Congratulations! You have until 8:00 p.m. C.S.T. to contact me via Facebook messenger with your address details to claim your autographed copy of Lush & Layered Beadweaving by Marcia Balonis. Thank everyone who entered!
Well, this is embarrassing. When I went online searching for my usual witty, sarcastic, yet humorous memes for the top of this week’s blog, all my searches kept coming up with earlier posts from here or my own Facebook page, so there’s this one! I’m drowning, send me some meme’s people!!!
I promised you a giveaway, and here it is! Marcia Balonis has kindly offered up an autographed copy of her new book, Lush & Layered Beadweaving: Stitch Jewelry With Texture and Dimension. I have had this book for a couple of months now, and have done several of the projects in it, and have to tell you, it is delightful! I love that she photographed the projects over a two-page spread so that I could enjoy the detail while I was making them myself.
These are just some of the projects I have completed from the book:
Pop Up Bracelet design by Marcia Balonis beaded by Becca Scott
Wheel Around Bracelet design by Marcia Balonis beaded by Becca Scott
Secret Garden Necklace design by Marcia Balonis beaded by Becca Scott
There are over 20 absolute gorgeous projects using a variety of seed and Czech beads. Marcia makes excellent suggestions not about what colors to use, but how to choose your colors for each project. I really liked the “Marcia’s Tip” scattered throughout the book that didn’t necessarily have to do with that particular project, but beadweaving in general, which I found particularly helpful.
I want to thank everyone for their patience as I resolved an issue on website yesterday as you attempted to download Marcia’s pattern. There was an update that reset all of my custom settings back to the default settings that I wasn’t aware of until some of you started having issues. As for those of you having issues getting locked out, please understand that if you registered here on the blog it does NOT crossover to my website and you will have to create a new account to get the pattern, but you will not have to share any financial details, as it is a free pattern. The email from here gives you the details and will go back out a last time tonight. If you still want that free Marcia Balonis pattern pictured below, then you HAVE to open the email I sent Sunday or the one I send tonight, as it has the password to retrieve the pattern!
Stars Over Moon design by Marcia Balonis beaded by Ree Stanley
You can enter to win http://site.hehonline.org/sertralineHERE. I also have a tab on my Facebook page if you want to send your friend s to enter, or you want to enter another email (I don’t judge!) Remember you have until 12:01 a.m. C.S.T. Sunday, 9/16/18 to get your entries in! The winner will be randomly selected from all entries by Random.org at Noon and I will immediately post their name here and on my social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.) The winner has until 8:00 C.S.T. to confirm their shipping address to me or on to another randomly selected name. Drawing is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only. No purchase required
Look, I know I’m off my game now, and I really apologize. I have been in and out of the hospital so much over the last few months it is going to take me a hot minute to catch back up and settle back into my old self, so please just bear with me. So, now that I got all the legal stuff out, go fill out your entry and http://schroder-homeimprovement.com/embed/2p-QUso9bfU GOOD LUCK!!!
With grace (I hope), Sarcasm makes a “cameo” appearance in your lives once again. No, seriously, things have not been good for me healthwise as of late, to the point of spending way more time in hospitals than out, and that is just not fair to my readers.
One of the issues I had to face was whether or not I had breast cancer – during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As of now, the answer to that one is a tentative no, but in three months – who knows? But needless to say, there are some other very serious issues I have and will be facing, so my postings may be rather sporadic.
As those of you who know anything about me know, every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month I pick one Designer’s piece, and do it in all pinks and then sell the design sample as a 100% charitable donation to the Breast Cancer Charity of the buyer’s choice. All I ask is that you specify a legitimate and recognized Breast Cancer Research Fund or Charity.
This year I took a left turn and decided NOT [sce emoji=”whatsgoingon”/] to use anyone else’s design, and try my hand at doing my own. Not only that, but in place of the bracelet or bangle that I normally do, instead choosing to do pendant which is more representative of breast cancer by mere virtue of wearing it usually over the breast area, I chose the cameo because not only does it historically represent women (although men CAN and DO get breast cancer!) going back as far as 3rd Century B.C., and considered great status symbols – most notably with Napoleon’s support of the glyptic arts, and even his coronation crown was decorated with cameos! The 19th-century Russian poet Lev Mei, who composed a cycle of six poems entitled Камеи (Cameos, 1861), as reflections on each of the Roman rulers from Julius Caesar to Nero. In 1852 Théophile Gautier titled a collection of his highly polished, lapidary poems Emaux et Camées (Enamels and Cameos).
No longer will you be left out of my sarcastic world, no matter how ill I am or will be. Yes, I ask for donations to keep this blog going, especially since my sponsor was yet another sad victim of the lost brick and mortar bead stores. However, you will never be expected or asked to purchase anything from my blog – only from my advertisers! [sce emoji=”shopping”/] If you would like to purchase from me, please go have a peek at this siteHEREand I thank you in advance.
Remember, I have zero overhead (mainly because I am not in the business of being a flea market), and I am a TRUE Starman Dealer and will NEVER charge you for a Trendsetter’s pattern copied from a customer. Heck, I would never charge you for a “free” pattern anyway! (I can actually afford to print a few pages if you need a written copy [sce emoji=”giggle”/]) You will ALWAYS pay less than what you would in a brick and mortar store. I teach FREE, basic techniques by appointment (due to my health treatment schedule) and would adore sharing something I have learned along the way with YOU. I show you by example and would never dream of handing you an instruction sheet and move on without showing you MYSELF. I may rip something apart six different ways to Sunday, but that is the PERFECTIONIST in me, not settling until it is beautifully done RIGHT. I may step away and work on something else during the process, but THAT keeps my mind sharp! If you focus on one project or misstep in a project for too long, you are much more likely to stuff it in that UFO box. How many of you have done that? Having multiple projects going on is a sign of the Creative Process – something only a TRUE Designer understands.
Until next time, stay smart – or stay smart sassy!
Sarcasm reviews thread burners and throws out a reminder about a contest that ends in just a few days in this installment of snark! Not every beader uses thread burners, but in my opinion, every beader should at the very least, try one out. After a couple of years of using plain old scissors to trim my threads, I decided to go the cheap route, and purchased the Berkley Fireline fishing line burner. It runs around $9-$10 at Walmart or any sporting goods store, comes with its first set of two AAA batteries and an extra tip stored in the battery compartment door. The neat thing about it was the retractable tip that only got hot when pushed out to be used. The problem I had with it, was by the time the first tip burned out and it was time to change out to the provided extra tip, I could not get it to work again, and it went through batteries almost weekly.
So, I decided it was time to quit being a cheapskate and talked to Nathan Buchman over at Potomac Beads, and purchased the Thread Zap Ultra, made by Beadsmith, which also comes with an extra tip in the battery compartment, though no batteries are included. You can buy more Thread Zap Ultra Replacement Tips for about $3.00. Like the Berkley, it is retractable, ergonomic, but in my opinion gets a little hotter than the Berkley, making for a better thread burner, and the batteries lasted quite a while longer, as did the tip. I was really pleased with it, and have it as a backup to my current thread burner now.
Now, on to the thread burner that I purchased for myself (and giving away one in the contest) for the purposes of this review. That would be the Thread Zap II, also made by Beadsmith. Although it isn’t retractable, it is much slimmer, about the size of a magic marker, and has a lid that fits all the way down past the button that activates it. It literally heats up instantly upon pushing the button, and has a much finer tip, and because it is slimmer and easier to control in your hand, it means you don’t burn the wrong threads as often as you do with the bulkier models mentioned above. I freaking LOVE this thread burner! It only requires one AA battery too. The only drawback is that it does NOT come with any replacement tips, but a pack of two will only run you around $5.00 (and the winner of that thread burner will also get a pack of tips!).
So, if you have a favorite thread burner that I have not mentioned, please comment below and I will look into it! Next installment will be a comparison of various threads used in beadweaving, so I would appreciate your comments below on what threads you’re wanting information on too! I already plan on going over Fireline, Wildfire, Sono, KO, One-G, Sonoko, and Hana.
I also want to thank all of you who took the time to vote on the Bello Modo blog for my two entries in their Starman Post-Holiday Trendsetters Design Challenge. Thanks to your votes, my “Russian Crescents” bracelet won First Place, and my “Marrakesh Mosaic” bracelet won Third Place! Thanks to Bello Modo for the gift certificates, especially from my husband, Ha!
2017 Holiday Trendsetters Bello Modo Design Challenge 1st Place Winner – Russian Crescents Bracelet
2017 Holiday Trendsetters Bello Modo Design Challenge 3rd Place Winner – Marrakesh Mosaic Bracelet
Don’t forget you only have until the 28th at 11:59 p.m. C.S.T. to get your entries in and pinned to my Pinterest board for the Pin It To Win It Contest! I will be up later than usual that night to add you to the Pinterest Board, so no worries! Once you fill out your entry form, I add you to the board, so check your email! If your entry isn’t there, and all other stipulations are not met, you will not be in the prize draw!
Yup, just as the title says, Sarcasm (me, HA!) needs your votes! Today will be short and sweet folks, because I have been having seizures all weekend. Bello Modo is having their annual bead challenge in which I have two entries. Prize winners win gift certificates, and thanks to the very expensive new meds for my seizures, I can’t buy beads like I used to, so I NEED to win! Winners are determined by votes in the comment section of their blog showing the 15 entries.
If you wouldn’t mind going over to their blog names of free dating site in usaHERE and voting for my entries, numbers 12 and 13, I would REALLY appreciate it! Voting lasts all week and then they will post the winners Friday. I know my readers certainly ROCK and will help me out!
Speaking of contests, don’t forget that I have one going on too, my Pin It To Win It! It lasts until 11:59 p.m. C.S.T. 2/28/17. Once you register by filling out the form, check your email or Pinterest notifications and you will see where you have been added to the Pinterest board to post your pics of your entries.
That’s it for now! Stay smart, or stay smart sassy!
I have really missed connecting with all of you. There, I said it. However I have had some issues with my health and a death in my immediate family, in addition to losing two Facebook friends. So, this week I am dedicating my blog to Larry Linson, Sr., a wonderful beader, gifted computer programmer, and an amazing friend to me. Many of you know him from the beading groups. I knew him on Facebook, and then he became a “silent” sponsor of this blog and we had many long telephone conversations about politics, family, life in general, where he never failed at sharing his wisdom with me. I miss him very much.
So, I promised you last time I would show you what all I have been working on since the last time I posted anything. Well, there are so many of them, I am just going to post the pictures, and if you have any questions, please comment below!
Next week I will begin a series of thread reviews, like I did with the bead boards. It will include Fireline, Wildfire, Nymo, SoNo, Sinoko Nozue, and Hana. If you have a favorite thread that I haven’t listed, please comment below with the brand name and why you like it. I will also be reviewing thread burners.
So anyway, Sarcastic Beads and Yarn is holding a Pin It To Win It Contest! Prizes will be awarded randomly to FIFTEEN winners! (You must have a U.S. mailing address due to postage fees.) Those of you who live in Canada and wish to participate, please contact me via private message on Facebook.
The rules are simple: Pin an image of YOUR version of a project from any video from the YouTube channels Beading4Perfectionsts, B4Pbakup, or Potomac Bead Company (hey, don’t forget one of their videos is MY “Penny Pincher” bracelet!). Those of you who belong to the “Seedbeaders” group on Facebook may also use Larry’s RAW necklace pattern as a tribute to him.
Go crazy! Make it YOUR OWN creation! Don’t just change-up the bead colors, make it a completely updated design of your very own! Then pin ONE photo of your creation (be sure to watermark it) on my Pinterest Pin It To Win It board. Winners will be picked at random. Share the contest on your Facebook page (you will have your own special link) for 5 more bonus entries for everyone who enters from your link!
The contest will run from 12:01 a.m. February 1st, 2017 through 11:59 p.m. February 28th, 2017 CST. You must be a subscriber to this blog, have liked my Facebook page, and be a Follower on my Pinterest Page, all of which can be done in your entry form. When you are ready to enter, just head over to my Facebook page HERE and look for the “Pin It To Win It” tab to enter. Mobile users can enter HERE. Once you have completed your entry form, I can add you to my Pinterest board HERE to pin your entry. The winners emails will be picked by a random generator on 3/1/17 and posted here and on my Facebook page. However, you can’t win if you don’t enter! PRIZES:
So head over to YouTube and start screening projects so you can get started on YOURS! The designers and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!
Good luck and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with! Also, don’t forget to wear red THIS Friday for the “Go Red for Women” campaign, in recognition of women’s heart health. It’s a cause VERY close to me! Until next week, stay smart or stay smart sassy!
During October we celebrate (or at least I do!) a relatively unknown observance in the United States, National Sarcastic Awareness Month. Although some people like to refer to sarcasm as the “lowest form of humor” according to the Sarcasm Society, it actually requires a quick wit and the ability to extract the finest points of weakness in a conversation. I personally celebrate it as a month-long “I can get away with anything in a conversation-fest.”
In case you haven’t already noticed, Sarcasm has gone Purple. October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. As a survivor of domestic violence, it is a cause extremely close to me, and one that I will crusade for until the end of my days.
If you will further notice, Sarcasm has a pink ribbon background for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 23 years ago, I had an extremely close call, resulting in a double lumpectomy and oral chemotherapy for months. I had just lost my grandmother to breast cancer. 1 in 8 women (about 12%) in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over her lifetime. A man’s risk is about 1 in 1,000. For women, breast cancer death rates are higher than any other cancer than lung cancer. A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
So, every year I pick a designer’s work and turn it pink as not only my annual tribute to breast cancer, but 100% of all proceeds from the sale of it go to the breast cancer charity of the buyer’s choice. Last year I chose Nichole Starman’s “Tessella” bracelet, which I did in all pink Czechmate Tiles and Matubo beads. The recipient was a local teenage girl who wanted to show it off as a sign of support for the breast cancer cause to all her friends at school. I thought that was very sweet of her. A lot of teens now will not take the time or take away from their sense of fashion or style to wear something to celebrate and show awareness for a cause.
This year, I chose Eileen Barker’s“Portalegre”bracelet. It is a structurally built bracelet, done in layers with Czechmate tiles, Quadratiles, Czechmate Triangles, and Czechmate Druks. In mine, I used Tiles in Milky Alexandrite Pink, and Quadratiles and Czechmate Triangles in Pink Metallic Suede with 6mm Czechmate Druks in Gold Sueded Rosaline and Pink Marbled 8/0, Rose Gold 11/0 and Dark Orchid Luster 15/0 seed beads. The pattern called for 8mm melon or 6mm Firepolished beads where I had the 6mm Druks, but I did not have either, and wanted to stick with the overall color theme for breast cancer awareness.
I want to thank Erika Sandor, The Storytelling Jeweller and fantastic designer herself, for profiling me in her article, which you can find HERE.
Ladies (and gents), I can’t stress enough how important early detection is. Get those mammograms and EVERYONE do those self exams! The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances that treatment will work. Breast cancers that are found because they can be felt tend to be larger and are more likely to have already spread outside the breast. But screening exams can often find breast cancers when they are small and still confined to the breast. The size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the outlook (prognosis) of a woman with this disease. Most doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year. Many more lives probably could be saved if even more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests.
And for those of you in a hurtful domestic situation, pleaseGET OUT or GET HELP! Tell a family member, a friend, a neighbor, your clergyperson, anyone, just please do not stay in a situation that is hurting you or hurting your children. and make no mistake about it, even if you are the only one being physically hurt, your children are being hurt too, by seeing their parent be hurt by someone they love. It is damaging to the child.
I want to thank the following people for donating to my blog in September to keep it going: Larry L., Vickie F., JoAnna S., Sheryl D., Betty R., Laurin L., Michelle K., and Trudy M. Without all of you, this blog could not keep going, and I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you. I have monthly fees, so those of you so inclined, please hit that Paypal button, and thank you in advance.
Welcome back to another fun-filled week of sarcasm, beads, my life (or lack thereof – Ha!), and yet another installment in my reviews of that wonderful tool we beaders love – the bead board! I took a week off from blogging to deal with some crapola going on in my personal life, but also to try out the board I will be reviewing here today.
I also spent the week car shopping, and have mercy, I absolutely despise that whole, sitting in the little plastic chair, waiting on the finance people to work their magic with the numbers thing that takes pretty much all freaking afternoon/morning/evening – just pick one, cuz they are all pretty much the same! But anyhow, I found what I wanted, so at least there’s that!
I owe you all (and Ruth Ann Miller too!) an apology, as in my last installment about The Bead Pad, I neglected to give you all the details about prices and sizes. For starters, her 6 inch mini-round board is $22.50 and her 11 inch round is $50.00. Her oval 11×14 board is $55.00, and is the one I actually have and reviewed. Her rectangle boards come in two sizes. There is the standard 9×12 for $50.00, and then she has a table sized one, the “Big Mama” that runs $125.00. She has 18 border colors to choose from and her shipping runs from $7.50 – $19.50, depending on board size. The Bead Corrals that she has to keep your beads in place on the boards are $14.99, and shipping for those is $5.50.
The Bead Pad
Now, on to this week’s installment! A couple of weeks ago I came home from volunteering at my grandson’s school and found where my hubby had left a package in my chair on his way to work that was marked as coming air freight from across the pond in the U.K. Upon opening it, I found the Curved Mega Tray version of Silaba Crafts beading board, a “Gilly,” a set of “Dilly Pads,” and “Dilly Dots.” To say the folks at Silaba were generous would be a serious overstatement, and buh-leeve me it was an overstatement, because as soon as they found out that another business in the U.S. was making them (which was in process LONG before my review came out) they demanded I ship their things back to them ASAP (despite INSISTING in an email that I keep them with their compliments to avoid the cost of returning them, which was nearly $80). They were NOT nice about it, either, even going as far as to slander me personally on social media and some other private messaging.
So what is a curved bead board? It is a 12×18 beading board that is shaped kind of like an upside down boomerang. It is very lightweight, lighter than any bead board I have had so far, (probably because it is much thinner as it had nearly NO padding) fits around your waist while you are sitting in your favorite recliner, on the sofa, etc. The surface mat is a light-colored blanket material, and the border material is a stretch fabric that although not waterproof, when the sweat from my glass dripped on it the other night, it beaded up instead of soaking in and leaving a stain. There is no problem with any beads getting stuck in the crevices between the bumper and the surface either. If they roll down, just push down on the mat and they pop back up on the board again, just as with the Bead Wrangler boards.
I have been using this bead board/craft tray at night while watching TV, as it fits perfectly around my waist, with room for all of my beads and tools on it because I don’t have to worry about either beads or tools going anywhere if I shift around because of the “Dilly Pads and Dots” that came with the board. They are basically little teeny-weeny bead mats with a ring inside to keep your beads in place – on ONE side. The other side is backed in felt to hold your tools in place. The “Dilly Dots” are just a smaller version of the pads. They are all cut to fit in the curve of your bead board. Forget it if you have a square or rectangular board – they just don’t fit. Another problem is they get SO dirty so quickly!
So, in addition to all of that, I received the “Gilly,” a small 8×5 board. What is so cool about it? Not all that much. It comes with its own padded cover with built-in double-sectioned Dilly pads on the inside of it, and sewn on very thin (and will eventually rip) elastic straps that hook together to keep it closed. It is the perfect size for those really large purses. It still has the wooden base though (making your purse quite bulky and much heavier), but it also has a rim to it to keep those beads from going too far. It is ok for travel beading unless you are in the car and the rim is so small that the beads go flying with the first bump in the road or an airplane and hit any turbulence. I still love and MUCH prefer my Bead Wrangler 8 inch board better because there is more surface room to bead and a larger rim for those pesky bumps in the road!
Both the large board and the Gilly offer a slight (and I mean SLIGHT) amount of padding for your wrists and to stick your needles when not in use without fear of breaking them, though they will bend them. They are easily cleaned with one of those masking tape type lint rollers or lightly dampened cloth, just as the Bead Wrangler is.
Silaba’s boards are available in square, oval, oblong, round, rectangle, and the curved shapes, ranging in sizes from 7 1/2×12 to 12×18. They offer 40 choices in border fabric selections (far too many to choose from IMO). Prices range from $36.42 – $101.45, depending on size/shape, and shipping ranges from $9.10 – $19.51 which is via Airmail, which takes a couple of weeks (mine took nearly three weeks to get here), while the Bead Wrangler is usually just a couple of days. The “Gilly” is available in nine color selections and is $36.42 plus $9.10 shipping. (All amounts are in USD). All in all, not bad pricewise, but shipping time kinda stinks, considering it’s coming from across the pond, however I do believe in American-made and supporting OUR small businesses!
And speaking of great bead boards, The Bead Wrangler has added two new products to her line. The first one is a mini board that’s 7×12 inches. Several customers wanted one that would fit into a bag and take up less space. It is available in all 16 trim choices. The second new product is the ONLY one of its kind, and is just freaking AWESOME! It is a TWO-sided bead board!
The Double-Sided Bead Wrangler Bead Board
Many beaders prefer a lighter beading surface but occasionally, they will have a pattern or design using all light beads which may be more difficult to see on the lighter surface. This “reversible” board is the only one of its kind! You’ll have the lighter surface AND the darker surface on the same board! The best part? It is only $10 more ($60) for the double-sided board! Now if you think this is awesome, just wait until you see what else she has coming out!
So far I have reviewed the Bead On It Boards, The Bead Pad, Silaba Crafts curved craft tray, and my personal favorite (and the least expensive and best made) The Bead Wrangler. I have reached out to one more seller on Etsy, and Ruby Lockwood, if you are reading this, please get in touch! ALL of the boards that I have reviewed thus far are significantly less expensive than the Bead On It boards. In a side by side comparison The Bead Wrangler wins, hands down in my book, especially with the free monogram! Moral of these reviews: Bead On It Boards are made by Canadians, Silaba in the UK. If you ARE an American then BUY American! Support your home country’s businesses when at all possible!
So, if you are wondering if I have any beading to show you this week, I do not. But only because I am keeping it under wraps for a wee bit longer annnndddddd so I can tease you now about it. Ha! As it stands right now, I am headed to beautiful Stone Mountain, Georgia this week to not only bead with a wonderful friend, but to see some of the great new things Ree Stanley, The Bead Wrangler lady has under wraps! ROAD TRIP!!!!! Wheeeeeee!!!
For those of you kind enough to send me information about grandparents rights, advocacy groups, and legal intervention, and for those of you keeping my grandbabies in your prayers and thoughts, I can’t thank you enough, and ask that you continue to do so in the prayer department. You all have been VERY resourceful! I did get a couple of hours with them last Sunday night, but nothing since, except seeing my grandson for a few minutes while I was at his school the other day.
I want to welcome my newest advertiser, Red Door Beads and Gallery! You will find their ad with a 15% off your ENTIRE purchase over on the left side of the page if you are on a desktop, and down below the comment section on mobile. It’s always nice to find an advertiser with as snarky an attitude as mine! Ha! Seriously though, I consider Viki at Red Door a friend, and everyone knows you can’t be snarky with a straight face with friends! Seriously though, she saved this blog from oblivion, though it is still not out of the woods financially yet, sooooo you know the drill. Hit the Paypal button and please oh please, help me out where and when you can.
That about wraps it up for this week. So, until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!