Sarcasm Does a Giveaway with Marcia Balonis!


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!

starsovermoon

Stars Over Moon
design by Marcia Balonis
beaded by Ree Stanley

You can enter to win click here to investigate 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 can you buy lasix over the counter GOOD LUCK!!!

Becca

 

Sarcasm Reviews Thread Burners!


 

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!

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

Becca

Sarcasm Has Another Contest!


Larry Linson, Sr.     5/16/37 – 1/24/17

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  best dating site for over 35 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!
why not try these out 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!

Becca

Sarcasm Has It’s Own Month!


october-national-sarcasm-month

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.

"Tessella"

“Tessella”

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, please GET 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.

Until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!

Becca

Sarcasm Reviews Another Board!


family

If you are like me, if you shake the family tree all kinds of nuts are bound to fall out. With my nutcase, she has lost her freaking mind! I remember all the stories my mom told me as I was growing up about how she wasn’t allowed to see or communicate with her father because my grandmother was trying to spite him by keeping his kids from him. In the end, all it ever really hurt were the kids. They grew up not knowing the real story behind it, and resentful of everyfreakingone involved. As one of you kindly pointed out to me on Facebook the other day, you can always pick and choose your friends, but family is forever!

Such is my situation now with my grandchildren. I’m not allowed to see or have any contact whatsoever with them.  Apparently I am a nutcase and a danger to them. The babies that I have seen and driven around nearly every single day of their lives. I ask, if I was a danger then what does it say about the person allowing me to drive them around all this time? I know the truth, and one day, they will too. Such is my life as it is, and probably why the Cardiologist sent me straight from their office-do not pass go-do not collect $200 to the hospital the other day. Turns out, I had pneumonia to boot.

So after yet another hospitalization, I come to you with reviews on more of the best known tool to a beader – the beading board! And for those of you who are in doubt as to who actually invented these wonderful things, let me tell you, I have an old (and far too grainy to scan in here) picture of my Cherokee great-great-grandmother stringing her Indian beadwork on a piece of wood covered in the hide of some poor animal’s skin. So sorry Deidre, you may have invented the “Bead On It” brand, my dear, you did NOT in fact invent the beading board. Heck, I guess with that picture I could claim the rights if I wanted to! LMBO

I am back to beading again!!!!! I am still by no means caught up, but added a couple of clasps to somethings I had otherwise finished and also tried a friend’s pattern, “Diamond Eyes,” by Michele Klous. She has another pattern, “Alien Eyes” that I am itching to try out too!

"Crown Bracelet" design by Akke Jonkhof

“Crown Bracelet” design by Akke Jonkhof

 

"Diamond Eyes"

“Diamond Eyes”

For “Diamond Eyes” I used Arcos in pastel sapphire blue, montana blue Diamonduos, 2x3mm montana blue Potomac Bead Company crystal rondelles, 4mm navy blue pearls, and gold lined crystal demi beads with a Potomac cup button closure.

And what college football starter week would be complete without me doing something about my beloved Auburn Tigers? This is another one of Anna Lindell’s “Wicker” bangles. I liked the design so much, I made one for myself in my Tigers signature orange and blue!

"Wicker Bangle"

“Wicker Bangle”

Anywho, last week Ruth Ann Miller The Bead Pad lady, sent me one of her great 11×14 oval boards. Super board, with a slight bit of heft to it, and the outer upholstered fabric is very thick and durable.  It has a contact shelf liner non-skid bottom and is very sturdy. She was also kind enough to send me some of her bead corrals in both the original plastic, and her newer model, the rubber ones. These little circles are really quite handy to keep your bead piles from running into one another and the rubber ones are great for not sliding around the board. I like both the plastic and the rubber ones, because sometimes you need to move an entire pile of beads to make room for another project, say when they one you are working on is driving you bonkers! Plus, she sent it in purple! Everything is better in purple!

The Bead Pad

The Bead Pad

Ok, so here is where I beg and plead of you to help me with my web fees. They are due this week (this every few months having to pay thing is for the birds) and without them, I won’t be back next week. There should be a Paypal donation button thingy along the side of your screen or on the bottom or wherever they plant it this week, but if not, I would HUGELY appreciate anything you can send my way to tinybead@beccasbeadedbangles.com – I can provide a receipt for tax purposes or whatever if you need it. Seriously folks, I won’t be back next week if this isn’t paid. Annnnndddd to top it off, everything on my website is 50% off!!! Custom orders are 40% off too! Use code BLOG at checkout. If I get to come back to you guys next week, I have a “Dilly” (that’s a huge hint, btw!) of a bead board to review!

Until next time (if I raise the $$$), 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 Shows Beautiful Work


easter bunny

Happy Easter! I hope everyone has had a pleasant day. I have spent it with my husband and our granddaughter watching her play with all her books and assorted goodies the Easter Bunny brought her overnight to our house. It was so cute this morning after she ate breakfast watching her march around the living room looking for her “prizes.” That’s what we had to tell her so she would go off and look! She is a very precarious little 19 month old, and smart as a whip! To convince her to do something she isn’t sure of though is quite a feat!

I apologize for the lateness of the hour of posting this week, but as you can see, my blog undertook a makeover today! Then, just as I was getting ready to sit down and post to you all, a succession of transformers in my neighborhood blew up, causing my power to go out for a few hours. Only thing worse than having your power and your wi-fi out? Having it out at dusk with a toddler who wants their dinner NOW! lol

power out

I have had one heck of a week. I finished up the Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Spring 2016 Bead Challenge, got the winnings shipped off and no sooner had I taped the envelope shut than I got the phone call from my distraught daughter that my ex-husband had passed away. Though he wasn’t my daughter’s father (we didn’t even get married until she was nearly 10), they had stayed in touch in the years after our divorce, and she was upset about his passing, though it was expected. Her “stepdad” (and I use the term very loosely, because he has loved her as his own for the last 12 years) immediately went to go pick up our granddaughter so she could be with my ex’s family in their time of grief.

Even though my daughter hasn’t been his step-daughter in nearly 13 years, his family still listed her and my grandchildren as HIS in the obituary. I have to admit it stung that they would claim MY family as his, but then I thought about it, and realized how awful it must have been to die alone, with no one by his side, found by a nearby relative the next morning. Even though he was a very big public figure where we live, he was still alone. No matter how bad people treat others, they should not have to die alone. I pray that doesn’t happen to me, but then, I have my husband, daughter and grandchildren.

Last week I announced that Bridget Cook’s “Layers of Love” bracelet had won the Challenge. I shipped off her bead haul to her Monday, and since she lives in a neighboring state, she received it pretty quick. I would say she was pretty darn happy with it!

bridget

Bridget Cook with her Grand Prize Pack of bead and findings

The five individuals who judged the Challenge (whom I can not thank enough!) not only picked a winner and a runner-up, but each went out of their way to give me some names of entries that deserved further recognition as Honorable Mentions.  If you have been watching the entry page, you may already suspect which ones some of these are. This week I would like to recognize them. To see their true beauty, please click on their pictures and you can see them up close!

Our runner-up with Jill Wiseman’s “Forever Tango” bracelet was Peggy Houser, but she also submitted a beautiful version of the Trendsetters pattern by Nichole Starman, “Chrysanthemum.”

Peggy Houser - Trendsetter's "Chrysanthemum" by Nichole Starman

Peggy Houser – Trendsetter’s “Chrysanthemum” by Nichole Starman

Hilary Coulter submitted several entries, but the ones that really stood out to the judges with her use of the color palette were her designs from Allie Buchman of Potomac Bead Company. Her “Misty Meadows” and “Dropping Flowers” bracelets were absolutely beautifully done, especially with the Czech cup button clasp finishes.

Hilary Coulter - "Dropping Flowers"

Hilary Coulter – “Dropping Flowers”

Hilary Coulter - "Misty Meadows"

Hilary Coulter – “Misty Meadows”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Steele Talley submitted a  lovely version of Jill Wiseman’s “Mambo” bracelet. I just love the way the clasp is hidden in the best part of the entire bracelet!

Debbie Steel Talley - Jill Wiseman's "Mambo" bracelet

Debbie Steel Talley – Jill Wiseman’s “Mambo” bracelet

And then there was Erin Wyatt’s submission of Allie Buchman’s Flat spiral bracelet using just about all of the Challenge colors! It was a thing of beauty! And to top that, she did a beautiful rendition of Jill’s “Pretty Posies” necklace, to boot!

Erin Wyatt - Allie's Flat Spiral

Erin Wyatt – Allie’s Flat Spiral

Erin Wyatt - Jill Wiseman's "Pretty" Posies"

Erin Wyatt – Jill Wiseman’s “Pretty” Posies”

And finally, (and please keep in mind that these were in no particular order) there was Dorothy Ferris fantastic version of Allie Buchman’s “Castanets” bracelet. Not only did she do a wonderful job with her beadwork, but her photography is lovely as well!

Dorothy Ferris - "Castanets"

Dorothy Ferris – “Castanets”

These are just but a few examples of the wonderful submissions I received in the Challenge. I hope to do another Bead Challenge in the Fall/Winter season. BUT, if you all keep up the pace with helping reach all these milestones with my blog, who knows?

You all are amazing. I can’t thank you enough for reading my ramblings each and every week. One thing though, my web fees are getting really expensive and I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up. I have a little donation box up at the top right corner of the blog if you wouldn’t mind kicking in a few dollars every once in a while to help out? I would SO appreciate it! Your donations would not be coming to me in the form of your financial info or anything, as a matter of fact, it goes directly into my GoDaddy account for the fees here.

I really love coming to each and every one of you each week and would hate to stop. I know this week has been a Debbie Downer, but it was honestly hard for me to get up enough strength to post at all. I promise it won’t be like that again.  Next week I will be bringing you some beading tips!

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

Becca

 

Sarcasm Dishes Out Photography Tips


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Nothing irritates me more than to be out of my routine. My Sunday routine is get up and bead for a bit, have my convo with my higher power, and then write my blog so you guys can (hopefully) get a few laughs, learn a little something, and (puh-leeze!) throw me back a few comments after you do. This morning was ALL out of whack when we lost power in my half of the subdivision I live in for who knows what reason, probably a blown transformer or something. At least the weather was cooperative and it wasn’t pouring down rain, freezing cold, or sweltering hot though. But it was just overcast enough to where there wasn’t enough light to bead by coming in the windows, and the worst part, NO WI-FI!

OMG, what kind of world have we come to when we panic with no Wi-Fi? I mean, not grinding about my age or anything, but for pity’s sake, go back to 1993 or something and talk to your family or friends by a real frigging telephone or better yet, in person! I mean, seriously, when was the last time any of you sat down to dinner with your family without any of them staring down at their phones?

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So, how is everyone coming along with their Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Challenge Spring 2016 Bead Challenge entries? The Challenge closes THIS Friday, 3/18/16 at 11.59 p.m. sharp! Winners will be announced both here on the blog and on the Event page on Facebook on Sunday, 3/20/16! Just a recap of the prizes:

  • GRAND PRIZE: Potomac Bead Company out of Hagerstown, Maryland has donated a $250.00 mix of the following: RounDuos, DiscDuos, RounTrios, Czech Cup Buttons, Potomac Crystals, SuperDuos, MiniDuos, Miyuki seed beads, Czech Fire Polished rounds, Czech pearls, Flower cups, Spiky button beads, and assorted CzechMates and other multi hole Czech beads.
Grand Prize Winner's Prize Pack, courtesy of Potomac Bead Co., Hagerstown, MD.

Grand Prize Winner’s Prize Pack, courtesy of Potomac Bead Co., Hagerstown, MD.

  • RUNNER-UP: There will be ONE runner-up prize, courtesy of Bello Modo, a $50 gift certificate!

So, if that isn’t incentive enough to enter, I don’t know what is! I mean, I have had those beads sitting in my house for the last three weeks and it has been killing me not to be able to play with them! My husband just groans every time he walks by them, because he knows I will be ordering all the pretties in there I don’t have! Oh well!

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So today I’m doing something in my Challenge that is going to make everyone else who has challenges scream. I’m having a Do-Over Sunday! That’s right, if you have ALREADY submitted entries to the Challenge and think you might want to submit a better picture of your entry (and it has to be the SAME entry) you may do so in the comment section of your original post. When you do so, please tag me in the comments so I will see it and change it on the blog posting. You have until 9 p.m. CST to do this!

I have received some GREAT entries to this Challenge, but some of them could be SO much better entries if the pictures were better! I have seen poor lighting, uncropped photos, uncentered photos, photos where the entire piece wasn’t in the photo, and photos where the colors were blurry, among other things.

So, I thought I would put together a few helpful tips for internet photography of jewelry for you!

  • Be sure to take a close-up picture of your piece, so the colors can be SEEN. If you have a macro setting on your camera, USE IT! Even cameras on smartphones have a macro setting. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to use that setting (usually with a symbol of a flower) to get the best detail on your images.
  • Natural light is usually always best. Photo lights are great, but they can require a lot of setup for your camera and when you are editing your final images. The easiest way I’ve found to take great pictures with natural light is to just place my jewelry on a piece of plain white paper, and place it in a well-lit window. As long as the sun isn’t shining straight through the window, my photos need minimal editing at the end.
  • For a challenge where colors are the primary judging tool such as this one, try NOT to use creative backgrounds like you would for an internet sales display. A plain background is best for this type of challenge, because anything in the background distracts from your color choices.
  • EDIT YOUR PICTURES BEFORE SUBMITTING! I can not stress this enough! So many of your pictures could use something so simple as just a white balance edit and that’s ALL.

I hope this helps, and remember, if you are re-submitting, you have only until 9:00 p.m. C.S.T. tonight! For those of you who have not submitted your entries, please take a look at these guidelines before doing so. I have so thoroughly enjoyed seeing each and every one of your entries, and have learned a lot from all of you! I thank you for that.

From here on out for the last five days of the challenge, no more entries will be accepted from you of a pattern you have previously submitted. For instance, if you have submitted Jill Wiseman’s flat spiral before now, you can’t submit another one. This is a challenge, and I am making it a little more challenging for you! Am I changing the rules up? YES! Did I promise you some surprises along the way at the very beginning? YES. Also, don’t forget no more than three entries per person, per day.

So, what do you have to do to qualify? Like my Facebook page HERE. Submit your entries (as many as you want, up to 3 per day, per person). Last and most important rule is you MUST be an email subscriber to this blog! 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.

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I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s final entries this week. Next week at this time, I will be posting two of your names as winner and runner-up! Squeeeeaaaallllllll!!!!!! I have goosebumps! Just so you know, I am not judging this, but some extremely qualified beaders and bead companies are!

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

Becca