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Showing posts from May, 2012

Not Much Progress

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I got a little further on this right-angle weave bracelet, but not much. I tried, though. I took it to work with me yesterday to work on it during my lunch break, but I spent most of that time trying to unravel the string, which eventually just broke. I tied on a new length of thread and probably got a total of two more stitches.

Because this is my first project in the right-angle weave, I didn't realize the stitch is a little more time consuming than some of the others, but I still like the way it looks. I'm anxious to see how this looks when it's done.

Tutorial Monday: The Square Stitch (Flat)

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Square stitch beadwork looks strikingly similar to beadwork made on a loom. For me, working with a loom is faster, but I like the square stitch, too, because you don’t have to work your warp threads (the strings that run the length of the loom) back into your work to hide them when you’re done.

The length of this tutorial might look a little daunting, but the steps are really quite simple. It’s this long because I wanted to show what to do to add a row twice.

A few notes about this tutorial:
This is written with a row being four-beads long. All steps, however, are the same for any flat, rectangular work made with the square stitch no matter how long your work is.For clarity, rows are labeled 1, 2 and 3, and beads within each row are labeled a, b, c and d. Therefore, row 1 will consist of beads 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d.Also for clarity, bead 1a is the first bead on the string, 1b the second, etc., and rows are read from left to right. (For even rows, the first bead on the string will be the &qu…

Changing the Plan

Since I got back into this blog back in February, I've been trying to post every weekday. Some weeks I've managed to do so, others not so much. It seems, some weeks are just hectic enough that I cannot work on something every day, whether it be a project or a design, and I feel like I am really stretching to find something to talk about.

That said, I'm skipping a post for tomorrow, then beginning Monday, May 28, I'm going to change to updating this blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. For the foreseeable future, this is what I plan:


Mondays: Tutorials.Wednesdays: Project progress.Fridays: Anything beading.

I don't know how long I'll be able to do tutorials, because eventually, I'll run out of things I know how to do.

Beading Tips

Every now and then, I like to branch out and try other online bead stores, but I still get quite a bit from Fire Mountain Gems. Not too long ago, I discovered it has a page for user-submitted tips, which cover subjects such as organizing your beads, findings, marketing and the different types of stringing materials.
It's worth checking out by beaders of all skill levels. For a direct link, click here.

Hard-Working Nephew

My 11-year-old nephew tagged along with me to the arts and crafts festival, toting 32 kids bracelets he made himself. They were single-strand and stretchy, and looked pretty good. He sold a total of four. I wish he had done better, because it would've been nice for him to get a little more payoff for the time he put into them (then again, I put in more time in the stuff I took, paid $75 for the booth and walked away with only $22), but maybe next time. Hopefully, he's not too discouraged to keep at it, because he was a little disappointed he didn't sell more.

The clock is ticking on how long he'll be interested in beading: He went to watch the OKC Thunder play a few months ago, and after he got back, he was showing me the photos he had taken. He had more of the cheerleaders than the players.

I wish I had taken photos of his bracelets. They looked pretty good, good enough to draw the eye of four children.

New Bracelet

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I've started a new bracelet in a right-angle weave. This the first time I've worked with this stitch, and I was expected it to look more uniform than it does, but I think I like that it doesn't. I'm not working off of a pattern or anything I've sketched. I thought I'd see how it looks when the weave is complete, then add embellishments later. I'm usually not happy anything I make on the fly, so I wind up undoing it to save the beads. Hopefully this time will be different, though.

Beading With a Baby

My crawling daughter gets into everything. Every thread, every last little bead catches her eye, so beading during her wakeful times can be tough, and she often doesn't take more than catnaps much of the time. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't trade her for anything. But do any other new moms who bead out there have similar problems? If so, how do you find time to bead?

Beadroom Followup

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Not too long ago, I posted about Beadroom, a new place I found to buy beads.

The verdict: I would definitely buy from Beadroom again. I didn't buy a lot, just the three tubes of beads shown in the photo. However, Beadroom was VERY quick to ship. I had my order within days. It doesn't have near the variety of places like Fire Mountain Gems or Fusion Beads, two of my other favorite places to shop, but Beadroom's prices were reasonable -- even for shipping --- it has a quick response time, and the site will allow me to pay via PayPal.

Curiosity

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(I published the following post a few weeks ago, then my husband pointed out that I forgot to include the photo of my looms. So here is this post again, with the missing photo.)

I wish there was a place where I could try out the loom on this link.

For years, I’ve looked at it at Fire Mountain Gems and have wondered about it. These are the looms I own:



I wonder how the Mirrix loom differs. Is it easier to use? Harder? Can you make things with it that you can’t with the looms I have?

Encouragement

I still feel good that people who attended the festival liked the stretchy bracelets I made. Despite my plans to make 10 of them to take with me, I completed only three. But, they all sold. I hope to be able to make some more and sell them on Etsy soon.

The Festival Results

The arts & crafts festival I took some of my beadwork to was held this past weekend. I had hardly anything at all to sell, and as I suspected, I didn't even make back the cost of the booth, BUT, I did sell $22 worth of stuff, and the first thing to sell was one of the kid's bracelets I made. That makes me feel good about the work I put into it, but I wish I had enough time to make enough stuff to make even a small profit, even if it was just $1.

Pandora Bracelets

I'm taking this post in a little different direction today but not talking about my own beading projects or other things related to my own beading.

On my 40th birthday, my husband surprised me with a trip to a bed and breakfast in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Here's a link to it, in case you're interested.) At breakfast one morning, a couple of the other guests in the house were talking about their Pandora bracelets and where they were able to buy beads for it in Hot Springs.

That was the first I had ever heard of one. One of the ladies told me I should start my own. At the time, it didn't really interest me because, even though I enjoy making beaded jewelry, I don't really wear a whole lot of it. I like it, and I've bought some before, but I always forget to put it on. Therefore, it just sits on my dresser.

However, I saw a commercial for one the other day, and I started to want one. I think it's because now I'm a mom. Why does that make a difference? I don…

"The Beader's Bible"

"The Beader's Bible: Over 300 Great Charts for Beadweavers," by Claire Crouchley is another item in my cache of beading references. I think it's a great book for beginners because it gives simple explanations of how to do basic stitches as well as features some simple projects for flat works such as wall hangings.

I don't think the book is still in print, though, so if you can find a copy, it might be kind of pricey.

"The Beader's Guide to Color"

"The Beader's Guide to Color," by Margie Deeb is another book that I've found helpful. Deeb gives and overview of color theory, then shows some of her projects. While all of the projects she shows are far more elaborate than what I would attempt, seeing how she applies color theory can give beaders a good visual on how to incorporate it into your own designs.

Worth the money, in my opinion.

Not a Whole Lot of Beading Lately

We took a trip last week to visit my husband's grandmother, which was the first time our little girl saw that great-grandma (my maternal grandmother lives close, so she's seen her a time or two, too), but once we rolled back into town, the rest of the week was a flurry of doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, laundry issues, all mixed in with having to go back to work. Groan.
But anyway, I need to get a bunch of stuff completed this week. Fingers crossed hoping that I get it all done.

Small Vacation

Because of an extra-hectic schedule this week, the next new entry for this blog won't post until Monday, May 7.

Thanks for reading.

Beadroom

I stumbled across an online bead retailer yesterday that I had not used before -- The Bead Room. It doesn’t seem to have a whole lot as far as stringing materials and findings, but it does seem to have quite a few seed beads. I’ve placed an order through the site, and I’ll post an update on what I think of the site when I get my order.