May 27, 2008

Believe me....

I really do have the 250# of beads in that little trailer for my personal use!

Coming back into the US from Canada we got stopped and searched by customs. They didn't understand why one person would have that many beads and not be a reseller. About an hour of unloading clothing and bead bags along with, "you don't sell them?" - "you don't do shows and sell beads?" - "Did you buy them in Canada for resale in the USA?" "Well, what do you do with that many beads?" I finally dug out a copy of my books and my train case of bead crochet samples and showed them just what I did do with all of those beads.... and they finally believed me.

Now I ask you, does a beader ever have too many beads and is a couple hundred pounds of beads unreasonable to have for personal use?

Anyhow, no photos to share right now, however we're in Butte MT for the night and plan on doing some sight seeing tomorrow. I guess I just have an affinity for Copper Mining Towns. Growing up as the daughter of an international copper mining engineer must have left the smell & taste of copper in my blood.

May 24, 2008

Northern USA

I'm in Idaho, about half way from AZ to NH. We've driven through AZ, NV, CA, OR, WA, and into ID... how's that for ABC's? Now it's time to start going East.....

We've traveled the winding cliffs of California's coast
Highway 1, driven down Lombard street in San Francisco,

through a huge redwood tree and down the

Columbia River gorge through a damp, mossy rain forest.

What beautiful, ever changing, scenery!

May 15, 2008

Heading East

It's time to pack the beads into the car and head to NH for the Summer. It's already hit 90degrees in Tombstone. This trip there will be a trailer following along behind my Honda. Some wags have said it looks like a mouse following behind a big orange toaster.

We're going to take the long way around and do some sight seeing. From AZ we're going to Los Angeles, up highway 1 to San Francisco, on to Portland Oregon and then across the Northern border with Canada before dropping down into NY and home to NH. Wireless connections willing, I'll try and post an update or two from the road. Otherwise I'll be back in touch around the second week of June.

Shutting down in Arizona, packing the vehicles and hitting the open road....

Challenge Beading

When a group of beaders get together, someone always seems to have an odd something or other that is offered up as a creative challenge. The bead cave in Payson last month was no different. I had found bamboo placemats in Marshall's and thought, "what neat long beads." I bought several and took them to the cave.

I used my portion to make a broad collar with small beads in between the long bamboo beads. It's always nice to have that many holes to work with. Several of the other gals said, "Wind Chimes!"

What might you have done with these placemat beads?

In return, our hostess had these copper scrubbies for all of us. She does like copper! Well, mine is in the process of becoming a "Domestic Goddess" necklace. I sawed off the handle and attached a bone face that I antiqued with rit dye. I have some white, drawstring cording that is going to go through the clothes pins to make it into a necklace. The parts are all done and gathered together, I just need some time to finish it once I get into my Summer Studio.

May 4, 2008

Thank You Robin

The end of April I had the pleasure of joining several ladies for a bead cave in Payson AZ. They had seen some finger weaving that I had done and wanted to try it. I grabbed Robin Atkins' book, Beaded Treasures, wrote up a materials list and facilitated a great day of finger weaving.

Lauren and I made bracelets, hers in all shades of red and mine in Lucite with faceted gemstone roundels. Every once in a while I manage to make what I saw in my mind when I bought the beads. I went to Maine last year and bought vintage Lucite beads. Just see how nicely the project finally turned out (bottom bracelet).

Jo went drawer diving and was using every largish bead she could find (including plastic) to create a very large tassel.... or was it going to be a wind chime? Whatever you call it, it turned out big, brash and in-your-face bold.

Drawer Diving: a drawer full of leftover or otherwise discarded beads. All participants bring contributions to throw into the pot. Then everybody can pick out beads that might work for their own project.

Pam's work is always meticulous, but selecting the right color combinations for her bracelet became the focus of her beading time. Sometimes you just have to stop and fondle the beads! Don't we all know how that is?

Sandra also decided to make a tassel and chose soft colors. I'm sure we'll see more finger woven elements in her paper work. She makes the most beautiful books and bead embroidered pieces.

Crystal thought she had brought enough neutral colored beads to make a tassel, but had to drawer dive several times to make her earthy piece full enough to look right. I enjoyed the ethnic look as a contrast to the fanciful colored pieces.
Marque kept saying, "no, I'm not going to do that"! We knew that at some point she just wouldn't be able to resist. Capiz shell flowers, long bamboo beads and an assortment of over-large plastic components made a wind chime with the most unusual, soft tones.
Once again, Thank You Robin for writing the book and sharing with us a technique that gave our group so much enjoyment.
And Thank You, Jo for hosting a beautiful, relaxing weekend of beading amoungst friends.