Sarcasm Imagines Peace


12112220_10156168057280788_3051668380852486852_n

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

Sarcasm does a Prototype


Funny-meme-to-the-panic-room-640x414

Brrrrrrrrr!!!!! That’s all I have to say about the weather! I feel SORRY for all of you on the upper eastern seaboard who have gotten all that snow! We got about maybe five minutes of it here in Montgomery, Alabama Friday evening, and of course, everyone went stark raving mad! My Facebook feed read like it was the end of the freaking world! THAT is what happens when there is even a HINT of snow in Alabama! Life stops, schools close, grocery stores go bare, traffic goes haywire with freaking crazy idiot drivers wrecking everywhere because they think they have to get somewhere quick before the roads are going to close. Puh-leeze! Our roads only close when they are flooded, and as of late, that has been rather frequently, unfortunately. Stay warm people!

So, you all know I had oral surgery a couple of weeks ago. Well, I have spent my recovery time at home up until just a few days ago, courtesy of my husband, who wouldn’t let me drive while I was on those GLORIOUS things we call pain pills. Personally, I think my driving is better when I’m under the influence, but that’s another discussion….

You already know I taught myself Jill Wiseman’s Wave Crest from last week’s snarky installment.Butttttt, I wanted to play around with it a bit. Well, I was freaking bored at home, so I also taught myself several other things, including tubular herringbone and the Russian Spiral. But, I was enchanted with Jill’s Wave Crest, so I decided to downsize my crystals and my seed beads a little, and use my absolute  super Fildena FAVORITE color of  http://fourplayfootball.com/footballforum/groups/why-there-are-so-numerous-lies-about-community-advertising-and-how-not-to-be-a-victim/ PURPLE chloroquine harga !!! I mean, how can you go wrong with purple???

"Wave Crest" (design by Jill Wiseman) comparison picture with smaller size

“Wave Crest” (design by Jill Wiseman) comparison picture with smaller size

I also made another one in the called for by pattern size for a friend for her birthday. She wanted something that looked a little like the ocean and sort of beachy. I decided I didn’t want to just give her the pendant, so (man, I was SO bored while I was stuck at home!) I stitched her up my very first Russian Spiral, using 8/0’s in light blue pearl, milky sapphire Jonquil, and crystal clear hex, and 11/0 in silver lined alabaster pink.

"Wave Crest" with my very 1st Russian Spiral!

“Wave Crest” with my very 1st Russian Spiral!

Well, I have had the fabulous honor of being chosen by Potomac Beads to try out some of their new beads! SO FREAKING EXCITED!!! They sent me an assortment of beads that they (and only Potomac) carry, such as Rounduos, Rountrios, Faceted Routrios, and Discduos, along with some superduos, seed beads, Firepolish crystals, and Swarovski crystals to use to create with! Also included in this picture is some ultrasuede and Nicole’s Bead Backing I received the same day.

potomac

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to work with them, because I got behind on my own orders due to my surgery, but I did work up a small prototype of a little something I wanted to share with you today. Not too sure whether or not this is going to work out to be a pendant, a set of earrings or the beginning of a bracelet component, but I welcome your suggestions in the comments below! Also, as a designer, I ask that you please respect my design process and not copy or reproduce anything I share with you in the picture below.

2016-01-24 12.52.57designers

As you can see, I am using the Faceted Rountrios, 8/0 seed beads, 7/0 Matubo’s, 11/0 seed beads, and Rullas. The one thing that I am really unhappy with at this point is the amount of thread that is showing. If you are a regular reader, then you know that is my number one pet peeve. But, like I said, this is just a prototype, and I haven’t decided (though I have about a gazillion ideas) where I am going with it next. However, once I do complete it, I will release the tutorial for free for a limited time here on this blog to my readers who subscribe by email only. After that time is up, it will be available for purchase on my website.

That about wraps it up for this week. I hope I have been informative, nice, snarky, and a little bit humorous! Don’t forget for all your 20 gram tube Toho beading needs to check out Eureka Crystal Beads and use code A10SAVE20R for 20% off your first order! And, don’t forget to check out Potomac Beads for the newest beads, the Rounduos, Rountrios, Faceted Rountrios, Discduos, Czech Pressed Druk Cup Button Beads, Potomac Crystal Faceted Machine Cut Buttons, and so much more!

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

Becca

Sarcasm Presents Bead Embroidery as Therapy


charlie brown

Merry Everything!

One of the things that I have learned throughout my life is that stress brings out the worst (and usually the nastiest) snarky sarcasm to come out of my mouth. This year however, has been a humbling experience for me in my personal life, as I have struggled with a new health issue that I would not wish on my worst enemies (well, maybe my ex-husband, but that’s another story!), and not only has it taught me to value each day – each minute of each day as a gift, it has taught me extraordinary fortitude through some very unstable emotional moments.

When my granddaughter was born in August, 2014, I spent every day at my daughter’s house to help her out with the new baby a.) so she could get some rest and get her regular household chores done; and b.) so I could spend as much time as possible with my new little Doodlebug! Once my daughter decided to go back to work, we agreed that I would continue to keep my granddaughter at her house. It was just that much more convenient for both me, my daughter, and my granddaughter, to be around all her things already there, rather than lug them back and forth to my house, and I did NOT want her in daycare, especially that young! When my grandson was that age, they lived a couple of hours away, so I missed out on a lot of his baby “firsts” and I just was not about to with my Doodlebug!

I would spend her nap times beading and crocheting, and all was well with the world. Then, during the holiday break in January when my grandson was also home with me, I had a Grand Mal seizure just totally out of the blue. Not exactly what I wanted my five-year old grandson to have to witness – ever. Yet he has witnessed three since then. Since that day I was having seizures regularly, not all of them that big, but still seizing nonetheless. I couldn’t get a diagnosis, was going from doctor to doctor, and was becoming very depressed.

seizure survivor(

A friend of mine suggested that I take my feelings out in my beading, and the next thing I knew, I had a lovely outline of a butterfly drawn out on some Lacy’s Pattern Sheets which are wonderful in bead embroidery for transferring your designs to your backing. You just draw out your design and then print it out on these sheets, then stick it on your backing and sew your beads directly to it. Once your are done, you just gently pull away any excess. For those of you like me who just aren’t that great at freeform beading (I’m WAY too OCD!) these sheets are a lifesaver! Anyway, I read about them on a blog or webpage somewhere and just knew I had to have some, but the only place that I could find that carries them is Lima Beads. They are great to deal with, and get their orders out super fast!

So anyway, butterflies are my “thing” anyway (just ask my tattoo artist! ha!) and they also happen to represent the hope and courage of seizure sufferers. I found one that I liked, traced it over to the Lacy’s paper via my inkjet printer and voila’! I had my pattern! I then attached it to my absolute FAVORITE bead backing, Nicole’s Bead Backing. You can also find her on Etsy here, where she is running some GREAT specials on combo packs of her bead backing with matching ultrasuede and/or soutache supplies.

Purple is pretty much the universal awareness color for any kind of seizure disorder, whether it is epilepsy or not. That’s just fine with me, because it is my favorite color anyway! In this piece I used practically every color purple delica carried in my LBS, plus some I ordered, along with ALL my purples in regular seed beads! There are beads ranging in size from 8/0 – 15/0, and in shapes of delica, rocaille, hex, triangle, and charlotte’s. I even used a few bugles here and there. For accents, I used some Swarovski flat back stones in crystal ABX2. They represent my little glimmers of hope of coming out of all this seizure mess!

My "I don't know if it's jewelry" therapy bead embroidery seizure butterfly.

My “I don’t know if it’s jewelry” therapy bead embroidery seizure butterfly.

Seizure suck. There is just no other way to describe it. What makes it a million times worse is having your young grandchild witness it happen not just once, but multiple times. I will get past this. I am on medication to regulate it, and they think they even might know not exactly what is causing them, but why I have them when I do. Al I know is opened up a brand new expanded horizon in bead embroidery for me, who was new to that ballgame anyway.

I love bead embroidery, and currently am working on several projects. After all, a beader never has just one project going on! I plan on participating in the Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry December Color Challenge and this month I intend on doing a little bead embroidery in my challenge. I will post the finished results at the end of the month. For those of you who have never entered their challenge, it is great fun, and the 1st place winner receives a $50 gift certificate to their website/store and $25 to the 2nd place winner. All you have to do is use ALL the colors in the color palette for their challenge. That’s it. It doesn’t even matter what medium your entry is. You could even enter cupcakes!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season! I also hope you found the tutorial from last week on Chenille Stitch easy to follow! I promise there are more tutorials coming, so head over to the that email subscriber box so you can get it first in your email inbox! As always, I love hearing from you, so please leave me a comment about what you are beading, crocheting, a recipe, or whatever! Send your sarcasm memes to me at beccasbanglesofal@yahoo.com and I promise they will be used in a future posting with full credit going to you!

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

Becca