January 26, 2010

Where the Cows Vacation

Down in southern Arizona, near the Mexican border I found the palatial resort where the cows go to vacation.

Driving down a dusty back road we rounded a large sized hill and saw this deserted hacienda in the middle of nowhere. It was in front of a limestone quarry/plant that didn't appear to be operational.

We had to stop as the scene was just surreal. Gorgeous architectural 30's estate with big palm trees, the remains of swimming pool, out buildings and what was left of another era's high style was now a cow pasture. We joked about finding a secret vacation spot for the cows. The gray bull just stood there and only turned his head as if to say, "what are you doing disturbing my peace?"
To finish this little side trip......
I hope this man at Home Depot doesn't have any really huge building projects.

January 20, 2010

Dimensional Ropes - Book 3

I have finally come to the conclusion that the third bead crochet book will never see daylight as a glossy printed book. Ink and paper publishing has become prohibitive and I can't see charging over $30 for what is really a 20 page catalog. It's time to quit waiting for prices to come down and do something else with the information I have in my studio.

Now this old dog has to learn a few new tricks and start thinking about e-books. Designing with beads and thread is easier than designing with software and computers. I'm thinking through formats and what should work on screen and home printers. Is a Gallery important in an e-book or is it better to have more patterns? File sizes, photo resolutions, layouts, new graphing techniques and how fancy/interactive a pdf, are a few of the things running through my mind.

I have some different things going on with dimensional ropes that I think bead crocheters will find useful and different. I have a bunch of samples done up but need to do those creative pieces that use these sample techniques. These photos show some of what I will want to present to the bead crocheting public.

So, how does three e-books on dimensional ropes sound to you? Each would be around 10 to 12 individual pages with 8 - 10 patterns and 3 to 4 complete bracelet and/or necklace projects? One would be donuts and toggles, another square and triangular ropes and a third would be an expanded Caterpillar.

January 16, 2010

Huichol Beadwork

The Huichol people of central Mexico do some of the most fantastic bead and yarn work. What shows up in the galleries are their bead embedded gourds. These are gourds lined with beeswax that have individual beads set in intricate patterns.

This afternoon I had a rare opportunity to spend a small amount of time with a young man, Santos, in advance of the Tucson Gem shows. It was a chance meeting at a Tucson swap meet. He had some bead jewelery pieces with him that were delightful.

I bought this bracelet from him. He called it a corn and cactus flower design. In a way it reminded me of my Nopal freeform bracelet. The similarity being the cactus flower. He said that he, and a few of his friends, were adapting some of the traditional embroidery designs into bead woven pieces.

The other interesting tidbit was that he was using fireline in his work. I asked about that and he said that he saved some of his money to buy fireline and take home with him for bead weaving. He joked that it worked a lot better than cotton threads.

January 12, 2010

Bead Room Clean Out Sale

Kit Sale from now til 2/28/2010

I have bead crochet kits left over from workshops, shows and web sales that are just taking up studio space. These kits will make between a 9" and 9.5", 6-around rope and have everything you need except a crochet hook.
*big-eye needle
*10 yards of 100% polyester thread
*safety pin
*stringing table
They do not show you how to do bead crochet.

I'm going to start with a series of kits that I have using variegated thread. The thread makes nice bands of color underneath the clear beads. It's the one way you can get banded color rather than spiraling colors. These kits can be had in either 8/0 or 11/0 beads. Quantities are limited.

This is a BLOG Special of $9 a kit

USA Shipping will be a flat $5 for one(1) to five(5) kits. Shipping will be free for 6 or more kits. International Shipping will be $15 for any quantity of kits. PayPal is the payment I can take. It will accept credit cards or e-checks also.


January 7, 2010

Missing Beads

When you have about 300# of beads you would think that a person would have what they needed. It isn't always so....

I have gold Delicas, several shades in fact. However, what I wanted to use was a bright gold and the other shades just wouldn't give me the rich, royal zig-zag combination I could see in my mind's eye. Can you see this with a center stripe of gold, banded with matte cobalt, triangles of a glitzy green and a deep metallic red reverse? Oh yes, and cobalt drops to edge it with.

That meant a shopping trip to Tucson. Doesn't everyone think of making a 70 mile trip just to buy beads? OK, OK ..... other things had crept onto a Tucson list and we combined a shopping day in the big city with lunch with Judy Kintner, the Bead Spinner Lady. Let's see, we went for beads, brown mustard seed, Dutch Cocoa, metal shelves, drill press, and some thrift store shopping.
Now I also know where the Cell Tree farm is.
While wandering around the industrial section below the Air Base we came around a corner and found where they grow those ridiculous cell tower trees. Had a good laugh and wondered where these were going to go. Looks like they are intended to be palm trees. I hope I don't see a palm tree cell tower in Arizona as the pine tree one in Sierra Vista sticks out like a sore thumb.

January 4, 2010

Back to Work

I love the sunset display that goes on outside my Arizona studio window. Tonight's wasn't as spectacular as they can be, but nice enough.

I spent the weekend doing a New Year clean out. Now I have to make a run to the thrift store and drop the piles off. Makes me feel like it's a clean start to the new year.

My web site is back open for Book, DVD and CD sales. I found a few more copies of the out-of-print, "Bead Crochet Ropes" book. I have about 20 copies left and after those are gone it will only be available as an e-book. Amazon is sold out, but Rita Sova has half a dozen copies and Judy Kintner has a few copies.

Today I went back to work ... bead work. I am playing with this bead crochet rope design. I need to do an article for a German Magazine as well as the Bead Patterns magazine. The technique is new and different and by March I want to have enough done to do an e-booklet of patterns. It's got some awesome possibilities with the expanded design space.
So I got some designs done & printed out. It will be fun to start pulling more beads for possible color combinations. I'm also thinking I may get some interesting effects by using daggers on one side and a smaller edge bead on the other side. I wonder how much of a difference in bead sizes it will take to make a natural curve.
I'm going to feel much better once my work table starts to have messy piles of beads on it. I really can't seem to function with a neat creative work space. Half the fun of any bead project is pulling beads and finding things that are possibilities. I seem to start out with at least three times the needed materials.
So, it's back to work .......