Friday, August 31, 2007

Bead Me Up, Scotty. NOW!

Okay, I know you have all been waiting for the free kit comment contest and I do apologize. It's not quite ready. I need to attach the clasp and take pictures, not to mention putting together the instructions and the kits. Due to extenuating circumstances, that I don't really want to go into on the world wide web, our life was turned a bit upside down today. And things will get better, but today necessitated things other than blogging. I will finish the bracelet this weekend, and we will have the contest next week.

In the meantime, I'll give you a topic to discuss amongst yourselves --- the challenges of color theory for artists who work with tiny bits of glass held together with thread, or more commonly, "Why Don't These Colors Work? They Looked Fine When I Held the Tubes Together in the Store!" The Bead Goddess Margie Deeb, has covered this topic numerous times, as have several other beaders, including Pam. If you are at all serious about beadweaving, you must learn color theory with glass beads, and sometimes even relearn color theory, especially if you have had any type of art training. When working with glass, you must learn to deal with light reflection and refraction, you must learn to deal with transparency, with matte, with gloss -- it's a whole different ball game.

Your challenge: pick some seed beads you like -- different shades of the same color, contrasts, coordinates, mixes, whatever. Work a small piece, it doesn't matter what stitch, BUT do one piece with white thread, one with gray, one with black and one that blends. Now see which colors work well with each other and with which thread, and which colors make you want to gag! I think you'll be surprised. And then . . . .

let the rest of us know how it went. Click on "comments", type your comment. If you have a Google ID, type it in, if not click on "other" and if you really don't want us to know who your are, click on "anonymous".

Have a great weekend. We are celebrating N's 19th birthday, which is Monday. When she was born, it gave a whole new meaning to "Labor Day"!! It's hard to believe it was 19 years ago. I will be back on Tuesday morning, bright and early.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beaded Webs

This morning the clouds fell down. This was of great amusement to A as we drove to school. Not so much to mommy, since not everyone drives intelligently when visibility ends just beyond the nose of you car. We went the "back way", past the cow pastures and cotton fields, where spiders have spun their webs in the most amazing places. There were big ones in the trees, and small ones in the openings of the fences.

You don't realize just how many spiders live in your yard until the fog rolls in. And they look like they would be easy to photograph, but they aren't. But wouldn't it be lovely if it were beaded? I assume that if you are reading this, you are a beader. Why hasn't one of us beaded a spider web?

And do you think the spinners know how wonderfully beautiful their webs are, sparkling in the sun as it burns off the fog? This is Matilda. You'll have to click on the image to see her better. She is about four inches in diameter from the tip of her longest top let to the tip of her bottom-most leg, plus she hangs upside down. Matilda has the best spot in the yard. Her web is on the edge of the pool, connected to the volley ball net support. She has taken care of pounds of mosquitoes, pesky wasps and yellow jackets, plus a few unfortunate dragonflies (sorry Cat). What you cannot see are all the tiny baby Matildas in her web. We have watched her grow from the size of a quarter. Now I know some of you are afraid of these ladies, but we don't kill spiders unless they are harmful. Matilda performs a service, so she gets to stay. She would also be lovely, immortalized in beads --- a bit scary, but lovely. She's black and gold, with that tiny bit of funky yellow-green. She'd be great all beaded. But alas, I do not have time to bead her or her web. Why don't one of you bead her?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't Worry, Bead Happy.

I thought I would take a little break and surf for a bit, and I see that Pam is doing her part to direct traffic this way. She even took time from one of the busiest days of her year to do so! She is truly a good friend. So here's a question --- did you like the sunset picture??

Does a Texas sky get any better than this? This was at 8:00 last night, off our back deck. I love the color play, don't you? Click on the photo to see a larger image.

I'm beading away today. I've got two projects I'd like to have finished by Friday, and one that has been put off that I'd like to get back to. Hasta la vista.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One Bead At A Time

It's just a tease, but this is part of the sample for the kit I'll be announcing Friday. In an effort to get some commentary on the posts, I'm offering a prize in the form of a lovely bracelet kit. Details will be posted on Friday. As you can see, it is stitched in shades of purple/lavender and green, which seems to be a trademark for me. It contains pressed glass flower beads, fire polished beads, Delica beads, and seed beads.

I love this color combination, perhaps because it reminds me of spring. You know, grass is growing, flowers are blooming, birds are singing and very few things are pollenating? I will bet that you did not know that green is not my favorite color (I do have a favorite shade of green), nor is purple a big favorite. My favorite colors is teal. When if finish up some more business beading (NOTE: business beading is not nearly as much fun as personal beading), I will bead myself a nice piece of jewelry using teal beads and a lovely teal glass goddess pendant I've been holding on to. But for now, I'm off to bead with green and purple.

He won't tell me how he got them home on the motorcycle. But they were a lovely anniversary surprise!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beads in the Afternoon??

First, class this morning was wonderful. I'll have a picture of the class, plus pictures of variations on a Zinnia to share. Second, I am almost finished with the sample for the "comment" prize kit, and will post a teaser picture of that. And third, I'm exhausted. Today was the first day of school -- for both girls. I got up EARLY. Here is a synopsis of my day:

(1) Drive A to school, (2) drive back home after sitting in a line that backed up 100 yards because parents did not attend "back to school" night last week to meet the teacher & find the classroom, (3) wake up N, (4) listen to N grouse because she had to get up early & her classes are on line & she doesn't have to be at work until 1:00, (5) take a shower & get dressed for class only to stick myself in the eye with the mascara wand, (6) getting dressed is interrupted by N who cannot figure out how to set the DVR to record only the portion of the ACC televised classes that she needs, (7) go back to finish getting dressed, (8) start walking out the door but stop to listen to N grouse because now she has to drive into Austin & go to campus to get her ID & to price textbooks, (9) look Ma, I'm driving --- oh crap, 18-wheeler gravel truck who should be turning into the quarry, (10) nope, he's not turning into the quarry & I've got 20 minutes & OMG could I be driving any slower? (11) yes, I can, (12) I've got 10 minutes but why is person driving 35 mph on MoPac??, (13) hello, ladies!, (14) I need to go by LB -- okay, I don't really NEED to, but I really WANT to because I'm sure there are a few colors I don't have, (15) schmooze with Olivia at LB and leave with a beautiful rhodonite pendant plus the appropriate seed beads to make a killer necklace, (16) get back in the now HOT car, (17) where are all these people going?, (18) stop for lunch at Sonic, but now I must sit & wait because the idiot parked next to me pulled half way out so he could wait for the backseat passenger to fasten the baby back into the car seat, (19) still waiting, (20) driving home, (21) walk into the cool house & look at the clock only to realize the bus will be here in 15 minutes & we still need to go get a lunch box, (22) it's the first day of school & the bus is 20 minutes late & the car is hot, (23) very talkative small person in the car who is VERY excited about the first day of school, (24) drive to Target where the PERFECT lunch box in purple camouflage resides, (25) "I need two composition books & a brad folder & glue sticks & erasers & don't forget my juice boxes", (26) on to Office Depot because Target does not have brad folders, (27) now on to Wal-Mart for those juice boxes, (28) what do you mean we didn't get erasers yet?, (29) back into the SAUNA car to drive home, which is where I am now.

Beads in the afternoon?? No, there is still dinner to cook, first day of school paperwork to sign, I'm sure there is some part of A's day she has not yet discussed, N will want to discuss her day, and the hubby will have his turn. Beads tonight??? No, because after dinner & talk, it will bed time for A (which is getting to be a bit of a chore, but I'm sure it's just 10-year-old self-exertion), then more talk with N & hubby, THEN it will be my bed time and I'm pretty sure I'll sleep tonight!!

Beads tomorrow!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Bead Musings

As a lay awake in my bed last night (what? you're not supposed to lay awake in the bed? it's for sleeping you say? yeah, right) the design of the prize for comments came to me. Now I must commit it to bead, needle and thread with copious notes. And the unveiling will be Friday with a big ole shameless plug on the Texas Beaders list. And there will be at least two prize packages. The only hint I will give you: it is purple and green. (Oh Kath, be quiet -- I do too work with other colors!) By the way, feel free to comment between now and then. It's really easy -- just click on "comments" below and give me some suggestions for topics you would like to see discussed. (Blogging should be interactive, you know.) Off to bead now!

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's a Bead-iful Day!

What a wonderful class last night. I had one baby beader (someone who has never beaded before). She was impressive. When something didn't look right, she instinctively ripped it out and started again. I always enjoy my classes with the Austin Stitchers. Here is a picture of some of them, beading away.

Okay, you people are a tough crowd! Still no comments, even though they have been requested. I tell you what. I will come up with some sort of contest, with a prize. I'll post rules and pictures on Tuesday, because Monday I'm teaching the Austin Stitchers again. And I might not be posting over the weekend, as I have a lot of organizing to do in the bead room, plus I have to design a beadiful prize! See ya later, alligator!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Good Day Sunshine . . . .

I wasn't going to post today as I have much to do in the way of preparing for class this evening, but I'm sitting here waiting for multiple sets of instructions to finish printing. I'm watching them because inevitably, my ink jet cartridges will run out somewhere near the end. But this time, I am prepared! I went and had cartridges refilled last night! Ah, the marvels of modern technology.

I bet you're wondering when we're going to get to the beading part, aren't you? Very soon, I promise we will get there soon. This is all new to me, but comments will help. So . . . . .

Let me know what you would like to discuss in the way of beading. Just click on the little link below that says "comments" and type away. Ask me questions, give me suggestions, share a beading tip. But for now, I'm off to get some packaging of kits finished. ¡Adiós amigos!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Da do do do, blah blah blah blah . . .

With apologies to The Police, today's theme is blah. Not enough sleep makes for short posts (as the crowd begs for more insomnia). Today I must make kits for tomorrow night's class. I also need to finish beading a sample bracelet for Joyce to take to the Embroiders' Guild of America National Seminar in Chicago. My patterns are making their national debut! (shameless plug --- I'm getting better). Joyce is the Regional Director of the EGA's South Central Region. She is a very brave woman. It is a lot of work.

I didn't want to leave you empty handed, though. This is the trumpet vine that grows on my fence. Usually by this time of year there are twice as many blooms, with too much rain followed by extreme heat, it's a bit bare this year.

And this is Sweet Boy on the back deck. He will be year old September 30. He wants all your attention, so much so that he will trip you to get it. He is long and rangy and there is a lot of Siamese in him.

A demain mes amis! J'aurai plus à dire alors.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day By Day . . . .

I woke up early today. Then I did some research. I wanted to find out why artists blog. Oddly enough, I didn't find much in the way of viable information. I did read an excerpt from We've Got Blog, which is a compilation of different articles discussing the phenomenon known as blogging. I found this gem thanks to Pam . I go to her a lot for advice because she doesn't pull any punches. She puts it out there, and if you like, good. And if you don't like it, good. But she does open my eyes to a lot of things. She sent me to several psychological and psychiatric studies on blogging and society. Dry, but interesting reading.

Today I was trying to find out why artists blog. Maybe I'm just trying to justify doing so myself. One sentence from the book excerpt did ring home: if you're not having a good time, why bother? That one I will take to heart. I did find some advice on why to blog as an artist (notice that this does not address why artists blog). Artists should blog to display their art, to discuss their process and to make announcements. Hmm, kind of sounds like me, me, ME. That doesn't sound like a good time for you or me. But I do like the idea that it gives someone an idea of who I am, what I do, and maybe why I do it. Of course, it might do the same for me! Is that existential?

When I first started discussing blogging with Pam, she mentioned the commitment involved in blogging. If you are going to blog, it needs to be regular and it needs to be fairly often, or you lose your audience, who quite honestly, are potential customers. Am I right? Don't you just hate checking Jane Doe's blog, only to find that she hasn't posted anything for two months? Or how about no postings in over a YEAR? Not even a little web site update!! Now, before you get all hot and bothered, relax. I'm not talking about you, I'm not talking about Pam (she's a busy, busy woman!), I'm not talking about anyone anybody knows. Just obscure little sites here and there that started out with potential only to drift away and die of neglect.

I've always had difficulty with self-promotion. I was brought up to believe that it was conceited and self-serving, something a nice, well-bred southern lady would not do. So it's very difficult for me to fill the blog with pics of my work, links of what I'm doing, where I'll be, etc. I will give it go, though. In that vein . . .

As a good artist who blogs, on my honor, I will try to blog something every day, to have fun blogging, to discuss things other than me, myself and I, and entertain you once in a while.

Oh yeah, I'm teaching Thursday. This is a zinnia, which is going to the Austin Chapter of the Embroiders' Guild of America. How's that for a shameless plug of me??

Good Morning, Sunshine . . .

Okay, so my new business plan starts with early mornings, i.e. waking up and hauling my fat butt out of bed before 9:00 (okay, okay -- all your career ladder climbers can be quiet now). I mean, Ariel starts back to school on next Monday! Needless to say, especially if you know me well, that it's a very difficult thing for me to do, especially if I've had a particularly rough night. Well, last night was one of those --- toss and turn, covers on, covers off, left side, right side, sit up and stare at my storing husband, trying to wake him psychically. By the way, that doesn't work,either. So here I sit, bleary-eyed, trying to think of witty things to write. I feel like channeling Dave Barry today.

We have cats. I have an even dozen cats in the back yard. Most of them are feral, but they all seem to know their names. The three that are in the house are Casey (as in KC, for Kitty Cat), her sister Lazy Daisy (just Daisy), and Casey's very first kitten, Baby (my retarded kitty). Then someone dumped the prettiest little calico kitten out here, and I had her checked, cleaned her up, and named her Callie.

When Casey goes into heat, she becomes sneaky. She can slip through your legs and out the door without being seen. Then the next time you open the door, there she sits waiting to be let back in. Todd always, ALWAYS swears "The next time that cat gets pregnant, she's living outside!!! If you want to keep her, make sure she stays inside!!!" Well, guess whose legs she slipped through three months ago?

Anyway, the weekend before last, she had one little tom kitten, and his name is Buster. And he's adorable. All kittens are adorable. He's mostly adorable right now because he can't really crawl yet, so he stays in the box and out of my bead room, that's full of nooks and crannies where a kitten could hide out for days. Well, Daisy is jealous. She has decided that Buster is hers. I don't know if she and Casey had some sort of surrogate agreement or what, but Daisy wants that kitten. So she spends the day scouting out places in the bead room, looking for the best hiding spot. Then she waits for Casey to leave the box.

Now, the box is in the dining room because Casey feels she needs to be close to where I work. If we don't bring Buster out, she will! So I sit here and work on the computer, and the next thing you know, here comes Daisy with Buster, and when I say "Hey!", she drops him. Wherever. There's been a bit of daily rearranging of the furniture to get to the poor little fuzzball.
That's Daisy, acting all nonchalant, waiting for the right moment to jump in and steal "her" kitten.

You've all been subjected to this post because the Beadalicious Beaders told me to write anecdotes about the cats. If you would like to take it out on them, let me know!

Today, I bead.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

There she goes . . . .

After serious deliberation (and discussion with Pam and the Beadalicious Beaders), I've decided to jump into the blog pool. Here I go, hold the nose, close the eyes, and . . . . . JUMP!

Yesterday (Saturday) Pam and I went to the San Antonio Bead Market, which had a rather nice showing. It was too crowded for me as a shopper, but as a vendor, it was a great deal. I schmoozed with a few folks I don't see regularly anymore. I looked at all the pretty beads, and even touched a few. And now I have my eye on some Dark Red AB 2X Swarovski bicones, thanks to Laurie at Mica Beads & Jewelry. And I would post a link, but alas, Laurie does not yet have a web site. We did look for Heather, but our time was limited and we must have just missed her.

All in all, it was a good day. There was no rain, as long as we weren't going to the outlet malls (for the tax free weekend), traffic wasn't bad, I got to schmooze and window shop, but best of all I got to spend some time with Pam, which we don't have the opportunity to do very often.

So, there you go -- first blog. And I'm sure there will be many more to follow.

Oh -- lest I forget, the cute little tag over there is compliments of Siggie Plus.