November 27, 2005

340 Lbs. Of Beads!

The bead cabinet is empty and the beads are all packed and ready to go. I had always wondered just how many beads I was hauling around. Today I had time to get the bathroom scale and weigh the bead bags. There are 9 large canvas bags and 3 small ones filled with Plano boxes of beads. So now I know.... I will be traveling with 340 lbs of beads. And still ..... I often don't seem to have the right color or right color in the right size. Does a beader ever really have enough beads?

Today I'll finish sorting and organizing the NH apartment; pack clothing, books, papers, computer, and other sundry things. I'll wrap Christmas presents and have an early Christmas dinner tonight with my children, their spouses and the grand kids. The two grandkids think that is awesome, early presents! Monday morning I'll be on the road, heading for Arizona. So far the long range weather maps are just showing some rain for Monday & Tuesday. I hope Mother Nature keeps snow away from my travel route this year.

Beading Copyright Issues

Lately there seems to have been a rash of mis-understood copyright issues in the beading world. People have made copies of beading patterns that they claim are in the public domain. These patterns have been included in and sold on CD's; copied and used as handouts for bead classes; and just plain copied and sold. The universal response has been, "I didn't know. Isn't it OK after 20 years?"

NO, it is not! Please look at

The worst part of it is that the patterns in question, that I'm aware of, have been no older than 7 years. If you own a bead shop, teach beading, or even just bead, you should be aware of the limited rights that you purchase with a pattern or book. If you like that artist's work and deprive them of their income then you may not be seeing any more of their work in the form of patterns.

November 24, 2005

Winter arrives

Happy Thanksgiving!
This is what I saw from my windows this morning. We are having our first real snow of the season; Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately I am going to have to drive 2+ hours to Boston in it to join the extended family for the holiday meal.

I like looking at the snow, but really don't like having to go outside and deal with it. It's a good thing I'll be leaving for Arizona in 3 days. Then it can snow all it wants in NH!

This year I'm thankful to have a wonderful family around me and good friends to share the joys and sorrows with.

November 18, 2005

Time to escape NH winter

New Hampshire temperatures have been below freezing and it snowed last night - not much, but enough to see. It's time to begin the countdown towards leaving for Arizona. With only 10 days to go, I really need to make a "to-do" list and start organizing myself for the drive. I spend Summers in New Hampshire near my kids, grandkids, and in-laws. I spend winters in Southeastern Arizona near my two sisters. The best of two worlds considering weather, and the fact that 6 months with either side of the family is just about the right amount of time.

This trip West will be about 15 days with stops in Tennessee and Texas to visit and bead with friends. Twice a year I get to spend a week beading with my best friends in Gilmer, Texas. We now call it the "Gilmer Getaway" as it is our time to catch up, laugh, drink lots of coffee, sleep at odd hours, get out hair done, and ...... most important.... bead and bounce creative ideas off of each other - a true "Bead Cave".

This trip, all but two of the group will be there and we are going to try our hand at needle felting. Of course, felting will only be the base for embellishment with beads. Bev Herman has already tried it and is bringing needles and foam to work with. I spent some time in thrift stores here in NH and found some wool sweaters to machine felt. So first on my list to get done is to start a box of craft & beading supplies that will be needed at the Gilmer Getaway. Second on the list is to finish and mail promised pieces of beadwork.

The rest of the organization for leaving is more mundane; oil changed in the car; wash & pack clothing; sort, organize and pack beads; get mail forwarded; wrap Christmas gifts; last doctor's visit; start winterizing the apartment; clean out the freezer and icebox; and a million other small details. Then there is Thanksgiving dinner in Cambridge MA with all of the extended family. Monday 11/28 I get on the road, headed South to escape any bad weather, until I hit Tennessee and go West.

November 13, 2005

C-LON beading thread & cord

I've done it now! As if I didn't have enough beading supplies, I just bought 60 bobbins of the newest "C-LON" beading thread and cord. I've tried them all and in the end I still prefer a flat filament nylon thread for my needleweaving and a twisted filament polyester or nylon mini-cord for my bead crochet. Caravan Beads in Portland ME had just announced the arrival of their new "C-LON" beading cord in 30 colors. I couldn't find anyone who had tried it for bead crochet, so I ordered their mix of all of the colors. I also got a mix of all of their colors in size "D" beading thread. I had used some C-Lon about 3 years ago but new information caused me to try it again. The original factory was bought out and new quality controls had been instituted. This is also vat dyed, not surface dyed thread so the color is throughout.

"C-LON" Beading Cord:
According to Barry at Caravan Beads, "C-Lon Bead Cord is an extra-heavy twisted multi-filament nylon thread. I believe the breaking strength is about 34 lbs but will confirm that with the factory. Thread diameter is less than 0.5mm. It fits easily one time through the holes in Miyuki 11/0 seed beads, and the doubled thread on a split-eye needle passes easily through Miyuki 8/0s. Perfect for bead crochet!" There are 86 yards of cord (about 78 meters) per bobbin. Made in the USA."

"C-LON" Beading Thread:
"C-Lon is a tough, UV resistant nylon monocord thread that is claimed to fray less and stretch less than other similar dyed threads. For beadwork using needle and thread, off-loom bead weaving etc. Bright colors. May not require waxing depending upon technique. Thicker than size B but similar in thickness to Nymo D. There are 80 yards of thread (about 73 meters) per bobbin. "

Now for the rest of the story.......

I attended the NH Bead Society meeting this afternoon and took my new C-Lon mini cord with me to share the idea with other bead crocheters. Anna, an internet seller of C-Lon products was there with her supply of sizes AA & D. Several of us were looking and comparing when the light bulb went on. The colors matched (or close enough)! Size AA, size D and cord all had very close color matches. So if you have a need to color match your beading threads in three different sizes then here it is.

I am interested in the C-Lon mini cord for bead crocheting with size 6/0 beads or 6 mm glass or gemstone beads. The smaller sized polyester threads just are not strong enough. The red rope is with 6 mm faceted glass rondells. I'm not happy with the Conso mini-cord that I used so I may take it out and try the C-Lon mini cord.

My Amber Necklace is coming along and curving nicely. I wish I had more time to work on it as I like how it is forming and shaping up.

November 10, 2005

Fall Clean UP Time

A messy work space is a sign of........
insanity, creativity, a poor housekeeper, or ??

It's more than time to clean up the bead room. They say a messy desk is a sign of creativity - what does my work space say about me?

For 2 weeks I've just been dumping things on all of the flat surfaces and beading on a tray in the living room. At one point in my life I actually thought that I would not have any flat surfaces in my living spaces... no flat surfaces, nowhere to dump crap! Somehow that didn't work, my family thought it might be more than wierd! So, back to cleaning off flat surfaces.... the lamp shade and box of old papers goes to the dump; the beads & supplies get sorted back into their proper spaces; a banker's box will hold things that have to go west with me; and any leftovers will go into a box for some eBay, beadroom cleanout auctions when I get to Arizona.

Bead Storage:
Some time in the dim past, I saw a bead cabinet on Suzanne Cooper's site. She commented that her husband had built the cabinets for her. This summer I finally found someone who would build me a cabinet like Suzanne's. Now I wonder just how I lived without it. I like it so much that I've already contracted with the husband of a friend to duplicate it for my Arizona studio. The cabinet holds 48 #3700 Plano plastic cases. When I'm ready to travel, I pack 7 of those Plano boxes into an LL Bean canvas tote and the 7+ totes go into the car. Have beads, am ready to bead my way across the country with good beading friends.

I guess I'd better get things to the point that I can pack the car as it's only a little over 2 weeks before I'm scheduled to drive to Arizona for the winter. The night time temperatures here in NH are getting into the 20's and we've had sleet already - it's time to head for a warmer part of the country.

November 4, 2005

Baltic Amber
shades of a New England Fall

A 2-hole piece of amber along with some fat bronze Czech drops landed on my beading desk together.
I had been working on a "Center Cab Bracelet" and got to thinking..... what would happen if I changed this, used smaller turn beads and..... You get the picture, a new design began to bubble up in my mind.

Now to see if my ideas really would work. I wanted this to be a necklace with a top edge that gently curved. To accomplish this, I used a size 11/0 turn bead on one edge and size 8/0 beads for the body with the drops. So far it seems to be doing what I thought it would, however I'm not sure about the step up that I put into the lower curve of the necklace. I was thinking to gradually decrease into a strap that went behind the neck which would also make it lighter. It's not easy to accomplish a gentle decrease with 3-drop peyote. I'll finish this one and go back to the drawing board to see what I can do to make the lower curve less abrupt.

It's a bright, warm Indian Summer day here in New Hampshire and the Amber necklace was reflecting the colors outside my windows when I was taking the photograph. It bodies the shades of late fall in this neck of the woods.

I really need to start thinking about organizing myself for my drive to Arizona for the winter. I leave after Thanksgiving and will stop and visit/bead with friends along the way, ending up in Tombstone around the 10th of December. I treasure my stop to bead with the Beadtrekers in Gilmer, Texas most of all. It is a truly creative time with best personal/beading friends, all of whom I met through the internet in years gone by.

November 1, 2005

NH Bones ~ the first stone

I've always liked rocks.... all kinds of rocks, large and small . My Mother said that I had rocks in my head. As a kid I collected rocks; beach agates, mineral specimens, and just plain pretty rocks. When we first moved to New Hampshire in the late 1970's, I'd heard say that New Hampshire's largest crop was rocks. That was fine with me until I started to garden. I cleaned rocks out of my garden and by next spring the garden was full of rocks once again.

My first experience with growing rocks was when I asked my native New Hampshireite husband to get a rock out of my garden. I showed him that it was only a litle rock. He laughed and went and got the backhoe!

I was amazed at what came out of the ground. The center rock in this photo got dubbed "Momma's Pebble" and now holds up one edge of a garden.

Over the past quarter of a century I've seen many common uses of New Hampshire granite, huge unique stones, beautiful practical stone construction, as well as "gentrified" stonework.

As I get a chance during my Summers in New Hampshire, I'll share some of those with you. I've often thought that it would be fun to drill a bunch of the smaller round stones and bead with them. Can you see me now, beading the New Hampshire landscape?