December 30, 2012

Bead Buying in Tucson

 I've had an idea for a necklace made with a diverse selection of different beads for some time now.  Something like this photo grouping.

 However I really don't want 20 to 30 of each bead.  If  I got 12 to 15 strands, that's one heck of a lot of leftover beads (300?).  I was wondering if anyone else might want to join me in a sort of bead buying co-op?  The Gem show runs from the last week of January through the first two weeks of February.

I shop the Tucson Gem Show every year and here are three strands that I've picked up in past years.  Unfortunately the red beads are dyed MOP and I take them out just to play with every once in a while.  I knew they would fade if I used them, but they were so nice feeling in the hand that I couldn't resist.

I'm pretty sure I can find unusual and different beads for between $8 to $12 per strand wholesale.  I'm thinking that 12 people could split 12+ strands and have an eclectic mix of beads that nobody else would have. That is if you would trust me to pick the bead strands.  If there are about a dozen people who might have an interest, (click  to contact me)=email me and I'll figure out how this would work and what a total cost would be.

December 23, 2012

Greetings of the Season

We survived the end of the world,  no stockings are hung, the elves are all on strike, and I didn't make a Christmas pudding this year.  We may not be celebrating the holiday in grand style, but are sending warm wishes for a joyous day to all of you and your families.   I'm sure glad my neighbor decorated her yard so I could take this photo to post here.

December 20, 2012

December Blues

The beads are sitting on my work table, waiting to be put to use.  The colors are nice and bright in the sun coming through the back window.  However I've hardly been able to pick up a hook or needle for several months now. My joints have been rebelling, especially the hands and feet.  This is something that started in September and has been an on-again, off-again condition.
I started to work on a pair of snake patterns in bead crochet.  Here and there I've managed to crochet a couple of samples.  You see, I don't know when my inflamed joints will let me do something.  It comes and goes and can get rather painful.  The medical profession has ordered every blood test and x-ray they can think of. I'm coping, but that is about all. Getting an appointment with a specialist is proving difficult in Southern Arizona. So far all they have come up with is transient inflammatory arthritis.  

I wouldn't be mentioning this, except that I've been getting a lot of questions about what I'm doing, why I've been so quiet and when is the next String-Along.  All I can say is, "I don't know."  Some days even a keyboard is beyond my capabilities.

We have had a nice long run of delightfully warm, 70 degree sunshine.  However, the weather here in Tombstone AZ has now turned to winter.   It's been raining and it was snowing yesterday morning.  The woodpeckers and the curved bill thrasher are keeping me company. Every morning I watch them from my desk as they poke around the big dish.

November 30, 2012

Kilim - West of the Mississippi

 When I left New Hampshire, this is what the back yard looked like.  I was wearing socks with my flip-flops, yes, indeed, I was.
This is what Tombstone looked like when I drove into town.  No socks with my flip-flops when the temps are 70+ during the day.
 Texas, Ah, Texas, where it takes three days of driving to get across the state.

Too bad we had to be in Tombstone for Thanksgiving and couldn't dawdle anywhere.  Wonder what they sell in this Texas store?

3,160 miles in 12 days
The last leg took us through;
New Mexico

I thoroughly enjoyed having Kilim traveling with me.  It's booklet has all sorts of notes of good wishes written in it.  

I'll be sorry to see it go on, but I want to see it visit all 50 states - 34 more to go. 

Kilim - Traveling Bracelet in NOLA

 We got into New Orleans the afternoon of Nov. 15th.

It was a very long drive across the Lake Pontchartrain causeway.

Bev Herman of No Easy Beads is one of my oldest beading friends.  We just do not get to spend the time together that we would like to.

She needed some positiveness in her life so I turned the bracelet over to her for the 4 days we were in New Orleans.

We ate good things, played with beads, giggled, talked a lot and visited another beader in Baton Rouge.  I'll let Bev tell the tale of New Orleans.

Kilim - Traveling Bracelet in the East

I had very good intentions... intentions of taking a photo of every new state we crossed into.  

My new camera didn't like that idea at all....... it sat there and dithered around, trying to decide if it should focus on the bracelet (up close) or what was in the background (farther away).

At highway speeds, once the camera makes up it's mind, it's too late!

See what I mean?   We got passed by the Oscar Meyer Winermobile!

... and this is all of a photo I managed to get.

Some states had welcome centers that were still open and we could stop, walk around and take a photo or two.

I don't remember the name of this town, but I'd want to live where the water towers gave both Hot & Cold water.

You can go through a lot of states in the East in four and a half days.

New Hampshire
New York
West Virginia

November 2, 2012

Amazon Overseas

Just a little bit of excitement here as I found out that two of my books can be had both in Great Britain and the rest of Europe.  You need to do an Amazon search in your country for either of these two books.  They still are only in English, but the stringing tables and graphs are universal, no translation needed.

Triangular Bead Crochet

African Stripes 

This book is also just released as a print copy at Amazon.

November 1, 2012

Kilim - a Traveling Bracelet

 Sig Wynne-Evans is the mastermind behind the traveling bracelets.... and they keep growing in number.  Please jump over to her blog and catch up on the background.   I have been graced with Kilim, or (as I call it) the flying carpet bracelet.  I'm going to see if somehow this one can visit each and every one of the 50 states.  It's going to stay with me for more than a week as I drive from my summer studio in NH to my winter abode in AZ and then get passed off to Marcia DeCoster to complete a sea-to sea journey.

It Starts.....

Hurricane Sandy left us wet, semi-functional electronically and under heavy overcast skies.  Couldn't get on-line and the house was dreary so we took off and headed for Portsmouth NH on the Atlantic ocean. Portsmouth was incorporated as a city in 1653.  I think it is about 80 miles East of where I live.  This bracelet really had to officially start at the Eastern edge of the USA for this trip.

They were moving a crane on a barge in Portsmouth harbor.  This little piece of water has some working fishing boats in it.

 We were next to Strawberry Banke Museum, just across the water from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  all of that green grass was water and wharves back when the dark brown building was built in the 1600's.

Then my boyfriend had to get in the act and insisted that we were so close to Maine that we had to go over the bridge into Kittery.   Quickest visit I've ever made to Maine since I moved East 40 years ago!  I can see it now..... he's going to be finagling the trip route the whole way to catch small corners of states.

But.... we can add Maine to the list of States visited.  That's two; NH & Maine. I guess I need to make a check list to keep on the blog.

Now it's time to start shutting down the house and put it into cold storage for the winter.

Oh, dear..... all of the beads need to be cleaned off of the work surfaces, put away into the cases and then packed for the trip.  Then we can hit the road .... hitting the road in 9 days.

Bracelet Side Trips......

The bracelet was sent to me early to make sure I had it before I left.  While waiting for the trip to begin, it hurried up the guys putting cedar shingles on the end of the house.

It went to the BSNH Fall Bead Retreat with me.  A lot of the gals there added notes and best wishes to the booklet that goes with the bracelet.

Lots of good karma at a bead retreat.

October 22, 2012

Stripes, Native & African

 It doesn't look Native, but that is the pattern set that  Cathey used.  Her colors are not at all Native Stripes, but aren't they delightful?  I'll let you in on another secret.... she made her peyote bands a bit longer than needed and put in snaps.  That way they can be un-done for a quick conversion to a lariat.  I love the creativity that pops up in the beading world.

Marlene Brady takes things seriously when it comes to creating.  I commented that an armful of bracelets would compliment African Stripes necklaces nicely . . .  So Marlene made an armful -- fun aren't they?

Glen hails from down under and has given us a very green Mud Cloth necklace.  She says, "I enjoyed working this pattern so much, I'm playing around with putting other colour combos together - none of them are African either."  But isn't that the fun of these pattern sets.... making them your own.  It's hard to believe sometimes that what you see are all from exactly the same pattern(s).

Marcie Picked up the colors for this Mud Cloth Necklace from the background fabric.   Wearing them together makes an outstanding combination.

Mariana had to add a bit of her own twist to her Love Letter Necklace.  Instead of plain color blocks she stuck in a spiral pattern.  This works so well because she didn't swap her background colors half way through the Mud Cloth necklace.  This is a very unusual set, but so beautifully effective together.

Peggy shows off what both a light and a dark background Love Letter Necklace will look like.  The neat thing is that they are done in 10/0 Delicas.  I asked to borrow the dark one as an example to photo in the eBook.  I had fun as I met her down in Mass for dinner and watched her finish crocheting her necklace.  She's good, real good, as she can work in a loud Irish Pub setting and finish up with an excellent invisible join.

I need to show you what Amy, one of the British participants, did.  I'm intrigued with the forest colors she used in her Love Letters.  I guess it sort of reminds me of Sherwood Forest and tales of Maid Marion.  It's so clean and traditional, just not African traditional colors.

I think that every Monday should start off with beautiful things to look at.  This post has a lot of that.  I supplied the patterns, others did the work, beautiful work that I'm so happy to look at and share.

Fall Color

Just because I love looking at the fall colors here in New Hampshire....
the bugs are few, the air is sunny crisp, and it's fun to kick through the leaves on the ground.
 This is what I see out of my bedroom window.  I have this great view of the path to the well into the back woods.  I love the way the late afternoon sun lights up the center of the path.

The house is on the north face of the hill down to the lake.  That means that it starts to get dark a little earlier than up top of the hill. The lingering rays of the late sun do light up the trees out across the road from the driveway.  That's the only really red red tree I've seen this season.  It's been all yellow gold this year.

October 8, 2012

a Mundane Monday

It's the end of blooming things and there are just a few of the hardy Fall blooms to be seen here and there.  We've not yet had a hard frost so it's good to enjoy what's out there in the moment. 
 I had to catch up on a few things and run some errands.  One stop was at a thrift store where I found this delightful 1970's Nabisco cookbook.  The graphics seem so dated, but the contents are comforting.  Animal crackers, first made in 1902, then a chocolate wafer cake and Nilla wafer banana pudding . . . all things that bring out the fond memories of being a child once again.

I usually crochet in the car while we are out 'n about... however this trip I had a small problem - no make that 3 small stringing errors.  I couldn't fix them, I couldn't continue to crochet and that was everything I had with me.

Once all of the provisions were put away I spent some time with the camera.  Everyone tells me that for an Etsy shop you need to have artistic backgrounds. I played around with some different papers I had to see what things might look like.  I'm not totally convinced as I think it makes it all look a bit fussy.  What's artistic about supplies?  Shouldn't they be less artistic and more practical? After all, I'm selling the piece, not the composition.
resin ended head pins (28 gauge wire)

If you'd care to take a look, I do have the magnetic clasps up in the shop as well as a couple of other bead room clean out items.   I have so many bits and pieces that need to find new homes.  Now if I can find the time to sort them out and get them listed for sale.
 Well, I did have the wire pieces out and the pliers were on the desk -  A little bit of twist & tweak, add some more wire wrap to hold the large beads in place and I think I'll have a pair of earrings.

Paid the bills, did the laundry, sorted out paperbacks to give away and admired all of the yellow falling leaves on the lawn. Yes, it has been a very mundane Monday.

October 5, 2012

Fall Colors

We've had a lot of rain and it's taken down a lot of the red and red/orange leaves.  It's still one of my favorite times of the year here in New England.  These photos are for Beverly over at No Easy Beads, who always asks for leaf photos this time of the year.  So I took a short drive today.


 Harrisville Center
 somewhere near Nelson

a Harrisville doorway

September 23, 2012

African Stripes ~ Advance eBook Sale

 The African Stripes eBook is ready to go off to my Editor for final editing.  With any luck, it will be ready to publish by the 1st of  October.  Would you like a advance publication copy at a special price? Check for details at the end of this post.
eBook Details on Bead Line Web Page

I am so very happy with the way this pattern set came out.  It manages to maintain it's African heritage yet looks clean and contemporary.  If you like the opaque primary colors that I used, then you are going to be fascinated with what these patterns look like in other colors and bead sizes; 15's, 11's and especially 10/0 Delicas.  I think the Mud Cloth Necklace done in cobalt and silver 8's is one of the most elegant ropes I've seen.  Here are some of the Blog Posts with photos of what others have done.

9/30/2012 - offer closed - it's on sale at

Between now and when the final, edited PDF goes to Bead-Patterns for publication, (Oct. 1st ??) I'm offering a special Advance Copy package.
  • Digitally signed PDF
  • Extra snake Pattern Rope included
  • $18.00  (will be $19.95)
Your copy will be emailed to you when all editing is complete, but before it goes on sale to the general public.  That could be this week or as late as the first week of October.