Friday, September 28, 2007

Bead DUH

When we belonged to a medieval role playing group, most of the stories around the camp fire started with "No shit, there I was." Even the dainty ladies used this phrase.

Well, no shit, there I was, working on a new teaching project. Now this is a stitch I have done countless times before. I have even put it in kits, so you would think I can do this in my sleep, right? Wrong. I'm sitting on the sofa stitching (okay, I was watching TV, but it was the season premier of CSI). I'm stitching along, just stitching away, and I look at what I've done, which was about five inches, and it's not spiraling. I look at my instructions, and for some unknown reason, I decide they are wrong (mind you, these were the instructions I included in a kit). So I un-bead. I start stitching again (now I'm watching ER). I bead about three inches and look at it, and it's STILL not spiraling. I decide it's a sign from the universe that I should not be beading at this particular moment in time. So I un-bead. I go to bed, read, try to sleep, toss and turn all night, and suddenly I am hit with an epiphany: DUH!

It turns out that I CAN do this stitch in my sleep after all. I just don't seem to be able do it while awake!

I'm spending the day with T-man, so no beading until this evening (I can't bead and drive at the same time). I did make a pair of earrings yesterday that go nicely with the new necklace. I'll put a picture of them either here or on my website tonight. Have a bead-iful weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sore Bead Muscles?

There's not much to say today. T-man starts his new job on Monday. He's excited. I'm excited. Can't you tell?

I've done something to my neck/shoulder which is making it difficult to sit at the computer right now. It doesn't bother me as much when I'm beading or when I'm using the lap top, which is not connected to the Internet. Bummer -- maybe I'll sit and work on some new patterns for the angels to work on. The pain is keeping me awake, though. So I'm taking it a bit easy today and through the weekend. I'll check the email periodically, but that's about it. Later!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Okay, so I was running an errand yesterday and I picked up the current issue of In Style magazine. I get home, open a soft drink, sit down and start thumbing through the magazine. I buy this particular magazine because it's a great way to look at trends in clothing and jewelry. Anyway, I'm kind of scanning the table of contents and I see "Make Your Own Jewelry". CRAPOLA!! Et tu, In Style? I flip through the pages, looking for the dastardly article, expecting to find bead stringing lessons, trying to imagine Angelina Jolie making her own earrings (yeah, right -- in between babies), and there it is. Tips on how and where to remake your old jewelry, as in 10 carat diamond engagement rings from that millionaire's son you met while studying Latin at Brown, antique pink sapphire sorority pins from your great aunt who went to Wellesley, your great-grandmother's pearls, etc. *whew* Breathing a sigh of relief, I go back to enjoying my magazine.

The Onion had an article a while back stating that "80% of the US Populace Now Selling Handmade Jewelry". What it doesn't say is if it is their own jewelry they sell or cheap imports from third world countries. I would guess that 80% is a huge overstatement, but it's possible.

Today I am putting spiders in envelopes and mailing them off!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beaded Necklace Seeks Perfect Ending

Well, I did find the perfect clasp and will add it in a bit. This is a Liz Smith design that was in Beadwork magazine a while back. It's called "Sheherazade". I purchased the ceramic bead at one of the Austin Bead Society's bead bazaars. This particular piece is not for sale, it is mine. And of course, the scan doesn't do it justice, but I wanted to get it posted today. Why, yes --- it is green!

Today is another very low energy day. It could be the ragweed. *sniffle* After all, we are sitting the in the middle of a giant ragweed forest out here. You would think the county would take measures to eradicate some of it growing on the side of the road, but no. We feel privileged when they just mow over here on the east side. And even that is an infrequent occurrence.

Today, the exercise regimen begins. Tomorrow, I may not be able to move! I'll be sure to let you know. I may have to borrow Juls' voice-activated program, though. In the meantime, don't worry -- bead happy!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Beads. What else?

This is one of those days that beg to be conducted from bed. I feel tired to my bones. There is no apparent reason, maybe it's a delayed reaction to all the stress in the house these past few weeks. But that's how my life goes. It's just that the older I get, it gets more difficult to deal with the weird little aches and pains and the big energy lags.

I beaded this weekend. And I sold spiders. I have a few more left. As for the beading, well, it's coming along. After I finish this necklace (for me), I will be designing and planning for sales in the spring, mostly with the EGA.

A is home today with a tummy ache, I got up late, so N got up late (I am her alarm clock, evidently). T-man was off early, early this morning to go work in Austin. He did take the entire weekend off to putter around the house, mow the lawn, vacuum the pool, fix the truck, and make some stepping stones! That is how he relaxes.

The angels were here yesterday so we could brainstorm. We came up with lots of ideas for new kits! Y'all are going to love them! I'll be giving sneak peeks here and there. Tracey gets first peeks though.

Okay, I'm off to go sit on the couch and finish my necklace. It should be done today, as not much is left.
Happy beading!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Itty Bitty Post II

T-man got a job!

We are doin' the happy dance!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Beader on the Block

First, the ants are not gone, they just relocated. I hate those little buggers!

While reading the Etsy forums (that's me promoting my shop, you see), I found this incredible beadwork. The beader's name is Maz, her Etsy shop is Amari, and this is what her work looks like. Unfortunately, she's not in Central Texas, so she won't be making our weekend get-together any time soon. BUT you can visit her little shop of beading.

I spent Tuesday with the green beads, sorting, organizing, using a few Mason jars --- it looks like canning gone really bad. I'm about half done with them. That's just the green seed beads, mind you. Yesterday, I took photographs of some more items for the Etsy shop, so there will be some new goodies soon. I'll do some more photography today.
The T-man is home again today, but so far the computer is mine. He had an interview yesterday, which he said went pretty well. He's to hear back tomorrow. Cross your fingers, light a candle, walk in a circle backwards three times, whatever you do for good luck and then send it this way!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Itty Bitty Post

The upside of a layoff is that sometimes your hubby is home with you all day. The downside to a layoff is that sometimes your hubby is home with you all day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Beads and Organizing

I've decided that beads do not like to be organized. Oh sure, put all the greens together and put all the reds together, etc., etc., etc. What they do not want is to be put into containers that make it easy for me to see what I have! Sheesh. GG would be proud of me. I sorted focal beads and discovered that I WILL need one of those expensive clear boxes from the big store that sells expensive containers -- ouch! I filled several pint jars with the colors I use so often. Of course, there a lot more waiting. On the upside, the hubby has finally said "yes, you need your own studio in the back yard". Yay me! So if I can keep visualizing it, I'll eventually have it. I can hear you saying "but T, he got laid off". Yes, and more on that situation next week!

I've added some new links. Please go read Moon's blog, and be sure to read "Holy Goddess of the Crapper". I just about did a spit take with the coffee. I also added Susan Mandel's Beadweaver blog. It is a wealth of information and eye candy! I like blogs that are entertaining. Can you tell?

Please give us a new home!! Mama wants to make new earrings!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Beads and Friends

All the comments from Friday and this past weekend have been answered. If you don't ever read them, go through the posts and check them out. Just click on "comments" below, and feel free to leave one of your own.

I had so much fun yesterday! I love the ladies I bead with. Juls took lots of pictures, and as soon as I get them I'll put them up here and on the web site. I also love seeing the color combos everyone chooses. And this time they were gorgeous.

When we have our little "classes", we also do pot luck. Everyone brings a little something, and there is always a lot of fresh fruit and fresh veggies, which I absolutely love. N was munching on the broccoli last night. But this weekend Gaye brought venison sausage (thanks to her hubby the hunter). YUM! Pam brought homemade soup, and I've got to get the recipe. Again, YUM!. Juls brought pasta salad, which A took for lunch today. YUM! Cat made her tuna salad, which always reminds me of being at the lake. YUM! And it's all healthy and good for us, and we don't even realize it as we're scarfing it up!

The latest on the fire ant saga: The InTice works, just slowly. Now I am fascinated by the ants. To use the InTice, you put little dots about the size of a size 8 seed bead (how's that for relating?) every five to six inches. The ants are just drawn to it. But here's what they do. They drop whatever they are carrying, and go for the InTice. It's like a toddler carrying his little truck, but he sees a ball and the truck is suddenly forgotten. When the InTice is gone, we clean up the tiny piles of crumbs. And now when we open the microwave, instead of there being dozens of ants, there are only three or four. If you tap on the wall of the microwave, they all run away. I kid you not. They run to each other, one ant touches all the others, and then they form a retreat line and out of the microwave they go. Cat says I'm weird. I am just fascinated by this little nature study in my kitchen.

I am organizing this week. If I don't do this, I won't be able to bead anymore as I cannot find everything I need right now. I am also photographing items for Etsy (see the link to the store, over there on the right). And I'm designing. We have a big EGA show in February. That's what this week is. Not very entertaining, is it? Keep in mind that when I organize there are always several "I forgot I had that" moments. Don't worry, the camera battery will remain charged, because we never know what I might find!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Un-beading Part II

Okay, I have completely un-beaded the necklace and am starting over. Crikey, I hate doing that. I also hate fire ants. Because of all the rain we had, they have made their home in our walls and we are having a hell of a time getting rid of them. Do you know where I found them yesterday? In my microwave. They were in the microwave so thick that I had to get into the car and drive to get something for lunch. Those of you who know where I live realize how long it took. For those of you who don't, I will enlighten you. When I got back home an hour later, lunch was rather cold, and I could not warm it. Fortunately, we live across the road from a professional exterminator. He gave us some stuff called InTice. It's sweet ant bait, and it contains orthoboric acid. We put it near the ants, away from food, and out of reach of the cats. Today, there are far fewer ants in the microwave, but I am afraid they have made a home in the walls of the appliance! Crap, crap, crap!

I am off to the local bead store to pick up beads. I had a little "guinea pig" session a few weeks ago. Basically, when I teach a new class with time constraints, I need help to make sure everything works. So I invited a few beaders over with the promise of free kits. Come to find out, I did not put enough beads in the bracelet kit, so I must fix the problem. A southern lady is only as true as her word, right? And so, hi ho, hi ho, off the bead store I go. And I'm sure I'll come home with a few more beads, because heaven knows I need more beads . . . .

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Crikey. Today I am un-beading. I've been working on a piece all week long. It was going to be a fabulous piece. It had a beautiful ceramic focal bead. You saw the picture. Well, today I am un-beading because the instructions I was following seem to have left out a major detail. This is the caveat when using instructions from the magazines. In order to save space, they chop up the ten pages of instructions originally sent by the artist. So instead of ten detailed pages, you get two not so detailed pages. And in that editing (let's say culling instead), things get left out.

I'm also working up diagrams for a little private class on Sunday, which I don't look at as a class, but a get-together with my beady girlfriends. We learn, we laugh, we do a pot-luck lunch, and we bead. I love it. I kinda like them, too.

A asked me if it was FALL yet. I just chuckled. It's supposed to heat up again after this weekend. I am so ready for cooler weather, when what few trees we have that are capable of change do so. This one was also taken at Lost Maples. By the way, I could easily live out there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do you get beady eyed?

You know what I'm talking about. You've beaded so long that your eyes are crossed and teary? Or you are suddenly no longer able to see the big screen TV, but you can easily focus on the size 15 seed beads on your needle? Yup, you are beady eyed! Please feel free to join the club!

The necklace I'm working on decided it liked a beautiful porcelain bead I had rather than the one hubby made. That's okay. The necklace will still be stunning and I have a new plan for the special bead he made. And yes, the piece is predominantly green. I have joked with the hubby that if I had spent all those years selling nothing but purple and green beads, I could have made a mint!

"Okay, you're gonna love this one. A Dachshund, a Poodle and a Great Dane go into a bar . . . "

Well, I've been asked why I didn't finish the joke. You see, Oliver was telling it when he was suddenly distracted by a cat. He never got to the punch line.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And now for challenged beading, the kit goes to . . .

Don't confuse challenged beading with the beading challenged. And no, Juls, regardless of what you think, you are most definitely NOT beading challenged. I've seen some of your finished pieces. And Clara, I'm actually sending you a kit for bead weaving, but you know how to do this. I know you do because I taught you how. So there you have it, beaders. Only two kits being mailed out, to two of my dearest beady friends. And they are both very passionate about everything they do, not just beading. I'm very privileged to have these two ladies in my life.

Every once in a while, there will be other challenges with freebies. I truly enjoy it when the blog becomes interactive, so don't be shy -- drop a line or two when you have time. You might just get something nifty in return!

Today is GG's birthday. Her mom is visiting her for a while, which is a great birthday present for her. I'm wishing her a very happy birthday and hope all of her beady friends do likewise. I won't see her until November, but we'll celebrate then.

I've got beads in those colors. Hmmm . . . . I am so ready for cooler, dryer weather. How is this for a great palette? This was taken Thanksgiving 2005 at Lost Maples State Park in Vanderpool, Texas. It was absolutely gorgeous, the weather was perfect and I didn't even mind sleeping on the ground.

I'm working on a necklace that was published in Beadwork magazine a couple of years ago. I'm using it to showcase one of my hubby's lamp work beads. I'm to the point of embellishing, and will post a picture either here or on my website when it is finished. Ooo, beading something for me! What a novel idea!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I've Been Beading

First, the bad news. Hubby got laid off a week ago Friday. He's been making money doing those little jobs that he loves to do, and he has been working every day. The problem with the odd jobs is that eventually they run out, the economy can change at any time (as we learned several years ago), and they don't offer benefits. Have you ever asked a specialist what his fee is if you pay them cash??? And we won't even talk about tests, diagnostics or procedures or pharmaceuticals. On the up side, he is out looking as we speak.

Me? I haven't slept since the night before he got laid off. I have been beading, though. I bought this beautiful kit from Ann Benson's Beads East. I love the color, loved the technique, and truly enjoyed making them. But they are just too heavy for my ears, so I may end up having to sell them.

Now to the good stuff. You have 24 hours. My favorite three posts will get a free kit for this bracelet. The kit includes enough beads for an eight inch bracelet, crimp tubes, a PLATED clasp (don't argue -- it's free), Beadalon, and full instructions with color diagrams. You will need a size 12 beading needle and Fireline. If you do not enjoy working with Fireline, I will be very upfront with you -- you will be weaving with it.

Please post something other than "I'm sorry to hear about hubby" or "the earrings are lovely". I want true interactive blogging. Here's your topic: What is your favorite color combination and does it work with beads? For example, my favorite color combo is teal and violet. It doesn't work well simply because it is so difficult to find beads in those colors. I do have a wonderful set from Pam, but I must make repairs to the bracelet before I can post it. But I could not find seed beads or Delica beads in those colors, so I had to work the bracelet with iris beads to blend in.

So, what I would like from you, dear reader, is your favorite combo and whether it not it works with beads and why or why not. And winning posts are at my discretion, so be creative and entertaining with your posts to win a free kit for the lovely lavender/green bracelet. BUT you must leave some way for me to contact you via email. I do get a notification that posts have been made, but I will also need you to follow up your post with your own email. Ready, set, GO! Winners will be named tomorrow.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Art Bead Scene Blog: Bead Scoop - Ginkgo Leaves

Art Bead Scene Blog: Bead Scoop - Ginkgo Leaves
What a great way to start a Saturday morning (even though it was posted yesterday!). Heather has posted a nice article over at Art Bead Scene with some links to incredible ginkgo leaf beads and projects. I am going to fix what I screwed up yesterday, even though it may mean restitching an entire earring.

The tweens were up late, then up early. They have taken over the pool until their demands for pancakes are met. Fortunately, none of them seems interested in my coffee.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Beads Are Coming, The Beads Are Coming!

First, I spent a lovely day with the Beadalicious Beading Babes in South Austin. I got quite a bit done, but some may need to be redone. Then we did lunch, which was quite tasty. Then after a quick run through the grocery store, I met A at the house. What I was told will send chills through some of you.

It seems that my ever creative youngest child had planned a pool party with four of her friends, and two of them are spending the night.

My house has been taken over by tweens. They have taken over the pool and the hot tub. We anticipate their reign of giggling terror to overtake the living room and the TV next. We will try to appease them with hot dogs, chips, popcorn, KoolAid and cake.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Something Beaded This Way Comes . . . .

I cannot believe you guys are letting me get away with these bad word plays!

I spent the morning driving all over South Austin with N, trying to find the correct ACC bookstore for her books. The prices of tuition and books would astound you, especially once you know that all of her classes are online. Let's just say the $50 book was a bargain.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll post it tomorrow (see? letting me do it again!). Here is a sneak peek at the challenge I've been promising. Tomorrow afternoon, after I get home from beading with the Beadalicious Beading Babes in South Austin, I will post the full picture and details. Until then, I'll be back on the sofa, beading my fingers to the bone.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

And the Bead Goes On . . . .

No, not a soap opera -- it's a song written by Sonny Bono, sung by his then wife Cher. Jeez --- you guys are too young to remember. Cher was singing about beads back in the late 60s. For real! I'd prove it to you if I could turn back time . . .

Etsy! I put up a new banner. I've been reading on what makes a successful Etsy store (not that putting up a new banner will guarantee me instant success). One of the things mentioned was an interesting avatar. What's an avatar? It's the tiny little picture that represents you on all things Etsy. Hubby says the new banner looks more "Internet". Do you believe me when I say that the color scheme (matching my logo) was accidental and I'm not sure how I got the other pictures to do that? Yep, purely serendipitous. The other keys to success? Constantly adding items and mentioning Etsy every chance you get.

How is your challenge coming? What? You forgot? Last Friday I issued a challenge to you all, but no one has spoken up. What happened with your colors? I'll go bead while you type . . . .

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

No Use Crying Over Spilt Beads

Well kids, life sucks. Somedays it sucks a lot, some days not so much. But we pick up our beads, sort them and move on. Believe it or not, as much as life sucks right now, the house is fairly calm.

I spent the weekend at both parents' places for N's birthday. Came home Sunday and took a bunch of really bad photographs for my first Etsy Texas Crafters First Monday Event. Many thanks go to everyone who looked. I'm going to work on the photo skills as I go, but I will start putting more items up. I'd like to move out some older earrings, as I have wonderful new beads to make more earrings. I got two new hearts! And look at these. Are they not the cutest things? They are tiny little floral arrangement magents made by a woman named Annie, and you can see more in her Etsy shop.

Not much going on. I did bead a bit. I'm working on a kit I bought from Ann Benson of Beads East. I'll put pictures up either here or one my web site when they are done. And yes, I still need to finish the kit. But as I have stated, things are a bit topsy turvy right now. I'll elaborate more later, but suffice it to say that no one is injured or sick, no one is missing, and we have food and shelter, and we should all remember that any day on the sunny side of the dirt is a good day!

It's September?!?!?! If we didn't have a summer, what in the world is our winter going to be like????