Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I Learned in 2014

OK, this is not a metaphysical post. I actually acquired some new skills in 2014 and have been using them to take my beadwork in new directions.

Skill #1: bead crochet. I took a class earlier this year at Creative Destination, my favorite local bead store. I did not leave the class with anything remotely looking like bead crochet but I practiced and practiced over the next couple weeks and while I am not a master, I definitely completed quite a few projects and love the way it combines fiber and beads.

Skill #2: crochet. My entry into bead crochet led me to explore sites like Ravelry and Etsy for patterns and I was inspired to pick up crochet hooks that belonged to my mother, who was an amazing crochet-er. My projects have been VERY basic - a few bracelets and of course Sashay scarves like the one shown below. All my friends received these Steeler Sashays as part of their Christmas care packages.

Skill #3: Photoshop. I actually started taking classes in Photoshop last year but they extended into this year. Some of you may be thinking. Classes? Why not just use it? Well I have learned many software programs in my years in corporate business but I did not find Photoshop to be intuitive... at least for me. So I bought about a gazillion books and took three online classes and have really enjoyed learning new methods of creating impactful photos. This is a skill I will work on for many years to come.

So that's my round up of new learnings for 2014. For 2015, I'd like to:

  1. Create inventory for my Etsy shop (yes, this is a repeat item!)
  2. Improve my crochet with more complex projects
  3. Learn more about appliqué quilting with beads (just purchased Nancy Eha's book Bead Creative Like Crazy)
  4. Improve my resin skills
  5. Maybe even venture into polymer clay
What skills would you like to develop in 2015?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Focus on Life Week 52: Gather

My gathering was of the bead-shopping variety. I joined the masses of people who went shopping on the day after Christmas but my travels took me to my favorite local bead store: Creative Destination in Mesa, AZ. It's amazing how much value I can cram into a small brown bag!

Here are the items I gathered:

Let's see what everyone else is gathering this week:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Focus on Life Week 51: Ornate/Ornament

Each year, I select a design for ornaments I make for gift-giving. This year, I picked a Cellini spiral that can be adorned in many different ways - with bottom fringe or by adding a bauble which in my case was for our favorite sporting teams.

For the Steeler and Pitt ornaments, I made the bauble by disassembling earrings and gluing the decorative component together.

Wishing you and your loved ones a most joyous holiday!

Let's do some ornament-hopping through our other neighborhoods:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Focus on Life Week 50: Lights

I know holiday lights are out in abundance but coming home from a party this week, hubby and I stopped at one of our favorite dessert spots where the twinkling lights told us about an important new menu addition. I think you can probably guess the spot!

What a great way to top off a fun evening!

Let's go for a hop to see some other lights:

© Cave Creek Beads