February 18, 2008

Make Lemonade

"When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade"

When a design just isn't working you can do one of three things:
1.- cut it apart and salvage the beads.
2.- undo the project and take out what is wrong/not working.
3.- call it an oportunity to maketurn it into something else.

I was working on a finger woven bracelet and had the bright idea to make a bamboo tile bead into two long beads by splitting it in half. I never gave any thought to the fact that the long bead might not work. I wanted to do a symetrical bracelet as opposed to a more freeform, any bead will do, bracelet.

Everything was looking quite nice while it was flat on the board. I liked the "less is more" look to the piece.

The problem came in when I decided to try fit it on my wrist to see if the focal bead was centered..... Oh my, ... long narrow beads just don't bend around the side of a wrist! I even had a fleeting thought of cutting the bead - fleeting, as I'm sure I would have also cut the threads and would then had to resort to solution #1.

OK, I really don't like to undo work unless it's critical or a piece that is important enough to take partially apart.

In this case I resorted to the creative solution - what else could I do with the piece that wouldn't turn into a bracelet, no matter what I did?

I grabbed some very long bamboo tile beads I had from an old placemat. They clinked together very nicely in a quiet sort of way. I added them to the bottom in a fringe-like manner. Now I have a nice, small wind chime that will make a perfect gift for someone.

February 16, 2008

Tucson - Snow to Snow

It was snowing the first day I headed to Tucson to attend the Gem Shows, I cancled yesteday's trip due to the possiblity of more snow and woke up this morning to 1/2" of white stuff on the ground. Not my idea of a warm, sunny Arizona winter.

I found more cones in nickle silver, brass and copper. Now I have even more reason to finish the coral and turquoise necklace. I went from not being able to find base metal cones to having a choice.

I hadn't meant to visit Gary Wilson's booth this year as I already have a substancial stash of his unusual stones and glass. Alas and alak, I did and spent more than I had planned. This is a selection of what I got: Beautiful, non-sandard cutting and not highly polished. The interesting thing that he was doing was vintage pool ball cabs and jewelry pices. Different! How could anyone resist?

I have a standing order from my Daughter-in-law to get her something unusual every year. Nothing in the cut, faceted, sparkly area looked right for her. However one of Gary's pendants reminded me of a Wind Goddess. I paired it with black rock pearls and will string her a necklace that should get noticed whenever she wears it. I can also be assured that it will truly be a one-of-a-kind piece.

I've almost finished my latest finger woven bracelet and was wondering what to try next.

I don't have to wonder any more as I fell in love with some Czech presed glass. I'm going to use these matte daggers with large purple iris drops down the center. I think it will look like wearing bunches of grapes on my wrist.

This is the other dagger/drop combination that I bought at the same time. Wouldn't Bev, at No Easy Beads, love this color combination?
The masses plopped together like this are almost art in themselves. I may put them on the coffee table and admire them until I have time to put some of them to use.
Forgive my poor spelling - no blogger spell check yet!

February 7, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Yesterday I was at the Best Bead Show with "The Bead Spinner Lady", Judy Kintner. Every year I spend a couple of afternoons at her booth signing books and meeting other bead crocheters. Opening day of the show was under cool, but bright sunny skies and beaders were out in force. I got to meet and talk to a lot of neat people who have used my books or got introduced to them at the show. The picture that remains in my mind is the gal who showed up at the booth with about a dozen unfinished bead crocheted ropes around her neck. She announced, "I was told I needed a bead spinner!" Each of her ropes was a hank of beads, hand loaded onto the thread, and crocheted on the plane ride to Tucson. Yes, she sure did need a bead spinner and left the both with a happy smile on her face.

I have a set of 3 necklaces in 8/0's that are the staple of my wardrobe. However, they don't always match the greens and pinks I like to wear.


I've been on a hunt for nice pink 8/0's for a couple of months now to make a set of necklaces. I knew that Orr's Trading Company would have them if anyone did.... and I was right. I found nice hanks of Czech pinks that were not garrish yet strong enough to show up well against the matte olive I wanted to use with them.

Oh yes, and I also picked up these other colors while I was at their booth. Japanese seed beads may be considered high quality, but packaged in plastic tubes and vials, they just don't flow and puddle like a whole bunch of hanks do.

Once again (or still!!) Blogger spell check isn't working... guess I'll have a lot of material to spell check when it is up and running again - sigh!

February 5, 2008

2008 Tucson Show Report

First impressions... GAUDY, oh so gaudy with dyed gemstones everywhere in colors Mother Nature never thought of. Dyed pinks in shades from neon to pale baby pink; bright oranges, neon greens, and eye-blinding purples! Well, I forgot the camera and since I wouldn't consider buying any of those colors, the visual will have to wait.

The strands that caught my eye were the matte onyx beads that you wanted to just fondle and run through your fingers. Next were the matte agates and some of which were added to my collection. Somehow, matte has had more of an appeal than the bright shiney, glitzy faceted beads.

Then there was copper, lots of copper findings at a reasonable wholesale price of 15 cents/gram. I finally found cones that will finish a crocheted turquoise and coral necklace that has been waiting for a year now.

One of my favorite vendors, Wild Things, is at the shows with 2 booths. I always end up spending more than I expected on their Czech pressed glass beads and buttons. Here are some of my finds at Wild Things:

On the back cover of my first book, "Bead Crochet Ropes" is a bracelet that Cathy Lee did with old vintage curled petals in the only color she had (orange). I was excited to see that Wild Things had new stock of the old shape in a selection of lucious colors. I got a great mossy green and sort of a purple iris color. Now to figure out once again how to string a caterpiller bracelet so the petals all curl up over one side.

While at their booth I picked up a bunch of daggers and quickly realized that they were 2-hole daggers! I asked if they had any in other colors and was told that they didn't have any 2-hole daggers. What a hoot.... I had something in my hand that the vendors didn't even know they had. The color really doesn't speak to me, but I bought them anyway because they were so different and had new design possibilities. Hopefully Wild Things will realize what a unique product they have and get some in other colors.

oh, oh.... Blogger's spell check isn't working and I'm one of the world's worst spellers.... guess I'll post anyway and go back and spell check later on... sorry!