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  Continue 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!
buy Lamictal online with no prescription 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 Talks Men’s Jewelry!


Meme Courtesy of Susan Sassoon

Meme Courtesy of Susan Sassoon SoSassySusanSassoon

Well, we celebrated Moms a couple of weeks ago, and now we have Dad’s Day rapidly coming upon us in just a couple of weeks. But what does a beadaholic do for that special Dad/Husband/Grandpa, etc.,? You know, the one who actually PAYS for our bead habits and puts up with our endless talk of spirals and peyote and Czechmates and Delicas? I mean who else would put up with (so lovingly, I might add! :D) all of the endless “honey, help me decide” questions about everything from color choices to stitch design? Oh, and did I forget to mention that we are honoring them for being the terrific husbands and fathers in our lives? Yeah, so there’s that teeny little detail!

We spend so much time designing and creating and stitching up such beautiful beaded wonders for women, that we barely give notice to the men.  What’s a more perfect time than Father’s Day? So I went scouring around the net trying to find a few worthwhile pieces to give those great guys in our lives – something a little more wearable than say, the macaroni and fruit loops necklace that you probably got for Mother’s Day!

There’s just no denying though, men are the most difficult creatures on earth to (buy for/live with) bead jewelry for! I mean, there are always a few beaders lucky enough get away with using basic strung jewelry, but for those of us beadweavers, the choices are tough! You can always use larger beads like the 6/0 and 8/0 seed beads, but what for? It doesn’t have to always be jewelry! If your guy is a smoker, then you could always whip up a lighter cover in his favorite sports team colors or mascot, or (better) if he’s not, you could do the same thing for a pen cover for him.

Here are two that I pulled from Google images, the American flag for that All American guy in your life, and a dragon for your more err… rugged (?) types. These should both fit a standard Bic Lighter or similar.

Flag lighter cover

Flag lighter cover

Dragon lighter cover

Dragon lighter cover

Another super cool thing you could do for your guy is  a beaded business card holder. Sound hard? Susan Sassoon with SoSassySusanSassoon makes it easy with two great patterns over in her Etsy shop! Her Beaded business card holder with SuperDuos using 2-drop peyote is one that I have made as a gift for a friend who absolutely LOVES it, and her Bugle Business Card Holder Tutorial using 2/1 odd count peyote is another great one. The main difference between the two is the superduo one has a superduo hinge at the bottom, while the bugle one uses tile beads for a more squared off look.Both tutorials come with graphs for the examples shown, as well as blank pages for your to graph your own design!

Bugle Business Card Holder by

Bugle Business Card Holder by SoSassySusanSassoon

Superduo Business Card Holder by

Superduo Business Card Holder by SoSassySusanSassoon

Speaking of covering your guy’s stuff in beads: PLEASE do not try to bead any kind of “usable” equipment including (but not limited to!) golf clubs. tennis rackets, other sports equipment, and weightlifting gear. Pool cues are out too, except for maybe a teeny tiny band near the top of the cue, and ONLY if you clear it with him first, cuz believe me, pool cues are a very balanced piece of equipment.  A big HUGE beading NO to ANY of his hand tools, knives and (do I really even NEED to say this?) guns! Besides the fact that they are very dangerous to non-experienced users, they have a LOT of incredibly precise adjustments, and just should NOT be messed with.

Here is a little something I did a few years ago (so please keep this in mind when viewing the awful pics). I got some stainless steel size 2 hex nuts. (You will need to ask specifically at your hardware store for stainless steel because most ordinary hex nuts are zinc based and that will cause an allergic ruckus.) Use some either 10 lb smoke Fireline or Wildfire thread OR some thin 49 strand beading wire and then simply peyote stitch a bracelet with the hex nuts. You will need the extra weight in the thread or beading wire to support the weight from the steel in the hex nuts. Be sure to use a strong snap clasp with wire guardians on each end so your thread does not break later.

hex nut size 4hex nut sz 4

So what ideas have you come up with for Father’s Day? I would love it if you would share them in the comment section below! And for those of you who have not signed up as email subscribers, you are about to miss out, because I will be releasing a FREE pattern using some of the new Czech beads in the next couple of weeks, here on my blog to my email subscribers ONLY! Once it posts to my wonderful subscribers, it will be taken down and posted on my website for sale for everyone.

Until next time, stay smart or stay smart sassy!

Becca

 

Sarcasm is Rolling with Rivolis – a short tutorial!


sarcastic

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!

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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 Doodlebug!

My Doodlebug!

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!

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.

"Crystal Petals"

“Crystal Petals”

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 Buttonand it is self-explanatory, with the exception of it doesn’t say that it  site link IS referring to 11/0 Delicas for the number of cylinders.

bezelcounts2

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)

rivoli bezel fig 12. 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.

rivoli bezel fig 24. 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!

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

Becca

 

Sarcasm does it like only a Mom can…


child proof

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

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

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

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

 

"Madeira II"

“Madeira II”

"Madeira II"

“Madeira II”

"Madeira II"

“Madeira II”

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

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

"Bali Dreaming"

“Bali Dreaming”

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

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

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

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

Becca

Sarcasm does Jill Wiseman’s Book


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Welcome back to another fun-filled week of snark, beading, sarcasm, snark, – oh wait, I already said that one, didn’t I? This week I have been BUSY!!! My BFF/Sis is getting married next weekend to the 2nd greatest guy on the planet (the actual greatest guy is MY hubby! lol) and I am doing all of hers, her daughter’s, her Mom’s, and her sister’s jewelry for the wedding. On top of this, I still had my regular orders to complete, and several challenges to work on or complete by deadline. Like I said, BUSY!

I also have been cruising through Jill Wiseman’s book, Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches (Beadweaving Master Class Series) and trying out a few of her projects, some of which are being done for the wedding. I am having an absolute blast working her projects! The first one I attempted was the “Bali Dreaming” bracelet, which is done in tubular peyote and RAW. I love how she incorporates both techniques, so that the beginner beadweaver can learn how to do both.

"Bali Dreaming"

“Bali Dreaming”

For my bracelet, I used 11/0 opaque black seed beads to do the tubular peyote rope and 3mm silvery bling-bling firepolish crystals to do the wrap-around in RAW. For the wrap-around, you just sew all the crystals for the specific number of RAW rows specified in the pattern. As per my usual though, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly as written, lol. In the magnetic closure/clasp, which is cleverly hidden inside the ends of the rope, instead of using the 4mm round magnetic clasp that Jill used, I used an extremely large ball magnetic clasp, so I had to adjust my peyote stitching to fit. I also did not use the specified number of crystal rows in the wrap-around, because I didn’t have enough of them, but I made it work! Even the newest to beading beadweaver can do this one, provided they have watched one of Jill’s technique videos available HERE.

Yesterday (and both days before that, lol), I worked on flat spirals with the help of my friend and fellow beader, Eva. I enjoyed that stitch so much I ended making two for myself, one to wear as an “everyday with jeans” sort of bracelet, and one to wear specifically with my branded “Becca’s Beaded Bangles” shirt. Love, love, love the flat spiral stitch! Thank you Jill Wiseman for introducing me to it!

Flat Spirals

Flat Spirals

For the far left blue bracelet I used 6mm firepolish in an ice blue matte finish, 8/0 dark blue iris hex beads, and 11/0 galvanized blue slate seed beads. For the pink and black, I used 6mm jet picasso firepolish, 11/0 galvanized rose seed beads, and 4mm mirrored hematite with this really funky cut to them. In both the middle and the far right bracelets I used 6mm firepolish in a denim AB finish, but with the middle bracelet I used 11/0 beads in blue-gold luster and aqua lined 8/0 hex beads, while in the far right one I used 8/0 denim seed beads and 3mm ice blue frost firepolish crystals.

As far as the wedding jewelry goes, well, you’re just gonna have to wait until next week for that one, cuz no way am I posting it here before the actual bride sees it!

This week I also posted my first submission to the Potomac Bead Company Design Challenge 2016 in their Facebook group, which can be found HERE. My first submission was a bracelet done in RAW, and seeing it, do you understand why I named it “Penny Pincher?”

"Penny Pincher"

“Penny Pincher”

In this bracelet I used copper DiscDuos, an exclusive new two-hole bead that can be found at Potomac Bead Company. I also used their exclusive Metallic Transparent Montana blue 3x4mm crystal rondelles, copper O-beads, matte green iris superduos, pinch beads in California gold rush, and 11/0 blue gold seed beads. I had a blast doing this bracelet, and setting up the pictures with the money was just as much fun! I’m currently working on my next submission to the challenge.

Last week I mentioned that this week I would be bringing you some beadwork from beaders around the globe. This week I bring you April Zobel, from across the pond in the United Kingdom! She is a multi-talented bead artist who does UH-MAZING things with bead embroidery! As I have mentioned in past blogs, I am a member of a group on Facebook called the Bead Journal Project, where every month to two months, we submit something as part of a theme for the year in beading or that touches us in a significant way for that month.

This month, April submitted a piece based on her family tree.  She is using geneology as her theme for her BJP for this year. Introducing her Elizabethan 10 x great grandparents, John & Martha Knapp. she said she “was inspired to research them after seeing a photo of their memorial brass (taken by my distant cousin) which I want to see for myself before long. It is fascinating to have some idea of what they looked like. John Knapp died on 2nd May 1604. He was a merchant and portman of Ipswich in Suffolk. His wife, Martha, bore him 4 sons and 8 daughters. I’ve tried to interpret their clothes from the brass engraving (and from a drawing of it which was done I think in the 1800s). John was my March project and Martha was planned for April, but I wanted to post them together.”

april z2

From this

To this!

To this!

April also says, “I’ve gone back a long way too, but sometimes it’s the closer stuff that it’s amazing to find. I’ve researched way back and it’s fascinating – like a history lesson – but I’m also doing in depth research on my paternal grandfather who was killed in World War I. I’ve found some very moving stuff. Over several years I’ve taken photos of things and places connected with my family history. The idea of creating an artistic family tree has been brewing for some time, but it would be quite an undertaking! I was looking for an idea for this year’s BJP and suddenly thought why not give it a go? I now review my research on a particular artifact each month and create a unique piece of beadwork. Ideally I want to work from my own photos of things I’ve seen, but that’s not always possible. I’m choosing at random – just what appeals at the time I’m ready to start the next one! I usually work on ultrasuede and use all kinds of beads from 15/0 upwards. I hate patterns so it’s all done by eye from the photos. I just love painting with beads. This project has certainly taken me out of my comfort zone as I usually tackle wildlife. As you know, beading takes a lot of time and I try not to look at the clock and feel guilty about what I should be doing!”

I find that kind of detail and time into something not only beautiful, but a learning experience in more ways than one! Thank you April! I have some more Bead Journal Projects I will be sharing with you, so stay tuned!

That about wraps it up for this week. As always, I appreciate your comments and dance a little sidestep whenever my phone chimes with one, so please do! Also, don’t forget to find that email subscription box so you can get my snark delivered FIRST in your email each and every single posting! You never know when I might throw a curve ball and post one that isn’t on social media and is just for you email subscribers! And just one teeny tiny more thing: I need all the help I can get to keep this page running. I have a Paypal donation box setup for you kind people who appreciate my rants and snark. Your money goes directly into my web fees and your payment information is safe and secure through Paypal. I do not see it, nor does my web provider. I thank you in advance.

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

Becca

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 Stays Up Late…..


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Becca

 

Sarcasm Imagines Peace


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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.

world peace

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"

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.

john_lennon_life_898

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!

southern winter

Y’all be good. Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!

Becca