Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snow in the Desert and Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer

It's the rarity of snow in the desert that turns me into a kid, running for the camera every time it happens. This was the most unlikely of reactions when we lived back East when February brought that slushy, messy snow and yearnings for the beach or other such warm sunny climates! But this was the scene that greeted me this morning as I made my way to the kitchen to start the coffee maker.

When I ventured out for a few photos,  I was able to form a small snowball to bring inside for curious kitties.

This week-end also marked the deadline for the mailing of my contribution to the Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer event run by Jeanette Shanigan from Wasilla, Alaska, who explains how she started this event in the mid-2000's as a tribute to her mother who died of breast cancer. For more details, please see Jeanette's web site.

This was the first year I participated in the event and created two squares. The first was my own design using a Carl Sandberg quote superimposed on an image of two hands and held in place by a beaded frame. The second square was a design offered on Jeanette's web site. The beaded quilts are sold in auction with the proceeds donated to the Medical College of Wisconsin. Kudos to Jeanette for her fine work!

The Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer and Jeanette's program is endorsed by Bead and Button Magazine. Click here to read a blog post for the 2011 program.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Magic Mandala Earrings

This week-end, I made something just for the heck of it. No working on gifts or projects for the web site. I used beads from my stash and a pattern from I had not done the mandala technique before and it's so easy. Stitching is pretty basic with circular brick and picot edges. I fell in love with these sassy earrings and am trying to decide who would enjoy them. They're a bit large and swingy so you need a more bohemian personality, I think.
Magic Mandala Earrings
Pattern from

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Delights

As part of my resolution to work on my kit inventory, I finished a Nancy Peterson design for a Valentine's heart theme necklace and heart slider. Then, I took a small splurge for cutting back so severely on my budget and purchased a Sandra Halpenny pattern for a beaded heart.

Sandra Halpenny Heart Pattern
I am a fan of kits. For the most part, they are a reasonably-priced way to gain exposure to different stitches, approaches and materials. When I was starting out, I made many purchases on the Ready to Bead web site, which is now defunct in a cloud of mystery -- no notice to customers or on the Yahoo group. The web site was still up last I checked but none of the page commands were working. It's a shame because the kits were good quality and the patterns were generally successful.

Heart Slider

Occasionally, you may find a hiccup in the pattern instructions. I had such an experience in making the heart slider for the Nancy Peterson necklace. I worked for about one hour ripping and reading the instructions, ripping and reading and finally giving up to tell my husband my tale of woe. So I decided to send a note to Nancy and guess what! She wrote right back to inform me of an omission in the instructions. Well, yeahhhhh. The omission was one step which made all the difference in the world.

So the moral of this story is never be timid to write to your pattern designer to ask for clarity or assistance. They depend on good word of mouth and I have never found anyone unwilling to help.

Nancy Peterson Heart Slider and Spiral Strap

© Cave Creek Beads