Showing posts from April, 2012

On The Road

My sister-in-law is knitter, and quite often when she travels, she takes her knitting with her. Whether she travels by plane or by car, she can knit on the go. It seems like a relaxing way to pass the time. I wish that were doable with beads. Has any beaders ever tried beading in a car or plane? If so, what have you done to prevent spills?

Out of Time

I mentioned in a previous post that a friend was planning to move, and I wanted to make her a going away gift. She didn’t know when she’d be packing up and heading off to Missouri; it was dependent on when her house sold. In this bad housing market, I figured I’d probably have through the summer. However, it turns out I don’t. She’ll be leaving sometime in May.

I’ve been busy, though, trying to get ready for an upcoming festival, so even though I know what I’d like to make now, I haven’t even started. Unless I suddenly pick up a big burst of speed, it looks like I’ll be sending it via the Postal Service.

Kid-Size Bracelet

Here is another kid-size bracelet I've worked on. I like this pattern, but I think it might be a little to dark to appeal to little kids. I'm thinking about making a few with plastic beads, which I have on hand in pastel colors, which kids might like better.

Cutting Back the Wish List

I have a long list of things I'd like to get done within the next couple of weeks, hence, my plan to have a beading marathon yesterday. I've shelled out money for an arts & crafts booth at an upcoming festival, and I'd like to feature my beadwork there. I hold no fantasies about selling even enough to get back the $75 I spent to reserve the booth, but I'd like to at least have enough in stock that it would be possible. The hope on this money-losing venture is more to build a customer base.

However, seeing how I have hardly made a dent in the list of things I'd like to take, I'm cutting the list.

I had planned:

25 kids rings25 kids bracelets10 adult bracelets10 adult necklaces10 adult earrings5 wall hangings5 small baskets

I'm trimming that to:

10 kids rings10 kids bracelets5 adult bracelets3 adult necklaces3 wall hangings

Hopefully, that will be enough that people won't just pass by my table because it looks like I don't have anything.

Late Start

I had planned to have a personal beading marathon today, but thanks to a rough night trying to sleep, I didn't get up today at a reasonable time. I'm still working my way through the things I HAVE to do today -- then I can take on the things I want to do.

Bead Market

I always enjoy going to bead shows. We have one coming up very soon in my area, the Bead Market. I can usually find beads in hard-to-find sizes, such as size 10/0. Looking forward to it!

Mapping It Out

Like many beaders, I often chart out a pattern on a grid such as this:

(This grid works for ladder stitch and loom projects, in which the beads in each column or row line up.)

Grids come in very handy for knowing what beads are needed for the row your working on. I don't, though, have enough colored pencils to allow for every color of bead I have, so, unfortunately, the grid for me is more of a basic outline. I can use my red pencil for all reds, but what if, say, I want to use two or three different reds?
Do any other beaders have this problem? Or have a solution?


About a year ago, I took a class on basket making. This is the project I started in class. I always intended to finish, but amid all of the stuff on our to-do list to prepare for baby, this kind of fell by the wayside.

I'd like to get a few made, but I need to work on the bases a little before I list any on Etsy. It seems that this one won't stand on its own without a lot of steadying, and even then, the breeze from my ceiling fan is enough to knock it over.

Me and My Stash ...

I admit, I buy far more beads than I could possibly ever use as long as I work full time. This is just one drawer of my stash. It's kind of a catchall for the beads I couldn't fit in my other containers.

I love these roll-away drawers, though. I bought them when I was pregnant. In order to give my daughter a bedroom, I rounded up my craft supplies out of my old home office and put them in these. I like that they can roll, so I can take them anywhere in the house that I need them.

My Second Favorite Online Store

I bought these size 11 seed beads at Fusion Beads a few years ago. They were cheaper than the Delicas I get from Fire Mountain Gems, and mostly for that reason, I thought I'd keep a small stock of them for when I help my nephews with projects.

Once I got them, though, I realized these are pretty good beads, too. I was expecting hodgepodge of beads that have no consistent hole sizes and would need to be sorted through. What I found instead, though, was that, while they're not as uniform as Delicas, the degree of variation is not only acceptable, it's just enough to add a little character to your projects.

Needless to say, my nephews haven't used them much.

One of My First Bracelets

I made this back in about 1999. It was one of the first bracelets I ever made. Looking back now, I'd do a few things different, the biggest of which would be to use a different colored thread so that it blends into the work a little better.

I really like the stitch used. It's called an arrowhead pattern. I haven't made anything with it in quite a few years, but I've been thinking about it some lately, trying to think of ways I could make it more dimensional.

The Kids Bracelets

As I mentioned in previous posts, I have been working on these stretchy kids bracelets. So far, I have only these two completed, both with a rather simple checkerboard pattern. I'm in the process of finishing a third which has a diamond pattern, but it wasn't far enough along to include in this photo.

The "Hunger" Distraction

For months, the book "The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins has shown up as a "Recommended for (Me)" item on I used to read a lot of fiction, but that kind of ground to a halt when I learned I was pregnant. My reading preferences then became "What to Expect When You're Expecting," and books like it.
With the recent release of the film version of "The Hunger Games," though, I decided to see what the fuss was all about, so borrowed a copy of the book and started reading it a few weeks ago.
On Saturday, I had big plans for getting some beadwork done, but I was close enough to the end of the book that I really, really wanted to finish. My desire to read won out, so I spent two hours curled up on the couch with the story until I finished, then I spent the rest of the day doing chores. So, no beadwork got done that day.
I have, however, completed another child's stretchy bracelet since then. This one also is in a checkerboard patte…

Bead Trays

I have several different trays to use when beading, but these:
are by far my favorite because I use seed bead most of the time. Occasionally, some beads might get knocked from one section to another, but overall, they are very handy. You can use them to dole out just enough beads for the project you're working on, and you can just cover the sections up if you need to take break to make dinner before you've finished working on a project. Then, you just go back and pop the lid back off.
Also, see their spouts?
Those are very nice for putting the beads back in their larger containers when the project's done. I can just seal off all the other colors and pour out the ones I don't need.
I've had these for years, so I no longer remember where I bought them. Maybe Walmart. Maybe Hobby Lobby. In either case, I'm going to buy myself another, because right now, I have three projects going at once, and the 12 spots I have for different colors now isn't quite enough.

Relaxing Birthday

My husband's birthday was Monday, the one day a week when neither of us have to go to a full-time job. Rather than spend the day trying to get things done around the house, which is how we typically spend our Mondays, we decided we'd rather just stay home as a family. It was, after all, his first birthday as a dad.

We rented four movies ("Contagion," "Tower Heist," "Dream House" and "The Adventures of Tin Tin") and ordered pizza. We spent the day having fun with our baby, watching the movies and dining on pizza, and I logged more time working on my beadwork in one sitting than I have in a couple of years. It was just a nice, relaxing day.

Checkerboard Bracelets

I've finally completed one of the kids bracelets using the size 6 beads and the stretch string. It's got a checkerboard pattern. I wish now that I had bought more than just opaque colors so that I'd have a little more flexibility in style.

Bead Shops I've Visited

Below are a list of the bead shops I've been to on trips across the country or just down the road. I don't travel often, but when I do, I always like to see what the local stores offer. Check back periodically; I'll add more as I visit more.

Let's Bead, Rochester, N.Y.
Studio 34 Creative Arts Learning Center, Rochester, N.Y.

NOTE: I'll be visiting the Bettendorf, Iowa, area in late April. If anyone has a favorite store in the area they'd like to recommend, feel free to let me know, either in a comment below or by e-mailing here.