Welcome back to another week of snarky sarcasm, beading, and…..WIRE! Yup, I’m going to depart from my own beading for a bit (but only a bit – actually only a few paragraphs!) to talk about Wire & Wine! See, I like to drink wine – a LOT! It gets me through the long, tough days of grandchildren, beading, dental work, financial woes – and they are a-PLENTY right now (see my Paypal donation button on this page, please – Ha!), stressing that I won’t make it until I can pour my next glass, and generally just breathing. But I digress…
If you are a regular reader, and I just know all of you are, you remember me posting about my Sis/BFF’s wedding that I not only attended, was in, and did the jewelry for. Today I would like to introduce you to her fabulous jewelry creations and her Facebook page, Wire & Wine!
She paints too – she is just TOO multi-talented!
She does this incredible job of taking found objects from the beaches around where she lives in South Alabama, along with deer antlers, wine corks, bullets, and basically anything you give to her, and makes this incredibly cool and wearable jewelry from it!
Please head over to her page on Facebook and check out her incredibly cool and different stuff! It is the sister page to my Becca’s Beaded Bangles Facebook page (see what I did there – sister page for my Sis? Ha!) If you have something cool lying around your own house that you are not quite sure what you were going to do with, maybe consider having her turn it in to a cool piece of jewelry for you or a loved one! We would also love if you would share her page on your own Facebook pages, and thanks in advance!
Soooo, back to my own beading! Nothing new to show except…..that this little piece below:
Yup, that’s the one. “Penny Pincher” was one of 14 winners in the Potomac Bead Company Design Challenge 2016! I’m not sure if Potomac will be doing a video tutorial, but if they do not, I will be publishing a written one once I know!
That’s it for me this week. I’m off to see the grandbabies! Don’t forget to leave me some words of wisdom in the comment section below, cuz I adore hearing from you! Also, if you wouldn’t mind helping me out with a donation via the Paypal button up top to help out with my page expenses, I would so appreciate you! Have a great week everyone!
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.
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!
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!
Wowzers, what a week! I have been busier than a mosquito at a nudist colony this week! Three beaded ropes, a bracelet to finish the design on and bead up, photograph and submit to the Potomac Bead Company Design Challenge 2016, my daughter closed on her new house this week, my LBS is moving to their bigger and closer to me (yippeeee!!!) location (both of which I am helping to move!), and oh yeah, did I mention that I also got selected as PTA President at my grandson’s school for the upcoming year? Sheesh! And on top of all of that? I have about 12 new designs parked in my head that need to either be written out, beaded, or both, plus a few tutorials that need to be written on some things I have recently done! There are just not enough hours in a day, which is probably why I never sleep at night. Ha!
My latest entry in the Potomac Challenge was another bracelet, although I think it would make a lovely bangle without a clasp. I would like to introduce you to “Chih-Nu,” named after the Chinese Goddess of spinners, weavers and clouds. She rules over handicrafts, fire, and rain. It was made with faceted Rountrios in vintage copper, Rounduos in pastel turquoise, DiamonDuos in pastel dark coral, Potomac crystal rondelles in crystal AB, Miyuki 11/0 delicas in duracoat galvanized champagne, and Firepolished Chinese crystal rondelles in fire and ice. The closure is with a Potomac Czech Cup button in vintage copper and Miyuki 11/0 seed beads in brown iris.
So last week I showed off the jewelry I did for the wedding, including the Jill Wiseman bracelet, “Flower Power,” which is done in tubular netting. If you recall, I mentioned that I loved the stitch so much, it would be my “go-to” stitch whenever I needed a beaded rope for anything from now on, and it will be! But, who am I to hog all of the glory of that wonderful technique?? Not me! So, this morning I managed to put together a little photo tutorial of how to get going on your own tubular netted rope.
This is my first picture tutorial done on my own, so please bear with me! It was not easy balancing beads and thread, a needle, my phone (cuz that’s how I took the pictures) ,and keeping it steady so these pictures would not be blurry, a toddler (did I mention that my Doodlebug spent the night and she adores watching me bead!!!), and trying to get my thumb on the shutter button all at the same time!
One of the great things about tubular netting is the flexibility of the rope. It is super slinky and moves and drapes beautifully with or without a pendant. The only other rope stitch that even comes close to it is the Russian Spiral (which I will cover in a couple of weeks), but this is just super lightweight. The size of your rope is dictated strictly by the size of your beads. The bigger the bead, the fatter the rope. If you are making it for a pendant though, I recommend using 11/0 seed beads so the bail will go on smoothly without getting caught.
important site Supplies: All you really need are two tubes of either 11/0 or 8/0 seed beads, your choice of beading thread (I used Wildfire here because that is my go-to for black beading thread), scissors or thread burner, needles (you can see I am using my ever trusty Tulip size 11 needles!), and a stop bead.
The tubes from your Tulip needles are great to re-use for beads!
adspost women seeking men malaysia Step 1: On a comfortable length of thread, string your stop bead and leave about a six-inch tail to use for a clasp later. Then add 12 beads, alternating your two colors. For my beads, color A is the orange, and color B is the blue. (fig. 1)
Step 3: Once your circle is formed, exit your needle from your 1st “B” bead. (fig. 3)
Step 4: Add three beads in this order: A-B-A. Skip one B bead and go through the next. Repeat this twice more around the round.(fig. 4)
Step 5: Step up to the next row after going through the last B bead by also going through the 1st A & B added this round. Your needle should now be exiting the 1st B bead added to the previous round completed. (fig. 5)
Step 6: Continue adding your three beads and skipping to every other B bead. The only time you will ever go through an A bead is during your step-up to the next row. Continue until desired length. (fig. 6)
This is what eight completed rows looks like. It took approximately six minutes to complete. (fig. 7)
Finishing Up: To finish up and seal off your ends so that you can attach your clasp, simply just only add your two A beads on the last row and do not add any more B beads. Pull tight and you will notice the lip of the tube will pull in slightly. This makes a nice end to a tube bead or a rope chain on a necklace or bracelet. If desired, you can continue adding rows and decreasing the number of beads to make it even more tapered.
That is really all there is to it. A lot of people use a dowel or rod inside their rope to get their first few rows going because it is a rather wonky, jumbled looking mess for about the first four or five rows as the tube begins to form (like Chenille stitch does). The first time I attempted it, I used a 3 mm or 3.5 mm crochet hook, depending on bead size. I have actually found it easier not to use it though, because it just gets in the way and slows you down.
Last week I made an enormous plea for your help in keeping this blog going by your donations via the Paypal donation button at the top of my blog. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that my WordPress theme had been updated by the server and that very much-needed Paypal donation button was gone! Thanks to a loyal, kind, and GENEROUS reader who pointed that out to me, it is back in place for those of you who would like to see me keep posting. I would also like to publicly thank Carol Carnes for donating the fees for my upcoming annual domain renewal. Without her folks, next week would have been my farewell post!
If you can swing something like $5.00 toward my monthly fees, I would really appreciate it! Just two donations a month will cover it, that’s all! If you can’t, no worries, because I am forever grateful to you anyway for your reading my ramblings in the first place each time I post. I do ramble on, don’t I?
If you haven’t signed up as an email subscriber, you are about to be missing out! Bonus postings are about to become a frequent and impromptu thing! If you crochet, then you will really like the impromptu postings! impromptu postings only go out to email subscribers and the links are not posted on social media. I’m about to start a CAL tomorrow (crochet-along) so I will be posting about that too!
Don’t forget to chime in and leave me a comment, a question, a rambling of your very own! My grandson has started carrying my phone around with him on Sunday afternoons so he can let me know when it dings that I have one! He gets just as excited as I do, and as an outgoing kindergartener, I am letting him read them to me for practice with his reading skills, so watch the language! lol
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!
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!
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?”
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 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.
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!
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
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 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
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 – “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!
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 – 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”
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!
I am sooooo glad that this is Spring Break week where I am. I can actually sleep late – wait, no, sleep at all, for that matter! See, I am the one who runs carpool for my grandbabies every day and with one gone to his other grandmother for the week and the Doodlebug being taken to daycare by my daughter and son-in-law, I have a few days free! Wheeeee!!! Eat, Bead, Sleep, REPEAT!
The other reason I haven’t had much sleep lately is I have been staying up each night long after.most of you, posting entries to my blog here to this little thing you may have read a thing or two or three THOUSAND about, the Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Spring 2016 Bead Challenge. My event was held over on Facebook, and was open to anyone who was an email subscriber to my blog and liked my Facebook page. Easy peasy.
Other than those two things, the other requirements were entries had to be from either a Jill Wiseman, Trendsetters, or one of Allie over at Potomac Bead Company’s patterns. The biggest and most challenging part of the whole thing was having to stick to the color palette. All entries had to come from the Spring 2016 Pantone Top 10 colors shown below.
The “must stick to if you wanna win” design colors
Though you could enter as many entries as you wanted, they were limited to three per day, per person after the first week, because I was flooded with entries by the same people there for a few days to the point that other people could not get their entries seen on the event feed. Lesson learned! I also reserved the right from the very beginning to change up the rules and throw some curve balls out and this last week I did just that. Gotta keep you peeps on your toes!
Monday was Blue Monday, where all entries posted had to be done in the blue colors of the color palette. Tuesday was Tutorial Tuesday, where I posted my own Starfish with Superduos pattern that could be used for the remainder of the Challenge. And beginning this last Monday, nobody could submit the same pattern twice. Up until that point I was getting a lot of the same patterns from some people, but different colors. Another lesson learned!
So what is are all these rules and details about? Why so picky? Well, when there is a $250 Grand Prize of beads from Potomac Bead Company and a $50 gift certificate from Bello Modo for the Runner-up on the line, you get a little picky! My husband just groans and rolls his eyes every time he walks by the prize package that has been sitting on my dining room table the last two weeks, cuz he knows that once this thing is over I will be ordering ME all those beads that the winner is getting that I don’t have yet!
Grand Prize Winner’s Prize Pack, courtesy of Potomac Bead Co., Hagerstown, MD.
I have to give a HUGE thank you to the five (yes, you read that right – 5) judges for undertaking such a monster task as to judge the nearly 150 entries I received. Judging a bead challenge is hard enough, but couple that with the gargantuan number of entries I ended up with… Well, all I have to say about that is, I am SO glad it was not me doing it!
For those of you wondering, why five judges? I have been a participant in several bead challenges myself, and 99% of them have always been done fairly, but there is always that 1% that leaves a bad taste in your mouth for the next one you are about to enter. I originally had four, but wanted a tie-breaker, just in case, too.
Though I am not revealing who my judges were, I will tell you that they literally come from all four corners of the USA, they all have multiple years of experience in the beading field, with the exception of one, who is fairly new to it, but she is an accomplished artist and was judging for color representation only. Each judge was judging a different aspect of the challenge, while the fifth judge was judging all aspects.
I have to say what an absolutely amazing bunch of entries from a tremendously talented and creative pool of beaders I received. You can see all the entries here. Each night as I was posting them here, I just shook my head and wondered when I was going to be as talented and gifted as these beaders are. I aspire to that! For instance, look at what my Runner-up and winner of the $50 gift certificate from Bello Modo, Peggy Houser did with Jill Wiseman’s “Forever Tango” pattern, while representing the Challenge colors of Rose Quartz, Limpet Shell, and Lilac Gray! (ya see what I did there? ha!) Peggy, Bello Modo has already been contacted and you should be hearing from them on Monday! Congrats!
So, without further ado, I would like to announce that the Winner of the Sarcastic Beads and Yarn Spring 2016 Bead Challenge is (I think I have dragged out the suspense long enough, don’t you? hee hee) Bridget Cook, and her version of Allie Buchman of Potomac Bead Company’s “Layers of Love” bracelet, which represented the Pantone colors of Green Flash, Iced Coffee, Peach Echo and Fiesta! Bridget, you put in some wonderful other entries besides this one, as well. Congratulations! I will be shipping your prize pack out Monday.
Bridget Cook – Allie’s “Layers of Love” bracelet
I want to thank everyone who entered, thought about entering, or is thinking about entering the next one. You ALL are just amazing. I started this Challenge because I had reached 10,000 views on my blog, and since it started, you all have nearly tripled that! I can not thank you enough! But I would like to thank Jesus, my family, the Academy, my director, oh wait – I strayed again, didn’t I? See, that’s what happens when you people don’t comment to me enough! lol
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!