Thursday, December 29, 2011

Call It Finished or Call It Crazy

Here we are again. Same project... different result. I had two excellent comments with suggestions for this monster. Cat suggested doing spirals at the ends and bending them over. Pearl suggested adding more tubes. Both excellent ideas. I decided to follow Cat's idea first because it would be easier and faster (assuming it worked).  I really didn't want to make more tubes (then).

Well, it worked. Thank you, Cat.

Who knew that making spirals was easier than a simple loop? Not I, that's for sure! But it was. I've never made spirals before and consider these acceptable and actually pretty cool! (That last comment was for my friend Kristen.)

So I am done with this. Finally. It only took about a year. But now I kind of want to make something else with tubes. Something different but still with tubular beads. We'll see.

I have a folder on my desktop that entitled "Make Now."  I put patterns & things in there that I really, really love and want to make. Sadly, way more is going into the folder than coming out. I also have a folder labelled "Bangles" and it has a dozen or more patterns or photos of things that inspire me to bangle some more.  Time to revisit these and set some priorities. I'll keep you posted. 

BTW,  I should have credited the book Bead Tube Jewelry by Nancy Zellers as the inspiration for this bracelet. I love that book and wouldn't ever have thought of this without it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Albatross

I made the peyote tubes for this bracelet months & months ago and was putting the whole thing together when I realized that one of the little loops was missing on one of the bangle forms. Grr! So I sent the photo showing the missing loop to Fire Mountain and they responded promptly with a new one.

Progress on The Albatross
I tried to put it all together again some time after I got the replacement only to discover that I didn't have enough silver spacers. Grr!

Ordered and received the spacers. Did a bunch of other stuff in the interim and kind of forgot this (but not really). Then I decided to get done with it once & for all! Only I forgot I had ordered and received the spacers. I only remembered that I needed them. So placed another order and when putting them away, I found all the ones I'd ordered before. GRR!!

So last night, feeling taunted and tortured by these beads sitting in a basket next to me, I decided to finish it once and for all. (if only...)

This is what it looks like. It looks finished and also looks like crap. My wire wrapping skills (or lack thereof) really shows. I could do the wrapping on the wire when it was all by itself but not when attached to the bangle. So half of the wraps are ok. The rest are awful.  And on top of that the rainbow colored wire looks bad, too. I tried to do a simple loop instead of the wire wrapping but found that impossible. I need to learn this stuff, folks!

So tonight I'll take all the wires off and try to figure out a better way to do this. Sadly, I think that even when it's done to my satisfaction, I'd never wear it! It's just so not me. But I had fun planning it and even if the execution was spotty (at best), it was a fun project.

If you have any ideas how to complete this so it doesn't look awful, please let me know! I want to get this albatross off my neck!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Not too much beading...

I can't believe I haven't written here in so long but I've been working... working... working. I love my job and love that I can work in my pjs if I want to (I often want to). But when I work this much, it leaves little time or energy for anything fun. So just to give my hands something to do when my brain wasn't really engaged, I did a couple of Christmas projects.

First an ornament for each of the grandgirls. I would love to make the making of ornaments an annual thing for the girls so when they grow up and have their own trees, they'll get a set of ornaments (or a bunch) ready made. I tried to do this with Brooke and dutifully wrote down each ornament each year -- for about 5 years until the list was lost or something. But I still got the ornaments for her. I am so bad at this sort of thing. But I'll try again. Maybe I'll be better now that I'm old. HA!
These had felt backing to cover up the ugly threads, and they are cute (and totally brainless to do).

Then I had this pattern from Heather Collin and decided to make a couple (ha!) chili peppers. I really liked making this. The pattern is straightforward and easy to follow. But I would love to know a way to decrease in tubular peyote that doesn't leave bumpy bits all over the piece. I turned to my favorite seed bead books (5 of them) but nobody covered what I was looking for. 

I made most of these w/ 2 colors of red & 2 of green just so I'd know where the end of the row was and when it was time to "step up." I tried one without that and it was okay. I did have to take out the stitches a few more times than I did on the 2 color ones because counting seemed to be something I wasn't capable of!  Most of these are seed beads but I did one in delicas (on the bottom) in the hopes of avoiding the bumpy bits but no. Still bumpy. GRRR!  Oh, well. They were still fun and totally brainless which, for my addled mind, was perfect!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beads ... Organized Beads!

Ever since we returned from California (Nov 8th) I've been sorting the new beads from my sweet daughter and getting them organized. I showed you some pictures of the work in progress in my last post. I am here to tell you today it is done!

A brief recap:
First the boxes from the mail with loose beads all over the place:

Then the picking up and throwing them all in a bag of bead soup:

Then the sorting...



After all this sorting, I had two distinct stashes.  The first sort got all the beads together with their twins (no mean feat and by far the most time consuming part of the project), and I then had to meld them with my existing stash which had gottten kinda sorta messy lately, too. So here's a photo of the melding in process:

And look at them now!

I can't tell you what a great feeling this is to look at them all organized and neat. It's really an embarrassment of riches -- so many beads so little to show for it. I am now going to start producing! I've been accused (somewhat justifiably) of liking the organization process better than the beading process. It's true that I can get lost in the process and I like that a lot. But now I'm itching to bead.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beads -- Messiest Beads!!

Here's what we did this weekend. And by we, I mean my awesome husband who fully participated in the madness that is sorting out beads.
First the before picture:
Please notice that those little turquoise and maroon and purple beads are size 15s. Yeah, tiny!!


Progress is very slow...

After (at the end of the day):
Do we know how to have fun or what???

Just so the fun never ends, here's the box these came out of. See how many are left to go through?  And... there are more boxes just waiting in the wings!  Big exciting things in the Anderson house! HA!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beads Glorious Beads!

Oh, I am the luckiest beader ever.

We spent the past week in Anaheim and Los Angeles with our daughters, granddaughters and SIL. It was a great week (and I'm still totally exhausted).

Here is the soon-to-be 5 year old modelling the bracelet I made for her and the necklace we made together (got to get them started young).

And here's the 2 year old as a pirate for Halloween with her BFF, the ladybug.

These girls are amazing and beautiful and funny and charming and smart as can be! So much fun!!  They alone would make me the luckiest person ever but something really wonderful happened while we were there.

My daughter gave me her bead stash!!!  YES!  She was a beader in high school and on into early adulthood but later years have been too busy (and child-filled and cat-filled) to leave her any time to bead. Or maybe she just got tired of it. I'm not sure which but I'm so excited to show you my new stash additions.

I made some suggestions about taping the individual boxes of beads but was assured they were packed in tightly and off they went into the mail. They arrived yesterday with beads all over the place. Lots of them landed on the kitchen floor. Bead soup, thy name is MESS!!

But I will have a good time sorting through this mountain of beads -- 15 boxes and one plastic bag FULL of stuff!!  This is like Christmas only better!!!

Here's a look at what's completely disorganized inside these boxes.

And here are two boxes that actually managed to contain the beads in their rightful places:
I'm very grateful to Brooke for all this goodness. Someday she may want to bead again and I'll repay her in kind! 

Now back to bead sorting...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wish List Monday & An Update

Following in Amy at Copper Diem's footsteps, I have a wish for today's wish list -- but only one!

I'm not too greedy this week. Probably because I ate too much candy and am not thinking straight.

And besides, this is the coolest thing ever and how could I even want anything else?  Lenses for my new iPhone 4s. Yes, that's it.  They're available at Photojojo, a website I love all the time but never more than when they sent me the email about these lenses. Here they are in all their tiny goodness. Love them all but especially want the macro one!!

An Update

The failed bracelet that I wrote about before now works. I took apart one edge and inserted a cheap-o store bought bangle and re-did the edging. It works perfectly now.
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