Friday, July 22, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My daughter is awesome.  She's super smart, sweet, funny, beautiful, goofy, athletic, a good person with a generous heart and so so much more.  And, she's a beader!  I have to show you what she finished making today.  She beaded three tubular netting beads with 3mm pearls in the core...all by herself.  Sure, the thread got tangled a time or two and I helped her with that, but other than that she did them herself.  She is a very quick study.  Every so often I would be beading at the table and she'd come get her bead mat and project out and sit with me and just bead and be together for a while.  Sweet times.

There are 3 beads about 1" each, and then they are spaced with 1/2" metallite beads.  It's on beading wire with a lobster claw clasp.  It looks so cute on her.  She's very proud of herself, and so am I.  Here's Sara's project....
Way to go Sara!!!

The second thing I wanted to show you today is my newly acquired super duper Photoshop skills.  I thought I was pretty good at adjusting photos before, but now I am like a pro!  Thanks so much to Robin Atkins for spending an hour or so with me on the phone going through bunches and bunches of steps and settings.  I had to learn to edit my photos really really good for the step by step photos for the new book.  Here is an example of the drastic change I am now able to accomplish.  The first pic is the photo as it was taken in its original form.
Pretty kinda ick, huh?  Well, what do you think of the transformation in the next photo?
I can hardly believe the difference myself.  I showed it to my dh and he says, "Did you just use a filter or something?"  No!  It wasn't "just" a filter!  I had to adjust levels, colors, hue/saturation, brightness/contrast, shadows/highlights, make layers, make the shadows disappear with the dodge tool, use the eraser tool (from large to very itty bitty), and i had to merge it together and then use the burn tool to finish it off.  So, no, it wasn't "just" a filter.  I did a lot of work to get it to look this way.  The book photos are looking great, too, but sorry to say I can't show you those.

Teaching a small group of ladies tomorrow how to make a bracelet (and of course Sara will be there, too).  That should be fun!

Ok, kids.  Wanted to pop in to let you all know I'm still here and haven't forgotten any of you.  I've been super busy trying to make pieces for the book, write instructions, get lessons in writing instructions, having the instructions tested, taking photos and editing photos.  phew.  No wonder I'm tired!  But it's a good kind of tired.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let Me Introduce You To...and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Do you remember a couple of posts ago I showed you those two amazing cabs I got?  And do you remember where I got them from?  I do hope you will visit Angela at Believe Jewelry Supply on Etsy.  She has a wonderful shop with some truly beautiful things, whether you want completed jewelry pieces or stones to make your own.  And do you remember what I said about her prices?  They are really good!  And the service and shipping time?  Superb!

I'm doing this post for Angela so that you all can get the chance to meet her.  She just started a Facebook page for Believe Jewelry Supply.  She's trying to get at least 25 new "likes" by July 31st.  To show you how much she wants to get to know all of you, she is giving away a fabulous prize from her Etsy shop.  Here is the photo and description of the prize...(click on it for a larger view)
These are gorgeous 14mm genuine red sponge coral heart shaped beads. They hang from cute 16 karat gold plated over brass puffed heart earrings. They are a 10mm satin finish, brushed gold heart. They have 925 sterling silver earring posts. Retail value is $20!!!
The winner will be chosen from all the people who like Angela's Believe Jewelry Supply page on Facebook by July 31st.  I do hope you will go over to her page and click "like".  You could be the lucky winner of this beautiful pair of earrings!  I know it will be one of you, because it won't be me.  I'm playing the role of announcer of the giveaway, so you all have more of a chance to win!  Awesome sauce, huh?!?  Let me see all of you go on over to her Facebook page and show some love to a fellow beader and supplier of the pretties.


Friday, July 15, 2011

i have been busy busy. how about you?

It's been an exciting week with the mailman bringing me packages.  I got another one the other day from and also Fire Mountain Gems.  Got some really scrumptious things in it.  What's that?  Oh, you'd like to see?  Ok, sure! ;) 

First, I got the beads for one of my students for my little bracelet making class coming up in a HOLY COW a week.  lol  Just looked at the calendar.  I better not forget.  That would be bad.  Anyways, I think these beads are just gorgemous together. 
Click on the pic for a larger view.  The druks have a real pretty topaz kind of color sheen to them.  Very interesting beads.  I love them.  And the delicas have a nice two tone look to them as well.  Neat!

Next, these don't come out in the photo too well because they are so pale, but here goes.  Blue is a big color this week.  I had to try on a few different shades in a few different sizes and types to find the ones I like the best for one of my projects.  None of the beads in this pic are going to be used immediately, but they are very pretty and will definitely get used one day.  The middle one almost looks white, but it is a very light blue.  uh, very light.  :)
Next up are some of the beads that will be used in one of my projects for the book.  Some of them made the cut and some of them didn't.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.
And finally, one more pic of some beads I chose based on a runway dress that I saw.  (Wait, something else first.)  Did you know that's a good way to find interesting palettes that can take you outside your little box?  Do a Google search for something like "fashion trends runway" or look at "art paintings".  Take your color cues from a photograph that catches your eye.  Here are some photos that I thought were interesting and I was attracted to the colors.
Choose your beads based on the colors in the photos you choose and in the ratios in the photo.  For example, the next pic is beads based on the dress in the bottom left hand corner.  I chose beads in those colors, and in the project the green and pink will be almost equal with a lesser amount of orange.  Also on the collage here are the Pantone Fashion Colors for Fall 2012 if you care to enlarge and see them closer.  That's the swatches on the bottom right.

Ok, so here's the pic of the beads I got based on that dress...
Oh, now that I look at the pic closer...that orange with the pink undertones is one that I bought, but it's not the final orange I decided on.  The beads look great together in piles next to each other, but beaded on a string next to each other they were very similar in tone and I felt there wasn't enough distinction between the two for photos in a book.  So I went to my local stomping ground and made a couple quick seed bead purchases and chose an orange that is a bit brighter.  I got the beading part done on the bracelet (still have to do the clasp and the matching necklace), and my kids would walk by and ooooh and aaaaah.  The colors are bright, festive and happy together.

Again, I can't show you my bead work I've been doing because that would ruin the surprise of the book unveiling, wouldn't it?  I was told I may get "a few" copies of the book when it's done.  If I get more than two don't you think my blog should be screaming for a giveaway?  I think so!  That's a long ways off yet, but still fun for me to think about.

Ok, kids.  Have fun playing this weekend.  What's on your bead table???

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mailman brought something besides bills!

I love it when the mailman brings me something that starts with a "B" that's not "Bills".  I got beady goodies today!  Two packages!!!  Last week I was so lucky to win a giveaway by Spyder Jewels.  She got a screamin' deal at a going out of business :( sale and decided to share the love with two lucky blog readers.  I am new to her blog, and I'm glad Mandy over at Beads for Brains: 365 posted about the giveaway because I have really been enjoying Spyder Jewels blog.  (And speaking of Beads for Brains, you should go check out the stunningly gorgeous beaded bead that Mandy made today!)  I'm going to show you pics of everything I got from Miss Spyder Jewels...
Look at that pile of beady goodness!  Let's take a closer look...
All the blacks...bugles (they have a very satiny/silky look to them), magatamas, delicas and cubes.
Some crystals...6mm cubes in garnet and 4mm faceted rounds in green.  Also, I have never had Tilas before...wasn't quite sure what to do with them.  Now I get to try them out!  Lucky me!
Some more delicas and tear drop looking crystally ones.
Some purple 15/0's.  I love purple!
Look at all these yummy delicious colors!
And finally, some more of my favorite things...metallics! galvanized silver, nickel plated, copper and a raspberry metallic hex.  Very cool!  Did I make out like a bandit or what???!!!  Please go over and visit Spyder Jewels.

Next, I ordered some things from Believe Jewelry Supply on Etsy.  I chose two really gorgeous cabs.  I made a mistake, though.  I fell in love with the photos, checked the sizes and went ahead and ordered.  Then I went back and read the description.  You shouldn't do that.  It said that the photo of the Picasso Jasper was much brighter in the photo than it was in real life.  Oh no!  That's what I loved was the vibrancy and the lines and gradients.  So I was very worried that I wouldn't like it when I got it.  When I nervously opened the package and unwrapped the pretty pink tissue paper, it literally took my breath away.  It. Is. Simply. Fantabulous!  It's true, it's not quite as reddish as the photo, but I am so in love with this stone.  I am so happy I clicked that "add to cart" button!  Take a look at the front and back of this 30mm cab...

You know what it reminds me of?  The name of the place escapes me, but it's down in South America in the deserts where there are mysterious lines and gigantic drawings made with rocks that you can only see from a you know what I'm talking about?  This stone immediately reminded me of the desert sands, dunes and mysterious alien runway lines.  Now, if that isn't some inspiration to make something cool, I don't know what is!

The 2nd cab I chose was a purple Crazy Lace Agate.  I loved how the colors blended from pink to purple and even some coral in dramatic waving lines.  And when I opened it up I was not disappointed at all.  It is really beautiful.  It is also 30mm high and I think 20mm wide.  Check this one out!
Was the mailman nice to me today???!!!  Thank you so much from Spyder Jewels and Believe Jewelry Supply.  Oh, I forgot!  The prices at Believe Jewelry Supply are really super reasonable and there's LOTS to choose from, so go check the shop out.  The seller was also quick to put the cabs in the mail; the service was very good.

I got an email that one of my orders from shipped today.  For some reason it seems to take a really long time to get things from them once they have shipped.  I mean, Spyder Jewels mailed my package on Friday and I got it today, Monday.  But Artbeads usually takes about 4 days.  I mean, it's not like it's an eternity or anything, but when you want something now, you just want it now.  Right?  When that comes I'll have more goodies to show you.  Then after that I have another Artbeads order and one more from Fire Mountain Gems.  I was such a bonehead!  I spent soooo long calculating how many beads I would need of a certain kind for one of my book projects.  I needed I think 6 strands.  Dummy me only clicked in 1!  I had to put in another order and pay the $7.65 shipping all over again!!!!!  GRRRRRR!!!  I guess that's a lesson to double and triple check your calculations with your order to make sure you got enough.

Ok kids.  That's all I got for today.  I hope you enjoyed seeing all my fun stuff!  Have a very happy week!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shopping for beads and more stuff

Hi, everyone.  I hope you are all doing well out there in Blogland.  This post may seem a little incoherent as I am seriously sleep deprived.  My pillow is softly, sweetly calling my name.  I will do my best to stay focused!

The past few days I have been doing some major bead shopping.  At least for me, it's been huge.  I have orders in with Artbeads, Beadaholique, and Fire Mountain Gems, and I am going to be ordering some wire here pretty quick with Bello Modo.  Honestly, I would rather have one place to shop because going to all the different sites trying to find the right colors, sizes, textures, etc. is so exhausting.  And then to meet the minimum order amount so I don't have to pay shipping.  ick.  Hey!  Did you know that Bello Modo has no shipping minimum and ALL orders ship free?  Yea for Bello Modo!  Artbeads is still reasonably low at just $10.  It's not hard to come up with $10 at all. 

Then there's Beadaholique which I think is pretty steep at $25 for no shipping.  I don't usually order that much at one time from one store unless I am doing a major purchase.  That's why I went to them this weekend.  That, and they had the colors and things that one of my students picked for our class later this month.  I still had to put in some few random items that I have no plans for to meet that  minimum.  Although I do like their Preciosa crystals and the prices on them.  It's just coming up to that $25 that's hard.  Of course I could spend less and pay s+h, but if I'm going to give them money, I want to get product in return for it, you know what I mean?

Now, FMG...they're a whole other story.  I doubt that I will order from them in the future.  I needed just 1 thing from them for less than $5.  Shipping and handling was almost $8!!!!!  So, $13 for a $5 item?  No thanks!  I ordered a couple other random things with them, too, just to feel a little more justified in my purchase and paying such high fees.  But I HAD to go to them to get the color I needed.  Do you remember the last post about needing an apple green color in a 6/0?  They had something close.  But I totally feel like I got robbed.

Exciting News!!!!!

I don't think I'm at liberty to give away too many details, but I will give you the basics.  You may not see much of me the next couple months.  That's the bad news.  But it's for a good reason.  A friend of mine who is a bead goddess just got a deal to write a new bead book.  She has asked me to contribute projects for the book!!!!!!  How awesome is that???!!!  I will be doing 2 for sure and possibly 4 projects for the book in different sections of it.  This will be quite a challenge for me, and I am learning so much about the process it's unbelievable.  That's the main thing I have been shopping for the book projects.  And all 4 are due with instructions in both a photo story and written step by steps on a CD to the author with the finished pieces no later than SEPTEMBER 1st!!!!!  Yikes!  I better get my groove on, huh?  The bulk of my book supplies is coming from Artbeads, and they haven't even shipped my order yet!  Crazy.  I got my order in the mail today from Beadaholique, and my Artbeads order that I made at the same time hasn't even been picked yet.

So all I have to show today are my goodies from Beadaholique.
The gold and silver 3mm are just because I wanted them.  They are sterling silver plated and 22k gold plated.  I have beads like this in my stash, but they are the cheapies.  I wanted some nice ones like this.  So I got them.  The clear crystals are to finish a bracelet I've had in my UFO pile and the black bicones are for one of my students for our class.
These are the other beads for the class.  This student is addicted (I mean seriously addicted) to green.  These are the colors she chose, and they do look very pretty...more so in person than in the photo.  But isn't it always that way?
The tube clasps are for one of the book projects.  The red 8mm are just because I liked them...and I had to buy something to get to the $25 mark.
I just liked the color and look of these 8mm's.  Also a "no reason purchase except to get free shipping".
These are the most gorgeous color of capri blue I have ever seen.  I mean ever.  They are super gorgeous.  It will have to be a special project indeed to get these babies!

And that's it.  $27 worth of beads so I could get free shipping.  lol.  Am I crazy?  Should I just have paid the shipping fees?  No, I don't think so.  These beads will be the perfect ones for a future project.  It always works out that way. 

And my other exciting news?  I was a winner winner chicken dinner on a blog giveaway the other day!  I haven't got my prize package yet, but as soon as I do you will be the first ones to see it.  I won it courtesy of a great new blog I was introduced to, Spyder Jewels.  Thank you Mandy at Beads for Brains: 365 for the intro!

That's all I got today.  Hope you all have a super fantabulous weekend!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In Search Of.....

Help!  Sending out an A.P.B. to all on the lookout for any online bead store that has 6/0 seed beads in matte, opaque or frosted transparent sour apple or lime.  Or if you have some in your stash that you'd be willing to part with, I would like to buy them from you.  I have looked everywhere that I know of including:  Artbeads, Bello Modo, DJ Beads, Auntie's Beads, Fusion Beads, The Hole Bead Shoppe, Beadaholique, Whimbeads, and FMG.  I cannot find the color/size I need anywhere!  Are there online shops that you know that I've missed?  Please let me know!  Either comment here, or contact me directly at indigosbeads(at)live(dot)com.  I need maybe 15 grams of these beads.  Thanks for any and all help you can give me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 2011 BJP....aka "the albatross" :)

Yes, it is the albatross around my neck.  The other day it was the monkey on my back.  Getting a picture here?  I have worked so hard on this simple little necklace.  It has most definitely been an exercise in persistence, commitment, and trying to be more patient.  It was a lesson that some things won't allow you to rush them.  With this I was limited by my hands, and although I am usually a fast beader, with this project I had to go much more slowly.  Commitment...I started it, and I was determined to finish it.  Many times projects are started and they aren't as fun and exciting as others so they go in the UFO pile.  Believe me.  There were several times that I thought about it!  So, I had to be persistent.  I had to motivate myself to work on it and go through some physical pain to get it done.  And I did!

The pendant was another challenge.  I had no idea how I was going to bead it, but I got some beads and a stone to go specifically with the seed beads I used, so I was going to make something work.  I had a few sputters and false starts, but I think I was thinking about it too much.  The other night I decided to "just bead" and let the stitching work itself out.  And it did!  I went back to my first days in bead embroidery under the wings of Robin Atkins, learning how to bead "improvisationally" and "just do it".   I am very happy with the way the pendant turned out.  I didn't like the big gaps between the round beads surrounding the stone (a very pretty piece of fossil agate...that's a close up on the first pic at the top), so I just started going in between them all with the seed beads.  It sort of reminded me of petals on a flower.  Of course, my husband didn't think it looked anything like a flower.  Do you know what he said?  He said it looks like his grandparents' old sofa.  Zing. Ouch.  I guess he doesn't like it.  Why should I be surprised?  He rarely likes anything I's because he says "it's not his thing".  But I ask him why he can't appreciate my craftsmanship and artistry?  He doesn't get it.  Oh well.

The colors might not be the "IN" colors on the Pantone Fashion Report, but I thought they looked rather nice together.  I used peach, tangerine and brown seed beads with the core bead in brown to create this triple spiral.  I know one other month I did an embellished regular spiral, but this was much more challenging.  The beads got real tight by the third color in the round and I really had to coax and push and pull the needle through a lot of the time.  Working so hard on something, though, gives a nice sense of accomplishment, don't you think?  It is just over 23" and is hooked with a gold-plated simple lobster claw.  Oh!  And I also tried a new stitch on the bail!  I showed you a twisted tubular herringbone not too long ago, but tonight I did just a flat herringbone.  I guessed at how to make the turn to the next row and thought, "No, this can't be right."  I looked up a tutorial online and I was right!  Gave myself a pat on the back for getting the hang of this beadweaving stuff and seeing how it should go intuitively.

Ok, here it July 2011 BJP project and new stitch in my repertoire...

Also, the pendant is backed in a nice soft tan microsuede and beaded the beads using Nicole's Beadbacking.  It is so nice to work with, holds its shape, doesn't fray or should try it!  Check it out at her Etsy shop and visit her blog, Beadwright.