opaque 11/0s, and so far so good. I'll have to post it when it's completed. I only had the beaded bead in mind when I purchased these materials, and didn't foresee how I was going to finish the project... I may have to go get more turquoise from the same supplier (which bugs me, 'cause I really don't want to buy retail anymore, and I haven't found an acceptable wholesaler, yet...).

I really like the way this piece turned out, it has a bit of an ethnic flair to it. I can't wait to see it finished!


Top view.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I'm in the Bead Bugle Brag Page!!!!

Well, my "Eggplant Drops" didn't make it as a project into the Beadwork magazine, but the took it for their brag page, check it out here:
The second one, that's my baby! Things are a movin' an' a shakin' now !



Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pearl Stash

As of about one year ago, I have been having a secret love affair with pearls. Okay, maybe it's not so secret: I love pearls. It might be that my tastes have refined as I age (gracefully, of course...) So a few weeks ago - oh, okay, 8 weeks ago - when a friend contacted me asking if I'd be interested in 'piggy backing' on an order with her, I jumped at the occasion.

I know I've been driving my friends nuts here, waiting impatiently for my very first "Straight from the manufacturer's" shipment, and I finally got it... I managed to take some photographs of the half I'm keeping for myself. And now, without further ado, let me introduce you to my yummy little pearls:

Aren't they beautiful? I got a full hank of each of these:
40 of the golden ones (believe it or not, the bottom ones were part of that same hank, but I seperated them to show the difference), and 50 each of the white and bronze ones.

And no, I'm not telling you how much money I spent on them... Suffice it to say, it was less than retail, but still a handsome sum. However, if you know someone who'd like to buy some nice pearls, send them my way, ;)

I also splurged on some pressed glass beads. I've been crushing on drops lately, so I got some. They were a tad larger than I expected, but way worthy, as now, I have an extensive stash of drops to make those yummy "Lotus" rings!!!!
They look like yummy little hard candies. I got green, blue, amethyst, black, and clear... Jin, let me know what color you'd like for your ring, k? LOL!!!

I've already planned the next order, and can't wait to get them... More pearls, in different sizes, shapes and colors... More glass beads (I can get drops, fishies, flowers, hearts, stars, you name it...), and silver findings... I have found that as my skills improve, I've been adding better findings to my work, sort of a jeweller's way of "raising the bar".

And I'm being a smart monkey. I mentionned at the beginning that I only photographed half of the "Stash", well, the other half is slotted for sale. I will be making all of my investment back, and then some!!!! Which will quickly be reinvested into my business, and I'll still have an acceptable amount of beads to play with in my personal stash. It's win-win: My beady friends are getting a huge deal, 'cause I'm still selling these way less than retail.

I love it!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day Presents.

I thought I'd share with you all what I made for my mommy on Mother's Day. I used some of the golden colored freshwater pearls I just received in my last shipment.

So I made her a necklace and bracelet set, using a variation on the Daisy Chain.

And then, seeing as I'm keeping some of these pearls for my own personal use, I decided to make myself a little "somethin' somethin'" too...

Since I had a nice lampwork heart kicking around, I designed this lovely piece of beadart. I find it elegant and mordern. Perfect for a girl like me! ;)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I have been accepted for publication. Granted, it's not MY book, but they've accepted one of my submitted photos for the gallery. I am one excited woman right now!

In the last six months, I've submitted one project proposal (rejected), 2 pieces for publication in a magazine (one rejected, one pending), and 4 pieces for a book (3 'declined', 1 accepted). So, if what I hear about writers and artists who try to get their work published that for every acceptance letter, you get 20 rejections, I'm doing pretty good. Words cannot express my ellation at the moment, so this will be a short post.

Now, to celebrate! I'm gonna have myself a nice big bowl of gluten free Neapolitan Gellato!



I've been doing the bead crochet for a while now, but I'd never tried this before: Connecting two ends to continue them in a "Y" formation. I made this huge cross a few weeks back as part of a challenge (we send each other a selection of beads, and the receiver must create something with them). Now, I'm not "Religious" (spiritual, sure, but religious?...) So dad will be getting this.