Welcome to The Beaded Heart Blog

Welcome to The Beaded Heart Blog
Two-Tone Crystal and Bugle Bead Bracelet,design by S.Eddy

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Farewell Tony, Farewell September-slightly OT

In addition to the fact that it is a dull gray day here in the Boston area, I feel a lingering sense of sadness. September has always been one of my favorite months. I'm not particularly fun of always feeling hot and sweaty as I do in the summer months and September brings cooler air. The skies in this part of the country can be the most brilliant in September. There's the beginning of a feeling of crispness in the air. Things are comfortable.

Yet September is also a sad time. My father passed away at the end of September. It's been a while now...1989...21 years. Is that possible? It still seems like only yesterday. He's always with me, but... .

And of course there is September 11. I'll never forget that.

And today the news of the passing of a Hollywood legend...Tony Curtis. Not that I was a huge fan. Still, it's sad. My favorite movies of his were surely not considered his greatest...the one where he's a casino operator in Reno and a little girl gets abandoned and he ends up taking care of her...love that one. And of course the American film adaptation of the play Boeing-Boeing, about the guy who dates 3 airline stewardesses with different schedules...until their schedules get changed and "mayhem" ensues. My sisters and I loved to watch that one as well.

So, tomorrow we welcome October. I've been seeing autumn decorations everywhere, many including "indian" corn. Have you ever noticed how much those different kernels resemble beads?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

out of the comfort zone

Hi all. Hope you are enjoying good weather wherever you may be and have had some time to bead. I spent last weekend taking a 2 day class with Stephanie Eddy. It was so much fun. She's a very good teacher, well versed in what she is presenting, patient with her students, easy to talk with. We made tiny berries and tinier berries and leaves and bracelet and necklace bases for them to go on. I finished my bracelet and wore it to work yesterday.

I must say, having something so dimensional and with such movement is more than a bit out of my comfort zone. When I asked hubby what he thought of it his comment was, "well, of course it's got a lot of green in it and it looks like a wrist corsage." (he's not crazy about the color green)

It does look a bit like a wrist corsage and I was a big self-conscious wearing it. Wait until I get the necklace done. That is even a bit MORE over the top than what I would normally wear. We'll see how brave I become.

Having said that, they are really lovely. I enjoyed the process of creating them very much and ended up getting several of Stephanie's other kits because I'm enamored of the style. There's a Victorian necklace design that has a lot of netting work, which I enjoy doing. I can't wait until the Columbus Day weekend when I hope to have some time to play!

Getting out of our comfort zone is good for us. Reach out. Experiment with a new style. Add some umph to your normal routine. It could be just the thing you've been needing to put a little spark in your day.

Best wishes,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thinking About Color

Autumn officially started yesterday and a few of the trees around here have started their change of color. I love fall. I do think it's my favorite time of year. The leaf peak is usually around Columbus Day, but I hope it holds on a bit this year as my Mom is coming from Texas for a visit later in the month and it would be great if there's a bit of New England color left for her to see.

But I've been thinking more about color as it relates to our beading, especially those of us who make things for sale. Most of you probably already know about the Pantone color predictions, but if you don't, let me share some good news. Pantone predicts the fashion colors for every season and manufacturers ranging from everything from home dec to clothing to car companies use their predictions as guidelines for the colors of their products. You can easily access the fall and winter 2010-11 colors from the Gemorama website with a link provided in this blog, as well as from the Fire Mountain Gems website. This fall's colors are delicious. Do you have colors that you really like and rarely venture away from? Well kid, you need to break some of those habits and look beyond your comfort zone...OR find new colors that work well with your faves.

Check out the Gemorama site. The first thing I see is a saturation of color in the fall/winter tones. Deep colors are definitely the way to go. Scroll down a bit and you'll see Pantone's top 10 fashion colors. Let's examine these closely. Good color combinations for beading mean you should have a variety of light, medium, and dark colors. The top 10 gives you that option. But beyond that, remember to look for combinations in your beads of finish: shiny, matte, sparkle, etc. Additionally, working on changing the size and shape of your beads as well as the colors will enhance your work; a simply strung necklace can move from nice to "WOW" if you can work in extra texture along with your colors.

The other thing I notice about the top 10 fashion colors is they work well with each other...another useful key in beadwork. Once you find a group of colors that works together, you have a huge combination of colors you can incorporate into your work because tints or shades of those colors will also within that group. Let me explain by giving you an example from my quilting instruction. Let's say you have a small piece of fabric that is a certain color and it goes with some others you have that you want to make a quilt out of. Unfortunately, that small piece is all you have of the color. You go to the store and can't find a match for that color anywhere. BUT, if you can find a tint (the color with white added to it to make it lighter) or a shade (the color with black added to it to make it darker) that selection will also work with the fabrics you have chosen. You don't have to match colors EXACTLY...you can find a tint or shade of the color that you only have a small piece of and it will still work with the other fabrics you have chosen.

Remember to try this with beading. If you have a small amount of a certain color of bead in your stash and want to incorporate it but you know the amount is not going to be enough, and you can't find the exact same thing again, a tint or shade of the color will be fine. And the cool thing about beading is you can also consider the finish and the shape as adding extra interest.

I'm taking a beading class this weekend with Stephanie Eddy. The beads are already kitted up, but I certainly plan to compare what I receive with items in my own stash to see if I can kick my project up a big by mixing in additional shades or tints of the colors in the kits. I can't wait to play!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

P.S. Rocket Surgery

BTW, have you heard about rocket surgery? I love this description. Someone (can't remember who) got confused and instead of saying "it's not rocket science" or "it's not brain surgery" accidentally confused the two, birthing "rocket surgery."

Isn't it great?!?! I love it! "Rocket surgery" is one of my new favorite things to say. The best part is it usually takes folks a second to realize what has happened when you say it, and then the expression on their face is pretty fun.

It's these little moments that give the daily grind some lightness, don't you think?


JaBS is born!

As I've mentioned in a couple of previous posts, a group of us who live south of Boston have gotten together and formed a new bead society. Actually, because several members don't do beading as much as metal work, we decided to name the group the Jewelry and Bead Society, or JaBS.

The cool thing about getting together is that we have a wide variety of talents already existing within the group which means there is a lot to learn from each other. We had signup sheets and asked people to list the types of things they want to learn. We have enough topics listed to plan programs for a couple of years! We are looking forward to the months ahead.

Our first "project" next month will be for everyone to bring stuff from their stash so each person can create a lanyard for nametags/membership cards. The goal is to have your lanyard express the type of work you normally do. If you do metal work, chain maille, stringing, whatever...your lanyard should say to others "Here is my comfort zone...here's what I already know how to do."

I usually bead. However, over the last 6 months or so I've been collecting some of the funky flowers and leaves available in lucite. It's not what I usually work with, but I've got a pretty good supply going now. I'm thinking I have to use some of it in my lanyard. Maybe my lanyard will look more like a lei!!

One of the challenges of starting the group is getting folks to step up and participate in the organization that is necessary for such a group to exist. We have someone who's a bookkeeper and is taking care of setting up a bank account, etc. I'm willing to set up programs. But we need a secretary and a president. No one at the first meeting came forward. I mean NO ONE. This is a dilemma, not only in a group like this but in our society in general. Everybody wants to play, but nobody wants to do the organizing that makes the play possible. It's frustrating as hell.

I sometimes think that folks worry about whether or not they would do something the right way. Hey, sometimes there isn't a right way. Just jump in and do what works for you and your style. And have fun. It's not rocket surgery, you know.

weaving and wire wrapping

Last month I spent some time at Bead Feast in Philadelphia. It was a fabulous experience and I now I am pouting because I can't go to Bead Feast in Arlington, TX (even though I'd have a place to stay w/family in the area). This working for a living thing really gets in the way of some serious jewelry play time.

Several of the folks who were in my class in Philly were from my general area, so we are getting together tonight to play! Can't wait. We made a basket weave bracelet in the class and are making a different version tonight. There will be about 6 of us and it should be a fun time. I believe out of everyone I'm the newest at wire wrapping (the class was listed as an intermediate, but I'd never done it before). I was the last one finished with my bracelet in Philly (I know...it's not a race). I'm hoping I remember most of what I learned so my next endeavor will turn out as nice as the one from the class did.

There are many things to remember about wire wrapping. You have to keep the wires straight and flat, especially if you're using half round (HR) which we are. You need to keep the tension good, but not too tight. You need to lock down each wrap. You want to make sure that you're not marring your wire with your tools. Everything should look nice and even. I'll post some pictures of the results!


Friday, September 10, 2010

New Beading Society South of Boston

It's going to happen. A group of around 30 women will be getting together on September 18 and creating a new bead society. We can't wait to get started. It'll be terrific. It'll be fun. There will be laughter. Supporting each other creatively, we'll share techniques and ideas. In the beading world, there's no much better than that. I'll keep you posted on activities as they develop!

Come September!

Not only is September here already, but we're nearly halfway through it! Where did summer go, you might ask? Well, for me it went to recovery from surgery in May, followed by getting back into the swing of work, followed by my first ever trip to BEAD FEST in Philadelphia! This was a fabulous experience. Have you been? Then you know! If you haven't....you must!

First of all, as a long-time quilter and attendee at many quilting shows and conferences, I'm used to crowded class rooms. This is NOT the case at Bead Fest. The class I was fortunate enough to take was in a large room and there were less than a dozen enrolled. How do they make any money on those types of enrollments? Each student had all the elbow room and teacher attention they could possibly need. I checked out other classrooms as well and found the same held true throughout.

In my class I made a woven bracelet. I can see where my errors are, of course, but those who've seen the bracelet since my return have oohed and ahhed over it and I have at least 2 orders for one. I want to practice a little more before making them for sale, but I will be doing that in the not too distant future. Plus, it's a lovely design and you can make one in a few hours, once you get proficient.

Meeting fellow beaders was terrific...so nice to know that I'm not alone in my obsession. While quilters are creative, I truly believe beaders are one step beyond creative. I left inspired, to say the least.

And now, to think of the vendors....it was like a dream come true. Two entire floors of every vendor you could imagine. Of course all the big names were there...Beadalon, etc. But there were also terrific small booths. I had a shopping list I was trying to adhere to and for the most part I did well. My, my the damage I could have done! My best buy was on wire. There's a guy in PA who doesn't sell online but you can do phone orders. His booth was very busy. I bought rose gold, argentium, sterling silver, and gold filled wire. I bought half round. I bought square. I bought 18 g and I bought 26 gauge. And the more you buy the bigger a discount you get on your total order. FAB!!

The Whole Bead Show is coming up in Providence, RI in less than a month. Of course I'm going to go. Of course I'm going to spend $. Of course it will be exciting. But it won't compare to Bead Fest. Try to put it on your calendar for next year. There are a couple of shows a year in various locations. Don't miss it!

Happy beading,