April 28, 2012

AZ for NH & decisions, decisions....

 My hedgehog cactus has out done itself with blooms this year.  It's funny to watch the bees completely bury themselves into the centers and then wiggle to get back out.  It's time to start organizing and packing up for the trek to New Hampshire for the summer.  Uck, a chance look-see under the car told us that we'd better go see a hitch expert.  Good thing it wasn't left to the last moment as bad things were cracking under there.  Monday we get to go sit and wait while a local shop builds (and installs) a new hitch under the back of the car. There goes the money for a couple of extra days sightseeing.

This is the worst of my decisions..... It's all got to be sorted out and put away.  Twice a year I have a completely clean studio and can actually see all of the horizontal surfaces.  What do I think I won't work on this summer?  What goes and what stays for next winter?  I guess wire experiments will stay as the anvil is here.  Of course, bead crochet goes as I always have something strung up to work on.

I've determined that July's string-Along will be African Stripes.  Have you ever thought about what it would be like to work in only two colors? Think two 42" necklaces; one in black & white (ecru) and the other in red, brown, green, yellow, black.  A sort of Mudd Cloth necklace paired with bright African beadwork necklace.

This project has to go as it's moving along. The resin magnetic clasps are getting to the point that I think I'll have usable ones soon. Getting opaque, Bakelite colors, has not been too successful.  I've also got lots of strange dodads from the leftover resin.   Seem's it's not easy to get the right quantity mixed for each pour.

OK, it's a 7 day count down.  Today I'll run out to my Sister's Jail for the 102nd year celebration and then shut down the creative things.  Then it's sort, organize, wash, sort, pack, clean, sort, and get on the road for New Hampshire.

April 25, 2012

Native Stripes ~ String-Along

Thinking of tropical Islands?  Sue K. had Hawaii in mind when she chose her colors.  She's a little bit left to do and then plans on adding beaded flowers to the cuff bands.  Her necklace is going to stand out where ever she wears it.

Meanwhile, the eBook has been published.  You can pick your own colors and make a Native Stripes of your own.

Bead Patterns is where you will find the download for this eBook as well as many of my other patterns.  If you and bead crochet don't agree, you can find most anything you want to bead at the site. 

Now I need to start organizing for my trip to New Hampshire for the summer.  We'll be leaving in 10 days and I need to get all the beads back into their containers for the trip. 

April 19, 2012

Native Stripes eBook - advance copy

Pre-Publication Sale for $18, see details below.

 The eBook is off to the Editor who will make sure everything makes plain English sense.  Then it needs a final pass before it goes on sale at Bead-Patterns.  After having the danged computer eat some of my files, I'm glad to have it done to this point.

Click on the back cover to see the details of what you'll find inside.  There are 33 pages of graphs, patterns, hints, textile inspiration and photos.

If you don't like my bright bold colors, you can make it your own with your color set.  This is a rope crocheted by Mariana that used the exact same patterns and construction, but her own colors.  There is a photo of her finished necklace in the eBook Gallery.  It's a beautiful color difference.  What would you use for colors?

Sale Details:
The final price will be $19.95 at Bead-Patterns.
If you're willing to wait til Sunday or Monday (April 22-23)
you can pre-pay  $18 and reserve a copy directly
from me.  It will be electronically signed.  I will email your
eBook copy when it's finalized, but before it goes to
Bead-Patterns.  Just be aware that it's a large file and
will take some time to download in your email.

4/25/2012 - offer closed out - it's ready for public sale.

Update Note:
You've read this far and ....... I just noticed that my Blog has gone over 65,000 reads. My birthday is coming up next week also.  I need to double celebrate, and will give the 6th commenter on this blog post a free copy of the Native Stripes eBook.   Be sure to let me know what your email is.

April 13, 2012

What was I thinking?

Color often catches my eye and Pinterest (see sidebar) has been showing me a lot of color these days.  I saw a photo of these teeny rubber O-Rings in lime green and had to go look at the source. They are round.  They have holes. Beads are round and have holes.  Interesting!

In the back of my mind I could see using them in bead crochet.  I've done quite a few pieces with fat stone heshi beads. They crochet up beautifully and sort of look like miniature stone walls. I thought the soft rubber feel might make an interesting bracelet.

(thinking this would work well
as a strung, stretchy bracelet)

So I bought a few colors.  Compared to seed beads, and even natural stone beads of a similar size, I thought they were a bit pricey.  Those are 300 pc. baggies at $12 ea. + shipping.  It took about 450 pcs. to string 32" of them. A normal 6-around, 7" bracelet needs 40" of strung beads.

I strung a simple pattern.... or rather I struggled to string a simple pattern.  Guess what?  Rubber just does not string like glass.  They don't tip up nicely onto a needle.  They catch and have to be pushed down the needle and thread.  They don't slide for beans.

I almost quit here and made one earring out of it!

I can crochet most anything..... how hard could this be?  Well... push... pull... nothing moves smoothly.  Even tension - forget it.  

Interesting - those little rings don't look anything like the stones.  They all lay down, sort of like scales or a faux chain maille.  

 A pattern doesn't come out with any precision either.  Color blocking would be more suitable.

 The rope feels nice, I love the colors, it's quite light weight, but crazy frustrating to crochet.  I think I'll finish what I have strung and hope it's long enough to make a bracelet.  After that I will relegate rubber o-rings to the same category as 22/0 seed beads:  crocheted with them once, but don't think I'll do it again.

April 12, 2012

Native Stripes - Finished Necklaces

 The Native Stripes String-Along finished some time ago and I need to show you some of the beautiful results from it.  Above is the necklace that I did in sections.  I emailed those sections to the membership over a nine week period. I've had such pleasant feedback on how well the group interacted, shared, and commented on everything.  It was a lot of fun to do.
Click on a photo to see it full sized:

Sandi finished hers with the tassels and bands.  She used similar colors to mine but in great transparent matte colors.  It gives it a sort of Tuscan look.

Barbara added an extra touch of terracotta color to her necklace.  I especially like the change of bead soup at the center with the small triangles.

Mariana made two pieces, each with it's own unique look.  This one has a Southwestern look to it and showcases what a change of bead color can do.   Making the bead soup sections with a single color makes the pattern sections really stand out.

Mariana's second necklace used a dark bead soup with just flecks of color in it.  Exact same pattern set, but what an overall difference it makes.  This could very easily be thought to be Native American.

I've always emphasized that my patterns are just that, patterns, 
and you should make them your own.  Here are some delightful pieces that do just that.

Amy closed her necklace into an endless loop and added  needle woven beaded bead as a focal point.  A dark bead soup sets off the bright colors beautifully.

Toni chose a very rich Continental color scheme.  Isn't it a complete contrast to Amy's colors?

 Marty's vibrant colors just seem to float above the dark sections.

Here is another vibrant, almost flashy, color set.  Mel had an art bead focal made just for this necklace. Sari colors for sure.

Julie's necklace just says, "desert floor" to me: rocky, sandy, bits of greenery here and there.  She added another small twist with the drops in what was supposed to be a bead soup section.

Karen (Louisiana) seems to be drawn to the earthy colors.  It's hard to believe that this is all the same patterns as the above pieces.  It does have an aspect of "snake" to it.

Karen (Idaho) decided to finish hers as a lariat with art beads on the ends.  I think her use of the pink highlights in the patterns is quite effective.

Then we come to Terri and she really made this project her own. I love it when someone sees and makes something so completely different.  Terri stopped short of the full 70" necklace, closed it and began adding beaded rings to it. When she gets all of her rings on, it's going to be an outstanding example of bead crochet.

Some time before the end of April 2012, you will be able to make your own example of Native Stripes. I'm taking photos, moving text and components around for the eBook.  

April 4, 2012

Bead Calculator

 I have a finger in a few projects and rather than mix them with my Bead Line web site, I've corralled them over at the Bordello. There is where you will find the software and applications that I and my partner, Ken Campbell have been working on.

Android Bead Calculator

If you have an Android Phone or Tablet, you might like what we've just finished.  This little calculator lets you put in how long of a bead crocheted rope you want.  Then you tell it the bead size and how many-around.  It gives you back how many inches to string, how much thread you need and how many grams of beads to buy.   Handy to have if you're in a bead store, think you might like to make a rope out of a certain bead, and can get your bead need estimates right then and there.  Just remember that all beads are not created equal and this only gives you an estimate.

Sorry, it doesn't help clean up your work table, just does some math for you.  Ken is as messy a beader as I am and this is what his table looks like.  I still do my math the hard way as I've not succumbed to being a cell phone carrier yet.