Saturday, February 21, 2015

ZnetShows Icy Reveal

In case you haven't's been snowing in Massachusetts!!! 
view of my deck circa blizzard #3

This New York Times article describes it perfectly - and the quote, "Driving is a game of blind chicken, because the intersections are blocked by 12-foot mounds of plowed snow",  really speaks to me! Every time I leave my driveway I fear I will get t-boned and pretty much all intersections really do inspire terror....  And, imagine that, we're getting six more inches this afternoon!   

In any case, being snowed in has done wonders for my beading time!  It was wonderful to be selected to contribute to ZnetShows' quarterly digital magazine Creative Spark (produced and edited by Hope of Crafty Hope)! What was even more perfect, is the theme for this issue was "icy".  Hah!  I didn't have to look far for inspiration!  

The stash ZnetShows sent me was full of gorgeous cultured sea glass.  

I was immediately drawn to the cone shaped cultured sea glass... perhaps because it reminded me a little of icicles.  But the big question loomed, how do I make it 'icy'?  I poured through my stash and saw that I also had clear Chinese crystal from ZnetShows!  

 I struggled with the two holes but then decided to just go for it and started beading around the cone.  Before long, a circular peyote strip formed and as I continued I added Chinese crystal...

I made some components on headpins, added them to some chain and voila! An icy pendant.  

Next up I couldn't stop looking at the long teardrop cultured sea glass.  Again I thought the clear Chinese crystal would complement it nicely and give it an icy feel!  

Imagine my delight when I saw this piece on the cover of Creative Spark!  (thank you Hope!!)

Finally - I just had to do something with those sand dollar and starfish made from cultured sea glass!! They were too gorgeous not to play with.  But let's face it - those were simply too hard to spin as 'icy'!! 

I have a few other pieces in progress, and will share those in the coming weeks.  Thanks again to Hope and to ZnetShows for including me in this icy issue of Creative Spark!   

This issue is full of amazing creations by all the contributors!  And one of my favorite features in the issue is an article called "Yoga for Beaders"!  It's great advice for folks (like me) who spend way too much time hunched over our beady projects!  

Here is a list of products used in these pieces:
S77-B881 Cultured Sea Glass teardrop round beads - opaque seafom color about 39x9mm
S84-B46 Culteured Sea Glass cone shape with double hole beads 46-opaque blue opal about 18x12mm
S03-46-ONE - Cultured Sea Glass round Beads 4mm 46-Opaque Blue Opal
 RS236-01 - Chinese crystal designer glass rondelle Beads faceted 16x12mm 01-Crystal -clear color    
P49-B23S Cultured Sea Glas and sand dollar pendants 21x19mm peridot
S27-B23xs Cultured Sea Glass starfish small beads peridot 20x7mm

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Winter 2015

I haven't blogged in a while, but I have been beading!

Here in New England, we've been absolutely pummeled by the latest snow storms.  We measured 30 inches back on January 27, another 14 inches on February 2, and another 6 inches this past Thursday!  And whoa - there is at least another foot of snow forecast to fall on Sun-Mon!!!!    My son certainly loves it....

But the dogs.....not so much!

I've been doing lots of beading.  I have been working on this bracelet from Sabine Lippert's Beadwork Evolution...."

This book is amazing, and it has caused me to develop a bona fide chaton/rivoli/crystal addiction!!

I also received an awesome stash from ZnetShows for an upcoming designer challenge.  I have already created one item and am in the middle of another, and have a third planned for this challenge!

There has also been a ton of Bead-It-Forward square production in my house! (and there is more to come!)

And also a lot happening here at Bead-It-Forward headquarters!   We've received a ton of new patterns over the last couple weeks.  So there is still time if you want to do a square.  This is one my my favorite patterns that came in last week!!  How cute is this little reptile?!  I don't know if I will be able to resist making just one!

Squares are trickling in.  Going to the P.O. Box has turned into a real treat anticipating another package might be there!

I have a lot planned for this storm.  I am going to finish up a couple more squares, finish up my ZnetShows challenge pieces, and work on a repair job from a friend.  Happy Winter!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Time to Stitch 6

It's another edition of A Time to Stitch (ATTS), round SIX, hosted by two lovely and talented ladies, I have the pleasure to call my friends: Therese, from Therese's Treasures, and Christine, from One Kiss Creations.
I was super excited about this round of ATTS because the objective was to follow a chart, and Therese and Christine were kind enough to highlight Bead-It-Forward, a charitable project I took over last year!! Here was a blurb about it in the latest Bead&Button.  Featuring a picture of some squares done by one of the beaders in Operation Tackle That Bead Stash, and the pattern was one that I created for last year's sea them! 
I had the pleasure of visiting one of Bead-It-Forward's beneficiaries earlier this week, the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.  The staff there was very excited to learn about the project and really enjoyed looking at (and touching - no one can resist) the squares.  After I explained that the deadline for squares was coming up in March and I expected to see hopefully hundreds, if not thousands of squares, one woman there asked me, "Who has the privilege of putting the squares together?"  I responded to her by saying, "Thank you for positioning it like that, because I really do feel like it's a privilege and an honor to get to see and touch every one of these squares and then get to help decide which ones will look good together!"  The visit bolstered my enthusiasm for this project, and it was great to have a group of non-beaders ooh and aah over the squares!  Not to mention, the Healing Garden is an exceptional facility providing complementary care and support to cancer patients.  Anyone submitting a square to Bead-It-Forward should feel absolutely great about the fact that the Healing Garden is going to benefit from the square(s) created!!!

Now....let's get back to the business at hand - sharing our ATTS creations!!!  With the holidays in the middle of the announcement and the reveal, I didn't get as many squares as I'd like to get done.... but I did do these two squares.  Each year I create a square in honor of everyone I know who is going through or has survived breast cancer.  Unfortunately that number grew to eight this past year.   I've done two squares already and I recently worked up these two squares for ATTS...

Recently I held a contest for Bead-It-Forward patterns.  One of our hosts sent in a handful - thank you, again Therese!!!  And also another southern gal, Stephany from North Carolina, made some patterns.  Here is her blog if you want to check out some of her creations of following her own chart.  In the meanwhile - here is a list of participants for this round of A Time To Stitch.
THANK YOU AGAIN TO Therese and Christine for hosting this FUN blog hop/challenge!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

They're Back!

After a bit of Facebook and Instagram intelligence, I set the alarm for 5:00am and was out the door by 5:30 am so I could be at Rye Harbor, NH by sunrise yesterday.  It sure was worth the effort!! 

Last year, the U.S. had a huge Snowy Owl irruption and I was spending a lot of my spare time dashing off to the coast to see these spectacular birds!!  This year, not nearly as many, but there are a few making regular appearances on the New England coast.  What better way to start the new year!?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 52

It's the final week of "Focus on Life" the weekly photography challenge put on by Sally Russick!!  I kind of fell off these last few months with this challenge and blogging in general!  But with today being the last day I wanted to be sure to post!!

This week's prompt is "Gather".
Week 52:   Gather
 Gather your thoughts.  Gather up all your ideas.  Gather around the fire. Gather the words that have been missing.  Gather up courage to try something new in the coming year.  Gather together. Gather up love!

We had a wonderful gathering this week with my family and I didn't take any good pics of the group together.  But we had good food, played lots of games and had lots of laughs.  Here's a pic I snapped early in the morning while I was prepping food:

I can't believe this year is nearly over!!  Recently I have had little opportunity to blog, I've either been working, or beading up some holiday gifts.  Here's a sample of beadwork from the holiday season that was sent out as gifts!

I enjoyed participating in the Focus on Life photo challenge this year - even though I missed a few weeks along the way.  It was a fun and challenging challenge and it was great to meet other bloggers out there!!

Click on the links below to see the subject of other Focus on Life participants!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I'm In Love....

...with Tulip beading needles and 8mm chatons.....among other things!

So it's been two weeks since my last blog entry, and a lot has happened.   I picked up this book by Sabine Lippert...

Excuse my French....but this book is bead weaving porn.   All the finished pieces look so yummy!  Just the right amount of sparkle, lots of gorgeous components, so much beautiful, original work!  The only bad part was that I didn't have the proper supplies to start any of the projects... So I promptly jumped on Fusion Beads to order a few chatons. rivolis, and coordinating bicones....and ahem...I got a little carried away.  I blame it on the book.

Since I was already getting a bunch of stuff...I finally took the plunge and ordered Tulip beading needles.  And, wow, am glad I did!!!   Holy sturdy beading needle - these little lovelies were everything I ever heard about them!  Slim in size, super strong.  Three projects later and my #12 needle is as straight as I started it with!

So while I waited for my crystals to arrive, I stumbled upon some patterns from Bead Origami's chemistry series of molecules!!!  Yowza!  When I saw the Serotonin and Dopamine Molecule pattern I knew I had to have it.  My stepdaughter is currently pursuing her PhD in neuroscience and I think this beaded serotonin molecule will be a great fit.

Cindy's instructions are positively amazing. Between the perfect illustrations and the well written, easy to understand text instruction, this pattern is so easy to follow.  It is labeled as intermediate, but I think any level beader would find this pattern a pleasure to work on. I can't wait to treat myself to more of Bead Origami's patterns!

When I finished my stepdaughter's necklace I launched right into another for my mom, who is a cell biologist!  So glad to have found this chemistry series for the science-y people on my gift list!
Still deciding if I want to add a chain to this or attach some dopamine molecules!!!!  These are too fun and I love that the only beads required are seed beads! 
In other beady news I am excited to announce that Bead-It-Forward will be at Bead Fest Philadelphia next year!!!  Bead Fest has graciously decided to partner with Bead-It-Forward so we can auction off the 2015 finished products!!

And speaking of Bead-It-Forward - I am running the animal pattern contest through December 15. For more information click here.  Check out the prize list too - it's growing and I am so grateful to everyone who has been so kind to donate:
Nancy Dale - NED Beads - pattern/tutorial
Kristen Stevens - KAS Beadwork - pattern/tutorial
Sandra Halpenny - book (Beading and Designing Bracelets)
Artbeads - prize package of beads, wire and more

I am also donating a pattern and including some beads and backing from my own stash! 

Looking forward to posting more soon with lots of new pieces made with 8mm chatons!

Monday, November 24, 2014

BookWinner and Bead-It-Forward Patterns

Yikes!  I meant to pull a winner on Friday for the book giveaway (from my blog's 400th post celebration!) and totally forgot. 
But better late than never:

Liz E is the winner!  Liz, I sent you an email for your contact information so I can send you your book!
As I mentioned in my last post, Bead-It-Forward is holding a contest for submitted patterns.  In addition to the list that I already had, Artbeads recently contributed a prize package to add to the kitty!
Thank you Artbeads!  Click here to read about submitting a pattern and learning more about the prize drawing if you submit a pattern!