October 28, 2007

Bead Journal - September

Couldn't sleep, had to finish September's Bead Journal page!

September's Harvest Moon
I'm very pleased with the way this page came out. The graphic simplicity is such a contrast to the other pages I've done (or have in the works). I used a bead crochet rope as the tail or dangle and it's precise construction was just what the piece needed.

October 27, 2007

Bead Journal - September

I'm still a behinder beader as August is only 3/4 done and October still doesn't even have a plan. Somewhere in here I have to play catch-up.

Except for adding a tail or long fringe, My September Harvest Moon is done. I sort of beaded myself beyond the box as I did the beadwork on separate backing and got carried away. All of a sudden I try fitted it to my rectangle and said, "Oops, too large!" You know something, I like it that way and think I'll leave it like that. It doesn't really show in the photo, but the cab and beadwork has a slight dome to it which I accentuated with a couple of heavy plastic disks between the backing and the cabochon.

Maine, Beads & Ocean

I took a mini-vacation and went to visit friends in Maine. I got to have the ocean the way I like it: no people, a chilly windy day with the ocean crashing wildly against the rocks. Then we sat inside with a fire in the fireplace, made waffles and looked out over a small round inlet at the lobster boats and battened down sail boats. This year when I go to Arizona I may have the opportunity to go visiting in Los Angeles and could then say I'd traveled ocean to ocean.


Oh those glorious, brightly colored, irresistible beads.....
On the drive up, I stopped in Freeport ME to shop at Beadin'Path. I had wanted more of their Lucite flower beads for a project or two. I've shopped at their booth at various shows, but this was my first opportunity to actually visit the shop. It is one of the nicest set up bead stores I've been in. I got lost at the Lucite wall and didn't go much further. I bought strands of the light weight, very colorful flowers to incorporate into a finger woven bracelet. Aren't those yummy colors and shapes?

Then there were the leaves ...... different shaped leaves, including some long graceful ones in an almost pea-green color. I think they will work in the bracelet, but if they don't they will find a home somewhere in future beadwork.

Now, just what do I do with these beads? I have no idea what I'll do with them, but they just sort of followed me home? They had my name on them even though sherbert colors are not my usual style. I fell in love with the shape and feel of the beads; matte smooth, not quite round, something you just have to run through your fingers over and over.

What's a trip to Maine without a lighthouse? Here is the required Maine photo of a light house. It sits up the hill from where the top wave photo was taken.

October 17, 2007

Bead Sizes - Part II

I did an earlier post about Czech Republic and Japanese Seed Bead sizes. Now I can add the Japanese cylinder beads, manufactured by two companies: Miyuki and Toho. These beads have thin walls, large holes and are quite regular in size and shape. They come in hundreds of beautiful colors and are expensive.

I don't like using them in bead crochet as they tend to click together like small tiles and make a tighter, stiffer rope. However, when you want a rope with a nice crisp cross section, they work beautifully. This test bracelet (crocheted by Jen K.) would be a great place to use cylinder beads.

Here is a pattern if you want to see what cylinder beads look like in bead crochet. Warning: this is a JPEG photo so it is a bit fuzzy. It is also a test pattern and does not tell you how to get different colors on different sides of the triangle & twists.

October 16, 2007

Fall in New Hampshire

Some of my Internet friends asked for a virtual Leaf Peeping tour from my area. Unfortunately it's been a warm Fall (no frost yet!) and we've had some heavy thunderstorms. The red swamp maples are long gone by and the sugar maples are turning gradually and promptly losing their leaves. The best color I could find was at my two favorite local farm stands.

Tenny Farm had a goodly amount of pumpkins and mums, but the good apples (Northern Spy) are not in yet.

Cauncy Farm had a disappointing year for pumpkins. Usually this field is piled high with them. However their crop of beautiful sunflowers was just great over the summer.

I went out behind Antrim's Town Hall, hoping for some great color, but just had to contend with the town ducks, who were certain I had come just to feed them.

The Town Mill Pond did have a tree or two showing the almost glowing orange/yellow color I really enjoy.


A trip to my favorite pic-nic place, Beards Brook, found a bit more color, but nothing like what it has been in past years.


By the time I got to Powder Mill Pond the rain clouds were starting to roll back in and a chilly breeze had sprung up.

Sorry Ladies, this seems the best I can do for Fall Foliage in this neck of the woods this year.

October 9, 2007

Bead Journal - non progress

September's page is started, which means that I now have 2 month's "in the works" and it's already October! Am I behind or what? So, should I start October's also and have a whole 3 month's worth of work in progress?

This one will celebrate September's Harvest Moon; rich, large glowing orb that came up over the trees and was showcased in my bedroom window. The goldstone cab was purchased years ago in New Orleans and has a small chip on one edge. I like that tiny dip in the overall symmetry. I think I'm going to let this one just grow as I bead around the cab - no plans, no design, just letting the beads talk their way to what it wants to be.

October 8, 2007

Fall River Treasure

"Over the river(s) and through the woods..... To a treasure of a bead store, did I go." Never mind that I get lost in my own back yard and inadvertently also saw Providence RI and Quincy MA on this trip....... It was a wonderful trip to do a series of workshops at Turquoise-StringBeads in Fall River Mass.

I'm used to New Hampshire's brick mill buildings and was wonderfully surprised to see all of the beautiful old granite block mills still standing and being put to other uses now. I love seeing some of the neat details when you get close to them.

There are these beautiful iron rounds across the width of every floors - I'm assuming they are used to hold the walls upright and parallel?



I've always been fascinated seeing how previous generations mend things and often find them miniature works of art. This piece of screening was mended with wire that was much larger than the original metal fabric.

When I arrived at my destination, I was totally surprised at what I found inside this industrial old mill building.

Go up the stairs and turn left .....

And you find a very comprehensive bead shop staffed by the most delightful and helpful people.

.....and lots and lots and lots of beads.

Every bead shop should have a classroom that is big enough to dance in.

What a pampered, delightful experience for a visiting instructor. I do know that I hope they invite me back next year.
If you are ever in that neck of the woods, be sure to stop in as I know you'd enjoy visiting this shop or attending workshops there. Oh, and did I mention "sparklies"? There are crystals everywhere - in all of their glorious colors, sizes and shapes!

October 2, 2007

Bead Sizes

I was showing a non-beading, computer friend the difference in bead sizes and shapes and then thought the photos were interesting enough to share here.

Japanese seed beads are the most regular in size and have a less rounded shape than those from the Czech Republic. However there are still variations as you can see in the two size 8/0 beads. They come with numbered colors so you stand a chance of getting the same colors again. Just look out for lot color variations.

Seed beads from the Czech Republic are nice rounded, pot-bellied beads. I like to use these in bead crochet ropes because they move against each other like ball bearings and add to the suppleness of the work. Besides, these come in a wide range of luscious, unusual colors. Just don't ever expect to find the same colors again a year or two later.