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 HERE. 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 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 women seeking husky menHEREand 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!
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.
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!
Sometimes it is just better to leave well enough alone. However, when it comes to standing by the Thin Blue Line, I embrace it wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, over a weekend ago, when I changed my personal profile picture on my own private Facebook page to represent our beloved law enforcement (including my husband), I was attacked and threatened by an individual in social media for it.
Due to that attack ON me, the landlord with whom I introduced to the owner of The Wild Bead & Boutique, the only thing resembling an LBS in the Montgomery, AL area, (it is really just a consignment store that happens to sell beads bought at other bead stores when the owner is on Government paid for Air Force trips) for a mutually beneficial arrangement to sublet decided that it was ME who was too “controversial” to be allowed on the premises. Instead of standing by me not only as their ONLY published designer, instructor, and as a supposed “friend,” the owner of The Wild Bead & Boutique banned me from her shop so she would not lose her cheaper rental space.
Long story short, when I went to pick up my supplies, I was literally chased out the door to my car by the person The Wild Bead & Boutique sublet the space with, as he was screaming at the top of his lungs obscenities and racial slurs. Whether or not he actually chased me all the way to my car, I don’t know, as I was trying too fast to get in my car and get AWAY from his madness. All I know is that when a VERY large man who is SCREAMING obscenities and using racist language toward me as he is coming up out of a chair toward me, is someone to get the heck out of dodge AWAY from, and my feet did not fail me then!
I am ALL for supporting your local bead shops. Brick and mortar stores are becoming rarer and harder to find. Online bead retailers are cheaper and ship very quickly. However, the only local “bead” shops in Montgomery, Alabama I can endorse at this time are the chain stores, such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Joann’s, due to this other shop’s business practices. I can not endorse a business that has kept nearly a thousand dollar’s worth of my beads and supplies, and then was ordered in writing for my husband to pick them up, they suddenly “cannot find them.”
This is where I absolutely LOVE online shopping. You can retrieve a receipt from anyone, anywhere, no matter when the purchase. And boy, do I have them! This business has ALL my wire (including sterling, argentium, and gold-plated and gold-filled, as well as copper), gemstone chips of lapis, carnelian, amethyst, red coral, rainbow moonstone, turquoise, jade, and more, polymer clay, polymer clay tools, varnishing and sanding compounds, and much more, including beads that were sold under my consignment number.
I cannot and will not be associated with a business that can’t even keep their telephone turned on, and the owner’s vehicle is constantly being repossessed from the front parking lot (it’s embarrassing), due to non-payment for the last six months, let alone one who refuses to return my beads and supplies stating in an email that I “donated” them. To the several thousand of you whom I invited to “like” their Facebook page, I sincerely apologize, and hope you understand that if I could take those invitations back, I would most certainly do so. Of the 671 likes that page received to date over 420 were from you, my loyal and faithful readers.
The Wild Bead & Boutique even sent out a mass post about me on their Facebook page (which Facebook has since removed) with some very ugly falsehoods said about me specifically that could have cost my page a lot of “likes,” but ugliness toward others does not play well in business, and you all have gone above and beyond to make my pages even stronger, and I thank you so much! I leave it to your own discretion about how you feel about their business, as I won’t re-visit this topic ever again here.
This week I was working on several things until the stress of all of this resulted in being hospitalized with cardiac issues. I thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by one of my different social media platforms to wish me well and pray for me. Right now, my prayer is that I can just get caught up enough for the show I have at the end of the month! lol In all seriousness, I have some really lovely pieces ready for that show, including several new ones. I am so looking forward to this! It opens up so many opportunities for women in business, and in my book, that is always a great thing!
Praying for “The Thin Blue Line”
This wonderful pattern was actually written by Margherita Fusco and is available in her Etsy shop HERE. In my design, I used a 12mm Swarovski Rivoli in Paradise Shine, along with 4mm Swarovski bicones in Denim AB2X, Vintage Copper Arcos and Minos beads, and 11/0 Miyuki seed beads in Blue-Gold Luster. The pattern actually called for a rose montee’, but since I did not have one on hand, I used another bicone instead. The blue in the stones represents the Thin Blue Line that we cherish about them. The copper represents the badges so many of our Law Enforcement Officers proudly wear each and every day, sacrificing their own personal safety for our safety.
Blessings be with each one of those dedicated men and women in blue and khaki uniforms each day. Without law, there would be no order, and without them, there would be neither. I am very proud to say that I married to one of those honorable people, and am thankful every time he walks in the door safe and sound.
I was beading long before that shop opened and will continue to do so from my custom-built bead table by my also-crafty husband in my home and even teaching a few classes locally. I can always be reached via social media, email, or phone. I love each and every one of you and pray that you continue to patronize your own local bead stores if you have one.
One more thing, although I’m sure my attorney is grateful for your abundance of screenshots from the people who continue to harass me on social media and even in my own neighborhood, I am asking that you please STOP. Every time I open one, I just get sucked right back into “their” small little worlds, which is the LAST place I ever want to be again! If they want to slander me, that is THEIR legal headache and fees, not mine (my attorney is a friend, so I don’t have any fees).
I thank you for wanting to help me, but unlike them, I choose to move on with my life and my business WITHOUT their continued harassment. It has obviously proven harmful to my health. It proves sad that people think that belittling and slandering an individual like me do so only to make themselves feel “important.” Thank you all so much for being SO kind, and wonderful, and even hilarious to make me laugh! And hey, if we can ALL laugh this off, that’s over 40,000 people doing so! You all are absolutely UH-MAZING!!!
It’s that time of year again. You know – the one where the weather is so unpredictable you don’t know whether to wear short sleeves with your boots and shorts, or long sleeves and pants with your flip-flops. Oh, wait – that’s only in Walmart…ha!
Really though, the kids are getting out of school and/or graduating and parents everywhere are hiding the breakables and taking out second mortgages to pay for summer childcare. My daughter is lucky though, She has me to watch my grandson all summer while he is out of school, even though my Doodlebug will continue on with her daycare. She is such an intelligent and bright little girl for her age (21 months) that she definitely needs to carry on with the preschool thing.
My Little Man is graduating from Kindergarten tomorrow, followed by a school sponsored field trip to the zoo for all the graduates and their parents and adult family members that are with them. I am “lucky” enough to get to go in early at 7:45 tomorrow morning to substitute in his class and get them ready and lined up for their graduation ceremony because his teacher is out for the remainder of the year with a sick child.
Mrs. Denise Whatley in the background, and My Little Man, Jackson in the foreground, working hard at school!
I would like to personally thank Denise Whatley for everything she has done to enrich Jackson’s Kindergarten experience and taking care of My Little Man this year. It has been a pleasure to serve as her “Room Gamma” and I have loved every second I spent with all of her students. Mrs. Whatley, we are all praying for you and your family here from the Scott and Whaley households, along with the MIB PTA! Take care and God Bless, and we will see you next school year!
So, how about a little bit of beading? LOL – I bet you thought I was never gonna get to the subject of beading! Well anyway, I have this little baggie slam full of 14mm rivoli crystals that I have just been itching to use in my beading, but every time I have tried to bezel the darn things, I have, to put it politely – royally screwed it up every.single.time.
I never could manage to get the right number of beads around the darn things to hold onto them. Either I had too many and it wouldn’t stay on, or not enough and I couldn’t get it to wrap around it at all once I started the second row of peyote. So it turns out not only was I not using the correct number of beads, but the wrong sizes on the rows too.
So anyways, I saw the Mandela on the cover of the latest B&B and just fell in love with the flowery look that the superduos were giving it, and thought, why not, just go for it! But, when I read up on it, I was thinking the whole time, there has GOT to be a way to do this without so freaking many thread passes back and forth and running in circles all over the place. Plus, I thought, with the rivolis I had on hand, I could do something cool and make it a stash buster project at the same time.
I started out with a basic rivoli peyote bezel. I then added 8/0 hex beads, superduos, firepolish beads, and these new really cool Czech lily petal beads I had just gotten. I never looked at B&B again until after I was done, and was really pleased with myself. I had managed to eliminate multiple thread passes, and completely changed thread paths for about 95% of it. Here is the result. I’m kinda pleased with myself, as it is the first time I have managed to master a rivoli bezel at all. I will be adding either a fold-over triangle or butterfly peyote bail to it.
First thing is you need to be using Delica beads if at all possible for your base row. I am providing this hand little chart of how many you need per rivoli courtesy of Bead and Button, and it is self-explanatory, with the exception of it doesn’t say that it IS referring to 11/0 Delicas for the number of cylinders.
Now, what do you do with that number of beads?
For a Peyote stitch bezel:
1. On about 2 yards of thread, pick up the correct number of beads to fit around the circumference of your crystal/stone and leave enough of a tail to weave back in later. Sew back through the first two or three beads to form a ring. (figure 1, a-b)
2. Pick up a delica and skip the next delica, sewing through the following delica (b-c) in the ring. Continue working tubular peyote to complete the round, stepping up at the end through the first delica bead added to that round. Those will be the ONLY rounds worked with the 11/0 Delica beads on this side of the bezel. (c-d)
3. Continue working tubular peyote for the next two rounds using 15/0 seed beads (d-e), keeping the tension tight to decrease the size of the ring around the crystal/stone.
4. Position the rivoli in the center of the beadwork’s opening, or bezel cup. Weave back through your beadwork to the opposite side of it. Work one more round of tubular peyote with the 11/0 delicas and step up. Holding the rivoli crystal/stone in place inside the bezel cup, work two more rounds of tubular peyote with size 15/0 seed beads, keeping your tension very tight so that the bezel cup will shrink around the rivoli crystal/stone. Instead of stepping up at the end of the second row of 15/0’s (figure 2), weave in your thread and cut it. (Tutorial courtesy of Bead and Button)
You can also bezel these slick little devils using RAW, or Right Angle Weave. There is a great photo tutorial for that over at Beading Daily that includes photographs and step-by-step instructions. I also noticed over at Beading Daily that there is a tutorial for stitched bezels using Picots HERE, and Nathan Buchman over at Potomac Bead Company has a “super” tutorial using superduos HERE.
So that wraps it up for this week ladies and gents. If you have not subscribed by email to my snarky little bead blog, then I just have to ask – WHY NOT??? It’s free (though I would appreciate a little help with my web fees via that Paypal donation button you keep seeing), you get to be the first to read my ramblings, and every now and again you will get a random post with a tutorial, pattern, recipe, or something from me that I don’t post anywhere else! So hit that subscribe button. And one more thing – show me some love and comment below and let me know how I’m doing here, how you are doing, what you are doing (just not who – TMI!). I love to hear from you!
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!
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
String 3 crystals. Sew through the crystal exited in the loop forming a loop of 4 crystals. Exit the crystal in the loop.
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.
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.
Sew through the beads to meet the tail on the underside, knot, weave in the ends, and trim.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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 – 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!
Coming Next Week: Spotlight on some cool bead artisansfrom around the globe!
If there is one movie character I identify with (besides Scarlett O’Hara), it is Sandra Bullock’s Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. I don’t mean the FBI agent part, although, I am a gun-toting, do NOT mess with me when I have gel in my hair and lip gloss on kinda girl. I do mean the part about her really wanting world peace and harsher punishment for parole violators. I mean, Hello??? Recidivism?!?! But, I won’t bore you with my political stances, because that is not why I’m here.
So, if you are a regular reader, you know that I participate in the Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry monthly color challenge each month. This month however, I am back in the saddle, and decided to go in a decidedly different direction. The Chinese New Year is coming up on February 8th, and I decided to combine my January Bead Journal Project and my entry into the challenge into one big ball of well, polymer clay! Wonder upon wonders, I do not just bead and crochet, but I also dabble a bit in polymer clay. I’m still new at it, finding my niche, making a lot of mistakes, but absolutely LOVE it!
2016, “Year of the Fire Red Monkey.” This is a year of adventure, discovery, questions and answers, when luck can strike at bizarre times and fortunes can turn in the blink of an eye. Risk, strategy, learning, change and progress feature prominently in a Monkey Year. Under the influence of elemental Fire and the Monkey’s fixed element of Metal, it’s an era of building, creating and forging ahead. We’re hurdling obstacles with remarkable ease and reaching for the stars. It’s a year of blazing opportunity and wild passions, a roller-coaster ride of the senses, and sometimes all you can do is hang on and surrender to the journey! It’s best to take nothing for granted. The Monkey is wise but also unpredictable, and given to bouts of jealousy, suspicion or temper tantrums. Trust is difficult this year. Nonetheless, you may recall that the Space Age officially began in 1956, a Fire Monkey year. Expect to see innovative developments in the sciences, technology, education, commerce and the performance arts.
Ok, now that you have had your Chinese astrology lesson for the week, without further ado, I will present my piece. I made the yin-yang out of polymer clay, then painted it in metallic pearl blue and gunmetal. It is also adorned on top with flatback Swarovski Crystal AB crystals. I peyote bezeled it in 11/0 matte metallic silver and 15/0 white lined opal seed beads. I surrounded it with 4mm Chinese (duh!) Firepolish beads. The Chinese symbol meaning “Year of the Fire Red Monkey” is hand-stitched in hematite seed beads and twisted and regular bugle beads on powder blue Nicole’s Bead Backing.
2016 “Year of the Fire Red Monkey”
Bead embroidery was once described to me as “painting with beads.” You start with a blank canvas (your bead backing) and let your imagination and your artistry guide your needle and color choices. There is no right or wrong colors or bead sizes or shapes. It is literally the most freeform type of beading you can do. It is also the easiest, believe it or not. I’m not saying I could teach a master class, or any class in bead embroidery, but I am comfortable doing it on my own without outside guidance. Now, for me to say something like that is HUGE, because I am never comfortable doing anything without getting 52 opinions about my color choices, techniques, etc. And I realize it may not be your cup of tea, and that’s ok too. I just like to try new and different things. All the time. Which is why I have so freaking many craft supplies in my house. I told a friend the other day that my biggest fear is that when I die my husband will sell my craft supplies for what he thinks I actually paid for them! Ha!
Seriously though, I really do want world peace. I want everyone to just get along. I want everyone to realize the only superior race is the Human race, and that ALL lives matter. Granted, it would be a very generic world if there were no conflict, but wouldn’t it be nice if the only conflicts were among politicians (because we all know they are a joke anyway)? Ok, so rant/lecture over.
So, I’m coming up on 10,000 viewers on this little blog, and I”m thinking about maybe having a contest. It would be open to all of you who subscribe by email (there is a sign-up box floating around this page somewhere), and like my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter (@beccas_bangles). Don’t have all the details on the prizes yet, but I promise you it will be something good! Also, it looks like I will have a new pattern or two coming out in the next week, so be on the lookout! If you are an email subscriber you will have free access for a limited time once they are released. After that they can be purchased on my website.
Remember how I was whining about the cold weather last week? Yesterday it was 70 freaking degrees and we are expecting tornadoes Tuesday! This is what it’s like to live in the South. If you want to know what the weather is going to be, wait 10 minutes! Anyways, I would really like to hear from you people!!! Hellooooooo, anyone out there??? LEAVE ME COMMENTS PEOPLE!!! Sheesh!
Y’all be good. Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!
Every year without fail, my Mom and I used to go to the local Gem & Mineral Show here in Montgomery, AL to ooooh and ahhhh over all the gorgeous stones and be fascinated (well, I was, anyway) at the lapidary and flint knapping exhibitions. I never realized just how much of an impact it was making on me until I became a TOTAL rockhound, as far as collecting cabochons goes! Apparently, all those trips over the years with her made an impact on me! Now I can not seem to get enough of those beautiful stones that I now bead around and make into jewelry. It seems that a little knowledge seeped in over the years too, because as I started collecting these beauties, I could recognize on sight what they were and even some of the regions they originated from.
Well, this weekend was this year’s annual show, and I took my grandbabies with me. My five-year old grandson is an absolute shark fanatic, and has been since he was two. He can recognize a shark species just by looking at it, and some by their teeth. The look on his face today was absolutely priceless when he saw the Megalodon tooth that was practically bigger than his head! Besides all the cool cabochons, firepolished crystals, and tools I left with, I left with an ecstatic five-year old grandson with a paper bag FULL of shark teeth, many of which were fossils!
Montgomery Gem & Mineral Show 2015
So the picture above is just some of the jewelry on display at this year’s show. The bracelet in the center, done by me, is done in Chenille stitch, but instead of seed beads, I used ALL magatamas – two colors. Chenille stitch is my go-to stitch whenever I need a beaded rope for a pendant, and is also my most popular selling bracelet. It can be done in a variety of beads and endless color combinations. However, doing one entirely in magatamas? That took time, patience, and a lot, and I do mean a LOT of profanity! Forget sarcasm, profanity was in order for this one! I still haven’t figured out why I named it “Tranquility” other than it just reminded me of the tranquil feel of the waves of the ocean (after I got it done). No, seriously, this is probably one of the prettiest Chenille stitch bracelets I have ever done, and I have done quite a few.
So here is an easy picture tutorial from Jean Campbell for tubular Chenille stitch that was published in Beadwork Magazine and also on Beading Daily. I hope you find it as easy to follow as I did!
Using approximately 3′ of Fireline or Wildfire, string 6A beads (shown in green in rounds 1 & 2)
Form a ladder stitch with your 6 strung beads and then ladder stitch your 1st and last beads together to form a ring.
String 1B and pass down the next A of the prev. round, then up through the following A; repeat twice. Step up through the 1st B added this round.
String 2A, pass through the next B of the prev. round; repeat twice. Step up through the 1st A added this round.
String 1B, pass down through the next A of the prev. round, and up through the following A; repeat twice. Step up through the 1st B added this round.
Round 5 – repeat rounds 3 and 4 until desired length.
Final round – Always end with a round 3 repeat. Then without adding any beads, ladderstitch your threadpath so that your first and last rounds match.
So I know what I want for Christmas, and I DARE one of you to get it for me! My lovely advertiser, Amazon, has the coolest thing for a snarky person such as myself! I present to you the Sarcastic Ball! It basically says everything I already do, or when I need to think of something, I can just toss it! Please, please, please somebody get me this!
If one of you really gets me this, I swear I will remember you in my will! Of course that means I would have to have something to leave you…. Anyway, that wraps it up for this week folks. Please find that little email sign-up box on this page and fill it out, if you haven’t already. Just for doing so, you will be forever subscribed (until you opt out, but you won’t, you know you won’t) to my snarky (but witty!) and beady ramblings each and every single week! You could even leave me a comment below and that wouldn’t even hurt my sarcastic little feelings not one bit! Of course if you don’t, I might get snarkier on you next week! You all be good, Santa’s watching!