Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nicole's Bead Backing

I have recently received a new "must have" item in the mail from Nicole Campanella.  If you haven't been introduced to Nicole yet, she is an extremely talented bead artist and author.  In addition to many step by steps featured in quite a lot of publications, she has also written her own books.  You really must visit some of her websites to see more about her (I'll put her links in at the end of the post.)

But what I want to tell you about today is a great product called "Nicole's Bead Backing".  If you have been a follower of my blog over the past year plus, you may have heard me tout the virtues of interleaving.  Well let me tell you...this Bead Backing is a great product to have.  It totally eliminates the need for fabric and other backings for stabilization.  It is stiff but not hard, easy to bead through, and can be cut to any shape you want with no fraying of the stays exactly as you cut it.  And I double is also acid-free so it won't eat up your threads.  This is what her insert says:

"Use each piece as is or cut to size.  Superior texture and thickness for flat beadwork, applique, or gluing on cabochons, glass beads, stones, shell and other natural materials.  Bead Backing is also perfect for sewing or gluing on ribbon, lace, or floss to add to your beading designs.  Use beading supplies and any beading technique you desire."
Multi-color packs
Newest color added

And I couldn't say it better in my own words.  This product is great for bead embroidery!  It comes in 14 or 15 different colors...I think the original package came in 14 colors, but she now has a light camel color as well.  You can buy a sample kit of all the colors that come in sizes of approximately 4"x4", and some are a little bigger.  You can also buy half sheets of all the colors that are 9"x6".  And now you can also order the newest color in 12"x9" sheets.  I love the new color because it is so neutral and can go with so many colors and types of beads.

I would really recommend trying Nicole's Bead Backing.  I think you will really love working with it!  To see more about Nicole, her work and shops here are her links:

Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your Bead Backing with me!  I will definitely be using it, and I hope you all give it a try, too!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Free Gift Cards!

Did you hear about what is doing?  They are giving away 10,000...yes, I said 10,000 free $10 gift cards before Christmas!!!

All you have to do is send in the email address for 10 friends who you would like to have win one.  I know I'm going to enter in 10 friends to win.  So, make your list, check it twice and click here to send in their names.  Your lists must be in to them by December 22 so they can mail them out before Christmas.  Better get busy!!! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joy in the Mail

Blogging is more than just writing down words and posting pictures.  It is also about making friends, connections that would not otherwise be if it were not for this wonderful blogging world.  If you have followed my blog at all over this past year plus, you will know that I am the biggest fan of Lynn at Beading Heart Art.  I am so thrilled that she and I have become friends, sharing life experiences with each other and passing love and hugs back and forth through our email.  Before we became friends, though, I just sat in awe at her work, waiting for each post she made with scrumptious new photos.  She does the most amazing bead work, and I am constantly in wonderment at the art she creates.  I have never seen such precision, such detail, as I see with her work.  She makes it look so effortless, but hers is the mark I strive for. 

So along comes the mail truck and I went outside to bring it in.  There was a box for my little Sara.  Her birthday is this week...she's going to be 9!!!!  And she got a package from Grandma and Grandpa.  She will be happy.  I think I'll hide it from her until her birthday comes.  And there was a package for me.  An unassuming video sized box with my name on it.  And the return name was Lynn's!!!

I tore into the box.  I am not one for neatness when it comes to packages, saving the wrapping for another day.  Nope.  I dive right in!  The first thing was that a flurry of irridescent flower-shaped sequins fell into my lap on the front patio.  lol.  I think I missed a few picking them up.  In my head, of course, I'm wondering what beading project these will next be seen in.  I have a love of interesting and pretty sequins.  I don't think Lynn knew that...but the sprinkle of flowers made me smile right away. 

I unwrapped the gift and in my hands was a post-it note holder.  Doesn't sound exciting?  Well, let me tell may have never seen one of Lynn's post-it note holders!  The outside cover is a luscious deep blue velvet...just perfect for my screen name, Indigo.  I loooove those deep blues.  On the cover was the most interesting beaded flower I've seen.  I have no idea how she made it with such a 3-dimensional look to it.  I think it might be the Tuscarora technique she used to write about, and then it looks like a second layer stitched on top, but I could be wrong.  I just know that it's stunning!  Take a look...
 And here it is from a side view so you can see the dimension...
The inside is a beautifully coordinated floral fabric, with a note just for me.  I am going to post the note where I can see it and give myself a smile each time I pass it.
Lynn spent time on the back, too.  If you look at her work, there is always something interesting to see from all the angles, and this note-holder was no exception.  Here is the zipper stitch she did around the back with a little detail in the corner.  Oh, and I forgot to say that the covers are sturdy, perfect for long-lasting use.
I looked around and around the edges in amazement.  She finished the edges in an unassuming picot stitch.  But what I marveled at was that every stitch was perfectly spaced and placed just so.  I so envy her abilities at precision.

There was also a little scroll in the box with a ribbon tied around it.  I opened that up last, and she sent me a beautiful hand-written note.  In this day and age of high speed internet, I think we sometimes forget how much more meaning a hand-written note carries with it.

This may be "just" a post-it note holder to some, but to me it is a work of art.  More than that, though, is that it was a gift from the heart from someone I consider to be a dear friend, and for that I will always treasure it.

If you haven't been to Lynn's blog, Beading Heart Art, you really should go there and click through all her postings and see all of the divine art work she has done.  You will surely be inspired.