Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bird Pattern

As promised, here is a free bird pattern for your use!  I have been creating them for the Bead-It-Forward quilt project.  I'm just finishing my 4th square!

Lovebirds:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Math 101?

A mathematician, I AM NOT!  Although one could argue that as a beader, one has to be fairly proficient in the subject.....

So I'm starting on my Beading Babes project, Runway of Pearls (I made a valiant attempt at Ravishing Rosettes....but that is a blog post for another time...)....and after viewing the different pictures in the magazine, I thought I'd try it out with the 2mm Czech FP rounds.   Plus, the idea of doing Right Angle Weave with triangles seemed icky to me.

At the bead show a couple weeks ago, I had 2mm FP on my list to find.  And I found some!  This vendor had every color you could imagine and I selected these yellows.


For some reason that I can't quite understand...I had it in my head that I needed 180 of them.  The packages contained 100 each...so to be safe I picked up 300.  I asked the vendor, do you have an online shop?!   She said no, but you can just give us a call any time and we'll send you what you need.

And off I went...however, when I first opened the magazine and it said I needed to make a base of "43 units wide and 5 rows long with 4C per unit"...I had a sense I might be incorrect on this random thought that I needed 180.

And I was incorrect indeed....this is how far I got:

 Only 26 units wide.....

But no biggie right?  I figure I'll just call the vendor and order more!  NOT!  The number was disconnected!!!

Very well then....I went on an internet search for 2mm Czech FP rounds....and found....they are not very easy to FIND!

I finally found some though at Land of Odds and ordered 500.  Yes.  500.

They came today.


Great, right?!  Well....then as I was admiring my new lot of 2mm Czech FP rounds....I thought to myself...wait...is 500 going to be enough?  300 wasn't enough.....

So then I started doing some math....
First I did 43X5X4 = 860

But then I realized that, the first row is has 4 beads per unit...sort of, really 4 beads for the first unit, then you only add three beads for the next bunch of units..

.then when you start a new row, one will have three, and the rest will have two.....

....then I remembered the upgrade of BeadTool4 now has RAW as a pattern selection....so I popped on there and created "43 units wide and 5 rows long with 4C per unit"....

So jeesh....what is it?!!?  860? 688? 478?  929?

Stay tuned for what I finally figure out!!!

In the meanwhile - the free pattern for Free Pattern Friday was not turning out so great so I will keep at it and post tomorrow!  Happy Friday and have a great weekend!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Books and Blessings....

What have you been reading lately?  The last year was a great year for my reading log!  I read the "Millennium" series (Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, etc...)...which was great!  A little graphic for me in some places, but a fantastic mystery series.  I absolutely ADORED the Hunger Games series.  I seriously mourned having Katniss around when I finished it.  And I'm not gonna lie, I may very well have feigned an upset stomach one weekend when all I understand that this plot is not altogether original - but I LOOOOOOOVED it!  I thought it was incredibly quick paced, and very well crafted.  But most recently, The Glass Castle has found its way to my list of favorite books of all time.  This book is a memoir, and although you won't believe what this writer dealt with in her youth, she doesn't write it in such a way that she comes off as a martyr or wants you to feel sorry for her.  It's a true tale of survival with such love and affection, that I found to be just spectacular.  I just started Game of Thrones.  It's a bit tough to get into, there are a LOT of characters and settings....but I'm 3% into it (lol, according to my Kindle), and I'm really starting to get into it. 

Reading for me is usually done for 30-60 minutes before I go to bed.  And if I am really into a book, I'll just go to bed early to get a little more reading time in!

There are also a lot of 'self-help' or 'self-improvement' on my bookshelves.  I tend to gravitate towards them when I'm in need of some pick-me-up.  There was a time many years ago, when these types of books were that I read.  That time was in the year or so leading up to leaving my career in the restaurant industry. I was in a very low place emotionally and spiritually.  One book that I read religiously during that time, and used the daily quotes as affirmations (never mind daily, sometimes hourly....heck...sometimes every 15 minutes!), was this one:


 I literally opened this baby up every day and read and reflected on the daily lesson/essay.  And I did so for a couple year or so after....


Now and again, I'll come back to it and just flip the book open to one of those dog-eared pages for a little dose of inspiration. 

Yesterday I picked it up...not because I was feeling particularly low, but because sometimes I chide myself for only working on self improvement when I'm in a low place, when really it would be most effective to work on myself regularly......

Instead of randomly opening the book, I decided to open to the date....


 When I got there, I forgot all about the fact, that I liked the lesson on January 24 SO MUCH back then, that I ripped it out of the book and carried it around with me for a long, long time. 


It was a great reminder for me when I saw this yesterday...so I thought it would be fun to share.  And on that note, I am off to write my 100 blessings of which I'm sure I have that and more!



Friday, January 20, 2012

Purple Shmurple!

Hah!  There is a lot of "Purple Friday" talk going on around here!  Humph!  On that note - here is the free pattern for Friday!
This pattern should work up to be just about 7 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide...and as always - if you use one of my free patterns, I'd love to see a pic! ;)
 Yes, being a New England Native, I gotta say - I love me some Patriots.  Not only is Tom Brady easy on the eyes, he's a pretty amazing quarterback!!  Now, here is where I insert my disclaimer - I don't really follow a lot of sports....in fact, even though I like football, I don't think I turned a single game on this season until last weekend - and wow - impressive!!!  And I will surely be watching this Sunday!

I'm a sucker for team spirit though, so even though I am not a Ravens fan, I do enjoy seeing all the spirit around here.  The excited, positive energy is pretty awesome.  I think it was last year, when I swore to my husband, I could actually FEEL the excitement taking place 16 miles away during a Ravens home playoff game!

So enough football!   I've been pretty silent...but busy with my real job!  Also my husband turned 50 last weekend so I threw him a semi-surprise party! 

Thankfully, although I'm working anywhere from 10-12 hours a day with the festival coming up in three weeks, I've been able to steal away at the end of the day and work on some beady projects...


I also have been working on my fourth square for the Bead It Forward quilt - a hummingbird.  I have this tray in the kitchen so when I'm sitting with my guys after dinner or coffee in the moring I can work on it!
Did I mention I am starting to hate square stitch?!?  It works up TOO SLOW!   I'm ALL peyote from here on out!

A couple weeks ago on New Years Day, I had the pleasure of joining a group of women at Bead Soup in Savage, MD for an event called "Flocking Together" where everyone attending made a square for the quilt!  There were at least 20 beaders there!  How cool is that?  The store provided patterns and beads and the beaders worked up the pattern. 

Check out a handful of the squares that were made!!!
(mine is the swan in the upper left!)
When all was said & done, Bead Soup collected 41 squares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Bead Soup has the oriole patterns on their site....check it out!..

Finally - I just have to share this pic of my sweet 5 month old puppy.  If it looks staged....well, that's because it is....sort of....little Bingo likes to lay his head on pillows....my husband put the blanket over him! LOL!  How CUTE IS HE!?!?!?
(Yes, he is wearing a sweater, but we just got his hair cut and he shivers without it!)
Happy Friday and have a great weekend!!!


Friday, January 13, 2012

TGIF!

Even if it is Friday the 13th!  and even if I am just finishing work at 8pm (after having started at 7am!)...for in a few minutes, I'll be heading up to my bead room to do some beading and watch some shows on Netflix with my son!

In the meanwhile - it is Free Pattern Friday.  Maryanne posted a gorgeous picture of a woodpecker on her blog today.  She and I live near each other and while I see lots of woodpeckers in the back yard, I rarely see one up close like she did!  What a gorgeous shot!  In any case, it inspired me to do another bird pattern for the Bead-It-Forward quilt project! 
_____________________________

It's also time to announce the winner of my bead giveaway.  I used the random number generator on random.org:
Which makes Karyn from Releases from Rufydoof the winner!!!  Karyn, I'll email you for your address!

I've been busy also making earrings whenever I have a chance to send to that certain host of a certain television show.... now I'm totally undecided on what to send....will probably make a few more pairs and send several pairs!!!  Will post pics of earring soon! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word Cloud & Bead Show & Free Beads!

First I saw it on Sally's blog, Wild Sally Road....then I saw it on Shirley's blog, Beads & Bread....and I think it's so cool, I had to try it!

You just go to this site, click on Blogger and type in your blog name and voila!  And while I really enjoyed all the words in my cloud....I think I am going to try to stop saying "my" so much! LOL..... that giant "my" took me by surprise.....do I sound like a three year old??? MY beads, MY blog, MY challenge piece, MY project, MINE MINE MINE!!!! Is it awful???

In other news I went to a bead show this weekend and it was MARVELOUS!  It felt really good to splurge on a few things, and to grab some things I felt like I really needed!!!


I picked up a bit of yellow, in preparation for entering the Fashion Colorworks competition.  Although having gotten them home, most of the hues seem a little bit off from the color requirement...but we'll see when I get going!!!

I'm dying of happiness with those "farfale" beads in the last photo.  They are crystal lined with gold a/b luster.....they are scrumptious. 

 I also picked up some things that I would like to work into a challenge/hop.    I am thinking of making kits out of these beads: 

or these:

I thought they were so cute!!!! They were from a bead vendor there called Priscilla Beads.  I had a hard time selecting from her because there were so many adorable decoupaged beads at her booth.

I also picked up this strand of beads that has lots of word on them:

In honor of so many bloggers selecting a Word for the year, I would like to give this strand away!
All you have to do is leave a comment.  I will draw a winner on Friday night.
And for a double entry - let me know if you would be interested in taking part in a bead kit challenge with those decoupaged beads!  I'm thinking definitely $10 or under including shipping.....also wouldn't start until the big festival is over mid-February!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Friday!

Every morning I take my sweet pups outside right around sunrise....not because it's sunrise, but it's usually time for one of them to.....

Anyway this morning's sunrise was so spectacular in color I had to run (and I ran) back into the house to get my camera.  The pictures don't even do the this morning's colors justice, but I had to share, because the colors just made me so glad.  Here are a few taken with different camera settings and then a shot of the sky when I looked up!


Did I mention the pictures don't even do this sunrise justice!?

Anyway - I am ridiculously excited to attend the Baltimore Bead Society's Winter Bead Show tomorrow!!  I have a budget and I plan to stick to it!! (crossing fingers anyway!!!)

Also - tomorrow will be the sign-ups for the Bead Soup Blog Party!!!  After such a huge turnout last time around - Lori has understandably decided to do a lottery for 200 lucky Bead Soupers!  I have SOOOO loved this event I am really hoping to get in!!!  Totally rubbing the lucky ear for this one.  But hey - if I don't get selected - would someone like to do a swap with me in the spirit of the Party?!

And finally - as promised - here is a free pattern for "Free Pattern Friday"!  If you use it please send me a picture, I'd love to see it!  (same with the other patterns!)
(just right click and "save image", then enlarge when you print!)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Goals

Well hello there, 2012!  I can't beleive it's already the 4th, and I'm still mulling over my resolutions!

But the truth is, my biggest event of the year is going to be taking place in (gulp) 37 days, so I'm a little swamped.  Sometimes I think the beginning of my year should be the day after that festival ends!

In any case, I have a long list of things I'd like to work on this year, but the beading section of my list looks something like this:
  • Earrings a day
  • Bead SOMETHING everyday
  • Do self challenge with stash I won
  • Free pattern Friday
  • More stuff on etsy
  • Tutorial / kit
I already have not made good on the "Earrings a day" part! Although I have made two pairs!  But the idea is really to get me to do the second item on the list, which is bead something every day.  That is definitely do-able....if I just FOCUS.  (which needs to be my 'word of the year' - more on that later).

I was the very lucky recipient of a huge stash last month:
It was from the lovely Erin at Treasures Found::Inspiration is Everywhere...and the part about "Inspiration is Everywhere" is surely true with this spectacular win.  There were more than a dozen baggies of beads and pendants in this stash mostly divided by color.  So my plan here, is to pick a baggie each month and create something - kind of a monthly color self challenge!
I've been having so much fun creating these patterns for the Bead-It-Forward quilt - I'd like to start offering more patterns of different varieties other than birds....so expect to see more patterns pop up on my Free Patterns page! 
Upon looking back over the year and all my photos, I have produced a pretty huge amount of beadwork....however, I have not posted anything new there in MONTHS!!!!  So I definitely need to sell a little more to sustain my hobby! So I plan to focus on posting more items in my Etsy shop! 

And finally - I've had so many folks ask me about a tutorial for this style of earrings - of which I have made dozens of pairs!
I had a fleeting thought of making a pair of these every day in hundreds of color combinations. Hence the 'earrings a day' idea.  But instead, I am thinking of creating a tutorial and maybe even doing some kits to go along with it.  It's a very simple circular peyote disk!  I also may do something with this style of earrings as well, which also works up very quickly:
 This will probably all happen after mid-February however, when my festival ends!
So those are all my bead-y resolutions....you should see the rest!  It's a long list with a lot of your standard resolutions:  eat better, exercise more, clean the house more frequently, drink less coffee, drink more green tea, brush the dogs every day, give more, waste time less....etc, etc, etc.....

But one of the biggest ones I need to work on, is to focus.  This doesn't necessarily mean I'm playing too much Angry Birds (which I probably am - but that goes into the waste less time category)or I'm on Facebook too much (which is an oxymoron because I manage the FB pages for 11 clients! LOL)....what it means is that sometimes I have SO much going on that I am all over the place sometimes, getting only little bits and pieces of everything done, reading all emails the second they come in etc.... .
So I've lately taken to writing out daily schedules that reflect what I should be doing every hour of the day!  HOWEVER at this current time of writing, I am already going a bit over on the time intended for blogging today! (and I guess I should add "work on my penmanship" as one of my resolutions)

  Seems a little ocd, but I really think this is going to help me stay focused!  

I somehow missed it at the beginning of last year, but as I read a lot of bloggers' year end wrap-ups, I saw a lot of bloggers had picked words for the beginning of the year - like "grow" "learn" "be" "dream" etc.....  so my word of the year is FOCUS! 
So, in the vain of focusing, I am planning to use this "FOCUS" focal pendant, as my January self challenge from the TFIEBSW ( from here on out, stands for "Treasures Found::Inpsiration is Everywhere Bead Stash Win"):
__________________________________
In other beady goodness....here are a few more of the Looking Glass Pendants I made for holiday gifts:


And as a Christmas present to myself, I picked up a few patterns from Ellad2.  Here is one of them:
This pattern worked up so quickly (about 45 minutes), I would recommend it to all bead weavers!