October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

...and what's your spooky jewelery going to be today?

I actually like working with the various orange colors. So, today I can show off my orange and black work and nobody will say anything.

October 30, 2011

Snowed In!

This is the view out my back door. That snow level is more than half way up the back storm door. Of course, a lot of it is what came off the roof in one very loud whooomp!

We still have nice colored fall foliage under the white stuff and really didn't get an Indian Summer. I'm in hopes that Indian Summer is lurking out there to give us a last taste of nice weather before Old Man Winter settles in permanently.

Unfortunately we guessed wrong and didn't believe the forecasts. They always seem to miss on the short side. Nahhh, we won't go buy a snow shovel, this probably won't amount to very much. Usually we are on the road for our winter in Arizona before we get more than a dusting of snow. Hadn't seen hats, gloves, winter boots in years and it was a scramble of senior memories to figure out if we still had any and if so, where did they get put?

Here's what some recorded inches in our neck of the woods:
... Hillsborough County, NH... Snowfall...
Peterborough 24.0" at 729 am 10/30
Hillsboro 21.5" at 102 am 10/30 - nearest to where I live
Bedford 20.8" at 557 am 10/30
Milford 20.0" at 1102 am 10/30
South Weare 19.5" at 730 am 10/30
Merrimack 19.0" at 750 am 10/30
Wilton 14.0" at 1210 am 10/30

There's a Honda Element under there
. . . somewhere.

October 29, 2011

Making Do when Winter arrives

My third Urban Stripes necklace is coming along quite nicely now. I am going to finally run out of the gray background beads so this one will not be a doubled-around-the-neck rope. However, It will go nicely with the other two. I did do some planning before I went and had my eyes (cataracts) fixed. I knew there would be a space of time before I could see clearly once again. I can crochet pretty much by feel and figured if I had enough bead crochet strung, I could at least keep my hands busy. If my hands aren't busy, then I get bored and you can only listen to so many books on tape.

Mother Nature threw us a surprise here in New Hampshire. One day it was a nice Fall day and the next morning Winter had arrived with cold and an inch or so of snow. They are saying we will get another 5" this weekend. This just a bit too early for an accumulation of the wintry white stuff. I'm ready to head for Arizona, but there is still too much to do before we can pack the car and go. November 15th, or thereabouts is the schedule for leaving.

The furnace is running and I'm thinking about baking something to warm up. I'm making do with a borrowed pair of glasses to be able to see the computer screen while my eyes heal and settle into their final vision. Funny thing is that back in the 70's I actually wore glasses that were almost as big as these are. Not a big fashion statement here! At one time that would have bugged the heck out of me, but somehow age tends to put function and comfort ahead of what one looks like.

Now I need to start cleaning up the studio, putting things away and organizing the beads for traveling. I'm starting to do some research for the New Year's String-Along. I know what shape the rope is going to take (60"+ long) and I think the theme will be Native Stripes. I have quite a collection of South American native textiles and am wondering if the geometric and animal figures will transfer to a bead crocheted rope. If I expand the theme to include Navajo rugs, then there is a nice choice of colors... from brights to muted monochromatic. I'll be on the look out as we travel west for inspirational photo opportunities.

October 21, 2011

Bead Room Clean Out

I'm only a month away from packing up the car and heading to Arizona for the winter. Over the summer I've been setting things aside in the studio that I know I won't use or have dribs and drabs leftover from projects. I also ended up with remains of kits that were made up for events this past summer.

In kits I have a few Cruise Ring kits (peyote technique), some Raised Spiral bead crochet kits (good for beginning crocheters) and about a dozen advanced Major Scales kits (Magatamas in bead crochet). Most are unique, one-of-a-kind color combinations.

Here is a photo of one of the bead groups that need a new home: a slice of a pool ball for a focal, antique French enameled number discs, Sea Urchin spine beads, Antique cutoffs from real ivory piano keys, unique Bisbee AZ cabochons from mines that haven't produced since the 50's or 60's. At half the wholesale value (or what I paid) there are some fantastic deals in the bead groups.

So here's the deal..... On kits, buy enough and you get 10% off of the listed price. On the bead groups the price is HALF, yes 50%, of the value listed on the photo. All shipping is a flat fee of $5 and the only payment I can take is through PayPal (they take credit cards if you don't have an account). What's not to like about a sale like this and I don't need to pack any of this up for the trek to Arizona.

Photos, prices and a kit list - All done with
email me with your list and I'll let you know if it's still for sale.

October 20, 2011

Urban Stripes & No Easy Beads

Beverly Herman of No Easy Beads, out of New Orleans is one of my oldest beading friends. We met in Arkansas over 11 years ago and have beaded together all over the USA. We can both remember when all of our beads fit into a single small Plano tackle box. Bev is one of those people with a madcap sense of humor and I don't think I have a sane, serious photo of her. Point a camera at Bev and ask, "What are you working on?" and the above is what you're likely to get . . . along with a few choice off-the-wall comments.

Bev and I have tested each others beading tutorials, instructions and patterns over the years. She has a design and color sense that is precise and unique. I must say that Beverly produces some of the better written instructions sets that are out there in the beading world. When I need a showcase piece for publication in colors other than my own crayon brights, I'll generally ask Bev if she can do it for me in her signature colors. Her favorite colors always remind me of ancient, rich, Russian Icons; dusty, deep mattes with the sparkle of metallics mixed in here and there.

Bev has just finished her second Urban Stripes necklace and both of her pieces together make a fabulous set. Again, she has taken my pattern set to a new level of opulence with her colors. It shows how a simple set of linked patterns can become totally different in someone else's hands.

Here are two other pieces of wearable art that Bev has crocheted for me. See what I mean by the richness of the colors that she chooses to use?

Diamonds and Daggers from "Patterns & Graphing for Bead Crochet Ropes".

Go take a look at what you can find at No Easy Beads - I'm sure you'll fall in love with the unique things that Beverly makes.

October 11, 2011

Urban Stripes, eBook

It's done.... the eBook, that is. I'm very pleased with the final product and the way it all came together.

It is up on Bead Patterns web site as a download.

You can find it here.

Now that my eyes are getting better I can start working on a print version over on Amazon's Print-on-Demand.

But then again, maybe I'll go take a few walks and look at the Fall foliage, which is finally starting to show some real color around here.


Here are some more beautiful examples of what Urban Stripes can produce. Members of the original on-line group keep posting more finished examples. If you're on FaceBook, you can look at the public gallery of finished items. It's well worth the time to page through the photos to see some great necklaces, and bracelets too.

Here are both of Doreen's necklaces. The brick accents and soft green work quite well. She used a NYC photo to extract her colors and they came out right on target.

This is her Urban Stripes 2. See how well the patterns show up and mix with each other?

Peggy finished her Urban Stripes 2 in a 32" length as she said that suited her a lot better than a double necklace. Now she's going back and making a second Urban Stripes 1 in this length to match. Peggy said, "Your "string X inches" method makes doing the adjustments section by section very easy."

Mary Ann has already made a bracelet from the instructions in the eBook. It's wonderful to have an Editor who is also a fantastic bead crocheter. She used the colors from Terri's necklace set in the eBook's Gallery - also in size 11/0 beads.

if you want to go back and follow the original String-Along from the very start, it's all here on the Blog at http://beadline.blogspot.com/search/label/string-along

October 2, 2011

Clearer Vision - someday soon

One more Urban Stripes necklace set finished.
Janice has posted her two Urban Stripes necklaces. She debated on using the green in the first one. I'm glad she did as it pulled the set out of the ordinary into a grouping that really stands out. I'd wear this pair in a heartbeat.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I did all of the layouts, photos and illustrations for the eBook, Urban Stripes, before last Monday. Now I'm just waiting for my good Editor to get the rough draft back to me with the i's dotted and t's crossed.

I've always been nearsighted, very nearsighted, or almost blind according to my kids. Well age finally caught up to me and it was time to have the cataracts taken care of. That's why I hurried and got the eBook stuff done while my eyesight was still stable in both eyes before I had the first surgery last Monday.

With one eye done I'm very lopsided and see like the above photo . . . half clear and half fuzzy. It's going to be very good when both eyes are done, but for the moment, I can either use my old eyeglasses and close one eye, or take them off and close the other eye. Shall we say that walking around right now is quite an adventure. I'm OK with text up close, but don't trust myself to know if a photo is good, sharp and clear at the moment. Mary Anne Weeks Mayo, my Editor, is a boon at any time, but now more than ever.

So, I'll be quiet for a couple of months until everything is done, the eyes are stable and I can get new prescription eyeglasses. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (quite clearly) but it's going to be a couple of very frustrating months.

3:30 EST- addendum:
due to the type of implanted lens and the very extreme corrective difference in both eyes at the moment . . . the option of removing one old eyeglass lens is not optimal - it gives "double vision + haloed effect" to the max!