February 22, 2010

African "Sequins"

Giveaway/giveback is done ..... and the winners are......

#1.- Random selection is Jen, who will be getting a small packet. I hope I get to see if you ever do make them jump-ringed together so their flat side makes a sort of open fabric.

#2.- As for my personal selection, Bad Liz has the most intriguing idea of a bead embroidery project in the shape of a 45rpm record. She reminds me that I need to get back to doing bead embroidery. Liz, send me your physical address and I'll mail off your packet.

Here are a few interesting uses for these disks that I've come up with. Some of these pieces were bought in the $1 booth at the recent gem shows. What intrigues me is the African sequins would make the work fall into the earthy realm rather than the glitzy category.

This is a netted base with a stack of sequins sewed on top of each intersection. The sequins are two different sizes so you see a rim of the bottom color underneath the top sequin.

A loomed bracelet base with a pompom of sequins, each separated with a bead so that the sides show. I think this would be ideal for the striped ones as you would then see the pattern. In deconstructing this piece, I find that the sequins are sewen onto a fabric covered button base.

This is a pair of vintage clip-on earrings that I found years ago with the idea of replicating the sequin/bead fringe. It makes a very fluffy, light weight fringe.


This is an idea that I'm going to try out just as soon as I hand my paperwork over to the tax man. I'm going to make a 2-drop peyote base. You could loom a base also. Then I'm going to make stacks of beads on top that end with a sequin and a smaller bead. I can just see this forest of overlapping sequins that would subtly move around. .... sort of a beaded shag carpet. This idea came from one of my students last Friday and I think I need to make a third packet and send to her. It's such a fantastic idea and I can just see how it would look. Amy, Thanks for the idea and I'll be in touch for your address.
Thank you all for playing along and getting the creative juices going full tilt.
I've enjoyed the comments and also the off-line discussion about how these might be used.

February 21, 2010

Tax Man Commeth

.... or, I'd rather be beading ....
OK, it's time to clear the decks (ummm, my bead table) as the Tax man commeth and I've not yet sorted a year's worth of receipts. Be warned - grumpy/grouchy will be my nature til it's done.

Beading is my pleasure, but it's also my business and the IRS does require me to keep records. However they have nothing to say about procrastination. Every year I vow I'll not let it all pile up til the last possible moment. Every year nothing changes and I'm in the exact same spot - nothing gets done as the year goes along. They seem to have pills for everything today - where's the one for procrastination?

Off I go to to replace the beads on my work table with piles of paper.

February 19, 2010

Three Loves

# 1 -Beading:
I just spent a couple of days with two delightful gals, Amy & Susan, from the Phoenix area. They needed a girl's road trip and came down for some studio time in Tombstone. As sometimes happens, the student/teacher relationship got thrown out the window and ideas flowed non-stop. This creative, free flowing of ideas and possibilities is what I thoroughly enjoy about the beading community. I came away with an idea for a bracelet using the African "sequins" that I'm going to have to try out as soon as I can steal a moment to put it to good use. Now I can't wait to put the chaos back onto my studio work surface and see where this idea leads.

#2 - Cooking:

Bagna Cauda
I've royally stunk up the house tonight as I did the prep for tomorrow's night dinner with my 2 Sister's & their men. Oh my.... chopped two whole heads of garlic, added 2 cans of anchovies and it's all simmering in butter & olive oil. My Piemontese Italian heritage is front and center with this dinner. I can hear my Father saying, "NO dipping the bread in!" Guess I'd better get out my stretchy pants as I know I'll need the extra room for dinner tomorrow.

This dinner also gave me the chance to indulge my liking for vintage kitchen implements. I needed something to put the Bagna Cauda in on the table and keep it warm. The only warmer I found in several thrift stores was this Chrome Fire King Fondue pot. Now I'm in real trouble as I don't think I have a place in my smallish adobe to store it. I was planning on getting something ugly and cheap enough to re-donate when I was done with it. This is too good a find to put back out for someone else.

#3 - Gardening:
All I've grown myself is a beautiful dark red Amaryllis which is happily blooming on my window sill. I still miss having a house full of houseplants.

Tomatoes ready for outside planting .... in February! This year I've gotten to enjoy my gardening vicariously. My companion brought heirloom tomato seeds with him and has been carefully nurturing them inside under my beading Ott lights. They are beautiful, healthy, sturdy plants that went into the planting barrels yesterday. We hope to be able to enjoy ripe tomatoes from these plants before we head back to New Hampshire. Sometimes it's very nice to be able to enjoy the fruits of someone else's labor.

February 16, 2010

Get Creative with: heshi/sequins/old records

These African "beads" just fascinated me. I'm told that they are made from old vinyl records. The strands by themselves are interesting and, in their own way, decorative, hang- on-the-wall pieces. After sorting through the piles at several Gem Show booths, I figured out that the stripped ones were fairly rare. I bought a couple of strands and then became intrigued as to their possibility as bead embroidery sequins. So I went back and bought more strands. I kept thinking that they would be such an earthy contrast to the glitzy normal sequins. Now I have more than I might possibly use in several lifetimes. Just like all my other beads!

OK, here's the deal ......
I'm going to do a Blog Giveaway
of 2 small packets of mixed disks in return for ideas of how you would use them. Just make a comment with your ideas on this blog post.


#1 - will be to the commenter with the most
interesting or unusual use for these things.
Totally my opinion/choice.

#2 - will be to a randomly selected commenter on my blog.

Time frame will be from now to Noon (AZ time) Monday, Feb. 22, 2010.
Just remember that I will need a way to get in touch with you if you post anonymously.

International commentors are OK, but it might take awhile to reach you if you win.
I'll post the results sometime on Monday afternoon, Feb 22nd.
If I have no acknowledgement from you with your mailing address, I'll pick the next person in line on Tuesday.

I need to share out some of this stuff I collected at the Tucson Gem Shows ... hopefully I'll also get some ideas that I wouldn't have thought of for using these things. It's also a way to let people know that I've joined Networked Blogs, which is on my sidebar and also available to Facebook friends.

February 10, 2010

Tucson Gem shows - last day 4

Tuesday was my last trip to Tucson, mainly for general supplies and gifts for some of my female family members. My feet are tired and I'm in complete sensory overload.

Every year I seem to come home with something that is pure impulse and haven't a clue what I'll ever do with them. When I put the newest ones away I fondle the buys from past years. Maybe some beads are just meant to be, looked at, played with, admired and put back away for another year. This time it was a couple of strands of the newest Chinese faceted crystals. I was told that these are handmade cane beads that are then machine faceted. The colors are rather unusual and very few of them are the same. They were just so different and happily colored that I couldn't resist. I can see summer earrings made with these - perhaps.

I need to try and get some good photos of my partner, Ken's, crystal flags though. He fell in love with the 3-4mm crystal faceted roundels at the shows and did a bead crocheted American flag to slide over a fringe on his motorcycle vest. Oh my, you can see it from across the room. He's been playing with flag and military designs in 10-14 around that are perfect as Biker regalia (can you call it that?), zipper pulls or key chains. I'm hoping I can get him to publish some of the designs on www.bead-patterns.com, both in BCED and PDF formats.

I'm sure there are things I'll wish I had gotten or stocked up on. Even with a list of needs, it's hard to stay focused with so many beautiful and different things from all over the world. I guess there is always next year.

Chains - chains, and more chains ...... I think we are going to see a lot more chains in bead stores and incorporated in with bead work this year. There were a lot of booths with fascinating and different inventories of chains. More than I have ever seen before.

February 5, 2010

Tucson Gem Shows - day3

My sister and I headed out for some power shopping and girl time yesterday. The Holidome Show opened and when we got off the freeway we saw traffic backed up to the freeway in 3 directions. OOPS, we decided it wasn't worth the wait and quickly changed plans.

We stopped at one of the smaller fossil shows to enjoy the sun and look at the neat things.

We did a couple of our favorite shows, buying very little a this year everything seemed to look the same. Nothing new and "oh wow!"
It was still early when we headed home and at the last minute decided to visit the Gem Mall. I had already been but it's always fun to help someone else spend their money. Besides I decided I really liked the Chinese faceted crystal rondells and needed some in a couple of other colors.
I guess everyone was over at the Holidome as it wasn't crowded at all in the Gem Mall. For those of you who have never been to Tucson, this is the smallest of 2 tents in this venue. This tent held 425 vendors and the main tend had 550 vendors. The Gem Mall is one of the "wholesale only" shows. There are around 40 different shows throughout Tucson.
My feet are tired and I'm in sensory overload. I decided to cancel my trip for today and am not sure if I'll do another day or not.

February 3, 2010

Tucson Gem Showa - day 2

Today's impression was... Large, chunky & iridescent. I saw lots of large, freeform faceted beads that had various forms of an iridescent coating. Not my style at all. On the good side, the stones that are dyed shocking colors seem to have disappeared.

Got to visit with lots of old friends at the Best Bead Show. It has been quite a few years since I've had a chance to catch up with Jane at Jane's Fiber & Beads. Four of us NH snow birds met up and joked about having a Western meeting of the Bead Society of NH. It was good to see everybody.

Cameras aren't allowed in these shows so I couldn't take general photos of things that caught my eye. I almost got thrown out of the Gem Mall as I for got and whipped out my camera to take a photo of a sign.... Next thing I know this little Chinaman comes whirling at me yelling in Chinese & some English, "No Camera, No camera! You photo and policeman chop-chop you!" Anyway, the sign I wanted a picture of said, "Chinaworski - $1.50/strand." Chinese rendition of Swarovski crystals. The quality was very good and the colors were amazing. This photo just doesn't do the crisp sparkle and deep rich color any good. These are mine.... well I may share a strand or two of the deep plum with Bev over at No Easy Beads.
They are so her colors.

Found vaseline green leaves.

and a
Funky cross between a paddle and a leaf beads in pink & green.

Then some
great lentils in a matte turquoise and mottled purple/blue/pink

I wanted some 10/0 delicas, but refused to pay for 2.5 gram vials as I need a lot more than that. I also wanted to look at the permanent finish Miyuki galvanized seeds but nobody had more than a couple of colors.

Tomorrow the Holidome for some power shopping with my Sister. I'll look at more Chinese crystals and get needed supplies. Seeing as there is lots of blingy sparkle around I just may treat my younger female family members to some bling for their wrists.

2/5 addendum: These finds were all at the GL&W Gem Mall. Don't remember the name of the Czech pressed glass places, but it's one of 3 somewhere in one of the 2 tents. *sorry* They had a lot of lentils/drops, etc. by the mass. Should say that wholesale credentials are needed to get in and minimum purchases do apply.

February 2, 2010

Tucson Gem Shows - day 1

Monday I went to the African Art Village and where the large mineral specimens are to be seen. This is always my fun trip to just look at the beautiful rocks, minerals and ethnic stuff.

Lots of things to look at, but there really were not that many lookers. It did make for a leisurely day in the sunshine.

With the freeway project finished through downtown Tucson, the city shuttle buses were no longer running. Looks like some young men took up the slack.

I got a good giggle at this line up of painted wooden figures. Wouldn't it be a hoot to have a line of them standing at one end of the living room? You'd always have interesting company who didn't talk your ear off.

. .
This line up of brass cats were just so regal looking. I have a friend in Memphis that would love a couple of them for her sun room.

There were lots of African beaded objects. I saw clothing, accessories, furniture and these beaded panels. I found the white on white stunning. From a distance you couldn't see the patterns, but up close they were quite beautiful floral designs.

Some of these strands came home with me. They are heshi-like beads made from old vinyl records. Not only would they make a great necklace just as they are, but if you take them apart you have quite different looking sequins. The ones that I chose have stripes on them. The pattern is much more interesting as a flat disk than as a strung necklace. I need to see how they look in a bead embroidered piece.

Fossils, great fossils! They were all interesting to look at, but this specimen was outstanding. I don't know what it was and the vendor didn't speak enough English to tell me much of anything else than the price. Too many zeros for my pocketbook.
It was a great day in the sun, looking at what Mother Nature serves up. I'm glad I had that day for outside wandering as it's suposed to rain for the next 3 days.