Sunday, December 26, 2010

Project #1: Cellini Spiral

Cellini Spiral is a gorgeous stitch and is deceptively simple for such an elegant outcome. I started with one of the last kits purchased from Sherry Wayt's now defunct Ready to Bead site. The designer is Michelle Skobal and you can see the initial design below.

Michelle Skobal's Evolution Necklace
Now, no offense to Michelle, but the kit assumed a knowledge of the stitch, which I had never done, and it also didn't provide instructions for finishing it. So off to the web I went and found a great tutorial on the Need for Beads. Next up was an article on Bead & Button about how to finish a tube necklace. Thus armed with knowledge, I started the pattern. First I made the cabochon and then proceeded to the Cellini spiral when distractions got the better of me. The kit was put away while other beading fancies occupied my needles! Now months later, I look at the original pattern and it looks a bit formal to me. So back to the stash I went and lo and behold found a dichroic glass pendant purchased from who knows where. That might be just the ticket to make the Cellini a bit more current and wearable with office duds. So stay tuned and I'll show you the finished product hopefully within the next week or two!

44 Projects in 52 Weeks

It's the day after Christmas, gifts were wrapped and unwrapped, meals were cooked, eaten and put away with much more time spent in the cooking and putting away than the eating! Also put away were this year's Christmas ornament patterns making way for a clean slate left to my beading fancy.
Sandra Halpenny Snowflakes

My 2011 resolution is to end purchases of new beads while making a dent in my substantial existing stash. Of course, accommodations will be made for findings and other items needed to complete a pattern. After all, thanks to my wonderful brother John and his wife Paula, I have a gift certificate to Fire Mountain Gems that is burning a hole in my pocket! When compared to others, my bead stash is probably not as big as some but I sure have had fun spending money on it this year. So much so that I have a major attack of the guilts even considering adding to it. In the attempt to avoid being subject to an episode of "Hoarders," I did a count of projects and materials and found that I have kits and supplies for 44 projects, not counting the many cabochons purchased in a lovely lot on eBay. So I easily have one project per week for the coming year and it's doubtful that I will be able to complete such an endeavor unless I quit my job and every one of my other life obligations. But I will do my best to put a dent in this list and will feature each project as a blog entry.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Frenzy Makes For a Poor Blogger!

This blogging thing is a challenge! It appears easy - just sit down and write what has been consuming your time and thoughts. But it should also be at least somewhat interesting and therein lies the challenge. We have been busy with the same holiday activities that occupy just about everyone this time of year: shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts and making time for the all-important hand-made items. And, in keeping with the spirit of Cave Creek Beads, I should at least stay on the topics of beading or Cave Creek! So here is my current hand-craft for good friend, Holly, who is a (yikes!) fan of the New York Giants. I have made variations of this same design for Pitt and Steelers, much more deserving teams! (Just kidding for anyone tempted to write me a nasty retort!)
Holly's NY Giants Choker

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Busiest Booth at BABE

I promised I would tell you all about the booth at BABE that had non-stop traffic during my visit last week-end. It was none other than Craft Fantastic. I was first attracted by the group of ladies standing by the table to watch a demonstration using various glass shapes to build a pendant. You glue two images with back sides together and apply a little glue to one front side over which you lay the glass shape.  Then you cut around the glass, wait for it to dry and apply glue to the image on the back side.  Affix a bail and you have a custom pendant, earrings or cabochon! It seemed easier than the kits I had used previously that required mixing ingredients.  No mixing was involved here and the end results were lovely. I decided to purchase a kit for myself and one to give as a holiday gift.  We had our choices of imagines so I chose the very popular Day of the Dead and Cowgirl images.

So I did quite well at the BABE with my Melanie Potter kit, the glass pendant kits, a bead crochet kit (which I have wanted to learn), my seed beads and a lovely glass pumpkin as a gift for our administrative assistant. You'd think that would be it for my 2010 purchases but I had a couple eBay auctions pending for three bead lots. Now, if I could just win the bids, that would really set me up for 2011!

And "win" I did.  All three lots -- one a lot of delicas and seed beads...

...the second of toggles and clasps

...and the last of crystals

It's like Christmas already!! The seller indicated she had decided to discontinue her bead hobby and was selling her bead stash. I can hardly wait until they arrive!  Now I am officially done with purchases for 2010 and have made a resolution to limit any 2011 purchases to findings that are required to finish projects and classes. Follow along with my updates to see how well I maintain my resolution.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bead Hoarding... Er... Purchases

Part of the fun of beading is acquiring supplies. The choices are seamingless endless. The beads themselves come in countless sizes, shapes and finishes. Of course, you need something to hold them together and again, there are many options: thread (available in numerous fibers, sizes and colors), wire, cord or ribbon. Then you need findings (what a great name) as a means of attachment. Add in glues, precious metals, polymer clay and cabochons. Then, there are the all-important books, magazines, patterns or other form of instruction. Oops - don't forget tools. So now we have spent a small fortune and we are on a first-name basis with the UPS man!

I made my last bead supply foray of the year when I attended Babe 2010 this past week-end. It was serendipity that a work trip to San Francisco coincided with Bay Area Bead Extravaganza or Babe, which motivated a 4:00 a.m. wake up call to catch an early flight. Once in San Francisco, the Oakland Convention center was an easy BART trip, without parking stress! Inside the convention hall, I made a swing through the whole floor to identify the booths for my must-visit list. Next came a more serious pass, this time with stops at the designated booths.  First came Whimbeads which was one of only a few offering Japanese seed beads and it was consistently busy. I had my shopping list of supplies for my Christmas project list and was able to check just about everything off the list.

Next came a stop of The School of Beadwork where none other than Melanie Potter was at the booth.  I purchased the Go for Baroque kit in gold and red coral shown below.  Melanie is as pleasant in person as she is in her videos and I thanked her for the instructional videos provided in their regular email, especially the segment about how to add thread.
Go for Baroque by Melanie Potter
Congratulations to Melanie, who was designated Designer of the Year by Beadwork Magazine

Check out my next post for further details about my purchases, including the name of the booth that was mobbed!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Inaugural Post: 42 Days Until Christmas

Today, I did some e-housekeeping chores and I am convinced that time in front of the computer is the cyber-equivalent to dog years. Minutes fly by and pretty soon, the afternoon is gone and my only tasks were updating some photos on my web site and starting this blog. I still haven't figured out how to connect it to my web site, other than the link in my personal information.  But first things first, let's get some content out here.

Thanks to the eBay web site, I am reminded that there are only 42 days until Christmas. How can that be possible? I am facing a full single-space page of the beading projects to be finished in that time, during the evenings and week-ends when I can carve out some time.

Pitt Peyote
Today, I posted some pics of a commission project for my dear friends, Stu and Dar. Given two choices, they selected the project to the left -- Pitt peyote, which is fashioned from a pattern by Kumiko Mizuno Ito in her book, Beadweaving Brilliance.

Purple Rain for Aunt Dee

Then, I finished a peyote bracelet that I started last year and wrapped up the day by taking photos of one of my favorite pieces, named Purple Rain, which will be part of Aunt Dee's Christmas gift.

Tomorrow, I head to a bead show where I will purchase my last beads of the year.  I am vowing to use nothing but my bead stash in 2011.  Check in for my New Year's resolution blog to hear more about this daunting goal.

© Cave Creek Beads