Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yay! Greg Iles' New Book Magically Appears!

Oh the wonders of technology!

Greg Iles is one of my favorite authors after I read his four-book Penn Cage series last year and had the opportunity to hear him speak at the Brandeis Authors' Luncheon here in Phoenix this year. We learned that the fifth book in the series was due for release April 20 so of course I pre-ordered it and was so happy to find it magically awaiting for me.

The Bone TreeThe Bone Tree by Greg Iles

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Beady Friends and Kitty Kats

I've made some great beady friends through blog hops. One friend is Lynne Bowland, aka Islandgirl, who shares a love of beads and furry friends. As a result, many of her beady creations feature furry friends.

Last year, I splurged and bought a bead and waited for some design inspiration which recently came in a pattern by Lynn Davy called Peyote Paradise. I love the wavy, whimsical look of the peyote and thought it made the perfect complement to the playful bead.

Thanks to my beady friend, Lynne, for the centerpiece of this fun creation!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Kits - Not Just for Beginners

When I first started to learn beadwork, kits were my salvation. How wonderful to find everything you need in one place! Any avid hobbyist knows the "Murphy's Law" of projects. No matter how many items in your stash, it will be lacking that certain something for your newest project, requiring an online order or trip to the closest store where you invariably buy more than just that one item. (Come on - you know it's true!) And when I was starting out, my stash was a fraction of the size it is today. Back in the day, I ordered many kits from a site called Ready to Bead that featured lots of different designers like Sandra Halpenny, Glenda Payseno and others. For a reasonable price, you received wonderful instructions and everything you needed to make their creations.

Flash forward to today. My stash is huge and I am much more proficient than in my learn-to-bead days. But I still like kits. Why? The same reason I liked them when I was starting out. Everything is in one place and you receive the products the designers used when they developed their creations. If you buy from reputable kit makers, the material quality is usually terrific and is usually more than you need to complete your project. Then you can use that base as a launching pad to make your own substitutions. Yes, it can be a pricier option than using items from your stash but frankly, I look at it as an educational expense to gain an insight to new materials and techniques.

But my biggest reason to like kits is to promote the businesses of other bead artists. It took them hours to develop their ideas and I like the idea of helping them grow their businesses - so they can continue to design.

Here's a sampling of kits that I recently created. All were wonderfully put together with clear instructions and superior materials.

BeadsEast Kit: Bead Crochet & Bead Embroidery
Jill Wiseman: Tassel Necklace

Marion Jewels in Fiber: Flat Turkish Bead Crochet

In many cases, artists permit you to sell items made from their designs so long as you do not mass produce and provide attribution. I think this is very generous and hope to follow in their footsteps one day when I am brave enough to try my hand at offering a design kit.

Speaking of BeadsEast, they are moving to Florida. I just received a notice today that they are having a 50% off sale to reduce the amount of inventory to be moved. Now would be a great time to try their wonderful kits!
BeadsEast Is Moving!

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