Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful!

Well, not so much here in Arizona but I saw the weather reports for the Northeast and thought this was a good post title, especially since it's Halloween week-end!

It also reflects how I have spent my beading time these past few week-ends, as I get a jump on my holiday ornaments. Each year, I pick a new pattern and make ornaments for the special folks on our gift list. This year's pattern is from last year's Bead&Button: Star Pendant by Smadar Grossman.

I  like to personalize gifts and this pattern gave me the perfect opportunity. Below you see two ornaments, one personalized with the Steelers logo and the other for our golf club, Tatum Ranch. For the Steelers logo, I used earring dangles, which gave me just the right size with a durable finish for a reasonable cost: $5.99 for two! For the Tatum Ranch ornament, I used small golf ball markers and trimmed off the pin. And these were an even better deal -- pilfered from my hubbies golf cache! I am having great fun figuring out options that will have special meaning for each gift recipient.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Hard Year For Bead Stores

I was so sad to read about the closing of Fox Den Designs, one of my favorite online sources for great seed beads. I probably wasn't their highest-volume customer but made at least five or six purchases each year and always knew the shipment would be on-time, with no bead spillage, contain high-quality items and a friendly hand-written "Thank You" on every receipt. Terri Ann's post indicates the store is closing as a result of their move to be closer to family. But it's still a loss to the seed bead family. I've made two purchases so far this month and there were still good choices in the remaining stock, including tulip needles, which I had read about but never used. I LOVE THEM! I don't think I can ever go back to the regular beading needles.

The closing of Fox Den came on the heels of the closing of Moonrise Beads in Oakmont, PA. I first found Moonrise during visits back to Pennsylvania. It was a must-do part of every trip's itinerary and this past June, my visit fell on their last week of business. So it was a bittersweet excursion with great bargains but regret at the store's closing.

And earlier this year, two LBS closed here in Phoenix, I believe casualties of the economy.

So, if you love your LBS or online provider, let them know! And make some purchases! :-)

I am hard at work on my 2011 holiday ornaments but included the picture of a project completed a couple weeks ago, which I never had a chance to post. Emerald Skies started with a great dichroic cab purchased from one of my favorite eBay sellers. I was delighted to find complementary seed beads for the strap in my stash and worked on it on and off over the summer.
Emerald Skies

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