Sarcasm does it like only a Mom can…


child proof

Happy Mother’s Day! I spent the day with my babies in their new digs with a wonderful meal, some new perfume, and a gorgeous new diamond ring they got me! As I looked around at my daughter and her family in their new home, I couldn’t help but realize how blessed I am to have such a stable and sensible daughter – one that looks so much like me, but is so opposite of me in so many other ways, lol.  At her age I had just entered marriage and she was already 10 years old and I had no clue what was in store for me for the next few years.

Stability in life has never exactly been my marker, which is why I admire my daughter so much for being so determined to provide such a great life for her family. I was used to working two and three jobs to support her and make sure she was able to have dance classes, girl scouts, softball, and whatever else she wanted to do, never dreaming that one day I would be able to do turn something I love so much into something that just happens to generate a little income. Now, my beading is more than just a hobby, and I actually have to remember to keep up with things like inventory, taxes, etc. The difference in having to do it now and having to do it for all the various jobs I held throughout my career? I love what I do. THAT makes all the difference! Now if I could just get my hubby off his man period long enough to realize that even though today wasn’t all about him, he will have Father’s Day next month!

One of my former high school teachers posted this on her page on Facebook, and as per usual, I couldn’t have said it better myself, so thank you, Debbie Cotten Replogle! “Being a mother is hard work. We worry too much. We don’t always get it right; in fact, we sometimes flat-out fail. There are times when we haven’t a clue what to do or how we’ll make it through. But we do. We love our children, want the best for them, and make sacrifices – both big and small – for them. We’re not perfect. We do the very best we can. We hope that we have taught them well and prepared them to stand on their own two feet. And we all hope that one day when they have their own children that they’ll understand why we did what we did. So God bless mothers and give them the strength to keep doing the best they can.” I love and miss my own mom every day. We frankly couldn’t stand the sight of each other most days, but we loved each other, none the less. So Mom, here’s to you on this Mother’s Day, and yes, Lyndsey and I are doing ok!

So, I did a little beading this week! A few weeks ago, you remember I did my rendition (“Madeira”) of Akke Jonkhof’s “Tipp Topp” bracelet from Beadwork Magazine’s April/May 2016 issue.  Well, I loved it so much, that I went ahead and did another one.

 

"Madeira II"

“Madeira II”

"Madeira II"

“Madeira II”

"Madeira II"

“Madeira II”

This go round I still used the pastel light gray Tipp beads and O-beads, but I used the Petrol Eso beads, and the new metallic snakeskin finish Czech Firepolish in Comet. I absolutely LOVE the snakeskin texture on the Firepolish beads! The petrol color really surprised me though, as it is more blue than green, which is why, since I love it so much, I ordered more and other types of beads in it! I got all of these from Potomac Bead Company. They have literally just about every single type of Czech bead you need!

I also did another version of Jill Wiseman’s “Bali Dreaming,” but instead of a bracelet, I did a necklace to fulfill a customer order. It was done in Toho 8/0 Ceylon Light Ivory with 216 (yup, you read that right!) 3mm Turquoise AB Czech Firepolish crystals accented with Miyuki 11/0 Galvanized Light Beige seed beads. I hope the birthday girl who gets this likes it!

"Bali Dreaming"

“Bali Dreaming”

Next week I will start something new and different for my blog – interviews! Yup, I will be posting interviews periodically with some great designers, so if you have any particular ones in mind, comment below with their names and what you would like me ask them! Heck, comment below even if you don’t have anyone in mind! I absolutely adore getting your comments! It means that you are actually reading my ramblings. Ha!

Another thing is that I have this nifty little Paypal donation button on my page for donations to keep this page going. It’s not cheap and I’m certainly not rich, and in order to keep going I need your help. $5 a month is really all that I ask to cover my monthly webmaster fees. I will never see your payment information, as it is a secure transaction through Paypal and you do not even have to have a Paypal account to do this.

Don’t forget to check out Potomac Bead Company for your RounDuos, RounTrios, and DiscDuos, and Eureka Crystal Beads for literally all of your beading needs. If you are shopping at Eureka, use coupon code A10SAVE20R for 20% off your first order! Combined with their already low prices, that is some serious savings!

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Sarcasm does Nothing but (Tubular) Netting…A Tutorial


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Wowzers, what a week! I have been busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony this week! Three beaded ropes, a bracelet to finish the design on and bead up, photograph and submit to the Potomac Bead Company Design Challenge 2016, my daughter closed on her new house this week, my LBS is moving to their bigger and closer to me (yippeeee!!!) location (both of which I am helping to move!), and oh yeah, did I mention that I also got selected as PTA President at my grandson’s school for the upcoming year? Sheesh! And on top of all of that? I have about 12 new designs parked in my head that need to either be written out, beaded, or both, plus  a few tutorials that need to be written on some things I have recently done! There are just not enough hours in a day, which is probably why I never sleep at night. Ha!

My latest entry in the Potomac Challenge was another bracelet, although I think it would make a lovely bangle without a clasp. I would like to introduce you to “Chih-Nu,” named after the Chinese Goddess of spinners, weavers and clouds. She rules over handicrafts, fire, and rain. It was made with faceted Rountrios in vintage copper, Rounduos in pastel turquoise, DiamonDuos in pastel dark coral, Potomac crystal rondelles in crystal AB, Miyuki 11/0 delicas in duracoat galvanized champagne, and Firepolished Chinese crystal rondelles in fire and ice. The closure is with a Potomac Czech Cup button in vintage copper and Miyuki 11/0 seed beads in brown iris.

"Chih-Nu"

“Chih-Nu”

So last week I showed off the jewelry I did for the wedding, including the Jill Wiseman bracelet, “Flower Power,” which is done in tubular netting. If you recall, I mentioned that I loved the stitch so much, it would be my “go-to” stitch whenever I needed a beaded rope for anything from now on, and it will be! But, who am I to hog all of the glory of that wonderful technique?? Not me! So, this morning I managed to put together a little photo tutorial of how to get going on your own tubular netted rope.

This is my first picture tutorial done on my own, so please bear with me! It was not easy balancing beads and thread, a needle, my phone (cuz that’s how I took the pictures) ,and keeping it steady so these pictures would not be blurry, a toddler (did I mention that my Doodlebug spent the night and she adores watching me bead!!!), and trying to get my thumb on the shutter button all at the same time!

One of the great things about tubular netting is the flexibility of the rope. It is super slinky and moves and drapes beautifully with or without a pendant. The only other rope stitch that even comes close to it is the Russian Spiral (which I will cover in a couple of weeks), but this is just super lightweight. The size of your rope is dictated strictly by the size of your beads. The bigger the bead, the fatter the rope. If you are making it for a pendant though, I recommend using 11/0 seed beads so the bail will go on smoothly without getting caught.

buy topamax mexico Basic Tubular Netting

buy dapoxetine review Supplies: All you really need are two tubes of either 11/0 or 8/0 seed beads, your choice of beading thread (I used Wildfire here because that is my go-to for black beading thread), scissors or thread burner, needles (you can see I am using my ever trusty Tulip size 11 needles!), and a stop bead.

The tubes from your Tulip needles are great to re-use for beads!

The tubes from your Tulip needles are great to re-use for beads!

cost of ritonavir 100 mg Step 1: On a comfortable length of thread, string your stop bead and leave about a six-inch tail to use for a clasp later. Then add 12 beads, alternating your two colors. For my beads, color A is the orange, and color B is the blue. (fig. 1)

Step 1: On a comfortable length of thread, string your stop bead and leave about a six inch tail to use for a clasp later. Then add 12 beads, alternating your two colors.

fig. 1

Step 2: Bring your needle up through your 1st bead and through all your beads to form a tight circle. (fig. 2)

Step 2: Bring your needle up through your 1st bead and through all your beads to form a tight circle.

fig. 2

Step 3: Once your circle is formed, exit your needle from your 1st “B” bead. (fig. 3)

Step 3: Once your circle is formed, exit your needle from your 1st "B" bead.

fig. 3

Step 4: Add three beads in this order: A-B-A. Skip one B bead and go through the next.  Repeat this twice more around the round.(fig. 4)

Step 4: Add three beads in this order: A-B-A. Skip one B bead and go through the next.

fig. 4

Step 5: Step up to the next row after going through the last B bead by also going through the 1st A & B added this round. Your needle should now be exiting the 1st B bead added to the previous round completed. (fig. 5)

Step 6: Step up to the next row after going through the last B bead by also going through the 1st A & B added this round. Your needle should now be exiting the 1st B bead added to the previous round completed.

fig. 5

Step 6: Continue adding your three beads and skipping to every other B bead. The only time you will ever go through an A bead is during your step-up to the next row. Continue until desired length. (fig. 6)

Step 7: Continue adding your three beads and skipping to every other B bead. The only time you will ever go through an A bead is during your step-up to the next row. Continue until desired length.

fig. 6

This is what eight completed rows looks like. It took approximately six minutes to complete. (fig. 7)

This is what eight completed rows looks like. It took approximately six minutes to complete.

fig. 7

Finishing Up: To finish up and seal off your ends so that you can attach your clasp, simply just only add your two A beads on the last row and do not add any more B beads. Pull tight and you will notice the lip of the tube will pull in slightly. This makes a nice end to a tube bead or a rope chain on a necklace or bracelet. If desired, you can continue adding rows and decreasing the number of beads to make it even more tapered.

That is really all there is to it. A lot of people use a dowel or rod inside their rope to get their first few rows going because it is a rather wonky, jumbled looking mess for about the first four or five rows as the tube begins to form (like Chenille stitch does). The first time I attempted it, I used a 3 mm or 3.5 mm crochet hook, depending on bead size. I have actually found it easier not to use it though, because it just gets in the way and slows you down.

If you are looking for projects to try out this technique, then look no further than Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitcheswhere Jill has an entire section of her book devoted to various netting techniques. Another great one that I have discussed previously is Sonoko Nozue. Her book, Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue: 25 Jewelry Designs From A Master Artist,” extensively covers various types of netting as well, and her main focus is how to embellish it with Swarovski crystals – and man-oh-man does she use a lot of crystals in her work!

JIl and Sonoko

Last week I made an enormous plea for your help in keeping this blog going by your donations via the Paypal donation button at the top of my blog. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that my WordPress theme had been updated by the server and that very much-needed Paypal donation button was gone! Thanks to a loyal, kind, and GENEROUS reader who pointed that out to me, it is back in place for those of you who would like to see me keep posting. I would also like to publicly thank Carol Carnes for donating the fees for my upcoming annual domain renewal. Without her folks, next week would have been my farewell post!

If you can swing something like $5.00 toward my monthly fees, I would really appreciate it! Just two donations a month will cover it, that’s all! If you can’t, no worries, because I am forever grateful to you anyway for your reading my ramblings in the first place each time I post. I do ramble on, don’t I?

If you haven’t signed up as an email subscriber, you are about to be missing out! Bonus postings are about to become a frequent and impromptu thing! If you crochet, then you will really like the impromptu postings! impromptu postings only go out to email subscribers and the links are not posted on social media. I’m about to start a CAL tomorrow (crochet-along) so I will be posting about that too!

Don’t forget to chime in and leave me a comment, a question, a rambling of your very own! My grandson has started carrying my phone around with him on Sunday afternoons so he can let me know when it dings that I have one! He gets just as excited as I do, and as an outgoing kindergartener, I am letting him read them to me for practice with his reading skills, so watch the language! lol

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Sarcasm Does a Wedding (by Jill Wiseman!)


marriage-quotes-mae-west

Did ya miss me? Sorry about not posting last week, but as I mentioned previously, my Sis got married last weekend and I was out of town to participate in her taking of the vows, though I nearly missed the boat on that one, literally!

See, she got married on a freaking boat in the middle of the Mobile Bay here in Alabama, and I was running late getting there to begin with, cuz I overslept staying up trying to finish her jewelry. Then, the hubby and I got lost trying to find the boat landing! She was literally standing on the dock waving us on as we hauled our behinds down the stairs to the dock! Luckily, it turned out to be a beautiful day and I bawled throughout their vows…and I’m not a crier!

crying

That’s me on the left – crying! My beautiful Sis, Abby Green-Catrett, is the one holding the flowers (in case ya missed it!), and her daughter Skylar between us.

So I promised you a pic of the wedding jewelry and here it is!

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For the bride’s necklace, I did a six ladder herringbone rope in translucent seafoam with a  matte AB smoky amethyst in 2 of the alternating ladders. The smoky amethyst has a real seashell hue to it, and the theme of the wedding was beach inspired. The herringbone was inspired by Jill Wiseman, and since I have been putting off for so darn long learning it, I used her tutorial for basic tubular herringbone, which can be found HERE.

Another technique I learned from Jill Wiseman for the wedding was tubular netting, which I used in the bride’s bracelet, Jill’s “Flower Power” bracelet. Tubular netting, if you haven’t tried it, is incredibly fast to work up, and is my new go-to stitch for beaded ropes when I need something quick for a beaded or bezeled pendant! You can find the pattern and instructions for this double wrap bracelet with a two button closure in Jill’s book, Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches. When you purchase from Jill Wiseman Designs (which is where my link takes you), Jill will personalize and autograph your copy (so mention in the comments of your checkout if you go by a different name, or if the book is for someone else) and you also get an exclusive necklace pattern as well!

The bride’s mother, sister, and daughter all wore the flat spirals that I made that I showed you in my last posting. So, when I say it was a wedding by Jill Wiseman, it was! I may have made the jewelry, but Jill either designed or inspired what I made! Thank you so much Jill! I also want to thank Jill for my endless bugging of her that I did in Facebook messenger and in her Facebook group, Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes, which is a place where you can go and share your own work of Jill’s patterns, be inspired by others work, or get the latest on Jill’s furbabies, Winston and Abbey Rose. They are so adorable!

And now for a moment of truth. One of the reasons, I did not post last week was because I was unable to access my domain until my web fees were paid. Not something I’m proud of, and certainly not something I care to admit. I am literally begging you to hit that Paypal donation button to help me keep this site running or I will have to take it down. I have some circumstances going on in my personal life that are financially draining me in ways I did not have to consider when I undertook this blog. The Paypal account that your donations go to is strictly set aside for web fees and nothing else. If anyone would like a statement of proof, I will happily provide it. I just ask that you please help me keep this site going. I enjoy doing it as much as (hopefully) you enjoy reading it. Thank you so much to the now 27,000+ of you out there!!!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment – you know how I love hearing that little ding on my phone when I get one! It has gotten to where even my grandkids get excited when they hear it! Also don’t forget to find that email subscription box so you can get some financial begging, beading, and snark delivered in your inbox when I post, and bonus postings that aren’t always shared on social media!

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Sarcasm does a Beaded Bezel Tutorial


204149-Sarcastic-Minion

Welcome back to another fun-filled week of snark, honorable mentions from the Challenge, some of my beadwork (yes, I have found some time to bead, despite everything that has been going on!), and a tutorial! This is going to be a long one, boys and girls, so grab on to your nearest glass of wine (or whatever else lifts your spirits) and hang on!

First, let me apologize about the tone of last week’s posting. I know it was down and depressing, and I apologize. Sometimes though, you just need an outlet for your emotions, and since my family was center stage in the cause of mine, it fell to writing about it here. Not fair to you. No more, I promise.

Believe it or not, I not only have been beading, but actually won a little something in a challenge myself. Bello Modo held their Crescent Design Challenge, where original submissions had to be made using the Czech mates Crescent beads as the primary design bead. I was proud that my design “Eclipse” was selected as one of their runner-ups. I am currently writing a tutorial to it, and it will be available for sale on my website in the next couple of weeks!

"Eclipse"

“Eclipse”

"Eclipse"

“Eclipse”

This week, I had a lot of fun trying out the new Es-O and Tipp beads I got from Potomac Bead Company in the “Tipp Topp” bracelet by Akke Jonhof.  You can find the pattern in the April/May edition of Beadwork Magazine.  Did I follow the pattern as written? Well geez, do I ever??? Seriously though, the only changes I made, were in attaching the clasp. I used a 2-holed bar and a few seed beads before attaching my magnetic clasp instead of how Akke did it. I just liked the structure and strength of it a little better.

In my version I also played with some of the newer bead colors too. I used pastel light grey Tipp beads (though I have to warn you they are considerably darker than on the website photo), bordeaux Es-O beads, pastel light grey O-beads, and 6mm faceted rounds in white grey luster. As I mentioned before, I did use a couple of 2-hole bar bead in hematite on each end with some seed beads in silver lined grey to attach my magnetic clasp.

"Madeira"

“Madeira”

This week I bring you a tutorial for an easy beaded bezel for a cabochon, courtesy of Leslie Rogalski, Creative Director for the Beadsmith Inspiration Squad. Though this one is for a 24mm cabochon, it can easily be adapted for any size.

Easy Beaded Cabochon Pendant © by Leslie Rogalski, Designs by Leslie Rogalski – www.sleeplessbeader.com

Easy beaded cab

Easy beaded cab

What you will need:

  • 1 – 24mm cabochon (glass/stone/crystal, etc.)
  • 1 gm 11/0 seed beads (galvanized muscat shown)
  • 20 size 11 delica color B (violet sparkle lined DB-0610 shown)
  • 40 – 2mm round or Firepolish crystals (jet sliperit shown)
  • 1 – 6mm round or Firepolish crystal
  • Cord and clasp of choice
  • Fireline/Wildfire/One-G/KO Beading thread
  • Size 11 or 12 beading needle – (note: I personally recommend Tulip needles – Becca)
  • Scissors or a thread burner (note: I personally recommend the Berkley Hot Line Cutter – the tip is retractable, it comes with the batteries and an extra tip, can be found in most sporting goods stores in the fishing department, and costs less than $10!)
  1. On a 1 yd (.9m) piece of thread pick up 1A and 1B ten times for a total of 20 beads. Sew through all the beads again and pull into a ring; leave slight ease in order to sew through these beads in subsequent steps. Knot tail to working thread. Exit the first A strung. Pick up 8A, 1 crystal, and 8A. Skip the B in the ring and sew through the next A, making a loop.
  2. Repeat around the ring for ten loops. The last loop sews through the first A in the ring. Exit through the first 8A and the crystal in the first loop strung. p1
  3. String 3 crystals. Sew through the crystal exited in the loop forming a loop of 4 crystals. Exit the crystal in the loop.
  4. String 1A, 1B and 1A. Sew through the next loop’s crystal. Make sure the loop is flat, not twisted, before sewing through the crystal. Repeat Steps 3 and 4, pulling the beads close, to add 4-­‐crystal loops at the top of each loop. Sew through the first loop’s crystal, and circle through the crystal picot to exit the top crystal. Make sure the three beads between crystals are pulled up snugly, without gaps. The beadwork will cup as you work.p2
  5. Place cab face up in the beadwork. String 2A and pass through the top crystal in the next loop. Continue around the ring, pulling the beads snugly to capture the cab. Sew again through the circle just formed of A beads and crystals.
  6. Sew through the beads to meet the tail on the underside, knot, weave in the ends, and trim.p3

BAIL

  1. Customize the size of the bail to fit over your rope or cord by adding or subtracting A and B beads in the next steps.String a stop bead on 18″ (46 cm) of thread. Leaving a 6″ (15 cm) tail sew through the second, third, and fourth A beads in one strand of one of the loops (counting from the front of the cab). String a 2mm crystal, 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A a(or more for a larger bail space) and a 2mm crystal. String one 6mm round, a 2mm crystal, 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A (or however many you just strung,) and a 2mm crystal. Sew through all the beads again one and a half times, to exit the 6mm bead. Remove the stop bead.
  2.  String a 2mm crystal, 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A (or however many you just strung) and a 2mm crystal. Skip one strand and sew through the second and third A beads in the next strand of A beads. String a 2mm crystal, however many A and B beads you just strung) and a 2mm crystal. Sew through the 6mm bead and through all the beads in this step. Weave in the thread ends to secure and trim.p4

So, to wrap up the Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Challenge Challenge Spring 2016, I wanted to bring you just a few more Honorable Mentions! These are a few that stood out to me  and the judges as simply amazing for various reasons about to be explained.

CRAW, or in layman’s terms, Cubic Right Angle Weave, is as about as difficult a stitch as a beader will ever run across. It requires time, patience, and did I mention time and patience? Oh yeah, I think I did! Girija Kuppaswamy’s 21 inch version of Jill Wiseman’s CRAW rope tutorial, (yes – TWENTY-ONE INCHES!) obviously took a LOT of time and patience, and was simply beautiful too!

Girija Kuppaswamy - Jill Wiseman's CRAW rope necklace

Girija Kuppaswamy – Jill Wiseman’s CRAW rope necklace

JR An Carol Carnes submitted a LOT of entries, but the one that really took my breath away was the Superduo bezel (tutorial by Allie Buchman of Potomac Bead Company), using the reversible angle and such vibrant shades of the Challenge colors!

JR An Carol Carnes - Allies Super Duo Bezel

JR An Carol Carnes – Allies Super Duo Bezel

JR An Carol Carnes Allies Super Duo Bezel2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Kearney is someone I see in a lot of the beading groups on Facebook, as well as the Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry monthly color challenges, and she certainly did not disappoint in my Challenge with her Jill Wiseman Cellini spiral, which used nearly every Challenge color there was to use! Simply a gorgeous piece of beadwork!

Mary Kearney Jill Wiseman Cellini Spiral

Mary Kearney Jill Wiseman Cellini Spiral

And then there was the one thing that surprised me in just how much I loved it, because I have never really been a fan of beaded beads. However, both of Sherry Palmer-Zieman’s entries, “Frill-Seeker,” a Trendsetters by Yumiko Watanabe, and Allie Buchman’s “Moon Lantern” bracelet both contained beaded beads, and I simply adored them!

Sherry Palmer -Zieman - Allie's "Moon Lantern" bracelet

Sherry Palmer -Zieman – Allie’s “Moon Lantern” bracelet

Sherry Palmer-Zieman - Trendsetters by Yumiko Watanabe "Frill Seeker"

Sherry Palmer-Zieman – Trendsetters by Yumiko Watanabe “Frill Seeker”

 

 

Going to wrap up this late edition of Sarcastic Beads and Yarn for the week, BUT, that does NOT mean I do not want to hear that little “ding” on my phone that means I have a comment from you fine folks! Also, if you read my plea for help last week, well, the song remains the same. I need all the help I can get with keeping this site up and running and there is a handy little Paypal donation button on the side if you would be so kind. I want to thank Sheila P. and Linda N. for helping me out with their kind generosity this past week, and Dorothy F. before that.

 

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Coming Next Week: Spotlight on some cool bead artisans from around the globe!

Sarcasm Stays Up Late…..


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Y’all know that my “thing” is snarky, almost belligerent sometimes, sarcasm, so I thought I would compile a top 10 of my favorite snarky things I have found both online and in real life (yes, there is such a thing!):

1. People who point at their wrist asking for the time… I know where my watch is pal, where the heck is yours? Do I point at my behind when I ask where the bathroom is?

2. People who are willing to get off their behinds to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.

3. When people say “Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too”. Heck yeah! What good is cake if you can’t eat it?

4. When people say “it’s always the last place you look”. Of course it is. Why the heck would you keep looking after you’ve found it? Do people actually do this? Who, and where are they? Of course, I’ve been known to chase a 15/0 seed bead halfway across a room!

5. When people say while watching a film, “Did ya see that?” No Loser, I paid $12 to come to the theater and stare at the freaking floor!

6. People who ask “Can I ask you a question?”… Didn’t give me a choice there, did ya sunshine?

7. When something is ‘new and improved’. Which is it? If it’s new, then there has never been anything before it. If it’s an improvement, then there must have been something before it, couldn’t be new.

8. When people say “life is short”. WTH??? Life is the longest freaking thing anyone ever does!!! What can you do that is ANYTHING longer?

9. When you are waiting for your ride and someone asks “Has your ride got here yet?” If my ride was here yet, would I be standing here???

10. When people say about my jewelry like my wedding ring or my sapphire necklace just because I happen to make jewelry “Oh, did you make that too? Could you make me one? How much for something like that?” I mean, seriously??? Do people think because I work with tiny little seed beads I can afford to metalsmith precious metals and gemstones? Dang, I can barely afford my bead habit!

Speaking of beading, how is everyone coming along with the Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Challenge Spring 2016? I have seen some GREAT entries so far, and you can too by clicking HERE. You can also get a quick look at the Pantone colors that are required for the Challenge at the top of that page too.

Now, if you are anything like me, you totally get what it feels like when you just have to bead something – anything – but need something to inspire you and new projects to work on. There is something almost mystical about taking a needle and thread and turning a little pile of seed beads into a beautiful and wearable creation.

This month, I was lucky enough to score both “Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes, 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches,”  AND “Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue: 25 Jewelry Designs From A Master Artist,” and I got them way below retail! Talk about beading inspiration!

Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue: 25 Jewelry Designs From A Master Artist"

“Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue: 25 Jewelry Designs From A Master Artist”

“Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes, 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches”

“Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes, 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches”

These two books, man oh man, if you ever need beading inspiration, they are definitely your go-to’s! Sonoko is, let me just say, bountiful with her use of Swarovski crystals, especially 3mm bicones, while Jill manages to touch on just about every beading technique we use in just one book. Also, let me remind you that if you are participating in the Challenge, that anything out of Jill’s book is an acceptable entry, as long as it is done in the Pantone colors specified.

So far I have received over 50 entries into the challenge. Yes, you read that right – fifty entries! One reason is because you can enter as many times as you want, as long as you limit your entries to three per day, per person. They must be uploaded to the event page HERE and only to the event page.

Once they are posted to the event page (and here is the reason for this week’s blog title) I stay up very late each night and proof and then upload them to the contest page here on the blog. If I have time, and I am near my laptop during the day, I will upload what I can, when I can. Just please do not panic if you do not see your entry posted on the contest page here until the next day. I can only do it from my laptop, and I am not glued to it 24/7. I mean, I have to have some time to bead!

So, I will close out my rambling and just remind you that in order to qualify your entry into the Challenge, you MUST be an email subscriber to this blog, which is easy peasy. If you are on a desktop device, just look in the upper left corner of the page and you will find the subscriber box to sign up, or if you are on a mobile device, scroll allllll the way down to the bottom of the page and click on “View Full Site” and then scroll allllll the way down again just past the comments and you will find the subscriber box there. You also MUST like my Facebook page HERE. Believe it or not, I will actually be checking this!

Keep those fabulous entries coming, and keep me up late at night! I would love to hear from you in the comments section below too, but if you have a question about the challenge, please post it on the event page. That way, everyone else with the same question will benefit. You people are just amazing with the entries I have gotten so far! Also remember that your entries must be something you created specifically for this challenge, and not something previously made!

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

 

Sarcasm does a Prototype


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Brrrrrrrrr!!!!! That’s all I have to say about the weather! I feel SORRY for all of you on the upper eastern seaboard who have gotten all that snow! We got about maybe five minutes of it here in Montgomery, Alabama Friday evening, and of course, everyone went stark raving mad! My Facebook feed read like it was the end of the freaking world! THAT is what happens when there is even a HINT of snow in Alabama! Life stops, schools close, grocery stores go bare, traffic goes haywire with freaking crazy idiot drivers wrecking everywhere because they think they have to get somewhere quick before the roads are going to close. Puh-leeze! Our roads only close when they are flooded, and as of late, that has been rather frequently, unfortunately. Stay warm people!

So, you all know I had oral surgery a couple of weeks ago. Well, I have spent my recovery time at home up until just a few days ago, courtesy of my husband, who wouldn’t let me drive while I was on those GLORIOUS things we call pain pills. Personally, I think my driving is better when I’m under the influence, but that’s another discussion….

You already know I taught myself Jill Wiseman’s Wave Crest from last week’s snarky installment.Butttttt, I wanted to play around with it a bit. Well, I was freaking bored at home, so I also taught myself several other things, including tubular herringbone and the Russian Spiral. But, I was enchanted with Jill’s Wave Crest, so I decided to downsize my crystals and my seed beads a little, and use my absolute FAVORITE color of PURPLE!!! I mean, how can you go wrong with purple???

"Wave Crest" (design by Jill Wiseman) comparison picture with smaller size

“Wave Crest” (design by Jill Wiseman) comparison picture with smaller size

I also made another one in the called for by pattern size for a friend for her birthday. She wanted something that looked a little like the ocean and sort of beachy. I decided I didn’t want to just give her the pendant, so (man, I was SO bored while I was stuck at home!) I stitched her up my very first Russian Spiral, using 8/0’s in light blue pearl, milky sapphire Jonquil, and crystal clear hex, and 11/0 in silver lined alabaster pink.

"Wave Crest" with my very 1st Russian Spiral!

“Wave Crest” with my very 1st Russian Spiral!

Well, I have had the fabulous honor of being chosen by Potomac Beads to try out some of their new beads! SO FREAKING EXCITED!!! They sent me an assortment of beads that they (and only Potomac) carry, such as Rounduos, Rountrios, Faceted Routrios, and Discduos, along with some superduos, seed beads, Firepolish crystals, and Swarovski crystals to use to create with! Also included in this picture is some ultrasuede and Nicole’s Bead Backing I received the same day.

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I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work with them, because I got behind on my own orders due to my surgery, but I did work up a small prototype of a little something I wanted to share with you today. Not too sure whether or not this is going to work out to be a pendant, a set of earrings or the beginning of a bracelet component, but I welcome your suggestions in the comments below! Also, as a designer, I ask that you please respect my design process and not copy or reproduce anything I share with you in the picture below.

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As you can see, I am using the Faceted Rountrios, 8/0 seed beads, 7/0 Matubo’s, 11/0 seed beads, and Rullas. The one thing that I am really unhappy with at this point is the amount of thread that is showing. If you are a regular reader, then you know that is my number one pet peeve. But, like I said, this is just a prototype, and I haven’t decided (though I have about a gazillion ideas) where I am going with it next. However, once I do complete it, I will release the tutorial for free for a limited time here on this blog to my readers who subscribe by email only. After that time is up, it will be available for purchase on my website.

That about wraps it up for this week. I hope I have been informative, nice, snarky, and a little bit humorous! Don’t forget for all your 20 gram tube Toho beading needs to check out Eureka Crystal Beads and use code A10SAVE20R for 20% off your first order! And, don’t forget to check out Potomac Beads for the newest beads, the Rounduos, Rountrios, Faceted Rountrios, Discduos, Czech Pressed Druk Cup Button Beads, Potomac Crystal Faceted Machine Cut Buttons, and so much more!

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Sarcasm does CRAW…..


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This week has been a doozy! I won’t bore you with the long version, but short version is I had to get two crowns on Thursday due to a broken filling from over the holidays, and in the same day was scheduled for surgery this upcoming Tuesday with an Oral Surgeon, for a totally different tooth that abscessed over the holidays. Apparently it now has so much infection that it has spread into my jawbone. He’s removing the tooth, the roots, parts of the jawbone that are infected, and putting bone grafts in to replace them. Have I completely grossed you out yet? All I know is I am SO glad he’s putting me under general anesthesia, because there is no way I’m listening to him chisel away at my jawbone awake! And how was YOUR week?

I want to thank you all for being such awesome and loyal and devoted readers, and well, you get the idea. As of this week, I have almost 12 THOUSAND views on my little ole blog! Advertisers and bead companies have taken notice, as well, and I just can not thank you ALL enough! I have some really cool news that I will be sharing with you over the course of the next few weeks too. All I can say right now is that it involves brand spanking new beads that are just being introduced on the market, and with it comes new patterns!

So, even though I said I didn’t make New Year resolutions, I did make a beading resolution, and that was to learn CRAW, or as most of you know, Cubic Right Angle Weave. There are so many tutorials out there, and weeding through them to find the one that best suited my learning style took some time, but as a faithful Beading Daily reader, I knew I would find exactly what I needed there. This tutorial was written for BD by Jennifer VanBenschoten and she explains it simple and concise steps.

Basic Tutorial for Cubic Right-angle Weave

Pick up 4 beads, leaving a 6″ tail. Pass through all 4 beads a second time, and then through the first bead picked up.
Pick up 3 beads, and pass through the bead you exited at the beginning of this step, and through the first bead of the second unit.
Pick up 2 beads, pass through the next empty bead in the base, the side bead from the second unit, and the 2 (brown) beads just added. Pass through the next empty bead in the base.
Pick up 2 beads and pass through the nearest (brown) bead from the previous unit, the bead in the base that you exited at the beginning of this step, and the first (blue) bead that you added in this step.
You’re ready to close up that last side unit of cubic right-angle weave! Pick up 1 bead, pass through the third (grey) bead from the second unit, the last empty bead in the base unit, and the (blue) bead that you exited at the beginning of this step. Give your beading thread a little tug, and your right-angle weave will zip together in a neat little cube.
Work your thread up to the top of the unit, and pass through the four beads at the top, connecting them. You can make more than one thread pass if you’d like to strengthen the cube, or leave it with just one pass for a more supple piece of cubic right-angle weave.
You can start to add another unit by picking up 3 beads, and starting all over, adding 2 beads for each additional unit, and then closing the side with a single bead.
Once you get the hang of the thread path and work a couple of inches of cubic right-angle weave, you can experiment with shaping it by adding beads between units using stitch-in-the-ditch, or try layering your cubic right-angle weave by using different types of beads in each new unit. The benefit of using cubic right-angle weave is that it creates a very solid structure with a lot of flexibility for shaping beadwork.

Another great tutorial can be found on Bead & Button’s site, by Marcia DeCoster here. There are so many tutorials available online now, but I found these the most helpful, and easy to understand. You see, I am a CRAW virgin myself! Yup, that was my beading New Year resolution – to learn CRAW. Did you have a beading resolution, and if so, what was it? Tell me in the comment section below!

I promised you more tutorials in 2016, and this is the first of many. There won’t be one every week, but I promise you one at least 1-2 times a month, both in techniques and in patterns. So, if you haven’t already, find that magic box where you subscribe to my snarky little blog, so you can get it first in your inbox! You won’t be sorry! Well, maybe a litte…..but I aim to please!

Also, don’t forget for all your beading needs, head over to Eureka Crystal Beads and use code A10SAVE20R and receive 20% off your first order! Super fast shipping, great customer service, and best of all, 20 gram Toho seed beads and 25 gram superduos at awesome prices! Not to mention that they have all the latest Czech mate beads! You simply can’t go wrong with them!

Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca

 

Sarcasm does a Cellini Spiral


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Tis the season. Christmas is this very week and it’s kinda hard to be snarky about something so important as the celebration of the birth of Christ and our celebration of it. But then again, there is the months of credit card bills, waiting in endless checkout lines to pay for “THAT” toy (after you got shoved and kicked and stepped on to get it) that just had to go under the tree this year for your little one, waiting until the last second to figure out what to buy the hubby (or wife – I’m not gender biased with my readers! 😀 ) and all that cooking and of course, along with the cooking, comes the inevitable clean-up afterwards. Not only of the kitchen, but the whole frigging house, because you just know the kids have strewn wrapping paper and boxes and their new toys every freaking where!

Sound like your house? It used to be mine, but then I did the smart thing. I convinced my daughter that since Santa comes to her house, it makes better since to do the entire day there, so the kids can play with ALL their new stuff, rather than them wishing they were at home while they ate at my house. Works great for me, no cooking or clean-up! Works great for her too, as far as the kids go, but then she IS stuck with all the cooking and clean-up. Did I mention how much I LOVE being a grandparent? 😛

Anyway I have my own little Christmas anecdote of Good Samaritanship to share. I have had a rear passenger tire that has been slowly losing air over the last two to three weeks. A few nights ago, as I was leaving our LBS around 11:15 p.m. (yup, been staying late to get those Christmas orders done!) My dash reading said the tire was down to 16 pounds. It’s actually supposed to be at 42 for my particular car. I called my husband and he said just to drive slowly home and he would go get it plugged in the morning, that it probably had a nail in it (turns out it was two!). As I was driving home and was stopped at the last big intersection to turn into my neighborhood, a policeman was waving for me to roll down my window from the lane next to me. He said I was about to have a flat or blowout and to pull into the service station on the other side of the intersection.

One thing about police now is that everyone is complaining that they do not care about the citizens they are supposed to serve and protect. I have never believed that, having been married to a retired one as long as I have. I think it is just part of their training now to triage their responses to certain situations, which means the most critical come first. Anyway, this policeman was kind enough to not only pay for (yes, actually had to pay for AIR) and put air in my tire, but had a tire gauge and checked the p.s.i. as he was doing so, to make sure I was at the proper 42 lbs p.s.i. It took all of 10 minutes of his time away from his patrol duties on a late night. He explained to me, that especially this time of year, he didn’t want a lone single woman who was being distracted by putting air in her tire to be robbed of her purse and valuables inside her car from the other side. He was the utmost example of what it is to protect and SERVE. I wish I had gotten his name, but was so shocked and grateful, (not to mention exhausted and eager to get home) that I regretfully did not. So, thank you to the Montgomery, AL Police Officer on Atlanta Highway and Coliseum Blvd. who helped me! What a gentleman! Next time you see one of your officers, thank him or her for their service to your community. You never know when you will need them, whether you realize it or not!

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So, the next morning, as I’m on my way to meet my husband at the tire shop to get the tire, I had a @%@$%&# BLOWOUT on the front tire on the same side! I nearly ended up in a ditch, but instead managed to steer away from it, up a curb, and into the parking lot of the nearest open bar. Yes, open bar at 8:30 a.m.! So, now I have a trashed tire rim from hitting the curb, a concussion from hitting that plastic thingy between the door frame and the windshield, and two tires that have to be fixed or replaced!

So, on to some beading for the week! I have done a LOT of beading this week, and I have so many things to show you, but lets just go one thing at a time, shall we? One of the orders I had for Christmas was for a bracelet containing peacock colors, and for a very small wrist – 6 1/2 inches. I thought this would be the perfect time for me to work on my Cellini spiral so off I went! For this bracelet, I used 8/0 Aqua lined Grape, 11/0 Translucent Turquoise, 11/0 Metallic Teal Iris Delicas, 11/0 Metallic Midnight Purple Iris Delicas, and 15/0 Blue lined Blue AB seed beads. Once the spiral was completed, I closed up the ends with the 11/0 Turquoise and 15/0 Blues until completely sealed. Then I formed a loop with silver seed beads around a silver toggle clasp. Tension is VERY important when doing a Cellini, often to the point of breaking your thread and even your needles. I recommend using Fireline and Tulip needles, as I got through this entire bracelet without breaking either, and have gone on to using the needle in other projects with absolutely no problems.

"Peacock" Cellini Spiral

“Peacock” Cellini Spiral

Don’t forget for all your beading needs to check out Eureka Crystal Beads. You simply can’t beat their prices, fast and free economy shipping, or the amount you get for your money. Heck, Toho seed beads are sold in 20 gram tubes! They are also ALWAYS running some kind of a sale! Another thing, they have some great absolutely 100% FREE downloadable patterns. There is a link to those on the sidebar on this page. Use discount code A10SAVE20R and receive 20% off your first order!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! I will be spending it with my babies, but will be,  talking to you again next week! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to fill out that email subscriber form on my page, so you can get my snarky beading directly in your inbox each and every time I post! Comments? I absolutely ADORE hearing from you! Please leave me a message on what you are doing, what you would like to see from me, or just to say “hey there, “you snarky smartypants!” Also, don’t forget to send me your favorite sarcasm memes to beccasbanglesofal@yahoo.com and I will use them in a future post!

Until next time, be smart, or be smart sassy!

Becca