September 30, 2006

Season Changes

The ferns are already taking on their Fall colors.

The roosters were crowing when a cement truck arrived outside my apartment. My Son was having a shed floor poured..... so no sleeping in this morning. It was 7 am and 30 degrees outside. Everything was covered with frost and the early sun made the landscape sparkle. It reminded me that Summer is over and fall is really here.

The trees are turning colors and the prediction is for a lot of color this fall. This is what it looked like outside my windows early this morning.

It's time to put away the bright colors of Summer and get out the rich, muted Fall colors. I changed over my wardrobe earlier this week and it feels good to be back in jeans and long sleeved shirts again. Now I need to clean the bright colored beads off of my work table and get out the bronzes, dark reds, gold, and the more subdued, richer colors.

September 26, 2006

Broad Collar

I've long admired Broad collars and often thought I'd like one of my own to wear. However, none of the colors caught my eye and I haven't had the patience to sit down and make a complicated one of my own. During the Tucson Gem shows this year I found one that I liked; a very crude African piece, but it was in my color - yellow-green. The thing that appealed to me was that it was done in size 6/0 and 8/0 beads. Bev, from No Easy Beads, was with me and we bought as good a selection of 6/0 beads colors as we could find. We actually got carried away and bought partial kilos of way too many 6/0 beads. We had big plans as we looked at the purchased collar, discussed design possibilities and refined what we would do with a similar design in larger beads. I had visions of walking around in a Broad collars made in own color scheme. Time passed, we both got busy doing other things. The spark of an idea to design and make my own broad collar floated to the back of my mind

Six months later, last Friday, I got the beads back out and decided I needed something different to wear out to dinner on Monday night. At that point I started diagramming thread paths, refining, making changes, picking out color combinations and getting antsy to start the actual necklace. Big beads... easy, quick project. From start to finish it really only took parts of two days to finish.

while I was making the collar, it occurred to me that if I wanted a big bold necklace that was that quick to make, perhaps other beaders would also. So, part of the construction time was taken up with photographs and writing out an instruction set for Bead Patterns. I have been a designer with Bead Patterns almost from the beginning of Rita's site. If you want a beading pattern right now, even if it's the middle of the night, P-B is the place to get it.

Dressed and ready to go out the door.

I felt elegant, dinner out was chaotic but, a good time.

September 22, 2006

Bead Crochet Kits & DVD

Bead Crochet Kits For Sale
I have finally added a selection of bead crochet kits to my Bead Line Press website. If you don't want to invest in a lot of beads and spools of thread, these kits will suit perfectly. They contain everything you will need (except a hook) to make a bracelet.
The fun kits are the "Rainbow" series. These bracelets always amaze other beaders as it's the thread showing through clear beads that produces parallel bands of color. They are like Magic! The nice thing is that you can order them in either 11/0 or 8/0 beads.
A New "How-To" Bead Crochet DVD
In November I'll have the starring role in an Abba Dabba Production DVD. Watch for it to be on sale by the end of this year or early 2007.
Leave it to my youngest sister to put things into perspective!!!
she said, "So my sister is a DVD Queen... are ya gonna Dance and sing in SPANDEX while you bead? you know "POWER BEADING!!! "
Now that image of myself is very hard to see in my head. I'll be content if the DVD clearly unravels some of the mysteries of how to achieve a good slip-stitch bead crochet rope.

September 21, 2006

Bead Retreat - take II

My Son-In-Law saved me by pointing out that if I'd lost my photos more than once I should have file recover software beyond what Windows gives you. - sigh, after three camera card deletes it was cheap at $70 bucks. I now have the photos back to share with you


I knew I was in the right place when I drove in and saw the two "Beads" license plates and Ellen walking down the lane in front of our cabin.


We had a beautiful setting for the retreat. It was hard to stay inside and bead.


A bunch of people took every advantage to be outside and bead on the porch during the day.



Those who stayed inside had plenty of room to spread out and work on their projects.



Here is our Birthday girl in her crown. I think if there had been an award to the most hours staying up to bead, Pam would have won it hands down.




Pat and her wire wrapped coke can... Would you have bid on this item on eBay?



September 17, 2006

The Dog ate my Homework

Or, the photos from the NH Bead Retreat are really gone..... I was moving the photos from my camera card to the computer when my Summer Cat jumped on the keyboard and managed to hit the delete key.... No matter how or where I look, those photos are really gone. I can't believe that it really did happen.

I was going to show you the beautiful setting we had on the lake at Geneva Point for our Bead Retreat. A group of Bead Society of NH members got together for 3 days of good fun and beading. We ate, stayed up till all hours, beaded, shared ideas and techniques and did a bit of giggling. Two bead Vendors, Bead It! and New England Bead Exchange brought us beads to purchase when we couldn't find the perfect color in our own stashes. About the only thing I can share is the two pieces that I managed to finish.

The Peony bracelet, from the flower series, is done.

I finally completed the white Snazzy Chain necklace. It only has a couple of strands crocheted with the variegated thread, the rest was done with winter white metallic and it really turned out to be a show stopper when it's worn. Several people at the Retreat did wear it and then claimed it was going home with them. I am going to be teaching this necklace At Bead It! in Concord NH on October 20th. It's truly a bead crochet necklace for those who cannot get beyond the chain stitch.

Some of my fond memories of the bead retreat are:

*Peggy being teased while making her fabric & fiber beads - called road kill, hair curlers, bugs, and other unsavory names by the group beading on the porch. The finished necklace with copper wire beads and chain was quite different and stunning.

*Singing happy Birthday to Pam, while she was wearing her Birthday crown. And everyone else trying to figure out just how late she actually stayed up each night.

*Pat winding some of the free wire onto a small coke can and announcing that she had a finished project - a wire wrapped coke can.... and then wondering aloud what she could get for it on eBay?

*Bette finding out that she could put soft flex into a bead crocheted rope afterwards instead of having to crochet around it. Also finding willing talent to wire wrap her agate slice, make wire bead caps and a clasp. Her finished necklace was a beautiful combination of wire, bead crochet and micro macrame.

*Gail finally bead crocheting the second earring left handed so that the spirals went in opposite directions.

*All of the clapping when someone announced that they had a finished project.... and the admiring oohs & ahhs.

*All those who helped someone else solve a problem, learn a new technique or shared beads so a project could get finished.

I wish I could share the photos I took of the retreat, people and some of the finished projects.... but like the dog who ate so many homework assignments, my cat stomped on the delete key and they are really, really gone.

September 12, 2006

What's in a Color?

Many of our past life experiences can determine how we react to colors and color combinations. I'm painting my apartment in NH and chose colors that to me were in the style of the Arts & Crafts movement. My 37 year old Daughter said, "oh, Girl Scout colors." A male friend with a farming background said, "I like the John Deere colors." An Arizona based Sister said, "great New England colors."

I came home the other day to this addition to my decor and was told that I needed a different color/style clock!

Comfort colors for me are the rich, opulent colors like deep reds, royal blues and a green that is almost black. They evoke "childhood home" to me. There were times in my life when I always had Chinese red in my wardrobe and yet in my 40's and 50's never wore that color. My children commented one time that, "Mother never wears red." To which my sister replied, "Your Mother always wore red." How much does life, circumstances and mood contribute to personal color choices? Today I like to design with and dress in bold colors. Yellow-green is one of my favorite colors. Maybe one does enter a second childhood later in life with a desire to revert to crayon colors again. A good example is my lariat that is aptly named "Crayon Lariat". Whatever the reasons, I'm having fun with primary, high contrast colors.

Thinking about and looking at color seems to be in the air lately. It's interesting what other beaders see in colors. Bev from No Easy Beads found this New Orleans scene interesting, yet she usually works in another color palette. Liz was commenting on colors in nature earlier this month and seeing what is in a photo that could be used in beadwork. Another beading friend, Marcie generally works in the cool blue color schemes. We always notice and comment when she uses colors that are not blue. There are a lot of color theory books on the market, however the only one that I actually like and read cover to cover is Margie Deeb's book "The Beader's Guide to Color".

I'd be interested in knowing what are comfort colors for other people.

September 9, 2006

Think Big?

With two abodes, I sometimes goof and leave something at one that I need in the other. Such was the case with magnet wire the other day. I got a call from TWIST, a Bisbee AZ Gallery to send them some more Emmy Earrings and found that my 1 lb spool of magnet wire was in Arizona.

I asked a friend if he knew where I could buy magnet wire locally. Well, he gifted me with this spool of wire, saying, "this is close in size to what you were looking for, can you use it?" Yes it is and yes I can.......but there are 40 lbs or 6 miles of 24 AWG wire on that spool! I guess I can finally try out crocheting with wire and not worry if I mess up a couple of yards of wire. Now what do I do with the other 5.90 miles of this wire? Got any ideas? Remember .......think big for any creative ideas you suggest.

After a month of work, the Bead Line Studios web page has bead crochet bracelet kits for sale. I now firmly believe that putting together the actual kits was a much easier job than building a web page that functions correctly. I'm of an age that when I have to remember something new, something old has to fall out of my brain ....... I think they jokingly call it "Senior Memory". Now maybe I can get back to some pure creative beadwork - what was that I was working on?

Peony bracelet in the Flower Series:
The center piece is done and I'm about ready to add the bumpy side straps. I'll be working on this and other bracelets in this series at the New Hampshire Bead Society Retreat next weekend. I'm looking forward to three days in a communal cabin on a NH lake with about 20 other beaders.

September 8, 2006


I thought I'd share a couple of photos of my "Summer Cat", Harley. I like cats, but because I travel, I don't have a cat of my own... my Son's tomcat moves in with me when I'm in NH in the summer and makes himself right at home. He's great company, but a very poor typist when he perches on the desk tray and trys to chase my fingers on the keyboard.