Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peanut Bead Pattern

Joy is an experienced teacher  - but only with 4 year-old children.  She will be teaching a beaded bead designed by  Kassie Inman  from the Beading Butterfly in the next few months.  So we had a trial run Friday night.  These are made with the new 'peanut' beads and everyone had a great time - and they each finished a couple of beads.  Doesn't Joy look professional.

Here are the finished beads.  Pretty cute huh. 
Irene wanted her Popcorn peanut bead to look just like the name - so she did hers in white.

Here is what they look like in a finished bracelet with a group of lampwork beads.

This photo I have to explain.  Joy won the 'most entertaining student' award - but only because Janet conceded the race.  Since Joy was ecstatic - she kissed Janet.  There were funnier moments - but we were all laughing so hard - I couldn't hold the camera steady enough to take a photo - so this is the only one that isn't blurry.  Congratulations Joy!  And thanks for a job well done - she did a wonderful job teaching this rowdy bunch. 

Click here for a link to Kassie's site
She has a lot of great tutorials and patterns for sale as well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Triple Spiral Class

This is the end of January and now my hope for 2012 is that the next few months are better than the first month.  It was just a few weeks ago that I said ".. I have plenty of pain pills and I'm not using Depends - so in my mind, life is good."  Well folks,  last week sucked.

Somehow I managed to hurt my hip and was in excruciating pain (I actually thought I had broken it) and I couldn't get out of bed.  Once I had help getting out of bed, I couldn't sit or get back into bed. I know you've heard this before - but it's worth repeating - I have the best customers in the world.  Thank you, thank you, thank you - to everyone who offered to work in the store, shop for groceries, lift packages up off the floor, pick up prescriptions and of course - inventory beads.  Also, many thanks for all the prayers and good wishes. 

I'm now on the mend and getting back to scheduling classes and updating this blog. I have updated the calendar for February and March - check out 'Classes' in the top header.  I'll also be posting photos of the new classes in the next few days. 

Here are photos of Saturdays "Triple Spiral" class.  Probably not a beginner class - but if you have beaded some and are handy with a needle, you can handle this.  Nancy is such a great instructor and has a way of making complicated projects much easier.  The project won't be completed in class but you will learn the spiral, double spiral and then a triple spiral stitch.    Cost is $15 and you will need to bring seedbeads in sizes 11/0, 8/0, and 6/0, and maybe some drops, crystals or small fire polish beads.  If you are used to using size 15's - you can bring those as well.   We have a couple of seats still available, so if interested, let us know.

Triple spiral necklace beaded by Masoumeh

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I'm a collector of many things and I'm passionate about beads.  Oftentimes, I tell people I've been beading for a hundred years.  But it's really only been 60.  My grandmother, Emma, starting me on all things crafty.  Born in the 1890's, living through the violent Roaring 20's, and trying to send her children off into the world during the Depression, she learned to create with an artistic flair. With very little money, she became very innovative and industrious, doing what she loved in whatever ways she could.  So here I am.  Everything I am today, I learned from her.

In 1950, she started me on sewing and then embellishing with snippets of yarn, fabric scraps left over from her quilts, and seed beads from tiny glass vials with a cork stopper.  In those days, there were no bead stores.  I remember seeing at least a dozen colors ( yes, I said a dozen),  of those tiny vials at the 'five-and-dime'.  Woolworth's, and .....   If you know what I'm talking about - I now know something about you. 

My grandmother took some leftover 'clothes line', dyed it in food coloring, then stitched it together to make a necklace.  She and  I would spend hours sewing on beads - just here and there - just to add some sparkle - talking and laughing together.  She told me about how hard her childhood was - having to walk to school.....for miles...through the snow.... all the while still laughing and beading.

Because we didn't  have everything we needed to embellish our treasures,  we made our own beads.  Sometimes out of paper - cut and rolled - then glued with paste made with flour and water.   To make bracelets,  we laced these paper tubes together, between old leather shoe laces.  Those bracelets have now become the 'new' ladder stitch wrapped bracelets of today, made popular by Chan Luu.

We made beads that looked a lot like very fine porcelain.  From crumbled up bread (that my grandmother  baked a few days earlier), she added liquid white shoe polish (do they even make that any more - huh, white shoes?).  She also added a little glycerin, which in the 'old' days was used as hand lotion.   We used this 'dough' and crafted the most beautiful tiny flowers that remarkably looked like porcelain.  We punched a hole through the back with a tooth pick and strung them on braided dental floss. I thought they were amazing.

So my love affair with beads started with my grandmother's love.  Today I feel so fortunate to have the selection of beads that are available.   I am also  fortunate to have met wonderful people along the way.  You  'beaders' who do such exquisite work in breathtaking colors - you brighten  my days with your artistic flair.  And the creators of beads - the owners of the companies - who oftentimes make me what I want - just because I ask. 

My advice to all of you - is to just create - with whatever materials you have - with whatever colors of beads you may have.   And if you don't have what you need, and can't afford to buy it - then make it. Creating is about feeding your spirit.   

My wish for you for the new year is that you have the time to be creative, to have the time for yourself - to do whatever it is that you love.  Stay safe and have a great 2012 - you are all much loved,  Eileen