Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yea Artbeads!

I just received a letter in the mail from  They thanked me for working with them this year as a Design Partner, sent a couple little gifts (which was so nice of them) and also gave me something to share with you all!!!  From now until July 31, 2010, I and all my readers get to use a 10% discount code for your purchases with them.  How nice is that??  During the checkout process, just type in the following code:


I hope you enjoy your 10% off discount.  Let me know what wonderful purchases you make!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Made Something!

It's kind of small and didn't take a terribly long time, but I succeeded in creating something.  What a breakthrough!  :)  The funny thing is, the only thing I used from the stash I bought the other day was the seed beads. lol.  This may not fall into the category of "powerful" or "empowering" by looking at it, but truly it was.  After reading Beth's post on her blog at Bellesanbeaus Crafts regarding her mother "keeping things for good", I was moved to use one of my treasured Painted Ladies that she made.  That to me was very empowering.  I took control of the fear of not doing the cab justice and not being good enough, and just let myself create something with it.  I decided I would not "keep my painted beauties for good".

This is a pin that measures 2 1/4" across and 2 1/2" down on the main oval part.  Side to side including the silver doodads it is 3 3/4" and the loopies on the bottom hang an additional inch.  I hope you can get an idea of the beautiful purples and the different shapes I used from the pics.  I outlined the face with two rows of seed beads in two different colors.  Then the next row I alternated between these luscious and yummy purple balls and fantastic varigated bugle beads.  I added some leaves that are deep purple with hints of blue and green and have a great sheen to them.  The silver doodads were kind of a fun little story.  I had discovered metallite on the website.  I'm a poor beader and can't really afford true silver and gold so I thought the metallite would be a fun substitution.  (It is!)  Well, I ordered about 10 different shapes in silver and gold and these that you see here were a mistake.  They were off one product code number from the ones I actually ordered.  I called Artbeads about it right away because I didn't like these at all.  They were so big and clunky and I was positive I would never use them.  Well, they said they would mail the correct ones out right away and to just keep these because it wasn't worth the postage to send them back.  Ok, I thought maybe I would find a use for them someday.  And I think they worked perfectly in this project!  So, even if you think you don't like something, just remember that a project one day will scream for just those beads. 

Leaf Masquerade

Is this face not gorgeous, or what???!!!

Another photo color-adjusted slightly differently.

I put this one here so you can see the different dimensions of the beads around the face.

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who lent your support over my last couple of posts.  A lot of you are going through a rough patch as I am, and I want to thank you for your understanding but also know that I am sending hugs and warm thoughts your way, too.

Have a good week and HAPPY CREATING!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Update

Ok, kids.  I did it!  I almost didn't, but I did.  I went to not one, but 3 stores today!!!  The first bead store I went to was one I had never been to before near my son's house on the other side of town.  It was an ok store, but not one I would make a special trip for.  Do you know, they did not have one single cab in that whole place!!!  I was disappointed in that.  But I did manage to spend $13 on some pretty Czech glass beads.  I was drawn to blues and purples.  I'm also always on the lookout for a true purple seed bead, and I found a very good color there, so I bought two packages of those.  I got quite a deal because I printed of their coupon off their website.  I got 40% off one item, 15% off the czech glass and another 10% off the whole purchase !  So I think I made out pretty good.

I want to say thank you to those of you who responded to my last post.  You all gave me such encouragement and inspiration to bust my way through this creative block I've got going on.  Carol Creech was talking about animals and how the bison is strong and powerful. And Carol DeLater was talking about her symbol of power.  Those two comments made me think of my favorite...the dragonfly.  The dragonfly to me is beautiful and independent and free.  So I found a couple of those that I picked up.  Thanks both Carols!  Bobbi Kirk gave me a good idea...make myself commit to just a few minutes a day.  That will be a good start!  Thanks for the suggestion, Bobbi.  Robin, I'll have to check into the book you suggested, too.

I appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to send me a message.  It means so much!  I will write each of you back (as long as there is a return address in the email).

Then I bought a bunch of other things.  Not because I have a plan for using them, but just because I was drawn to them.  I just read a post by Beth at Bellesanbeauscrafts about how her mother would get wonderful pretty things and then "keep them for good" to save for the perfect occasion but then they were never used.  I'm afraid some of my beads might be just those types of treasures.  I love them and love to sit and look at them, but I want to save them for the perfect project.  As a matter of fact, I have a few of Beth's amazing face cabs (if you haven't seen them yet, you must go look!) that I am treasuring for the perfect project.  But I'm afraid to use them for fear of not doing them justice.  Something I need to work through, don't you think?

So here are the pretties I got today...

The lentils are such a pretty color of purple.  And I have a vague idea of something I want to do with the silver branch...part of a brooch.
These are just faux shell, but I love how the colors mix and sparkle.

These are the cheapy beads, but they are fun and I liked them.  So in the basket they went.

I have a "thing" for leaves.  Some of these are leaves and some are just ovals.  I love the mix of colors.

I can't have enough seed beads.  Ever.  Period. :)

The camera doesn't show it so well, but these just glisten in all shades of colors.  They are gorgeous!

I thought these long, curved pieces of jasper were so unique...I've never seen beads like this before.  Of course I had to have them!

I bought these because next to blues and purples, I love shades of green.

If you have any splendid ideas for me on what to do with any of these, please feel free to let me know!  Like I said, I didn't get them with any special plans in mind...I got them because I was drawn to them.  Maybe tomorrow's time will be spent just going through my colors and sorting this and that to see what speaks to me next.


I feel terribly guilty that I haven't had anything new to post for so long.  I have been in the midst of an awful bipolar depressive episode and my muse has left me.  My therapist teaches me CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), and one technique is opposite emotions.  Whatever emotion you are feeling, go out of your way to practice the opposite to try to balance back out.  So she has given me an assignment that I MUST bead something, and she suggests something "powerful" or "empowering".  I'm completely idea-less and have no clue as to what to bead to depict that.  I want to do a bracelet or a pin, I know that much.  But aside from that I've got no idea.

My oldest son, Tyler, is starving to death again...still.  So last night I went grocery shopping for him and will be driving a car load of food across town for him.  He only has a teeny tiny (VERY teeny tiny) fridge in his bedroom, so I'm afraid I bought more than it will hold.  I mostly bought packaged goods that don't need a refridgerator like mac and cheese, flavored rices, ramen, tuna, etc.  But eggs were on sale for 59 cents a dozen and I couldn't pass that up so I bought two.  And I bought two half gallons of milk for $1.  Hot dogs were also on sale for $1, so I bought two of those.  Of course all those packaged things take butter, so I bought 4 packages of Blue Bonnet (the best for cooking!).  So I'm afraid it all won't fit.  Maybe his gf's mom will be nice enough to let him put the milk in her fridge...and NOT let anyone else drink it! 

Then I was thinking.  I've got some money from my pattern sales saved up.  Maybe I should find a bead store on that side of town that I have never been to before and treat myself to a trip.  That might get my juices flowing again.  I'll have my younger ones with me, and I know they will HATE that idea.  lol.  But I'm a quick shopper.  I can be in and out in a few minutes.  I know pretty quickly if something appeals to me or not.  Ever since my mental illnesses took over a couple years ago one thing that has changed about me is that I detest shopping.  ugh.  Can't stand it.  I want in...and I want out.  So I'll see if I can find any stores in the general area and then go from there.  If I buy anything today, I'll be sure to post it.  If I buy it just because I like it, I may ask for some ideas as to what to do with it.  If I actually come up with something, I'll let you know that too.  Hopefully I'll find something.  I really need to bead again.

Hope everyone is having a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Sunset in Arizona

This one has been a long time coming, hasn't it?  It seems to me like I have been working on this one forever, and frankly I am tired of looking at it.  Did you ever get that way about a project?  The obvious thing to do would be to put it down and come back to it, but with deadlines looming for the BJP and wanting to get my Artbeads Blogger project finished, I knew I had to work on it straight through until it was done.

My challenge this month was to come up with a project for both the BJP and for the Artbeads Blogger project.  Artbeads gave me the theme of summer and I had 3 product categories to choose from:  charms, pendants and glass beads.  Living in Arizona, I hate summer.  With a passion.  I had to dig very deep to find any redeeming quality about summer in Arizona.  Finally I thought of something...our sunsets.  Summer sunsets in Arizona are absolutely glorious.  The array of colors you will see is amazing.  yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, blues, all varying shades and levels of vibrancy.  Some are subdued and some are shockingly bright.  I had it in my head to try to do my best to depict a sunset using beads.  My end result was pretty close to what I had imagined.  Not exactly, but close...closer than on some other projects, that's for sure!

This piece was quite a challenge for me.  I had to choose colors that realistically show those of a sunset and also blend them sufficiently so they didn't just look like stripes across my fabric.  I chose to use Toho beads from Artbeads.  I find that they look much nicer in embroidery projects than the delicas.  Toho has just about any color you can imagine!  I like them, too, because they are much more economical than delicas and the rounded edges seem to lay better around turns and curves than the delicas.  The only thing I was disappointed in when looking for my Tohos for this project was that Artbeads was completely out of stock on all solid colored black beads in any finish.  : (  I needed black for the shadowed cactus and ground area.  What I found was a hybrid called Jet Picasso.  It is mottled gray and black.  For this project I thought it was too gray, so I added in some solid black beads that I had in my stash.  If you are looking for something a little more interesting than just plain black, though, I would recommend this color.  It is very different.

(Jet Picasso with black mixed in.)

Arizona Sunset
(I think it looks best smaller so you can really see all the colors together.)
(But here it is a little bigger.)

There are different 10 colors in the sunset, all in Tohos and all blended together.  It got very tricky for me especially when I had 3 colors all converging at the same points.  For a little whimsy I added some sparkling Swarovski stars in the sky.  I just love how they twinkle on the page.  Then, I added some awesome little antique silver charms.  There is a cactus, boot and cowboy hat.  As if the large cactus in the center didn't say Southwest enough...had to add the cowboy elements for a little fun.  Here are some close-ups of the charms:

Here is a closer pic of the stars:

And here you can also see my very favorite Toho color of all...Frosted Silver-Lined Cobalt!  It is the most vibrant color I have ever come across in a bead, and I just love it!!!  Electric is a word I would use to describe it.  I would use it in every project if I could get away with it!

Whew!  Now that this one is done, I'm feeling a little lost! lol  I've got a cuff half finished that I started when my beads arrived for my Sunset project, so I guess I will be off finishing that one.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get back to it.  I have terrible carpal tunnel, and I've been working my poor hands numb and stiff to get this one done. 

'Til next time...Bead happy!!!

(As always, comments and critiques are very welcome!)

FTC Disclosure: provided products to me free of charge.  I am not being compensated in any way to give my honest opinions of their products.