Friday, January 30, 2015

To Tucson or Not To Tucson?

I feel very lucky to reside a short two-ish hours drive from Tucson, the mecca of all things beading in February every year. Tucson to bead enthusiasts is like the Super Bowl to football fans, multiplied by 1000! 2010 was my first year to attend and I was totally overwhelmed. But it gave me great exposure to what it was all about and how to effectively plan for my next trip. It took me four years to recover but I went last year, just for a down-and-back in the same day. I wrote about it here and if you are interested, you can read about my experience and purchases.

This year I am really on the fence. I really don't need anything other than some spools of Fireline. My beading troves are full-to-the-gills with impulse and purposeful purchases. My list of to-do projects is probably longer than I can complete in a lifetime. Yet I hear the siren call... "Paula? Paula? I think you really should make that drive." So I will see how I feel next week-end and meantime, have prepared an itinerary just in case!

Preparation for Tucson is half the fun. It's like planning your vacation. Deciding on what venues to see, what artists and suppliers are on your must-visit list and of course building a shopping list of items you need (or think you need).

I put everything together in one word document with brief vignettes about the shows and a big map that plots out the shows I want to visit so I can plan an efficient driving course. Here's my map for 2015 with the venues I find most appealing.What do you think? Should I go?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Challenging Myself in 2015!

I signed up for two challenges with reveal dates these next couple months.

First up is Sally Russick's Make a Statement Challenge, which intimidates me quite a bit. My beading pieces tend to be on the more practical side but I had an idea I am playing with and I sure hope it looks in live beads the way it appears in my head!

Then we have Andrew Thornton's Spring Awakening Challenge. Andrew's challenges fill up in the blink of an eye and I am always glad when I respond quickly enough to buy a challenge kit. Mine arrived yesterday and I think I know where I will go with it.

Oh, and more importantly, you may have noticed a new look to my blog. Thanks to Rita at The Coffeeshop Blog, we enter 2015 with a bright new appearance! We have a few more last-minute touches to make and I will write a bit more when we are all complete.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Time to Stitch 6: Graphed, Word or Picture Chart

Therese and Christine return to host A Time to Stitch #6 - thanks so much! For this challenge, they inspired us to use a graphed, word or picture chart for any of four stitches shown above. I fell in beady-love with one of the examples Therese used - the middle star which was created by Eridhan Creations.   I was so smitten with the design, I went a little crazy and bought a four-pack of patterns which all use a twisted peyote design. Here's a collage of the patterns I purchased.

All the tutorials use a combination of word and picture charts as you see here.

Sample of Eridhan's Tutorials

Since I was working on this over the holidays, I used most of the finished items as ornaments and they received rave reviews from the giftees. I stitched up three of the Desert Rose Patterns and one each of the other three. Here are three variations of Desert Rose.

I thought this was very poinsettia-like - perfect for the holidays!

Next up was the Polaris tutorial. This one was a little trickier.

But my favorite was the very simple Twisted Triangle variation and, as I worked on it, I thought it would look great as a pendant on a spiral neckstrap so here's what I came up with. 

Thanks, Therese for introducing me to Eridhan's tutorials and to you and Christine for hosting another great challenge. Be sure to visit the other bead artists for A Time to Stitch #6:

10-Paula (you are here!)
© Cave Creek Beads